Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Life full of mania with a dash of humor and a slice of normality (those are the secret ingredients) Vol 1 Issue 21

I never thought these words would come out of my mouth but I’m actually excited for school (don’t get me wrong, I used to get pumped to go to the View and check out who was in my class from the posted class assignments on the front doors but that’s a bit different). I’ve recently started classes here in the Nasty for my graduate degree and for the first time in awhile I’m happy. Stubby and I headed out to lunch yesterday and we were talking about how as long as you are doing something you enjoy or love that it doesn’t seem like work. I’ve talked about how bizarrely unpredictable this world is and to say I would have ever thought growing up in South Chuck that I’d of been able to live around the world and across the US I would have never believed it. Sure this BMD has totally changed my life (some for the bad but the most for the good) and I’ve essentially started completely over from scratch but I’ve learned some valuable lessons and a lot about myself along the way. Today I feel more like myself than I have in a long time and there’s nothing fun about totally losing who you are (there’s not a lost and found for that one, just imagine how much that thing would be raided).

Since my episode I’ve looked at my journey back to finding myself as having some bumps in the road and then at times being smoother than a criminal (my favorite MJ song, still a fan despite his legality issues, I think). There are too many things that I know I enjoy or like to list but I can tell you of three that I absolutely without a shadow of a doubt do not like or have a desire to try; motorcycles (I’m a wuss I guess), shooting something dead (double wuss), and going through depression again (just the word depression sounds awful).

Now for the motorcycle and shooting something dead activities I’ll go ahead and group them together under W for wuss and therefore it allows me to write about them at the same time. My brother, Step-Dad, Mom, as well as Aunts are big motorcycle enthusiasts so it should run in my blood, but it doesn’t. I have never been on a motorcycle and despite the attempts of the fam to have me take a ride on one (something weird about two guys on a bike that doesn’t sit right with me, I’m not sure of the proper hand placement in this situation and not too thrilled to try and find out) I never will, I know that I have zero, nil, nix, nada, naught need to be on a bike (I bet you liked that alliteration). Poncho would be the killing things enthusiast in the family (or hunter if you want to be a dick about it). Don’t get me wrong I have no problems with hunters (other than hunting was an excused absence from school growing up, what a country!) but it’s another one of those experiences I could do without and feel I lived a pretty full life (you have to get up early, it’s cold, wet, dark and I don’t want to do it). Despite my obvious disdain for these recreational activities I do understand the appeal of others to partake in them, this next one I don’t know anyone who likes.

For the longest time I looked at depression as just someone being down on their luck and maybe need to just look on the brighter side of life. I couldn’t have been more off on that assumption. Since I can remember I’ve always been a pretty light hearted fellow that really never got down or felt anything but happy, even in tough times I’d try to look for the positive in it (TPO; Team Positively Optimistic member here; that was actually the name I gave to my team at the Tizzle when I mentored apprentices, they loved it or at least acted like it at the time). I don’t know if it was my mind/body trying to put itself back into balance after my episode or what but I went through depression and it was the worst time of my life. The feelings of worthlessness, of being pathetic, of hopelessness, and just pure disgust in myself was almost more than I could handle. I may get a little annoyed with my mania from time to time but I would take it over depression ten fold, I know I couldn’t live with it (and unfortunately almost didn’t). I’ve read that with BMD cases a majority of females are on the depressed end of the spectrum opposite of me and my heart goes out to them, they are stronger than I could ever be. I’ve learned from all of this that judgment (while it may be an implicit function of being human) is something I work on overcoming everyday, it’s beyond unfair to cast opinions about someone or something that I cannot, and more than likely am fortunate enough, not to have to experience (whether that be a single occurrence or a regularity in daily life). I would ride a motorcycle with three men at the same time while picking off squirrels with a 22 before I’d make the choice to go through depression again.

Since many of my manic experiences involve music I’ve decided to add random music videos to the blog for my enjoyment and your inconvenience. Enjoy!

Coming Correct,

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Life full of mania with a dash of humor and a slice of normality (those are the secret ingredients) Vol 1 Issue 20

Yeah, uhhhh, so, about Tuesday, my bad. Why does it feel like I need to be apologizing for being a complete spaz or something for my behavior on my last entry? For some reason last night when I was thinking about what I wanted to write about and going through my notes (yeah I’m that guy) I felt like I needed to apologize for my behavior on Tuesday. The weird thing (aside from the fact that I take notes now, but of course that’s better than the voice recorder I was keeping during my episode) is that I know I shouldn’t be apologizing for something that’s out of my control. The docs all told me that there are going to be good and bad days with this BMD and that’s just part of it.

