Are You There Peeps? It’s Me, Manda…

That’s why they call me Slim Shady, I’m back, I’m back…”

Okay, so nobody actually calls me Slim Shady. I know this and you know this. That being said, I am back, hopefully for good this time, and what is up peeps? For those of you still following me after months of being incommunicado, hello and thank you for your patience. Now I sound like an automated voice message “to continue reading, please press one now”…anyhoo, I don’t expect this post to be very long; I just wanted to let you know that I’m still here, trying to write again.

So where have I been, you may be asking? I would really love to tell you that I’ve been super busy working on myself and making positive changes, but that would be a lie. Mostly I’ve been binge-watching, binge-eating, binge-gaming, and binge-wallowing in my guilt that I’ve reverted back to doing nothing and feeling bad about it but not changing it. I did spend about a week trying to get my old laptop to work so that it would be easier for me to write, but after watching hours of YouTube videos about hard drives, reformatting, installing and uninstalling, and just basically trying to get an ancient piece of technology to function normally with said updates and reformats, I threw it under the couch and sulked for another couple of weeks because it just was not having any part of being resurrected. I even went out of my way to cover it in pretty stickers and it still wouldn’t do what I wanted it to do…ungrateful SOB.

So I’m back to poking away at my iPad screen, once again having forgotten to charge my Bluetooth keyboard…hey, at least I can be consistent about something right? Really though, I am struggling with what to say. I’m low, really low…and not in a fun Lil’ Jon type of way – too bad your booty doesn’t get a workout from gettin’ low on the couch; if that were the case I’d be giving the Kardashian’s a run for their money at this point…although size-wise I might be getting there anyway. Look out Kim, my badonkadonk is catching up! If only I could pay someone to airbrush it everyday, I could end up with a few more Instagram followers…anyone have a promo code for a butt lift? I wonder if you can use a contour kit on your ass…

Anyway, as I was saying before I went off on a completely predictable tangent, I’m not in a good place right now. I love my couch and everything, but it’s not really very good company. I’m starting to become that socially awkward person that nobody really knows what to do with…if I do have a conversation it’s usually with my cat, and she doesn’t give a fuck how weird I am so it’s not really a good barometer for socializing with real people. Even my writing is awkward…you really do lose it if you don’t use it, although I have noticed that it seems to be a great predictor for where I’m heading, mentally at least. In retrospect, my last two posts were all kinds of crazy, and I won’t lie to you – part of my absence was due to me “going away” for awhile. Literally. The men in white coats caught up with me again…maybe they were reading my blog…I’m rolling my eyes too, don’t feel bad.

So there it is peeps, my big return to blogging. Pretty blah, I know, but I did tell you that my writing seems to reflect my headspace, so for now that’s all I got. Stick with me, I’m hoping to come out of the gate swinging again at some point; I’ve been considering going back to plant-based eating in conjunction with testing out the baby food fad, waist training, and hot yoga, but that could all just be wishful thinking. Even just reading that I can see that it spells out a recipe for disaster – I sound like a space cadet on the road to an eating disorder…Heeeey Gwyneth, what up girl??…just kidding; I’m sure she’s a lovely lady, even though she’s crazy as balls. Maybe I should hit her up on Facebook or something…we can chat about our feelings on personal chefs, psychology, and Cup-a-Soup. Somehow I don’t think that would end well – sorry Gwyneth, maybe some other time; I do love me some Cup-a-Soup!

Anyway, hopefully I get motivated to do something soon, so that I can tell you all about it. Keep livin’ the dream peeps, whatever your dream may be ❤

Xo

M

Shiny Happy People

Hey-o! I know it hasn’t been long at all since we chatted last, but I have two reasons for posting again so fast. Number 1: I read my last post before bed last night, and I realized that I should have titled it “Manic Panic” – wow, that was really all over the place! Sorry for panic rockin’ peeps, I guess I am feeling a bit untethered at the moment. I’m restless, I’m irritable, I’m jumpy…that all came across pretty loud and clear I think though so I’m not going to beat that horse any longer, pretty sure it’s deader than a doornail.

