Choices, Which Way Turn Right?


“Every test in our life makes us bitter or better, every problem comes to break us or make us. The choice is ours whether we become victim or victor.” Anonymous


For as long as I can remember I have always made choices in haste. The results on the better part of the percentage was that it was the choice. Those wrong choices caused me to spend unnecessary time and effort working to correct them.

Try as I might I have leaned towards the pessimistic side of every equation. I could blame it on my upbringing, maybe low self-esteem, but it was a matter that being a pessimist looked to be easier, the safest bet to make. The other side being a optimist looked like it would need hard work if I chose going in that direction. I can look back and say was I wanted the easy way out.

I have been asking the question lately, could it be a part of fighting as a bi-polar mindset. Here is some of the research I found:


Pessimism

When to be concerned: With depressive pessimism, the negativity a person experiences is exaggerated compared to the reality of the situation. In fact, pessimistic thinking often precedes any specific event. A person may simply think: It’s going to be another bad day.

The negative viewpoint may not be limited to a person’s external perception of the world; it can also be turned inward onto themselves. Someone who is depressed might think thoughts like, No one likes me.

This negativity may also pervade a person’s self-concept or sense of their abilities. For instance, they may look at a Help Wanted ad and think: There’s no point in applying for that job—I would never get it.

When someone is depressed their perspective on how the world is, as well as who they are, is impaired by negative, often critical, patterns of thought. They may not be able to see (let alone feel) that they have good things in life to look forward to, that people who know them like and care about them, and that they are a capable person who has much to offer.”

https://www.verywellmind.com/difficult-moods-in-bipolar-depression-379838

It looks like I am not alone in my thinking about pessimism and bipolar are linked together. Now, not everyone who is pessimistic is bipolar. That diagnosis is for a clinician to decide.

I am writing this post for it was a subject I wanted to explore. I am not a doctor, psychiatrist, I will leave it at this.

So dear reader what are your thoughts about this issue?

The Journey

“What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor, and more unashamed conversation.” Glenn Close

One thing that I have learned about living with mental health challenges is that every day is a new test, sometimes a stress test. The only choice it leaves me is to put one foot in front of the other.

There was only so much that group therapy could equip with you. It was great for I learned so many must tools for the challenges of being bi-polar. I consider this WordPress community as one big virtual group session. It has done for me many great things. The ability to be able to talk about my journey to great mental health. Everyone has something to share, an experience that brought them some joy, one who has to vent their feelings over a challenge that they are facing at a particular moment.

This journey leads up mountains, valleys, deserts, across rivers. There are times that the path is blocked by fallen trees, overgrown vegetation, yet still I have to keep moving focusing on reaching my great mental health.

There may be times when I am going to have to ask someone to help along the path, to help keep me upright when the road gets rocky.

When the nights get cold and loneliness tries to creep up on me, I remind myself that if I just hold fast the sun will rise again in the east to warm my spirit. It is also during those nights that I must remember I have passed through others and was successful, that I can do it again.

So dear reader let me take a few moments to say, Thank you! Thank you for being patience and kind during the past few posts where I shared some of my battles, my life, the journey I have been on trying to obtain great mental health!

A Re-blog: The Depression Diaries — Beth McIntyre

Today I took some time to catch up on some tags that I follow. Below is one that caught my heart. Beth has a story to tell one that may help others. I have a feeling she is new to the WordPress community. After reading this post drop her a line in the comment section.


Entry 1. 15 September 2020. Bucharest, Romania. Hi. I’m Beth. I’ve struggled with my mental health for as long as I can remember. Well okay, not as long as I can remember, but for a long time. I was first diagnosed with depression at 13 (maybe 14?) years old. I turn 30 next month. I […]

The Depression Diaries — Beth McIntyre

Breaking The News

“The advice I’d give to somebody that’s silently struggling is, you don’t have to live that way. You don’t have to struggle in silence. You can be un-silent. You can live well with a mental health condition, as long as you open up to somebody about it, because it’s really important you share your experience with people so that you can get the help that you need.” Demi Lovato


The other night I was talking with my daughter somewhere during the conversation it turned to mental health. She already knew I was bi-polar but what I was about to tell her was that I tried to commit suicide by taking an overdose of sleeping pills, Amitriptyline. I also told what led up to the mental health condition I was in.

