The miracle of the night: My 2013 year in review.

Before I talk candidly about this year, I want to share with you all what my resolution was from last year.  You see, I had just been a month removed from moving in to where I reside currently.  I wanted to do something really cool and different for a resolution, as due to the circumstances gathered to why I moved in the first place, I felt like that I had been given a way to get out of the perpetual cycle that I had been stuck in.

So with that, I decided to learn how to become a gentleman.  Now when I say this, I don’t mean just like holding doors for women, doing all the woman like things, but I meant the whole shebang.  I wanted to learn how to become someone respectable, and with this, perhaps I could become a better man.

Then, about a month or so after I started this blog, my mindset changed from wanting to be a gentleman.  I saw a lot of things living in the downtown area of my city.  These things wanted to me to do more.  Thus, I wrote an entry in this very blog about instead of being a gentleman, striving to be the best human being that I can be.  And now, I’m still working toward that goal.  The beauty of it is that this is ongoing.  It requires a lot of actions, and learning how to think a different way.  Being bipolar, this at first was very difficult for me.

I went through a 3 month period where I was completely depressed.  I also wrote about this when I came out of it.  I told my mentor, and my psychiatrist about it when it started, which was before my birthday.  I guess in that period, I was completely lost.  I knew that I was dangerously close to death on at least two occasions during those three months, but somehow, I got through it, and recovered.

Shortly afterwards, I got to work with a counselor through my psychiatrist’s office.  I am still working with her to this day.  At the same time that I started working with her, I got more involved with mental health awareness, and becoming more aware of my illness as a whole.  I had one big dissociation episode in this time, but with the help of my mentor and counselor, I coped, and recovered quickly from it.

Here we are now, on New Year’s Eve.  I would say that I have transformed a great deal this year.  I’m starting to figure out what I want to do with my life, and with the help and support of a lot of people, I am managing my Illness very well.  As those of you who read this blog know, I changed the direction of this blog to try and do my part to help those with illnesses like mine in some way.  I also will talk about feelings and my struggle.  I know that I have this for the rest of my life, and there is no way that I can cure it, or anything of the sort.  I can do things to manage it, and be able to control myself, and my moods better.

2014 is the year in which I turn 30.  I’ve said this on many occasions, but I never thought that I would make it this far in my life.  I think a lot of people believed in the me that is right now, or maybe, the me that is coming.  I know that everyday I am doing things to grow stronger.  I feel like heading into this next year, I need to be careful in doing too much.  I need to plan ahead as much as I can, as well as invest in my future in some sort of way in this year.  If I do things correctly, and time everything carefully and cautiously, I can put myself in a position to change a lot of lives in every aspect of my life.  It starts with me however, and being as objective, realistic, and empathetic as I can be to take advantage of the lucky opportunity that is my life.

There is one thing though that I do have to do tonight.  It’s sort of a hidden challenge of mine I guess.  During the course of this year, I did not date at all.  I knew that mentally I was not ready for anything that had to do with having a girlfriend.  However, I did develop 7 crushes on 7 different women I met over this year.  These crushes I’ve had have for the most part dissipated now.  However, for this one night, one of the magical nights that happens every year, I’m going to actually tell one of the women the moment in which the crush developed.  Again, the feelings I had back then have pretty much left, but I think I owe it to myself for when I date in the future to do this.

I also toyed with taking a backseat to my downtown life, as it has been a big part of my life for the past few years.  I don’t get drunk as much as the people who head down there(which probably drives the bartenders bonkers hahaha), but I just got known because I could dance, and I was someone who was genuinely nice.  I got severely depressed after a friend of mine visited during the Thanksgiving holiday, but I think my depression was displaced.  I was severely lonely.  I think the feelings that came with that had to do with my perception being skewed about my popularity in the nightlife in the area.  Now that I have a clearer view about this, I don’t have to change anything as of this moment.  As a matter of fact, if it wasn’t for the nightlife, I think I would have been worse off than I am right now.  Therefore, moving into this next year, I’m going to look to strengthen my influence in the nightlife of my city, for future endeavors.  The momentum I can gain because of the way I carry myself is something that I can use to get a message of hope to more people.

Anyway, this is a sort of it.  I just want to get stronger I guess.  I don’t really have a New Year’s resolution this year.  But I do have this poem from the TWLOHA blog to leave with you guys:

Five.
Four.
Three.
Two.
One.

