Signs you might be in love with a mentally ill person

Like most of my blogs, this one is also inspired by a third party and has absolutely NOTHING to do with my own life experience…mostly because my life (as I’ve experienced it) is flawless and magickal and I’m pretty sure puppy dogs and sunshine emanate from every pore of my being. At least that’s what the clairvoyant said to me last week when I paid her $55 to read my palm tarot.

So, I thought I’d give some of you a heads up about this…I mean, it can be really hard to date someone who is mentally ill…so you better be sure!

You know you are in love with someone who is mentally ill if…

1) There are periods of time when you talk to this person…and, although they respond to you verbally, it’s almost like they are empty inside. There is no “umph” or expression behind their verbal responses. Like they are a robot.

2) You tell them something tragic like: “my Mom is in the hospital” or “my good friend just got diagnosed with cancer” and they respond by saying: “They’ll be fine. Just tell him/her to man up.”

3) They read your journal while you’re at work…and know it’s wrong, but tell you about it anyway. (Ok, Ok, that might be classified under stupidity)

4) They tell you that if you look at anyone you’ve ever had relations with (even in passing) they’ll break up with you and never speak to you again.

5) When you try to tell them that making a joke about your friend having cancer upset you, they try to turn the table and make it seem like YOU’RE the crazy one.

6) They call you and say that they think they are “out of control” or “I think I have bipolar or something” and then two days later say that they are fine and everything is all right…no need to worry! Right. No need indeed.

Well, if any of this applies to you, I’d say you are in for a real treat should you choose to stay with this person! I cannot tell you what is wrong or right…I can just tell you what IS…and, if you related to ANY of the above, the person you love IS MENTALLY ILL.

Saying “Yes” to NO in order to say “Yes”

One of my teachers once said, “By saying NO to something, we are inherently saying YES to another.” I’ve been around people who have this Just say YES mentality. In fact, if I had said NO…they got pissed. So, maybe I didn’t want to try THAT particular meditation. Or so what if I’m not into cars?

My sentiments EXACTLY.

My sentiments EXACTLY.

Maybe, by saying NO to things, I’m creating space for something else. Is there an area in your life where You need to say NO?? If you say NO, you’re lying. Well, probably. In fact, I’ll say you are definitely lying–just so I feel better about this post.

Ahem.

Anyone who knows me (or has read my blog) knows that I have been struggling with depression for the majority of my life. (Please, don’t give sympathetic comments…that’s NOT why I’m stating this.) And, most of you know that I’ve been working extra super stupidly hard on my life–essentially trying to feel good about living. This determination led me to yoga…which led me to therapy…which led me on a heart wrenching, embarrassing and joyful journey. Throw in any pair of opposites and I’ve experienced that too.

Eventually, about two years into this, I found myself in a place where things were going well. I was feeling full just by living. But…if things were going well on the inside. Let’s get real…life doesn’t cater on silver platters. (Usually, it’s some sort of dish composed of turds and twigs one moment, and golden tigerlilies the next.)

Everything was unfolding as I had worked hard for it…except for one area.

No, really...everything's perfect.

No, really…everything’s perfect.

Not that I wasn’t working hard…Actually, I was working hard. Working hard at suffering and bottling emotions up. Working hard at forgoing my own needs for that of another. Working hard at lying to myself; if I just give a little more, this will turn out how I want it to. Working hard at lying to my friends and family; Things are going GREAT!! *Smiley face* *wink* *giggle*

There came a tipping point. I needed out. And finally, I was able to get out. I said NO to the person in my life I cared most about.

When he finally was gone, I cried. I wandered around my apartment looking at how EMPTY it was. I could barely fill up a third of the space in my home…what the fuck?

A couple days later, there was a shift. I became happy. Really happy. No, seriously. I mean, for the first time in my life, I wasn’t depressed. I didn’t realize it was even possible. I wanted hugs (which is a big fucking deal if you know me) When I was with my friends, I just wanted to hug them and tell them how much I love them. I thought my heart was going to burst open. Where did this abundance of love and joy come from?? My only conclusion is that it was there the whole time…lurking beneath the dank and dark layers of childhood, personality and giving up my power to someone else.

So, saying NO can literally create a space to say Yes. Yes to love. Yes to tenderness. Yes to joy. Yes to life.

How you know for sure that you are in fact, a human

You are probably not this unicorn...but if you are, email me!

Are you questioning your humanity?  Perhaps someone else’s is in question?  Well, folks, I have completed a quick check list for these OMG moments.  I hope that it will prove to be a quick go-to guide if you (and everyone you know) is unsure of what it means to be human.

