Last May a distant cousin wasn’t able to cross back over that blurred line between what is real and what is not and became lost in suicide.
Since we shared the almost inexplicable symptoms of bipolar depression, I was able to partially insert myself into his shoes and understand just how hard the daily battle is.
Since I am a husband and father and son, I was able to partially insert myself into his family’s shoes and understand a small portion of just how much pain a tragedy such as this brings.
In response, I tried to speak for this bright and energetic and accomplished man I called Sam. I felt that Sam’s family deserved to understand a bit of what was going through his mind, and that Sam deserved to be seen not as a victim, but as one who had fought valiantly for as long as he could.
So I wrote a letter from Sam to all who may have known him, and were hurting.
That being said, I think it may be a good time to try to help those who feel like they are on opposing sides of some difficult issues. It’s important to understand that the supposed battle lines can in fact be brought into a loop which encircles everyone to be united in helping each other.
Continue reading Letters to those who may feel lost
Okay, here’s the deal:
Things have been tough lately.
You can empathize, right?
For a while now, I’ve really struggled with my self-imposed deadlines of getting out a blog posting each Monday and Thursday. It, like these kinds of things usually do, began to consume me and filled me with dread. If I didn’t have something ready for the next scheduled published thoughts, I became more and more weighed down of being overwhelmed by it all.
Well, actually yes.
That’s kind of the problem.
It’s just one of the reasons that holding down a steady job is out of my grasp right now. Of course, the whole bipolar thing doesn’t help, but that’s another discussion.
When Ann and I met with the doctor recently we decided that I’d stop writing for a while, as it was doing more harm than good.
I was almost giddy with relief.
One step forward, another one back.
Continue reading One step forward, another one back – right?
One of the little surprises this holiday season was a framed quote that many of you have already seen:
My doctor asked if any members of my family suffered from insanity. I replied, “No, we all seem to enjoy it.”
After the initial chuckle, taking time to ponder just what this statement can mean still brings a smile to my face.
But probably without the laughter.
A few weekends before Alex was scheduled to arrive home, Ann and I thought that I should call Monday morning and see if I could get an emergent appointment with the doctor in Salt Lake. The combination of mental illness symptoms and medication side effects felt just out of my reach of control.
I have learned how to control my outward actions and responses to the mental inward implosions. The feelings of slowing slipping into insanity, the screaming inside at being locked in an unreal prison that is more restricting than any cell made of iron bars, and the overwhelming physical exhaustion can be tamed and kept within.
I actually think I’m pretty nice and easy going overall.
But we had hit that point where I didn’t think I could last until our next appointment after the first of the year.
Continue reading We’ve made it through the forest, only to find that there are still lots of trees
SCAPEGOAT: a person or group made to bear the blame for others or to suffer in their place.
The truth is we all do it. Sometimes it is so painfully obvious and ludicrous. You know what I mean: as when a man shouts at his wife that “you made me do this” as he brutally beats her.
That had better not be any of us.
However, I think that in the majority of cases it is the very subtle scapegoating we do that can be the most dangerous.
I’ve realized recently that all of us can learn to be pretty good at it, which can make us pretty bad at everything else.
Being bipolar and mentally ill brings its own special level of spreading the blame.
With Nick home, I have the opportunity to see myself through his eyes. He and his mother walk cautiously through the house to not startle me into a heart attack. They make HUGE adjustments to their lives to accommodate me and the symptoms that are just a part of every day. In fact, I finally digested that they also watch closely what they say.
This last week, Nick said to his mother several times “Mom, you know you can’t say something like that to Dad, he’ll just obsess over it until he explodes.”
Long story short, I don’t want to be that guy.
Continue reading Differentiating the distractions from the demons
I’ve asked myself that question quite often recently.
Of course, my first response is “not much.”
But, after a few minutes I realize that just isn’t true.
I know a lot.
And so do you.
Here’s the deal:
Continue reading What do you KNOW?