Two Cups

9 05 2015

two coffee cups

Sometimes it takes two cups of coffee to crank the brain in the morning, ok I’ll admit it, two cups with 1/2 1/2, that is. ? Ok FINE, I confess the eating method I’ve very successfully been on for about a year limits my carbs to 1 hr a day, and cream in my coffee is limited to only 1 a day which sucks when I need 2 and is cool when I want to break the rules which is often, and yet I’m still gradually letting go of poundage, thank God. But this rambling nonsense is not what I wanted to blog about.

I’m putting it off because I’m scared. Shitless that is. I haven’t felt like writing so I’ve been reading other bipolar blogs. Here is a BIG thank you to ALL bipolar blog writers. I have one comment for all, I RESEMBLE THIS!

Ok fine, said that. Bipolar and Relationships. That’s what I’m scared shitless to write about. It’s what I purposely avoided in my book.

Thank God for other bipolar writers, because, wow, I’m alone in life, but not in community with other bloggers about the topic.

Bipolar. Maybe I should start there. The more I read about other bipolars, the more it affirms basic truths. It matters not, what path, ethnicity, gender, preference, lifestyle, economics, age etc. Bipolar is what it is. It doesn’t seem to matter if we choose medication, organic, or hybrid methods of treatment. Bipolar is a very active roller coaster ride, yes it can be smooth and boring occasionally, but we never seem to know when a normal mood is gonna go sideways fast and hold on to see where we end up.

Relationships. Honestly. I gave up years ago. A)I seem to be attracted to members of the opposite sex who end up taking advantage of me. B) I am a high maintenance freak show at times. C)I lose myself completely, and who wants to live with a subservient ghost? D) When I’m triggered off my rocker bat shit up or down crazy, 99 people out of 100 only make it worse. The one cure all I can rely on, is copious amounts of time, me, alone, nature. Preferably with access to sweating and creating. Period. That is my reset cure.

It doesn’t help that I do shift work. I’ve found remote industrial work, is a good routine for me, I’m gone for a couple weeks, and then I”m off. No matter how screwed up I get at home or work, the other is a sure fire routine for coming back on track.

So living my life alone with bipolar, sans medication, I’m quite successful. I have long term employment in a job I’ m highly suited for, I self -regulate my bipolar, and have many hobbies.

Now I feel like an embarrassed idiot, but I want truth to be shared. Yes I am living a bipolar life without meds, drugs, or alcohol. But I’m still batshit crazy at times, and just don’t seem to have relationships any where on the priority list. Every time I get involved, it ends in disaster. I concluded long ago, I am the common denominator, and yes I have dedicated decades, and thousands of dollars to therapy, workshops, ad nauseam etc.

Which leads me to the one relationship I have always relied upon. I’m not a member of any religion. But there is something unseen greater then me, I have always been able to access when I’m truly sincere, open and humble, which gives me peace, comfort, connection, and releases all fears and worries. When I truly open and ask the universe for help, I have always received whatever I truly needed in the moment. This is the connection I’ve rededicated my life to again and again, and this is what I feel like my life purpose is, to be connected, and to be available to help others who are temporarily lost, to feel connected again. This is the deepest peace I’ve discovered in my bipolar journey, I may not be connected in a traditional socially acceptable societal means with other humans, but I have plenty of time to reconnect as needed inside, with what appears to be, everything.

two coffee cups

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It’s A New Day!

20 04 2015

IMG_6271The sun has come up and it’s a new day. This is day three of slowly calming down from a six week functional manic which is why I had to write about it. Previously, I thought normal was the highest level of the bipolar game I would get too. The first time I was “normal” felt really strange I was physically mentally emotionally functioning and I was concerned trying to figure out what I had done wrong and yet when I finally figured out what was going on I was actually feeling normal.

Bipolar dis-order is when we are lost or trapped inside up/down cycles that don’t function or integrate very well with life. Bipolar Order has been a long and slow journey for me. In the beginning I had to figure out how to be safely suicidal, how to not harm myself or others and be safe, the mental institution is where I rather abruptly discovered the need for that. The next level for me was learning how to be functionally depressed, keeping myself moving thru daze and not letting myself get lower than just depressed. In some ways over time depression became easier than manic because I had less energy to deal with. After many life upsets I’ve had a tendency to return to depressive states and stay there as long as I could with food or distraction in order to hide.

It was after these two phases that I discovered one day I was feeling normal and I slowly began to figure out how to be comfortable feeling functional and how to increase the amount of time that I could feel “normal”. Feeling “normal” is less drama, more function, and less sensitivity to triggers.

