Rocky times ahead?!

I’m going to share with you an excerpt of my 2014 horoscope.  As you may know if you follow this for a good bit, I am a Cancer.  I am one of those types who do look at this stuff on a somewhat common basis.  Anyway, here it is:

Late January and mid-April may be critical periods for you this year, times when extreme emotions and challenges could arise to rock your world. Yet these are also periods when you can make major breakthroughs, especially regarding resources. That’s because Jupiter opposes potent Pluto during both of these times, which tends to push emotions and circumstances to their limits. Fear of loss and even encountering economic and relationship threats are possible risks.

However, sometimes we must go further than is comfortable to uncover the truth. Letting go of old images of yourself and investigating others more thoroughly can show you where barriers lie and where untapped resources can make your life much more fulfilling. If you’re uncomfortable with some people, don’t shy away from facing those feelings but do something about them.

I read this on New Year’s, and I didn’t really understand what it meant in my life at the time.  As a matter of fact, I actually think that this did not come to me until 45 minutes before I decide that I was going to write this entry. 

There is also this thing on this site that they have that are called “Super Nova Days”.  These are apparently a series of days that i guess you are supposed to be aware of.  Anyway, the last day of this month is my next Super Nova day.  Let me share that with you guys:

Philosophical Jupiter in your sign makes you passionate about your beliefs but could go to extremes when opposing intense Pluto. Speaking your truth is important — just be careful of where and how you do it.

This year, I wanted to put more focus on building a foundation for my future.  As I start to grow in understanding my own illness, and furthering my recovery, I can feel like I can be a bit more confident about of my abilities.  The things that I quoted in this entry aren’t here for me to spin to that at all.  These are more like things that I should meditate on.

I took these two entries from this website, and I completely thought about how my life is constructed currently.  I am not in a bad position really.  If I were to really describe it, I’m more stagnated in where I am in life at this point.  For me, one who is constantly in a recovery state, this is actually really good.  I think about the last two entries however, and I think the me that wrote those, knows that I can do a lot more than just stay stationary at one point.

I think there are some good tweaks that I have thought about just in constructing this that I can do to make to push forward in a positive way.  Here are some that I am gonna get try and moderate as the year progresses:

  1. Social Media moderation(try and moderate things, as I post a ton on em)
  2. Implement a solid light home workout regimen
  3. Target the people who will bring out the best in me, and then do everything I can to stick around them
  4. Actually go to a fighthing game tournament, and depending on my health, compete
  5. Eradicating people that I don’t feel like will do me any good in my life

Although I am human, and I will have my mishaps, and slipups….which may or may not be due to a cycle of hypomania or depression, I want to try hard to put these into my routine.

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The voice that you thought was hidden, now roars.

Since the words I wrote at the beginning of this month, I’ve made a lot of great strides.  However, it seems that they have come at a bit of a cost.

The first thing that hit me, was that the Monday after I wrote the last written post, I was told by my therapist that she would be leaving my psychiatrist facility.  She is going into private practice.  It was kind of a huge blow because we had done a LOT of great work over the three and a half months that we have worked together.  I’ve grown pretty proficient in the type of therapy she guided me through, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT for short, I got taught the emotion regulation side of it), and because of that, I was able to make great strides in my recovery plan.  As a matter of fact, I would even say it was because of her that I was able to finally begin becoming one with being bipolar.  I’ll always appreciate her for that.

As a result, my awareness about myself has gone up.  A lot of people have already said that this is one of my best traits.  I believe now, it is a lot more tuned.  I believe now, I’m in limbo.  That is because of the events of the past few days.  These two things shook me a bit, which leads me to write what I am writing now.

The first, is that I was doing some labwork Saturday morning, and my sister calls me.  She informs me that my cousin had been shot.  Now, at first, it was more of like a suicide attempt.  He is now on life support as we speak.  However, now that I’m writing on this day, there have been a lot of new developments.  This is now being investigated as a shooting.  That’s about how much I’ll go into it.  The second, is that a member of the fighting game community had a suicide attempt this past weekend.  I’m actually still catching feels with that, because he is an awesome person, and I feel like he is stronger than what illness he has.

