I Guess Everyone Else Deals, Too

So, this was my revelation at camp this year. I’m changing names, of course, because of visibility purposes.

At the camp I attend for the first week in August, it’s run officially by CBTF- Child Brain Tumor Foundation- and there are three level of ‘staff.’ These are core staff (nurses, rec, etc.), volunteers (who volunteer), and mentors per cabin, who are usually ex-campers who’ve outgrown the age groups. I could ramble about jobs and whatever, but that’s not super relevant to my story. Another time.

So, the camp is this year 20 years old. Charity funded by big corporations and whatever. It’s a big deal. Whoever, I just found out that one of the core staff members (and runs sports & rec) has been with the camp since he was 18, and he’s now 26. Furthermore, all the staff members of camp pick and choose their weeks to stay at the camp, and none stay for the whole summer, It’s, frankly, a TON of work to put in and takes way too much patience.

But I found out from another staff member that this guy (figuratively we’ll call him Richard) stays the WHOLE three months the camp’s open. From when he gets out of school to when he goes back. Dedication.

And more, at the end-of-camp big bonfire or whatever, when the camp directors are saying their goodbyes and congrats or something, this guy chokes up seriously. Red eyes and speechless.

Now, he’s an awesome guy, ‘Richard.’ I absolutely don’t hold any of this against him, nor do I question it, him, or his intentions, but it seems like no one knows a goddamn thing about him or why he’s here. I’ve brought this up casually with another staff member, and they mentioned that a lot of people work here to work through personal grief with loss- but DAMN, this is dedication! 

Okay, that’s a little insensitive. But you know what I mean. This has been almost 10 years for him! I’d go insane.

And this isn’t an issue I’m going to be blunt enough to bring up ever with “Richard,” but curiosity’s getting the better of me for some reason now. I probably won’t find any substantial reasoning ever, or if I do it’d be when I become a mentor (2 years!), but I’ve never actually been dying to be nosy like this.




Breaking In The Bipolar

Bipolar break-ins

Those in the know just kind of know. There kinda always comes some sort of moment where new friends/family/colleagues just become privy to the fact that you are bipolar and/or possess a mood disorder. It being a mood disorder, it makes public appearances sometimes. Oh well. I mean, depending on who they are, hopeful it won’t do anything to your relationship. I know with a lot of my friends, they knew me for so long beforehand that being diagnosed just “explains a lot”.

Then again, I know romantic relationships and otherwise more personal ties can get stickier. The significant other may get more offended when you/I have an episode; things could just get messy. I’ve had relationships, for instance, where the other person gets really defensive of me, and they want to be the superhero and fix everything, and I sorry- bipolar don’t work dat way.

Family can work lots of ways, I’ve found. Some don’t even acknowledge it exists, like any disorder with any person, really. Others can get over-defensive, again, or don’t know how to approach it, because they are the ones who’ve known you you’re whole life and now want to treat you like you can break. It’s kind of easy to treat bipolaroids like that, I suppose.

I mean, we’ve always been family/friends/girlfriends/boyfriends/et cetera we’re jst on pills now and seeing a psychiatrist, why should you care? You don’t ever have to go to the doctor with me. Just have a little empathy. And you thought PMS was bad.

Record This #3

Welcome Intertsate Managers

So…..another downside of missing a large portion of your skull is one has never done gym in school. Like, my entire school career. Little sad. But by high school we had to get creative, because the county people were being total asses and wouldn’t let me pick up an extra course and drop gym. Which is dumb. So I sit in the gym on my iPod, sometimes with a book, or they give me odd jobs to do while everybody else does the real shit.

Theoretically, I could do everything. If everyone else wasn’t there. So I know all the points of softball/football/basketball/ANYTHING, but I can never play. And I do have a pretty mean pitch, but I can’t pitch. Again, dumb shit.

Point being, my grades are comprised of three things: dressing in my uniform (never gets dirty since I don’t do SHIT), written assessments (not like I run out of time to study), and I make mix CDs. They play them while everybody runs for 20 min. @ the beginning of every class. Wrestling coach gets a few. I sent one or two to the middle school, because the coach used to be my coach and she absolutely hates rap.

I think they like that I don’t take requests. I’m just mentioning this now because nobody found out I’ve been doing this up until this previous Friday, when somebody looked on my iPod and connected the dots that I’m probably the only one in the school with “Stacy’s Mom” on their portable music device. And yes, I do have it going on.

Till Death Do Us

So I’m supposed to deal with something this weekend. My grandmother is dying, and I am going for the last time to see her this Sunday with my sister. She’s 10. This is not going to be pretty.

The thing is, most people don’t seem to get how I think of death. Seeing how close I’ve come to it, being an organ donor at eight years old, you start to cope with these things, but rationality doesn’t help too awfully much with that. Just that…..we’re all gonna die, you know? In once sense or another, whatever you believe in, if anything at all, we are all going to die. It is the one thing we can count on in the world. There are people starving in Africa who do not pay taxes but still can count on death. I mean, for me it’s always provided a level of comfort. That death is NOT the worst things can get. And society seems to think it is, oddly enough.

Having seen my grandmother in her current state, there are much worse things. Apparently she has some sort of offspring of mad cow disease, and I literally saw on two MRI scans her temporal lobe had been shrunk. The thing was eating her brain. She is now catatonic. How they still see this as living simply because she can breathe of her own volition is completely beyond me.

What’s the point of palliative care at this point anyway? 200 years ago they would’ve just killed ’em off! What’s different? Money? I need to check which states euthanasia’s legal in…..

Now I know what tattoo I’m getting, you guys- “DNR”

How ELSE Not To Help A Suicidal Friend

Okay……..stolen from a blogger I may have developed a slight crush on in the past two days, Bipolar Bear, he wrote a piece on how not to help a suicidal friend. It reminded me exactly of a friend of…..well, not even my friend, really. My ex-boyfriend’s best friend.

Anyways- I was talking to my boyfriend, and he said he had to go because he was talking to his friend, and of course (because I am the nosiest bitch EVER) I had to ask what was going on. He said his friend had been having issues with depression.

See, this is what happens when you don’t tell me not to do anything about something. Because I will do something. Oh my God.

So I found this guy coming out of school the next day when he was walking to his car (I was only fresh meat and he was a senior, by some sort of law we weren’t supposed to be seen together) and I just walked on up to him and asked how he was doing. He knew I knew right away. Didn’t’ bother asking. Just kinda knew I got it. And we weren’t comparing war stories, we weren’t trying to beat each other, because if we dug all the way probably we’d just be more depressed, and things would just suck more, and it wouldn’t get us shit anywhere. Things just suck sometimes, we both could tell. I mean SUCK! It did for my ex, it did for me, it definitely did for this kid, does for a lot of people. So there is no point in comparing here and now. Because now is going to be a different now in a week. In two weeks. In ten years. In our funeral guest books.

I mean, coming from the most cynical high-schooler alive, I can’t promise it’ll be much better, but at least it’ll be different.