Thursday, September 29, 2011

Bipolar: I Need To Goodbye

Bipolar is tiresome. It can be a constant chase while at the same a constant running. A chase for something normal, whatever that is, and running from whatever current episode your cursed with. It's exhausting. And after 37 years of it it's wearing me out. Today I feel dull.

I have caused more than my share of problems. Legal problems. Financial problems. Alcohol abuse. Relationship problems. Hospitalizations.

My actual diagnosis is Bipolar 1 mixed, rapid cycling, severe with psychotic features. Though I only experience those features in major manic and depressive episodes. Which are not very often. If you don't know what mixed is imagined either being the worst depressed you have ever felt in your life but at the same time having the most physical energy you have ever felt in your life happening at the same time, or it's also when you cycle between mania and depression rapidly anytime as little as within hours, a day, a week, a month, etc. Never knowing what is coming next.

Out the entire bipolar spectrum, mood swings, depression and manic episodes are the worst with rapid cycling bipolar type. Rapid cycling is diagnosed when one has four or more depressive, hypomanic, manic, and/or mixed episode in a single year. I can experience an episode at least once a month.

Moods must immediately follow one another or have a short period free of extreme mood swings.

But no matter how mild or severe any episode or not it's always about management. During any stable period it's important to stick to any routine especially medication in order to avoid any kind of trigger. But during any episode it's a whole other story.

Say goodbye to the person you want to be. The one you know you can be. One of the ugly ones returns. Maybe it's the one that takes everything you feel away from you. Maybe it's the one that feeds you lies and drags you around to keep up. Both tear you down.

It's always the same. I never know it's coming and I never know it's here before it's too late.  Not until after I have begun to believe some kind of lie my mind has begun to feed me. An overreaction. Irritability has begun to become my norm and I have made some kind of stupid decision.

It's been 37 years of depression and mania and my mind still doesn't get it. I am open to being well. It's always my goal, but so far, the episodes always come back.

Logically I'm ready for them in my mind, but when they start I'm always so mad, mad, MAD!

I have numerous tasks I need to complete yet I can't find the concentration to even to stare at the TV. I feel dull. Which is the best description to describe the feeling of nothing. It's such a pervasive feeling. It soaks up all of my cells.

Getting out of bed in the morning is not a problem for me. Unlike most who experience depression my brain in its continual cruel manner refuses to allow me to sleep. Too many sleepless nights and the shadows become my company whispering amongst each other.

The past 6 years have really been a struggle for me. Mostly due to outside stressors. My mania is more short lived than my depressions. My depressions typically come with suicidal ideations. Feelings and emotions are chemical reactions. They are biological. As is bipolar. Bipolar depression sucks the capability to feel right out of you. There is no sadness. Depression is just the closest term to describe it.

I always wonder, "Will this depression ever end?'

When I'm seriously depressed every minute feels like I'm living in hell and I am just closer and closer to death. I even begin to revert to my eating disorder thinking of which I have been in recovery from for well over a year.

Sometimes I get so depressed I can't even have a conversation. Just spitting out the words is something I have to force myself to do. Every minute when I am well is filled with the possibility because I can choose what to feel and what to do. People take this granted. I may hurt deeper than others, but I see the sun brighter than others. They take for granted they can decide not to be mad about something or not let something worry them.

Bipolar disorder is not about fixing problems. I will always have screw ups. I can fix my problems. I have a choice with that. The main problem I have is that I can't always fix bipolar disorder. I can manage it, or at least do my best, but I can't fix something that is so broken. I feel that this will last forever and nothing will change the future. I will be suicidal again and hospitalized again at some point. It's inevitable those days will come.

I fear the possible bad choices I may make in the future and their consequences in my mania. I tend to wander off. I get very generous with my mine and my wife's money. And worst of all, I crave alcohol. Mania tells you that you can do anything, go anywhere, be anyone and that nothing bad will ever happen! That you have no one to answer to.

Tomorrow I will call my psychiatrist to see him as soon as I can. I've been taking the same dosage of the same medication for years and I think my body has just become tolerant of it. I am tired and exhausted. Not just physically, but mentally and emotionally from fighting against my bipolar. It's heavy and relentless. It does not give up. But neither do I.

 I Need To Say Goodbye

I need to say goodbye. I have to go now.
I'm sure I will be back someday.
If you see myself somewhere tell me I miss me.
And if it's not too late tell me that I can stay.
Please ask me why I always have to go away.
I know my goodbye was so short and I am sorry.
The lights were just too bright for these two eyes.
I need to draw back and retreat into the darkness
of a world I know.
A world of pains disguise where I hide myself,
it suffocates my cries.
I hate this pounding; it's so loud I cannot hear me.
Why do demons wish to kill me inside?
My mind cannot suffer through this life of pain much longer.
If I cannot breath again then I rather die.
With every beat I clench my fists and scream out, "Why?"
The pain has grown now to engulf my numbing body.
The blood throbbing to burst out of my skull,
pressing my face against the floor.
I try to free me.
from this blinding, spinning, stabbing, pounding hell.
Pain has bound me to its everlasting cell.
I feel possessed by pains pressure on my soul, grasping, reaching for the unaffected me.
Screaming aloud the blood escapes my weighing eyelids.
I know I lost the battle towards becoming free.
At least I had the chance to say goodbye to me.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Bad Rap

Thomas. Was he so wrong? Most think so. How dare he? Who did he think he was asking Christ to prove Himself? Come on, if he didn't get it after spending the last three years with Him what more does he need?

