Where the wind flows: A new direction on the horizon?

Well as I said before in my last post, I wanted to try and write more regularly.  I think that in the almost 7 years that I started keeping a personal blog, I think that I have grown to love writing a bit.  As you may know, I actually at one point wanted to become a writer, but that didn’t really come to pass, or maybe not yet?

Let me tell you about the reason that I haven’t been able to write.  It is surprising to say this because, I shifted the focus of this blog to informing folks about mental health issues, all while being a log for me to have an outlet to sound off about them, and maybe other things in my life.  Heck, I even have a job in the field that I am receiving services in….right….about that.

That is what I wanted to air out today in this post.  I have worked for a year this month in the mental health field, while being a mental health patient myself.  I even started full time this past summer, and that is when the troubles started.

If you remember a post I posted back then, when I started full time work, I had a lot of issues with things then, and it caused me to go into near crisis state of depression, and I started to isolate (more on this word later).  As the months went by, I did what I could, but something still wasn’t right.  And then there was this past January, when I went to the TEDxAugusta conference here in my town.

I looked at all of the speakers, and they were so passionate about what they were proposing to all of us in the audience. I completely felt really excited about just networking, and talking to other people who were as passionate about just improving themselves.  Then, two weeks later, I rented a car, and went to Macon and WHAM! Training, and again, I was in a situation where everyone was completely into absorbing all of the information they could to apply it in their lives, and in their respective agencies.  After that, I went and visited people.

Then, I came back to work.  Do not get me wrong when I say what I’m about to say.  I am extremely grateful, and thankful that I have a stable job, and I do work really hard.  However, picture yourself with a serious mental illness, which, while it has a good remission period, you will always have symptoms.  You work in a place where you are always having to talk about your past, to people, who also have serious mental illnesses, and you have to teach them how to get to an elevated state of recovery.

One of the things that I have never liked to this day is to be consistently be reminded of my past.  As a matter of fact, if something happened in my past and I haven’t dealt with it, I try and deal with it to the point, and learn what I can from it.  I’ve done this for years, and it has helped me to get through a lot of things.  However, I lost that when I was going to through my worst years when I was in my mid 20s.

And that is the reason why I will have to eventually leave the mental health field as a profession.  It melds together in two ways.  The first, is that there is this impression that you always have to be this model of “recovery”, all of the time.  That, in and of itself, means that you have to be on a pedestal, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  I’ve come to find over these years that I really don’t like the spotlight anymore, and that being put on this “pedestal” of modeling recovery, I can’t live at all.  I guess I feel like this because, I’m lucky in a sense when it comes to my recovery.  I have always had a good support system around me.  My mom worked in the field for 10+ years, and I have had a lot of support in my community, and I lucked out on who my gives me services during me increasing my state of recovery.  In that sense, I do not relate to the majority of the people I serve, at all.  In contrast, a lot of them come from worse environments than I came from, and a lot of them didn’t get a lot of the chances that I got, or, if they did, they did not take advantage of them like I did.

The second is that, I think it is in these past 3 months, that I have honestly thought about what I see as a patient and a provider.  I do try my best here, and I think for me, if I’m going to do something, I’m going to commit to it, and try and improve it the best I can.  There are too many egos, grandstanding, unaware, and uncaring people in this industry.  While I got lucky and got people who do care about where I’m going and want me to reach greater heights, there are too many that do not get access to quality folks like that.  And perhaps it isn’t just on them.  The reality of it is, that it goes both ways from what I’ve seen.  The people with the illness have essentially given up, and since it was easy to just give up, they did that.  Because it was easy, they want more easy things.  So they manipulate, they lie, they cheat, putting themselves into worse situations than before.

At one point I was like this too.  But I wanted more.  I’ve always wanted more.  I’ve been reading a book from Dr. Carol Dweck called, “Mindset, The New Psychology of Success”.  It helped me to remember things that I lost.  I remember when I learned how to play percussion instruments, I worked and worked at it.  When I learned fighters, I worked.  It helped me to learn to enjoy the challenge more.  I use the word “yet” a lot now, because I’m never where I want to be yet, and there are new challenges to be faced.

It is because of this that I can tolerate what I do, and it is because of this that I will change professions.  One thing I learned is to really stay true to myself.  I can’t be somewhere where I have to be reminded of my past all the time.  And I don’t want to be around anyone who don’t want to work to move forward around their pasts.  Also, I can’t work on my current biggest flaw, which is my isolation issues.  I want to actively work on this in earnest.  Perhaps it will enhance my view on this job, perhaps not.  But, I want to really be able to open up and share my feelings with a few people.  I don’t want to hold things in, or shut myself out while trying to figure out things myself.  I learned that, from going out and doing things, is very important to me, and I think that this job hiders me from doing this.  I go home and I sleep for 12 hours because I’m so physically and emotionally drained from this work.  I’m 30 years old.  That is not supposed to be at the prime of my life.

So there is where I am.  I need to write this because I didn’t want to hold back anymore.  I can’t express my feelings verbally yet, but I am working on it.  This is the only way I can really do that, and that is getting harder because since my phone got stolen, I can’t find my back up codes to disable my authentication stuff.  But, I will say this, I am formulating a plan that will get me to a place where I can do some good work, do what I want for mental health (which is really blogging about the main issues), and have the freedom of living I want to have.  But yeah, this is 7 months of frustration that I wrote about here, and I’m glad I did.

