Friday, May 25, 2012

Life full of mania with a dash of humor and a slice of normality (those are the secret ingredients) Vol. 4 Issue 18

I think I might be going a little crazy; even more than what I am now. I have found myself really talking to myself a lot lately. I’m not saying you’re driving down the road and something pops in your mind so you say something quick to yourself talking. I’m not talking about pumping yourself up to go get ask the only woman in the bar that you definitely have no chance with out talk, or cuss out loud when you stub your toe on a corner kind of thing. I’m talking flat out having a conversation with myself.

I mean I’m having arguments with myself on a consistent basis and it tells me one thing; I think the country is starting to get to me. So instead of arguing over political views and Reds games with the imaginary person to my right I’m going to tell a story to you all. To be completely honest the story really has nothing to do with BMD but it will stop me from talking to myself for awhile which has to be good for my mental health.

So it’s the summer before my third year in college (I’m not sure if it’s my junior or sophomore year due to the five year plan) and I’m living on campus with some peeps that would eventually grow on me (well some of them) and enjoying the single life. Prior to this my first two years in college I was what some would call (ok most would) a whipped little bitch; I always felt that was a little harsh though. Any matter the summer of single Derek was going pretty good.

The majority of the time on the weekends I could be found enjoying an adult beverage or keg stands throughout the day to relax. I wasn’t alone (most of the time) and on this particular day Jamin and the second coming of Robert Downey Jr. were partaking in the celebration of me not being pussy whipped (ok I admit it, it was true). I’m not making excuses here but I had been drinking a lot when my youngest brother, Monkey showed up.

Monkey was a starter and played both ways on the line for our high school football’s playoff team and I was a 160lbs (maybe) hurdler so naturally my first thought was:


In case you didn’t grow up with idiots Blood Alley is a game where one participant stands 10 yards back with the football and tries to get past the defender anyway possible. Everyone except for me at the time thought this was a bad idea but I insisted; I knew I could take him.

It didn’t matter how sweet my moves and jukes were it was like Monkey knew what I was doing. I started out by faking left, juking right and then spinning left only to get de-flip flopped and come to on my back and my buddies laughing hysterically at me in the back yard. I of course blamed the first run on my sandals and take those no traction P.O.S flip flops off and it didn’t help at all. This time I went right and then straight backyards five yards after Monkey’s hit. I decided right then offense wasn’t my thing and switched to defense (Jamin & Rob Jr. really thought this was a bad idea; and they were right). I lasted one run, threw myself at his knees and then didn’t move for ten minutes as everyone laughed. It didn’t have to go the judges, I lost and got my ass kicked by my little brother in doing so.

Wow I must admit it feels good telling that story to other people and not just having another conversation with me; but do you know what the moral of the story is? Nope it’s not about binge drinking (well maybe), or that I need to get out of the country (well sort of) it’s that you really shouldn’t tie-up and leave your little brother to a basketball pole when you’re a kid because he’ll eventually find a way to kick your ass for it later (if I was talking to myself right here I would have laughed at that).

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, May 18, 2012

Life full of mania with a dash of humor and a slice of normality (those are the secret ingredients) Vol 4 Issue 17

When I graduated from Witt I had zero desire to walk, in fact the real reason I did it was for my parents. Not only had my close group of friends graduated a couple years before me but I was in my fifth year and only took 2 classes the entire year (I wasn’t even considered a part-time student). Oh add in on top of all that the fact that I had already received my job at AT&Tizzle in A-Town a month before and you can see how I was checked out and only thinking about southern belles.

While I wasn’t thrilled with the whole walking during graduation tradition there was one at Witt that I had a particular fondness for (it wasn’t not walking on the seal either, I used to break-dance on that thing; probably the reason it took me so long to graduate) and that was streaking. Of course alcohol played a significant role in my streaking but you’ll have that.

