Mental Health Labels – Gotta Catch’em All!!!

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Sometimes I feel like mental health disorders are like Pokemon: Gotta catch’em all!!!

Is there a point where collecting mental health labels gets ridiculous and almost humorous? Sometimes I wonder if all the stuff that has been ascribed to me is really wrong with me, and if it is – is it actually just one thing with many different facets?

Here are the mental health diagnoses I have collected to this day (that I know of and can remember):

PDD-NOS (high-functioning autism)
Asperger’s Syndrome (a slightly different form of high-functioning autism lol)
Bipolar Type 2
Major Depressive Disorder
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Social Anxiety Disorder
Avoidant Personality Disorder
Complex PTSD
OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
Phobias
Cyclothymia
Adjustment Disorder
SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)
Dysthymia
Somatic Disorder
Attachment Disorder

I may be leaving some out or have ones I don’t even know I have in my medical record, but am I getting close to winning this odd, mentally ill game of Pokemon Go yet? I CHOOSE YOU!…

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Butt Heads and Detective Pikachu Toys

Did a little shopping today at Hobby Lobby and Target. While looking at toys I saw these “Butt Heads” toys with literal butts for heads that reminded me so much of South Park. My favorite was the “Grim Ripper”:

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I didn’t actually buy one, but I had to take a pic at least lol. I did have to buy myself a “Detective Pikachu” figure:

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As you can see, I accomplished a lot today lol. I did get some decorative papers at Hobby Lobby that I hope to use soon to make some new artworks, so I’ll share those when I figure out what I’m doing with them.

Poetry: Unspeakable Childhood

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‘Twas horrible to think
that she suffered
an unspeakable childhood.

Every day they reopened
the contentions –
old ones
that she could not
tear away.

Mischief and dread
became more likely
than right and wrong –
causing heads to hit
hard against circumstances
almost as good
as she once was.

(Blackout poetry created from a page of “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens)

Complicated Mother’s Day

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Mother’s Day always creates such a barrage of mixed emotions for me. There was a lot of trauma, abuse, mental illness, and foolish decisions that marked my childhood. My mother was far from a perfect parent. Luckily, she does admit to that and seems to be really trying to be a better person now, but being around her always triggers so many memories, thoughts, and feelings – some good, some bad, some funny, and some tragic.

I think part of the issue is that my brain has a tough time seeing how she acts towards me now and reconciling it with memories of how my sister and I were treated while growing up. I do believe in forgiveness (within reason), and I do love my mother, but I doubt there will ever be a day in her company that doesn’t create confusion for me internally.

I write this post today to recognize those of us who struggle on Mother’s Day to even know how to feel…

When Friends Say Cruel Things It Sticks With You

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It is strange how negative words can stay with us for a lifetime and hurt long after they are spoken. Today, I was reminded of a conversation I had way back in middle school. My friends and I were having a conversation about birth order statistics and how the oldest is often the smartest and most responsible in the family – which apparently was the case in all their families.

I mentioned how that hadn’t really happened in my family as I was the youngest and yet I was the one in the gifted program, the one who got straight A’s, and the one who was least likely to break the rules. My sister was very smart in her own ways, but not overly academic or intellectual.

One of my friends (or more likely a frenemy) replied, “Well, maybe your sister is the pretty one then.”

Before I could digest this insult or respond, one of my other friends chimed in assuring the group that my sister was no looker either, which made everyone laugh. I didn’t let on that I felt anything, but inside I was crushed. I felt ugly and I also felt bad that my friends had insulted and made fun of my sister.

To this day, remembering this conversation makes me feel ugly, plain, and rejected. I wish my friends had been more careful with their words.

Poetry: Nightlights

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I got a new blackout poetry journal that uses classic literature to inspire new works of poetry. This first one is my attempt at making original poetry from a random page of J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan:

Nightlights

My love,
were not all natural
dreams forgotten?

The skeleton
crawled about the floor,
rattled up the chimney,
and bathed her hand in sleep.

Nightlights pulsed
while strange children
found new mothers
in the faces of the night.

Once all were safe
her fears sat down
by the quickening fire,
warming the nursery.

Art Museum Visit: Favorite Artworks

Yesterday my husband and I visited our local art museum to see a few new exhibits they were having, including the “For America: Paintings from the National Academy of Design” collection. Here were a few of my favorite pieces, some are student art and some are from professional artists, can you tell which is which? (There are 3 student art pieces and 3 professional artworks in no particular order):

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