The somewhat late, but insightful recap of my 2014.

You know, I meant to do this all the way back on New Year’s Eve, but because of work, I got derailed until today.

Anyway, comparing the beginning of this year to the beginning of last year, it is still kind of shocking.

Let’s recap a bit.

This time last year, I was starting counseling and learning how to come to terms with being someone who suffers from bipolar disorder. It plagued me coming from the end of last year to no end. As a matter of fact, this actually triggered many episodes with the majority of them being severely depressive ones. Like, thinking back on those days, I want to say that there was something, albeit miniscule at this time, that there has to be more to life than the one I was living. You see, I would just do the same things on most weeks. Take medicine, have an adventure or two in the downtown area, go fulfill my obligations during the week, and maybe go to a tournament or two. Even though it could have been better, technically I was living super comfortably.

However, I knew I wasn’t really happy, so to counseling I went. Somehow, I got through a lot of the issues and difficulties of the past. Though that month of February, progress kept getting better. I had a severe depressive episode in the beginning of March. I think that back then when I had this episode, it was like the first time that I was completely aware that I felt like I was not good enough to do anything. Somehow, I recovered enough. Then that week after, I get hired on at where I work at now at this day treatment facility for mental health patients.

Well, then I get through trainings and not being able to celebrate my birthday because of said trainings, but that was okay. However, socially, I started to feel like how I did back in the beginning of March. I started to feel like I really wasn’t enough even though I had a decent job, above average looks, and a good upside and head on my shoulders. When August rolled around and I started full-time hours, it was associated with a crisis at work (what a way to start full-time work). I guess after all that was with that crisis, I went and hung out with people, and I knew, that there were some people who I had to really let go of, or if not let go of, at least distance myself from them. So over that fall, I kind of succeeded. I think that as I went to these months of fall, and as I went through them, I started to feel that little miniscule feeling in the beginning of the year start to grow. As that grew, my decision-making got better, I became a bit more disciplined, and also got a lot better hold on my illness.

So now, let us fast forward to today. I’m sitting here established at my job, and I have an amazing future ahead. I want to talk about what I am going to work on as I move forward through this year.

The first thing, is that now that I am more established and better at dealing with the stressors of my illness, I want to invest in me. When you are active in symptoms in any mental health diagnosis, you lose time. While I can’t get that time back, I can make the time I have now count. That is why, I’m headed to the Tedx event in my city in a few weeks. Also, I enrolled in a course that will enhance my capabilities during the various cycles I face. This way, I won’t be completely helpless when I am experiencing a hypomanic or a major depressive cycle. This will increase my capabilities and also, get me more into what is going on with this city.

Also, I’m gonna try to compete a little more often, but first I have to get back into playing shape. So, I’ve been playing online a lot more. It is a struggle, but I think in the long run, this will benefit by learning how to be disciplined. Something I lack a bit.

Also, I’m learning how to just enjoy the moments. I think a lot of last year, I wasn’t really appreciative or thankful for the moments that I got to experience in the year that passed. I think that it is important that I don’t get caught up in how I feel, and romanticize or get caught up in grandiose thoughts in my head. It’s more important to just experience them in person. That is the way bonds are formed, through those experiences. I have shied away from those, and a lot of them for good reason. But now, I think I have the objectivity to discern between what is a good and bad situation to be in.

And finally, this has been a year of transformation for me. I have changed immensely from the struggling person I was, to a confident member of society. This journey I went on is one that I truly appreciate big time. There is something that I want to leave you with that read this blog. Something that I heard today that really hit home is this:

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

Look out for more content from me sporadically! I’ll TRY to write in here more often. Anyway, take care!

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The changes that have to come. (Happy One Year Post!)

As I promised, I finally am ready to write this.

I was hired by my psychiatrist’s office 4 weeks ago to train to become a Certified Peer Specialist.  I was kind of shocked at the whole process.  I had just come off of the biggest breakthrough of my recovery thus far, and I just mentioned this to my mentor about it.  He then talked to the head person in my clinic, and the rest is history.