As I’ve mentioned before I have decided to try and handle/deal/cope/live with BMD without any prescriptions or meds. The reasoning I used to stop taking my meds was that I wasn’t myself on them and they made me feel worse than I thought was humanly possible. It’s kind of humorous (well probably not to most but at least to me) on how the docs tried to treat and rationalize the reasoning they were pumping me full of meds to “bring me down”. My all-time favorite right now is when they would say something like “Well, if you had diabetes would you not take insulin?” and my rebuttal (now, I’m not man enough to say it to their face, or I really wasn’t sure where I was at when they told me this) is that sure I would, but that’s because you know what my body needs. When it comes to medicating BMD it felt like they were throwing darts in the dark after playing dizzy bat (hit or miss if you’re not picking up what I’m putting down). Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure they hit the bullseye at times and really help people but I’m not the kind to wait around and play a human dart board (trust me it’s not as fun as it sounds).

Don’t misunderstand me here, while I was on my pills I wouldn’t have mania experiences as often (really not at all now that I think about it) but that’s because my mind felt like it was shut down. The closest comparison I can think of is let’s say you severely twist an ankle and go to the doc and tell them “I’m not sure what happened, I was walking down the street like I do everyday and my lower leg started to hurt.” They would more than likely run some test, take an X-Ray and what not but would find no break, fracture, or complications other than you saying it hurts. The doc would explain it to you like this “We don’t see anything wrong with you but we know it’s not right so we’re going to put a knee-brace on you and come back in a few days and check on it.” Of course the ankle isn’t healed when you return and the doc goes “We obviously know something’s wrong so let’s also treat your back at the same time, wear this back brace it should help.” Once again you leave and come back a couple days later but the ankle is still not right so the doc tries a few other treatments but nothing seems to work. You then wake up after surgery and the doc comes in and says “We think we found the solution, let us know if you have any pain any more.” Of course you don’t have pain because they cut off your ankle. Sure the “problem” is fixed but they just totally eliminated the area of your body with the issues.

For me that’s how it felt on meds, sure my “problem” was taken care of because they took my mind away. The craziest part (pun intended) about this whole thing is that even when I was on pills it was explained to me that they are precautionary not preventive. So basically they were telling me I get to feel like poo on these pills a majority of the time just in case I have a day like Tuesday when it would be bad but not as bad if I wasn’t on pills (thanks, I’ll pass). I guess I’ve come to the realization that I’m going to have bad days when things are rough and at times I question my decision to stay off the meds. But those days are few and far between and the days filling the time between them are much better clean than on meds (walking around with no foot is one thing, with no mind is a totally different story, hailing a cab is nearly impossible without a head). So while I felt like I needed to apologize for what happened I’m glad it did, it reminds me I’m me and still alive (the alternative is much worse).

Since many of my manic experiences involve music I’ve decided to add random music videos to the blog for my enjoyment and your inconvenience. Enjoy!

Coming Correct,

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Life full of mania with a dash of humor and a slice of normality (those are the secret ingredients) Vol 1 Issue 19 Continued...

I’m sitting in my bathroom with the lights off talking to myself and the dialogue goes something like this…

You know I’m not even sure I can willingly put on paper what’s been happening to me today but I’ll give it my best shot…

My thoughts have been all over the place today, it’s nearly impossible to concentrate for longer than a few minutes on one topic without my mind skipping over to the next…

This morning I drove around The Nasty for about an hour with no place to go or really any reason to be driving other than I needed to get out of my apartment…

I spent the majority of my afternoon sleeping, at times my mind is in overdrive and it wears me out to try and control it…

I’ve cried around four times today and for some reason the tears are coming back now, but I’m not sad…

I’m scared, I’m really scared…

But at the same time I’m totally relaxed right now, I have faith that this will pass and I know I’ll be ok…

It’s the times like now that are the toughest to try and explain, because they make no sense…

I’m not sure I can say much more about it but hopefully I’ll try to explain it at some point…

At least I’ll always have hope and I’ll never quit…

Life full of mania with a dash of humor and a slice of normality (those are the secret ingredients) Vol 1 Issue 19

Growing up in South Chuck really gave me a unique appreciation for driving. I think the reason for this is that in order to get anywhere or to do anything you had to drive the equivalent of a marathon (twice). To just get two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun involved somewhat of a plan to get there (no wonder I thought Red Lobster was such a nice place, it took almost two days to get there and back). The funny thing about that is that I ended up really enjoying driving around. My high school girlfriend lived around an hour (one-way) from me and then during college she was an hour and half. It wasn’t out of the ordinary for me to jump in my car and drive 3 or so hours to her track meet and then make the same haul back afterwards. Ever since I can recall I’ve always volunteered to drive because I enjoyed it, that all changed during my episode.

