Happy Juneteenth, and Happy Father’s Day to all you dads. It’s been yet another hectic and strange week in my life. My wife, after years of struggling with sleep issues, was officially diagnosed with narcolepsy. I had always known she suffered from the disorder, but […]
For someone with bipolar disorder, comfort can be found in some odd and dark places. I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t comforted (in a selfish and devious way even) when being around someone with mine or a similar condition. It makes me feel like, “Ha! Yes! It’s not only me!” I know, I know…but, hey, whatever gets me through the night.
“Magick” is a word I first heard (or read about) in Damien Echols devastating memoir, Life After Death. Echols spent more than 18 years on death row for a crime he did not commit, and his personal journey and soul survival is more than awe inspiring.”
After two weeks, a slight return. Whether it’s my children or my day job (it’s only June and we’re hitting 105 degrees with the heat index – not exactly prime conditions for mowing), free time has been non-existent for me, and it’s affected all avenues of my writing for the time being. If I can’t write, I will read. There hasn’t been too much time for either of those things, though.
The week started out grand with my computer crashing at just two months old, my car battery completely crapping out (along with a broken terminal), and a missed freelance deadline.
The guitar Kurt Cobain played/used in the video for “Smells Like Teen Spirit” just sold at auction for $4,500,000.00, about $4,000,000.00 more than expected, by Colts owner Jim Isray. That places it as the fourth most expensive piece of “known” music memorabilia ever (Kurt also takes the top spot for his guitar from the MTV Unplugged show, which sold for more than $8,000,000.00 at auction).
Someone close to me recently brought forth the question of whether or not I was curious about what people to say or think about me after I die. I couldn’t help but laugh a little and try and be anecdotal, but nothing that came to mind sounded right.
“To be ill adjusted to a deranged world is not a breakdown.”
Over the course of seven years, I have been on countless medications, which I am currently paying for. I have always been consistent in taking my pills. I have never gone off my meds. I have never had any reason to. But I’m beginning to wonder if the damage done by years of taking numerous medications is just as bad as not have taken them at all.
Five years ago, I was 27, which was my golden birthday. I was wild then, wild and rearing to go be a part of any type of ignorant activity. I suffer from bipolar disorder if you guys didn’t know and even though I knew it at the time, I still used it to be the life of the party. I was still embarrassed (to an extent) about my condition, and it was easier to just be the wild one.
My father was in the United States Army for 31 years before retiring in his early 50s a few years ago. He was that type. He could have quit after four years under the rules and laws I know. But he dedicated another 27 years of service out of the “somebody’s gotta do it” ideology. Or so I hope. The alternative would be far more sinister.
It’s not unheard of. Someone with a mental health illness, consciously or not, may believe they’re allowed a free pass at times. This, of course, is false. In no set of circumstances does mental illness allow one to act like a dick.
With 1 in 5 U.S. adults suffering from some form of mental illness, it’s not a huge leap for one to think they may be suffering from one, as well. Depression and anxiety are extremely prevalent. Sharing similar hallmarks to certain other illnesses can drive many to assume they may be suffering from some sort of mental health issue.
I live in a small town. Like a really small town. It’s a very conservative, small town in a very conservative part of Illinois, which is most of the state (thank God for Chicago or we would be all Red). There aren’t a lot of resources in my area for people with any type of mental health or psychiatric problems. That seems to be the case for many rural areas across the U.S.
Over the last year or so, I have been experiencing some semi-serious memory issues and some problems with basic motor skills and coordination. I was able to hide these specific issues from my wife for nearly three months before having to let the cat out of the bag. I was stumbling around and running into walls.
Not entirely or fully accurate, but the damage has been done. Forget the needle. In this day and age, it’s more like TikTok and the damage done.
I was doing well with my treatment for six months or so before I met her. Whoever this person was, love came with her, hard and fast. And there was nothing I could do to stop whatever was happening. At the same time, I didn’t have to do anything but let it happen.
It has been one of “those weeks” to be sure. No, nothing genuinely terrible has occurred. It’s just been one of “those weeks” in the sense that when that phrase is used, all can be sure what is truly meant.