Here it goes:

You know you’re human if…

1)  you’ve ever found yourself completely absorbed with yourself.  Think of having a conversation with somebody and just waiting for your turn to talk.  

2)  you’ve been totally selfless.  If you have given something (time, effort, money, etc) for the pure fact of giving and not based on what you will receive.

3)  you’ve overreacted in some way.  For instance, crying over that cancer commercial that plays the song, “Wind Beneath My Wings.”  (Ok,  you might also be menstruating…but that just further proves your humanness!  oh…and guys, you menstruate too, so don’t think this doesn’t apply).  Or, blowing up at somebody for something trivial, like arriving a little late or forgetting to take the turkey out of the oven.   

4) you’ve underreacted.  Like…remember the time so-and-so really did you wrong and you pretended like it was no big deal?  Like your feelings weren’t hurt and the person can go ahead and do it again for all YOU care.

5)  you’ve successfully reacted to a situation.  You were not ashamed of how you communicated your thoughts and/or feelings about something. And, your decision honored You as a person.  (Yesss!!! it feels good to be a human today!) 

6)  you knew what you were doing was wrong…but went ahead and did it anyway.  (Well, at least you can be proud that you are someone who follows through on something.)  Think of running a red light, or going back to that same-old unsuccessful, bitterly hurtful relationship, or judging negatively on another girl simply because you think someone else thinks she’s prettier than you.  (umm…this didn’t happen to me, but a friend of mine…in fact, I think she was like my 3rd cousin twice removed or something.  I’ll double-check with my mom and get back to you on that.)

7)  you did the right thing!  Yay!!  It can be done!  I swear it.  On my life…well, on my 3rd cousin’s twice removed life anyway.)

8)  are you cycling between all of these things?  Meaning sometimes and with some people you are nice and friendly, other times self-consumed and unfriendly? 

Well, I’m here to tell you that don’t worry!  You are NOT some sort of psychopath, greedy, animalistic, asshole, god of all things high and mighty unicorn.  You are, in fact, a real human being!  Have no fear. 

(Well, try not to anyways)

Questions I like to ask myself everyday

Hello!  And welcome to this installment of my blog–where I will give you a list of questions that I like to ask myself (hence the title, duh!) and maybe…just maybe explain why this is useful for me.

Plus, I love making lists incase you couldn’t tell by several other entries.

So here it goes:

1)  Do I like you…and if so why?  (or the opposite, if No, then why not?)

This is a valuable question because it allows me to assess a couple different things.  First off, I get to take a look at if I like you.  Then, I get to explore why…do you make me feel good? Do you feed some sort of dependency issue I might have? Do you have traits that I wish I had?  The possibilities are endless.  If I like you for valid reasons, I will probably keep hanging out with you.  If I like you for invalid reasons, I will ALSO probably keep hanging out with you…(until I am strong enough and ready to decide otherwise).  If I don’t like you for invalid reasons, that actually sheds light onto a darkness that I might get to work on! 

2)  Why did I just do that?Maybe this diagram helps you get the analogy better.

Another great question that can provide insight into my motivations…however, it can be an extremely difficult question to answer.  But only because there are many motivations…and several tend to be on a more subconscious level.  (Think of the tip of the iceberg analogy)  This one is good to go back to again and again for the same action.

3)  Why did YOU just do that?

This question can serve two purposes.  One, is to practice the correct assessment of another human being.  (Is this normal for your character??)  Also, the answer given can possibly be the answer to question number 2.  I mean, if I guess why you might do something…the answer I come up with might actually be why I might have done that thing that you just did.  (ooh!  Psychology, Love it!)

4)  What the f***??

Other ways this question could be asked:  Seriously?  No joke?  Are you kidding me?  WTF? 

This seems like a really basic question:  We don’t have to get all deep…but really, what the f***?  I need clarification on the physical events that just took place, then, once I’ve mentally grasped that, then I can go a little deeper if I choose.

5)  Do you understand what I’m trying to say?  Please repeat back what you think I just said to you.

Ahhhh…yesssss!  One of my personal favorites!  (Surprising, I know…it contains no profanity)  But, If I desire to communicate, I want to make sure that whomever I converse with is understanding my meaning.  Know what I mean?  I’m sure every one of us has been in a situation that has spiraled out of control because of a miscommunication somewhere along the line. 

I think he's saying, "How can I get him to understand what I'm talking about?!"

6)  Wait, what did you just say?

(The sister question of number 5)  Not only do I want my point to be understood, but I also want to understand what others are trying to say to me.  This could make for a fantastic conversation…and then it could further develop into a fantastic friendship, who knows?

and that leads to my final question:

7)  No, seriously.  Who really does know?