Since I was 16 I always had a five speed (T.A.N.) until the beginning of 2008 when I purchased a new vehicle. I was moving to San Jose where I looked at the situation as I was moving up in the company and starting to work along side, for, and with the big boys (and girls, no need to be sexist) and therefore needed a big boy car.

I’m not sure what it is today but I’m having a real tough time writing, it’s like I have this unknown pressure, energy, funk or something kind of blocked up inside me (wow, that’s not weird to say out loud or anything). My legs feel like they use to right before I would run the 400 Meter Hurdles at Witt, they’re tight but at the same time my muscles are semi-relaxed. From my neck down to my back it feels like I need to stretch or run or unwind myself in some way or fashion. Usually when I feel this way it’s because I haven’t flushed out the backed up crud in me from my mania (I bet you like that medical approach there). I need to do something to get this out of me or this day is going to interesting…

Today is a bad day...

Since many of my manic experiences involve music I’ve decided to add random music videos to the blog for my enjoyment and your inconvenience. Enjoy!

Coming Correct,

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Life full of mania with a dash of humor and a slice of normality (those are the secret ingredients) Vol 1 Issue 18

I’ve been sitting in debate for the past few minutes trying to decide which life changing topic I wanted to write about in this entry. The top 3 in discussion are: my dysfunctional attempts to date since my episode, my first show (concert) I’m heading to since my episode, or my childlike excitement for “Hard Knocks” season premiere tonight. Seeing how everyone in their right mind is excited for the “Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Cincinnati Bengals” (insert felon joke here) I’ve decided to concentrate on the other two promising topics; the first we’ll meddle in is my feeble attempts at dating.

Not that I was any kind of expert in dating prior to my belief that I was a member of the Knights Templar evading capture from the KGB but try and imagine explaining that to a girl you’re trying to date (it gets a bit difficult). When I was first released from the hospital you could say I was having a little trouble adapting back to my life (well if you call running home from the bar to lay in your closet trouble). So I was wide open to any advice on how to handle this transition and luckily my friends were there to provide some guidance. One of my good friends lead me to some helpful websites and she also mentioned to me that she had read that when dating I should wait around 6 months or so before telling the girl I was dating I was BMD (danke for that BTW). All in all it seemed like a really good idea, I mean why bring anymore hardships to the relationship (there’s more than enough without the BMD considering she’s dating me to begin with)?

Needless to say the first 8 months after my episode I was in no condition to date or even try to, unless I could find a girl in Browntown that enjoyed depression and the inability to take care of myself (not too many takers, I checked online). So once I pulled myself off my parent’s couch I moved down to The Nasty and started living a semi-normal life again I decided to try and possibly date as well. I met a girl a couple weeks ago and had a real good time with her. She was the first girl I’d considered trying to date in awhile (even though she wasn’t blonde, she had dyed it dark though) and I remembered the 6 month timeline advised for people with BMD when dating. There was a little problem I had, the only way I’ve figured out how to handle this is to be straightforward and honest about it. I mean this is a part of me now and plays a significant role in my life, I’m not sure I could hold something like that back 6 months. Knowing this I made the decision that I’d be forthcoming about everything right from the start, but this also means I better be pretty confident this girl can handle it because I’m fairly sure casual dating is out the door for me (there’s just too much crap to deal with me, for instance I’m a red-shirt kindergartener not to mention my mania). Long story short I don’t think it would be fair to put this girl through it if I wasn’t totally into it, (that’s right this eligible bachelor is still on the market) so to ease my pain I’m heading to Blink 182 with the elite from Browntown and tons of teenagers tomorrow (perfect).

Prior to moving to Denver the state actually makes you sign a contract stating that you will call all concerts “shows” and that you must attend at least one a month in order to be considered a true Coloradian (it’s a weird bylaw in their state constitution, kind of like it’s illegal in Atlanta to tie a giraffe to a telephone pole or lamppost). In any case I agreed to the terms in order to move and became pleasantly surprised on how much I enjoyed calling concerts “shows”. I have a confession to make, the Blink show is actually my second show since being back home, the first was O.A.R but it was right after my near manic episode in The Nasty in which I resigned from my job so I pretty much got sloshed for it (don’t remember the show therefore it doesn’t count). I really don’t have much to say about the show but it seemed like the prior topic was getting a little bit too serious and we can’t have that now can we?

Since many of my manic experiences involve music I’ve decided to add random music videos to the blog for my enjoyment and your inconvenience. Enjoy!

