Monday, July 25, 2011

I am not a lie

I have a nasty little secret that rarely makes its presence known. It's not a secret that tries to remain unknown from the world. It's a secret because it tries so hard to disguise itself and blend in making it difficult to be distinguished. I'm talking about the hardest to explain episode of bipolar: the dreaded "mixed episode."

Often times the most dangerous episode and more often the most overlooked and forgotten. Even by myself until it's too late and after it has subsided as I look back in its wake do I realize has just occurred.

Not quite depression, not quite mania, but a hideous combination of the two. Sometimes flip-flopping from one to the other, from one day to the next or as quick as from morning to night. Sometimes the despair of depression laced with the energy and urgency of mania all in one. Trying to explain how a mixed episode feels is like trying to explain colors to the blind. Or the vast differences of the sounds of languages to the deaf. Impossible. But I'll give it a shot.

Consistent research has shown that people with bipolar are like vampires when it comes to sunlight. Too much is not good. Exposure to extended amounts of sunlight has the capability to trigger mania. I do my best to avoid it. So it would go without saying the summer months carry the highest rates for manic episodes. Sleep deprivation is another trigger; of which I am accustom to, never having been successful at obtaining a healthy sleep cycle.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The comfort of guilt

Bipolar is haunted with a number of emotions. Anyone who walks around carrying the diagnosis will tell you so. Any mental illness carries its own number of lingering emotions. It is after all a mood disorder of depression, anger, frustration, excitement, happiness, joy, pride...I could go on.

Even the most caring people in a person with bipolar's life can stigmatize against them without realizing it by most often associating them with the "stereotypical" bipolar emotions. Of all the emotions related to this disorder the one most overlooked is the feeling of guilt.

Growing up, and even in our adult years, we've all had things we swore we've never do. We've had dreams and goals we wished to accomplish. An idea of the person we wanted to be. But what happens when that changes? What happens when those dreams don't come true? What happens when you realize you're not the person you'd hoped to be? Today I am no where close to where I had hoped to be years ago.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Hating haters makes me a hater

Have you ever been hated? I mean truly hated for one reason or another. For what you are. For what you have. I'm not talking about some spat between friends who piss each other off. I'm talking pure hatred that would cause someone to literally go out of their way to destroy your life or at the least make you miserable.

I have. I have known and experienced true hatred. Hatred that was bread out what of what I am, bipolar. I don't care what people say trying to be positive and supportive. Bipolar is who am. It's not what I have. It's been a part of me since childhood so you can't separate the two.
What is it about me, that makes people hate? I wish someone would tell me. God they're so mean. I've been mocked and ridiculed by law enforcement. Told my wife and children would be off without me. Told I wasn't worthy to speak. Told I was a piece of a shit and slammed down onto counters and the ground more than once by law enforcement. Yes, I made my mistake of driving under the influence. But in my defense I was under psychosis. I was locked in a cell wearing nothing a paper gown after informing them of my condition and denied medical care.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Someone needs a second chance and they need you to tell them they deserve it

I love hearing people's stories. For some reason people have this ability to just open up to me. With no hesitation they begin to tell me about a journey they've  been on that led them to where they currently are.

Typically, I've found that people need second chances for all kinds of things. Many are hurting. Some are confused. Most just need me to listen. People need second chances. And you can be the remedy.

On more than one occasion I have been asked how I am able to disclose so much of my life's story. So much of my personal secrets and pains that I carry around. How am I able to talk about my full-blown failures and downright worst mistakes of my life. To be honest it has taken a long time for me to be able to do this. It was a matter of process. A long process.

For the past ninety percent of my life I have guarded my heart like it was Fort Knox. Protecting it from not only what was on the outside but keeping in what was on the inside. For the rare privileged who I allowed the honor of false glimpses into my emotions and feelings of what was revealed was still only a distorted portion of the whole picture.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Who will I be today?

For a few weeks now my shifting moods have seem to be getting the best of me, taking control leaving me at their mercy not knowing what state I will be in from one day to the next; from one morning to the evening. I question who I'll be today.

Looking in the mirror is like looking in a funhouse mirror. You know? Those mirrors that distort your face and features at carnivals and fair funhouses. It's like looking in one of those, and just the same I get a different view each time I look.

Our world is dictated by cycles. Lunar cycles. Solar cycles. Circadian rhythms, our bodies internal clocks. Our weekly and even daily schedules are cycles to which we live by. The rythms of our lives can be played like a rapid, badum badum badum beating heart.

In bipolar, especially rapid cycling bipolar 1, rhythm is everything. Cycles both define and plague this illness, with mood cycles and body cycles and external cycles all swirling around one another, intersecting here, conflicting there, and finding harmony another place.

You'd think it would be easy to recognize the early  stages of depression; especially if you've ever been depressed before. Even more so considering my depression. I can get suicidal. In those cases I do recognize it. After all, you're not dealing with the lack of insight, the allure of mania. The truth is the signs of depression are actually more difficult to pick up on reliably, possibly because they are so broad and hard to wrap your hands around.

Friday, July 8, 2011

He called her daughter

It's been a while since I've been able to write anything due to a broken hand, but I couldn't wait any longer so I figured I would peck this one out with a barely decent broken right hand, of which I predominate in, and my left hand.

There was this woman. Not an ordinary woman. She was inflicted with a physical infirmity that had lasted at least 12 years. We don't know how old she was. Maybe she was only 22; or 30; or even 40. Does it matter? You bet it matters.

There are some things in this story that's not provided to us. For example, who's fault is it that this woman is inflicted? Hers? A strangers? A family member? In any case we know she's a victim. 

On the surface the Bible tells us this woman had an "issue" of blood for twelve years. For the most part, people who fail to dig into God's word fall short of seeing her real issue. It is a common belief her issue was just some problematic blood issue such as hemophilia, the condition where the blood is unable to coagulate.

The hemorrhaging issue was the least of her problems even though she was in the market to seek healing from Jesus. A place of ultimate shame for her. Of all places, she was forbidden in the public market.

Where my inspiration comes from

A Recycled-Dad with Bipolar & Parkinson's, reflections on fathering and family life and other stuff thrown in'll love my Soap Box Rants

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Why I call myself a Recycled Dad

I call myself a Recycled Dad because of the struggles with remarriage and being a step-parent and weekend dad. This is also about my life living with bipolar and how it affects me personally, my family and my job. It also reflects on the grace God has poured out on me throughout recovery from alcohol and an eating disorder. Recycled Dad is about my reflections on the wisdom God teaches daily on fatherhood and being a better husband in spite of being bipolar.

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