Facing the words of the past.

In episode 12 of my old blog, I put the following quote inside of the entry from Bruce Barton:

Great men suffer hours of depression through introspection and self-doubt. That is why they are great. That is why you will find modesty and humility the characteristics of such men.

Back then I did not know what it meant. I was two months away from being 24 years old. I think the best way to think of it is that I was way too lost and blinded by the symptoms of my mental illness to actually be able to really think clearly. But, it’s hard to explain. I felt like that someday, even though I was the severity of my symptoms affected me severely, and there was not people in my life that understood what I needed at that time, I felt like that one day, that this quote would be important someday.

For the past several hours, I’ve been here reading every word of my old blog and writing down the words that speak to me now. I’ve done this for two reasons. The first is that I’m going to take some of the things that I’ve said in this blog, and make it into a session for those individuals that I serve. The second, is for me, and you, and everyone who reads this entry. This is the dream that is my recovery, and the best way I can contribute to this special day of Suicide Prevention.

I think that all of the key things that happened to me are when I was 25. I think that in this year, I was probably at the peak of my symptoms. I probably felt the very lowest of myself then. I had suicidal ideations but no real attempts at that time. I think that I got into crisis states of symptoms very often. I was reckless, wasteful, and I guess back then I really wanted to die badly. I read an entry from September 2009 that was the crux of the beginning of my actually journey in living in recovery.

I think reading through all of those entries, I felt like that even though I was a good person for the most part back then. I felt like I had to lie all of the time…to protect myself, or rather, them from me. I felt like no one back them really knew how to deal with me from that standpoint of my symptoms. Also, I didn’t know how to deal with me.

As I look through the entries and up to the final entry to the that blog, I was surprised to see that there were 60% more positive entries than negative ones. As a matter of fact, I actually wrote about what those entries did for me in a semi-blinded light in September of 2011. I think that since then, now having a job that allows me to pool my experiences from those years, and use them to save lives, is the end result of all the struggles I’ve come from.

I want to go back to the quote above now from Bruce Barton. Even now, I will suffer from depression as I have been diagnosed with a disorder that I can’t control when the cycles are. The best I can really do is to identify what cycle is coming and to reduce the frequency of the symptoms. Back in my past entries, there was a lot of confusion in my words, and that confusion led me to panic. The panic I felt made me think about death a lot. That panic made me do horrible things on occasion just like anyone else with a diagnosis. However, this panic was caused by not knowing my illness. By not knowing the nuances, and the knowledge that bipolar type 2 has periods where you feel like you are “normal”.

Even then, I get depressed more than I get mania. Then, I think, and I get frightened, and I feel like I can’t do anything, even to this day. And I think it’s because of this very thing, that I feel like I’m humble. Yes, I will live in recovery for life, and I’ll have these symptoms for as long as I live. But I think it’s because of my symptoms that on this day, I won’t take my life for granted, and I am humbled at the fact that people see a human being beyond the diagnosis. That’s what that quote means to me.

On this day, where suicide awareness is put on the map, I want you all to take a look at the things that aren’t said. Take a look at that eye that looks like it is infinitely sad…that slight tremor when you touch someone’s hand. Also, take a look at those who say all too much, but never the right thing. Perhaps just asking one piercing, sincere question, one open heart, or one clear ear could be the difference in breaking someone’s world, or saving it.

I’m going to save a lot of people eventually because of the struggles that I faced today. It was probably the toughest thing in the world to go back and face those words of a me that was lost. To cut through the fluff and to see what is really going on. However, I am thankful for those words that I wrote in that blog, and I will continue to be thankful. I truly believe that it was those words, back in April of 2008, that shaped me into the person I am today, and I’m not just another statistic.

Updates! And a brief message.

I made some quick updates!

First, the change to template is one to reflect my favorite color, silver.  It’s a minimal theme since I like a minimalistic approach to most things, and it’s easier to read!

I’ve also changed the title of this blog from “The World God Only Knows” to “The Jet Life Chronicles”.  Here is a great definition from urban dictionary for the phrase jet life:

To be happy, to be positive, to see all good and be of good spirit, to have fun and enjoy life. Being a super great friend and family, a JET LIFE

I’ve been meditating about a greek phliloshophical term lately called Sophrosyne.  This term basically has to do with healthy-minded practices.  Pretty much practicing self-control and moderation by way of obtaining knowledge and balance.  This was actually a greek goddess in mythology, and in the Chinese circles, this term means purity, integrity, and virginity.  I feel like this is the best way for myself to approach my life.

I feel like the earlier content in my attempt at the 30 day challenge was tainted because I feel like I went too fast.  My birthday was coming up, and I think I had many manic episodes that tainted the message I feel I may have been trying to send.  And I stopped writing for few months after the stuff happened.  I don’t know if I want to run that back or not, because it could happen again.  But I learned from it, and while I practice moderation and self-control while having an illness that is the opposite of those things, it will be tough.

But still, hopefully the content from here on will be as clear as I can get it.  Keep in mind I am still struggling with a disorder that will mess with my mind, but I will try my best to keep my message clear.

Finally, I updated my about section!  Give it a look if you’d like!