Honestly: Response to the Matt Walsh Article on Robin Williams


I wasn’t aware the impact my post would have yesterday.  I received numerous messages from people I’ve never even met telling me how they were so calmed by someone being honest about depression/bipolar/suicide.

Depression does lie.  It does physically hurt.  It can drive you crazy because you aren’t in control of yourself.  You really aren’t.

When I was diagnosed with Bipolar I was ‘too young’ to be bipolar so I was given the label “Really Depressed”.  Okay, well at the time that fit the bill.  Then when I got older and my symptoms became more binary, I realized something else was up.  I was then told that my mania was actually normal and my lows were simply my depressed states.

Then, after a few years, the graveness of the situation became very clear.  I hurt someone, deeply, that I care about.  When this occurred I was at the beginning of my treatment.  I was newly diagnosed Bipolar I and was put on mood stabilizers.  My anxiety was still through the roof, I was self medicating by online shopping like I was Kim Kardashian, and eating food like I was Michael Phelps.  Since I am neither, my bank account crashed, and my waist expanded.  This didn’t help the anxiety or the depression.

It made it worse.

When I finally came to terms with the fact that depression and bipolar (among others) are diseases, I stopped.

Just because I don’t have a visible ailment, doesn’t mean I am not suffering and in pain.  Just because my pain can’t be fixed with advil or an antibiotic doesn’t mean it’s not real.  Just because someone else doesn’t accept it, or believe it, doesn’t make it a lie.  It makes that person intolerant.

Matt Walsh – apparently a well known Christian Blogger (I’ve never heard of him, and I am a Christian) – wrote  apiece yesterday entitled:

Robin Williams didn’t die from a disease, he died from his choice

When I saw this, I screamed.

Literally.

Also, incidents like this give us an opportunity to talk about depression, and we certainly should.  Only we shouldn’t turn the subject into a purely cold, clinical matter. “Chemical imbalances,” people say. “A man is depressed because of his brain chemicals, and for no other reason.”

No, we are more than our brains and bigger than our bodies. Depression is a mental affliction, yes, but also spiritual. That isn’t to say that a depressed person is evil or weak, just that his depression is deeper and more profound than a simple matter of disproportioned brain chemicals. And before I’m accused of being someone who “doesn’t understand,” let me assure you that I have struggled with this my entire life.

AHHHH.  WHAT?  I mean really.  WHAT?

But, wait.  THERE IS MORE.

We are so trained to ignore differing perspectives that the minute a person opens his mouth with a view diverging from our own, we block out his words and fill in the blanks with some caricature we concocted in our heads.

I can understand atheists who insist that depression must only be a disease of the brain, as they believe that our entire being is contained by, and comprised of, our physical bodies. But I don’t understand how theists, who acknowledge the existence of the soul, think they can draw some clear line of distinction between the body and the soul, and declare unequivocally that depression is rooted in one but not the other. This is a radically materialist view now shared by millions of spiritualist people.

I’m not a doctor, and shockingly, neither is Matt Walsh, but to legitimately state with a straight face, that these illnesses do not have to do with brain chemistry is kind of well… the most ignorant thing I have ever heard.

And I have heard Fox News Anchors Talk.

So this, for me, is always the most essential moral at the end of these kinds of sad, terrible stories: we are all meant for joy. We are all meant for love. We are all meant for life. And as long as we can still draw breath, there is joy and love to be found here. I believe that. If I didn’t, I would have left a long time ago.

I agree that God put us here to love and be loved.  I also agree that everyone deserves joy.  I wake up some mornings and that breath he talks about us taking is the most painful, gut wrenching thing I have to do.  I’m not exaggerating.  I form masks so people – even my husband – doesn’t know the severity of my pain.  Then I go to Therapy every week and sob my eyes out because I have pent it up for 7 days.

Matt Walsh can state that Robin Williams made the choice and his depression didn’t make him do it, but when I have been in the same boat, attempting the same actions, it was not me.  It was my disease.

The part that was me, was working with the doctors and my therapist to get stable, which from the news Robin Williams tried.

I don’t think we should be judged on our pain, or actions for that matter, by anyone on earth, because no one is above reproach.  Whatever demons Robin was fighting are gone.  The disease can’t hurt him any longer.  While I don’t think that suicide is the answer, I wasn’t there in his mind.  I pray he is at peace.

This is proof that our mental health industry and the acceptance of depression is far from where it needs to be.  Think of that next time you decide to judge someone who is in invisible pain.

Depression Lies


Robin Williams allegedly took his life, and was found in his apartment yesterday.  The authorities have stated that it appears to be suicide but still inconclusive until more of the investigation is done.

Robin Williams suffered from crippling depression.