I recently had the luxury of finding an old notebook, one that had been used simply for creative purposes. It was about fifteen years old, but you couldn’t tell by its condition. However, the age of the notebook became more than evident after opening it up. To me, anyway.
Sleep is perhaps one of the most important things in everybody’s lives. The Sleep Foundation describes sleep as an “essential function”, one that allows “your body and mind to recharge, leaving you refreshed and alert when you wake up.”
I accepted a long time ago that it’s easier to try and get something out of my stress than it is to try and find any alleviation from it. It’s gotten better over time, but I still find myself milking it just to get something out of it. Otherwise, I’m exhausted for no reason, and the madness takes another round.
It’s Easter, and that’ll be the theme of the day. Whether it be the Resurrection of Jesus or the story of Peter Cottontail, Easter, in some form or other, will be on the forefront of most people’s day. I won’t pretend to know much about Easter, especially on how an egg-laying bunny got involved in the whole mess. I’m sure there’s a reason, but I had never truly sought out any real answer before now. Some things are just better left to mystery.
When I learned, or accepted, my diagnosis (Doctors diagnosed me with bipolar disorder at least three times over nine years before I decided to seek out treatment), I had to learn everything I could about the disorder.
If you follow my blog regularly, don’t worry if I’ve strayed from my personal journey of positive thinking. I haven’t. I’m still wondering if someone’s playing a joke on me. I’m behind the computer as we speak, waiting for someone to jump and shout, “GOTCHA!” Just know I went in with the idea for this post relieved and even a little excited. By the time I left, though, I couldn’t tell if I was baffled, underwhelmed, or downright offended.
Still sticking to a pretty self-care-oriented lifestyle. I haven’t tbeen in the trenches of this new battle too terribly long, so fingers remain crossed.
I recently wrote a post about the health benefits that blogging can provide, and there are many. I’d like to cexplore this a little more in depth, though. The effects of this specific type of release are tremendous. It seems obvious on a very basic level, but the facts are in, and they speak for themselves.
I’m not manic or depressed, but I felt an overwhelming sense of clarity and peace the other day that was, for me at least, an eye-opening and humbling experience. I haven’t looked back since.
One of the most important things us mentally ill folks can do is practice consistent self-care. Self-care is an important approach to the management of long-term health conditions, especially when it comes to mental health. Plus, it’s just downright good for you.
It’s April 5, 2022 – the 28th anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death. Nearly three decades ago, the “spokesman of a generation” took his own life with a shotgun.
This month marks the 20th anniversary of the suicide of a close friend. He hung himself in a tree in his backyard when I was in the 6th grade. We just so happened to be neighbors, so I was there and saw the whole thing.
Well, after the week I’ve had I thought I might do something a little more light-hearted. I’ve already discussed the power of music and the artists and albums that shaped a great part of who I am. So, I thought I might talk about some of the books that have also molded me into the person I am today.
I have not outwardly been attacked or “judged” for suffering from bipolar disorder, but it’s the under-the-surface opinions people have that make it even more difficult to manage. So, judge me, I say.
Of course, it’s been one of “those” weeks: work started back up (yards needed to be mowed). On top of that, I spent Wednesday and Thursday in bed, depressed as usual (I wish people knew what it meant to literally not be able to get out of bed).
Someone close to me recently had their first panic attack and described it as the most frightening experience of their life. Equating it to what a mental/emotional/physical heart attack might hypothetically feel like, it was evident that this person had been truly affected by this incident. And not in any positive way.
As someone with bipolar disorder, I have a lot of experience in feeling awkward or out of place because of my condition, when said condition is known. It’s nothing new, and although it never “gets easier” you learn to go along with it. Sometimes you got to get ahead of the charade before you become the charade.
If it hadn’t happened to me and if it wasn’t true, it might almost be comical. Last time I was here blogging I was describing the tranquility needed at the end of a trip of any sort. If you remember, my family and I extended our little getaway an extra day to be used only to recharge and recuperate. Which I guess in theory sounded great. It really did. That was right up until the next morning before we checked out.
