Bipolar ThoughtsDepression

One of the more curious aspects of my depression when it gets very deep and is sustained for awhile, is that I begin to feel very disconnected.

I suppose you’ve heard that before, but allow me to explain further, maybe it isn’t quite what you think.

You know those dreams that are so lifelike, so accurate, so painfully exact, that it is disorienting to wake up? You aren’t really sure where you are or if you were just dreaming or creating real memories?

That is a very similar sensation when I say I feel disconnected. It is like I am never really sure if I am awake. I feel less like a participant in life and more like a spectator. And an uninterested one at that.

Bipolar ThoughtsSuicide

I found myself standing on the purple and pink stool my daughter uses to wash her hands in the bathroom sink.

I knew I would need a stool this time, it needed to be higher than last time.

I also knew I needed to use a belt that would close tight with my weight, and be difficult to open, even without weight against it. Things were too easy last time.

I spent about 25 minutes just standing there with everything in place.

I wasn’t emotional at all.

I wasn’t even really very sad.

The view from the doorway to my bathroom opens up to almost my entire house. I studied it. I thought about how I came to the point in my life where this was my home. I wondered about what would happen to it after this.

My wife would find me here. I thought about how haunted this doorway, and the view it provides, would become for her.

I wondered how long until my daughter understood, and then how long until she forgot.

That’s when I started to get emotional.

I pulled out my phone and opened it up to my favorite current picture of me and her.

I just held it about a foot from my eyes and wept.

This is it.

I put my phone in my pocket with that image still lighting up the screen.

I looked out the front window and saw my neighbor on a walk with the kids. A neighbor I know well, kids I do too. I wondered if I was seen, standing on this stool in this doorway.

But I wasn’t.

I considered running outside and begging for help.

But I didn’t.

I knew in the deepest parts of me that everything would be ok afterwards. I still know this is what’s best for my family.

A father’s job is to do what is best, no matter how difficult, isn’t it?

I stared out the window, focused on what needed to be done, and then kicked the stool out from under my feet.

I miscalculated everything.

There was too much length in the belt, the stool was too short.

I was able to push my toes into the floor and open the door behind me. The intense pain of this is difficult to imagine. It only takes about 25 seconds to lose consciousness, but each second feels like an hour.

I immediately grabbed the taller stool.

I made the belt tight as I fit it into the door jamb, and I locked the bathroom door.

Lessons learned.

I opened my phone back up and stared at the photo of my daughter.

We were at the zoo, standing on a fence looking at both the giraffes and zebras.

It was the best part of what would become a pretty awful day. She hadn’t turned into a terrible listener, and I hadn’t yet become a monster. But both of those things were inside us.

I lost all my energy then.

The tears that flowed from me resembled the sort of booming and ominous summer storms that scare you awake and force you to close the windows.

I released the belt. Got down and placed it on the stool. I unlocked the bathroom door and grabbed a tissue.

I really don’t know what happened for the next hour or so. I didn’t sleep, as I have in the past. But I wasn’t really awake either.

The thoughts didn’t leave me that day, and the next day I found myself in a similar headspace.

The view from the height of that stool is still haunting me, but it appears to be beckoning me as well.

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AnxietyBipolar ThoughtsDepressionMental Health News

The International Bipolar Foundation recently shared this article: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317919.php

And I found it pretty fascinating.

Researchers have identified 7 genes that are related to insomnia. That alone is great news, as gene therapy becomes an ever more real way to treat mental illness.

But they also found some interesting associations. Now, I should note that none of this should be surprising. Everything I am about to tell you should make perfect sense. But it is still nice to see hard science backing up what soft science already associated.

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AnxietyBipolar ThoughtsDepression

There are a few words in the English lexicon that appear to draw a lot of power.

Sport is a good one. Lots of things claim to be sports, and saying something isn’t a sport is often very controversial; so much so that pretty much any type of physical competition is now considered a sport. Hell, even activities that aren’t competitive take on the moniker, like hunting or fishing.

Somehow, we have deemed “sport” to be the word with the most honor bestowed upon it, and words like “competition” are deemed to sit below it.

Art is this way as well. People clearly not making art claim to be artists all the time, like restorative painters. And people that sit well outside the traditional visual, literary, musical, or thespian arts claim all the time to be creating art.

Hell, I’ve even said that once in this space.

