August 29, 2015
Bipolar, Life lessons, mental illness
basic needs, Behavior, Bi-polar, choices
Definition of a friendship. A series of questions. How do we choose them? A mystery. It’s like asking why certain women catch my eye. Or why I was lucky enough to have three of them love me. That it happened is good enough. Friends are like us on some basic level. Appearances are misleading. Are we lacking something, real or imagined, they can provide? I can’t tell a joke. It’s all about timing. My friend from the Navy lives in Minnesota. Haven’t seen him in 20+ years. But I spent three years being a Martin to his Lewis. The straight man. Complementary not antagonistic. That trust and endless games of Cribbage formed the framework that allows our friendship to stay alive. Casual conversations filled the structure to withstand the troubles any close relationship suffers.
A driving force compels our subconscious to seek these people. A integral component in fulfilling our basic needs for safety and belonging. Someone to have our backs. Friendships are an unequal equation in constant motion to achieve balance. I’ve have very few close friends. Personality. Circumstance. Mental illness. Not knowing what or who I am. A lacking of clearly defined core values. All pieces to a puzzle. When no balance can be found, it all falls apart. That’s the painful part of friendship. Losing it. Which is what just happened.
Met by accident. Soccer was the starting point. Funny, No filter. Cooks. Athletic. Well traveled. Except for last, everything I’m not. All this had a great appeal from my recent social isolation. Fitting in is a challenge. The observer sees but doesn’t interact. Life is a contact sport. So what could I bring to create a balance? The answer was not much. There has been a nagging thought since before the marriage fell apart. Was a portraying myself as a victim? Given my childhood it’s a very real question. Living in the chaos caused by a outwardly functioning mental ill father leaves scars. Along with certain coping behaviors. Which outside of that setting aren’t very healthy. A handed down family recipe that didn’t start with the best ingredients. Time to tinker with it.
Medication has quieted the crazy in my brain. Patterns emerge. I never pulled my weight in too many relationships. Not easy to admit. It’s caused a great deal of pain. Lots of good intentions with very little follow through. I wasn’t a good husband. Or friend. The thing about lessons learned is the ability to change. Some of you might be put off by this filtered fairly brutal honesty. Again is this playing a form of a victim? I just don’t know. The more information about Bipolar that’s presented to me, the more I understand certain behaviors that inform my reality. Mental illness is a chronic condition. Not disease.Those can be cured over time. Understanding the complex structure of the brain is growing everyday. Maybe in a hundred years they’ll have a corrective procedure. Until then I’ll still be making mistakes.
If my lost friend reads this, I’m sorry for trying to live off your life or accompaniments. I ignored every clue to back off. Good luck with all the plans you have.
August 18, 2015
Bipolar, Family, Life lessons, mental illness, parenting, Philosophy, popular culture, technology, work
basic needs, Behavior, Bi-polar, Buddha, choices, economy, expectations, Family, Fear, illusions, kids, life lessons, unemployment
Starting to fully appreciate the difficulties of the long term unemployed. Living tends to do that. Add a healthy dose of residual bad habits fueled by stress. Toxic cocktail. The one tangible thing that keep me from the ranks of the others was my car. Maintenance. Gas. General wear. The perfect storm has hit. My ex and kids live close but a car is still necessary. Time I have. Get kids to appointments or help with crazy crowded schedule. All of this I have dealt with before. Not always the best but got through it. The question has been asked. What if…
What if something happened to my Ex? Could I take my kids? The answer isn’t one a parent wants the truth to. Unfortunately in my world it the only one I have. The main reason of my staying here would be moving down state with my Ex’s brother. Nice house. Both him and his wife are great people with very good jobs. And no kids. They have been in my kids life such they were born. The rock hard truth is my situation will not change overnight. Or in the next couple of years. Too many issues have come to the fore. All elements in the fundamental shift my life has taken.
The rocky bottom of which is battering me has broken any illusion of being able to fight the current. Now it’s looking for calmer waters. Wisdom comes complete with scars. Accepting my personality has been a long, at times difficult, road. The stages of grief apply best. Denial. Anger. Bargaining. Depression. And finally Acceptance. Taking off the mask is not for the faint hearted. Perception is created in the brain. That inner interpretation of who we are. Dorian Grey. It’s been said that those of us who suffer from depression see the world clearly. One scientist studied that statement. Yes we do. The way it works is by limiting choices. Many good options get removed too.
This is the core of what I’m struggling with. There are other ways available in my blind spots. The trick is realizing that. Just like an addict has to admit they have a problem before treatment works. A dedication to change. Radical change was something to avoid. I’m not sure how being homeless, broke and alone doesn’t qualify into that definition. Eight months on is a fact that I have to keep repeating to myself. Years can’t be replaced by months. The next tattoo will be simple. 500/1%/1000 and 713 9th. A reminder. A mantra. Write 500 words a day. Improve by 1% each day. A thousand hours doesn’t make you an expert. But it’s better than 80% of others in the same field. The address is of the homeless shelter will forever be a touchstone of survival.
One constant has been that those who have been there are more helpful than those that haven’t. It’s easier to be poor in a bad economy area located in a state that was a decade depressed before 2008. That Midwest attitude adapted to the new normal. It also makes rejected the old ways of doing harder. What do mean you don’t/can’t deal with the windowless metal box? Work hard. Live Harder. Somehow that isn’t the balance that’s healthy for me. New lesson. How to hustle. But what if it won’t help?
So in the unlikely event something happens to my Ex, my kids will go live with their aunt and uncle. Their dreams and aspirations mean more to me than the long struggle of changing the state assistance I receive. Our kids first. That took all the emotional baggage out of the separation. They have been the basis of our relationship since. Technology allows me to stay in contact. There was a point in the past when a father leaving his family for the Gold Rush or any opportunity away from them was beyond comprehension. Not anymore. I am not my father. Or maybe I am. It could be a rejection of the binary solution presented. There’s always a third choice Grasshopper.