I still know the city where I was living, Cambridge, Ontario, the street I lived on, Cedar Str. Down one block was a Tim Horton’s Donut store, going in the opposite direction was a Sobey’s Grocery Store.

I can remember vividly about my first night in the Mental Health Ward there. The reason being is that during a group session they had us watch the movie “Groundhog Day”. To me it made no sense of why we were watching. It was still back then that you could smoke in the hospital. They had a dedicated room for the smokers, it usually was filled with blue smoke, the smell of nicotine heavily filled the room.

After I was discharged I just couldn’t stay in Ontario for one simple reason I didn’t want my family to see me in the mental state I was in. It was probably more like I was ashamed of myself. Growing up going to church hearing all your life that suicide was sin.

Why did I wait so long to tell my daughter? Here is some reasons for that:

  • I wasn’t sure how she would react, I just wouldn’t be able to handle that she may rejected me.
  • I needed to create a safe place first. Through my best friend, then I started to tell my story here on WordPress.

Having those safe places allowed me to feel that I would not be shamed. What I found was support, people who understood exactly how I was feeling for they were there themselves.

The other safe place was on the Mental Health Ward in this city. There was no pressure to talk about your feelings, yet you could, that nobody would think less of you. Among that safe place was the nurses, the aids, and of course my psychiatrist. I also knew when I was discharged that if I hit a low spot I could return to that place.

I would hope that anyone who is struggling with mental health issues has a safe place. Someone they can talk with, a shoulder to cry on. Maybe a place they can go and feel safe to talk with others in a group setting.

So dear reader breaking the news the other night lifted the heavy weight off my shoulder. For the response that came back to me was, “do not beat yourself up for it”!

How Is Your Emotional Well-Being?

“When our emotional health is in a bad state, so is our level of self-esteem. We have to slow down and deal with what is troubling us, so that we can enjoy the simple joy of being happy and at peace with ourselves.”
― Jess C. Scott, Clear: A Guide to Treating Acne Naturally


I probably could guess and be correct, most people who are bi-polar knows about the extreme mania to the deep depression. I understand that in woman going through menopause that they have a more acute situation.

When I stop to think about how messed up I was before being treated for bi-polar. With the extreme mania it wasn’t out of the question that I would stay awake for more than twenty-four hours.

Then when I hit bottom I truly would fall apart. Arguing with my best friend, wouldn’t answer my phone, had no appetite for eating, just sit and drink coffee with a cigarette.(I no longer smoke, going on six years since I have quit) Coffee I still drink it!(probably more than I should…lol)


Emotional well-being

Emotional well-being refers to the emotional quality an individual experiences. Emotional well-being is influenced by a variety of demographic, economic, and situational factors. For example, the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak, lowered emotional well-being by 74%. Wikipedia


During these stressful times I sometimes wish that things would return to a somewhat normal. I do not go out much, when I do it is for a doctor’s appointment. I find myself getting frustrated with the mask, it fogs up my glasses. Would love to hear how to stop that.

If that definition holds true I must have a terrible state of emotional well-being. I can answer in the negative on two of the three factors stated.

So dear reader I take extra steps during the day. Turn off the news, listen to some music on iTunes, read a book. Anything to keep my emotional well-being healthy!

We Have A Lot of Heroes!

everyday-heroes-sign

Just be yourself and be upfront about your expectations and desires. Don’t be ambiguous and play hard to get. It doesn’t work. You’ll end up in the friend zone. Mike Posner
Read more at https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/upfront-quotes

I have not always been open in sharing my life, I mean I kept people at a distance.  I didn’t let many people in, I wanted to have a mystique about myself.

Since I started to write about my journey called the “bi-polar life” I have found it becomes easier to share more deeper issues.  Before this I had not ever spoken about my attempted suicide.  Except for my best friend no one else really saw me at my lowest when I first entered the Mental Health Ward.  That first time I know I probably kept my distance from others also admitted there.  The group therapy sessions were for others to talk, I didn’t enter into the conversation.