Because I sure don’t.  And, I would really like to know.  This is helpful in almost every aspect of life; don’t know how to do something?  or where something is? or how to get help?

Wow…this list could go on.   But, These are definitely my favorite ones to ask.  They have helped me to do such things as the following:  introspection, transformation, take responsibility for my actions, and find a little more peace and happiness.

I finally figured out how and why I want to teach yoga.

What do you think...is he or isn't he making a personal connection with himself through yoga?

I am learning many, many things on my “journey” to be a yoga teacher.  When I finally decided to take the training, I told my sister first.  It made sense because she was already a yoga teacher.  She asked me, “Julie, why do you want to teach yoga instead of finishing up college?”  And I did what any other regular human would do…

I lied.  Well, sort of.

I stated that I had grown so much as a person through yoga, and that I wanted to help others do the same.  (I just wanted this to be the truth.)

What I really should’ve said, is this:

School isn’t working out for me, and…I want to believe that yoga has helped me transform into a better person–I hear it can be done…maybe if I teach it, that would speed up the process?  Plus, isn’t it SO AWESOME to be a teacher?  It is very glamorous: people love you and look up to you!

Here is the truth now:  I really do believe yoga can help to improve–kind of.  I think whatever you put into the practice is what you’ll get out of it.  I want to help people find that meaningful connection; to use the practice effectively for personal growth.  Yoga hasn’t transformed me…in fact, I’ve only recently been able to use the practice for my own growth since I’ve started therapy.  Through counseling, I’ve figured out what yogis mean when they say, “Turn your gaze inward, that’s where the answers are…not outside of us.” 

I mean, when I would turn my gaze “inward” I really was in my own head…only I was judging and comparing myself to others or to what I thought I should be doing.  And that pattern of thinking isn’t helping me out any…I was  just doing what I ALWAYS did, but this time it was on my yoga mat inside a studio. 

So, now that I’ve been gazing inward effectively, here is something I’ve discovered:  I really do want to facilitate others find their OWN connection through yoga. 

With this realization…a couple others follow naturally.

One, is the understanding that with wanting to help people find their own connection working at a studio severely limits the type of people I can reach.  So, it is now less important for me to teach at a studio.  I can reach a more diverse crowd of people through other means…like people who are too intimidated to enter the studio because it seems so serious and spiritual and they have no idea what they’re doing.  (And rightfully so.  I’m pretty sure I covered this aspect of a studio in my previous entry, “Namas-uck-my-dick-te.”)

Two, is that although teaching at a studio is less important, I still want to do it.  Yes, I will jump through their hoops…(which sometimes seem never ending), only I will do it on my own time now.  Stay tuned, because this part will make for a fascinatingly entertaining blog on its own…(as it is filled with DRAMA!  EGO!  REALLY BAD JOKES!  and OTHER THINGS THAT MAKE  YOU GO “GAASSSPP!”) 

So, I hope to see you all around…especially when I’m teaching!

…or as the wonderful site stats on this blog.  I can tell how many people a day read this stuff! 

Thank you.  And namasuckmydickte!  (biiiiiiitch)  I’m talking about the dog.

Where do you want YOUR neuropathways to lead to?

It is a scientific, biological fact that once you have experienced depression that you are more likely to fall into a depression again.  This is because our brains  (well, hopefully not YOURS, I wouldn’t wish depression on anyone!) develop a neuropathway towards it…and, once established, our neurons are more likely to take a road more travelled. 

Where are you thinking to?

I believe that this is true of any  thought pattern we engage in throughout life.  If I live my whole life thinking, oh…let’s say that I’m undeserving of what I want, I will probably find myself in situation after situation after situation after situation after situation (shall I continue here?!) after situation, (lol) of letting myself fall by the wayside.  I mean, I don’t deserve that type of relationship, or job, or friend, or money, or happiness, or whatever. 

I’m going to share something really personal with all of you…(but don’t get used to it!)  I had a breakthrough in therapy the other day (in case you didn’t guess from my last blog that yes, not only do I see a therapist–who is totally awesome by the way, but at least one of my parents is in fact, a bona fide crazy person…guess which one and you could win a prize!)  I realized that I do deserve the things I want…and, not only do I deserve them, but what I want is by no means irrational or unreasonable. 

One might ask, “Hey, Julie…how did you manage to create a new way of thinking for your brain?”  Great question, hypothetical person who is very interested in what I have to say!  I have been spending a lot of time and energy analyzing my behaviors.  Every action I take has a thought behind it.  Actually, it probably has many thoughts.  Which is why it’s helpful to see a therapist…someone who is paying attention to what I’m saying and asking questions that I might not think (or want) to ask.  So, I have been analyzing all my actions to figure out the thought processes behind it.  Once I’ve figured out the thought patterns, I work to trace these back to their origins.  How did I learn this?  And better yet, once I’ve identified these parts, I can ask myself the most difficult questions:  Is this thought agreeable with who I am, and if not, What exactly IS?  PRESTO!  There you have it.  (Not  nearly as easy as typing ‘presto’ in all caps…but you get the idea.) 

