The Comfort That Remains

Here I am, caught between reactive depression and clinical depression.If you've been reading my last several posts, you know that I've been having a rough month. Several months. It's been a real challenge to my hard-won quasi-stability.Last week, my 20+ year old cat, Louise died. The week before that, my husband's 17+ year old cat died. So now I am trying to deal with those reactive feelings of grief and loss, without losing myself in the eternally waiting Pit of Despair that is clinical depression....more

Struggles and Tears

In the past week I have had to deal with:...more

Having A Mental Illness Doesn't Make Your Feelings Invalid

Mental illness doesn’t mean you deserve to live in fear of your feelings. I’ve been told in the past that when I explain my feelings to someone, it often sounds “rehearsed.” I’ve been told I explain things clearly and speak deliberately.As much as I’d love to preserve the idea that I’m just some sort of genius when it comes to language, this is very much a deliberate move.My name is Matt Joseph Diaz, and I have lived with Bipolar II Disorder since 2013....more

5 Contradictions That Folks With Mental Illness Know All Too Well

What others see as a 'contradiction' is really our best attempt at surviving. Y’all, I’m basically celebrating my tenth anniversary of insanity. Insaniversary? Is that a thing? Can we make that a thing? (...Okay, so according to Twitter, Insaniversary is kind of a thing. By some ableist gym in the Bronx. But I'm ignoring them. Tweet me about your first episode. #insaniversary)...more

The Week of Living Alone

Sometimes, when I get tired of my complicated life, I imagine what it would be like to start over someplace new, or what it might have been like if I had made different choices. I envision myself, living alone (well, with one cat), in a small town like Benson, AZ. I would have a small used book store or secondhand shop and live in a small apartment over it or behind it. I would have a couple of friends I met in my shop and go out to lunch or dinner once in a while, but mostly spend my free time listening to music, watching TV, or on the Internet....more

Senses and Sensitivity

When I was a child, I was often told that I was "too sensitive" – meaning that I took things too much to heart, especially criticism and the taunts and bullying of other children. It was something that I assumed was innately wrong with me, and that I didn't know how to fix.These days, however, I'm too sensitive to sensory input.I used to be able to write or read or edit with music on (instrumental music, at least). I used to be able to hold a conversation while the television was on. I used to be able to drive a car and look at the scenery around me....more

The Overwhelming Problem

It's been said that time is nature's way of keeping one damn thing after another from being every damn thing all at once. I know that taking things one at a time – eating the elephant one bite at a time – is a sound idea.However, every now and then the damn things gang up on you. The elephant is starting to go bad and you have to eat all you can right away – to use a disgusting metaphor that I will not take any further. (You're welcome.)...more

Bipolars, Rollercoasters, and Sex

The rollercoaster is the most common metaphor for bipolar disorder. But is it really the best one?...more

I'm Not Brave – I'm Stubborn

One of my friends, who is overweight, recently told me that when she was at the gym on the treadmill, a stranger came over to her and told her she was "an inspiration."My friend felt insulted. She was working out for herself and for her health, not to inspire anyone else or to be taken as a symbol of I-don't-know-what – perseverance? attitude? effort? hope?I feel sort of the same way when people say that because I am open and public with my bipolar disorder that I am "brave."I'm not doing this because I'm brave. I'm doing it because I'm stubborn....more