Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Personal Development When Your Person Sucks

I follow MC Hammer on Twitter.  He's one of the most upbeat, energetic people I follow, many many exclamation points and always tweeting about doing good and getting better.  Today he tweeted that he wanted to hear inspiring stories from other people so he could retweet them for all his followers to read.  Here are a few of those retweets (RT):
  • RT @OwensFinSvc in spite of bein a single mother 2 sets of twins ive bn able 2 attend skool ,srt my own business still be thr 4 my kids
  • RT @autumn_meadows spent 3 months homeless with my 3 girls,stayed in school 4 classes from getting my Bachelors in Business Administration
  • RT Aksuna @MCHammer Separated mother of 5 daughters, working full time, going to school full time, carrying a 4.0 GPA!!!
You might sense a theme here...other retweets mentioned the earthquake in Italy, war in Africa, breast cancer, but these three are the ones that bothered me.


Maybe they're all cat women so far gone that they say some variant of "children" without even thinking about it...yessss, that's it...

First off, I'm in awe.  Anyone who can do that is amazing, and that's why their stories are inspiring and worth repeating.

But don't I feel like a total failure tweeting next to them.

I have this book, Manic Depression and Creativity, that I ended up having to pay the library for via bipolar-losing-thingsness.  It's not a bad book to have had to pay for.  It covers Newton, Beethoven, Dickens, and Van Gogh claiming all may have been bipolar, and its Dewey Decimal number is 153.35 H572.

The staggering genius it describes doesn't make me feel half as loserly as that 5.0/4.0 woman does.

Because that woman is real.  She's not in a history book, and her major concerns aren't the kind of fit she will throw if her eighth symphony bombs or what Gauguin is doing at the moment.  She has a job, kids, and classes.  Job, kids, classes.  Life's basics.  The things we should all be able to do, at least in subsets.

Not being able to handle a subset of life's basics makes me feel like potato poop.  It's mortifying.  It's definitely worse than cutting off my ear, and on some days I'd happily exchange it for being deaf.  Mortifying, it's the only word.

One of my lessons is accepting that I'm sick.  I'm nine years officially bipolar and almost two officially vulvodynia -- it's about time I let those things be what they are.  I am necessarily a different person than I would be without them.  I have to take different routes and make different choices.  I have to stop trying to climb the stairs in my wheelchair.

But another of my lessons is accepting that I'm changing all the time.  My mood is up and down every week.  Any decision I make has to accommodate 100 different selves and that's why I feel like I never get anywhere: because three days later, I've ground to a halt.

All of this stuff is more of what I was writing yesterday.  I have to accept how things are -- not only that I'm sick, but that these selves of mine are ephemeral.  I've only got each one for as long as she's here, and she's going to move on her schedule.  And I'm always going to be this way.  Whatever I do, I do riding these waves.



  1. Someday I think you and I should meet.. before your wedding to Ross :)
    As I've told you before, I rather relate to things you say. Coping in particular. I look at what other people handle daily and feel like, well, potato poop was a good description.
    Remember that it's all relative. A productive/good day is what you make it. Blah blah.
    Hang in there.

  2. I agree -- let's meet somehow! Thanks for the moral support. I really appreciate it, including the "blah blah" :)