I wanted to mention these for a few reasons.  The thing with my cousin’s shooting, and the suicide attempt, are that I felt a rise of sorts with in myself.  For example, a legitimate concern that I have, and that my side of the family also shares, is that when this was first thought a suicide attempt from my cousin, the first thing that came to my mind is where was his family to ensure that his health came in primary control?  The side of the family that is with him, are particularly higher ups in their community.  They have had a history of not being the most accepting people.  Now, it may very well be too late.  With the guy in the FGC, I feel like that in the hobby that is fighting games, I feel like mental health is stigmatized even further than in society.  As someone who has been playing for now 11 years, it is actually a great outlet to be completely honest with you.  I think however, if you fly off of the deep end like I used to years ago in a tournament setting, or if word gets out about an attempt like with this dude, I feel like a lot of the people in the community are not as accepting.

There was a major tournament for Smash Bros. this past weekend.  As I watched the various versions of the game being played, you could see the passion from all of the competitors in the venue.  As a result, a prominent fighting game member said this in a tweet: “I wish the FGC had as much love for their games like Smashers do. We’re always too busy cuttin down games that we don’t play (except SF/MVC)”.  I meditated on this a bit, and thinking about it, I see this a lot in real life.  Think about the Richard Sherman popoff after the game winning pass defense which lead to the interception in the NFC Championship this past Sunday.  He was full of adrenaline still from making that play, and you see a ton of people show their true colors on twitter.  Never mind the fact that the guy is really the best cornerback in the game, nor the fact that he graduated from STANFORD (with honors I believe), nor that he keeps himself completely clean off of the field.  Just because he popped off like that once, means he is an “ignorant monkey”.

These things I described caused me to become a bit more passionate about stuff.  I think that because of my illness, I always shy away from stances or just speaking my mind on things.  I guess that is the big thing the things I described have done to me, is that I cannot stand ignorance.  I guess when you really think about it, is that I guess we are all ignorant in some type of way.  Honestly, I’m just glad, that I’m a bit passionate about stuff again.

An ultimate fear that I face, and I ultimately don’t know what to do about it.

There is something about being in a better place in your life that makes you think long and hard.  Maybe perhaps that isn’t with the majority, but with me, being able to think is one of the primary things I kind of pride myself on.

When I was in worse times, I didn’t think clearly, the lows and the highs were very severe.  The consequences were that I did lots of damages in many parts of my life.  To give a short example of this, I was at one time a very talented percussionist and composer of percussion music.  Because of my illness, and not treating it properly, I decided to give it up.  I don’t really have any regrets about giving up music, but I often think about the damage I did while I was at the heights of my musician days.

Even beyond that, I still did some serious damage while I was learning to become a fighting game player.  I was still untreated for the majority of those years.  Now that I am better recovery wise, I always think about those days.

One of the things that I know for a fact is that there is no cure for bipolar disorder.  I will always cycle through mania, depression, and in between the two for as long as I live.  I do take my medicine everyday, and I now am in therapy training in tools that will help me identify, cope, and stabilize my own moods in conjunction with my medication.  Hell, even now, I actually started using Lumosity in an attempt to up my brain functions.  So, I am doing all the right things in terms of my recovery.

Even then, I still have severe attention problems, and I still have eratic behavior.  It really bothers me when I get called weird, because I know I can’t do anything about my behavior at times.  I don’t mean any harm now by my eratic behavior.  The morbid thoughts are very few and far between, and most of my eccentrism is playful and lighthearted.  In the times where I would dissociate or I was at my worst, it stemed from things that happened to me sexually from when I was a child.  Then the eratic behavior I experienced in manic states, especially with women would be aggressive, and sexual in nature.  To compound things, I would have an extreme fear of men that would lead me in the past to act aggressively towards any homosexual male.  I am not a homosexual myself, but in those times I would pretty much want to fight any male that would hit on me.  Now, I just respectfully tell them that I am straight.

