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Two of my all-time favorite bands are fronted by the same person, Maynard James Keenan. The two bands are the extremely original and boundary pushing Tool, and the kinda sounds a lot like a less progressive Tool, A Perfect Circle. A big part of the reason that both of these bands are so high up on my list of favorites has a lot to do with Maynard. The vocals, both the lyrics and the presentation, really make me feel very deeply. This is no small feat, if you know me, you are probably aware that I do not pay much attention to vocals. And if these bands did not have exceptional music, I wouldn’t pay attention to these vocals either.

But without blathering on for too long, let’s get right to the point. A lot of Tool and APC songs I relate directly to my struggle with mental illness and my relationship with my mother.

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Bipolar Thoughts

A friend posed an interesting question to me the other day. He wanted to know if I was ashamed of him.

It is an fascinating thing to have one of your best friends ask you. The obvious answer is a simple ‘no’, but I wanted to know why he was asking. What made him wonder? What made him worry?

What more, it made me wonder if he was ashamed of me.

Shame is a common emotion when you are different. I was going to say bipolar there, which is what I meant, but it isn’t limited to that. I have felt shame at more things in my life than simply being bipolar. And of all the things making me ashamed right now, bipolar is near the bottom of the list.

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Bipolar Thoughts

The following essay I wrote months ago, while I was pretty drunk. I am not sure if you all have been hip to the suicide theme this month, being suicide prevention month and all, but this one highlights some of my suicidal thinking when I am drinking.

I am sure that this last month worth of reading might have been difficult for you, especially if you care for me, but these essays are not written the day I post them, rarely every the week I write them, and often I don’t post them for months. I have showcased a collection of my more suicidal writings here due to the month. So no one needs to worry, I am actually doing rather well. Look forward to the less dense material once the calendar turns to October.

Here we go:

It is amazing how depressed I get when I am drunk.

Tonight I was just sitting in the basement editing a podcast, drinking rum and cokes all by myself and I wound up drunk and here I am.

Bipolar Thoughts

One way that my family tries to help me through depression is to make sure someone is always with me. When I had my breakdown a couple years ago, my parents and wife and sister made sure I was never alone.

I’m pretty sure they primarily did this so that I wouldn’t be able to harm myself. However, it was equally valued in that it provided me with company when I was at my lowest points.

I think there is an important distinction to be made here, one that is probably easy to understand but extremely difficult to implement for a loved one going through a major depressive spell. That distinction is that being alone does not necessarily mean you are lonely, and being with someone doesn’t mean you aren’t lonely.

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Pretending to Amuse

Jason has a couple questions about child care. We talk about trends from our childhood through today that we don’t understand or follow. Steve shares his opinion of the greatest camera phone feature. How important is it to broadcast your beliefs? Jason uses the term “soda” twice, weird!

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Bipolar Thoughts

“Avoiding fear, sadness or anger is not the same thing as being happy” – Zelda Williams

I recently read an article on the Huffington post with this line from the late, great, Robin Williams daughter, Zelda. Both her and her father have done a lot of advocacy for mental illness in the past. And now with Robin’s suicide, her prominence in the community is even greater.

She understands depression in a way that most non-sufferers don’t. And that is plainly obvious with this quote. She is specifically talking about her mourning of her father, but it is profound and impacted me in a way that few quotes on this subject have.

Bipolar Thoughts

I’m sort of catching myself in a weird position where I am not depressed, and I don’t want to die, but at the same time I don’t care if I live and I feel like it would be better if I was gone.

The ECT took away my desire to die, which is great. But the desire to live is something I probably have to fulfill myself, maybe with the help of therapy. It isn’t there. I wouldn’t say that I am suicidal. I don’t think about it or think about how I would do it or have a date in mind or anything. It is just that I wouldn’t care if I didn’t wake up tomorrow.

The feeling I have now is completely disconnected from my suicidal feelings I expressed in a few posts awhile back. I don’t lack the desire to live because of how I feel about myself or my career or my anything like that. I am just not excited to wake up, I don’t feel like I need to be around for anything. I don’t really see a point to it.

Now normally that would be that and I would just have to work out how to attain this desire to live. But there is some pressures coming to mind that I feel like I need to address.

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Bipolar Thoughts

I can tell you one thing that no longer exists in my world due to my use of psychoactive drugs.

I no longer have hangovers.

While a long day/ night of drinking will still usually result in a slightly nauseated upset stomach and achy muscles the next day, I do not experience a crippling light and sound sensitive headache that I used to wake up with rather regularly.

The reason is Lithium.

There are many people that speculate as to why lithium is not more widely prescribed for various ailments, chiefly among them is that lithium cannot be patented so there is no money to develop or market it properly. But the reality is that lithium is something of a super drug. The last fifteen years or so have provided the largest and widest scope of medical testing in the history of lithium and the results are stunning, even if unproven at this point.

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Pretending to Amuse

We discuss how Jesus was a god of a very human activity, the origins of race, discuss science fiction author Ernest Cline and how he goes about his business, have a Tigers update since the trade deadline. Steve tells a story of how he almost made a second massive Verlander mistake. How much would you pay to see an aging rockstar? And Jason grinds some gears about car stickers.

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