While alcohol was the common variable in my streaking there were two different types of the streaking tradition at Witt I’d like to talk about. The first is the involuntary streak and this for me followed a poor performance on the beer pong table. Unfortunately I was off my game and we got skunked on the table with house rules of streaking. Luckily only half the party knew I was streaking and to be a good sport I stopped and gave them all the Heisman pose as I streaked by the front porch.

The second type of streaking involves the Hollow (despite the fact that it sounds like it is, it's not a mythical place in “Lord of the Rings”) and voluntary action (well I have done some things willfully while drunk but involuntary, anyways). The Hollow is usually filled with Frisbees (“That weasel snagged the B!”), girls laying out in shorts and shirts (kind of defeats the point) and not naked people. Well everyone’s got to streak the Hollow before you graduate so of course I decided to do it twice.

The first time was a dark, cold (Costanza understands me on this one), wet, winter night when I stripped down and streaked the Hollow with a number of good friends. As I was sprinting towards the group I thought what better way to cap off my streak than by a Pete Rose slide. It was pretty awesome and I got at least a 20 foot slide before retreating to my clothes; totally satisfied by my streak. The second time was dry, warm (still blaming the coldness though) and a summer night. I thought once again a Pete Rose head first slide would cap off my streak and bring a memorable moment to all those involved.

It was memorable but for other reasons as I recall I hit the ground with a thud and didn’t slide an inch as everyone started cracking up. I pulled myself off the ground and managed my way back to my clothes thinking the whole time:

“Damn, that wasn’t a good idea. That really wasn’t a good idea.”

I had entirely way too high of expectations with my streaking efforts. I figured since my first streak went so well and I nailed the head first slide into the group the second time would be even better. I mean I was running balls to the wall when I belly flopped to a stop in the middle of the Hollow. I’m a victim of my own expectations at times. It’s been true with my BMD in the past as well from the first week after I was diagnosed up until today.

Instead of taking the time to properly recover from my episodes I always jump back in. I have these expectations that I should be achieving as much or doing as well as I was doing before my episode. I base my expectations off my past and what used to be rather than what I can do now and where I need to go. I’m glad one of my problems is that I am too ambitious but if I’m not careful and get ahead of myself and my expectations too much I’ll probably end up showing my ass again and thinking:

"Damn, that wasn't a good idea. That really wasn't a good idea."

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, May 11, 2012

Life full of mania with a dash of humor and a slice of normality (those are the secret ingredients) Vol 4 Issue 16

I got called a douche over this past weekend by a girl; so I got that going for me, which is nice.

I really couldn’t take too much offense to the attacks on my doucheness (not sure that’s a word but I like it) because she was referring to me in my freshman year in high school when she last saw me. But I mean how doesn’t a bowl cut, chicken legs, and the style of a middle school soccer player not scream douche? But all that being said my high school bully also said that my family and me were really nice (in hindsight is that really a compliment because what high school guy wants to be viewed as the nice douchey kid?)

On the subject of being a nice guy though did I ever tell the story when I was arrested? Well short story long I spent a night in the Kenton County Jail in Kentucky where I got to cross off an item off my bucket list. I don’t why but I always did have a bucket list item of going to jail. I didn’t want to commit some serious crime where I could be locked up for sometime but I for some weird reason wanted to experience going to jail (you know something to brag to my future in-laws about).

In case you were wondering it was not good for me, in fact it was pretty bad. I mean I’m not one to bitch but I was the last one in the tank that night which meant I slept by the toilet (you’d think a bunch of drunks in jail wouldn’t piss every five minutes but they did). Somehow I was the only guilty person in jail as well, no one else in there deserved to be which I found rather odd. I won’t go into any more details of my jail experience but I will say I was arrested by a cop on a bicycle so it wasn’t a real good experience from the beginning.

When the jail contacted my mom with the good news of her oldest son’s jailing the woman did say I was a very polite and nice young man (future in-laws will appreciate that). She didn’t mention me being a douche because I’d outgrown that phase of mine sometime the year before. I guess I’m still going through an adjustment period with this BMD for me because I have no problem with being called a douche but if a nurse asks me about my mood swings it hits a nerve.

