Friday, February 24, 2012

Life full of mania with a dash of humor and a slice of normality (those are the secret ingredients) Vol 4 Issue 7

So I think I’m going to go ahead and start out this post with a few things that you may not know about me (they’re all fairly clean; get your head out of the gutter…but thanks for thinking of me in that way).

1.) Whenever I get a good idea to write about I’m usually driving and I usually get so excited I scream and yell in joy something like this: “AAAAAAAAHHHH FUCK YEAH THAT’S A GOOD IDEA!!”

2.) Whenever I’m “checking out” a young lady for the first time my evaluation goes something like this: Smile, Eyes, then Ass.

3.) Finally despite the fact I’m like a thirteenth generation farmer in my family my knowledge and understanding of agriculture goes something like this: I have a ton of difficulty differentiating between a cultivator, disc, and plow and I have no idea how much a combine cost.

Being the oldest grandson in this hearty heritage of agriculture one can imagine the disappointment I’m sure my family felt when I wanted nothing to do with the farm. This was also particularly troubling for me as well as I grew up. At family functions I was always out of the conversation as I couldn’t follow what the hell everyone was talking about it. I didn’t really try that hard though either, most of the times I would just sit to the side and day dream about smiles, eyes and asses.

That’s not to say I didn’t wonder why my brothers, cousins, uncles, aunts and the entire family basically understood and enjoyed farming and I flat out didn’t get it. I should let everyone know I didn’t just give up without a fight either, I tried to get into agriculture and the talks my family has but it was with no avail. I’d make it about a few sentences into the conversation and then be completely lost. It always kind of perplexed me, why I seemed to not be able to get into farming.

I think at first I just believed I was too bored with farming to enjoy it. There were times I can recall as I kid when I would be looking out into the cornfields surrounding me and I would think to myself; I really don’t want anything to do with that, I get bored just looking at it. I didn’t get why everyone around me had a natural knack for farming, that even all our friends were farmers and loved it while I just didn’t get it. It’s troublesome when considering that since our family first fell off the Mayflower (another tidbit you might not know about me is that according to the genealogy work my G’ma has conducted our ancestor was the one who fell off the Mayflower in Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving Special; I’m not 100% if it’s true or not but it’s a good conversation starter) we have been farmers and I totally suck at it.

While I always knew farming wasn’t who I was I felt kind of bad that I didn’t get it. I didn’t understand how my brothers and cousins and friends could pick it up so easily and I struggled on knowing the difference between a ratchet and wrench (and the whole sizes thing was a real pain in my ass too; screw you 5/16th’s) growing up. I don’t think I ever really had a problem with being different in this aspect but I always wondered why.

The other day I was driving (because I do a shit ton of driving now that I live in the country) when I came up with an idea to write about (and of course screamed like I had just scored a game winning goal on a diving header in a tournament game in high school soccer, yeah that’s another thing you didn’t know about me) in regards to why I was different from my fam; maybe it was the BMD. I did have some symptoms when I was kid that are coming back to me slowly (dude repressed memories are wicked, they flash back so randomly and just unexpectedly; just another element of the ride I suppose) which would make a little sense. If I was fighting this BMD since I was a kid I’m sure that would have an effect on who the hell I am. I mean I can’t be worrying about yields, soil, or whatever other farming term when I’m dealing with madness. Come to think about it I’m probably pretty lucky to still have all my appendages after being a little crazy around all that heavy equipment.

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, February 17, 2012

Life full of mania with a dash of humor and a slice of normality (those are the secret ingredients) Vol 4 Issue 6

“So have you decided on what you’d like to watch or listen to while in the MRI machine?”

“Yeah, I’m going to watch Spaceballs.”

“Ok, do you need magnifying lenses or is your eyesight alright?”

“Well I don’t have glasses but last time I was manic I did lose my vision a bit.”

“Really? Well let’s put on the viewing goggles and we’ll see how you do.”. . .

“Yep, I’m going to needed thoses lenses, having trouble seeing what’s on the screen.”

“That’s so interesting, I’ve never heard of that before. Someone actually losing their vision while manic and regaining it afterwards.”

