Friday, June 29, 2012

Life full of mania with a dash of humor and a slice of normality (those are the secret ingredients) Vol. 4 Issue 23

In honor of the Awkward Family Photos that I absolutely can’t get enough of online I’m going to spend a little bit of time talking about an awkward family moment that I’m sure many of you can relate to. I’m undoubtedly talking about the Birds and the Bees talk that most of you got (if you didn’t and are confused I’m talking about sex). I never had the talk with my mom and I’m pretty sure she was just happy to find a condom in the laundry to solidify the fact my brother wasn’t spreading his teenage seed (that’s just a guess though). I really didn’t get the Birds and the Bees talk from Stubby either; what I did get was a rather graphic and detailed video (I’m not telling how old I was because it would probably piss off Mom). Instead I had this conversation with my G’ma after I had been dating my first girlfriend for awhile in college (I repeat I was in college).

G’ma: “Derek little buddy I wanted to talk to you about something that’s a little uncomfortable to talk about with your grandma.”

Me: “Um, OK.”

G’ma: “Well you and Jill have been dating for a little while now and I know I’ve always said that you need to wait for marriage to have sex. But you two really need to have sex just once before you’re married to make sure neither of you two are gay.”

Me: “Well G’ma I think you’re right. And me and Jill have had sex once but we still aren’t quite sure whether we’re gay or not so we’re going to keep at it until we find out. You have my word on that.”

OK, I really didn’t say that last line but the rest of the story was spot on. I think my only response at the time was:

“Yeah G’ma, times are changing.”

To this day I don’t even know what that really means. The best part of that story is I’m pretty sure my G’ma still thinks I’m gay. Although she did mention to Monkey that if only I could find a girl that would make me happy it would help. Personally I think I need to find the girl that’s OK with my psychotic manic episodes and then I’ll be happy (any takers? Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?). It’s pretty obvious she’s just trying to help so I’m alright with it all.

For the first year or so after my BMD diagnosis in 2008 no one particularly tried to help out. In fact really no one tried to help really at all. I guess that’s to be expected when most people who knew about my BMD were scared of it. I’ve looked into the eyes of someone who’s been a lot of things, but nothing compares to the feeling of looking into the eyes of someone who fears you. To see that fear in their eyes from merely talking to you is unlike any feeling I had experienced before.

I mean I wasn’t ever upset about it, I understood it and hell I was even a little scared of myself back then (now I just love myself, haha). I didn’t understand anything that was going on with me and that uncertainty and unfairness of it all can be terrifying at times. But it’s getting better and not only with myself. G’ma still has her home remedies like my gay sex test above (for instance Mt. Dew and Potatoes; that’s a whole other story) but they’re for my BMD now and not my sexuality (I think). For longest the time it was more than difficult for all of us to even grasp the BMD diagnosis and now we’re home remedying it (I like it a lot).

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, June 22, 2012

Life full of mania with a dash of humor and a slice of normality (those are the secret ingredients) Vol. 4 Issue 22

“…it was at about this point in Denver that I thought something really wrong was going on. I mean I was running down the road away from my friends because I thought I was a human bomb set to detonate whenever I entered a hospital.”

“Okay Derek I’m going to stop you right there. From what I’ve heard I think you’d be a perfect candidate for my little ‘wonder drug’ Geodon. I’ve had nothing but success with this particular medicine and a lot of my patients have seen a dramatic difference with their bipolar disorder.”

“Well, I’m on lithium now and it really seems to be working pretty well. I don’t think I need another medicine right now, I’m feeling pretty good.”

“Be that as it may but I’ve seen how adding Geodon as a maintenance treatment with lithium can be very beneficial. I can write you a script and get you started right after our session.”

This confidential patient doctor interaction occurred a couple years back and damn it if this lady wasn’t pouring it on pretty thick. Being trained in corporate sales techniques I can spot a bullshitter a mile away but I really wasn’t expecting to run into one at my assessment session with my new doc. I literally had been talking for about five to ten minutes about my BMD history before this woman was already prescribing a new medicine to me. Man this was some bullshit and it only made me feel more trapped by it all.

A few weeks after this hard sell by my doc I was hanging out one late evening enjoying an adult beverage or two with a buddy when he asked me this:

“Are you ever going to be free?”