Thomas was probably more right than any of them. He knew what to look for in the risen Christ. He didn't doubt He would be back. He believed Christ's warnings about false teachers and none of them could have pulled the resurrection off.

My opinion, Thomas had the guts to speak up and ask Jesus face to face what the others were to cowardly to say before. Didn't they dismiss the ladies who tried to convince them after they ran from seeing His empty tomb before they got to see Him person? Thomas wasn't present during that time. Double standard if you ask me.

Thomas receives such a bad rap. "Doubting Thomas" we have dubbed him. "Doubting" that has been mistranslated from Hellenistic Greek. Jesus doesn't call him doubting. He simply tells him he can believe He is Who says He is. That He is not an impostor.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Doing The Most Good

There is a large sign in my town for a local business that reads, "Doing The Most Good." Why don't they do their best? Or try hard? The "most good" is good enough I guess. I find this rather odd for an advertisement. Either they are just being honest or just not trying to get my business.

If I need an attorney would I hire the one who just does his most good? Or the one I hear goes that extra mile for me? If I need a physician would I see one who does his most good? Or visit the one who refuses to give up and get down the bottom of my ailment?

Good is the root of complacency. Complacency becomes the feeling of good. Complacency is the weapon that leads to our downfall. Complacency plays no favorites. It creeps into our marriages. Into our jobs. Into our recovery. Into our health. Into anything we find good enough in our lives.

Complacency is an affliction that saps energy, dulls attitudes, and causes a drain on the brain. The first symptom is satisfaction with the way things are. The second is rejection of things that might be. "Good enough" becomes today's motto and tomorrow's standard. Complacency makes people fear the unknown, distrust the untried, and abhor the new. Like water, a complacent attitude follows the easiest course--downhill. It causes us to draw false strength.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Bipolar, Boxing & God's grace

I think Bipolar is like boxing. You win some rounds. You lose some rounds. You can even get knocked out in the last round and still win.

Oh mania, the thrill of you! Things are good, my mind is sharp, quick and more clever. I remember the feeling. My energy is flying and I can handle everything that comes my way. Life is grand. I just don't see how life could get any better. Nor can I understand how everyone else can be so slow and take life so serious.

Whoa, wait a minute! It's not as great as I thought. I almost forgot about this part. I can't seem to control my thoughts. They're too fast. One starts before one ends. I'm confused and everybody is really getting on my nerves. Now my thoughts are bouncing around in my head at the speed of light and I can't catch them. Everything is coming so fast. Where is that music coming from? Why am I clenching my teeth? My jaw hurts. I'm out of control. Now I've made everyone mad. Wait, I forgot all about you God. I didn't need you.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Dead church...Cheesy clichés

I've never been one to bend over backwards to make people happy. You know a, "people pleaser." As a matter of fact I've been known to piss a few people off from to time to time. It seems my lack of willingness to conform to the norm or my refusal to shed the very core of my being is not well liked. And there is probably no doubt I may piss some off with this blog.

Sell outs come in all shapes and sizes, from all walks of life. We've all met them. I almost bet you that we've all been one to some degree. Could I look you in the eye and tell you I have never done it? No. I said I've never done it to make others happy. But for me? That's different. Insecurity. Loneliness. Personal gain. Revenge. Advantage. Who knows. Our reasons are as many as the number of settings in our walks of life.

In the darkest time of my life I reached out to those who I thought would reach back. I expected them to reach back. I opened up. I poured my heart out. My words flowed only to fall on deaf ears. My wife had left taking our children. Soon after I fell into alcohol and was fighting its grip. I turned to my church family and pastor. It was the church my wife and our children attended at the time. It's a large church made up of bodies. That's it...bodies. People who are busy doing programs and church activities. I soon realized my church family did not seem like much of a family.

Mahatma Gandhi once said, "I like your Christ; I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."

Friday, September 2, 2011

Have you lost your hearing?

Our land is dry right now. Rain is sparse. Clouds are few if any. Weeks have gone by since the temperature has been below a one-hundred. The flowers in front? Withered or burnt. The lawn? Burnt down to the dirt. I can water with the hose, or the sprinkler, but it's just as dry by the next day. Or worse, within hours. What we need is rain. What we need are clouds. Neither are exactly what we aren't getting. It's Fall this month and it's been this way all summer.

Without rain, there is nothing but empty fields. Without rain, there is no harvest--no life. Our Oklahoma storms seems to have deserted us.

Sometimes I find myself reflecting on the past five years. The attacks. Some personal, some for selfish gain. Some of out spite and vindictive motives. The years of fighting for my children and the toll it took on me. The toll it took on my wife, our family and our marriage. What I reflect on is how I failed to embrace the storm.

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

Blog with Integrity\\ Auhor Lupe Picazo

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.

Please feel free to leave comments. I welcome them