Tag Archives: Guilt and Shame


Self Flagellation started as a form of discipline in some Religions obtained by flogging or whipping oneself for a period of time.

There is another definition that has evolved from this meaning, excessive criticism of oneself.

This one I know all too well. I do it often. I can’t tell you the exact reason. I can say I don’t believe it is all associated with Bipolar Disorder or mental health issues. Self-esteem probably plays a role also.

I do know that when I am in a Depressive Episode or there is a “trigger” I will do certain things to feel worse. I almost take comfort in the misery and pain. I’m more familiar with those feelings so it’s easier to exacerbate them and stay there. I often use the same tools to accomplish this.

My Emotional Self Flagellation

I have the same ways of accomplishing and inflicting immense emotional pain on myself.

I will watch the video for Blue October’s “Hate Me”. It is almost exactly like my mom and I were right down to a majority of lyrics. In the video he visits a cemetery something I can’t bring myself to do often. I’ve only been 4 times in almost 9 years.

I will look at pictures of my mom, of when my sister and I looked happy together, when my dad was healthy and happy and when my mom had oxygen on all the time, was bloated, pale, and dying.

I replay the phone call we received at 9:11 p.m. to come to the Hospital and what we witnessed when we arrived unnoticed.

I listen to Elvis, Brenda Lee, Patsy Cline, The Big Bopper, Kenny Rogers, Connie Francis, Tammy Wynette, all of my mom’s favorite songs that she would sing around the house. I know all the words to most of the songs from the 50’s and 60’s. My mom had a good voice and could really dance. I inherited none of these traits but I like to think I can sing when I’m in the car.

Then I have my own songs. Pantera’s “This Love” and “Hollow”, Pearl Jam’s “Black” and “Release”, Corey Taylor “From Can To Can’t”, Aerosmith’s “You See Me Crying”, “Cry Me A River”, “What It Takes”, “Amazing”, and “Seasons of Wither”, Skid Row’s “In A Darkened Room”,  “Wasted Time”, Sebastian Bach still sings these songs amazingly.

Then there’s the movie reel on replay. Every unpleasant conversation, event, or action in my life is looped in my head without a pause or stop button. I’ve been told by too many doctors that I can’t be helped any further.

How would you feel after 20 years of alcoholism, suicide attempts, numerous hospitalizations, and a too late diagnosis, only to be told by some of the best doctors that you are “beyond help and have to deal day to day”.

You are told that you will only get worse as time goes by. You have already lost any friends you had, family members have distanced themselves from you since your diagnosis, you have trouble leaving the house as each day passes, the only human voice you hear most days is a telemarketer. You are afraid to talk to anyone in the “outside” world because they might notice that you are “different”. Even though the family that does speak to you says you sound “fine” but then asks “have you taken your meds because you sound funny”.

Where do you put all of these feelings? What do so called “normal” people do? I don’t even remember what “normal” is. I watch TV and everyone that’s stressed or upset has a drink at the end of the day. What does that tell us?thwip0mkkg


I often see a quote that says “Bipolars, great in bed, hard to live with”. I would have to say I agree on some level.

Not many people are jumping to talk about their sex lives. Maybe a few are but not many women are willing to tell the truth when it comes to how many partners they have had or one night stands. This is the same for a Bipolar woman or a woman without a mental illness. There is still a double standard.

Before I was diagnosed as Bipolar I drank heavily for most of my life. It felt like most of my life starting at 16/17 and continuing until 35/36. I’m sorry for not being accurate but cognitive and memory problems go with the territory for me on most things.

I had many Manic Episodes while drinking. Alcohol lowers your inhibitions to begin with and the symptoms for mania are poor decision making and impulsiveness. Your sex drive also increases.

For me it was more about the ritual of it. Getting dressed up, drinking, becoming the hunter, and the pursuit. It wasn’t actually about the sex itself. I had more self-confidence and wanted to push boundaries. I also had people who encouraged this.

The person I drank with liked to pick out a guy he thought was way out of my league and taunt me into trying to hook up with him. He would sit back at the bar with the rest of guys and wait to see what happened. For me it became a game of pride. I was tired of being the fat girl with a pretty face that was every guys friend. I was also tired of the bullying that went on around other people.

I’m not proud of it but I usually succeeded. At the time I didn’t feel anything. The next day was another story.

Waking up in strange places, not knowing someone’s name, not remembering if I did have sex, not remembering if I consented at times, having bruises I couldn’t explain, it went on and on for years.

Several years ago right before I quit drinking, my best friend’s boyfriend said to me “D your always trying to prove a point that you don’t need to prove. You are a beautiful girl inside and out”. It took me a few days to digest what he said and to realize he was right.

When I quit drinking I also stopped having sex. The truth is I wouldn’t know how to talk to a man sober, hold hands sober, kiss sober, or anything else sober. It’s a scary thought for me.

Am I isolating myself on purpose because of this fear? Probably. At 43 soon to be 44 I don’t see a way to change things anytime soon. There is so much other baggage that has to be worked through. It doesn’t mean I’ve totally thrown in the towel. If it happens it happens if it doesn’t then I’ll still be here working on myself.726e46d6a15067d0002389b77fe4b3b8


I remember when I was younger I hated sleepovers. I also didn’t like to be away from my parents for too long. I had a strange habit of bouncing my head on my pillow to calm myself down at night. I would also do it in the car. My parents accepted it and so did my siblings. My mother came from a highly dysfunctional family with many mental health issues. Maybe they just thought it WAS normal.

By the time Middle School came I was now dry heaving before school everyday. The “butterflies” in my stomach were nonstop.

In my late teens I couldn’t go to the local Gas Station alone, the market, mall, or anywhere. If I couldn’t find someone to go with me, I just didn’t go. If I had to call someone I didn’t know I would try to get my mom or sister to do it for me. They did it most of the time.

When you feel like you are going throw up constantly, cry constantly, and feel different from everyone else, starting at such an early age it seems almost normal after a time. It isn’t normal. It was all far from normal.

Not many people would have understood my feelings of isolation, like I was a mistake, I never belonged anywhere or with anyone. I was always on the outside looking in. Part of me wanted to change and the other wanted to submit and give in. I tried to give in several times. I wasn’t very good at it.

I started drinking at 17 and continued until I was 37. I quit cold turkey and didn’t slip once until a few days ago.

I should have known that I couldn’t handle the environment I was going into on my own. A concert where everyone is drinking. I always drank at concerts. It took 30 minutes before I hit the bar. I was in a different state, far from home, alone and without my Bipolar medications. My nose spray exploded on the plane and had seeped into my medication bottles, causing them to dissolve or crumble. I could manage to take a few but not many. I knew I was in a Manic Episode when I booked the vacation. I tried to back out but the Travel company wouldn’t let me.

These are not excuses they are just facts. I’m trying to deal with the shame and guilt. It’s extremely hard. Seven years was a long time for me. But I have no desire to drink, I didn’t then either. I just felt so out of place, I felt like people were staring at me because I was alone. I could feel the blood rushing to my head and my hands were ice cold. So I drank. Having to start over is the worse feeling. I know why I did it and I don’t want to do it again. What I have to do is talk to someone about feeling better in my own skin. The self destructive thought of never being “good enough” no matter what and then trying to prove that I am is exhausting.

So I need to get into a program or one on one counseling to deal with these and other issues. I won’t give up. I have seen other people looking so happy in life, I have to stop thinking that I don’t deserve to feel the same. I’m being honest and I know I have disappointed many people. I disappointed myself the most.

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