I wanted to describe these thngs to you because, as I improve in managing my illness and moods, I think about it, and today, I think I have a fear of literally opening up my heart to anyone.  This fear manifests a lot in my outings.  Part of the reason I feel this way is that even though I’m better at this, I feel like I can’t know when I will cycle and what will trigger the cycle not even 40% of the time yet.  So to me, it means 60% of the time I don’t know whether I’m depressed, manic, or in between.  It takes me now about a day to process and adjust to a cycle and identify the trigger to it.  For example, I cycled from mania to depression on Tuesday, shortly after I wrote the last entry and published it.  It was because of a looming feeling of loneliness that perhaps accumilated because of winter.  To compesate, I try and reach out to people.  Then the problem I just mentioned arrives.  If I am not clear about my thoughts, or in addition, my attention gets diverted, I lose the clarity in them, and the message I want to convey gets tainted.  You can even see it in my past entries.  If I get distracted, I tend to stroll off topic, and while eventually I get back on topic, it sometimes takes away from the message I really want to send.

In friendships, I feel so distant because of this.  I can dance most people’s socks off and meet people through it.  I can post up a clip of a combo on my YouTube channel and gain friends through that.  I can even write my fragmented thoughts on this blog while spreading all the awareness in the world about the world of mental health and gain following through that.  But what is the point, if my feelings can’t get through at some point to those people?  In this phase of my life, as I’m heavily involved in the betterment of my own life, I am also wanting to leave anything I do better than it was to the best of my ability, and I know to do that, people will have to see how serious I am, and what moves my heart.

I will not lie however.  The other half of my fear of really opening my heart to others in many ways stems from being afraid of my own illness itself.  To be honest, I’m afraid of the damage potential that I can do.  If I fail at not managing myself properly, I could potentially hurt a ton of people in the process.  It has happened in the past.  I didn’t treat my illness properly, and people saw me differently, and eventually went away from me.  So, because of that fear, today, I keep my distance.  I do have friends, a great deal of them one would say, but I don’t open all the way up.  I guess I get scared because of those two things.

My therapist says that I need to accept that this illness is a part of me at some point.  That way, it will help me to explain it to peers, and anyone else I come across. I guess what she is getting at is to become one with it, and treat it like a physical one.  Maybe if I keep on my treatment plan, I can accept it.  I guess right now, I’m just really scared to open up now, but I can’t keep being scared at the end of the day.  Perhaps, it would be helpful if I knew who I could turn to other than my care providers.  A know fact about me is that 85% of my friends are significantly younger than I am.  That shouldn’t matter, but in a way, it kind of does.  While I’m at a point in my life where I’m rebuilding my brand, looking for outlets to better myself and the endeavors that I partake in, and improve my treatment plan, I can safely say that the majority of those people only turn to me for fun.  Honestly, this isn’t to say that there aren’t people that can be there for me, or that it is wrong to think that way of me.  After all, when it comes to nightlife, I usually plan my weekends during the early week and know what is going on.  What I’m getting at though, is because of their youth, it makes it even harder to open up to them in the terms of my thoughts, and that’s because of the fear of my illness that I have, and a warped thought in my mind that the people that would want to be there for me really are not ready for the “monster” I see myself as because of my illness, and thus, I don’t really want to taint their lives on my account, because I have done such in the past.

So there you have it.  This may very well be the most concise and to the point entry I have ever written in my 5 and a half years of recording my thoughts when being bipolar.  I know that in time, I will come to accept this illness, and make it a part of me.  In this juncture, i have to.  Otherwise, any progress i have made will start to manifest to regression, and then I could possibly die by my own hand due to that.  I think anyone with this illness struggles with this very dilemma like I am right now, but for the most part, there is always something, whether it be children, a spouse, a family member, etc, that motivates you become one with your thoughts and be able to take control of them.  I guess right now, the answer maybe still blurry for me, so the best thing I can do is to keep grinding.  Perhaps one of you can comment and share some insight, or if you are reading this from seeing the link pop up on your Facebook or Twitter news feed, give me some insight on this problem.  I guess this is my way of saying that, I’m lost, and I need some guidance.