love <3

Dear Internet,

It’s a truth universally acknowledged we know fuck all about love.

Since the beginning of human pre-history, we’ve been falling in and out of love. But what does it all mean? How do you know if you love someone versus lust? Why is love always binary and never seen as the many variations in between?

Scientists tell us its chemical. Magazines, experts, and anyone with an opinion tell us what love is and isn’t, and that it is beyond chemical since you can generate the same feelings of love by eating chocolate or drinking red wine.

After many millennia, how can we still not know what love is?

And no, I don’t mean the Foreigner song. You’re welcome.

I’ll be blunt: I haven’t a fucking clue. Neither do you. Or you. Oh, you may think you know, you may be able to discern between a love for a lover, a love for your parent, a love for a friend. But the shades of types of love are often crossed and sometimes we can’t tell the difference. A lover becomes a friend, a friend a lover, we stop loving a parent. Sometimes it’s on a turn of a dime and others, it is over days, weeks, years.

I was thinking of all of this while watching 50 Shades of Grey this afternoon. I came across a few ideas of which I will share with you, of course.

I get why women are falling for this movie. But we’re assuming why they are falling for this movie for all the wrong reasons. 50 Shades is not about BDSM, or control, or even about Jamie Dornan’s magnificent thighs (I am a thigh girl. Rugby, holla!). Or obsession or even possession. Or hell, even about sex (really).

The movie is desperate to tell us it is about these things, but at its core, it’s more about the anti-hero (Christian Grey) and the, in my humble opinion, all consuming kind of love that makes pink parts swell and souls bleed.

Romeo and Juliet. Tristan and Isolde. Lizzie and Darcy. Jane and Rochester. Elizabeth and Richard. These are couples, fictional and not, whom throughout history, have given us an inkling of what that kind of love means. To be so passionately in love that we cannot breathe, we cannot eat, we cannot function without having our lover close at hand. It becomes all consuming, this kind of love, and most of us are desperate to want it.

But is it rational? Or even reasonable to expect that this kind of love can last? Look at my first two examples of famous couples, one or both died for this kind of love. Elizabeth Taylor married Richard at least twice and stayed with him years before and after. Lizzie and Darcy, Jane and Rochester had their quarrels and denial. But in the end, all of them were consumed with their lover.

But what does it mean to have this kind of love? To be unquestionably adored, admired, and desired. Tension so thick that it be cut with a Victorinox knife. That when you’re near them, you almost cannot breathe for fear of losing one moment of their breath. To sink between their touch, having your skin melt under their hands. That one moment away from them breaks your soul.

The anti-hero, or anti-heroine, provides another look into this kind of love. The one where you find someone more damaged than you, who you, and only you, can see beyond their walls and into their deepest, darkest parts of themselves and you feel you can save them.

Because in the end, when all is said and done, we just want to save someone to save ourselves.

xoxo,
Lisa

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2001, 2000

vine/shuffle/jumping jack/hook

Dear Internet,

When I came up with ThePlan, part of the mind/body connection was to get in shape. I’ve been in shape on and off for years, but after being laid up for nearly 18 months from my surgery a few years ago, the in shape part has thrown me ever so far for a loop.

Doing ThePlan has been a massive struggle. I’ve started out strong, fall back, start out strong again, and fallen back again. I’ve made huge mistakes and have claimed some small victories, but it’s been hard to really gauge how I’m doing. I know the bipolar is a mess, even with the drugs it’s been so sporadic, I’ve often wondered if my best bet is to put myself into a psychiatric hospital. But then I’m not really sure what it will do for me outside of what I’m doing now, which is drugs and talk therapy. I am so desperate to have some kind of stability to get me moving forward that I’m willing to do just about anything to grab at it.

I do not want to be at the head space I was late in 2014. Never ever.

So many people are upset/angry/disappointed in me right now, that normally I would find myself begging for forgiveness. With some of them, I have. But the most important thing is to get my head and body into some semblance of stability so I don’t keep making the same mistakes over and over again.

Which is why I was at a 6AM kickboxing class this morning.

I have been walking the track at the local Y every morning this week, and meditating, even on the days when I felt like I could barely get out of bed. Yesterday morning was particularly bad as I felt like even doing my 8 laps around the inside track was going to do me in. Even having heart raising pop music to make it fun, wasn’t doing it for me. When I got home, my brain was on such fire, I planted my hands on the kitchen sink, huffing cold air via the open window to calm me down.

And like a switch, it’s off again and I start to feel better. I’m sure the Klonopin helped.

The issue with me is that for most of the time, I present as high functioning (as well as a medical curiosity). I’ve been able to accomplish a lot in my life that most bipolars cannot: I’ve finished school, not once but thrice. I’ve had long term relationships. I’ve held down jobs. I’m not on drugs and I’m not promiscuous (two massive bipolar traits).

