Goodbye Homie; Goodbye Ulla

*lights a candle*

This is going to be a bit all over the place but I’m going to try to say goodbye. She knows I was the type of person to be all over the place so I guess it’s okay.

My Homes,

I understand why you did it. I really do. Your brothers and sisters knew your torment. There were times I felt so helpless to be honest. But you always made me believe that every chat or every chuckle was worth the immense effort it became to you. It became so draining to participate in normal life things for you. But you tried. You tried for us, your friends. Your tribe.

I feel like I let you down. I wanted to do more. To be that rock you were for me. I could always turn to you when the world was at my throat; when the demons were at my feet. Grabbing at me. Now I have to face them on my own.

But you’re at peace now; this was all I have ever wanted for you.

You’re free.

You hated it when I would complain about my weight. Looking back, it feels so stupid now. You always encouraged me to keep writing; to keep painting. Thank you for believing in me especially on those days I had no hope for myself.

You were my gangsta, and I was your blood. We were homies.

You complained that you were old. But you were so badass. That’s a fact. You’d send me the best music. You had fucking good taste. And I loved that we both crushed on LL Cool J. Why you crushed on him I don’t know. 🙂 Makes me smile just thinking of all the drool we lost to that guy. PS. Thank you for keeping all my guy and lady crushes TOP SECRET. Thank you for never judging my taste either.

Oh Ulla, as I’m typing this, I still can’t believe that it’s true. I keep looking at our old chats, I send you “I love homes” messages but watch silently as they don’t deliver. It breaks my heart. You always responded; you were always there.

I’ve been wanting to paint a picture for you for the past two weeks (to send with the flashstick I still needed to send to you). Something abstract, something nobody would understand- just like this fucking illness. I wanted it to give you hope because your sense of hope disappeared long time ago. In fact, the real Ulla seemed to only come in flashes towards the end, I used to tell you to leave the hope for me. I had it in the bucket loads for you. I had hope that you’d come back to us.

You fought so hard.

Please know that you were never a burden to me or any one of us. You were loved. And it’s because of this love that we’re making such a fuss.

Thank you Ulla.

Thank you Blue, for all that you’ve done for Our Lived Experience. Thank you for the back and forth emailing, for doing the interviews (probably from your couch). Thank you for keeping us going, for keeping me going.

So many times we’d talk about meeting. I said I’d cook and you’d make the coffee. We’d sit together on your stoep. You’d obviously have your smoke and I’d watch and you take it in and exhale. All I wanted was to be in your space- to be next to you, to care for you. I guess I’ll have to hold onto those memories that never really happened.

I’m sorry for not being able to save you.

I love you Ulla. I always have, I always will.

Your gangsta,
Your blood.
Always.
Yve

**For those of you interested, I’ll be painting a series of paintings as a tribute to Ulla (Blahpolar). I want to sell them and all profits made will be donated to the clinics she went to in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. It will be an ongoing project. Spanglish Familia will be helping with the setup of a gofundme account.

I’ll use some of Roughghosts pictures and some she sent me. If you have anything specific in mind, let me know.

I work in oils and mainly use a palette knife. I am however flexible with my tools.

She always encouraged me to keep on painting even when I wallowed in self doubt. How stupid of me. Her mom used to paint shells btw. Anyway, I’d love to use my talents to remember her fondly.

You can see my works here: http://www.yvettehess.com

yvetteyadams1@gmail.com**

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Artwork for Ulla

For those of you interested, I’ll be painting a series of paintings as a tribute to Ulla (Blahpolar). I want to sell them and all profits made will be donated to the clinics she went to in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. It will be an ongoing project. Spanglish Familia will be helping with the setup of a gofundme account.

I’ll use some of Roughghosts pictures and some she sent me. If you have anything specific in mind, let me know.

I work in oils and mainly use a palette knife. I am however flexible with my tools.

She always encouraged me to keep on painting even when I wallowed in self doubt. How stupid of me. Her mom used to paint shells btw. Anyway, I’d love to use my talents to remember her fondly.

yvetteyadams1@gmail.com

An Invitation: JOIN ME on SEPT 10th to Honour ULLA’s Death — Our Lived Experience

I’m struggling to write this, so please bear with me.

