Bipolar ThoughtsDepressionPersonal Relationships

It is an extremely common thing for people who are around depressed people to feel like they have to walk on eggshells.

People have said this to me many times: ‘oh, we didn’t want to mention it because we thought it would upset you’, or ‘I don’t even know how to approach you about this without upsetting you’, or many other things like that.

I have gotten comments like this from probably a dozen people in my life. I have found out things being hidden from me dozens of more times. And the times I have gotten worried looks, sideways glances, and uncomfortable avoided conversations are uncountable.

It is also something I have heard repeated often in group therapy. It is a common complaint. People treat depressed people as emotionally fragile. Any bad news is likely to push us into suicide.

It is all non-sense.

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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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Bipolar ThoughtsPersonal Relationships

About a two years ago I had my ECT treatment.

The story leading up to that is simple: I was doing poorly, attempted suicide on my 30th birthday. Went to my shrink the next day and he sent me to the ECT guru of the Beaumont system the following Monday. That afternoon I checked into Beaumont Royal Oak’s psych ward and I would remain there for a week; 5 nights and 6 days.

My very first night there I had an unexpected and very welcomed guest. I believe the very next night I had some members of my immediate family stop by and visit me. I was incredibly nervous about being there. I hate to sleep away from my bed and away from my wife. I often have very horrifying sleep and she is always there to wake me and comfort me when I need it. But now, I was sleeping next to a man in his 90’s that was completely deaf. Any nighttime disturbance would be assuaged by a nurse, possibly. And I doubt he/ she would want to cuddle with me.

Bipolar ThoughtsPersonal RelationshipsSuicide

Monday was my wife’s first day back to work since the birth of my son.

So Monday was also my first day driving both kids home from my parent’s house. And for whatever reason, very surprisingly, the drive home was rather emotional for me.

Maybe it was the realization that this is the last one. I’ll never have another first day of driving my child home from my parent’s house. This one is it. Our family is settled at this point. But to be honest, I wasn’t thinking about my son really at all. I was focused on my daughter.

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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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