Because this all happened so fast, I’ve had to adjust a lot of things on the fly.  While I have been doing well, I know that there are more things to adjust, and more things to manage, and deal with.  Maybe my intelligence will carry me a long way, and I can keep my composure very well, as I improve in using the skills that I’ve learned from my counseling and reading myself.  The thing about it is, is that one of my triggers is getting overwhelmed.  Depending on my cycles, I know that keeping a good, balanced schedule will be key moving forward.

Well, since I’ve been “volunteering” at the peer center I’m at (the paperwork hasn’t been processed yet for me to get on this payroll), I’ve been asked to go to a big dinner with all of Georgia’s big names in mental health.  There are also some politicians that will be there, as well as probably every mayoral candidate in the city of Augusta (we have a big race coming up in November).  I’m pretty excited about the opportunity to hob nob with higher ups in Augusta.  It’s even a bonus that they are in my field that I want to excel in.  Thinking about the opportunity, and then talking to my mentor today really put something into perspective.

I’m no longer just a patient anymore.  Well, maybe I still am, and will always be to some degree.  However, I now also have patients, colleagues, and a boss to answer to.  I’ll have to set an example for not only this psychiatrist’s office, but also the ones that are struggling worse than I am with their illnesses.  Therefore, a lot of changes have to come in my social life.

The first change, is that I am going to completely stop dancing altogether in the terms of bars.  The one thing that has made my name in the nightlife scene, I’m going to walk away from.  Also, I will have to take a harder, and more discerning look at who I hang out with currently.  I know that I have made great strides in this, and I know that I must have the positive people in my life.  Those who love to dream, and those who are consistently trying to improve themselves or their lives.  I can’t waste time on those who want to wait for the weekend and party all of the time.  Sure, that is nice to do a bit if you are doing this responsibly.  The fact of it is, is that many people do not.  I cannot tolerate that anymore.  I will still go out frequently, however, I know that I have to be more aware of my surroundings, and be sure to do nothing that will sully the names of the people who have giving me a new chance at life.

At the same time, I want to seriously make a dent into the fighting game community.  I feel like that in today’s circles, a lot of the people who you see in streams are really not for trying to make the community better as a whole when it comes to American game play.  I’d like to try to travel a bit more and compete in some tournaments in the future.  I feel like that right now, with my newly acquired coping skills, I can make a bit of a splash in the community, and leave it as good as I can make it.  As a matter of fact, I am even putting on a huge training session in May where people from two other states are coming to play each other.  To learn strategies, share experiences, and to just have fun at a great hobby.

I know that in everyday life, it will be absolutely difficult to implement and make the right moves every time.  This line of work is also going to be the most difficult one I’ve every faced.  Everyday, it is like I’m looking at a mirror image of myself now six years ago.  The patients here have different illnesses than I do, yes.  They all share one thing that I know all too well, as well as the other staff, and some of my bosses:  They are all have broken in some sort of way.  The only thing I can think to do is to do the best that I can.  I also think that with everything that is going on with me, it would be an injustice to them, and myself to keep things the way they are.  If I really want people to leave me looking at their life better than what it was before they met me, then I must embrace the changes, and keep growing.

Also, today it has been a year since I have written in this blog, and six years that I have been blogging in general!  Who would have thought that in six years of writing, I would find the tools, and the people who would lead me to find the revolution in my life that lead me to where I am today.  I want to do more than this, and perhaps it is amazing in and of itself that I am now in a position to do what I wanted to do with this blog in the first place.  Do you remember what that is?

To constantly do amazing things.

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!

The Lunar Elysium. (A post of hope, courage, and as always, jumbled thoughts.)

This has been one hell of a summer for me. I thought that I wanted to be a writer. However, I feel like that I am too emotional of a person and I have rabbit ears to actually pursue a career in writing.

You may remember that I attempted to pull off the 30 day writing challenge. I didn’t get to complete it, because of a hurtful comment from an anonymous source that actually misconstrued the words that I said big time. This person also personally attacked me. It was damaging to me because it was the first time anyone has done anything like that in a long time.

This was around my the time of my birthday, and going through with the events of that week was insanely more difficult than it should have been. That week should have been more legendary than it was, but I got through it. Then, in July I started to really get depressed, still having the words of that comment really turn in my head. You see, I AM a Cancer in the zodiac, and also, I am born under the first week of Cancer, which is deemed the Week of the Empath if you follow super deeply into it. If you think about the actually day I was born, June 25th, that day is deemed the day of the sensitive receptor.

