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.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The following post may not be for all audiences. It may contain rough and objectional language; since I haven't written it yet, I'm not sure. But in all likelyhood this will be the case. So, lock the doors and bar the windows, put the kids to sleep, pour yourself a nice glass of single-malt scotch, and enjoy. For after over 6 years of posting on this blog, I feel it's time to "let my hair down" (pretty hard for a bald guy) and tell it like it is.

Are You Sure?

It's Not too Late!

Now You're Committed!!!!
(Or Should Be)

When I was first diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder I, I actually thought it was pretty cool. I pictured myself among the ranks of people like Hemingway, Van Gogh and Sylvia Plathe. I finally had an explanation for my periodic odd behavior, or maybe even an excuse. I had always been a little quirky, and now I find out I wasn't quirky at all, just placed in a category in which I didn't belong.

Now, after being diagnoses over 18 years ago, I can honestly say that I wouldn't live with it. I like being labeled mentally ill because I AM! It is who I am, and it defines me. Sure, it places some limitations on me, and it's difficult to assertain when or where or how those limitations will be. They won't always happen at the same time, in the same place and in the same way. But this threat is real, and always hanging over my head, not unlike the sword of Damocles http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damocles

In the movie City Slickers Curly, the ranch boss and greenhorn Mitch Robbins(played by Billy Crystal) are riding out to round up some stray cattle. Curly says to Mitch that "the rest of the stuff in life don't mean nothin'" if you know the one thing that is the meaning of life. When asked what that is, Curly simply says that it varies from person to person. Truth or cop out?

Truth. Of course it varies depending on whose life we're talkiing about. It bothers me today that people are always trying to fit into each others molds; to take on their lives. A classic example is the exercise commercials on today. "You too can have a six-pack ab ... for only a 3 minute a day comittment, and $99.95". Sure, there are a few out there who might find this a life-changing experience. But the vast majority of people will be like me (and quite possibly you). I traded in my six-pack abs years ago for what I think is a much better investment; a keg! This is me, and it ain't going to change. So be it. Oh well.

I have gone through at least the past 22 years knowing that I am supposed to do something. You might know the feeling; that thing you were meant to do that, once finished, will have this almost orgasmic quality. As I get older, I tend to think that God had me live the life that I have lived in order to share it with someone who could benefit from my "walk". That is the direction in which I have been heading for the past few years, and the direction that I'll continue to go, until something happens.

"Alice Into the Looking Glass"(with apologies to Dickens)

"As Alice walked toward the looking glass, she could see inside, and it fascinated her. It looked different and interesting and fun, so she approached, getting closer and closer. Soon enough her nose was pressed against the glass and, shocking to her, it went into the glass like it was a thick gelatin.

Interesting. She could pull out at any time, and be back into the world that she knew. So she ventured in, and out, and in, and out, little by little by little, until this gelatin-like substance closed behind her back, and she was completely in.

And what a fascinating world it was, indeed, full of oddities and questionables and deviations she had never see before, nor dreamed about in her wildest of dreams. There were numbers where letters should have been, bicycles riding children. There were lamps on the outside of houses, along with the furniture that went with them. People walked around, some with fins for arms, some with fruit for ears and some with heads on backwards and backs facing forward.

It wasn't scary in the least, but interesting. It felt as if life was a tad off, maybe by a half a second, with real time, and things just didn't match, or couldn't be comprehended. Alice had a bit of a queasy feeling, like how you feel right after you get off of a ferris wheel. She slowly felt like she ws becoming a part of this society; like she might indeed fit in. Actually this is where she belonged, and she planned on visiting again, time permitting.

She turned to leave, putting her back toward this new society, with all intentions of returning at a later date. She walked back toward this gelatin-like substance, right up to where her nose was touching it. As she progressed, something very odd happened. Her nose kind of squished up at the end, like it was up against a hard surface. So she pushed harder, and pretty soon her nose hurt, unable to squish up any more. She couldn't understand. What was going on. She had walked in so easily, and it was so inviting. This was where she belonged, and where she felt most comfortable. But she wanted to go home.

Alice was home. Soon she discovered that even though her entrance into this world of madness was slow and gradual, once in, once comitted, it was where whe would remain. She could still see the world from which she came. but over time that vision too would fade, and the topsy-turvy work on the other side of the looking glass would become the only world she would know; a world she would soon call home.

Remember, when madness becomes reality, then reality is no longer madness - it is simply reality.


No comments:

Post a Comment