Riding the Wave ... And the Trough

I am mentally ill, diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder I, OCD, ADHD, PTSD and a vitamin B12 deficiency (a key element in brain development). For over 12 years, I took anywhere from 5-8 psychotropic meds each day, and have been recently giving myself a monthly injection of B12.

In January 2012 I was hospitalized for depression, and management of my currrent med cocktail. Immediately all but two of my meds were discontinued and, after a few weeks of adjustment, and some near hospitalizations, things seem to be going much better.

I have been on permanent disability since January 2010, and am adjusting to life on a very limited income.

My prayer is that in walking with me during the ups and downs of Bipolar Disorder, you might find solace, and benefit through my experiences.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Happiness is Definitely a State of Mind

I spent the past Friday evening and all day Saturday in Indianapolis, attending the annual BIAI (Brain Injury Association of Indiana) conference. The accommodations and conference were both in the Clarion on the Waterfront just outside of Speedway. (For those who don't make the connection ... Indianapolis ... Speedway ... yes, it's the home of the Indianapolis 500) My wife and I had planned to go down together, but she was unable to attend, so I picked up a friend, Dr. Bill Jarvis, and he and I made the trip.

Friday night was a pizza party and gathering ... a time to get acquainted. The group is mostly made up of survivors and caregivers. the survivors are those who had an accident that resulted in traumatic brain trauma. Stories of car accidents, falls, hit-and-runs, train collisions, just to name a few. During the entire weekend I never saw anyone that was sad, mopey, whiny or complained at all. Each survivor in attendance had every reason to hate the world, but they didn't.

One thing they all have in common, that might explain this contentedness, is they all reached that pivotal point between life and death. During comas they surrendered their lives to God, with him making the decision on what would happen; life or death. After weeks, or even months in a coma, they regained consciousness and reentered the world under different conditions, often conditions that redefined nearly every aspect of their life.

Most certainly the cream of God's crop are caregivers. These special people spend their lives making other people's lives livable. Without people like this, those who can't who can't take care of themselves would not be taken care of. At the best they would spend their lives in an institution, unable to experience the life they deserve.

The one thing everyone needs to realize, I mean really think through and understand, is that anyone can become a TBI survivor at any time during their life. A car accident, a simple fall, a gunshot, anything that causes you to strike your head against an object and you become one of their rank. The only difference between you and them now is a single instant ... turn one way you're ok, turn the other, your life takes a tragic turn.

Don't treat a person in a wheel chair, or a person with an odd gait, or one that can't speak clearly as an oddity; someone to be stared and pointed at, but not approached. They once were where you are right now. The only changes in their lives were totally out of their control. Embrace the difference of people of all types. After all, our differences are what make us unique.

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