Reason Number 2: I saw a bumper sticker yesterday and I literally thought about it for hours after. This is my real reason for writing today; I just can’t get it outta my head (sorry, I’m still a bit stuck on the soundtrack thing – once you admit it, it becomes really noticeable) and I want to talk about it. I also want to redeem myself a little and prove that I can stick to a topic that makes sense. Mostly though, I just want to talk about the bumper sticker.

We get it Manda, you saw a bumper sticker – go you. What the frig did it say already??

Jeez Louise, I thought I was impatient. Ok, what it said was this “Happy People Are Hiding Something”. Ta-daaaaa! My big reveal. Real exciting stuff happening here today!

It got me thinking though, for pretty much the rest of the day. Whoever came up with that simple little expression is definitely a pessimist, but also kind of a genius. You can attach a lot of depth to those five little words and, although this could just be the obsessive part of my personality talking, they really are cause to stop and ponder. The sticker creator could also just be a colossal jerk who hates happy people, or they maybe just thought it was funny and catchy. Maybe there’s a “Bumper-Sticker-O-Matic” somewhere in the factory and no thought whatsoever went into the making of that particular sticker. I guess I’ll never know. What I do know is that I’m getting distracted again. Focus.

Although I hate to admit this, the first thought that went through my head after reading it was “got that right mofo” and then I spent a few seconds reveling in my newfound knowledge that I’m not the only rhymes-with-witch out there who thinks things like that. The thing is, although I may think things like that from time to time, I don’t usually say them. Except to my husband; He has the dubious honour of being privy to the majority of my innermost thoughts, and he still loves me. That man is a saint I tell you. So after I basked in the glow of my meanness for a second or two, the guilt started to slowly creep it’s way through the antipathy with all the grace of a two-storey house falling out of the sky, and the Wicked Witch of the West inside me began to shrivel because I actually do have a conscience and deep down I’m generally a not-mean person.

As that all began to happen, I actually started feeling sad because I realized that that stupid sticker is actually probably true. Happy people are almost definitely hiding something; in fact, we’re ALL almost definitely hiding something. Nobody is truly an open book; that’s why our psychic abilities diminished as we evolved, we all need a secret place to hide (I love conspiracy theories and out-there ideas btw, I may try to market a line of tinfoil hats one day but that’s besides the point here).

How many times has someone asked how you are and you’ve responded “Fine, great, awesome, amazing” and then, if you have even a superficial relationship with said person, gone on to mention some things that are going true to your words? I’m gonna guess pretty damn often, cause I know I do and I’m basically the Eeyore of my circle lately. Close friends may get the more real-life answer; you’re unhappy at work, your kids are making you crazy, your hubby left the seat up again, etc., but what about when things are really bad? Are you going to sit there and bombard every person who asks how you’re doing with the downer thoughts and perceived injustices you’ve been squirreling away to chew on when you get a minute to stop and think about it? Probably not. You’re probably just going to say “Fine thanks, and you?” and save all that other stuff for a box of wine and your bestie, or your cat…cats are great listeners because they just don’t give a fuck.

But what about those people who always seem to actually be fine, great, awesome, and amazing? What’s their deal? Well, some people actually are happy – some people are optimists by nature, and some people are exactly where they want to be doing exactly what they want to do. And even though you may sometimes want to high-five those people in the throat with your fist, save the throat-punching for actual assholes, because I guarantee even those happy people have something going on somewhere and emotional jealousy is not a valid reason for throat-punching. This is the part where I really started digging in…because I thought about all the “happy” people I know, and realized that I did feel kinda jealous and there’s a fine line between jealousy and resentment.

The thing is, those happy people might actually be miserable – they just don’t advertise it. Then I started getting anxious; What if my happy friends have problems that I don’t know about? How can I help if I don’t know? What if they feel like they have nobody to talk to? Oh God, what if I have a happy friend who’s actually lonely?? Hang on a sec, I need to go hyperventilate into a paper bag for a few minutes…

Okay, I’m better now. Realistically, I can probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve answered “Fine” and meant it. And that’s probably being very generous. I don’t feel like that’s even an odd thing; everybody does it.

