The Lure of Normal

 

I’ve been away as a contributor to this blog not because of illness, but due to the lack of it. As a survivor of Bipolar I, my moods run the gamut from depressed to supremely manic. Lately, however, I’ve found myself in the sweet spot a lot of people would call normal.

I’m watchful for changes to my affect because for years, the chilling temperatures of autumn signaled another mania was on the horizon. This year, I face the prospect of fall with confidence and resolve to remain stable.

Many of my kindred spirits have written of their experiences with the seductive aspects of mania. I no longer have such lust. My manic episodes have caused me humiliation, anguish and disruption in my life. I have little interest in chasing fantasies only to be left holding cold ashes once my dreams flame out. Trips to the hospital were the result of Icarus-like flights of fancy.

Today, the day after Labor Day, is an anniversary for me. It’s been five years since I walked out of a psychiatric ward, released after I received medical treatment for a manic episode. It wasn’t the first time.

I have worked very hard to regain my emotional sobriety. Due to the nature of mental illness, there are no guarantees that particular hospitalization will be my last, but I have put many barriers between me and unbridled delusional thinking. One of the most helpful is the lure of normal.

Sky high self-esteem, visions of grand schemes manifesting overnight and touching the third rail of connection with The Divine are some of the elements of mania that used to call my name. It seemed so real; I could imagine all of it happening. Now, my wish is more Pinocchioesque: I want to be a regular person.

With over thirty years of experience as a diagnosed bipolar survivor, “average” and “normal” were terms I knew little about. Today, they are my goals. I don’t want to miss any more of this precious life with a runaway mind separated from my family and friends. Getting adequate sleep, taking meds, checking in with my therapist and doctor and monitoring my moods are just a few of the remedies I’ve chosen to use against the beast of mania.

Currently, there is no cure for what I’ve got. I can only do my best with the tools I’ve got on hand. Striving for stability is one of the ways I keep the symptoms at bay. As we head back to work and school in the midst of the pandemic, let’s try our best to keep our mental health foremost on our priority list. Take care of yourself first. It’s not selfish, it’s imperative.

Colleen

The Bipolar Writer Needs Help… Again

https://www.gofundme.com/rasing-to-upgrade-the-bipolar-writer-blog

This is my GoFundMe under my real name David TC (I wasn’t sure if I could get the funds if I used my Pen Name James Edgar Skye.) Thank you in advance for donating!


So, my goal is $300. The cost to upgrade. If 100 people donate 3 dollars, I can reach my goal quickly (the donation button is below through PayPal.) I am going to try and keep this post going all weekend in hopes that I reach my goal. Please, if you can help it would be amazing, and if you can’t, I understand. I haven’t done one of these in a while, so here it goes!

If you can’t donate please reblog this post or share my GoFundMe link above, it would mean the world to me!

You Can Also Donate Below!

Just Click the Pay with PayPal button!

Always Keep Fighting & Thank You

James

unsplash-logorawpixel

Please Forgive Me.

Please forgive me for the things I said

And for the things I didn’t

Forgive me for the outbursts

For the door slams

For the silent treatment

Forgive me for ruining something special

The dinners

The holidays

The vacations

Forgive me for the stealing

For the spending

For the hurt feelings

For the time lost

Forgive me for not knowing

For not telling

And for not seeking help sooner

Please forgive me for the other me

I don’t like her either

I forgive you

For not always understanding

For your own bouts of anger at something you cannot control

For despising the other me

For calling me crazy

I forgive you for giving up

Lord knows I have at times

I forgive you for not knowing the right things to say

And for the right time to say them

Most of all I forgive myself.

10 Things I am Grateful for in my Mental Health – Fall Edition

With all the bad that comes with this time of year, yes I am talking about our old friend depression, it is essential to talk about the things that we are grateful for in our mental health. It is the little things that make life worth living even when starting down lousy depression that is “known” during the fall and winter months of my life. So, here are ten things I am grateful for in my mental health– fall edition.

  1. Waking up knowing today is another opportunity.
  2. The amazingly different coffee flavors that are available at Starbucks.
  3. Finding inspiration for poetry writing outside in the beautiful fall days.
  4. The fact that it does not snow in this part of California.
  5. When it is cold outside, but I am inside with a nice cup of coffee or tea and writing post for my blog.
  6. Hearing the amazing stories of people triumphing when depression takes over.
  7. The rain. Interestingly enough I love to listen to the rain, and it always inspires me to write.
  8. Knowing I can share my mental illness experiences here with a positive community.
  9. Binge watching my favorite shows under a pile of blankets or reading a good book all weekend.
  10. Spending time with my nieces.

Positive lists are great for the soul and for your mental health. I could have easily added more to this list. So, what are the things you are grateful for during the fall? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Always Keep Fighting

James

Photo Credit:

Alex Geerts