There was an error in this gadget

Friday, April 20, 2012

Can changing a Twitter handle change your life???

Earlier this week, out of nowhere I had an idea that prompted 2 thoughts. One: I spend way too much time on Twitter. But more importantly, two: how can I ever escape the trap this illness has locked me in if even I define myself first and most importantly as bipolar. Forget my name, my likes and dislikes, education, occupation, any of my personality traits, the biggest and most important label that I put on myself basically tells the world that I'm female and I'm crazy. Now, you may be thinking it's just a Twitter handle who cares? That would be the case if I had invented some weird meaningless pseudonym containing a clever pun or inside joke, but I didn't. I chose a handle that explicitly explains the label that I sometimes feel is tattooed across my forehead. I chose it for two reasons; first: when I originally joined twitter it was simply to connect with other people living with mental illness so that I would have someone to talk, second: it is what I see when I look in the mirror, what I think of first when describing myself, and what I'm afraid I project to the rest of the world. 

This second reason is that part that is currently troubling me. When I look in the mirror I don't see a cute blonde woman with nice eyes and a good smile. I don't see a mother, a sister, a daughter, a friend. I don't see an intelligent, funny, strong, determined soul. I see crazy plain and simple. I put the label on myself before anyone else could and I am afraid that I have let it blossom from just a simple description of my illness to a jail of my own making, filled with fear, anger, resentment, regret, pain, frustration, guilt, shame, self-loathing and self-doubt. 

"Well, I would go back to school but I failed before because I'm crazy so I better not even bother trying again."

"Wow, I would really like to ask that guy out but I'm crazy so I'm sure he'll say no."

"I had a fantastic job before, but I screwed it up because I'm crazy so I might as well not even try to work at all."

"I'd love to start working out again, but I'm crazy so why bother when I'll just quit eventually and start bingeing on junk food again."

"I am lonely sometimes and would like to make new friends, but crazy people make horrible friends so I better just keep sitting here alone."

"Every one I pass on the street must know that I'm crazy, insecure, and fat so I'll just stop going outside all together."

These are some of the common rationales that play in my brain which have allowed me to sit back, hide, and miss out on life for most of the last 10 years. 10 years! A decade. An entire decade wasted in my self-made jail. As I wrote those, well basically excuses, it occurred to me that I have made an interesting connection in my own mind. Crazy=Failure. In my mind failure sucks, and is embarrassing, and results in judgment so why bother. I have set myself up for failure for the last decade and have succeeded brilliantly at fulfilling that prophecy. 

Where am I going with all of this??? I have no clue. Not yet anyway. Can changing a Twitter handle really change the way you see yourself and in doing so change your life? I don't know. I'll keep you posted, I'm off to think up a clever pun or inside joke.


  1. so happy you're writing. Even happier that your writing touches me and that I identify way to well with everything you're saying.

    "I had a fantastic job before, but I screwed it up because I'm crazy so I might as well not even try to work at all."

    Is where I'm stuck right now. And I too have wasted a decade identifying myself only as bipolar. It's like I ended the day I was diagnosed. I think you're right, it's time that I try to see my good sides as well.

    Thank you Chris, keep on trucking sweetie, and keep posting, you're an awesome writer xxx

  2. "It's like I ended the day I was diagnosed" Wow, that's exactly how i feel I just didn't know it.

    Thanks for the kind comments. If only I could find a way to make writing my occupation.....

  3. I know how you feel!!! LOL And apologies for the H... ;)