“Compared to bipolar’s magic, reality seems a raw deal. It’s not just the boredom that makes recovery so difficult, it’s the slow dawning pain that comes with sanity – the realization of illnesss, the humiliating scenes, the blown money and friendships and confidence. Depression seems almost inevitable. The pendulum swings back from transcendence in shards, a bloody, dangerous mess. Crazy high is better than crazy low. So we gamble, dump the pills, and stick it to the control freaks and doctors. They don’t understand, we say. They just don’t get it. They’ll never be artists.”
― David LovelaceScattershot: My Bipolar Family

“They’ll never be artists…”  I love this.  Unless you have bipolar disorder and have experienced the joy of being manic then you just do not know.  Being manic is like a gift.  It’s our brain’s way of saying, “hey, you’re good enough and now you’re going to show the world.”  That’s how I’ve experienced it anyway.  I have experienced mania as sometimes too fast and too noisy, but hypomania has been my saving grace.  It comes and reaches me out of the clutches of depression and thrusts me into life with all of its beauty, its experiences, its joys, and its gifts.  That’s how I am now.  I’m very up and just feeling amazing.  I have discontinued my lithium.  The reason why I decided to do this is quite simple.  It killed me.  Not literally but figuratively.  It killed a part of me that I wanted back.  It didn’t ease my depression or help the lows but it sure as hell did kill the ups.  It never allowed me to go beyond “okay” and I felt like a walking zombie.  Can anyone relate to this?  My emotions were numb, or worse—dark, and my mind was dulled.  I didn’t like it at all.  I felt like to be “normal” was to give up everything I had.  I felt like to be normal was to give up the very essence of who I am on this earth and who I have been made to be.  So I decided to say the hell with that little pill and have continued to take the rest as normal.

I didn’t ask my doctor too.  That’s how I roll haha.  I’m such a rebel.  I decided that she would not agree so I was going to experiment and try it for myself.  I also am humble enough that if the madness returns and I cannot function that I will tap out and take the lithium again.  I am also taking better care of myself.  I am hardly drinking, I am exercising, getting sun, eating healthy, and just doing the things I know I need to do to be successful in this mental health walk that we are on.  So, that sums up what’s been going on in my life lately.  I hope all of you are well and look forward to hearing from some of you.

Take care.

Dan

Rock Bottom

Posted: April 21, 2014 in Mental Health

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I suppose all of you deserve an update on my life because it has been quite a while since I’ve reached out to you.  Over the last month I have worked as a car salesman and now… well now, I’m unemployed again.  Why?  Well that part is simple.   Last Tuesday night I got charged with an aggravated DUI and have found myself at the bottom of the barrel.  I just accepted a job today, cooking, in a restaurant for little money.  However, it’s a great blessing to have a job.  A great great blessing.  I don’t know what’s next for me other than I’m taking everything one day at a time.  I have started seeing a counselor (who is ironically an old friend of mine) but he is a wonderful counselor who really helps me out in every way possible.  I’ve never really had such a connection in a therapy setting and it’s been a real blessing to me.  I mean a real blessing.  I find myself being renewed every time I go and see him and the way he challenges me but encourages me at the same time is great.

I have so much to tell all of you that has happened as of late but right now I’m tired and just want to lay down.  I will write in the morning and really catch you up on the last week.  I can honestly say alcohol has cost me everything and its promises of easing my pain has done just the opposite… caused more.

 

Dan

An Update

Posted: March 21, 2014 in Mental Health

Hi kids, it’s me.  You may remember me from such blogs as this one.  I have not written in a while because, frankly, I’ve had nothing to say.  I’ve had nothing really going in my life that is exciting or worth writing about.  Just living each day, one at a time, and hoping it will go by quickly so I can get to the next day.  What a miserable existence.  I’m grumpy tonight.  I’ve only had 4 beers.  4.  That’s it.  No more and no less.  I wanted to have four and was so proud of myself because I stayed at four, however, my mood has turned sour and I’m filled with self-loathing and self hatred.  Not good, right?  I know.  I need to understand that I’m a great guy…. however, my mind screams differently.  “You fucking suck… nobody will ever love you…. nobody!!”  It’s so loud that I just want it to shut up and be quiet for a little bit.  I know it’s not true, but when the thoughts are coated with this negative substance it oozes into every crevice of my being.  Does that make sense?  Are you following?  Probably not.

I have a job I’ll be starting soon.  Monday to be exact.  The good thing about said job is that I’ll hardly be doing anything that involves drinking or any type of recreational drug.  Why you might wonder?  Because, I’ll be working 12.5 hour days.  Those are long days but with my job it’ll be a chance to make good money.  I’m selling cars.  I may not seem like it by my negative nancy blog but I do promise you that I am quite the people person and can talk to anyone.  I do very well with people.  I think it’s because they like me and trust me.  That’s a good thing.  I like that people like me and I’m excited to start this job.  It’ll be good for me.  Especially to have some income coming in.  I’ve been unemployed since October so I had to take what came up first.  Ya know?