So, we decided to stay another night just to have a full evening of recovery and relaxation (reading for me) before we make the seven-hour plus drive home. We’ve had a full day of family fun and it seemed like a no-brainer to take a night to unwind before we headed home; no need in going home so worn out that the trip becomes something we want to forget. Also, we all seemed to be excited at the idea of just getting to sit around and read or write or color.
Though I’ve never found any of the generic “coping skills” that work for me, I have noticed that meditation is on every list. Just another bullet point: mediation.
In 2002 Stephen King temporarily gave up on writing bestselling novels and wrote a little book chronicling his rise to fame and discussing exactly … 10 Essential Writing Tips from Stephen King’s “On Writing”
We’ve done very little as far as “touristy” things go, to be honest, but that’s been just fine with me. I come down here enough to know that this is the part of the trip that matters.
A newly released study is tying people’s religious uncertainty and lack of faith in the divine to poor mental and psychological well-being.
When I was 14 (as cliché as this is going to sound), I read a series of books that either opened up doors for me or that I just liked. And again (as cliché as it sounds), On the Road was one of them. Of course, it was a book that changed the playing field, but for me, it was the introduction to a bigger world.
My wife and I just celebrated our 4-year anniversary a couple of days ago, so we decided to give ourselves a little gift: a weekend getaway. Nothing major. Just a weekend in a cabin in the hills of Tennessee.
Today isn’t just St. Patrick’s Day in my home. Today is one of the most special days in my life, as it marks the 4th anniversary of the day I married my soulmate.
If this were of any consequence and if I were a person of any significance, this one certain belief/opinion I have regarding a specific matter I hold would most likely be considered controversial or just plain ignorant. No, it’s not political, or derogatory in any other fashion. It’s a simple idea on what some may call a “philosophical” matter, but for me, it’s really a non-issue.
When COVID made its grand debut back in early 2020, no one was sure how serious it was going to be. That is until there was a massive shortage of things like milk, bread and toilet paper (in my area it was a complete wipeout). But no one expected the breadth of things to come until people’s personal health and medical treatment were on the line.
First off, work is picking back up as the warmer weather is (maybe) finally starting to settle in. I work for both a lawncare and a construction company. Yards will need to be mowed; houses will need to be built or repaired. Things are about to pick up and get busy. It’ll be mornings of rushing to get the kids shipped out to whoever is watching them on that day by 6 am. It’ll be the “get-up-and-go” this household really needs.
It’s a subject as old as time, and a personal dilemma everyone experiences at some point in their lives: the fear of death and dying.
If the mind is truly like a muscle, then blogging must be the last leg of a 10-mile race. That might seemf like hyperbole, but it’s actually based in some reality.
I did my first round a few months ago and I could tell an immediate difference. But the farther apart each treatment is the less effective it will be.
It’s been one of those days, and if it’s anything like the last half of yesterday then you can count me out.
And don’t go out smiling-
In the reverie of death’s sweet delivery,
a smile would only cloud,
and be monstrous….
If these city blocks could talk, would you hear the hollow echo of my soul’s soles, edging around the lonely buildings, thru the twisted and deformed night?
I would say I can’t be the only one with bipolar disorder who knows how well this disease operates under the pressures of a job and workplace, but I already know that I’m not; it’s a topic that is oftent used when writing about bipolar disorder. It may seem like a tired beat, and I certainly do not have anything new to add to the conversation. My experiences are not uncommon or unique. They are just mine. But I’m assuming you already know that if you’re here reading this.
It’s cliche, yes, but nonetheless it comes with the territory. Part metaphors, part exaggeration, “sex, drugs, and mania” pretty much sums up my personal experience with the dangerous and unpredictable nature of the madness.
As a musician and just as a human being on a very basic level, music is a key part of my every day. I’m making no correlation between the madness and the necessity of music in one’s life, it’s just a fact: music is a key part of my life.
“If I can’t feel, if I can’t move, if I can’t think, and I can’t care, then what conceivable point is there in living?” – Kay Redfield Jamison It’s been a pretty “blah” week on my end of things, personally and professionally that is. My […]
You know that expression “You don’t know what you got until it’s gone”? Well, boy, is it true!