Two days ago I found out that one of my closest friends and the co-founder of OLE took her own life. Ulla, or Blahpolar as she was known to most, was one of the best things that ever happened to me. I don’t want to write too much – but I do want to invite you to join us as we (with other bloggers) celebrate her life  on September 10th, World Suicide Prevention Day, on her blog:  (https://theblahpolar.wordpress.com).

Yvette

 -Originally posted on My Spanglish Familia: Dear WordPress Community I am overcome with grief upon learning of Blahpolar’s death. I assume, many of you are too. Please join me and Yve on SEPTEMBER 10th, 2016 – World Suicide Prevention Day – on Blahpolar’s blog (link to her last post here) to honour her beautiful, brilliant,…

via An Invitation: JOIN ME on SEPT 10th to Honour ULLA’s Death — Our Lived Experience

A string of good days

Hear ye, hear ye!

I’ve been having the best time lately. Last week I was approached to complete a standing writing project. I’ve been unemployed for the last two years so this bit of income will really help. More importantly, working again (even though this is not what I studied to do) is doing wonders for my self-esteem. It took a big knock over the years with all the bipolar disorder and the drama that ensued.

My art is also doing well.

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I’ve been approached to do several other paintings- including an A1 size! Gasp! The project itself makes me nervous, but good nerves you know? Those nerves you get when you’re about to meet your baby.

I just wanted to share the good news.

Also, water was spilled on my iPhone today, so the speakers are messed up. I left it in rice so I’m hoping for the best. Notice that?

I’m hoping for the best.

Before, when the bipolar engulfed me in its flames, it burned negative thoughts into my being. I could not breath in hope; I choked on its smoke- its promise of dark days.

I’m hopeful now.

I’m smiling.

I’m free of the fire.

Recovery is good.

The business that I am, is growing.

Yve

Why I told the world I was crazy

Many years ago, I remember my mom and dad arguing about her telling the whole world our problems. And she answered something to the effect of: “the more people know, the more prayers we will get.”

And that struck me. Even as a young child I could grasp her desperation but also unwavering faith in God’s grace. 

Since then I’ve been living a life where I’ve shared my most intimate, darkest moments for the whole world to see. 

Was I fishing for prayers?

Maybe. Maybe not. 

All I know is that I’ve grown up with an inherent yearning to share. 

And that included my bipolar diagnosis. 

I just wanted people to know. 

I wanted people to know why I disappeared every now and then. 

I wanted people to know that there were valid reasons behind my feeble excuses. 

I wanted people to know about my bad days and good (I have those too).

I wanted people to know why I couldn’t read anymore, how terrible it is to hear things you cannot see and to have consecutive numbers spinning around in your mind over and over again. 

I wanted the world to know that this illness is so real. It’s taken away from my life and confused the hell out of my loved ones. 

I wanted people to know so much about my world that they had an opportunity to see for themselves that the illness is but a small part of who I am and who I strive to be. 

The stigma and ignorance is killing us (sufferers and non sufferers alike) and if sharing this part of me will save one life then I’m all in. Of course I’m not saying that my story is so amazing that it could save the world. I’m saying that one sentence, one word could change someone’s insight and change their world. I’ve read so many ordinary stories by ordinary people who have changed my life for the better.

 So I embark on a mission to share and get others to share. 

There’s healing there. 

I am so much more than this diagnosis. 

Yvette

Round up of published articles

When I do get a chance to blog elsewhere, I do it. I never know when the mania fuels me to drive my passion to help, nor do i know when the fists of depression will clench its fists over my soul. I’m dramatic, but I love it.

I’ve written three posts for BP Hope magazine and two of them have been published recently [One and two]. The article about how to get your life on track (one) has been doing tremendously well and has over 2100 views. I’m hoping for the same for the other post which was published today.

The first one also made it’s way to South African shores when it was accepted by the kind Monique Warner to be published on the rapidly growing and successful All4Women website. You can find the article here.

That’s it. You thought there were more?

Oh, uhm no, I’m no Ruby Wax. .

As they say in twitterland,

#BeReal,

Yve

Bipolar Awareness Day 2015

It happened on the 26th day and just flew by with many people not even noticing. I planned for the Our Lived Experience to launch on that day, but it was impossible given the amount of things I had to during the day. I shifted the launch to the 25th and luckily I had Blahpolar  Diaries in my back pocket. She’s a killer writer and just gave us a wow intro- something we needed, regardless of the launch date. Check out her intro post here.  Also check her rant thereafter on her own blog.

