Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My Thanksgiving Wish To You

It is in the very early morning hours of Thanksgiving, I just returned home from a stressful eleven hours of work, on a day where I wished I could very much stay home in my "comfort zone", but I felt compelled to write this to you.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite Holidays. Where I live, most of the leaves have already fallen off the trees leaving the ground a beautiful mixture of brown, yellow, orange and red. The mornings are real cool, but so far the sun brings a nice change in the middle of the day. We are all reminded that winter is "just around the corner" so each day the when the sun shines bright and we feel the least bit of warmth, we appreciate it that much more.

Unfortunately, Thanksgiving seems to be more and more rushed - almost slipping by as Halloween is immediately turned into the Christmas spirit. Before the Halloween decorations are down, Christmas music is playing in all the stores; sales are advertised; gift wrapping supplies and cards are already on the shelves; and Thanksgiving is rushed by...almost like "lets get it over with so we can start selling gifts". Christmas is so "commercialized" now. Thanksgiving does not generate any revenue for businesses, so they advertise special sales even on Thanksgiving day. 

If you are reading this, it is no doubt you have some form of connection with Bipolar - either for yourself or a loved one. Maybe, at this minute, you are in a deep depression that you are trying so hard to come out of. I just want you to know that even as I type this, I too am in that state-of-mind right now. I can feel the heavy -grey fog laying over me as it often does. But I so much want you to realize that on this Thanksgiving day I am listing ALL the things I have to be thankful for. And do you know what? The list is longer than I realized. Here is just a few things:
  • I am First thankful to God that I am here, alive, able to write to you - trying my very best and Praying that I succeed in saying something that will give you a little word of encouragement.

  • If you can only realize how thankful I am that I have a wife who has been by my side all these years, supporting me, and not once has she complained. Even as my condition gets worse, she continues on, somehow, putting up with whatever mood or cycle I am in. She, like me, never knows what state-of-mind I will be in from one day to the next, but she somehow hangs in there. I don't know how. It has to be true love - stronger than any love known. Just to think of that makes me love her even more, and try to be better; for her. I at least owe her that much! 

  • I think of all the people, my Mom included, who are spending this Thanksgiving in the hospital. Some are in serious condition and may not make it another day.

  • For the hundreds of thousands that are homeless, I am thankful I am able write this with a roof over my head.

  • And, for all the sick, homeless, or abused sweet innocent children out there, I am thankful that my little girl is safely snuggled in her warm bed without any fear of what tomorrow may bring.
This is just a few things I am Thankful for. I hope and Pray you will stop for a little while and make your list of what you have to be thankful for. Sure, maybe it will not be long, but start with the fact that you are still here, able to read this. Remember, I promise you, somewhere there is someone who has it worse off than you do.

I hope you do this. Even if you have one item written down, I want you to add this down at the bottom of the paper: I will be thinking of you, and trusting you will be ok. We will not give up. It may be a rough road ahead for both of us, but I will meet you here another day...until then I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving from the bottom of my heart!

"My Mind"

Thursday, November 17, 2011

My State of Mind....

Tomorrow, I have a - much needed - doctor appointment. Over ten years of being treated, countless of combinations of medicines tried, and as my wife advised me to tell the doctor, "Tell her to wipe the slate clean, and start over." For my wife, who never said much about my moods to come out and say this, I must be worse off than even I thought.

A Quote from Night Falls Fast by Kay Jamison fits this situation:

"Acute mental illness brings pain and dangers, and there is a chronic distress that comes from living with it and dreading its return. The anguish of depression, manic - depression, schizophrenia, and other psychiatric disorders cannot be overstated. Suffering, hopelessness, agitation, and shame mix together with a painful awareness of the often irreversible damage done by the illness to friends, family, and careers. It is a lethal mix."

This pretty much sums it all up. I could not have explained it better on my own. Quotes I share are written by those who know our illness, and most importantly can put them into words where I cannot. I will write...when I can.

"My Mind"

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Hello Note

Just wanted to send a little note... to my friends. I am having a difficult time writing - as my mind is fighting with the subject; as it does not want to dwell on it. But I promised I will write, so just please hang in there with me, think of me, and I will be back soon...


"On Earth, you lack the language to communicate with the insane. But eventually you’ll learn it. Like the Australian Aborigines, you’ll enter dreamtime. And then you’ll discover what pain, what dignity, what wisdom, and what sorrow lie within the mentally ill."

–Eugene Stein, Straitjacket and Tie

"My Mind"