The reality is, we can never really know whether or not someone is fine unless they tell us. And if they aren’t, and don’t want anyone to know, then all we can do is be there when or if they ever decide they want some company to go along with their misery. Imagine if we all just went around incessantly bitching about everything…how exhausting. All that negative energy would probably cause the universe to explode or, at the very least, all of our heads. I just got a mental picture of a simultaneous worldwide head-explosion. Eyuh.

I’m glad I saw that sticker. It really made me stop and think (obsess) about the fact that happy people might need help sometimes too. We all have our “things”. It also made me stop being a bitch for five minutes and appreciate the happy people in my life. Do I get jealous sometimes? Sure. But I usually feel better after spending time with a glass-half-full person. Most of the time it helps me remember that my own glass is more than half-full. In fact, it’s overflowing. I have an amazing family, fabulous friends, and more support than I can ever even hope to utilize. My anxiety and depression make me forget that a lot, and at the end of the day that’s what I truly resent. I resent not fully enjoying what I have, because there are so many people out there who have it way worse. And some of those people can still find it within themselves to see the good things. I applaud those people. You are amazing. Truly.

So thank you, happy people. From the bottom of my heart. The world needs you, and you are appreciated more than you probably know. You probably don’t even realize the difference you make to others, and how your positive outlook can really put things in perspective for those of us who struggle with that sort of thing. And please don’t ever feel pressured to put on a happy face if something really is wrong. Maybe that’s just your nature and you can’t help it, but don’t ever feel like you can’t drop it like it’s hot if the need arises. People will be there for you, just like you’re there for them. Unless you hang out with dickwads, and in that case, get yourself a better entourage; you deserve it.

Happy people make the world go ’round (magnetic force does too but let’s give happy people some credit), and without them we would be a pretty miserable species. Everyone has problems, some people are just better at making the best of things. We need that. So work your magic on us happy people – that’s some hocus-pocus we can all believe in, no tinfoil needed.

Love ya peeps,

M

An Electrifying Experience

Hey y’all, how goes it? I’m getting lazy, can you tell? I’m halfway through my third ECT round, and I guess I should just be glad that I even remember you at all…the first two rounds erased my memory for over an entire year. I have a very strong feeling that that is not supposed to happen. Every time I tell a medical professional they either look at me like I’m insane (whaaa-?) or like I’m trying to say the most desperate thing I can think of to get maximum attention. I would much rather they think the former because I couldn’t give a rats fat ass about attention. In fact, if everyone would just pay a little less attention to me I think it would solve at least half of my problems.

But you’re a blogger/vlogger/social media-er…doesn’t that mean you want attention? Yes, indirectly; I would like to share my experiences semi-anonymously with strangers. It’s different.

I do care about having my memory erased and nobody being overly concerned about it. I’m telling you simply to share my experience, and maybe to give a bit of a heads up to anyone considering it. Memory loss is a real thing, and people will not believe you. Just throwin’ it out there cause I love ya peeps. Also I’m inexplicably grumpy and I keep holding this post for review until I’m in a better mood but I don’t see that happening anytime soon so you get to experience grumpy-bear-Manda firsthand. Lucky you. I did say that I was going to be myself here, so I guess that means you get all of me – the good, the bad, and the indescribably bitchy. Happy Friday the Thirteenth!

So how does the whole shock-your-brain-into-submission thing work? Well, it really depends on where you go. My first two rounds, I had to travel a bit and go to a hospital for the criminally insane because my local hospital was taking a break from scrambling brains. I must say, it was a model of efficiency – props to you prison system – and it paved the way for some serious culture shock when I had to start going locally to a regular old hospital.