I’m tired.  Physically I’m just wore out right now.  I’m unsure why but  I think it’s time for bed.  I think that could explain my poor mood right now.  Being tired.  Maybe that’s why it wasn’t the best idea to have that 48oz of beer… because it increased my fatigue and when I am tired I am SUPER introspective which is NEVER good.  I turn inward and start judging myself like crazy.  I need to stop that.

Hi, I’m Dan and I’m awesome.

 

Night.

 

PS:  My 20something’s friend… I tried to write on your blog and it still won’t let me.  I give up.  It really pisses me off to no end every time I write something out and it says “cannot accept user comments.”  So I’m done trying.  Sorry hun.

 

Conversation with my Ex

Posted: March 5, 2014 in Mental Health

I’m having one of those moments that I need an ear but there is nobody to listen.  Nobody.  Nada.  I think I’ve pushed a majority of them away with my borderline like characteristics.. or they’re just busy… not sure.  But the point is that I have nobody to listen and just want to talk.

I talked to my ex today.  Her name is Amy.  It was good to talk to her but even typing out her name makes me tear up because I realize what I did to lose her.  I did the same thing I’m doing now.  I wasn’t taking care of myself and just didn’t care about life or anyone.  Today, I can honestly say I care about life but I really don’t see much that has changed in me other than the big switch to Lithium.  She reminded me today that we are not a good fit.  What does that even mean?  What she meant it to mean and what I took it as I hope are two different things.  What I heard is… “Dan, you’re not good enough.”   

I know I’m not.  I’m not the dream man she deserves and the father that her child deserves.  I’m an almost 30 something that is doing nothing with his life.  Nothing.  I’m not making progress, I’m not helping people, hell, I’m lucky to get a shower every day.  I’m watching a dog and that is it.

I’ve been playing this day up for months in my head.  “What should I say when I get to talk to her?   Can I get her to take me back?”  I would think to myself, “it’ll work out like the movies!  I’ll pursue her and tell her how wrong I was and how much I love her…” but then the day came… the conversation happened… none of that was said but I was still told “Dan, we’re not a good fit for each other.”

I think my life is a bunch of expectations that never happen.  I can think of so many things I thought would happen and they didn’t come to fruition at all.  They always ended up working out in a way that would result in me being hurt.  Maybe it’s because I always hope for the best….

Reality is a bitch. 

Dan

Relaxing Sunday Thoughts

Posted: February 23, 2014 in Mental Health

I went for a couple mile walk today with Ladybug.  She seemed to enjoy herself.  We just walked around the side of the town that I live on through the different neighborhoods and I observed the houses as she happily sniffed the ground and barked at the one stranger we met.  I had to tell her to stop being so rude.  She gets defensive when she meets stranger and starts growling.  So rude.  And she’s such a nice little dog too.  If they were to come up and offer their hand, she wouldn’t bite it quite the opposite, she would probably lick them too death.  I wish she wouldn’t be so defensive but as with people, I don’t know her past and what’s made her the way she is so I can only lovingly accept her and that little character trait and move on.

It was nice to walk.  The weather was perfect.  No sweat, just me and the pup.  Not really warm because I had long sleeves on but just a nice day to peruse the streets and show lil girl that she was worth the exercise.  I haven’t been to the gym yet but that is a soon to be happening goal.  Get back to the gym.  I also plan on taking Ladybug for a walk every morning.  Getting her around the neighborhood in the cool of the day and enjoying our time together.  I think it’s nothing that has to be too crazy but is something we can enjoy together. I’ve been really thankful for her the last few days.  My friends told me to hold on to her and give her some more time and I have and she is doing very well.  She’s really growing on me.  Such a sweet little animal.  I definitely feel loved.

The sun was out today.  Instant smile on my face.  Before long Spring will be here.  I have alot of work to do.  I still need to make this my best year yet.  I’m on my way.  I’m glad I’m out of that depressive funk.  It only lasted for a few days which is way better than it used to be.  I guess I just need to get to what DBT calls “radical acceptance” and just accept that bad days are part of me but they do not define me.  I’m going to have them.  And that’s okay!  And it’s call to embrace the dark and let it run its course.  All of that is okay.  I just need to prepare for the days when the darkness does come so little damage will occur.  It’s a learning process.  Anyways, time for an afternoon cup of coffee.  Hope all is well in your neck of the woods.