The ball drops and fireworks. Resolutions are made.
People scream and people kiss and is it possible to change?
Is it really truly possible to leave the past behind?

Welcome to Midnight.

Another year comes to a close. Another year begins.
With a moment in between.
Why the fuss?
Why the fame and fireworks?
Is it more than hype? More than something else to sell us?
Is there something to this holiday? Something true inside it?
Because isn’t there something inside us that aches for change…
Dreams it to be possible…
To let go.
To hold on.
To leave it behind.
To start again.
To be new.
Is it possible?

If you’re reading this, if there’s air in your lungs, then you’re alive today tonight right now.
And who can know how long we have here…
And is it a gift? Was it ever a gift? Did that ever feel true or could that one day feel true?
Are there things to fight to live for?
Moments and people… Weddings and children and all your different dreams…
Love…
Is your life more than just your own?
And are there broken things you were made to fight to fix?
Broken families, broken friends… Injustice.
Will you move for things that matter?

Wouldn’t it be nice if change took just a moment?
Wouldn’t it be nice if it were that easy?
Midnight and we’re new. Midnight and the past erased. Midnight and we’re free.

It seems to come slow. It seems to be a surgery.
Forgiveness. Healing. Sobriety. Letting go. Starting over.
It seems to happen slowly over time.
One day at a time, the choice made new each morning.
Will you fight?
Will you fight to be healthy?
Will you fight to be free?
Will you fight for your story?
Will you fight to get the help you need?

Change takes more than a moment, but maybe there’s also something to this celebration of a moment, something to the way it speaks to us, something to the way we fear it, and dream it to be true. Maybe it’s the most honest moment of the year.

It’s possible to change.

Welcome to Midnight.

Here’s to the possibilities.

Peace to You.
jamie

Happy New Year everyone!!!!!!

Quick photo on a feeling of the consequences of mania.

Quick photo on a feeling of the consequences of mania.

I saw this on my news feed this morning, and I had to share. I’ve cycled into mania myself recently, and this is a reminder to try and tone it down until it passes.

A lot of destructive tendencies come out while manic, so it is important have modules in place to slow us down to try and get to a place of objectivity….to be able to think of the consequences of actions.

Anyway, enjoy!

A commentary about the people close to you, and defining roles in your recovery plan.

A commentary about the people close to you, and defining roles in your recovery plan.

The link above sends you to an article I read a few weeks ago.  In the article, the writer goes in depth about how a bout with depression lead to him losing somenoe very dear to him.  The thing about it was that instead of getting the necessary help that he needed to get, he actually used the relationship he was in as the sole outlet that would heal him.  Ultimately, both of them pretty much broke, and it lead to a shattered relationship.

I have had this happen to me on multiple occasions.  The one that hurts the most happened to me about 3 years ago.  Now, there were no relationships involved or anything, nor did I like anyone in a romantic sort of sense.  However, I did have some pretty close friends.  One day, I cycled into a 3 week depression, and the culmination of it was that I almost had another suicide attempt.  Well, my best friend at the time caught wind of that, and she didn’t take it that well.  Seems that the next year and a half took a toll on her, and ultimately, we ended up leading diminished roles in each other’s lives.

Now that I’m better, I think about it, and I wish that I had her friendship back, now that I am doing the right things in my recovery.  However, as someone who is a mental health patient, I wonder how hard it is to really reach out.  I can understand the apprehensions someone could have in reaching out to anyone in their past.  After all, you wonder if they can forgive the damage that has been done, and a legitimate question has to be asked in this case too in the sense that is there future damage awaiting them if they choose to associate with that person dealing with their mental health issuses.

I would be lying if i said that I did no damage, or I am any more capable of doing serious damage to others because of my illness.  I’m still repairing the damage I’ve already done from 16 years of being untreated mostly.  I guess the big thing that this article did for me, was to remind me that I am sick, and I do have to take care of that sickness, just like if I had the flu, or cancer.  It’s so easy to skew a person’s support for what we need while trying to recover individually, but I guess this reinforces that I need to take responsibility for me, not just for myself (I am the most important thing to me, but just saying), but for anyone who I am involved with from here on.  It should not be their job to be to be the sole catalyst of our salvation.  It is important that they do walk with us, yes, but we have to be more resposible for managing whatever mental illness we struggle with.