Coming Correct,

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Life full of mania with a dash of humor and a slice of normality (those are the secret ingredients) Vol 1 Issue 17

What do I need? Where am I going?
She’s shopping so I need to get on the road…
Let’s see, at least one change of clothes, better be safe and bring a few shirts.
I’ve gotta go before they realize what I’m doing…
Wait, don’t forget to slam the Emergen-C, it’s definitely in need…
It’s orange, I’ve got an orange shirt on, I’ve revealed too much…

I can feel them…

“If you are what you say you are
A superstar
Then have no fear
The camera's here
and the microphones and they wanna know”

They know what I’m doing…
But I don’t care, I have to continue on…
I’ll show them…

“Want to believe my own hype but it's too untrue
The world brought me to my knees “

Is this really happening…
Can I be the one they speak of…
I’ve been tested enough…

“Well your name ain't on the guest list
Who brung you? You “

They know it’s me…

“Standing outside of heaven waiting for God to come and get me
I'm too uncouth
Unschooled to the rules
And too gum shoe
Too much of a newcomer
And too uncool “

He’s the only one that can judge me…
Am I too unbalanced…
Have I disrupted the order…
Is this all too much for me…

“And you better wear your shades
The spotlights here can burn holes through the stage”

No this is meant for me…
I can feel it on my face…

“Nearly misses air liners “

Be careful, you don’t want to bring her down…

“Like the governor called
And they told him to wait
Un-strap him from the chair
And put him back in his cage”

Breathe…you’re in good grace…

“a Superstar”

I can’t do this alone…

“the crowd is here
and the lights are on and they want a show”

We’re young but we are united…
They are with me…

“Me and security ain't getting along
And when I got to the front they told me all of the tickets were gone
So just take me home where the mood is mellow
And the roses are grown
M&M's are yellow “

They don’t want me here…
But I’ve seen the way…

“One for you and one for your sister”

The answer…

“And everybody claps cuz everybody is pleased
Then they all take the stage and start performing for me
Like ha ha ha ha ha
Ha ha ha ha ha”


Since many of my manic experiences involve music I’ve decided to add random music videos to the blog for my enjoyment and your inconvenience. Enjoy!

Coming Correct,

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Life full of mania with a dash of humor and a slice of normality (those are the secret ingredients) Vol 1 Issue 16

As so often happens when I start telling stories I get caught up in them and end up rambling on and on so let us pick up where the story left off. Nothing real exciting happened with JD after the race and I totally blame that on the fact he doesn’t have a good enough nickname. It’s a little known fact but in the hillbilly culture nicknames are rites of passage if you must (thanks Billy Ray Cyrus and the History Channel for that factoid) and I knew the perfect man to take along with me on my next road trip, Stubby (aka my Dad).

Stubby picked me up and we headed south towards Dale Hollow Lake where Poncho, Chompers, Little County, A-Town, Steak, and Christmas awaited our arrival. I really wish I could say I made up at least one or some of those nicknames to better this story but that’s simply not a fact. Unfortunately I haven’t had the pleasure to hang out with these guys very often due to my job moving me around the country the last 3 or so years so my nickname doesn’t have the flair or wittiness associated with it; I’m pretty sure they called me Poncho’s Crazy Brother (never to my face though). We did everything any normal family does on a vacation together, played floating flip cup, got lost on the lake, drank Boone’s Farm (I’m sorry liquor I fell off the wagon, but it’s with Boone’s Farm, beer has more alcohol), rocked out to Kid Rock’s “Devil Without a Cause”, made fun of each other on the CB’s, you know just your typical family bonding. I was suppose to stay down south with my brother and head to another lake but after just one and a half days I threw in the towel and came back to civilization, there was one more stop I had to make on my road trip.

Growing up in South Chuck there was always one event that everyone prepared for, talked about, and set their vacation time around, you guessed it, the Fair (actually I’d be shocked if you did guess it, that would be an indication that you do have some hillbilly in you, good luck). I never was in 4H or FFA or brought anything to the Fair (although my peach cobbler definitely would have taken the blue ribbon) however the 4H dance was always off the hook (or chain). Unfortunately for me I missed the 4H dance this year so had to settle on buying a duck instead (well JD bought it but 6 of 1, half-dozen of the other). I was really pumped because JD had totally redeemed himself from his poor effort at the race to get us a couple of spots in the infield for the scramble that night. I hadn’t been to the scramble since my youngest brother partook in the event about 8 years ago (if I was smart enough I’d link the video here, big if). For those of you not familiar with the scramble here’s a rundown: football field size area, mudded down, 18-20 high school boys with helmets, 10 calves, one circle, one halter, one heck of a good time. The object is to catch a calf, halter it, drag it to the circle, then take it home for a year and come back and show it (all in all a pretty decent way to spend a Friday night).

