Mental Wellness

Making Friends During Covid

Wondering, is she smiling, frowning under her mask?

Not stopping to talk/exchange germs

Reduced lingering to chat due to social distancing

Can I really have a heart to heart over Zoom?

Too busy sanitizing my hands to wave?

These are a few of the hurdles.

Haven’t made a new friend face to face in two years. Thank goodness for blogging friends online and a few close long term friends.

Do you feel isolated?

I’d say yes, like never before. And you?

Happy Manic Monday? Rebecca

Bipolar

1 Word to Describe It

The terms to underline and name the hatred of people with other skin tones, gender, or orientation exist. We know when we hear racism, sexism and homophobia and can stand against them. But when Uncle Joe is diagnosing his barber as so crazy, completely bipolar, what do we say then?

A term that came to mind this week, would be to say Uncle Joe was acting like a stigmatizer.

I made it up, because I couldn’t think of a single word to describe prejudice against someone who was neurodivergent. Really bothered me, because if there is no word for it, the insults, the snubs and the derision didn’t really happen. And, we know they did.

What are your thoughts about the new term? Can you think of another?

Happy Manic Monday! -Rebecca

Mental Wellness

When Will I?

Look the person speaking in the eye and say, “Ouch, when you use the word crazy that way, to mean nutty, very or a lot, it really bothers me.” You wouldn’t use slurs against people of color, why use this pejorative term?

In the work lunchroom more than a decade ago, a guy from another department I barely knew said, “You’re crazy!”

I don’t remember what simple thing I said to prompt his outburst. But I got very mad at his response. I decided to go for the gold. I said, “Certifiable,” in a cold, clear voice that would have warned an observant person that I was livid.

Instead he was bending over in hysterics. “Ha ha, where’s your certificate?”

I said, “At home.” He continued to laugh. “Talk to you later,” I said as I turned heel and left the conversation.

What terms about mental health bother you?

Happy Manic Monday! -Rebecca

Bipolar

An Opinion, A Fact, A Diagnosis?

A conversation today brought up a topic that made me really uncomfortable. I didn’t know the person well, and they began to go quickly from an opinion about someone’s lack of mental health to a diagnosis. His diatribe went something like this:

“My dad’s neighbor, he’s crazy. I mean really crazy. He’s psychotic, bipolar, schizophrenic.”

Really? Another educated person from a nice family maligning me unawares? My eyes rolled skyward. He didn’t notice. My internal monologue was running. “Do I come out of the mental health closet? Do I say I have bipolar? Do I not? Do I?” I do not.

Spiffy rejoiners came to me six hours after the fact.

What if I said, “So you know a lot about mental health. How can you tell if you’re talking to someone with bipolar?” (leading question…) “Is it the way their face looks? (I’d wait for their answers) “The way they stand? What they say? Do they say the sky is green? Do they talk a mile a minute? Do they have grandiose illusions? Suicidal ideation?”

Or I could simply say, “Bipolar, you mean like me?”

I want to educate people. I’ve passed for regular vanilla long enough. Time for the big reveal that I am pineapple mango surprise.

I’m going to think of funny quips that sum up symptoms, to let people know what they are. I’m going to be as brave as the people who’ve marched for civil rights. Next time I’ll say:

“Bipolar, like me.”

and let the chips fall where they may.

Happy Manic Monday! –Rebecca

Mental Wellness

A Poem: Love in the Cold

We like Star Trek in our house. Deep Space Nine was a particularly good series. Two favorite characters are the love birds Kira and Odo. What would Kira write about her partner? Here’s her new take on Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18; Summer’s Day.

Winter’s Day Sonnet

Shall I compare you to a winter’s day
You are equally fair yet twice as cold
Thoughts silent snow, nary a word you say
Sheets frozen on the line none can fold

Sometimes too brief the eye of heaven shines
When snowstorms of solitude you’ve sought
Your spirit is willing but your mouth says nein
Thus my soul’s fire and flames warm you not

Eternal winter frosts lips and cools heels
In lieu of an embrace I meet an ice shield
You repel emotion; know not how you feel
In your insulated parka you remain sealed.

No one can bend your no’s and perpetual declines
Perhaps I cannot be yours and nor you ever mine.

–Kira (Rebecca Cuningham) 9/26/21

The two Deep Space Nine characters, hot and cold, Kira and Odo, have immense tension until one day Odo initiates their fateful kiss in the hallway.

Happy Manic Monday!