I didn’t need to even think about it for one second before I responded:


At that exact moment and for awhile after it that’s exactly how I felt. I believed I could never be free and that the BMD would hold me captive for as long as I lived. I felt as if I wasn’t in control of my life and the mania played more than a significant role in shaping who I was and what I would eventually become.  I thought I was trapped by not only the stigmas and stereotypes of mental health but also the restrictions it put on my abilities. I felt my freedom was gone.

I don’t think that’s so much of an accurate portrayal of the way I see my life any more though. However before this I used to be scared that I wouldn’t fit in. That people would not necessarily like me and that I’d be somehow left out by not being like everyone else. I was scared of being myself at times because I cared so much about what others thought.

In case you were wondering I never took the Geodon because I didn’t give a rat’s ass what she thought or wanted me to do because I was living with the BMD and she wasn’t. That mentality has even found its way into those other aspects in my life that I used to be so fearful of just being me in. So maybe that’s the reason I don’t feel like I’m trapped anymore by this BMD and actually feel pretty damn free to be myself (and if you don’t like it; I really don’t give a rat’s ass).

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, June 15, 2012

Life full of mania with a dash of humor and a slice of normality (those are the secret ingredients) Vol 4 Issue 21

I was able to catch the classic “Major League II” the other day for a few minutes and by some kind of luck it was at this scene:

Rube Baker: Hey. Ya know Ricky, breaking up with a girlfriend can be a very painful thing. But it don't have to keep ya down for long. I mean, let me tell ya something from my own personal experience. I've never had a regular girlfriend like you, but I did get kicked in the balls once by a mule. Now, I thought I would be hurting for the rest of my life. But you know what happened the very next week? 
Rick Vaughn:What? 
Rube Baker: My momma died. Hell, after that, I didn't care no more about my balls hurtin'. You see what I'm gettin' at? 

The subtle genius of Rube is pretty evident and I’ll get to his role in my life but first let’s take a look at my favorite quote from him in that movie:

Rube Baker: They're going to send me back to Omaha and I don't even live there! 

I know this isn’t really that funny to everybody else in the world but it hits close to home for me. For like the first year or so at AT&Tizzle my boss thought I was from Wyoming for some reason. I was always scared they were going to fire me and send me back to Wyoming where I didn’t live (I guess you just had to be there).

Now I’m sure you’re asking yourself what in the hell does Rube’s swollen balls and deceased mother have to do with me? I admit it; it’s a valid question. Well lately in my life I’ve been able to also relate to Rube’s mule issues because they hit close to home (fun farm fact: a mule is part horse and part donkey; don’t quote me on that I’m not a farmer). I’ve discussed how I’ve been cleared to return back to school and to actually attempt to get some resemblance of my healthy life back. It’s a pretty sweet deal considering I haven’t had a healthy life in four years.

I guess what I’m trying to get at here is that now that I’m healthy, reducing my dosage for crazy pills (that are really only salt so stop judging me) and just a few months from my Master’s is that my mind should be content as a camel. But it’s not; now that I’m healthy I no longer spend an inordinate amount of my time worrying about everything from psych wards to depression but am now seeing how much I have to make up in my life.

Now that I’m not purely concentrating on trying to get healthy, find insurance, get a doc I can stand and deal with the rest of the sideshow that accompanies mental health I’m realizing I have a ways to go. I wouldn’t say I’m jealous or envious of the people around me; OK yeah I am. It’s not that I don’t want others to be happy and getting the most out of everything in their lives but I’m not sure why I don’t get a shot at it. It’s been four years of one hell of a journey and I feel at times I have very little to show for it. Four years ago I would have imagined myself in a bungalow on the beach killing it at the tizzle at this point of my life not bitching in the middle of a corn field; but I guess you’ll have that.

I think I just need to get a good kick in the nuts to get my mind off of the aspects in my life that are considerably behind where I’d like them to be. But honestly by just stopping bitching about it and appreciating the fact that I’m finally healthy would more than likely be the best remedy (I’ll probably try that way first).

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, June 8, 2012

Life full of mania with a dash of humor and a slice of normality (those are the secret ingredients) Vol. 4 Issue 20

I had my first bad day on Monday for the first time in a pretty long time. In fact I think they last bad day I had was last summer during the preseason of the NFL on the Saturday after the Bengals played the Panthers on Thursday night. How do I remember with such detail, well because of this story of Jamin (sorry man you’re somehow always in the middle of my bullshit), myself and the starting Tight End for the Bengals.