Due to complications beyond our control (mainly a kid being hid in a cooler or something) we didn’t make it to the scramble. However after a reflection/recovery period I realized I had a really good road trip. Sure it was great to get back to my roots but the best part was my mania was basically under control for the entire week. I’m not sure if this is because my mind was always occupied on something else (whether that was Poncho screaming “Who’s got the keys to the 65 footer?” and blowing the air horn or checking out the midway chicks at the Fair) or that I’m starting to learn how to monitor my moods in a way. Whichever the case I know it’s a start in the right direction and that’s exactly what I was looking for.

Since many of my manic experiences involve music I’ve decided to add random music videos to the blog for my enjoyment and your inconvenience. Enjoy!

Coming Correct,

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Life full of mania with a dash of humor and a slice of normality (those are the secret ingredients) Vol 1 Issue 15

I once heard from a wise man (or read it in a fortune cookie) that in order to know where one is going one must understand where they have been. Currently in my day to day life I’m in a little bit of a transition period as I’ve decided to totally switch career paths and venture back to school. Having this opportunity to start over new again I decided to take a mini sabbatical over the past week to reconnect with my past and hopefully set the way for my new future (don’t get too impressed as I have yet to tell you what I did). I had a few options to choose from for my destinations including a trip down south to the beach or a venture out west to the mountains. While both of these destinations would have proved to be great getaways I knew I needed to dig a little deeper in my past in order to get the results I was looking for. A hillbilly road trip was my only true destiny.

As any experienced traveler knows it is more than a good idea to always have at least one other person along with you on your adventures in road trips (always safety in numbers). So to begin my weeklong travels I had one of my good friends, JD (BTW I’m only using his initials to protect his identity and because I don’t have his consent to use his full name), accompany me to our first destination, The Brickyard 400. Yes that is a NASCAR race and I know it’s a perfect way to start a hillbilly road trip. Since I can remember my family has had been involved in racing in some form or another (sponsorships, pit crew, dating, fans, you get the point) now while a majority of these have been in the ARCA series I think the link to NASCAR is close enough. Now our seats were in the penthouse (not as glamorous as it sounds, turns out they’re just on the top of the grandstands) going into turn one across from Johnson’s pit. From our angle we could see all of the front stretch, turn one, into turn two, and a short distance of the back stretch (I know I’m losing most of you so I’ll get to the point) our seats were amazing. Not because you could see so much but because the beer was 10 steps to our left and the bathroom was back and 5 steps to our right, perfect. Now because Carl was running in the middle to back of the pack the majority of the day I needed to find a way to entertain myself, I found it in the bathroom.

There are a few behaviors that occur in a men’s bathroom that I find unusual, odd, and bottom-line hilarious. One of these actions is when a grown man uses the urinal and pulls their pants down to their ankles. Let me tell you being the man right beside the guy pulling this stunt brings about a feeling that is almost indescribable, for some reason you feel embarrassed for them while trying not to laugh at the same time. Now please let it be known that since shirts are more than optional at NASCAR races you can imagine the hilariousness I encountered when I walked into the bathroom to see a fully naked gentleman standing at the urinal doing his business (that’s a lie, but how amazing would that have been). The second behavior is when a guy waits in line but refuses to use the urinal (or three-man trough that Indy’s Speedway has) to wait for a more secure and comfortable stall. As I mentioned Carl wasn’t running good so I had to some time to kill and decided to pull this stunt. I waited in line but gestured as if saying I was waiting for a stall. The trough was at full capacity with three men deep so my trap was set. The man at the far end finished up and with me being next in line I allowed the man behind me to take the empty spot (he of course thinks I’m waiting for the stall, it’s a known behavior in the men’s bathroom). Next the spot closest to the stalls open and the next guy jumps in after observing my interaction with the previous man. Due to the 750 horsepower engines noise bouncing off the metal grandstands it’s near impossible to talk during races, even in the bathroom so everything is communicated through gestures, of course until I get to the trough. The middle spot opens and I jump right to it, start doing my business and try to start having conversations with the two guys I let in before me on my left and right. You want to talk about uncomfortable situations, the look on these guys’ faces as they realized I deliberately waited in line to get in the middle position in the trough (the least desirable spot to them but most desirable to me) and try to talk to them while there was priceless.

Since many of my manic experiences involve music I've decided to add random music videos to the blog for my enjoyment and your inconvenience. Enjoy!

Coming Correct,