I had a doc’s appointment earlier this week and after I got to wait for 20 minutes after seeing the doc for the nurse to finish her lunch I got to wait another 30 minutes for her to track down my labs. I should take it easy on her for the whole labs thing because it wasn’t her fault they said they’d fax them over and reassured me twice only not to do it (standard operating procedure). I think I was just frustrated with the time it was taking to simply get my weight (does anyone wanna run through fire and other warrior shit with me to lose some lbs?), my vitals (are they called this because they’re important?), and my recent health history (this is where my patience wore out).

I was really trying to be nice to this nurse because she had a ton of religious scripture and and other items about her office so I knew her heart was in the right place but I think that’s about it.  She couldn’t find my labs for my blood work which meant I was going to have to get it done again and I suck with needles. Then she was asking me health question after health question that I had already answered with the doc. At this point I was ready to leave 20 minutes ago so when she asked if I had mood swings I replied with a smart ass remark (shocker I know):

“Well I am human aren’t I?”

I do hate that question but I definitely didn’t need to be an ass to the nurse. I have noticed that I become a little snippy and short with people at times. I’m not sure if it’s my BMD or the frustration of everything or the anxiety of wanting to get on with my life but I need to work on being nicer or I might turn back into a douche (that is if I'm not already there).

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, May 4, 2012

Life full of mania with a dash of humor and a slice of normality (those are the secret ingredients) Vol 4 Issue 15

It’s been a couple weeks since I posted and it really feels like we are starting to drift apart and I want to apologize for that. To regain that trust that we had of me spilling my guts to you as you laugh at the inconvenience and disappointment that at times is my life I’m going to try and tell you a few funny stories from the past week.

First off yes I really did like the First Lady Dresses exhibit in DC and I don’t care what anyone says; but that yellow jacket that Nancy Reagan sported is even pretty hideous in person (does that display her lack of style or validate my nickname of Gay Derek in college?). Secondly women if you get into every museum free that’s basically in DC then don’t bitch about Diet Coke prices. I know they’re expensive but seriously you just saw the original flag flown with the battle scars still on it that inspired our National Anthem, let’s keep things in perspective.

My last story has to begin with the cover art that my publisher put together as an option for “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” so check it out:

I must admit I’m not one that really gets into or understands art. All I really know is that I like something that is unique. By that I mean art that gives someone a different perspective whenever they look at it. I like art that allows people to see different things and experience it in their own way; something unlike anything else. Kind of like my cover up there only when I look at that cover I only see one thing; stigma.

Last week I attended Ohio’s NAMI state conference and other than trying not to totally drop the ball and be funny when signing my books (not very successful by the way) I listened to the Keynote Speaker. The topic of the conference was the “Elephant in the Room” and it focused on the discrimination, stereotypes, and stigma’s associated with mental health. Patrick Kennedy (who credited none of his political career to his last name; or was it mainly all of it?) had personal experience with stigmas and the like and touched on a number of issues that could be resolved and even discussed the role of our Vets in the fight.

For some reason in my day to day fight even when I experience stereotypes or stigmas it never really bothers me. I’m not sure if I purely see it as an ignorant comment that the person has no idea they’re doing or if I have bigger problems to worry about. As of late I’ve started to see the light at the end of the tunnel and am feeling anxious to get back to a life not completely filled with worry about my health. Now it seems at times I can lose my patience and become irritable with having to wait around and “kill time”.  It’s at these times that I try to focus on the stigmas and stereotypes that I never used to have time for.

I mean look at that cover; I sent over a page description of my book and they “creatively” came up with that. For shit’s sakes look at the sun’s eyes (never mind I’ve never seen the sun without sunglasses, I mean it is the sun) I have no idea how that represents bipolar disorder. Now just like with art I know people can have different perspectives with mental health and I can respect that. However I’ll be honest I really don’t like the way most people are looking at bipolar disorder and I’m planning on changing that (yeah, that shouldn’t take any time at all).

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,