Having bi-polar/manic depression I can sympathize with the thoughts he might have had, the fight he must have fought till the end, the storm he was forced to weather.

I’ve been there, and still am.  I had the thoughts of wanting to end it, and sometimes, still do.  Mainly because Depression is not something that is rational.

My friend posted the following on facebook, and I think it is more eloquent than anything I could write:

Depression isn’t rational. Suicide isn’t rational. No amount of impassioned pleas to “ask for help” will change what this disease does to the spirit. It makes the person feel utterly alone, regardless of the reality. The depressed person doesn’t see anyone they can reach out to – you have to reach out for them. And be aware of how your actions (especially at work) affect people, because depression isn’t rational, and the smallest slight or imposition can become an unbearable fixation. If you’re wondering whether you should say something to a person – you probably should.

It becomes a battle, daily, sometimes minute by minute, to function.  You learn to build an array of masks to cover up the fact that you are deteriorating inside.  You could have everything in the world, all the friends, the best significant other, best job, etc.  You could have the ‘perfect life’ while clawing you’re way out of the hole you always are in.

I am a firm believer of nesting – and not the actions you do prior to a baby – but getting in bed, or on the couch and building a fort around you of covers.  Sometimes that is the only way I feel safe, not even joking.

I’ve never felt so alone than being in a room full of people.  There are times, even when being perfectly honest with my therapist, that I feel like she doesn’t get it.  I get angry because she suggests things that I am thinking that I am not.  I get mad because sometimes she is right, but depression is irrational.

Depression lies.

Depression tells you that what you are isn’t good enough.  Depression tells you that your husband loves you out of obligation.  Depression tells you that no matter what you do, you will fail.  Depression makes it easy to not leave the house, and ignore everyone and thing around you.  Depression tells you that your life means nothing.

Depression is what tells you, sometimes, to end it.

I pray that Robin is in a better place, and that he has finally found peace.  I pray for the comfort of his family and friends.  I pray for the state of the mental health practice in the world, that we will work harder to get medications to work, and to get people better.

I just pray.

How Grey’s Anatomy Put Me In My Place


exactly

One of the main things that people who have bipolar disorder have to deal with, aside from the actual symptoms, is getting their medicine regime right.  I’ve been working with a doctor since August 2013 and we are still tweaking things.  I am told it can take up to 2 years (or possibly more) depending on the level of bipolar disorder that the patient has.  I got a bit anxious and annoyed with the process and decided that I needed to seek another opinion.

I went to another doctor (well, Nurse Practitioner – if someone can explain the difference, that would be swell) yesterday and while she was easy to get along with, I felt that it still, after much deliberation, that she was not a good fit either.  She was too laid back.  She said that “We can try whatever you want” which at first sounded great.  But then she was like “If you hear of a drug on the internet you think might work, we’ll try it out.” Um.  Wait.  So you are going to let me experiment on myself.  You are the person who is went to medical school to learn these things.

While some might not see this as a big deal, it was a red flag to me.  I also realize that I am currently in a pretty fragile state when it comes to accepting my disorder, and accepting the fact that medicine will be in my life forever.

I was feeling all types of pity for myself, and then I was watching a rerun of Grey’s Anatomy last night.  It was one where the narrator was stating that we all have had days where we think it’s the worst.  We spilled our coffee, we were late to work, we had to work through lunch, etc.  But then, when something actually horrible happens, when a tragedy strikes (in the case of this episode it was three kids losing their parents and their grandmother in an accident) you wish for those little issues.  You begin praying for your situation to be anything else than what it is.

It made me sit back and think for a moment.  I know.  Meredith Grey made me think.  While this is extremely hard, painful, and feels impossible at times, I will get through it.  It is nothing in the grand scheme of the world.  I am lucky enough to have health insurance to cover these issues that I have.  I am lucky enough to have a supportive husband.  I am lucky enough to have a flexible job that when I can’t leave the house, I don’t have to.

My problems, although are still important, are my problems.  The storm I am weathering will pass.

Quotes, Life Quotes, Love Quotes, Best Life Quote , Quotes about Moving On, Inspirational Quotes and more -> Curiano Quotes Life

I know I am pushing the limits, but I have to.

 

National Running Day


First Off… I ran outside yesterday in the heat.  It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t amazing either.  After saying that I would run this morning, and then promptly sleeping through it, I decided today would be indoors.

I’m doing 2 miles at lunch and 2 miles after work.

It’s National Running Day and there are a lot of specials going on… If you live in a city that does the Rock N’ Roll Marathon/Half Marathon race go to their website – you can save a lot of money today to sign up for next year’s races.

I, of course, signed up.

