Sick of running

Sick of running-

Emily H. Sturgill

May 4, 2015

So sick and tired of running-running away from my feelings/running away from my lover/running away from my best friend/

So sick of running away from this man who im in love with/Its been almost fifteen years now/cannot deny/the more i love/

the higher i fly.

im sick of running.

i am done with the rewind process.

i blink. i cry. i open my eyes.

suddenly stuck back on the rewind.

and its there again. im the misfit. i am only 18. i am running away again.

i run away from my parents home again and again repeatedly.

i run away from the man who loves me-

because of this fear-this phobia-the things i do not dare-to face myself.

So sick and tired of running-running away from my feelings/running away from my lover/running away from my best friend/

So sick of running away from this man who im in love with/Its been almost fifteen years now/cannot deny/the more i love/

the higher i fly.

I am so deeply sorry for my stubborn refusal/to face myself/in a mirror.

I am so sick of running away/deep down/somewhere/inside/i am scared/so i hide./terrified/

So sick and tired of running-running away from my feelings/running away from my lover/running away from my best friend/

So sick of running away from this man who im in love with/Its been almost fifteen years now/cannot deny/the more i love/

the higher i fly.

I am sick of running./i want to just stay home with you/i want to stay/always/near you./im scared/i will lose you./

I cannot promise/that this fear/won’t overcome me/again./but im attempting/to face my demons./to slay them./

So sick and tired of running-running away from my feelings/running away from my lover/running away from my best friend/

So sick of running away from this man who im in love with/Its been almost fifteen years now/cannot deny/the more i love/

the higher i fly.

Advertisements

Book Review:”Professional patient: A memoir of Bipolar Disorder.”by Leesa Abbott Psy.D

Book Review: “Professional Patient: A Memoir of Bipolar Disorder.”

By Leesa Abbott, Psy.D. (2015)

A book review by Emily H. Sturgill, M.Ed, BFA

(Art Therapist with over 20 years experience living with bipolar type one disorder.)

The first 77 pages of this memoir cover Mrs. Abbott’s childhood, adolescence, and young  adulthood in very stark and honest details. Despite this being the author’s first memoir she seems to have mastered the craft of such writing. After 77 or so pages, I felt that her writing was so compelling it was necessary for myself to mark and highlight certain sections of her text.  On page 77 she describes in her role as a mental health professional encountering all types of people. In particular she details the struggles of interacting with persons baring personality disorders or traits of such disorders. She comments that,  “I do know that simply responding to people who have challenging personality traits with a softer, non-escalating response can change the dynamics.”(Abbott .L.p.77) She goes on to describe an encounter with a young child and his mother. She explains in depth that,

”Sometimes people have a thick layer of defenses but it is possible to connect with the wounded person inside. It does require patience and ability to ignore misguided anger.” While this is sensible and logical advice I find it more than a bit ironic. In my own experiences as a Graduate Student studying Art Therapy our professors advised us that clients with such personality traits made for difficult clients and we may wish to avoid taking on such clients unless we specifically were trained to work with them.

Dr. Abbott’s advice on the topic seems to make much more sense and also highlights her skills at helping others.  The Author speaks rather frankly on the duality of the roles in her life as both mental health professional and mental health consumer. Not only is she a counselor, a healer, a therapist but also a client herself. This gives her a unique vantage point.

Later in her book she sums up a personal account of her own depression. She tries to explain the distorted thought processes someone who is depressed goes through.

“I tried to get rid of as many personal items as possible I believe as a way to start making myself disappear. It was as if the fewer belongings I had the closer I was to not existing

at all.”( Abbott.L. p.99)

Often a common sign of depression can be a person giving away all of their belongings. On the next page she talks about her illness as a “dirty little secret.” And her own battle to keep these two worlds in her own life separate. Later on page 109 she discusses a hospitalization for her own bipolar disorder, “I didn’t see how I was similar to my roommate and the rest of the people on the ward. I felt different because I worked in the profession. I felt I had a secret that must be protected at all costs. I also felt my illness wasn’t as serious as theirs must be. Of course I realized later in life with 20/20 hindsight that was untrue.”(Abbott.L.p.109)

Most of her memoir she struggles to find balance between Mental Health professional and Mental Health Client. Sadly, there is such a stigma left in our society especially in America and much of that is rampant among mental health professionals.

During the second half of her book the Author constantly discusses this push and pull between wellness and becoming unwell. There is a conflict between being a caring compassionate professional in this field and the shameful isolation in being a unique person with their own diagnosis.

One of my favorite parts comes near the end of the book. It is here we see her as a caterpillar finally shattering the cocoon of stereotypes and growing her wings. Back on page 77 she gives the reader a quote from Mother Theresa, but I see many ways on how this quote is echoed throughout the Memoir itself. “Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary. What we need is love without getting tired.”(p.77) The Author in many ways embraces her own self through love, self-love and love for others as well. She accepts she is a butterfly. She accepts that she is also a coin with two faces. Her inner conflict seems elegantly resolved as she reflects that.