Yeah you could say that gave me a bit of a weird feeling, knowing that the woman that’s seen a ton of people manic yet has never heard of someone losing their vision when manic until me. But to be honest at the time I was also almost a little proud to know how different I was even in my mania. It should be pointed out that I also shrink about an inch when I’m manic as well which isn’t weird at all or normal when it comes to madness.

Now in case any of you find yourself manic off your ass and in a psych ward that becomes the place a doctor finds you and puts you in a study involving a MRI machine I have one piece of advice; always watch a movie and never listen to just music in that thing. I made the mistake during my second session of choosing to listen to music rather than watching a movie and I regretted it only after about 10 minutes in. In case you're unaware of the procedures of getting a MRI I’ll let you know that you have to lie completely still for about forty five minutes (completely still mind you because if the machine jacks up due to your movement you have to start the 45 minute session over, and that’s even more miserable) while all these noises bang on and off around your head as you’re in foot wide metal freezing ass cold tube with your nuts itching; it’s pretty terrible.

The first session when I was manic and kind of blind I watched a movie which passed the time pretty well, it probably also helped I was hallucinating and thought I was combing the dessert for Lone Starr: “Man, we ain’t found shit!”. The second was one of the worst experiences because listening to Eminem for about an hour completely still in a MRI machine was a bad decision, real bad.

However my biggest take away from my MRI experiences was how different I was in regards to my symptoms to others that the technician had worked with. The reason for this is because I’m vain and enjoy being different and people paying attention to me. Not really, but those differences intrigued me because it’s definitely interesting seeing how many commonalties I’ve to notice with manic’s while they are in their mania (it’s crazy how much other people’s crazy all have in common). A lot of people here would reference “Alice in Wonderland” by saying let’s jump down the rabbit hole but I’m more of a “Wizard of Oz” fan so let’s follow the yellow brick road.

I find it fascinating that many people who go manic from bipolar disorder experience their first episode in their mid twenties (which tells me madness is very punctual). To think it doesn’t matter your culture, upbringing, family history, geographically location, or whatever when you go manic for the first time it will more than likely be the same age/time as everyone else (what?). That while you’re manic you are going to experience heavy spirituality and religious themes within your madness. So if you believe in Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, that you’re an alien or whatever the madness uses that (what?). How about when you’re manic and sitting on top of a roof in Denver and feel an oneness and connection with all that surrounds you and while it’s pretty evident you’re having thoughts of delusional grandiosity you’re not alone and actually you’re normal when it comes to madness because most manic’s typically have that feeling (what?).

These are a few commonalities that I’ve noticed from talking to my doctors to reading (something other than Hollywood gossip) and everything in between. One could almost argue from my findings that in a way madness can be reality and stability can be insanity (not me, but one could). I am simply in awe of how much we know of mania from the common symptoms shared by those who suffer from it to the point it’s identifiable in any culture yet we have no idea what it is; thus we call it madness. But if it’s madness, why is there consistency?

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, February 10, 2012

Life full of mania with a dash of humor and a slice of normality (those are the secret ingredients) Vol 4 Issue 5


Now you may want to write this down because it will be on the final (it will be an open note final though). Anyways I’m sure most of us remember English class and the five questions every good story should have. Just for giggles I’m going share those for this post now:

Dr. A and myself
Schizophrenia conversation
His office
Like normal people

"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear ... "
1 John 4:18

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.
1 Corinthians 16:13

I was describing my first experience with someone fighting schizophrenia with Dr. A and how Paul would wonder around the psych ward reciting biblical verse after biblical verse. He was on my wing and from time to time I could hear him pacing up and down the hall passing by my door with his head down and mumbling these verses. This was my first experience with true madness (well other than my own) and it put a feeling in me that was one I had never really felt before.

I will admit I was a little intimidated by Paul as he was a few inches taller than me and more than a few pounds bigger. I think I wasn’t sure how to exactly act around him, like I didn’t want to piss him off but at the same time I was pretty interested in him. It blew my mind how the schizophrenia can wreck havoc upon his mind to the point of endless paranoia and psychosis that make day to day activities almost impossible yet from memory he’s reciting biblical verse after biblical verse.

