Monthly Archives: July 2015

Where’s the Line at?

Just wanted a short post about something I encountered today.

I was at a bookstore with a friend. I went to get assistance finding a new book. It was actually not on the shelf yet, so my need was warranted. She went to check the backroom I followed her path slightly behind, slowing as I drew near the offstage area.  As I came to my halt a guy with a very big smile asked me if I was having a good day. I laughed and said I was and asked about his. It was good.

Something was unsettling about it. I kept my eyes on him. His eyes seemed almost too open. Like he wasn’t relaxed. I started to decide that was just the look on his face when I rounded the corner and saw a woman weeping. Confused, I rested there for a moment, she didn’t seem hurt,  maybe it was just a bad day. Then the person helping me exited the doors with information where to find my book. Deciding I’d consider checking it out in a moment, I followed her.

I heard the lady telling someone to leave her alone between sobs as I exited the area. I grabbed my copy of the book and returned to the general area, acting like I was browsing. The man with the wide eyes was approaching her. She just kept crying and telling him to leave her alone. She would move a few steps at a time and grab on to the shelf like she was going to fall. Yup, red flags.

He continued to raise his voice with her, I left the immediate area to be less conspicuous. I heard bits and pieces of what he was saying. He insulted her a few times as far as I could tell and was blaming her for something. Eventually he just starts yelling at her to “Stay there” or “come here”. She keeps crying and insisting on not.

During this, there are employees walking by, clearly noticing the conflict and walking a long way to avoid proximity to it. One of them was also a manager.

I imagined the thoughts in their head, were they as pained as mine? I struggled with leaving or saying something. Then I was determined I would say something, everybody needs an advocate I thought. Then I struggled with what I would say, I didn’t know anything of the conflict or what might go on at home, especially if I did intervene. General requests to bring it down to a discussion level were among the ideas. So were things more direct as to tell him to leave her alone or ask what’s going on.

In the end. I chickened out. She probably needed someone to stand up for her, and we all played the ignorant role. I really wish I had said something. I reasoned that if I did say something, I might just make it worse, that might legitimately be true, but I know the real reason I walked off was because I was a coward today. I hope someone did step up. I’m at least praying for that woman tonight. And a little for myself finally. I gotta pray for the strength and wisdom to handle those situations, to be an advocate for people like her or anyone in some sort of abusive situation.

Bad things happen when good people do nothing. I must remember this. I will carry this burden for as long as I can. I will use it to help me to do the right thing in the future.

All seriousness aside, that guy was like 3 times my size. His arms were probably close to the size of my neck in circumference. Next time though. It doesn’t matter, I need to be the man I believe me to be.


The Unfinished Ghost

I started writing a post a few days ago. It was actually quite beautiful what I achieved in it for as little as I had written. I thought the draft was saved, it would appear I am wrong. In an effort to at least  recreate that which was, I will write some things, though I estimate it will pale in comparison.

Life hands you lemons. Lots of lemons. People say make lemonade. It’s a sweet spin on the use of the fruit. Too bad life didn’t hand me sugar or water too. So, a grocery trip later after life’s lemon giving I sit prepared to make lemonade. Alright, that’s done, let’s have a glass. Refreshing! Now to sell it and reap additional profit. What’s that? A police man visited and informed me I don’t have the proper authorization or licenses to distribute this lemonade. The more for me I guess.

Sometimes life hits us hard, point being, and even when we try to turn it positive, we get hit again, and again… and again. We often get hit so hard so many times we can lose sight of the good life has. Maybe we bury that thought of hope and happiness because we get so tired of disappointment. I know I did. Maybe, we embrace the struggle and see beauty in the efforts, not the rewards. I like to think I do, but I do need something every now and again to keep me going.

A new friend (very recently new kind of friend) may be just this. Even if just for the moment. We went a first date, and the conversation enthralled me. So many interesting things. I really enjoyed her talking about her experience with God and prayer though. And then I got to share one of mine. It kind of reminded me how to place things again. Since then, nightly prayer. It was just a great reminder. Something I sometimes lost sight of.

These past few night’s prayers? I have asked for nothing for myself. I like that. These prayers I start out affirming my beliefs. Then I thank God for giving me life. I thank him for granting me the abilities I have and for the perspective I am gifted with. For the first couple of nights after that date, that’s all the prayer was. Now? I’ve added to it. I pray for others of course, something I lost sight of too. I ask for less suffering in this world. I offer up my own to this extent. I ask for people to be accepting of who they are and loving in how they act. I know I have this. Or at least now I do. And it is one of the BEST gifts a person can have.

So this friend? She’s pretty great. I can’t say where she will be at any point in the future. But, I’m glad she’s here for now. I’m going to start church again. I need to. Sometimes it just takes that little push when life gives you lemons, maybe your friends have the sugar and water, maybe even some strawberries to help you put it all together. And you need no more profit than that.