The first time that night a black man yelled my name across the club it was Jamin and he wanted to know if the guy sitting a few seats down was Jermaine Gresham. So I yelled Jermaine’s name and he looked up and I told Jamin: “Yep, that’s Jermaine Gresham” and I went back to talking to a group of black girls leaving Jamin to deal with the now staring at him NFL Tight End (I was a little amazed I was able to do this; talk to black girls that is).

A few minutes later another black man yelled my name across the club but this time it wasn’t Jamin, it was the 6’5” 260lb Bengals first round draft pick out of Oklahoma tight end Jermaine Gresham.  This is when my bad day starts and as I walk over to Jermaine I must have been rattled because supposedly I stepped on his boy’s shoe (impossible but I go along). I apologize to his boy’s shoe and his boy but it wasn’t enough. Jermaine was out to humiliate me (I don’t really blame him). I had to apologize to his boy’s shoes again and then guess who his boy was (I guessed right, it was Bernard Scott). Luckily the NFL player’s only weakness at night, chubby drunk white girls, approached Jermaine and I was free to go.

In hindsight that night really wasn’t all that terrible but it felt bad when I was walking across the club with Jermaine Gresham staring me down. That’s probably a good thing meaning my meds are working and I’m not as unstable as I used to be (I was batshit in The Nasty looking back now) but my doc did say I was going to have bad days no matter what (no cure remember). Monday was a bad day where I couldn’t get past everything I didn’t have. For no reason it seems like I’m overcome with immense guilt and shame of my situation during these bad days.

It’s really crazy now to think about just how difficult Monday was because nothing in my life has really changed in the four days since then. Nothing that I was dwelling over and worrying about on Monday has had any sort of a resolution today yet I’m fine today. In fact I was fine on Tuesday and have been feeling just great the days since Monday. That’s so bizarre that something so influential on my overall health and well-being, something that can bring me to my knees for an entire day is just gone the next day. What in the hell is it?

I don’t know; hell nobody really knows. I just try to learn from those times and be thankful my bad days are a lot fewer and far between than they used to be. I also tried to remind myself of a quote that I read on some random website about life throughout my bad day on Monday that seemed to help: “Over prepare, then just go with the flow.”

Oh just in case you were wondering (I’m sure you weren’t though) just for shits and giggles whenever Jermaine Gresham scores a touchdown now I always text Jamin:

“I stepped on his boy’s shoes!!!”

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, June 1, 2012

Life full of mania with a dash of humor and a slice of normality (those are the secret ingredients) Vol. 4 Issue 19

Trippy Manic Flashback February 2008

Ding-Ding-Ding Inbound Train Northbound towards San Franci. . .

Let’s see that’s the 3:30 commuter with all stops to San Fran so that should put me there by five; that’s perfect and gives me time to get some work done. I’ve been seeing the symbols throughout San Jose and Santa Cruz over the past few days but haven’t been able to figure out the code. I’ve only been seeing the subtle differences speckled throughout plain sight that are leading the way towards the answer.

As I find a seat on the train by the window I noticed a nearby church message board:

“Be Careful When You Snap Back”

The train starts and jerks me forward and pulls me back into the spin. I’ve been drawing these connections to random events in my past and the reality around me in the present to time travel in my mind. I’m not sure what’s going on right now but it’s unlike anything I’ve experienced before and it has to be something great. I’ve been challenged to complete a mission and my journey has brought me here but why?

In Denver during my walk there was the federal building I stopped at; took those pics of the American Seal. . .

Mobile Google Search: American Seal

 “The 1782 resolution adopting the seal blazons the image on the reverse as "A pyramid unfinished. In the zenith an eye in a triangle, surrounded by a glory, proper." The pyramid is conventionally shown as consisting of 13 layers to refer to the 13 original states. The adopting resolution provides that it is inscribed on its base with the date MDCCLXXVI (1776) in Roman numerals. Where the top of the pyramid should be, the Eye of Providence watches over it. Two mottos appear: Annuit cœptis signifies that Providence has "approved of (our) undertakings.: Novus ordo seclorum, freely taken from Virgil, is Latin for "a new order of the ages." The reverse has never been cut (as a seal) but appears, for example, on the back of the one-dollar bill.

The dollar bill, zenith eye in the pyramid, that’s a Masonic symbol. Do I have a dollar bill on me? Yes, what time is it; 4:00.  I’ve got an hour to break the code; I put on my head phones, push play and start working. . .                                                                                                                                             
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,