kicking numbness in the numbnuts

So… confession:

I use Tumblr and Pinterest to figure out what feelings I am feeling.

I scroll through the images and unconsciously “reblog” or “pin” the images that I’m most drawn to.

It may sound silly, but it’s usually very helpful and therapeutic.  Before long, my page contains a visual “mood board” of what’s going on in my brain. Instead of having to sit in bed and journal for an hour to figure myself out, it’s all right there in beautiful imagery right on my computer screen. (If you feel like it, you can see my Pinterest boards here and my Tumblr here.)

I also use this method when I’m trying to figure out what the hell I’m going to write about in this blog.  For instance, today:  I hadn’t written a blog all week, had been feeling completely uninspired, and almost gave up on the whole process altogether.  (Typical me: start something while feeling manicky and want to quit when I hit depressed-ish.) So yes, in desperation to contribute something, anything, to the blog this week I resorted to my tried and true method of Pinlr Therapy. (Get it? Pinterest and Tumblr…it’s like Beniffer except…ok yeah you get it.  It’s pretty lame, but I do what I can when I’m uninspired, guys.)

So yes, enter Pinlr Therapy.

I sat, Native-American-style, on my bed, opened my laptop, and began the Pinnlring.

After a while, as usual, I noticed a pattern.

I realized that most of the images that I was unconsciously drawn to were pretty dark.

Image

Image Image

Image

Then I realized something else.  I wasn’t really feeling much of anything.  I sat there, staring blankly at all of those images, unable to feel anything, really.

I was numb.

It’s funny how you can go about your entire day, texting funny things to your friends, going to work, having conversations, watching TV…

and never really think about how you’re feeling…

let alone realize that you’re completely without feelings.

Unfeeling.

Numbness is a weird thing.  It hits me pretty often, pretty silently.

It’s a side-effect of the whole “depression” aspect of manic depression.

If I am numb, I feel like a big blob of “blah.” I have nothing much to say, nothing much to contribute to society, nothing much to eat because I’m too damn apathetic to go to the grocery store…

It’s so weird, like I’m walking happily along, doing my life-things, whistling and humming and minding my own business. Then, all of the sudden, I look up and I’m surrounded by this thick, sticky gray fog and I can’t see where I’m going or remember what I was doing.  It’s less heavy than the deep-dark pits of depression, yet much heavier than ho-hum, run-of-the-mill. It’s just BLAH.

Sometimes, the fog creeps up, twisting its lanky fingers around my neck, slowly and silently choking the breath out of me until I do inevitably sink in to one of those mucky-brown quicksand pits of depression.

But guess what?

NOT TODAY.

HAAAAAA! I broke that bastard’s ugly-ass fingers as he tried to cut off my life supply and I bitch-slapped Foggy Numb-ass in the face.

How?

Honestly, I don’t really know, exactly.

But I do know it was a combination of

A) wanting to assess my feelings

B) figuring out I wasn’t feeling any feelings

C) JOURNALING = Liiiiiiiife

I entitled a page “Feelings” and just started jotting down words.  Some words I jotted:

“Numb”

“Empty”

“Tired”

“Exhausted”

“Frustrated”

“Pissed-off”

“Angry”

“Angry”

“Mad”

“Angry”

“Rage”

“Sad”

“Never ending disappointment”

“I want so much more than this”

(Okay so I’m a little dramatic when I journal but this is my raw heart, y’all.)

D) I realized that the fog will lift.  Chances are, I’m just experiencing one of the many “low Lows” of bipolar disorder.  I’ve lived through enough depression to know that it goes away…eventually.  And I usually try to remind myself that the “everything is nothingness” thoughts that I am thinking are a result of a brain that is running extremely low on happy chemicals. (THANK GOD FOR MEDICINE.) Also, I have learned to coach myself, telling myself that it’s not my fault and life is not meaningless, and my brain has just temporarily decided to fart.

I’ve learned that fresh flowers in my room make me feel like I’m breathing in happy air,

and that food from the earth makes me feel like my organs are slurping up health and life-longevity.

