Saturday, December 31, 2016

2017

So, I've been working on a book.... Hahaha, I know. I'll probably delete it before it gets to far along I know. But at least I'm working on it. I've got the first chapter done and of course started on the second. Just thought I'd fill you in on that.

So here it is, News Years Eve all over again. 2017 may be a good year for me. It would have to be a better year than the last. Keep moving forward in time, don't live in the past. Kinda old advise I know but had to say it.

Anyway, yes it's new years and I'm going to try to make it a better year for myself. I understand I can't do anything about bipolar disorder but I can at least try to have a better year. Most people make new years resolutions and never keep them. They promise all sorts of things that they're going to do, such as quit smoking, loose weight, work out, be a better spouse or parent, quit drinking, quit drugs. and so on. Well, I'm not going to make a promise, I'm just going to try.

So Happy New Years and I'll write another article next year....

Thursday, December 29, 2016

A Book, Maybe??

You know that feeling you get when you decide to do something for sure, this is it, this is what your life has been about!!! You have the excitement building up inside or its already built up. Then when you go tot take on the task you have that wall of doubt, defeat, and hate for the task. You decide that in no way can you do this. You feel like you are a looser and no one would ever support this idea and no one would ever understand it. You also know that you could never complete the duty that you was once pumped up to complete.

I've been a million things in my lifetime. I've been a gas well hand on a rig, a security officer, truck driver, minister, special event officer for a major police department, factory worker for foster grant glasses, restaurant manager, greenhouse worker, in home care worker, pizza delivery driver, and so on. Many things have come and gone. The excitement of each new task or game in my life has faded fast and I've moved on. Anger and frustration have built up and left my heart as quickly as the jobs have come and gone. I knew that it wasn't for me deep in my heart. I believe I still haven't really found my calling in life.

Numerous times I've wanted to write a book about my life and dealings with bipolar disorder and all the walls and doors I've hit or come through. I've decided it was a great idea, a horrible idea, and a stupid idea. I have started writing it and erased it just like I have with this blog before. You see, it's not easy to take on these tasks when you have a brain illness. What looks good today is dumb tomorrow. Sometimes it seems dumb the same day after you start it.

Starting slow and easy and move forward is the way I'm going now. A book is a huge task to take on. Getting a book published is an even bigger task. So I've decided that my blog and my YouTube channel is a great way to start. If I can manage to keep these things going and do some book writing on the side as well I'll see how it goes. I'll release some of the book on my blog in the future to see how many readers I get on it. If it does well with views I'll keep it up and release it to the world. Just a thought and a dream. It may never happen. I mean I've tried before and failed. I'm not sure if this is going to happen this time.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Mental Illness Doesn't Take A Holiday

With the holiday season upon us it's important to remember that mental illness doesn't take a holiday break. Reaching out to family and friends, shopping, and planning that big meal are all great things. Looking forward to visits from everyone as well as doing the visiting are exciting and exhausting as well. Opening presents and treating the kids to a old fashioned rendition of The Night Before Christmas are holiday favorites. Cookies and milk for the jolly old St. Nicholas and packing the gifts under the tree. Sounds like a great Christmas full of memories in the making. Getting caught up in all of this excitement is normal for many people all over the world. Even those that don't celebrate Christmas but other forms of holidays all have a busy time around now. So how easy it must be to say oops I forgot my medicine, my doctors appointment, or that trip to the pharmacy.

This is a great time of year. Full of giving and family, friends, and just plain old fun times. It's also a very sad, stressful, exhausting, and depressing time of year for many. Lost loved ones, money woes, split families, separated families are all problems people face everyday but during the holidays they get worse. Those with bipolar disorder also face many triggers that can send them into a spiral of depression or a climb into hypomania. So as a friend and fellow sufferer of mental illness please remember that sickness doesn't take a holiday.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

What's Normal

Good evening or morning when ever you read this. Things have been going okay for me this week. Being somewhat balanced is a good feeling. The thing about this is, I just don't know what balanced, I mean true balanced feels like. It's really hard for someone with mental illness to understand what normal feels like.

Being normal is not something I know or remember being. Yes, I can have days or months without having a high or low, but even then I may seem or "appear" normal but I most certainly are not. Having a good period still feels or seems to me as I have bipolar disorder. I still take my daily medicines and need to concentrate on my interactions and activities. Even when it appears I have it all under control.

Through the years we all develop tricks of the trade. We all have a certain way to express ourselves and interact with others. Each time we start a conversation with someone we need to think about our answers and questions before we speak. With bipolar disorder we also need to include thinking about our mood and behavior as well. It's kind of like being without emotions. If a friend says I've been sick, you can't just say "I don't care", even if that's how you feel right now.

Living with out emotions is a hard life. I'm not saying I have no emotions ever. I'm truly a caring person with a huge heart. I love every single person I know. I care about everyone's needs and well being. But at times bipolar disorder kicks my butt and I just don't have the energy to continue these feelings. Emotionally drained, depressed David is not a caring person. This David is a fake.

