Tag Archives: overcoming

Words Overdue

Hey there, it’s been a while hasn’t it? I’ve not visited here as oft as days of yore. I don’t think I should promise I should change that. I wish I could retain enough focus and motivation to follow through with many of my intents.

It really has been a while though. Writing isn’t as cathartic as it once was. Or rather the type of release that writing is seems less called upon in my present state. I’m good. Well, as good as I can be I think.

What else is there to say about someone in my place? I lost my parents and my uncle last year. My brother a couple years before that. My dog that same year, and while I understand dogs aren’t people, I would be hard pressed to name 10 people who I would mourn so roughly at that time. I don’t do the whole people thing very well, and animals were (and generally are) more of a comfort, so yes, losing my dog was very hard.

I have bipolar disorder. I have narcolepsy. I have struggled with other issues, chronic pain, impulse and anger control. What can the world ask of me and expect in return?

I was just recently diagnosed with narcolepsy though, at 26 years old. This should have been found much sooner and I can point to huge points in my life and say that was affected by that. My ability to learn, work, and be productive in daily life has always been impacted by that.  I struggled so damn hard in school, especially in college. I went to college and slept through almost every class for a year, still managing almost all As. This semester was my first “real” one back and I pulled off 3 As and 2 Bs and that was before I was diagnosed and started treatment.  I know I have great potential despite finding it so easy to give up or put myself down.

My parents would be proud.  And God how I miss them lately.

Even at work, when I sip on my coffee. That soft noise the java makes while you draw it in with small sips, that pattering, I’m just thrown back in time. I clink that mug back down on my desk and suddenly I’m back when I was 12 and having a bad morning. I’m in the bathroom on my mom’s side of the house telling her of my constant nightmares that kept me up. She consoles me softly seeming to debate if she should let me stay home. Clink. Her coffee gets put down. She sits on the counter cross-legged (not sure how) applying mascara in a loose set of pajamas. They’re a faded lilac color. She sips again, and asks me if I think the medicine is helping. I’m just upset, sitting in the bathroom floor, my eyes feeling swollen from tears. And she knows she’s still got to go to work and goes about diligently preparing, while downing cup after cup of coffee. Her pajama pants don’t match the top well, they’re a faded blue with some pink lilies patterned on them.

Just one of the many times I would talk to my mom in the morning.  Even in high school. I had to talk to her by her bathroom while she prepared for work. Every so often I would hear a sip or clink and know she was still having a hard time waking. Sometimes I got her up in the middle of the night because I was having really bad impulses to hurt myself, and she would console me, often making a cup of coffee to make sure she had some energy to watch over me.

So every so often at work, when I get my cup of coffee, I will set the mug down and have to fight to regain control, because it’s still hard to realize she’s not here. Coffee isn’t the only thing. I wish it were, that would make this a little easier. But, sometimes I do remember good things, things I liked about my mom.  And sometimes, just sometimes, it does bring me a little joy.

Maybe I’ll start writing again. Nobody hold me to it though!

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A funny way to show it

It’s odd when I’m doing well. Everything falls into line. Instead of coming on here to rant and rave and detail something that happened. I talk to my girlfriend, my friends. I make plans. I go out.

As much as I want to write consistently, I don’t. I would love it. Maybe I’ll get the hang of it eventually. Interesting problem not writing caused though.

Yesterday a post went up. It was password protected and all that, but it is supposed to go live in the event of something like my untimely demise. Obviously. I’m still alive and well. Perhaps TOO alive. Obviously I got problems from it.

You know what though? Things are looking up even more. I just nailed a job I really wanted that I thought I missed out on. Considering I had a felony charge, it’s amazing I passed the background check (I sure as Hell didn’t when I applied to work at the other Target in town).

There’s a crap load of bad things happening really. But it’s all I can do to not get caught up in them. Focus on the positive. I got a job despite terrible odds. Also, my charges for the felony got dropped.

Ok, so I’ve kind of been waiting for this to happen so I would feel okay writing about it. I was concerned it might reflect poorly to write about it in anyway while the case was still ongoing. But now it’s been dismissed. Although now my potency in presentation will be lacking, let me try to dazzle you.

If you’re a reader (or a friend) you might know I had a suicide attempt back in April. I took a lot of pills. I apparently got way closer to death than I thought. I started to lose consciousness shortly after admission to the ER. I remember being handed a a drink and told to drink as much of it as I could, as fast as I could. It tasted like chalky chocolate (chalkolate?) milk. I then remember trying to say words, and only slurs were coming out. There was a rush of noise and discussion and activity. Then nothing I guess.

At some point my consciousness surfaces. I reach down and pull a urinary catheter, and the pain alerts me. I should clarify, I didn’t intend to pull it, it just happened and when it did happen, I was temporarily alarmed and alerted.