I came home after that trying my damndest to keep the same routine.  Yes, it worked for maybe a couple of weeks only to find myself falling back into my old ways.  Eventually I would find myself back in treatment, I started to become more involved in the groups, participating in the conversations, sharing my personal thoughts.

Writing posts on my blog has worked it’s wonder allowing me to feel freer in sharing more of my life.

Reading all of the posts of others has let me know that I am not the only one with feelings, going through the exact things like myself.

While I am reading your posts I say to myself, “that takes guts”.  I can feel the despair, the pain, the agony, that comes through your words.

So fellow blogger believe it or not, you are all heroes! Never stop writing your story!

A Re-Blog: 10 Ways to Support Someone Who Has Bipolar — Dealing with Life Issues – Bi-polar first…

10 Ways to Support Someone Who Has Bipolar For the people who support us, there are ways to reduce stress, improve relationships, and make for a better overall quality of life for everyone. By Stephen Propst For those of us who have bipolar disorder, we are kidding ourselves if we think we can go it […]

via 10 Ways to Support Someone Who Has Bipolar — Dealing with Life Issues – Bi-polar first…

Normal, What’s That?

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The problem of living is at bottom an economic one. And this alone is bad enough, even in a period of so-called “normalcy.” But living has been considerably complicated of late in various ways – by war, by questions of personal liberty, and by “menaces” of one kind or another. Votes: 3

Benton MacKaye

The latest catch phrase is “the new normal“.  Experts on news shows say we will never go back to “normal“.  For some that is frightening, for they need the old normal, structure, schedules, deadlines, etc., I have heard opinions about the reason why prisoners when released back into society and re-offend.  They offer the opinion that some of those are use to the structure of prison life.  They have no skills in coping in a fast paced society.

Now everyone has a different normal.  Mine has changed over the years, some for good, others for the frustration.  I have heard it said that people starting out in the workforce will probably change their career at least two times.

I am not sure what my normal will look like after this turbulent times.  Maybe, I am worrying for naught, I will see.

I realize for those who are bi-polar like me sometimes the unknown can cause anxiety.  In my past things unknown was trouble, I would get jumpy, irritable, almost angry to where I would want to lash out.  It was during these times when a relationship with someone would go up in flames.

So, I hope that when the “new normal” arrives it better come with a handbook!

The Crazy World Of Depression

carry-the-world“It’s okay to be crazy and scared and brave at the same time!”
― Kelly Epperson

Crazy Qoutes

There are those days when I think I just want to scream. Scream about what I don’t know, I just want to scream.

Then there are the days where I feel I could take on the world, have all the answers to life’s woes.  Reality though tells me that I don’t know what I am talking about.

Pills, pills, pills.  Take in the morning, take at supper time, take at bed time.  Green pill to get going, red pill to stop, I take more pills than I eat in calories.

Pardon me, but it is just one of those days that thoughts like these take over.  I try to stay positive in such a negative climate.

So, I will carry on, maybe tomorrow will be a day when the crazy world of depression won’t seem to be so bad!

Really, That’s Not Normal

 

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Vintage Brain – Pixabay.com

“So, this is how it’s become? This is how I’ve become? A walking contradiction? I’m surrounded by people and feel alone. I claim to crave a bit of normalcy but now that I have some, it’s like I don’t know what to do with it, I don’t know how to be a normal person anymore.”
― Gayle Forman, Where She Went

If I am honest things are definitely not normal.  Upside down, inside out, topsy turvy, mad house, those are just some adjectives to describe the new world we are living in.

Gone is the outstretched hand to shake another.  The warm hug from someone we love.  Travel not advised, borders being closed.  Favorite restaurants closed to sitting in to dine.  Places we love to gather in shuttered until further notice. 

Being bi – polar is a world that is hard to understand.  Highs, lows, mood stabilizers, sleeping pills, a whole host of other medications too many to list.