D6

I’m so Bipolar

Posted: February 21, 2014 in bipolar disorder
Tags: , ,

I can’t help but laugh at myself today.  I went for a couple block walk with the dog just to get out of the house and feel like a million bucks.  Guess who’s decided they’re going back to the gym tomorrow?  I don’t think you really have to guess… I kind of inferred it.  I’m also going to hire a trainer.  Shit’s about to get serious.  Sometimes I laugh at how much my mood can swing… especially after I wrote a boo hoo whoa is me blog.  I still don’t regret it because I need that place I can do that.  So yeah… 4 hour nap, trip to the store, 2 block walk with Ladybug… now I’ve cleaned my room and started the laundry.  BOOM!  Take that depression.  You bitch!  Happy Friday all!   And to my friends all around the world… happy day!  (I’m not too good with time zones!)

D6


I know a depressive episode when I have one.  I’m in one right now.   I don’t even want to engage or talk to anyone and the last thing I want to do is have my pup following me around because she wants all of this love and I don’t have it to offer.   Good thing she’s been napping most of the day because I’d feel like a total dick being mean and distant with her but, let’s face it, when I’m like this I’m just a bear and a pain in the ass to be around.

I’m sure the alcohol and the marijuana consumption of the last week have not helped my mood.  I think it’s probably thrown me off a bit.  Though yesterday I only had 3 beers which I thought was quite a cut back from the half of bottle of liquor that I was consuming on a nightly basis.  I’m not sure why I smoked weed again.  It started with a resin hit and then a few days later was me taking a full blown draw.  I don’t like it really.  I do like the high and the escapism but the weird side effects I have from a full blown hit are not normal.  I have psychomotor agitation (uncontrollable movements) and it’s really uncomfortable.  With the resin hit I’m fine because it’s not as powerful but I’ve got to stop because at this point it will take 12 more days to get out of my system to pass a drug screen, so yeah, I need a job.

I was going to meet with my professor today about the research that I’m supposed to do.  Remember that?  Oh yeah, that’s why I’m technically enrolled in school.  Let’s face it.  I’m going to fail again.  I told him I’d meet with him on Tuesday instead.  Hopefully that will work.  I do need to get this started because it could be just the thing to jump start my mood and get me passionate about something again.  Right now I’m dead on the inside and have very little excitement about anything.  Well, except dreams.  I do like my time sleeping because I’m able to dream and I have interesting dreams so that’s not too bad.

I was doing so well and I’m not sure what’s led to my apparent downfall and spiral back into darkness.  Maybe it’s just the reality of the illness or maybe it’s based on choices I’ve made.  I made sure to take my medication today because I’ve missed a day or two here and there and I know that is never good.  I can’t even do the one thing I enjoy which is to drink a nice warm cup of coffee because for some reason the taste and everything turns my stomach now.  I just can’t drink it.  I won’t be drinking any alcohol today either because, let’s be honest, a person who is depressed probably shouldn’t be taking in a depressant.  I know that.

My mind doesn’t feel clear anymore.  It feels foggy.  I crave sweets (probably from not having the carbs in beer).  I have zero sex drive.   Like none.  Which is a total 180 for me.   I really miss my ex, Amy, and just wish I could talk to her.  The thought of even engaging any new girl just seems exhausting and not like a chance I want to talk.  My anger has been out of control lately.  I literally went into a rage yesterday over something and that scared me because I have never been that angry where I felt like I was not in control.  It scared me.  I used to have anger issues and they seemed to go away for years but now they seem to be resurfacing.  I did take an extra clonodine yesterday which could be why I feel so blah today.

I feel like I’m a huge let down to everyone on here.  I’m kind of glad I haven’t revealed any of this struggle to the Facebook world or any of my friends because, if I would, I would just be a letdown to them or bet with less than perfect understanding.  I would be more or less met with “snap out of it” or “man the fuck up”.  I guess some of this could be choice but I don’t see why I’m choosing to be miserable at the moment.  If anything I feel trapped.  Trapped with this dog who has separation anxiety issues.  I don’t like leaving her because it creates a ton of anxiety for me when I do because she goes nuts and goes to the bathroom everywhere and nearly destroys her crate.  Blah.  I’m a cat guy.  I don’t know how long I can pretend to be a dog guy.  I really wish I would enjoy having her more but I just don’t know if it’s for me.  But maybe this is the shitty me talking who is selfish and doesn’t care about anyone but himself.  Probably is.

I’m done writing.  I don’t have anything else to say.  I’m going to sleep.  Maybe I’ll get lucky and not wake up.

Dan

Just sayin..

Posted: February 20, 2014 in Mental Health

My head hurts. 
I just shed a single tear.
Im so alone in a world full of people.
Why do I have a dog?  Im a cat guy.
I just dont know if this will last.
I miss my ex tonight…alot.
I hope I dont wake up tomorrow.
Yes, I am sober.

