Friday, March 25, 2011

Life full of mania with a dash of humor and a slice of normality (those are the secret ingredients) Vol 3 Issue 12

“I never would have thought you were bipolar, you don’t seem like it.”

I guess we all have our own mental images of what bipolar disorder or any other mental health condition looks like. Personally before my diagnosis and vacations in the psych wards I always associated this picture with mental health:

I have no idea why my image is of a Muppet but just look at Beaker, he’s got all the physical features of a crazy person (yeah it’s not offensive as long as you’re crazy when you say that). I suppose I, along with my friend above, have this preconceived notion or idea what mental health looks like from a direct result of the environment we grew up in.

I never saw the media portray someone with a mental health condition as a real person growing up. They always seemed nonhuman in a way to me, like they didn’t share the same emotions, feelings, fears, joys, pains, excitement and everything in between like me (that wouldn’t draw ratings). They weren’t portrayed as a real person so they weren’t real to me (I was a little off on that).

The fact of the matter is that we are real people with real problems just like everyone else (at least I hope everyone struggles with online dating as much as me). We worry about the same life issues everyone else has except we are given a burden of so much more. No matter what I would have changed growing up or done differently it would not have affected whether or not I was BMD (just ask the “M.A.S.H.” voices I heard as a child, yea we’ll get to that suppressed memory soon enough). There is no family history of BMD and yet I have such a severe case that features psychosis and hospitalization.

I’ve had blood work, MRI’s, EEG’s, been in Group Therapy, am in personal therapy, and every other complex test, still there is no answer to what my BMD is or where it came from. All of this naturally leads me to wonder why do I have this then? What am I suppose to do with something that can only be described as crazy? Am I supposed to fight the stigmas associated with BMD? Am I supposed to break the stereotypes my friends and others hold? Am I supposed to be a voice for those who may not be able to speak for themselves? Am I simply supposed to write? (Can it be that simple?)

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,

Friday, March 18, 2011

Life full of mania with a dash of humor and a slice of normality (those are the secret ingredients) Vol 3 Issue 11

Happy Birthday to Me!
Happy Birthday to Me!
I’m going to make fun of a religious tradition
That’s protected under my 1st Amendment freedom of speech!

I will admit I’m a little behind on Christian traditions from my lack of attending Church growing up (I never knew the trivia answers from the Bible study game, hell I didn’t know what the Bible was). I’ve had docs dig into my psyche about why and maybe some of it has to do with the last time I actually attended Church was when Stubby lost his hand so there might be a link there (but more than likely I probably just didn’t want to go). I never thought this would have affected me until Ash Wednesday at Witt a few years back.

I was working out one day when I kept seeing all these good looking girls with black smudges on their foreheads. I didn’t know if it was some sorority thing, secret (sshh don’t tell) thing, or what so I went up to one and asked what was going on. She said it was for Ash Wednesday with an arrogant attitude and in that “You're surely going to Hell” tone (oh sorry I didn’t realize you were such a devoted follower of faith from the shots you were slamming and the basketball player you were dry humping last weekend at the bar, my mistake).

I was so pissed at the exchange that I never even bothered to look up what Ash Wednesday was until this week when Digger was rocking the Ashes on ESPN (and I half-assed it at Wikipedia so take it for what it is):

Ash Wednesday, in the calendar of Western Christianity, is the first day of Lent and occurs 46 days before Easter. It is a moveable fast, falling on a different date each year because it is dependent on the date of Easter. It can occur as early as February 4 or as late as March 10.
According to the Canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus spent forty days fasting in the desert before the beginning of his public ministry, during which he endured temptation by Satan. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of this forty day liturgical period of prayer and fasting.
Ash Wednesday derives its name from the practice of placing ashes on the foreheads of adherents as a sign of mourning and repentance to God. It also means that we will always have sin. The ashes used are typically gathered after the palms from the previous year's Palm Sunday are burned.

This brings me to Lent which I totally get a kick out of from time to time. So JC (never even knew he was Jewish till like three years ago) makes the total sacrifice for 40 days and endures suffering, pain and Satan (not fun, that guy sucks as a host let me tell you) to show his faith, it is impressive. I have trouble finding the connection between that and someone giving up Fast Food nowadays. Which is totally a sacrifice and one I couldn’t do (I have an arrangement with the Big Man, I get fast food for the 14 days of being committed in the psych ward) but JC roamed the desert for over a month and you gave up a deep fried meal that is free if not accompanied by a receipt (I feel like someone’s getting the better deal here).

I find religion to be fascinating and a vital aspect of society but how people practice it just makes me laugh at times. I hadn’t really contemplated my faith until after my episodes (psychosis will change a man) and for me it’s not about the show, it’s about what’s inside. So for the 90% or so of the people who read this and I offended, it’s my birthday so give me a break (I’ve had a rough few years, I think I deserve it).

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,

Friday, March 11, 2011

Life full of mania with a dash of humor and a slice of normality (those are the secret ingredients) Vol 3 Issue 10

Do you want the good news or the bad news first?

Good I’m glad you have an opinion but you’re the reader and I’m the writer so we’ll do it however I like (this is what a dictatorship looks like, count your blessings). I’m going to start out with the bad news and that is I did not receive any of the 15 or so internships I applied for to complete my Masters this summer (as if I didn’t already feel shitty enough about myself). In fact I only received one phone call/interview and that position I have no qualifications or background for (those 19 and change years I spent in education seem to be really paying off now).