So, you go in, hungry, thirsty, anxiety off the charts because no meds the day before or of treatment. They snug you up with a warm blanket, poke you full of IV lines, and take you into a private theater for the actual procedure. Two deep breaths and you wake up in recovery with a killer headache and a vague memory of something you were supposed to do today. They give you a juice box, and send you on your way. I don’t know what happens during the actual procedure, I’m asleep, duh, but I know my jaw hurts like a bitch after and my brain screams to be put into recovery mode for the rest of the day so I mostly just sleep. (I actually do know because we’re all aware of my serious information addiction by now, but I want to stick to the actual experience). If you came here for an in-depth look at the mechanics behind ECT, you’re in the wrong place. Google can help you with that, I’m just sharing my thoughts m’kay?

So, the jail is very good at what they do. They have a system. Everyone knows what they’re supposed to be doing, and I felt like my brain was in good hands. Then my local hospital got their program back up and running. It’s like a whole new world. I have to wear a surgical gown. The machine that does the actual procedure is on wheels and they just move it around to everyone in the recovery room. I woke up after the first one with my ass hanging out and an unrestricted view of the dude across from me. Check your shame at the door peeps, hospitals don’t fuck around. There’s a lot of standing around…nobody seems completely sure about what they’re supposed to be doing, and even if they are they’re in no hurry. Efficiency is a foreign concept, along with privacy and general confidence in the job, and everyone seems to regard you like some kind of lab animal. My very first day, a nurse informed me that he was filling in for the doctor, who was unavailable. Wait, what? Props to nurses, I think most of the time they know as much as, if not more than, the doctors anyway, but what? Is that even allowed?? Apparently the doctor ended up finding time in his busy schedule because he came racing in right before I passed out, so win for me…the nurse looked scared to death so I guess it was a win for him too.

They ask you the same questions at least three times. Every. Single. Time. And they’re all standing or sitting in front of computers – like, can’t you write it down for the next person? Last I checked, computers were really good at passing along essential information. I get that you want to make sure I’m me, and I’m not scamming the system or whatever, but that’s what my photo ID is for no? It doesn’t exactly inspire confidence when the people responsible for keeping you alive can’t seem to figure out how to communicate simple things like allergies, height, and weight. What are you gonna do if something goes wrong? Shake me awake and double-check my measurements before saving my life??

Anyway, not exactly awe-inspiring, but so far I’m still alive so…yay? Maybe secretly erasing your memory is how it really works. You just forget that you’re depressed. So far, that hasn’t happened for me. Realistically, I don’t even know if it’s working because they keep asking me if I feel any different while conveniently ignoring the fact that I can’t remember.

I know it sounds like I’m whining, and I guess maybe I am. I don’t do well with change, and I also kinda feel like I’m frying my brain for nothing. Plus the hospital way of doing it has been sending my anxiety through the roof so it seems counterproductive. So stop doing it, obvs. It’s not that easy though…the meds alone aren’t enough, and I guess I’m hoping that eventually they’re going to short the right circuit. I do want to “get better”, and I don’t have the inner strength to fight the demons on my own. So where does that leave me? Passed out with my ass out three times a week for now I guess.

I’m sorry that this post is such a downer and that I’ve resorted to whining online like an angsty tween. I’m pretty mad and disappointed in myself – I always thought I was stronger than this, and letting my brain win is making me a very sore loser. Maybe my experience is the exception – but I wanted to give you my honest opinion. Would I recommend it? I honestly can’t say. I don’t know if it helps, I know that the success rate is supposed to be rather high, so maybe I just need to give it more time. I know that given the choice I would take the prison over the hospital any day…never thought I’d say that in my life, but that’s part of the fun of mental illness. You learn new things about yourself all the time, and you find yourself doing and saying things that you never thought would apply to you because you were doing so well at keeping your sane face forward. Maybe I should be taking this opportunity to revel in the madness…where’d I put that damn tutu…”I said laces OUT!”

Um, where were we? Ah yes, this is the part where I say something encouraging and inspiring like “maybe in order to find our true strength, we have to first find our weakness”…that’s pretty, right? Did you get all warm and fuzzy? Then my work here is done. Until next time,

Stay awesome peeps.