My life, though, for the sake of only a little bit of remembrance, appears to me in broken, fragmented passages of cloudy polaroids. But I do think there is something special in the knowing – the remembrance – of one’s life.
Having bipolar disorder is like standing on the edge of a cliff in a thunderstorm: there’s an intense beauty about it, but ultimately in the end it’s just not a good idea. And that’s okay. It’s a well-known fact that if you play with fire, you just might get burned.
I’m not entirely sure what the actual verbatim textbook definition of the word “chaos” is, but I know for me it can only be described as a constant state of mental confusion and disorganization that leaves me in a place of total loss.
In our modern day and age it can be easy to get wrapped up in oneself under even the most “typical” or “normal” circumstances. But when graced with a mental illness, any mental illness, those of us afflicted can sometimes really get lost in our own slanted egos.
“You know how most illnesses have symptoms you can recognize? Well, with manic depression, it’s sexual promiscuity, excessive spending, and substance abuse—and that just sounds like a fantastic weekend in Vegas to me!” – Carrie Fisher It seems the older I get the less I […]
Antisemitism is nothing new in a world still all too familiar with the haunting images of the concentration camps of WWII and the emaciated survivors of the Holocaust. However, after the atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis on the Jewish people, it should be harder to believe we haven’t come a little bit farther as human beings.
Not all days are bad days, and sometimes I have nothing in particular I need or want to say. So, I started a little “Spotlight” segment in which I talk about someone of cultural prominence who suffers from bipolar disorder. The idea is to use a “poof”-style piece to shine a light on said chosen person. It’s a personal exercise and challenge, and also helps make this illness just a tad more relatable. This is my second “Spotlight” piece, the first of which was on Vincent Van Gogh.
The debate over prayer in school has been one of high contention for decades now, and with the dispute still making headlines it only makes me wonder if any real progress or headway has been made. Or will ever be made.
From the ages of 15 – 25 I was in a total tailspin without being aware that anything was wrong (there’s a lot in that 10-year period that could act as a general testament to human stupidity, so we’ll save that for another day). However, it was right before my 25th birthday that it was more than clear that I needed help.
“For me, the first sign of oncoming madness is that I’m unable to write.” – Marya Hornbacher, Madness: A Bipolar Life It’s funny how certain traits and talents go when in the throes of either a manic or depressive period. And it’s funny how others […]
“Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow I’ve touched on the statistics surrounding this issue in a past post, but now I feel the […]
Most people know that bipolar disorder is a mental health condition characterized by extreme mood swings. That’s about as much as they know, though; the rest is just assumed. But anyone with bipolar disorder knows the feeling of the crash and comedown that comes after a bout of mania or hypomania.
Nietzsche said faith is not wanting to know what the truth is. And as a dutiful nihilist, I would be remiss to even try and feign a belief in a Christian God.
“For too long we have swept the problems of mental illness under the carpet… and hoped that they would go away.” – Richard Codey Whoever said “hope springs eternal” never offered me any sound advice on the mantra. Despite being someone who operates from a […]
As I’ve mentioned before, there is no one, direct cause when it comes to bipolar disorder. However, it is known that approximately 80% of the cause has been traced back to genetics. And with the heritability rate of bipolar disorder being off the charts, it’s only natural for me to wonder who is responsible for passing this on down the line to me.
We all know thar the exact cause of bipolar disorder is still unknown, and it’s unclear at times which is more important: finding the root cause of the disorder or treating the symptoms. One would probably argue the first option, but some of this disease’s symptoms and the extremes one can experience can, at times, outweigh the need to know why.
For me, coping skills are, for lack of a better phrase, a bunch of bullshit. I have no concept of any sort of coping skills, especially in the moments I need skills to cope.
“The experience I have had is that once you start talking about experiencing a mental health struggle, you realize that actually you’re part of a quite a big club.” – Prince Harry The guitar Kurt Cobain played/used in the video for “Smells Like Teen Spirit” […]