Also, cleaning helps.  It makes me feel like I’m taking Lysol to the dusty corners of myself.

Anyways.  So.

I’m depressed right now, I guess…

Yes.

BUT

that mother effer ain’t gon’ win today.

If you are bipolar or you experience depression, please feel free to message me and we can swap battle techniques.

If you are a “normal” (non-diagnosed) person and you get numb sometimes also message me and we can swap battle techniques.

LET’S KICK NUMBNESS IN THE NUMBNUTS!

HAVE A GREAT DAYYYYYYYY

8 Comments

  1. The “not-feeling” is the scariest feeling. It’s the one that makes you want to hide the most from the world. At least, in my experience, that’s what it does to me. It’s also the one that is best conquered by not letting yourself hide–by remembering that YOU are not an emotion. You are a soul and spirit, giving a home to (and sometimes being harassed by) your emotions. But when they aren’t there, or they aren’t what they’re supposed to be, or they aren’t making any sense at all… you are still you. God is still God. And (like you said) the feeling will go away.

    This, too, shall pass, my friend. Keep writing! You are making the world more beautiful.

  2. I LOOOOved this blog. You made me want to cry and made me laugh with your keen perspective. jajaja

    Ok want to share some impressions: one, your a great writer, two, you have just “discovered” a new way to express yourself using todays technology- brilliant- three, images are our first language, the way you surf through the images and pin the ones that stand out is like you making a techy collage without the mess of glue and scissors and little bits of paper all over the floor…so cool (and yet the physical collage works as well just slower)…four, the images you shared all have one thing in common in my viewpoint- all contain light within darkness. Just like your blah-numb-less….five, I have felt this way and my battle technique is using the expressive arts as self-therapy and journal as well, so comforting. six, I love your sense of humor. seven, I love you.

    tt

  3. oh, and by the way, your dealing consciously with your condition is inspiring and right on…you will be able to deal with this too, nena-girl! you have the frying pan by the handle- el sarten cojido del mango- so rock on:

    I am amazed how God-Life has “mysterious” ways of bringing new “tools” to manifestation. One good side to your “fine madness” is this work you are doing for yourself and for others. (-:

  4. You go girl! I get that same way sometimes… So blue, so Eeyore…apathetic. If I can manage to do something physically active that helps, but sometimes it’s hard to force myself to. I’m loving your blog. Please keep writing! Hugs

  5. Ugh depression is the lamest. I hate it. It sucks the life out of everything. And the physical exhaustion that comes with it? Just…no.

    Flowers help me too. And my cat. He literally purrs all the time, and it is one of the cutest & happiest things ever, to me. The biggest thing for me is surrounding myself with reminders. Words, notes, short quotes. Things that remind me that this, too, shall pass. Or things that remind me who I am when I feel bombarded by lies that seem to be convincing me otherwise.

    I have kept the same laminated post-it note within eye-shot at all times in my car since 2008 for that very reason. And the lock screen on my phone is another important spot. Because you never know when those days will come, and they really can knock a person down. And then there are days when the only good option is to lay still on the couch and just watch hours of Netflix. Because at least then, I know I am safe, and my mind is distracted until the wave passes.

    Love you. Miss you. 🙂

    ps- your poem in the next post makes me giggle. love it. and hate that you and many others hear this garbage too often. proud of you for calling it out.

  6. I know this numbness thing quite well. For many years, i lived in a state of numbness. I was overmedicated and too numb to even realize it. It was not until I had a major breakdown and my meds were changed that I was able to live again. I am amazed that I ever survived. There are days that I feel stuck at times. I am reading the book “Dark Nights of the SOul by Thomas Moore. He really captures these states and finds meaning in the experience. When I am in a mood and I am so stuck that even trying to distract myself is too much to handle, I light some candles and incense and try to connect with a shard of myself that is whole and healing. If nothing else, I am usually relaxed enough to get some sleep and maybe the next day my mood will shift.

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