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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Empathy: The Great Equalizer.

Empathy: The Great Equalizer.

This is a great read about how empathy can affect a lot of lives, including our own.  One of the things that is not in abundance in this world are people that can look at a given situation through another person’s point of view and take that into their lives to make their life better.

One of the things that I pride myself on and has been a big help in my personal recovery, is being as mindful, and empathetic to others’ situations.  Because of this, I feel like that perhaps there I have changed a handful of lives, and ultimately, I changed my own life because of this.  So, if you are suffering from any mental illness, I invite you to take a few minutes and read this.

There are also links to a test that I guess measure how empathetic you are as well as how sympathetic you are.  I invite you to take these and see where you stand!  

Expect a new entry with how I’ve been doing in the next week or so!

The perfect struggle in being, imperfect.

I wanted to write what I’m about to write early in this week.  Due to me living in Georgia however, I did not get a chance to do this.

Going into this past week, I was more irritated, and angry of sorts.  At the same time, this cycled me into a severe depressive state.  As you may have seen in the past few post, I have been struggling with the notion that while I am not by any means in a bad position right now, I know that I can do more with my life.

For example, I went to a tournament this past Saturday.  I did obscenely well in one tournament as I entered two of them.  In each of the matches I played up until I lost and got 3rd place, I played against people who more and more people who were way more hungry for improvement that I was.  As I played through the tournament, it fired me up a bit.  So much so, that I even enjoyed playing all of them. 

As that next day went on, a person in the SC fighting game group came and asked for the results, then after the results were shared, he said that he would have won this tournament easily.  This raised me up, because of what I mentioned prior.  I wasn’t going to let some person degrade the good work and the fire in the players’ hearts on that day, especially if he was not at the event.  This may have been the catalyst in the boiling agitation. 

This boiled over throughout the next few days, where I figured it out something that was unrelated to the actual goings on of the event.  The agitation brewed over to other things in my life, and at one point, I was getting to the point where I would be disgusted at photos on Instagram.  Then after a bit of reflection, I figured it out.

My greatest flaw, which affects my whole life currently, was more there than anything.  I have a huge problem with being perfect.  There are a lot of issues which stem from my childhood that play into this.  However, with the newfound control over my illness that I have, I am able to tackle this head on.  This affects every aspect in my life currently.  I can’t ever see the person that most people probably see.  I procrastinate and become apathetic about things because I try and wait for the right moment.  I get frustrated when I can’t execute something quickly.  I get severely depressed when a perfect plan hits a horrible snag that I didn’t see coming.  The list goes on.

Now, you can imagine how this and being in recovery with bipolar type 2 can be hell a times, and it really is.  I think though, that the important thing to note is that though I always knew about this flaw, I could not identify how it was affecting my life.  Now, that I’m doing the right things recovery wise, I can now understand how perfectionism is keeping me completely down.

My hypothesis is if I focus really hard on not striving for the perfect situation, and instead practice optimizing situations as much as I can, this will unlock the next level of my personal growth and recovery with my illness.  I’m thankful that I’m strong enough now to be able to realize this, or rather, I now have the wisdom to recognize, and do something about this.