Speaking to Stigma: Blogging for Mental Health 2014

e69c3c182f76875f15f0c97e6775d37a“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.

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6 responses to “Speaking to Stigma: Blogging for Mental Health 2014

  1. Thanks for the reminder that I need to write about this too. I’ve gotten caught up in other things that are far less important on my blog, and I hope to make this a priority this week. So, you did one good thing by reminding me. 🙂

    Like

  2. Pingback: Crazy Good Parent | The Official Blog For Mental Health Project·

  3. I don’t fully relate because I’m not a parent. But I DO have bipolar and today is one of those hard days for me too. Writing down a routine and checking each thing off as I go is something that I have recently started. Every night I write out a new list because depending on the day and what appointments I have and such, my routine changes. I have been finding it extremely helpful. But when I fail to do something my self talk RAGES. it SUCKS.

    Like

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