It doesn’t stop there either, he was also an unbelievable piano player. I think I’ve mentioned before how’d he jump on the piano at night (you know after all our activites and groups) and be able to play just about any request. It was un-fuckin-believable. I mean this same guy slept a few doors down the hall from me and needed assistance for the most basic “life” functions yet he could get those same people who helped him all day to dance. The paranoid behavior and obsessive recitation of holy words was replaced with a smile and pure delight demeanor. I had never seen anything like it before.

I was sharing this experience with Dr. A like a normal person (it’s awesome when your doc treats you like a real person) and sharing my thoughts on schizophrenia as the symptoms are very similar to ones I experience in mania. He agreed and went into a discussion about how the key difference between BMD and schizophrenia is the continual onslaught of symptoms experienced. See with BMD I’m real up and down and while it may seem like a pain in the ass at times those who fight schizophrenia have it much worse. The symptoms do not peak and fall off and maybe return but rather continue to enhance getting worse and worse as time goes by for the sufferer.

Dr. A gave me a name of a painter that was stricken with schizophrenia and told me to experience the change of his art over time. I’ve attached the link below and it’s pretty cool but I still see creativity within his art, even late into the schizophrenic years. As awful as mental health issues such as my BMD and Paul’s schizophrenia can be and at times seem to be flat out evil I still think there’s something there. I mean if you look at Paul’s ability to wail on the piano or Louis Wain’s paintings I think it’s coming from somewhere. Who did it, what did it, where did it come from, or how did it happen might be explained by chemicals in the brain, maybe by psychosis, or is it something else? I don’t know, I think it’s pretty cool though (but I did meet one of these guys in a psych ward so...).

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, February 3, 2012

Life full of mania with a dash of humor and a slice of normality (those are the secret ingredients) Vol 4 Issue 4

There are a couple people who I meet in this world that within a few sentences I already know I don’t like them. It’s petty and judgmental of me but I don’t really care. One of these people is usually someone that catches me off guard at a party or something. They’re the type that right away in the convo they start complaining about a health ailment they have or are having to go through (the audacity to bitch, so un-American you know) before any other kind of communication. I get the irony here because I dedicated an entire blog over bitching about my BMD, but I can’t do anything about that.

The “sick and suffering” people I’m talking about have options to alleviate the discomfort they are experiencing but refuse to use them. As they usually go on and on and on…and on about whatever their “life-altering” ailment may be I drift off in my mind thinking. . .

“I can’t believe this dick (and/or bitch) is sitting here complaining to me about this right now. All they have to do is get surgery (and/or any other medical procedure) and they’re no longer in all this “pain and suffering”. I mean are they not fixing this because they enjoy the attention or something, I really don’t get it. I’m going to change the subject and ask what them their favorite board game is before I get pissed.”

In case you were wondering my favorite board game is Parcheesi and if you don’t like that you can get out of my face Monopoly lover (they always seem to be the pushy type). And in case you weren’t wondering back to my point which is that having BMD and no viable option for any real cure or medicine to completely control it I don’t really want to hear about how bad you think you have it. I don’t know why (that’s a lie, I know why) but having to listening to someone complain about how bad their life is because of a treatable health problem they have is pretty damn annoying.

It’s very difficult for me to feel any kind of sympathy for the asshole who “tore something” in his knee playing a pickup game of basketball but won’t go to the doctor because he thinks he can walk it off. Only walking it off is grabbing me at the bar and talking my head off about how swollen it is and how much it hurts (just go get surgery you dick).

I’ll contemplate at times that if I ever had to the option to get surgery, take a pill, or whatever the treatment may be to cure my BMD would I do it? To be completely honest the answer for me isn’t as easy as I think I’d like it to be. I’d like to say without hesitation that I’d turn down the cure because of my pride of who I have become from the BMD. As well as that I’ve learned so much about not only myself but about the world that I wouldn’t want to take that away from myself.

But to be completely honest I’d probably come to the conclusion (after an intensive and long internal debate of course) that I wouldn’t take the cure. I’d keep my BMD and live with it but more than likely not because of the reasons I just listed. Nope, I’d keep it so the next time that person at the party starts complaining about their health I could say:

“Listen; I’ve got bipolar disorder with psychotic manic episodes so quit your bitching and tell me what your favorite board game is.”

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,