May 24, 2015
Bipolar, Life lessons, mental illness
Buddha, choices, Human nature, place
The past month has been busy. Crazy. Strange. And. Which is the nature of life. My friend in learning to deal with his MS is helping me by passing on things his therapist says. It weird being on the receiving end. My philosophy is to throw insights or lessons learned into the wind. It’s also how my writing happens. The answers to my questions have never been in a single place. It has been a collection of found jigsaw pieces thrown into a mental box. When the light is just right I can see how the edges fit together. My awareness is the critical component. Then there are those 2×4 moments. A change of perspective.
It has been my experience that we all have those people around us who are fellow travellers on a shared journey. Men coworkers have proved invaluable throughout my early separation. Reality checks when the bottom fell out. Where a woman may use a paragraph, they used a series of very short sentences. Been there. Got the t shirt. It gets better. That what I can provide for my friend. Dealing with Crazy. Racing thoughts. Anger. We both have trust issues. Two loners with two different ways of dealing with the chaos Crazy can cause.
That shared journey is soon to diverge. Has these things tend to do. Lessons learned need space to grow. For me that space is toward the edge of the great Journey. That’s my lesson to learn this time around. An evaluation for state services showed high intellect and education but extreme social isolation. Which is something the past 18 months have shown in a harsh light. Except it’s a well known place where I lived for decades. What makes this time different is a realization I have choices. And that is new.
In my past premedication life, long terms plans were lost in the realm of a foreign language. Hope, change and happiness hung out there too. Readers of this small blog were equally illiterate. A mind steeped in a negative brew find the effort involved in learning a new language an exercise in frustration. We see the word. Can pronounce it. But miss the concept behind it. It forces us to redefine a nebulous set of cultural values. An ever changing vocabulary rich with nuanced meanings. Often contradictory. I found it can be shared experience. A choice hiding in plain sight for years.
It’s what happens when you lift your head up and look around.
March 13, 2015
Spring has come to Michigan. New city. New place to occupy. Same old problems came out of the suitcase with my clothes. They are the things the inner me never used to think about. That mishmash of out of style colors and trends picked up without thinking. A blind man without a someone there to help. So what what needs to go with the Spring cleaning.
Constantly saying I’m poor is more than a financial state.
Schedules are important.
Windows can also be a form of prison.
Friends are important.
The difference between how I see myself and others see me are two different versions.
Change is when you find out how much the world can change when your not paying attention.
And how frustrating your lack of knowledge is hinderance.
The show northern Exposure had an episode about the spring thaw of the glacier. It caused some of the characters thoughts to shift to another. Mine were frozen in some other place. The dripping of the melting snow give me the option of opening a door to let in the outside. One of those absent pieces was writing. Such an integral part of who I am was painful.
This has been the reason for my silence. The river has always flowed under the ice. But forgetting that is the difference. Enjoy the Spring.
February 13, 2015
Bipolar, Life lessons, mental illness
Behavior, Buddha, expectations, Fear, Human nature, place
The simplest questions are the most profound. Where were you born? Where is your home?
Where are you going?What are you doing?
Think about these once and a while, and watch your answers change.
This quote is from one of my desert island books. Recent events have forced me to examine concepts that are fundamental to being human. Friendship is an important one. What I’ve learned is finding work in a new town comes down to who you know. Friends and family tell other friends and family about work before anyone else. Networking. At this moment there’s only one person I call friend.
A man’s circle of friends happen in childhood. For women it’s early college. Specific places and time. Roughly a third of Americans are on the move at any given time. I read somewhere that most settle back within 50 miles of where they grew up. The pull of Place. Jason is the only person from the shelter that has stayed in my life from that event. We both share tales of chronic conditions. Mine is controlled by medication and knowledge. He will lose the ability to walk within the year or a decade. MS is called the snowflake disease. A range of afflictions that manifest differently from person to person. But the ending is the same. We both will have years taken off our lives. Stress Hormones and the body attacking itself.
My car is a lifeline for both of us. There’s a wind chill warning tonight followed by sub zero temperatures on the weekend. He returned to his hometown and family. Where an old job became a new one. We depend on each other for support. Some days needing to get to appointments is the only reason I’d leave my apartment. It has forced me to realize that being a friend was just a word in my vocabulary. My use was too casual. Its true meaning was beyond my ability to grasp in many cases. This is my view.
Those that have called me friend will disagree. It’s my hope. The past three months has sharpen my sense of what’s important. A friend can tell you things that would get someone else hit. I used feel envy as others told stories about long term relationship. Either Friends or family. We all want to belong to something greater than ourselves. Take away one of the circles of daily interactions, we feel lost. A subtle emptiness or panic. Although for the vast majority of my life I’ve been alone, there was very little loneliness. It’s both a strength and weakness. Without the passive web of belonging, my one friend has special value. Something I refuse to take for granted.
Too many times in my life that has happened. This is a blanket apology to those I took lightly or ignored. One little book has guided me when my life went off the rails. Richard Bach the Reluctant Messiah. It’s been a candle in the darkness. Whatever my reason for starting this blog, it has come down to this simple purpose. If this kept one person from taking their life to end the pain, I’ve done something good.