I love feeling calm. Anyway, I pretty much thought there was nothing more to bipolar order than riding out the cycles and getting back to normal safely. Life had become about increasing the time in normal and enjoying as best, if I could, the other extremes when then occurred, until the last six weeks. The longer I live as a bipolar person the more I’ve come to realize how uncomfortable I am with manic because of a lack of control that I feel. Things move so fast inside and out and I’m not as nice of a person, I’m fairly oblivious to other peoples feelings sometimes I can be extremely sensitive and interactive and can be of good service but not always. Usually most of the time when I’m manic its been an uncomfortable ride for me I couldn’t wait until I was feeling normal or depressed again.

So anyway this is day three of calming down from a six week very manic, highly functional period of time. About two weeks into it I was again trying to figure out what the heck I did wrong, why was I so high and then it dawned on me maybe I’m learning a higher level of functioning with bipolar. Yes my house got messy, but I was still doing basic basic sanitation, I was still managing finances, I was still completing the tasks I needed to at work, and I didn’t have any major mental and emotional social relational blowouts like I usually do when I’m that manic for that long. I’ll admit, it was getting scary and anxious at times, which were also intense, but brief. It felt like all I had was a slight influence over steerage and my foot jammed on the gas pedal. I definitely don’t have it figured out or integrated but I wanted to share with you the possibility that maybe we can, over time, become even more functional in manic phases, not just the lower realms, anyway the sun is up its a New Day.





Leaf Sway

1 02 2015

il_340x270.461955452_8xysLush white birch outside my dorm, crickly dried up maple in New England, continually green southern clime green leaf flow. I love leaves in gentle wind sway. They bend twirl flow and eventually let go, different kinds and cycles everywhere I go. Bipolar is cycles within cycles. Bipolar functionality is awareness, what cycle when where how prep, renew. We know we will be up and down. We know we will react, planned or not, yet how? How do we intercept our insanity long enough to choose the lesser paths of destruction, and the gentler path of letting go and renewal? Do we even have/want a choice, yet?

Leaves sway and say listen, gentle listen, for the cycles. We grow off flexible twigs, we bring nourishment, we dance in the breeze, and flow away, to nourish the earth, wherever we land.

Leaves, leaves of all kinds, interesting green bushes, or background for intricate delicate flowers no matter, leaves are an element of attention, indoors or out, whispering gentle reminders of flows, cycles, renewals…

Sway on





Millennial Affect

14 12 2014

IMG_5739I declare a new dawn for mental health and I have become a fan of the millennial generation. I wholeheartedly cheer and admire them for many reasons:

On a personal level when I began my organic mental health journey, such words were never combined. The medical professionals at the time, authoritatively said medications or else, I have since organically lived out and or thru most if not all of their dire predictions.

I’m now a little past the middle of the pack in the workforce. Established, nothing to prove, enjoying my job etc. I’ve been given the opportunity to begin mentoring millennial’s in the workplace and I got to say it’s a real joy! When I entered the workplace, after adopting many strange ideas of spirituality, it was a typical older generation judgmental non-supportive etc.

After first hand experience witnessing how a majority of the millennial’s are as individuals; how they interact with each other, their level of integrity, I’ve got to say it’s impressive.

Another level I see is, Great Hope, for people experiencing mental health opportunities because one of the first phrases I paid attention to from millennials was when I began hearing, no judgment, wow! and it’s true.

In the midst of a crazy day, who knows what was going on inside or outside of me I’m coping with details the best I can at times, and I’m pretty hardened to the fact that the world I come from, the culture that I grew up in, and have lived a majority of my adult life, judgment was standard. I knew I was crazy outside of the box etc. yet I still was bound and determined to function, however I could, regardless of how crazy I looked and felt, because I was going to make my way in this world organically no matter what.

Hiding my “crazy”, and spiritual solutions to crazy, has been a primary society survival method. Here come the millennials, I don’t feel judgment, I don’t feel a lot of drama, I feel calmer in their presence, then I’ve ever felt with the generation that trained me. What a relief!

It’s funny, I’ve been immersed in spiritual new age culture for 25+ years, and yet my experience with coworkers under 35, and this is why i’m such a huge fan of them, I learn spirituality from them every shift, in an industrial workplace .

When I began in the workplace, a spiritual approach to mental health and coworkers, YEAH RIGHT. Yet, I adapted, learned, and became good friends, and as my mentors retire, I am relieved to know that I’ll be working with millennials, and can’t wait to see what their kids are like, until I retire.

I’m excited and relieved from my position in our evolving culture, we really are getting better at dealing with mental health, I can really see a day where we will get to bipolar order, bipolar awareness, bipolar celebration, I am extremely grateful for this and I am a millennial fan.

Thank God for all the younger spiritual gurus in our lives, we need them!