I must admit that first paragraph was a little sarcastic but I think there is a blessing in disguise in my utter failure at securing a promiment future for myself (dammit I just can’t quit doing it). I was reading some BMD facts the other day when I stumbled across one that stated:

That manic episodes usually appear within 2-4 year spans of each other in people suffering from chronic mania issues.

Obviously that didn’t necessarily make my day because episode uno was at the end of 2007 and beginning of 2008 and episode deuce was at the end of 2009 and the beginning of 2010 (see the pattern, yea things could get interesting at the end of this year). This did bring a bit of concern my way at first but then I realized some core differences from then and now (mainly that I’m not a complete idiot any longer, I only have that trait on every other weekend and six weeks a summer). The first being that I actually know I’m BMD now and secondly I’m actually on my meds now (I feel like I’m taking crazy pills over here!).

I’ve been telling myself since episode deuce that I was going to put my health first but my actions said otherwise (Chicago, mistake). I’ve finally got insurance (take that, take that, take that, take that), I’ve found a doc and counselor I like (one more than the other but I never said I didn’t play favorites), and the time (thank you internships). Not getting those internships is going to allow me to concentrate solely on my health for the next year or so which is looking to be a big indicator on whether or not my efforts are going to be paid off (I really don't want to go back to the psych ward, two times is my limit).

When next winter rolls around (usually the time my mania decides to show how much of a dick it can be) I’ll be on my meds for a solid year (first time for everything) and if I can get through the winter without any issues I’d say my chronic mania concerns should be significantly reduced (there’s no cure, only “preventative” care). So while I’m not going to be able to work for the Reds (how in the hell do I not get a call for a corporate sales internship, that’s the environment I was trained in, ok last vent I promise) I know I’ll be able to focus more on my health than if I was charging back into corporate America (I really hate cubicles too).

Oh yeah the good news. Well if, and I repeat this is a big if, I am lucky enough to entertain a young lady at my place I’ll no longer have to sneak them in past my dad. That’s right I’ve moved out into my own place so spread the word to your single girl friends, I no longer live with my parents (that sounded way less pathetic in my head).

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,

Friday, March 4, 2011

Life full of mania with a dash of humor and a slice of normality (those are the secret ingredients) Vol 3 Issue 9

“Do a gainer Mickey! Do a gainer Mickey! Do a gainer Mickey!

You could hear this chant being screamed at the South Chuck pool while I was growing up. It was my brothers and I standing at the deep end yelling up at the high dive for our pool hero to do a back somersault and get us drenched from the splash. I had no idea at that point that in a mere fifteen short years I’d be carrying my childhood pool hero up to his honeymoon suite from the hotel pool in Vegas on the day of his wedding suffering from possible heat stroke, alcohol poisoning, or a little bit of both (don’t worry we got him a foot long brat for the elevator ride up and made him close his eyes so he wouldn’t see the bride before the wedding when we got to the suite).

Growing up in a small town can at times feel just like a family and Mickey was like our older cousin on that high dive (btw why are you not allowed to have high dives anymore because of insurance reasons but they are building public skate parks in cities, that doesn’t make much sense to me). I’ve met friends along the way in college and my vagabonding around the country and I unfortunately lose touch with the majority of them. I don’t think I’m any different from anyone else in regards to seeing friendships kind of drift away naturally. I don’t seem to mind this because I know it’s the inevitable, but losing those friendships for reasons that are nearly unexplainable to me is tough.

BMD has undoubtedly put people in my life that I could not replace. It has truly blurred the line between family and friends with the support I’ve received over the past few years. At the same time its taken friendships from me that I never thought possible. I’ve witnessed friendships dissipate right before my eyes for reasons that I still have trouble comprehending. I have spent countless hours dwelling over “friendships” that I felt abandoned me.

It seems at times I become infatuated with what I have perceived that I have lost, under the illusion that my friends walked away from me in my direst time of need. The truth of the matter is they were never my friends to begin with; they were my drinking buddies (nothing wrong with that, I loved to drink). I always seem to have a difficult time determining the difference between my friends (basically family) and my drinking buddies (basically acquaintances). I suppose I just want to have as big as family as possible including my friends when that just isn’t a reality (some people plain don’t care, that’s alright but I really should stop giving a shit about them too). While this BMD hasn’t really been a picnic it has taught me some valuable life lessons; there’s nothing like good family and friends (it was like I was so focused on the one pile of dog shit in the yard I was missing enjoying the entire picnic).

I think I’m starting to come out of depression (finally you bitch) and seemingly am beginning to enjoy life a little more (it’s harder than it sounds at times; give me a break I’m bipolar). I had a couple options to “celebrate” this coming out party which included heading back to Vegas or heading down to Atlanta to visit some southern family and friends.

My last Vegas trip was a blast (Shay and I saved the wedding, no thanks needed) but southern belles come first (or not all when they seem to be with me). I haven’t seen Rhett (not a southern name at all, I still heart it sis) since he was born so I’m making a trip down south next week to "celebrate" (which means you’ll be able to find me up in Club One Tweezie).

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!
(In honor of keeping with the whole family theme this week please enjoy Cuzin Art and Cuzin Quentin’s band, Smooth Walking Androids)

Coming Correct,