Sunday, January 3, 2010

Don't Imagine You'll Wanna Hear This

I'm up late. Or is it early? It's both. It's one eleven pacific standard time. And I'm not sleeping. Should be, but I'm not.

Instead? Well, at least I'm writing.

Why do I write? Oh, let me count the reasons... There are so many. I write to produce something that I can look at and view as an achievement. I write because it gets my blood flowing, my brain going, my ego stroking (right now it's a four-stroke; hope to upgrade to a V8 later this month...)

I write because it heals me. It's therapeutic. It strengthens my resolve in facing my problems and challenges. It clears my mind of a lot of chatter and brings forth the important words, the ones that need to be expressed. Somehow, the process of writing de-muddles my mind.

So. Last year, kind of half-assedly, I managed to write a blog entry each month of the year. This is an accomplishment, yes. But I want to take it bigger. So this year...

Well, who knows? I'd like to write everyday, but I've already missed one. So. Instead, I will look to make at least 2 blog entries every month.

How's that for fried potatoes? Are we cookin' with fire?

So, to get to what it was that I was originally going to blog about... Well, you're not going to like it. I assume that this is not a way to win friends and influence people. But I'll leave that to Mr. Carnegie and his blog.

Truth be told, I've been having some suicidal ideation again. Maybe it's from the sustained feelings of wearing a leaded hair shirt with matching pants and socks. And the lack of passion for anything. The severe dislike of my job, my bloated body, my stressed clothes.

Maybe it's the lack of writing.

Could be. I could use more discipline, more structure in my life. Perhaps if I wrote for an hour everyday, whether it makes it here or the trash, maybe it would improve my life.

Because for the better part of two years now, I've been down. "I've been down so long, bein' down don't bother me..." You can sing that last part. I did.

Don't whip up the worry works-- I've been "passively suicidal" before. No attempts. That's a good record, in my favor. It may tell me that I'm not capable of suicide. But I don't want to get overconfident or anything.

No-- my intent here is not to worry my readers that my welfare is threatened. But the truth needs to be told. I'm battling depression, and it kicks my ass now and then. And I'm in treatment-- I see therapists and psychologists and I take medicine as prescribed. But this disorder that I'm labeled with-- bi-polar disorder-- is chronic and incurable. One can hope to manage the symptoms, but there isn't a vaccine or behavioral "trick" that fixes it.

When I was in high school, I'd often stay up all night, listening to music, writing, dreaming about a time outside of school... These may have been my incubating manic tendencies. In college, they were greatly pronounced at times-- like going nearly 48 hours without sleep when I first traveled to Grinnell. By this time I had started drinking, and by my sophomore year I was experimenting with drugs like marijuana. Only recently did I learn that there is a very common incidence of co-occurring conditions; that is, most people who are diagnosed bi-polar also have a history of drug use/abuse. The condition elicits self-medicating tendencies.

I had thoughts of killing myself when I was in high school. It wasn't born entirely out of loneliness or isolation. Rather, I had a curiosity as to what would happen. I have retained that curiosity to this day.

What happens to our thoughts when we die? Do they cease to exist because our body is no longer functional? Our thoughts aren't tied to any particular part of the body when it is functioning properly... Where is the mind located? "Oh, the brain is not the mind, and the mind is not the brain." Sing if you wish.

I don't know where this boat is pointed, but I suppose it's downstream.

So. It's not like I'm wandering around, looking for a death trap to fall into. But I get frustrated. My flexing wiry nerves get worn. I get sick of fighting. I fall down. And sometimes I lie there a bit. But I keep getting up.

I'm downright sick and tired of not being happy. I'm not asking for a zip-a-dee doo-dah and a lollipop the size of my head. I mean inhale, exhale. Contentment. Purpose. Direction. Passion. Without all these damn strings attached!

I hate the shakes. They wear at me. I can't pick up my pills. Then I can't hold them long enough to get them to my mouth. Blast! It's a conspiracy!!

When the little things start to anger me, I know my skin has worn thin. Deep breathing and centering skills help me find the auxiliary body armor.

I will not let this disorder conquer me. But I feel like I need me back. That all this fighting and struggling, through changes in medications and doctors, through quitting drinking and staying sober for over 600 days now-- that I've misplaced Michael, and am left with a dull, fragile shell.

Or maybe I'm standing to the side, holding onto this shell. But instead of a shell, it is my shedded skin.

I am transitioning, I know. It's just hard to note progress sometimes.

So thinking about killing yourself is somewhat necessary, I think, sometimes. Because you've got to die a little to shed that skin. It won't peel if it's still alive. What's alive stays with you.

I want to find peace again. For me, for my wife, my family and friends. So I'm working on it. And I'm leavin' no stone unturned. I may not find all the answers I'm looking for, but I have faith that I'll find the important ones.

Blessings to all who read this. May you find peace and thrive.


Suzy said...

Hang in there sweetie. It is rough but we (yes we) will continue to work on making you better. I love you!

(t)om said...

Keep writing dude. It's that simple.

Deb said...

I am so glad you are writing again. You are so eloquent, and it's easy to see why you love writing. Keep believing. We are all behind you. Much love.