Here is what I did not do (or what I did do, but soon realized that it wouldn’t work):  I did not look for an easy way out.  I did not look outside myself for an answer.  (There is none to be found.)  Not any type of medication, or relationship or person or energy work is going to fix the way I think and therefore act.  That has to be done by myself only.  I’m sorry if I burst any bubbles out there.  But hey, if you think Zoloft or Reiki or a new boyfriend will make you think and behave differently, keep on trying.  I know I had to learn it for myself…no one could’ve told me otherwise because when I was engaged in that stuff, I was not ready to listen.     

So, what exactly does this mean?  Well, if you can picture me sitting in a

It was just like this--except we are both women, and I was crying...and my body was more limp than this guy's.

chair,crying while saying, “You know what, Whitney?  I DO deserve to be happy.  To be treated wholly by another, to give and to receive!”  (Okay, so when I was talking to her I was way more specific about what I actually deserve…but that’s a little TOO personal for me to share on the internet!)  If you are really curious, ask me and I may or may not answer you.  But I will like you just the same.  

Oh yeah, (I hope you enjoyed the picture I just painted for you) so this means that I have now formed a BRAND NEW neuropathway in my brain!  Yessss!  But, just because it’s there, doesn’t mean I will take it all the time.  It is just a baby pathway.  The other route has almost 28 years of travel…which means that it’s still a lot stronger than the other.  So chances are, that, even though I’ve developed this new route, I will still accidentally follow the road I don’t want to travel.  This is to be expected.  But now, I don’t have to be so harsh on myself…because this is simply biology.  It’s the way our bodies and brains are made up.  And, if I keep paying extra special attention to what I’m doing and how I’m doing it, I can travel the new road more and more often (even though it seems foreign and awkward and I might not want to all the time) until it gets stronger than the old way. 

I think that one day, instead of being like work, it will simply BE that way!  OH, how exciting!

How to make a connection with another human being

I think that in order to better understand HOW to make a connection, we first need to know how NOT to make a connection.  So, here it goes:

How to not make a connection:

1)  Avoid talking about yourself in any sort of meaningful way.  Wait, do you know what’s not meaningful?  I can help you with that.  Talk about the weather, musical taste, friends, what kind of booze you like to drink…basically, talk about anything you like, but leave out the “Why” part of it.  Once you start talking about why…it gives a little more insight into who you are as a person.

2)  Don’t ask the other person any kind of meaningful question.  This is pretty similar to the first one.  But, definitely do NOT ask questions about the person you are talking to.  If he/she answers a meaningful question, you will probably feel obligated to release some meaningful information about yourself…and then you will have connected to another human being.  (Which is what we’re trying not do here in this part of my blog entry.) 

3)  Make sure that the activities you engage in don’t really matter.  Like drinking or watching a movie.  It doesn’t really matter who you do these things with…you can enjoy them by yourself too…it just so happens that someone else is participating in these activities.

Ok, this is all I can think of for now…maybe I will make another post later if I come up with more stuff.  So, onto the important thing:

How to make a connection:

1)  Talk about yourself in a meaningful way.  It’s OK!  We all came from somewhere.  And, chances are that we have more in common with each other than we thought.  I’m not saying tell your entire tragic life story filled with violence and regret and loser-dom in one sitting.  Well, do that if you DON’T WANT to make a connection…because the other person probably won’t want to talk to you again.  I know I wouldn’t. 

But, it can be perfectly safe to mention that your parents are crazy or that you see a therapist 3 times a week.  (Make sure you feel out the other person first though.)

2)  Don’t be shy!  Ask questions.  If you are genuinely interested in why the other person does something a certain way or why they think “THAT,” go ahead and ask.  One of three things will happen:  He/she will either  1) lie so you like them/don’t like them, 2) say they don’t feel comfortable divulging the information, or, 3) they will tell you the truth.

3)  Your best bet is to maintain honesty while engaged with someone else.  Whether it be a conversation, the way you look, what you like to do, etc. 

4)  Make sure that when you are interacting with someone, that you are OK.  Meaning that you are relating to THAT person…(not your ex, not your daddy, not your child, etc…)  And, if you are not relating to THAT person as themself, just check yourself!  It’s not the end of the world…and infact, you are making an even more important connection if you are aware of that, and that is the connection with yourself.