So normality fades to sadness which, in turn, morphs into apathy. The transition forces me to realize that normality isn’t feeling normal so much as it is being normal. This, unfortunately, is what I have come to regard as normal. My feelings are irregular and mixed. I want to be with people, but I wish to be alone. I want my friendships to remain untarnished, yet the past covers them with a thick blanket of remorse as much as it shadows me with pain. Silence is perfection, yet the perfectionist yearns to cry out for help. To be trapped is unbearable but perhaps it is preferable to the freedom of pain. Old haunts are tainted by the dark past. Old habits push to be free, push to recreate the abomination that was so recently put down.

The world is a dark place. My mind is in turmoil. There will come a point where reality ceases to exist, replaced by that which the rational mind can’t comprehend for its own good.

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Random Thoughts

A lot has been going on. There have been many feelings. There’s been a lot of distress. I’ve changed my Facebook profile picture several times in an attempt to find one that reflects who I am. Finally, after a stupidly large number of photos, I found it.

The pieces of me that remain are held together with flimsy tape. But they exist. I know they do. This morning I was jamming out to 80s music, a thing I haven’t done for years. I used to find ny inspiration while jamming out. The fact that I can even still listen to this music brings me some piece of mind.

I might not be part of a sorority like so many people I know, but right now, I’m okay with that. I don’t need a sorority when I have a fraternity that’s treated me better than a sorority from the start.

I had a rough night last night. I lost track of how many times I woke up then went back to sleep. I had some seriously messed up dreams. When I woke up (for the day) I found that I remembered them with fascination.

I feel like me for the first time in a long time. I feel normal (by my personal standards, of course).

Hi, world. I’m Gates. I have a lot of issues to deal with and a lot of painful healing ahead of me. After I get done with that, though, I’m going to be here. I’m going to be me.

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Feelings are a difficult thing.  Feelings can cause you a lot of pain.  They can cause you to feel absolutely wonderful.  It’s difficult to turn them off.

It’s difficult to change them.  There is a part of me that’s happy for all of the people (particularly those I care about) who joined sororities.  There’s also a part that’s angry and a part that’s insanely jealous.  There’s a part that’s just sad, too.

A talk with a good friend today made me reflect on those different parts.  It made me think.  I don’t have a sorority, but I have a fraternity.  I have a group of people who care about what happens to me and, I think, even genuinely like having me around.  They aren’t going to shatter me like the sororities did.  For that, I am thankful and grateful.

I have a lot of feelings.  They’re causing me an incredible amount of pain.  I also have a place and friends and people who care.  They’re trying to help the damage heal.  To them I owe more than I can express.

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My Blog

“Hi, everyone, and welcome to my blog.  This is a place where I will be posting everything from random thoughts to awesome music to inspiring quotes.  This is also how I’ll document my life with bipolar disorder.”

My blog didn’t start like that.  My blog started as an experiment.  I didn’t understand why people would blog.  I wondered whether people would care enough about my life to read a blog if I kept one.  Apparently some do.  It’s a surprisingly comforting thought.

This is my first post. http://therealgi.wordpress.com/2013/05/15/welcome/  Do you see what it says?  I am honest.  I am blunt.  If you don’t like it, don’t read it.  It’s my attempt to express myself.

And it is still my attempt to express myself.  I am aware of everything I write.  I do this in full knowledge that potential employers may find my blog and read it.  I do this in full knowledge that anyone can find my blog and read it.  I make it pretty easy, too, by putting it on social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook.

I do this with the full knowledge that there will be people who hold what I say against me.  I cannot change that.  If you judge me from my blog without ever getting to know the rest of me, then you are making a mistake.  This blog reveals the thoughts I cannot verbalize.  It is not my entire self.  It does not define me.

These thoughts are brought to you courtesy of incredibly painful memories.  The sorority I was to join last semester wanted me to censor my blog by making it available to select few people (using password encryption or something like that).  I did not accept those terms.  I saw them as an infringement on my rights.  To be honest, I still do.  It’s probably another reason they kicked me out.  I’ll never know for sure, but I’ve compiled a list of potential reasons (being bipolar, keeping my blog the way I like it, etc.).

