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.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

On Being Cool

I wasn't born cool, I didn't grow into being cool or I I didn't learn how to be cool. Actually, by my very nature I have never been, am currently not, nor have I ever been classified as "cool". Oh, I've wanted to be, but I've never had a cool gene in my body.

I was your basic nerd. I could play most sports, but never excelled at any. However, I was good at academics, so my life centered around this math, physics and other science-related topics. But I wanted to be cool so bad.

What I started to do, only realizing it recently, was to become what the "cool kids" were doing, so I could be like them. If they liked football, then I liked football. If they liked reading classic novels, then I did also. If they did drugs, so did I. If they abhorred drugs, I hated them right along with them.

In high school I had a real Jekyll and Hyde complex. During the day I was Studious boy, but after school I was Mr. Party. However, this actually led to alienating people from both sides. My school friends had a hard time understanding why I would party at night, and my party friends would have nothing to do with me outside the party scene.

And this was just the beginning. In college I continued the chameleon-like lifestyle, going through many, many different styles, personalities, hobbies, likes and dislikes. During my first, I tried to fit into the yacht club scene so desperately that it became sad. My in laws had martini hour, so I learned to drink martinis ... a lot of martinis ... and then doubles.

It was during my second marriage that I started to understand what I was doing. In therapy I discovered that I had never really developed a "me" ... I was just whoever I needed to be at the moment. All of my attempts at being cool over the years; drugs and alcohol, rock climbing, triathlons and running races from 5K to Ultra marathon, were just that ... attempts.

I was who I was, which was a revelation, but who was that. After years of changing to fit the occasion, the "real" me never evolved. Who I was was basically nothing. "I" didn't exist. In an attempt to be cool and fit in, my psychological development was stunted.

It came to me only yesterday that I am not a cool person; I'm what we used to refer to as a nerd. This is who I am, and this is who I have always been. If I had just been myself over my lifetime, today would more than likely be a little different.

So here I am, mentally ill and no foundation for my life that is consistent and my own. It is like portraying many different characters so often that "you" becomes lost in all of them.

It's now too late to be 'me", because "me" just doesn't exist.
Right now I feel a little lost.

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