I do get it though.  With me, the two things that get me even to this day are being frightened and being confused.  Whenever I’m frightened about something, I instantly get triggered and cycle to depression.  Alternatively, when I get confused, I instantly cycle into mania.  In both of these cases in the past, I would look for someone to calm me down.  Being that I had bad issues with males in my past, I would turn to females in my life to calm me.  When I saw that they could not calm me, I would get frustrated even more, leading to more morbid thoughts.  Back then, I look for that calming down from others as my therapy, and in hindsight, that is a wrong an unfair thing to expect out of anyone.

It’s my job, to manage my feelings, and get the proper help to manage how I feel concisely.  Now, I just need people to walk with me.  That is more important than them being my salvation.  Eventually, I’ll get it down to where I can be my own salvation, in a sense, but, it is stil important to have people walk with you through your journey, you know?

Quick Update!

Just wanted to let people know what is going on and such!

Gone is the project I did over the summer, the 30 day challenge. With the direction that I want this blog to take, I think that the content in those posts was not consistent with the vision I now have for this.

What I ultimately want to do is use this as a tool for my progress in my ongoing recovery with my struggle with Bipolar Disorder Type 2. As I take my medication, and go through therapy to learn new coping techniques, I will hopefully get strong enough to share with you guys!

Also, I would like to use this to try and find helpful things over the internet to stop the stigma that goes on with mental illness. I truly feel like there are a lot of beautiful minds out there to unlock if we get the awareness, and we show a little more hope to people. Hopefully, this blog may be able to help with that in the future.

Music section should be updated soon too. I got the winter stuff ready, but I have a new phone, and I don’t know how to download music to it just yet.

And lastly, my end of the year post/2014 resolutions post will be next Tuesday on New Year’s Eve! Being that I started this blog in April of this year, I will let you new suscribers in on what happened to me from when January to when I got started with this! Stay tuned!

And for those who do read my nonsense, thanks. I really appreciate it.

Last but not least, here is a spiffy remix of Stoneman’s stage from Megaman 5 for you Megaman fans out there!  Merry Christmas!

The next man up.

The next man up.

Have you ever heard of a novel that got turned into a movie called “It’s Kind Of A Funny Story”?

Well the link above was the author of that novel.  His name is Ned Vizzini, and as of Thursday, he is now passed away via suicide.

He was 32 years old, and suffered with depression throughout his life.  He left a loving family behind, including a wife and son.  He was also an advocate who would speak a lot about mental health.  He would wittingly write about his depression.  Now, I personally did not know about this man until this morning while checking my Associated Press app on my phone.  Now, I can say that I have watched the movie version of his novel, but I have not read the actual novel itself.  Perhaps I will find a copy and read it soon.  However, here are some quotes from him.   See if some of these resonate well within you.

“I didn’t want to wake up. I was having a much better time asleep. And that’s really sad. It was almost like a reverse nightmare, like when you wake up from a nightmare you’re so relieved. I woke up into a nightmare.” 
―    Ned Vizzini,    It’s Kind of a Funny Story

“People are screwed up in this world. I’d rather be with someone screwed up and open about it than somebody perfect and ready to explode.” 
―    Ned Vizzini,    It’s Kind of a Funny Story

“Its so hard to talk when you want to kill yourself. That’s above and beyond everything else, and it’s not a mental complaint-it’s a physical thing, like it’s physically hard to open your mouth and make the words come out. They don’t come out smooth and in conjunction with your brain the way normal people’s words do; they come out in chunks as if from a crushed-ice dispenser; you stumble on them as they gather behind your lower lip. So you just keep quiet.” 
―    Ned Vizzini,    It’s Kind of a Funny Story

“How can you live without stars? What keeps you from thinking about yourself all the time?” 
―    Ned Vizzini,    The Other Normals

“There’s so much more for me to be doing. I should be a success and I’m not and other people – younger people – are. Younger people than me are on TV and getting paid and winning scholarships and getting their lives in order. I’m still a nobody. When am I going to not be a nobody?” 
―    Ned Vizzini,    It’s Kind of a Funny Story

Personally, these were a few that just stood out to me.  I’m sure that there are some that will stand out to you as well.