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Bipolar ThoughtsDepressionPersonal HistoryPersonal RelationshipsSuicide

So, I have both been avoiding this essay, and also chomping at the bit to publish it. This one is a difficult one, and I think suicide attempt survivors are united both in our visceral reaction to this story, and our opinion of what happened.

You have probably all heard about this, but if you haven’t, you need to look it up. A 20 year old woman named Michelle Carter was just found guilty of manslaughter for encouraging the suicide of her friend, Conrad Roy III, almost entirely through text messages and a single phone call. The suicide happened on July 12, 2014.

I have no desire to get into the legal talk about the case or the verdict. Frankly, I don’t care. I have an uneducated opinion that I won’t share here. But I thought this would be a good opportunity to talk about how significant an influence a person’s words can be, and how important timing is in that scenario.

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AnxietyBipolar ThoughtsDepressionPersonal HistoryPersonal RelationshipsTherapy

“Perhaps [ideas] are, for instance, like some big salmon or trout. They are not born fully grown; they are not even born in the sea or water where they normally live. They are born hundreds of miles away from their home grounds, where the rivers narrow to tiny streams. Just as it takes time for a speck of fish spawn to mature into a fully-grown fish, so we need time for everything that develops and crystallizes in our world of ideas.”

“Nothing is as dangerous in architecture as dealing with separated problems. If we split life into separated problems we split the possibilities to make good building art.”

-Alvar Aalto

Aalto is one of my favorite architects/ furniture designers. Most architects I know consider him one of their favorites. I won’t get into anything about his architecture, but you should look him up if you like architecture or design. He was amazing.

Like most of the biggest architects throughout history, he was also a pretty incredible thinker and philosopher. He always spoke of big ideas in relation to architecture, but many of the things he had to say have impact in most areas of life.

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Bipolar ThoughtsPersonal Relationships

I have had two girlfriends in my past that listed my mental instability as part of the reason they ended it with me. I don’t believe either girl did, or ever would, leave me just because of that alone. There were, in both cases, plenty of reasons to end it anyway.

But they did mention it. And that has always been curious to me.

It could be taken two ways:

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Blog

So I wanted to make a short post that this blog was selected as one of the top 100 bipolar health blogs by Feedspot.com.

I was ranked #60, and several blogs I have contributed to as content aggregators were ranked above me.

That is a pretty cool thing. I don’t know how much weight this actually bears on anything, but it is nice to be noticed. I did not submit anything to this company, they simply found me and read some content and ranked me as they saw fit.

I have a couple blogs that I follow regularly make this list, as well as a couple people who have added me on Facebook and Twitter, and also follow my blog. So it is nice to see this space becoming more of the community.

One of my initial goals with this blog was to get ranked on a list like this. I didn’t know this particular list existed, but I wanted to get recognized. I was hoping to get that in the first year, instead of the third. But, that’s ok. I am not doing this for recognition, so it is just nice that it is coming in some form.

Here is the link for the article: http://blog.feedspot.com/bipolar_disorder_blogs/

Also, on my page there is an image of a gold medal on the side panel on the right. You can click that as a hyperlink to this list as well.

Thanks for your support!

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AnxietyBipolar Thoughts

Caffeine is known to induce anxiety in people.

This side effect is pronounced in people that have a capacity for anxiety, but really it can have this effect on anyone. Anxiety is simply a common side effect of caffeine.

When I was a kid I was told a lot of things about caffeine, that it would stunt my growth most commonly, but no one ever talked to me about anxiety. Of course, this is really the only true side effect of it.

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AnxietyBipolar ThoughtsBlogDepressionFamilyParenting

“Remember why you came and while you’re alive to experience the warmth before you go”

– Incubus “The Warmth”

I struggle on most days with my responsibilities at home. Parenthood is very difficult for me and something I feel like I’m getting worse at with each passing day. There are times when I get unreasonably irritable, times when my frustration doesn’t match the occasion.

For what it is worth, no one really helps me with it. There isn’t a single person in my life trying to help me be a better parent, or even help me ease the difficulties of it. Now, that isn’t to say people don’t help out, even a lot. We get a ton of support in terms of daily babysitting or even if we have something we want or need to do. Our children are always welcome and in good hands and we have a lot of options. But what I am talking about is not that type of help. I don’t mean take the kids off my hands for some time help. I mean emotional support. I mean clearing my head kind of support. I mean relieving stress and learning to avoid it kind of support.

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