Nobody Cares

Posted: February 18, 2014 in bipolar disorder
Tags: , ,

That’s what the voice in my head keeps telling me.  Nobody cares.  I know it’s not true.  I know that people care but how can they care when I hide behind a ray of sunshine and a smile on my face.  I feel as far away from those things right now as one possibly can.  I’m sitting in my dark room with my thoughts.  I’ve not showered in a few days and just feel like shit.  The common sense thing would be to take a shower but right now each key stroke is so damn exhausting that I don’t think I can.  I didn’t feel this way when I was going without alcohol… I blame the damn drink on this feeling, this and being unemployed.  I really want to work.  I wish I had a reason to get up today… but I don’t.  Well, to let the dog out but that’s about it.  I guess she is my reason to wake up.  What a sad and pathetic reason!

Suicide crossed my mind for the first time in a while today.  All I could think was taking my bottle of Trazedone and just falling into a deep sleep.  I don’t think I even have enough of that to make my sleep one that I would never recover from… so it stayed in my brain as just a thought that is passing by.  Doesn’t mean I have to act on it, besides, I’ve been having some weird thoughts for a few days.  They started as homicidal.  Wanting to know what it would be like to take another’s life… and I shared with someone those thoughts because I’ve never had them before and she said I could be entering a depressive episode.  I think she was right.  I remember in the hospital they always asked us if we were homicidal or suicidal.  I always wondered why they said homicidal.  It makes sense to me now though.  Sometimes symptoms can be a little crazy.  Well mine were.

I know my mood is changing because my thoughts about myself are changing.  I’ve not been to the gym in so long that I get winded easily.  I hate that.  It just makes me feel fat and worthless.  I can’t stand that feeling.  It makes me so mad I could just scream.  But I don’t have the energy or desire to do anything about it so I won’t.  I will crawl back into bed and stay in the darkness for a while.  I may try to venture out to the store because the pup needs food and no reason for her to go without because I don’t have the strength to care for myself.  No reason at all.  She’s a good little dog.  I’m sure you all would love her.

 


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The above picture has been my drink of choice this past week.  Instead of a lime and full flavored soda, I’ve went with Sailor Jerry and diet pepsi, every now and then mixing it up with diet cherry pepsi.  Not a bad drink.  A damning one if you will because you drink it without even tasting much of the rum.  Also, without all of the added calories it’s not quite as damning on the waist line, but it still is a mixed drink.  It still is something that kills sobriety.   It still is an escape from a mind numbing existence.

I stopped going to AA about 3 weeks ago.   I’d say the biggest reason that I stopped was because my sponsor was so pushy.  He would call me every day.  I didn’t like that.  I don’t want called every day, especially by someone I don’t know that well.  It just wasn’t a good fit.  I rushed into it and found a guy because he was kind, but it just wasn’t a good fit.  I don’t trust alot of alcoholics because they don’t have the training that I do as a therapist so I feel like their ability to help me in the 12 steps and to handle my emotions is somewhat less than what I can do.  What a narcissistic asshole I am, eh?!   It’s true though.  I do have a friend who’s a long time pal of mine.  He’s a recovering addict and took me to my first AA meeting.  I’ve talked with him about doing step work with him because he’s someone I trust and a good friend.  I know he could handle my stuff.  I just know I was on Step 4 “”Make a searching and fearless written moral inventory of yourself.”   I guess that word “fearless” is what I get hung up on.  I mean, I know that God can handle my honest inventory but can I handle my honest inventory?  Sounds a bit strange but is how I feel.  I think I’ve come to a point that I’m so tired of looking at what is wrong with me that for once, for the love of God, just once I want to look at what is right!

Right now not alot feels real right.  My mind, well, she is good.  Stubborn at times, definitely a ball of emotion, but walking a positive path in terms of good thinking.   The rest of me though, oy!  I haven’t been to the gym in over a month, stopped going to AA, haven’t been to church since after Christmas, haven’t worked since October, feeling less and less connected with people, am back on Facebook (which I’m still unsure why), have eaten terrible, started drinking again, did some recreational pills lately, and almost gave into weed.

Today I can’t see the tree from the woods.  Everywhere I look I see dead forest.  I’m unable to see that one little tree in the middle that has growth and vegetation on it, representing life and new beginnings.  Today I see death and despair.  Don’t misunderstand me, I am not depressed.   Quite the contrary, I feel that I could be around anyone and look happy as a clam and they would know no better.  For the first time in my life, I’m hiding the real me and I don’t know if I like it or not, but at least keeps others from using the information I provide against me and to hurt me.

I’m hungry.  HALT (hungry, angry, lonely, tired).  I’ve always learned to look at those things before you use.  My mind’s not in the best place in this moment because I’m hungry.  I will eat soon and probably even feel better.  Happy Saturday all!

D6

 

PS:  Title of post from a Dave Matthews Band song.