It was good.  I had to stop a bunch to catch my breath, cool off, not get dizzy, drink water. I think I need to just start running with a gallon of water.  Even 3 miles in this heat makes me thirsty like a, well thirsty person.

I covered the 3.1 miles and then lazily walked (dragged) myself back to the house where I almost went into shock after getting inside to the air conditioning.  I promptly guzzled more water and let the dogs out.  I sat for a good bit just trying to cool down and then decided on a cold shower.

It was spectacular.

What was not spectacular was this:

I’m the big dummy who didn’t put sunscreen on.  LUCKILY I had Burt’s Beeswax After Sun treatment that I slathered on immediately following my shower, and it seems it healed up most of it pretty quickly.  I don’t really tan after a sunburn so much as the section of burnt skin just kind of becomes discolored. Kind of gross.

Anyways… Yesterday was my first day COMPLETELY 100% BACK ON PLAN.

I tracked everything and I mean everything.  I was down 2.4 pounds this morning from yesterday – which leads me to believe that I am retaining water like whoa.  But I also think it’s because crap food gets stuck in your system (if you catch my drift) and causes many things like weight gain, bloat, gas, indigestion, and annoyance.

It was liberating to run in a tank top.  I know that doesn’t seem like much to people, but it really is to me.  now once my legs don’t clap together when I’m running, I’ll be sure to add shorts to this equation.

Today’s Plan:

  • B: 2 eggs, 2 strips of bacon, (1 slice of banana bread… whoops) Iced coffee with Milk
  • L: BIG SALAD with tons of veggies and chicken, FF dressing, Yogurt, apple, baby carrots, diet coke
  • D: ANOTHER BIG SALAD with grilled chicken, feta, and bacon
  • After Dinner Drinks with cohorts from my program at school

It’s gonna be a good day people

MRAs & #YesAllWomen


I am unsure how to broach the topic with an introduction, so I will simply jump right in.

My name is Bethany Burroughs and I was raped on March 21 2005 by the guy I was dating at the time.

Why I am Mad:

Men’s Rights Activists or MRAs.  If you would like a funny take on the facts we have go here.

In response to the Hash tag “YesAllWomen” I was met with some shocking responses.

I tweeted #YesAllWomen Because I shouldn’t be told I could have done more to stop my rapist.

I was met with responses like “Not all men are like that!”  “Not all women have been victimized!”  “You’re dividing the genders!”  “You’re ignoring crimes against men!”

Um, what?

I should feel bad about breaking my silence about my rape because I am not taking into the crimes against men?  I should feel bad because this hash tag has given a voice to women who have otherwise remained silent?

I was told I couldn’t change anyone’s mind on twitter.  That was not my intent or the intent for many of us.  Our intent was to empower ourselves and break down the walls we’ve built to hide our pain and anger.

At least that is how I was seeing it and how I was using it.

I know I talk a lot about myself on my blog (it makes sense) but there are some things I don’t divulge.  The details of my rape is part of that.  Mainly because I have done such a great job of blocking them from my memory that to begin to write them out here would be incredibly traumatizing.

I am not yet ready to open that box.  I am however ready to state that I am not a victim or a survivor.  I am a human.  It happened.  It doesn’t define me, and in fact, I am the only one who defines my rapist as such.

I was raped.  It was horrific.

What is more horrific is having my moment of being honest with myself and showing others that have gone through similar things that they are not alone (I received over 40 direct messages from girls ranging 14 to 38 thanking me for being so open in a public setting, and for fighting back against the assholes that were trying to beat me down – most of wish were 16-18 year old boys, so take that for what it’s worth).

1 in 6 women will be victims of sexual assault and that is too much because the number is not zero.

1 2

 

Hard to read, I know.. but this is what I got as some of the more tame responses.

Do I think all Men’s Rights Activists are horrible people?  Not at all.  Do I think the ones who are yelling the loudest are idiots?  Yes, most of them.  I’ve never been so offended and angered in my life since the whole “Legitimate Rape” scandal occurred.

The fact is:

  • I’m scared to run in my neighborhood because I was jumped by two guys trying to get my phone
  • I’m scared to go out alone anywhere (even therapy) because I am terrified someone will follow me
  • When I am running outside I will continuous cross streets if there is anyone else on the side I am on
  • I can’t trust people
  • I can’t sleep most nights and when I do I have nightmares

But what it should be:

  • I shouldn’t be afraid to run in my neighborhood
  • I shouldn’t be afraid to go places
  • I shouldn’t feel the need to avoid all people
  • I shouldn’t have a fear of everyone hurting me
  • I should be able to sleep
  • I should not see the worst in everyone
  • I shouldn’t be victimized again for feeling this way.

Comment if you want.