It would be easy to allow myself to sink in sheer panic, nightmares of it being the end of the world, or the opposite, refusing to believe that there really is no danger.

The brain is a marvelous thing how it protects us during times of great distress.  Listening to it though is an exercise all on it’s own.

Nobody really knows how long it will be before we go back to what we recognize as normal.  Yes, there are those who think they have the answer, but, they are the minority.

So, my life will not change much.  I only go out for shopping and doctor’s appointments.  I have resigned myself that no matter what it will be “steady as it goes”!

How To Face A Crisis?

economic-worries

I’ve been in crisis situations, I’ve been down, I’ve been hurt, I’ve been behind on the scorecards, and I’ve had to pull that shot out to knock somebody out. I’ve been in all kinds of situations and still come out on top. Tyson Fury
Read more at https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/crisis-quotes

Unless you have been living in a cave in a far away desert you then have been hearing of the world pandemic of the corona virus.  The news seems so grim, the numbers keep ticking upward.  As of this post there are eight hundred forty nine confirmed cases in the United States.  By the way, Canada the country I live in is not immune either. We now have had one death in the province of British Columbia.

All of this had me reflecting on some of the crisis’s I have faced.  Motorcycle accident, attempted suicide, diagnosed bi-polar.  Plus several close family passing away.

The morning after the motorbike accident I was in my hospital room when the morning nurse came in.  She was carrying a tray with some things on it.  Of course I moved to see who it was. The tray hit the floor and her face looked like she had just seen a ghost.  I asked here what the problem was.  She called me Mr. (last name) I just came from reports, she said I was diagnosed that I would be a quadriplegic.  Many days later I walked out of the hospital under my own strength.

The morning after my attempted suicide the nurse talked to me and told how co-operative I was when they were getting me to drink “charcoal” fluid.  It has something to do with counter acting the sleeping pills. 

I could go on a write several more points of crisis that I have faced. But, this post is not about my times of crisis.

Everyone reacts differently in the times of crisis.  Some respond by acting detached from the situation.  Some go about like there is a three alarm fire happening, others just cry.

How we handle a crisis, I believe, tells us something about who we are.  Not that were good or bad, but if we can find it within us the strength to battle the crisis, coming out stronger on the other side.  Or like me decide that taking my own life was the answer to my crisis at the time.

I here about those in the United States who will not have sick leave pay, no health care insurance, and definitely cannot even manage a crisis of four hundred dollars. 

Will there be panic on the streets, people running to hoard whatever the safety masks, other things like food, water, medicine, if there is a total quarantine like the one imposed on the Nation of Italy.

So, I cannot do much as one person.  I do not have mountains of wealth to give to a cause, not able to volunteer to help at a crisis center.  What I do have is, empathy, sympathy, and yes, the breath to say a prayer for those in crisis!

Let Me Introduce Myself

hyacinth-1398839_640
Pixabay.com

To all my follows, welcome to my blog.

This is now my journal on my journey through all aspects of being a man dealing with being bi-polar.

When I started this blog in 2011 my objective was to write about Biblical things, Scriptures.

It changed almost a year ago, cannot believe it has been that long, when I began to share my story.

A short time ago I created what I call “My Code of Honor“.  If you have not read this I would encourage you to take a moment and read it. Just click on the link above in this paragraph.

I appreciate everyone who share with their comments at the end of each post.  It is cms-265128_640through this conversation that we build relationships with one another, also other bloggers.

 

 

 

 

For my last comment let me just say,

bubbles-1968298_640

 

A Re Blog: What are the Top 5 Psychological Disorders? — Family and Individual Therapy

Psychological disorders are more common than most people would think. This is because there is a stigma when it comes to talking about mental health. If you asked most people what the top 5 psychological disorders are, they wouldn’t be able to tell you. Let’s take a look at what the most common psychological disorders are.

via What are the Top 5 Psychological Disorders? — Family and Individual Therapy

Just Live!