Education about this illness is vital and yet we sit with outdated stuff on the Web and dusty minds on the topic of mental illness in general. Blahpolar does some dusting and with her excellent research skills, she gives us relevant info to chew on.

Another person worth looking up is Philippe Doubell at Bipolar Disorder- a path taken. He’s on Facebook.  The guy has over 4000 likes. He also recently did a video on sleep cycles which I posted on the OLE site.

Everyday should be bipolar awareness day. It’s an illness people have, not an adjective to describe a moody person. Oh but that is a dream.

Lastly, OLE was in the media. We were featured in the #tellyourstory section of Conscious magazine in the US. It’s worth a read too.

Well done to those hardworking people at SADAG who held numerous workshops across the country. Next time I will be invited to one.

Till next year.

Happy sad medicated scarred scared intense manic Bipolar Awareness day.

– Yvette

Where has she been? She comes out of the the closet and then?

Hi there all! I’ve been quite busy updating my blog- I hope you like the changes.

I’ve also submitted my 3500 word story to the award-winning blog, Stigmama.com about trials I endured with this last pregnancy, and finally deciding to end my career for an indefinite period. It wlill be published soon, and I’ll share it with you. As usual, and as expected, you can expect me to give a truly honest account of it all. I also submitted my assignments for my module one of the Memoir course. It was longer than I expected! Long time no student, hey UCT?! Wink wink, nudge nudge. (Ahh, I’ll need to work on my exclusion from UCT story.)

Lastly it was also Cayden’s first week and a half of his new school. He loves it! I see a different child in him, and I’m so glad we moved schools. He auditioned for the school choir and got in! And he’s playing recorder. He also wants to play chess for the school. His dad and whoever gets sucked into playing with him, will be pleased to know that he’ll be in a team and have children his own age to challenge.

I’ve been trying to adjust doing to early morning lunch-packing, breakfast and packing all 3 babies to school thing- and fetching from school-a-while-later parade. Oh and try to dishes and washing and ironing. Emphasis on ‘try’.

My lithium level is low, 0.5 (supposed to be around 0.8) and  so I need to make sure I take my pills… I was naughty over the festive season- I didn’t take my pills when I consumed a lot of alcohol. Come on, the festive season comes but once a year!

Anyway, so I’m suffering with the backlash… But that’s for another post.

@yvette_hess (new twitter handle)

Updated Facebook Page 

All 5 of us

All 5 of us

The Hess Owls

The Hess Owls

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My paint project for the baby boys’ rooms. I’m halfway done with their room. Then I have to do the big boys’ room: CROCODILES!

Have a great day!

Yve

A whole lot of official stuff

So, I’ve merged my two blogs into one, http://www.yvecorner.wordpress.com. I recently ‘came out’ of the bipolar closet and decided to blog under one name. It was frustrating and often tedious to duplicate stories, trying to remove my name and details for confidentiality. It became difficult to be myself, by withholding so much of me from the world. Bipolar disorder is part of me, it’s sometimes an enabler, and on many of occasions it’s been a destroyer. More often we only worry when the destroying part of the story is around. Believe me, I’m not blaming the disorder for my failures, I’m blaming my lack of knowledge and people in general for not understanding mental illness.

Anyway, that’s a post for another day.

The other official happening in my life is that I have enrolled with Writer’s College South Africa to do a course in Memoir writing. I know that my writing is enjoyed by many, so I believe it’s only fair that I improve on my skills- to give you, my readers the best version of me and this voice I’ve been given.

And finally, I decided to launch a Facebook page (here) where I’ll share posts published, but also share my other favourite bloggers’ insights, some resources about the disorder and where to seek help. Other bloggers are better than this than I am, I prefer just putting a face to bipolar.A sweet face. Maybe I will be able to get you to realize when you or someone you love needs help- and I’ll share ways on how to possibly help them.

My aim with my blog is to give you some sort of window into my life- maybe provide some insight into how the disorder influences the decisions I make, my lifestyle choices, why I complain (read ‘vent’) etc. I want you to see how normal I am- but also how exceptional my visions and talents are, to see that my darkest days are just as intense.

I am cursed with a gift and blessed with this curse.

Words, rhymes, feelings, colours, intensity and death.

All me.

P.S Remember not all bipolars are the same, but we do share similar traits.

Thanks for following!

Tweet me: @yvette_adams