aikaterine: Waterhouse study (Default)
2017-07-09 03:58 pm

Person-First vs Person-Centered

When I was in school, I learned about person-first language. For a long time, I went with it. I thought it was great. Sort of. Among my friends, I was still bipolar. It was how I identified when I was among people I was comfortable with.

As much as I tried to transition to calling myself a ‘person with bipolar disorder’, I was never fully capable of embracing it. The closer I got, the more difficult I became to be happy with who I am. Part of that is the word disorder. I don’t see bipolar as a disorder. Being bipolar has never been an all bad proposition. I am wired this way. I have been wired this way for a long damn time. Being wired this way helps me be more creative. It gives me a perspective on the world that isn’t as readily accessible to other people. It influences my every second.

At no point is it an illness. Sometimes, I am ill. Being bipolar makes me more susceptible to being ill. But it shapes my life in wonderful ways as well. And I will not call it a disorder. I will call it a condition. I have a mental health condition. I am on the mood spectrum. Sometimes, I’ll say I have BP. But I don’t call it a disorder because the sword cuts both ways. It blesses as well as burning.

I am re-learning how to talk about ability and disability again. I am re-learning how to see ability and disability again. I am trying to navigate the maze that is biology and identity and see how things line up. For me. For other people. I am trying to learn to ask how someone identifies and refers to themselves and how they would like to be referred to. I'm also trying to navigate the anxiety thing and what to call it and where it fits into my identity and how it is beneficial, if it is even remotely so.
aikaterine: Waterhouse study (Default)
2011-06-08 10:40 pm

Fear, my friend...

I spend every day battling fear. Or I would like to think that I do. Instead, I run from it. It is said that fear is healthy. It is said that fear protects us and tells us when we should retreat. If so, for me fear is the helicopter parent that won't let me explore the world that I might live in it. I would like to blame fear for all my failures. I would like to claim that it is fear's fault that I am where I am and that I hurt as I hurt. But that would be misattribution. Cowardice, my first resort in near every situation, must bear the blame.

I must learn to look on fear in a different light. It has been my habit to see fear and take it as a sign to run far and fast, to cower in the deepest darkest place I may find. I have come to realize, though, that fear has often signaled something far different in my life. The moments of greatest fear in my life have been the moments when I should act. Fear is another face of opportunity. Fear is another way I tell myself to brace myself, to be strong, to take risks. Fear is my friend, and, as my friend, I should embrace it.
aikaterine: Waterhouse study (Default)
2011-06-01 11:14 pm

Haunted by the Ghost of Me

I feel like I know who I am, but I forget from time to time — more like almost every minute of every day — to be that woman, to think and act like her. She scares the crap out of me. She is this incredibly powerful individual. She knows things that boggle my mind. She is responsible, intelligent, compassionate, and capable in ways that scare the living daylights out of me. I worry that I can't live up to her ideals or achieve her goals. I worry that I will disappoint her. I wonder why I feel the need to step out of her and see her as someone else. I discuss her as though she isn't me.

It reminds me of what my psychiatrist said to me about self-talk. If I said the kinds of things to my friends and family that I say to myself, no one would talk to me. If I treated others the way I treat myself, they would disown me. So why do I do it? Why do I treat myself this way? Why do I bury myself and my dreams in something else, someone else? Why am I always running away from my reflection? Why do I divorce myself from my dreams, my ideas, and my beliefs?

Yeah, it's hard to be me. It requires a lot of strength. It requires a perpetual force of will, but it feels so... damn... good when I bother. That's how I know that this is me, that the woman is me and not a dream. When I stand in my own skin, it fits: flawless, skin-tight, like a glove. Maybe, though, if I do it for long enough, it'll become second nature.