Vacation Recap – Rome – Day 2


Day 2 Folks!

These guys were allllllll over Italy.  Just floating there.  Jason and I think there was a magnet at work here, because he didn’t float anywhere else.  What a boring job though.  No one was giving him money so much as weird looks.  I took a picture.

So today was the tour of the Colosseum!

That ish is big.  I mean you think it’s big anyways, because of the name, but man.  Up close, it’s daunting.

Our Tour Guide, David, was hilarious and perfect.  He explained that in Italy they reuse everything.  So the building itself isn’t crumbling so much as it was pilfered way back to build things like Saint Peter’s Basilica.  The metal was removed from the stone as well as parts of the wall once the actual building was no longer in use.

David then went on to explain the history of the Colosseum.  Apparently, they just gave tickets away.  There was no charge.  So normal people could come and sit in the nose bleed sections to watch the gruesome horror that was these battles.

Speaking of battles…

There were over 5,000 people and animals slaughtered in this ruin back in the day.  The Romans were more barbaric than I thought possible.  They would put two things in the arena together without letting either know who they would be fighting.

For example (This is not confirmed by history, just things I’m making up)

  • Bear vs. Zebra
  • Lion vs. Prisoner
  • Zebra vs. Prisoner (I kind of would like to see this… I mean did they just stare at each other)
  • Tiger vs. Bear
  • Prisoner vs. Gladiator

and so on.  TALK ABOUT HUNGER GAMES GUYS.  That was all I was thinking throughout the tour was how in the movie they shoot up by this pod elevator and then have to fight to the death.  Well that is kind of like here, without the training.

This was all for the amusement of the leaders and the people of Rome.  Fun times.

THE STAIRS.  OMG.  Of all the things to be thankful for not living back then, I think the one that got me the most was stairs.  Holy hamstrings.

Refurbishing because they care.

We then ventured into more Ancient Rome…

Our Elusive Tour Guide From the Back

And what would this post be without some food pictures!

Hmmmm I guess we just drank that day.  So there are pictures of Jason and wine.  Two of my very favorite things.

Sadly tomorrow we leave Rome and depart for Florence… I promise you’ll love it as much as we did!

Vacation Recap – ROME Day 1/2 and 1


So I decided that I should do some recaps, because i like talking about myself and the things I do.

We got to Rome, Italy Friday (May 16) at around 10 pm.  We got to our hotel (The Hearth Hotel in Rome… Can’t Recommend This Place Enough!) and after dropping off our bags we walked to the closest open restaurant.

Francisco I. (sadly I can’t find the website).

So good.  Especially after being delayed forever and then not eating on the plane and being exhausted.  It was good to put food in our bellies, and it didn’t hurt that it was by far the best pizza I’ve ever had.

We went to sleep rather quickly and woke to find the Vatican bustling.

Yes, that is the Vatican, right outside our window.  YES THAT IS THE LINE TO GET IN.

Because Jason is uber smart, he booked a skip the line tour of the Vatican and it’s grounds so we didn’t have to wait!

This is behind glass because some psycho tried to throw a hammer at it.

Our Awesome Tour Guide Valentina!

I would have taken pictures inside the Sistine Chapel, but because it is a holy sacred place, no photographs are allowed.  A Japanese company came recently to restore the ceiling by meticulously cleaning and repainting portions to bring it back to it’s original (or as much as it can be) state.

Here is a picture that doesn’t do it justice at all:

The Vatican only took like half the day, so we set out to see other things…

The Pantheon

A Pretend Roman Guard

Something Important? Jason? What was this?

We then decided to walk around a bit, find food, and go about our day.  We met this guy…

He was kind of broken up that we wouldn’t stay and chat…

We were then swindled.  This always freaking happens.  We were walking through a court yard, this guy gave me roses, and then told Jason to give him money.  I tried to give them back and it didn’t work.  Then another guy came up did the same thing, and then took more money.  We spent 30 Euros on crappy roses.

After this lesson, anyone who approached me got a “NO.  GO AWAY.”  Jason would laugh because I went from nice American to “YOU’RE NOT TAKING MORE MONEY FROM ME.”

This lasted the rest of the trip…

We had an amazing dinner from the Restaurant down the street (Crap… what was the name… I suck at this).

Gnocchi and Clams for Jason

Gnocchi and Ricotta with Black Truffle for Me

Braised Veal Cheek for Jason (Apparently the best cut of meat he has ever had)

The Best Meatballs I have Ever Had

Wine soaked sweet cake with whipped cream and custard

Of Course Coffee

Two very happy diners…

We went back to the hotel, tucked ourselves in and went to sleep happily.

Tomorrow we go to the Colosseum!