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“To create more positive results in your life, replace ‘if only’ with ‘next time’.”– Unknown – From: https://www.keepinspiring.me/quotes-about-change-in-life/

It seems like yesterday, the day my daughter was born. I was sitting in the waiting area watching t.v.  My mom and her boyfriend decided they were going have some breakfast.  It was a Sunday morning, around 7:05 a.m. a nurse brought a little baby girl out so that I could hold her.  They didn’t clean her up yet, but that didn’t bother me, my whole world at that moment was revolving around this tiny little human.  That tiny little girl has just turn thirty-five years old.

There is something that I use to tell young people, I guess I still would, “before you settle down and start a family do yourself a favor, take some time and see your country.  I was fortunate for I was seeing my country playing the piano or organ, better yet I was being paid.  Those are memories I hold close to me, they are what comforts me when I get the itch to move.

Now I am experiencing a new part of my life, life as a father, and a grateful grandfather.  The youngest turns eight in February.  When they come to visit it gives me a rush of adrenaline.

All through those years I struggled within me, highs and lows, not understanding what was ailing my mind.  It wasn’t until around 2004 I had the answer, I was bi-polar.  With the help of my psychiatrist I was put on a regiment of medications, medications that keep me balance. 

If while you are young and able to go, go see the country, experience other cultures, their food, their music, taste, feel, hear, and listen.  So, when the family comes along you will have some memories that no one, anything can rob you of them.

So, take a deep breath, and just put your foot one in front of the other. Go and just live life to the fullest! You won’t regret it!

Learning New Tricks

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“Change is the end result of all true learning.”
― Leo Buscaglia

https://www.dashe.com/blog/motivation/inspiring-learning-quotes/

I am not sure who came up with this line: “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”.  I believe the opposite is true. Yes, learning is not so easy as an older person, but it is possible over a elongated period of time.

Lately I have been hearing and reading about “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy”

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a psycho-social intervention that aims to improve mental health. CBT focuses on challenging and changing unhelpful cognitive distortions and behaviors, improving emotional regulation, and the development of personal coping strategies that target solving current problems. Wikipedia



I feel, because I have been exploring this trying to re-train my mind how to think, discern, react, is a doable thing.

For several posts now I have been doing a deep introspection to find new ways of dealing with the severity of being bi-polar and depression.  I can feel the affects working slowly within me.

I am not sure exactly where this journey will take me, but for now I am taking this chance!

Tips That I Have Tried & Proven

quill & ink & paper

I think blogging, by and large, is basically therapy. And I’m sure, and I know, that there are some terrific bloggers and some legitimate bloggers. But I think, by and large, a huge percentage of people who are blogging are doing it for self-therapy. Mike Barnicle
Read more at https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/blogging-quotes

Please be kind to me for I am stepping out of my comfort zone.  I want to share with you some advice that I am experiencing in my blog.  Wondering how people are finding my blog, watching numbers climb upward.  

So here I go:

1. Keeping it real:

Somewhere in the distant past of this blog I took a chance with my writing and started to write about my journey of being bi – polar.  Nervously I hit the “Publish” button.  Strange as it sounds it felt good.

I have kept writing about myself, once in a while maybe a guest blogger, or re-blog something that speaks to me.  I figure it this way, I know me, I know my strengths, weakness’, can’t go wrong with keeping it real.

2.  Categories and Tags:

Now this subject I am still learning.  I had a mess for I did not understand the concepts.  It took an email to Vee #MILLENNIALLIFECRISIS asked her a question, and she was kind enough to give me a quick tutorial on both concepts.

I am limiting the number of Categories, and trying to use tags more than once.  Example: #Rethinking Scripture is a tag in every post.

3. Interact:

There is one thing I am not hesitant in doing.  That is, I love dialogue, interacting with people. I seem to get an adrenaline rush by it.

I only leave a comment when I feel I have something to offer in the spirit of that post. If I like it I just hit “like”.

For everyone that sends a “like” or a “follow” I take time to check out their blog.  It is amazing where that has led me in the WordPress community.

 The result of interaction is I have begun some online friendships as we share back and forth.

Well, those are the three tips I wanted to share with you! I hope you find them useful!

Do you have some tips to share?  Post them in the comment section so others can read them!