There’s shouting. A man is telling me to relax. There’s some sort of effort to reassure me of something. I have no idea what I’m doing. I don’t think I’m doing anything. It should also be noted I was a point away from being considered in a coma on their scale (although, my research indicates the scale they used was inappropriate for the context).

Next thing I know. Pain. Everywhere. Screaming. Someone Angry. Feels like I just got tackled. As best I can tell someone is standing on me and thrust my face into the ground. I get terrified. I think I’m dying. In pain and minimal faculties to comprehend the situation.

And then I hear it. Like a bad dream I cannot forget.
“You deserve this! You did this to yourself!”

I tried so hard to cry out. I tried so hard to be heard. But my face was just pressed more and more into the floor and I felt like I was suffocating. Then. Nothing.

I woke up a couple more times because of the catheter thing (no idea why I kept doing that, it hurt). Eventually I briefly came to fully and my mom was on my left. The last thing I remembered surfaced and I tried very hard to whisper to my mom.

“Mom. I think someone assaulted me.”

She thought I was joking. She convinced me it was a bad dream. She said the doctors did say I fell out of bed though and that’s how I got my black eye. Can you see where this is going?

So I spend a couple more days recovering, go to an observation center voluntarily. Sleep most of the time I’m there, then I go home. I get back in touch with work and friends. Give some excuse to my leaders about being in the hospital. Tell only my closest friends the reality of the situation. I even wrote about it here some.

Still. I couldn’t get that odd memory out of my head. The really terrible dream I must have had.

Fast forward 3 months.

My mom is driving and she gets caught speeding. She gets pulled over. I kindly show my license to the officer and am ribbing my mom about speeding. I get asked to step outside of the car. If I have any weapons on me. I comply, and had no weapons.

I’m a little confused at this point. I get asked to empty my pockets and remove my watch. Now I know where this is going, but I have no idea why.

“Would you step over here with me sir?” The officer asks while leading me towards his car. “Want to tell me what happened the other day?”
“I’m sorry?”
“The other day, you punched and bit a cop.”
“No sir. I think you might have something mixed up”
“No, it’s you, I ran it right.”
“I really don’t know how”
“Well I’m going to have to take you in. Do you understand that?”
“I guess. I didn’t do anything though” (I’m sure he heard that a lot).

I put my hands behind my back. Got in the police car and took a ride to jail (More on that jail visit another time). The entire experience was frustrating. I was so certain it was a mistake and that something was going to clear up at any moment.

After I got out of jail, I got access to things such as the indictment. I was told about the police report.  I realized that it happened in the hospital and that encounter that was a very vivid and yet somehow cloudy dream was real. I was whipped out of bed after biting an off duty officer who for some reason was trying to restrain me and I had no control when I ended up biting him.

The summary of his police report indicated he was following procedure to restrain me. I would argue that he wasn’t if I managed to bite him. I can’t imagine I was very dexterous or sudden in my attempt to do so.  He interviewed no body. No one was listed as a witness. It was him writing up his own report and getting it signed off on. His report included a description of his visit to get his hand checked out because he was certain I broke it. The skin was not even broken and there was no visual bruising as informed by the doc he saw. I’m sorry, I really hate to insult people, but he also caused a huge issue for me. And I’m sorry that I hurt him, I am, but he didn’t handle it appropriately. He was wimp. I want to use a different and more derogatory word there, but maybe I have to good graces to avoid that.

So yeah. He was told nothing was wrong with his hand. So he filed assault on me. I want it clear, I didn’t even know there was ever an altercation.  I was the one who ended up with bruising, a black eye and head that hurt for days. OH, and get this. So the date of the incident report was sometime in April. They had footage of the incident. But didn’t request it. So it wasn’t in prosecutor’s possession. It was deleted 60 days following the incident. So let’s assume mid June. The indictment, that I had no idea was even coming to be a thing, was made sometiime early June. I never knew. No one told me and I had no reason to look for or follow up on.

Until the arrest. And you’ll recall, that was July 3rd. Well after the 60 day period that video would be held for. The officer and prosecution never sought the video. One can only wonder why. I couldn’t have access to it so long after the incident, so any evidence in my favor is now gone. It’s the fantastic police work here that makes me at least examine any criminal case.

We got my medical reports. Nothing about an incident where I fell. I think that should have been in there. Nor was there an explanation or an order for my restraints (also should have been in there). There is 2 pages in it that reference getting a CT scan. Why? “Acute head injury”. It’s not common practice to get a CT scan for an overdose. I needed one because I “fell” out of bed. But, there’s no mention of that fall anywhere in the medical records of my hospitalization. My mom was just told that I fell out of bed and they were concerned about a head injury.

Does this all click together in a very unique way for you? It does for me.