But it’s a struggle. It’s all a struggle to do these things and stay on the golden path. I’m not sure where I get the strength to push myself forward, but it’s there and it’s real. I’ve grown up with having little or no support for this disease and the only person I could count on is myself. Even those who are close to me, who have given me support and understanding, can only do so much.

I have to continue to save myself. No one else can do this for me. At times, I’ve been wholly naive to think they could, but they can’t. I’m going to go forward and I’m going to fuck up again. But I have to recognize, really recognize, that I am human and I’m bound to make mistakes. The goal, then, is to catch myself during these mistakes and right them before they get out of hand.

Throw in my other conditions (borderline personality disorder, anxiety, ADHD), and I’ve got a delightful cocktail of fire happening in my brain.

TSTBEH recently finished my book and found it weird and insightful. Weird because he was there during that year in San Francisco, my love, and insightful because he was able to judge me then versus me now. Then I was careless, an asshole, out of control, and financially unstable. I’ve made extraordinary strides not to be that person and he did comment on that. I’m much more able discern when the crazy is coming and how to do some kind of self-care, even when it feels like I’ve fallen off the wagon. But there are a lot of patterns still being repeated, that I’m continually self-sabotaging my own happiness by believing that external things will make me happy (which, to be fair, I’ve discovered they actually do not). That I don’t allow myself to take pleasure in the small things or accomplishments (woo! I have three degrees! Who’d see that coming?).

I can do a lot of things.

Some have called this site nothing but navel gazing, which to be honest, it is. This site is a blessing and a curse. A blessing because it is my own form of talk therapy and a curse because it has all of memories from it all, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Most of all, it’s a crucial reminder of my own humanity.

I’m not asking anyone for forgiveness. I’m not asking anyone to stand by me, but what I am asking is that you understand. You understand that for me, daily existence is a struggle. That for what some of you seem like simple tasks, for me are sometimes monumental journeys.

But I can taste the joy. I’ve seen it and I’ve felt it, the closest I’ve come in a very long time, if ever. Working towards that joy, no matter what methods I use, is my new drug.

I hope to be addicted for a very long time.

xoxo,
Lisa

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2014, 2003, 2001, 1999

Souls cannot be taken, they’re large and they’re loud

Dear Internet,

To say this last week has been rough is an understatement.

Upon my arrival back to land of great rapids on Saturday, I spent most of the weekend huddled on my couch, crying. It was pretty clear to me by Sunday night that the drugs were not working as they aught, so I called my GP to get my dosage upped. New script should be within the next few days.

It was reprehensible of me to do what I did to TheBassist, and as such, I took down the post of the public banning and then got in touch with him to hash things out. He is a very generous soul towards me, accepted my apologies via my sniffling, and we talked. Really talked. It’s clear that right now our lives cannot be anything more than cursory acquaintances and so it shall be. I still need him to be a part of my life for a number of things, and we’ve set boundaries and the like. I know many of you have opinions on such things, which is fine. But keep in mind he and I are both comfortable with how things are now designed and I’ll please ask that you respect these boundaries. If you comment on it, I’ll listen, take it under advisement but more than likely, I will not respond.

I’m feeling pretty clear headed for the first time in weeks.

I have a lot of work to do and part of the disease is the constant self-sabotaging that I keep doing to myself and to others. When I burn bridges, I burn them deep and hard. The old puerile beliefs that I am not as good as others, that everyone will leave, that no one listens, that the world is against me still hold strong despite the drugs, the therapy, and self-care. I knew this a year ago. I knew this five years ago. I work hard and then collapse, and most, not all, of my work slides back. I recognize I cannot hide from myself any longer and to continue to do so may mean to the extreme as my death by my own hand.

No one can save me but myself and I was continually naive to think otherwise.

I have to take responsibility for my actions, both the good and the bad. That’s a hard thing to swallow, especially when you’ve spent as much part of your life building up walls and not letting anyone in. It also means that I have to own the things I’ve done, also the good and the bad. To that extent, I’ve decided to not change my name and own being Lisa Rabey. To own that I’ve made some very good choices and some very bad choices. Both of them are all of me. As Kate pointed out, the name change wouldn’t have lasted much since I’m very much a public person and not a private one. I will always be Lisa Rabey no matter what, name change or not. With that in mind, I took back my old Facebook account under that name and deactivated the name change one.

A lot of you have been very kind towards me about all of this going on in my life. I’m entirely humbled by all of you who have accepted me despite even myself.  To that, I dedicate my new favorite jam to all of you:

xoxo,
Lisa

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2013, 2000