“One day I had an epiphany.” This leads to much description of the need to develop her own self-worth for herself. She details this development of self-worth along her journey.

“The feeling of confidence and that I deserve the good things that come my way had to come from with-in me. I had to forgive myself and cherish myself. I had made mistakes-big ones, whoppers, but I am human. I also had accomplishments, accomplishments that I had achieved despite mental disorders I didn’t ask for.”(Abbott.L.p.207)

I feel that this is not just another personal memoir but also it’s a story about living a double life. I’m willing to bet that many other professionals across a wide range of careers are also leading double lives-secretly struggling with a mental illness too. People who might be afraid if the word got out about their illness they might lose or ruin their entire careers. That stigma in and of itself would result in them being shunned by their peers. That of course is unacceptable yet things like that cause discrimination all the time. What is so beautiful about Dr. Abbott’s memoir is she gives us a road map of how to come clean. She describes in full detail her manias and depressions-this disease and how it has impacted every angle of her life. It’s really a personal account about transformation. To go through the steps to become a professional in the mental health field, to later being diagnosed as having bipolar disorder to lastly becoming an Advocate for those with mental health issues through her work with NAMI. She takes that journey with us-her readers-and at the end she re-emerges not broken into a two side coin but whole and united as a Mental Health advocate. This is a great book to give insight into how it feels to have a mental illness and just because you have one-that does not mean you cannot become whole and embrace yourself like a brilliant butterfly. To buy your own copy follow this link here:http://www.amazon.com/dp/1312218797/ref=rdr_ext_tmb

To buy a copy of this book  you can buy through Amazon.com or also through Barnes and Nobles Booksellers. It is $19.99Leesa Memoirs cover

Current Freebie Gems on Kindle by Emily Sturgill, M.Ed BFA

Currently, as of today right now I have five different ebooks which are completely FREE to download off of kindle:

http://www.amazon.com/letters-Madness-pictures-Rantings-Ravings-ebook/dp/B00B13BO96/ref=sr_1_24?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1428080968&sr=1-24&keywords=free+poetry+books+on+kindle

http://www.amazon.com/letters-Madness-pictures-Rantings-Ravings-ebook/dp/B00B2XHKW0/ref=sr_1_23?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1428080968&sr=1-23&keywords=free+poetry+books+on+kindle

http://www.amazon.com/Words-Whirl-Emily-Sturgill-ebook/dp/B00EO7EB5K/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

http://www.amazon.com/Help-Wanted-please-Sturgill-Anthology-ebook/dp/B00L6O5P7C/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

http://www.amazon.com/Dredging-Demeter-Autumn-Anthology-Poetry-ebook/dp/B00RJFQNH8/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=

 

These Deals will not last forever, so get yours quickly before supplies run out!!

Most of these ebooks do talk about my own personal battles & struggles living with Bipolar Disorder 1 also called previously, Manic-Depression. I like the old name better because it sums it up exactly for what is really is the flux between or even in each mood state of Mania or Depression.

Unfortunately, for those afflicted this illness can wreck havoc on your life and upon the lives of those you care about. Also despite being more frequently diagnosed these days-I was diagnosed in 1992-There is still a HUGE STIGMA in our country regarding mental health issues. I personally, have been out of the closet for quite sometime on my illness and these issues of unfair treatment. But even so, if I were to try to get another job or do volunteer work as a highly trained Art Therapist it might be wise for me to not mention my “disability” due to the Stigma and Controversy that is caused. Also highly, unfortunate is our Media’s constant portrayal of those with mental health issues being violent, or homicidal or criminals.  The truth is many of us are not those things but you only hear about is when someone does something horrific and happens to have a mental illness diagnosis.

Anyways not all of my books are about being bipolar, just like not all of my poetry is about being bipolar, yet I do have this illness and will mention it from time to time. Just so you know….just so I do not need to explain….but yes I am a crazy person/woman/artist/poet/wife/animal-lover/art-therapist. And yes, I write a lot of books & poems. For me that is just who & how I AM for now…..

1501743_856937424358623_500392046049445903_n 10155618_985488278145366_3496623745575528817_n 10923508_10203621266718186_6189642022438443402_n 10929158_1407064219585894_395337941031897817_n

Some bipolar artwork

 

10418311_10202380313264213_1680142073452811708_n Camera Somebody asked on a bipolar support group page for images that describe bipolar disorder or feeling-all I can show is Artwork I created during different phases of my illness mostly when I was manic but some are from depression too-as a viewer I leave it up yo you to fecide which is which??? All art are created by Emily H. Sturgill, All rights reserved. Feel free to share my images but please add my name at least to them if you use them-thanks, Emily SturgillCAM00335 back cover art before words3 copy advicecollage1 IMG_0445 you are the light at the end of my tunnel 12.4.12 digital art 6 cassette tape july 11 068

Not enough

Not enough-

Dec 26th, 2014

Friday Afternoon 2:49 EST

Not enough

Never enough

Not enough

sleep.

Not enough,

to eat.

Not enough,

to touch the sky & kidnap the Sun.

Not enough, to learn how to fly,

just enough to become

untied

undone.