But you know. I’M the bad guy here. I also had to be turned down for jobs when I have a felony case pending. I’ve got evidence that happened. Wonderful. So it’s nice to have that dropped finally. Also I trust police a lot less (and I didn’t trust them much to begin with). I know there are some good officers out there, but from what I have pieced together, there was no reason for things to go that way.

Anyway. It’s behind me now. That officer can bite me (and then I’ll charge him). But I wanted to write for a bit, so since that’s over, I figured I could do it. Next time, I’ll write some about my actual night in jail. It’s not so interesting, but it did make me think some things.

Until then. Ya’ll keep your noses clean.

A Blissful Return

Been a while since I wrote, still have several posts on the burners. But I’m sort of back now from my hiatus. I took a family trip and quit my job and many, many other things. I still need to write a post to “accept” an award I was nominated for. That’s still on my to do list. But for now, words!

I promised my now girlfriend I we would hold each other accountable for writing so often and I haven’t held up my end for a bit. I have lots more drafts stacked up and each one prematurely ended or suspended, not ready for release into the wild. But, let me just do an update maybe?

There’s not been a whole lot pressing matters going on, nothing too reflective spinning around the ol’ custard bowl, but I can tell everyone (whoever that is) what’s been going on, well, some of it, I still can’t talk about (like my trip to jail and pending court case). I have a girlfriend though. Now that’s a thing. And I couldn’t be more happy. I told myself I wouldn’t date, that I was not interested, I told others too, my friends and such. I can honestly say, she has caught me completely off guard.

It’s been like a month since our first date. A month since I felt the need to return to church, and yes, I still pray most nights. Beyond that, she’s something of a marvel. She’s managed to lower my shields despite so many things in my head blaring eminent doom. Glad those warnings were apparently just a drill, everyone return to your stations!

Love. It’s a funny thing. A source of healing, motivation, anger, suffering, joy, expression, and so many others. And even more interesting, it hits you. You don’t always get a choice in this manner. It just straightens up and smacks you. You reel for a bit and wonder what’s going on before just becoming something of a slave to the idea that this person might just be the one for you.

I’ve never had anything happen so fast like that. But love? It doesn’t surprise me that it can do it, that it happens. And she’s pretty great, I’m not just some puppy-eyed fool falling for any girl who talks to him. She’s good for me in both a productive and spiritual way. In addition to how in tune we are with one another. I really could probably spend an hour or two just saying how awesome she is, but I think most readers understand it at this point.

I hope (and believe) she’s just as foolishly smitten as me. It’s a good feeling. It really is.

My ex decided to not continue our friendship, I completely get it. I think it was the relationship with my girlfriend that may have set her off and, that’s completely understandable, given the length of our relationship and everything. I hope she can one day reconcile and we can be friends, but until that day, I wish her the best of luck and good fortune and hope she can get that healing she needs.

On a professional note (is it professional) I am definitely planning to return to school in the Spring to continue my education. I’m a smart guy after all, I can do this. Ah! Just look at all the progress I’ve made in a few short months. I’m so much closer to the man I want to be. And also, happy. I’m really happy.

I know there are tough times ahead, but the good times seem to be outweighing them a bit at this point, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Mental illness is a tough thing. It’s far from one size fits all. And there’s a harsh stigma that goes along with it. I want to help end that. Even if it’s just help a person or two, people need to know it’s ok to be ill, that there are treatments for it. I wish all people had a good doctor and treatment from the get go, but it doesn’t seem to be that way. Just keep trying, life is such a terrible thing to waste.

Until next time, I wish everyone the best, I need to reboot my nerditorial and write a post to accept my award, so maybe look for those soon!

With love and small semblance of sanity, I bid ya’ll adieu.

The World I Know

First off, I’m exhausted, I’ve been sick for over a week, went to the doc, strep plus UTI, running fevers and such. I only missed work for the “mandatory” 24 hour period following the discovery of strep. And I’m now at least 39 hours no sleep, my mind abuzz, intent on delivering goodies. But, I must warn you, when I’m sleep deprived I lose track and ambition easily, so I don’t know if this will be an interesting read or not, I’m hoping it will, and to serve as some enlightenment on how I deal with bipolar struggles a lot of the time.

I was at work today, still not feeling well. I was asked to pull some things from the stockrooms, so at some point I find myself dizzy on a ladder, dizzy from being sick, not the height, I mean I was only like 8 feet off the ground or so. The passive self harm thought shows itself. “I could fall off here, maybe that would be the end of me and my problems”.

All too common these thoughts crop up, sometimes even in the middle of conversations or activities. So I just try to shrug it off. But the thought returns, “I mean I’m sick right now, could pass it off easily as an accident”… I tell myself no, and try to purge it, and for a brief moment it appears I’ve succeeded. Then I entertain the idea that I wouldn’t die anyway, that I would just hurt, maybe get some bruises and a couple fractures at most. Then I remind myself of my father’s accident, and I think that maybe if I just hit my head on the concrete the right way a wet smack might at least put me out of my current misery.