If you have been keeping track of the days, you would know that this day is the last day of the Lines Project.  Something that I posted about last Sunday in my blog.  I am dedicating all my lines today to the family of Mr. Vizzini.  There is this thing in sports(which I am an avid sports fan) that they always say when the stars get injured, namely in football.  That saying is “Next Man Up”.  This means when someone goes down, the sub is expected to fill in and things should run the same.  Think about it with this story.  Yes this is the loss of an advocate to the mental health community, as well as a loss to those closest to him even more so.  This could be a way for us to get ther word out there to those ailing to get the proper treatment, so that they will not have to think that suicide is an answer.

I know I can only do so much by writing in this blog, and tayloring it to really be beneficial to anyone who is ailing from mental illnesses like I am.  I also know that my recovery is also important.  I am generally a young fellow at 29 years old, but even now at that age, I do understand what it means to feel like you’ve destroyed everything and be trapped in a vicious prision in your own mind.  Maybe that gives me an insight into promoting more mental illness awareness all over everywhere when I can.  I do think that eventually my one voice will change something.  Maybe some of you reading this are at an advanced level of your recovery, or know more than I do about mental illness.  Let’s take this man’s death as not one where there is sorrow and mourning of a great and budding young author.  Let’s take it and get to a point where we can save a life, and carry his soul on our backs as we try and get people like me, like others who suffer from any mental illness back to a healthy state.

It is my belief that the individuals who are suffereing right now, maybe some of those who could change this land.  Let’s step up, K?!

RIP Mr. Vizzini.

Some words that I remembered from the past.

In 1992, my great grandfather died.  I was 8 at the time, and I do remember about a few weeks(maybe a month) before he passed, he was at the hospital which I now live 3 blocks away from.  We went to visit him often, and I remember there was one instance where I was in the room with him by myself while everyone was getting food.  He told me something which, because I was 8, I would not really acknowledge, but now today, it probably has some merit to it.  He told me to come to the bed, and he told me these words:

It ain’t gon’ be now, but one day you gonna lead some people out of some mess ya hear?

Today was the first time I actually remembered what he said to me.  I don’t really think of myself as a leader type even now.  I think the best thing I can say about myself is that I’m learning how to cope with my illness as best as I can.  Then, maybe when I get strong enough, perhaps I can put myself in a position to bring those like me out of the dungeons of their minds.

And it isn’t just my great grandfather who has said these types of things to me.  Over my life since that quote people have said things like that to me.  I didn’t really understand for a long time why people would say things like that to me.  Perhaps it wasn’t so much that I didn’t understand, as so much as that all these people were believing in a future self of me in which in the past, I didn’t think existed.  For a long time, I did not think I would make it to the age that I am at now(I’m 29).  Since then though, I guess I understand what they are all saying now.

I guess the only thing I can do now is to just become stronger, and for the cause that I want to focus on, carry the souls that suffer from the mental illnesses, the loss from it, and those who don’t understand it like they should with me.  I watched an anime shortly before writing this, and there was a scene where an old man was talking about how a plant loses it’s leaves in the colder seasons, and gains them back in the warmer seasons.  He tied this cycle to the generations.  He said that eventually, each generation must become stronger than the previous.

If you tie this to today, you can say this is true in some cases, but not in others I guess.  Speaking clearly for me, I guess what all these people are saying is that I have something that could do a lot of good I guess.  I don’t really know if I do or not.  All I know right now is to get stronger.  Then we will see what happens.

The Lines Project.

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Starting this Sunday, there is a very unique project called the lines project.

What goes on is if you are depressed, down, ore if you are struggling with self injury, you draw a line a day on your left hand up until that Friday. If you know someone struggling with these issues, you draw a line a day on your right hand.

This is a great way to show support to those many people out there who struggle with depression, and to show that with a little bit of effort, they can be shown positive ways to cope and one day won’t have to feel like that pain is the only relief to their struggle.

Please spread the word!

A solid article about what stigma can do in terms of the mental health community.

A solid article about what stigma can do in terms of the mental health community.

Great read here.  I’m going to do my best to keep people aware of how many people suffer from mental illness around the world from here on out.

It’s really tough for a lot of us to really reach out to folks who suffer from these altering illnesses and for those who have to watch loved ones suffer.  I think it is time we get educated on this and let’s bring a whole new crop of people a new found hope that they wouldn’t find otherwise.