I mentioned all of this because I pretty much have an attribute which can make me great at times and bad in others. This attribute is absorbing feelings of one into thinking they are my own. So, the comment in question in the month of July was all I thought about. Because of this, the little voice that I did have kind of died for a bit. I was lost for the whole month of July, and a good bit of August. I broke a total of five times mentally through this stretch, reaching a dangerous point of depression two times in those five times.

September rolled around. In my city they have a festival to celebrate the Georgia vs. South Carolina game. So anyway, that next night the game happened, and then I ended up heading to a party. Then, that next day I did something completely different. A few hours after I did this one thing, I got some flack about, but after explaining my situation to the person giving me flack, for it, he respected it, albeit him disagreeing with it. Then, something clicked. I felt a bit better defending my stance. A week after this, I had a huge lucky streak. Things felt like they were falling into some sort of place, though I don’t know what that was. I renewed my lease then, had a great meeting with my psychiatrist, and my social services worker in my apartment building. Seems like now, a foundation is forming to make a new life for myself.

There are some people out there that kept me from going over the edge, and I thank them greatly. There’s also some things that I started reading, like liking the ManKind Project, which linked an article about suicide that helped immensely. I now read a lot of content from that site, and it has also helped me heal. I started making better choices in foods, exercise, and all that to help heal.

Maybe part of the issue back then was I didn’t treat my illness properly. Yes, I took my medicine throughout all of this, but it really isn’t enough. I have to also make choices to make sure I avoid serious triggers like the one that plagued me all this summer. I have to make sure to do things to keep my mood stable. And more importantly, to keep my voice fresh. I feel like, that if I don’t take my illness seriously, things like those two months will happen again, and that I will die ( like I keep saying throughout this blog) eventually from it.

The important thing now, is that I’m still breathing. This is something that has really stuck with me throughout late last month into this month. If you really suffering, you just need to focus on that second. Yes, you have to deal with whatever you need to eventually, but if you are at risk, you do need just think, “just keep breathing”. As long as you can breathe, you have at a chance at hope. If you have a chance at hope, you can turn around any situation, no matter how small.

Another thing that resonated with me is that something that the TWOHA people keep putting up, “You cannot be replaced”.  I always thought about how I didn’t fit in with anyone.  I didn’t listen to the same music that everyone I know does.  I also feel like that a lot of people who I happen to know, just really just enjoy me dancing than just honestly hanging out with me.  I think that a problem was that I mistook my popularity gained by dancing to think that everyone wanted to hang out with me, when in reality, I think the majority of people probably think I’m a puppet for their entertainment.  This was not a problem exclusive to dancing.  I have had this problem since I turned 15.  I believe this is the first day that I actually acknowledge it.  However, I would like to think that I’ve touched a bit lives even if some think of me as a puppet.  I’m glad if that is the case.

Now, I need to find something to invest in, a career that will ultimately allow me to do good-by the people.  I need to find something to supplement the enormous empathy that I have for humanity.  I’ve said this before, I don’t care anything at all about being a man.  I only care about being a great human being in the end.  I don’t really care about money, or power.  I just want to be able to help others in some way, maybe in a way of healing the damage that the past has brought them.  Something like that.

I know that I’m now able to grow stronger everyday in some way, so that is something new that I can proudly say about me.  I could not say that about me in the past.  Now, perhaps I can make a dream come out of this, and change more lives with it.

Closing this long post, the song accompanied to this entry is a remix of a song that I bought last year.  Love, is the last component I feel that I lack.  I always say that I would lack three things in the past:  hope, courage, and love.  I think it’s safe to say for at least this point, I have hope, and to actually write something with the contents in this post, I have some sort of courage somewhere building.  And I guess you can say that while I can’t exactly profess my love for another human being just yet, I can say that I do fall in love with music a whole hell of a lot.

I mean, that has to count for something, right?  So this song is something that I will add, to that utopia under the moon, which I’ll now call, the Lunar Elysium of my life.