Not enough to reach outwards and find it.

Not enough to reach out, and grab the happy

right off someone else’s face,

because my happy

its become erased

misplaced

lost confusion.

It’s just not enough,

to fix up this place.

It’s not enough to straighten

this room, to clean between the cracks, to sweep

a broom across this dusty room

deep inside my minds eye.

Not enough,

to touch the sky & kidnap the Sun.

Not enough, to learn how to fly,

just enough to become

untied

undone.

It’s not enough to

try to run, to sprint, to finish

the race.

I’m fresh out of lungs

the air is too sharp, cold and dry-

It’s not enough,

to just sit here

waiting for you

to get home.

It’s not enough, to be a failure as a housewife,

to be a successful lunatic

with a Masters Degree

and no job prospects.

It’s not enough

to be a crazy person,

living on SSDI, it’s not enough, to always

live in someone else’s shadow

it’s not enough

to be the ghost

you can come home

and answer too.

Don’t you understand?

My wings may have melted, because I flew

too closely to the Sun

but I have dreams too.

I do not long to be

someone else’s

no one.

Stigma sneaks in…

Having a SMI
is not an easy life.
SMI stand for Serious Mental Illness

Sometimes people, even our
so called “friends”
do not have the strength
or reasoning to understand.

And that’s the point of
No return.
That’s where
Stigma sneaks in.

Like a thief in the night
Like darkness or blight
Like a shadow in the brightest
possible light….?

that is where
Stigma sneaks in.

Many are concerned
with mental health
especially when its
happening to others

around us, but just not US.

Sometimes people would
much rather be blind
than search for a light.
than search for some hope,
in the darkest of night.

So that is where
Stigma sneaks in.
Turning Friend against Friend.

Coloring the daily news
with reports of violent
“mentally ill” criminals
Coloring the minds

of everyone we know
making them think
at any moment,
like ticking time bombs,
we will blow.

I’ve lost a few friends
maybe someone you know?
Due to my illness, my differences,
the parts of myself
I dare not to show.

But still they are there.
The things that make me
different from you.

And that’s the point of
No return.
That’s where
Stigma sneaks in.

Like a thief in the night
Like darkness or blight
Like a shadow in the brightest
possible light….?

that’s where Stigma sneaks in.
that’s where friendships end,
due to ignorance and fear.

there’s nothing I can say
or do to change your mind
we already have been through
this all before.

you say its not my illness
but I do not believe you
anymore.

My bipolar Muse

My bipolar Muse-
is that part of myself,
I seek to hide
from the prying mind.

My bipolar Muse-
is part of myself
ingrained
entwined
rooted
to my inner core-

it is the trunk
from which
all else
branches, takes root, blooms
becomes fruit.

it is the part of myself
I try to keep on
a very short leash
never to be set free

unless all hell breaks loose
the correct terminology for that
is called,” a Manic Episode.”

When I can keep Mania at bay,
and leave depression aside
to sway

I become almost…normal.
But not quite.
I cover myself in riddles, rhymes, words
which multiply
covering my naked body
like leaves on a tree
or a shroud on a corpse.

My bipolar Muse
loves the lingering of letters,
the graffiti on the bathroom stall,
she loves poems, thought-puddles,
the beat of a fast paced drum.

My bipolar Muse
she is on a very short leash,
otherwise I cannot stop her
from her ramble, utters, riddles
word puzzles.

Delirium belongs beneath
a self-imposed cage,
yet still I suppose
without a Muse as such

I would have little creativity
of my own-barely enough to strike a match,
to form a word, a sentence, or even
fan the flames of a poem.

My bipolar Muse
without her, I’d become lost.
She is the demon which rages
inside me. She is the hinge connecting
two halves of a semi-broken brain.

She is my everything.

Kindle FREE promo days: going on RIGHT NOW!

http://www.amazon.com/Once-was-Rain-Emily-Sturgill-ebook/dp/B00CFPWVUA/ref=la_B00B1GC5LY_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1392390642&sr=1-5

possible coverart1 copy “Once I was the Rain.” is currently on FREE kindle promotional download now until 2/16/14. Get your free copy by clicking on the link above.

Also my 4th Edition and re-release on my personal memoirs,”Memoirs recalled madness: a personal account of living with manic depressive illness is also currently on FREE KINDLE download also until 2/16/14.

new coverart memoirs recalled Madness noTo get your FREE copy go to this link here: http://www.amazon.com/Memoirs-Recalled-Madness-personal-depressive-ebook/dp/B00C145EOU/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1392391027&sr=1-1

 

Shadows sleeping

shadows sleeping

seeping breathing  branching outwards,

into a seamless scenery of lovely-lonely landscapes,

shadows sleeping quietly

staring at them

lying at my feet.

Lulling me with their

timeless lullabies.

Shadows sleeping quietly at my feet.

am i losing my mind?

am i losing time?

is it happening again?

am i receding backwards-

straight into sleeping shadows

filled with lunacy?

Picture 166 Picture 165 Picture 164 Picture 163 Picture 173