Medications – Be Informed 2

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This is the last of the medications I take to treat me being bi-polar.  My medications is what keeps me stable.  A lot of mood stabilizers!



Medications Continued

Quetiapine

Uses

This medication is used to treat certain mental/mood conditions (such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, sudden episodes of mania or depression associated with bipolar disorder). Quetiapine is known as an anti-psychotic drug (atypical type). It works by helping to restore the balance of certain natural substances (neurotransmitters) in the brain.

Side Effects

Constipation, drowsiness, upset stomach, tiredness, weight gain, blurred vision, or dry mouth may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor promptly.

Dizziness or light headedness may occur, especially when you first start or increase your dose of this drug. Dizziness and light headedness can increase the risk of falling. Get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.


Information from:  WebMD.com

 

Middle Age & Bi-Polar

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Middle age is having a choice between two temptations and choosing the one that’ll get you home earlier.
Dan Bennett

As a kid growing up I never thought about that the year will one day be 2000.  Old was my grandparents, or at least they looked like it.  No thought given to being vulnerable, rather the opposite, indestructible.  Never gave thought to my mortality, just a naive kid who thought that playing games, watching silly tv shows would go on forever and ever.

Then came the heady twenties.  Thoughts of making millions of dollars, living in spacious houses, dreams of pots of gold at the end of every rainbow.  Wondering who I would eventually fall in love with, have a dream wedding, settle down and then think about starting a wonderful family.  Like the host of some game show, “all this could be yours…”.

The next thing I realized the my “happily ever after” life was falling apart, that I didn’t have the answers to fix everything that was going wrong.  Believing full heartily what the preacher said “till death do you part” because divorce was for someone else, not you.

My forties are somewhat sketchy, in and out of treatment, battling blood clots, pneumonia didn’t leave much time to be carefree.

Present day, beginning to stare at the age of sixty somewhat looking forward to it.  Why, because I have come to grips with being a middle age, white hair, not so thin, man.

I love the fact of three pre-teen grandchildren when they visit because all that hyper energy is for the young to raise.

I have accepted the fact of living in a bi-polar brain, taking my medications for the rest of my life, including Warfarin to prevent blood clots forming again in my body.

Yes, I am a fifty-eight year old middle age man who just happens to suffer with being bi-polar who is at ease with the whole thing!

Logic: Before Depression

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No, no, you’re not thinking; you’re just being logical. Niels Boh
Read more at https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/logical-quotes

For several days now I have been trying to bring forward moments pre-depression/bi-polar that were truly organic happiness.  I cannot seem to recall many of those type of moments during my childhood.  Maybe, it is just because negativity has crowded them out, or maybe logic would conclude, there just were not any moments.

Logic would at least think “holidays” were moments of joy, I cannot recall any “holiday” that stands out in my memory has being the epitome of happiness.

Logic at this moment, at the moment I am writing this post, that it is the medication suppressing the times of gleefulness before this thing called depression showed up on the doorsteps of my mind.

The irrational thought tells me that I am making it bigger than it really is, that no one else has these feelings.

So, there must have been a time before depression that I was happy, that is the logical way to think!

Re Blogged -Bipolar Disorder And The Symptoms — Self Improvement

Bipolar disorder is also known as manic depression. Bipolar disorder is a psychological disorder that effects a person’s mood. The mood swings are very extreme with a manic (high elation) phase and a very deep depressive phase. There is estimated to effect approximately 1% of the adult population. There is also evidence that shows that…

via Bipolar Disorder And The Symptoms — Self Improvement

Just Don’t Do It!

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Don’t Make Assumptions. Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life. Don Miguel Ruiz
Read more at https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/assumptions-quotes

I am not sure about anyone else, but I get so frustrated when people make assumptions about me.  When I tell them I am bi-polar they assume that I cannot make my own decisions.

  • When I mention I am having a bad day, they assume it is just my way of getting out of something.
  • They assume just because I look healthy that I am faking being ill.

There are many more that I could list, but, the above two basically tells it all.

So, do me a favor when you see me don’t make assumptions.

Just Don’t It!