I’m in excellent spirits though. This is a new place for me. In all the years of various types of suffering. Through all the events that happen. Through all my strange grief. I’m here now. I’m wanting to be part of something bigger more than ever, and I’m finally considering myself to really be on the path of happiness. Lots of stuff happening these past few months. Got a lot of people to thank. They’ll read this probably. Hopefully. I’m ready to have that hope again. Even knowing that there will be pain. There will be setbacks. There will be so many bad things all together going forward that life will not have only delivered me lemons, but cut some wounds to squeeze them in too. Life, let’s just say God even for my purposes, gives us love though, and friendship, and passion. So we get a good round of disinfectant and band-aids to fix it all.

The journey is wonderful. Pain and all. Gonna keep on going on, maybe take the scenic route a couple times too. We all have that thing that helps us get better. Anyone struggling with mental illness, do not give up. It’s a damn hard battle, no denying that. But there’s tools. There’s wonderful things that can help and can make it all worthwhile.

Ah, The Sweet Return of Sense

Just like Stella, I got my groove back. Well… Sort of. It was a really rough period, that depressive episode. Mixed in a few other elements and BAM! I had a really shitty past couple of weeks. I even spent a night in Jail! More on that some other time. Tonight is about positive reflection.

I was down. Super low, I hid it from some friends and others I didn’t mention it to until I was just barely crawling up away from it. A few things I learned from this one. First off, I actually seriously analyzed it to the best of my ability! *Pat on the back*.

Bulleted points? Listen to music, no matter how much I’m not “feeling it”, listen to 90s geek rock, chiptunes, stuff like “The Flight of the Conchords”. Music connects with me, even if I don’t want to listen to it, I’ll feel a little better with the positive tunes playing somewhere.  Next, pep talk yourself. I’ll be writing one here for my own reference before the conclusion of the post, so there’s that. Distraction used to work, but it only makes me exhausted, because I keep going for the distraction instead of actually doing healthy things, like sleeping. Friends, talk to them, even if you aren’t wanting to, tell your close ones that you got a few issues, sometimes they help pick up the slack.

In particular, I believed I came out of this episode when I talked with another friend who has bipolar disorder. Our general conversation led to me affirming my goals and intentions. It was a good conversation to recenter me. 10 out of 10, would have that discussion again, and again, haha.

Another bit of obvious “discovery” I had, was to be ok with being depressed. Don’t fight it, like don’t get upset you are depressed, the depression is already bad, don’t add to it. Just accept it, remind yourself you’re going to come out of it at some point and do the other pointers. No important decisions in a depressive episode, those can end terribly. This includes no decisions about future goals, no decisions about relationships, no decisions about terminations of friendships, and certainly regarding the ending of life.

All in all, productive depressive episode. Gotta admit, wasn’t bad, well, I’ve certainly had worst at least. Keep on these meds, no matter what I think about their effectiveness. I wanted to stop in the depressive episode. I remember how that went every other time though. I did spend a lot of time reading my positive posts, trying to regenerate that attitude and summon it from the depths. I thought if I could cling to that memory, I could get a little boost. Instead, I just lamented that I could go from such happiness to bottoming out so easily. That’s part of the reason for the following bit, the motivational speech to myself, feel free to enjoy, I encourage everyone to have one of these handy!

Grant, dude, you got this. I mean it, you really got this. Yeah, I get it blows right now, life isn’t the best to you, sure, but it’s just temporary thing. You’re gonna come out of this and know that, so no stupid decisions. You keep on fighting, at least to do nothing serious, until this blows over. I mean seriously, you’ve made it, what, a decade like this? More even! And you’re getting better, you got plenty of stuff archived to show for that. Don’t fret that this is part of your cycle, just know that it IS a cycle, it goes back around and gets good again. You’ve beat so many odds already. Bullying? Sure, it left its scars, but you have a good heart and strength to show for it. That kindness you are thinking right now people take advantage of? They do, I won’t lie, but you’re strong enough to rise above that. You strive to be the best man you can be, and most of the time you don’t fall short. You are an integral part of people’s lives, and that won’t change, in fact, you’re going to go on to do great things. Greatness is in you, even if darkness is too. You’re going to rise above that darkness though. It’ll happen, just you wait. In the meantime, ask anyone of your closest friends what they see in you or in your future, it’s good things, trust me, go on and ask, you’ll find that out. You’re a good man Grant, no matter what you want to think of yourself in this trying time. I hope you read these words and recall a many more great thing about yourself. Just remember to give it a few days and it everything will be right again.

So there, that’s done. Hopefully it can keep me focused and returning to at least stable thoughts if not happy ones. The happy ones come back, they did this time and all the ones before it. Time I start fighting bipolar this way instead of exploding against having it. I think this is a step in the right direction. Good night folks, it’s a wonderful night to change.