Happy Highs

4 10 2013

Image 1“Defining the line between what is a healthy high and at what point the line has been crossed is the art form of being consciously bipolar.” pg 77 of my book Living Out of Darkness.

Happy Day, Happy Boy, ruff ruff, wanna run run run.  So I did, sort of, I rode.  Managing Happy highs can be at times just as perilous as extreme lows.

Today was not a good day to pull out the credit card and go online shopping.  The current obsession with crystals was tempting, but I resisted.  In the past, not so much.  I was way to ADD, in a good way to calm down, so I went with it.  Jumped on my bike to go check the mail, which entailed a 10 mile bike ride.

Happy Highs —-> Exercise!  (in moderation).

Yes it is annoying, exercise but not too much, stay away from wallet, watch the mind spin, etc.

But.  I’ve stayed healthy and thoroughly enjoyed my day.  The exercise endorphins have kicked in, Mozart is blasting way, and looking forward to a good swim later.

Peace!!!

geo





Tears Heal

1 10 2013

Tears

When I gently guide myself thru a rough patch, tears can be a good sign.

?

Yesterday Rocky today tears?

Yup.

When I’ve been thru a stretch of high stress work or life, and my mind is on obsessive spin cycle, or sleeplessness, etc., tears can sometimes indicate, i’m getting ok again.

When I learned how to be crazy as a child, I learned a “survival identity”.

Stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about.

As an adult it is much easier to ignore mental pain, and just get on with reality, take care of work/life/family demands to provide food and shelter.

But what if the crisis ends, if real world demands drop off a bit, and I actually have a moment to breathe, or allow myself a moment to catch up internally?

I usually go thru phases, get thru the stress, spin down, sleep, have a really good day, and then anxiety hits.

This is a tricky slope in dealing with mental waves, bipolar disorder, and continuous sobriety.

The anxiety, after a really good day, after a series of really bad daze, needs to be dealt with carefully, inside out.

First I acknowledge it.  Yesterday, nothing was wrong in my world, but I felt squirrelly.  It would have been easy to make a lot of unhealthy choices.

It would have been easy to dismiss it and get busy with anything.

When I have the luxury of time, to breath in my anxiety, I do.

Why?!!!

Overtime, years in fact, of this practice, has lead to a deeper calm inside, less of a reaction to stressful situations while they happen, less need for poor choices in situations I want to run from etc.

Tears, are an indicator, I feel safe enough to feel, and safe enough to decompress, and catch up with unprocessed sensitivity, reactions, visceral response to human experience in a mechanically operated, automated, corporate environment, techo fast world.

How natural is it for us to be human in our fast paced society?

How natural is it to be human, bottle up stress, and stuff it with more busy-ness?

Tears can heal, if allowed a moment to breathe.

George





Primal Clarity

29 07 2010

Lately I’ve been re-entering the primal areas of my mind through cold water swimming and putting myself in the natural environment no matter what the mental or physical comfort level is.  If it’s cold, wet, rainy, windy, etc.  I just go out into the elements regardless.  I grew up in an extreme environment, and dropped the extreme mental strength I had lived in and developed as soon as life got easy to live.  As I re-enter that “crazy” or primal part of my mind again, I’m experiencing an inner strength and core, which I never appreciated before.  I am also experiencing an ok-ness, and calmness like I’ve never had before.  When I put and push my body and mind into the natural elements nowadays, I have the choice of warmth, food, rest, and calm periods when I return.  This allows me to visit the primal mind, access the good and the clarity of elemental life, and return to “normal” with eyes much more open to what actually may be real, or just a perceived experience.  I’ve also noticed a lot of trivial mental habits and occupations have evaporated.

It’s too early to formulate a theory or clear insight about how this relates to being bipolar, I just know that intuitively I’ve discovered yet another untapped resource.  When my friends think I’m crazy (and justifiably so) for wading across the 49-degree river water instead of taking the canoe, on the inside I’m getting in touch with a mental strength.  When I take my body to the edge of it’s current comfort zone and a little bit beyond, I feel a surge of confidence and ease when I’m back in “regular” life.  This new found mental strength I’m experiencing in daily life is helping me to be less triggered into swings, and better able to deal with them as they come up.

I’m also better able to deal situations, rather then let them sit and hope they go away.  Of course as I change my dance steps with those that have known me for a long time, they get freaked out and think I’m crazy because what happened to peaceful George.   So I may be less peaceful and comfortable to be around on the outside, yet on the inside, I’m feeling a clarity and mental stability which I just know is leading me to yet a new unknown wonderful destination in my ever evolving life.  This is what I love about being bipolar, always exploring, questioning, changing, discovering, and being able to focus and head in new directions.

May your journey be filled with inner discovery, today.

George








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