I toy with this idea a bit longer despite having work to do. Then my heart starts pounding coursing adrenaline through me as I start to legitimately consider this proposal I’ve made to myself. Hell, if nothing else, I got a ticket home for the evening. I snap out of it, remembering my promise to a friend to not allow myself to come to harm. My heart rate slows a bit.

Then I hear it. Whatever it is, my imagination, a “voice”, my voice? I don’t know. It’s a hard sensation to describe, the words aren’t so tangible as a conversation hosted with physics, but all the other markers are there, intonation, inflection, volume even. This is what are considered my psychotic features as part of my bipolar I guess. He just tells something like “Knew you wouldn’t do it” in a very patronizing tone. My blood freezes, my mind goes blank, I’m thinking, anywhere but here, I’m at work. Tears well up in my eyes. He asks me why I fantasize about hurting myself if I have no intent to follow through. “You know what I think” he says “I think you’re still pining for that red headed bitch, maybe she ought to have cut you a little deeper”.

That stings, I’m going through a lot right now and there was a lot of things going on in that that just made me want to flip out. My heart starts pounding again. “There he is, the go getter, the one who just can’t keep his problems to his self. Well, tell you what, if you think you can brain yourself on the concrete, go ahead, that’s why I’m here, to witness all the fun you have”. I winced, trying to regain composure. He’s not real, it’s in my head. All the usual rationalization bullshit. He speaks up again. “Oh, lad, you’re so desperate to be rid of me, come now, I make it fun.” Toying with me. Is it me toying with myself? I have no clue how this operates.

I start to climb down the ladder, trembling. “Not gonna do it huh? As I said, called it, you’re too predictable”. I remember thinking I don’t care and I wanted to talk to my ex fiance, whatever it is we are now, dating again, I suppose. I tried to regain my composure to leave the stockroom. “She’s gonna figure it out Grant. She’ll drop you again, quite frankly, for someone who values his intelligence, you’re a little slow on the uptake kiddo.” Deep breath, he’s not there. “Oh, I’m here, even in your head, the best place of all, I don’t even need to hide and you carry me with you, I’m just here for the fun.” I know he isn’t real, but I could feel his breath and crooked smile all the same. Deep breath, no time for breakdowns, I remind myself.

I’m above this, I remind myself. I can do this, I always have, always will. “Always have what?” He paused “Always have been the little bitch needing attention? I think so.” It struck a nerve again. How do you fight yourself? I was pulling my hair, in an effort to not explode. Then I talked back to him, like I do most every time, after enough goading. God, writing this out makes me feel way more nuts, but I think I need to relate this so my friends who read and my girlfriend now or anyone I meet in the future can understand where I was at, might still be.

anyway…

I talk back. “You think I’m weak. Because I don’t have the strength to kill myself. Fuck off. My friends don’t want me dead. It’s not a matter of what they mean to me, but, what I mean to them. You can criticize how I make or choose my friends, but, at the end of the day, they’re still there and they’re still going to pull me through this. And you know why? Because I’m fucking awesome, I’m genius and kind and caring, maybe I’m crazy, obviously that’s true, but fuck off, because they care and I’m not letting some two bit inner demon goad me into ending my life. I hate how I am, that my brain is all fucked, but, there’s so much good in me, and so much good I’m capable of.” I rallied up myself with that peptalk. “I don’t know where each next step will put me, but I’ll be there taking it, not taking the chickenshit way out, because I have friends that are awesome, that think I’m awesome and nothing you say can change that.” I had tears streaming off my face now, and I hoped no one was needing into the stockroom or that our security had been watching.

I waited for one more sly comeback and I wiped my face. Nothing. Just silence. “who’s the chickenshit now?” I thought. I took a moment to compose myself before carrying on about my business, the whole thing only lasted a couple minutes and sometimes it goes much worse. Sometimes the dialogue isn’t so obvious and it’s more neurotic in nature when I don’t have some “voice” toying with me.

As the night went on, I reinforced my positive thinking and reminded myself that I was capable of great things, I just need the right meds or support or therapy. I want to code. I can get lost in coding, but unfortunately sometimes it’s hard to motivate myself to start any kind of project feeling like there’s not any kind of payoff anyway. When I was in school, I was much more intelligent than my peers and constantly improved my work, I should really finish that degree…

That riled me up some, recalling all that as best I could. Now it might be a bit longer before I get some sleep again, and I don’t want to go much longer, I already know I start to have auditory hallucinations around 48 hours and then they start becoming visual and it makes me even more nutters.

I feel really vulnerable after writing that to be honest, I don’t hear from him often, but I always want to downplay it when I do, I mean no one wants to be crazy, you know?