Just pretending to care not only drains you more but also puts that stress of dishonesty on your heart. Having to, in a way, lie to your friends and family. Knowing in your heart that you do actually care but just not now. Having a mental illness is not an easy life.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Understanding Your Symptoms

It always seems to happen when I'm almost ready for bed. I'm sitting on my couch, watching a little television, and trying to unwind from my days activities. All of the sudden I get that feeling. That all to familiar feeling of nervous movements, tingling in my fingers, and just know something is wrong. As I sit there with my legs moving involuntarily, I tell my wife I'm not feeling well. She knows it's hypomania as well as I do. Immediately I go to bed to salvage what little sleep I can get ease I know it's all I'll get for a few days.

Knowing is half the battle. Knowing you're signs, symptoms, and feelings can help you to understand what needs to be done before you're in a depressed or manic stage. Letting loved ones know so they can keep an eye on you or contact your doctor for you if things get out of hand is a simple way of helping control your illness. Being in control of what you can so the things you can not will be more easily dealt with.

I know this isn't the best way to handle things, but today's medicine doesn't always control every symptom of bipolar disorder. This illness is not fully understood and controlled with the technology and medicine we have available. Planning ahead, taking all medicines as prescribed, and regular doctor visits is the best armor we have at preventing full manic or depressed episodes, and even then they still happen.

I ask myself why everyday. Everyday I wake up and wonder "how will I feel today?" It is t fair, nor is it right that anyone should worry about this sort of thing. Understanding causes, triggers, and staying away from these things is just another theory that I've tried. Some people say this works, but in my opinion it doesn't. I understand that bipolar is a disease and no matter what happens at times the symptoms are going to manifest themselves. It isn't because of any specific thing or person it just happens.


Sunday, December 4, 2016

I'm An Addict

Let's talk about addiction. What is addiction? Addiction is "being enslaved to a habit or practice to something psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma" according to dictionary.com. So now I must ask myself what do they mean by severe trauma? I can personally say that 4-5 days of not having my medicine is severely traumatic in my head!!! I get agitated, exhausted, moody, suffer from insomnia, nauseous, and of course could easily relapse into a mania or depressed state. So why does the dictionary specifically say narcotics? I can only assume that the majority of people who are addicted to a substance are addicted to narcotics. Well I guess nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, pornography, and of psych meds don't count.

Okay, let's look into what I'm familiar with to some minor extent, psych meds. In my experience those who take these types of prescriptions need to continue on them as prescribed by the doctor or a severe reaction could be in their near future. I did say severe here because that's what my doctor said. Once you start these meds you need them to sustain a normal brain function due to the brain becoming dependent on them for the chemicals they produce. Dependent is a term used in addiction. This I understand very well not only because of the horrible withdrawals I have suffered but also due to the lack of sleep or insomnia I have when I'm without my medicine. So I now need to ask myself, am I an addict? Well, my magic 8 ball says "all signs point to yes."

Now I'm not one of those people who point to addicts and say you're a bad person. I'm more one of those people who say you have an illness and need help. Understanding that a disease is just that, a disease, is very important to public health and breaking that old stigma. Yes, addicts suffer a stigma also. How can anyone say "drugs" ruin your life and then through them in jail. Doesn't that ruin a life just as fast? I mean, now you're labeled a druggie and a criminal.  I believe in finding help for those with a mental illness simple and sweet. No way around it. All of the old methods of psychiatric hospitals and jail have failed and now we have begun a new method of understanding mental illness. I think we have finally found a way to treat these illnesses that may help and not criminalize.

Of course addiction isn't always a bad thing. Wait, what? Yes it can be a good thing in a way. I'm addicted to my medicine and without it I would be very ill. Not only because of the withdrawal but also my bipolar disorder would be running free un medicated. Those who suffer insomnia are addicted to sleep aid so that isn't bad either. Of course a caffeine addiction isn't exactly healthy but it isn't a bad thing nor is an addiction to nicotine. So good or bad addiction is definitely a form of disease that probably affects most lives on our little planet. I for one know it affects me and my home.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

OCD or CDO

Working and having bipolar disorder is not an easy task to preform. So many people have to live on disability because of this illness. Knowing I need to be up at a certain time or be somewhere at a certain time puts me at an oblivious disadvantage against my illness. What happens is I become nervous that I will miss my scheduled time to wake up or be at work. I become nervous, paranoid, and worried and end up being up early at work two hours early and dive into things before I'm scheduled to begin. I know it sounds like I become the model employee right? No, this is absolutely awful to be like this. 

Living life on the edge of insanity is what it is. Constantly suffering, worrying and feeling like you need to get started or are letting those around you down is in no way to live. By doing this you end up working for free and doing more hours in the week than anyone else for absolutely no reason. Of course you wouldn't want to do this but feel obligated to do it. I'm really not sure if this type of behavior counts as hypomania or not but when it doesn't go as you feel it should depression and guilt sets in. 

This is just one more reason I absolutely hate having bipolar disorder. No one needs to feel this obligated to anything. Never being able to say no, never feeling truly free in a free nation, feeling bound and obligated at all times. It gets to the point that if you don't do these silly things you actually feel like you're going to be judged and let go for not being there. Maybe it's just the way I am. Maybe no one feels like this except me. Not sure anymore because I just don't know what's normal for others verses me.