“I pledge my commitment to the Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project. At Crazy Good Parent, I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.” Janice Lindegard, publisher
This morning’s breakfast conversation, which immediately followed getting my daughter off to school.
Me: Go back to bed.
Me: No. You have things to do.
Me: You’re too tired.
Me: No, I can’t. I have to write. I have to get today’s post done.
Me: You can’t write. You have nothing to say.
Me: But I have to try.
Me: You can’t do it.
Me: I can. Look at Emily. She has a toddler, for crying out loud, and her blog is doing great. She’s getting recognized. She has a billion followers.
Me: You’ll never do that. Your kids can practically take care of themselves and you can’t even manage to write a post. You’re a worthless waste of flesh.
Me: You’re right. I’m a worthless waste of flesh.
Me: You might as well go back to bed.
Me: I might as well go back to bed.
I went back to bed; I went back to sleep.
I wasn’t any kinder to myself when I woke, but I had the energy to fight back. I opened “Home Routines,” the electronic to-do list I keep on my iPad. Good days, I whip through my morning routine. Bad days, like today, I flounder until I remember I can drag myself out of the darkness by ticking off responsibilities one by one. I brush my teeth and wash my face. Tick. I take my meds. Tick. I feed the dog. Tick. By the time I’ve gotten through the list, I feel better, almost hopeful. I’ve accomplished something, even when I skip the final task: cleaning the dog’s leavings in the yard.
My self-talk isn’t always this bleak, but it is usually not very complimentary. I frequently hear myself say, “I’m such an idiot,” when I can’t find my phone, my car keys, my purse, my glasses. Since I’m constantly misplacing things, I call myself an idiot at least once a day. Someone once pointed out that I must be pretty smart because I know how to use the word “ergo” but, to me, I’m still an idiot.
I am not alone in calling myself names that I wouldn’t think to use on others. Negative self-talk seems to come with the neurodiversity package. I fight it with an array of tools: my to-do app, loading my Facebook feed with positive messages, bi-weekly therapy sessions and pep talks from my husband.
I’ve tried managing my mental by myself, but it doesn’t work. It’s one of the reasons I decided to start Crazy Good Parent. Where my neurotypical friends, family and acquaintances find it ridiculous that I think I’m a lazy worthless moron, my fellow crazy parents find it completely normal and that makes me feel less alone.
I hope Crazy Good Parent does the same for others. I am committed to offering a platform for parents with mental disorders to have their voices heard.
You can make the pledge, too. Go to http://acanvasoftheminds.com/2014/01/07/blog-for-mental-health-2014/ to find out how.