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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“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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Bipolar ThoughtsDepression

“Maybe the life I think I’m living is a paranoid delusion…Sanity is a valuable possession; I hoard it the way people once hoarded money. I save it, so I will have enough, when the time comes.”
Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

I first read The Handmaid’s Tale in high school. It was one of the very slew of dystopian near future books I digested, along with 1984, A Clockwork Orange, Brave New World, and Fahrenheit 451. I have only read a few dystopian novels since high school that impacted me that same way these five did. For the record, those books are: Gulliver’s Travels, Children of Men, The Road, and A Scanner Darkly. Every dystopian story gets compared to these giants in my mind.

I read it again recently, because I want to experience it again before I begin watching the HULU series. And upon this second reading, I am finding a lot of quotes that really describe my experiences with mental health rather well. There is a passage about why we say night falls even though if you look east, it clearly rises just like the morning. This is about perspective. If we focus on the sun, we define our days on the sun. If we focus on something else, we see things in a different way. I wrote a blog about this passage as well, but it isn’t nearly as interesting to me as the one that opens this essay, or at least, this one is less expected.

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AnxietyBipolar ThoughtsDepression

I apologize for not being around for awhile. Things have been very busy for me, kids, work, spring things around the house, a big wedding, graduations and birthdays and everything has been crazy.

But another reason is that I have been dealing a lot with some depression and a lot of anxiety. I have missed a good number of days of work. I have felt particularly awful, barely sleeping, eating much less, much more stressed out, and very little ability to relive stress.

As a result, a little over a month ago, for the first time in several months, I took sleeping medication to try to get some sleep.

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AnxietyBipolar ThoughtsDepressionManiaObsessionsPersonal History

I think people might get confused a bit when I say things like “I’m symptom free” or use the word “remission”.

The truth is those things don’t exist. I am never totally ok.

I haven’t experienced the crushing extremes of bipolar in about 10 months. But just a couple days ago I was reminded that exactly a year ago right now I was in a crippling depression and was avoiding people and drinking heavily. And, truth be told, I avoided people and felt depressed at times during this summer as well.

I still have the mood swings, even the extreme ones. I still experience anxiety, insomnia, irritability. I still find my mind racing, or find it difficult to get out of bed.

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Bipolar ThoughtsDepressionMania

I’ve only really had a couple dozen nights of good sleep since early March.

A lot of that has been simply the cessation of my sleeping pill. Insomnia always was, and probably always will be a problem for me. I tend to have a reputation for knowing a lot of trivia, and whenever someone asks me how I know something, I always respond with ‘insomnia’. And it is true! I have spent countless hours going down countless rabbit holes while the sun was asleep.

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Bipolar ThoughtsDepression

I have these small, thin but long, slightly raised white lines on the left side of my chest and torso. There are seven of them. They are barely visible, especially in the winter (then tend to pop more if I have even the slightest tan). I doubt any of you have ever noticed them if you ever happened to see me without a shirt, a situation I am rarely in.

I only ever notice them, or think about them, when I am in the shower. They are very noticeable to the touch. They are quite raised for their diminutive size. It is possible something about the water or soap makes them more perceptible to touch as well.

I got these scars in June, 2013.

I had been off of work since the last week in February. I had been out of the hospital day program I was enrolled in for over a month. I had been alone all day everyday, drinking, abusing pills, struggling to grapple with the whirlwind few months that included a complete break, a serious suicide attempt, hospitalization, and the heavy burden now being placed on my brand new wife.

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Just thought I would share a quick mini post from my phone. I know I didn’t post at all this week, it has been a bad week, bad month really. 

So this is the news. I just took a trazadone, lithium, and klonopin. The same concoction I was on before I quit the meds. 

I have been tracking my mood for three weeks on a couple and it is showing a steady low mood witha some serious swings the last couple days. 

I hope to stay on top of this and manage it before it becomes an issue. 

I’ll get into the specifics in another post, but for now, it is 10pm, I took all my pills, that is where I’m at. 

Have a good night!

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Bipolar ThoughtsDepressionPersonal Relationships

It is an interesting and difficult and sad part of life when something happens to drive a wedge into a relationship.

The wedge could be driven by a controversial conversation, maybe the usage (abuse) of a substance, disagreement about friends or even dating an enemy, bad habits, who knows. There are a million things that can do it and eventually it usually leads to the demise of the relationship. But until then, it becomes a huge uncomfortable impediment to your relationship.

Making everyone in your life aware that you are Bipolar is like throwing a massive wedge in every relationship you have.

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