I needed to put this out there.  I speak my mind.  Nothing will change that.

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I woke up this morning and thought I was going to cry from the dream that I had.

I dreamt that my younger sister had joined a sorority on campus and that I hadn’t been able to. I was at a football game that preceded sorority announcements and was sitting on a wooden beam suspended by chains. If you fell off the beam, you lost (aka died). It was scary, definitely, especially since there were people sitting on proper bleachers around me and they were constantly jostling the beam I was on. There were others with me, but that made me more insecure.  I was terrified.

More than that, though, I was jealous.  I was happy for my sister for doing something that she wanted, but I was also so incredibly jealous.  My feelings were very hurt.  I wondered why I wasn’t allowed to join.  Why my sister had done it but not me.

I woke up and I wanted to cry.  I was so ashamed of being jealous of my sister’s happiness.  I was so guilty for wanting to take away what I dreamed she had.  I was so jealous, though.  And as I type this, I cry.  Not out of shame or guilt from my dream.  Out of pain.  Out of sheer emotional pain.  For the last three nights, I have dreamt about sororities.

This week/weekend was formal membership recruitment.  FMR.  This time last year I also cried.  That was also from pain.  That was from not being invited back to any houses when I did FMR.  I wondered what happened.  Where I went wrong.  What I could have done differently.  I still don’t know.  I won’t get an answer if I ask, so why bother?

Before I came to school, I never thought about joining Greek life.  I didn’t know anything about it.  As I learned more, I came to see it as an opportunity.  I could make friends.  I could be part of something bigger than myself that actually mattered.  As I learned more about it, I wanted to be part of it.  I had my heart set on it.

Then it didn’t happen.  It almost happened, but the week after Carnival, 2 days before initiation, it was taken away from me.  Just like that.  My dreams of being part of something more vanished in a puff of smoke.  To say I was heartbroken is an understatement.  I was just broken.  All of me.  Including my heart.

And here I am, 5 months later, and I’m still not fixed.  I’m still broken.  I wonder what will fix this heartbreak, and I realize that I truly don’t know.  I wonder if my subconscious will ever free me of the intense guilt and shame I have put aside for myself, free me of the sadness that encases my heart whenever I think of what I lost, free me of the nightmares that plague my dreams and my daydreams.

No one ever said that recovery was easy.  No one ever said that it was painless.   No one has ever guaranteed it, either.

I wonder if anyone can ever fix this much emotional damage.

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Little Things

It’s the little things that make it worthwhile to get up in the morning. Things like a surprise bouquet of flowers from someone who cares about you.


They made me smile. Now it’s my turn to make someone else smile. Maybe I should start some kind of smile chain. You know, like the Halloween tradition where you give your neighbors a little treat and they give one to another neighbour and it all gets passed around (I can’t remember the name of that tradition). That would be nice. If everyone just passed a smile on to someone else. An act of random kindness.

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World Suicide Prevention Day

Today is almost over, but it’s not over yet.  It’s World Suicide Prevention Day.

Exactly one year ago today, I posted this: http://therealgi.wordpress.com/2013/09/10/world-suicide-prevention-day/

What’s changed?  A lot.  But what’s still the same?  The fact that there’s still a stigma.  There’s still a lot that goes unsaid, especially about suicide.  I won’t preach again.  It’s not my place.  As someone who’s still recovering from a serious bout of depression and suicidal thoughts, I have no real place to preach about the topic.

I can tell you that living has been made worthwhile again for me.  I can tell you that recovery is painful and that those dark secret desires will never truly go away, at least for me.  I can tell you all about the horrible things I thought of.  I won’t, though.  This is a time for reflection.  This is a time for me to appreciate that I AM still alive.  That there ARE things that make life worth living.  People who make life worth living. That there is a part of me that is happy to be here.  To be alive.  Happy that I struggled through, even when the world was a bleak and hopelessly grey place.  I found something amazing that I will forever be grateful for.  Even if that thing goes away, the fact that it exists is reminder enough that life can be worth it.  Through trial and tribulation come the sweetest rewards.

I won’t preach.  What I WILL say, though, is akin to what I said this time last year.  I am always here if you ever need someone to talk to.

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