I once believed that you could NOT stop a freight train that was in motion. I learned very recently... that simply is not true. Today, I sit and think of the New Year coming. I know that with the changing of the calender, so many new things will appear. Doors that have been open forever may close, making way for new ones to be opened. New roads to walk on and new hands to hold as you journey into things and places Unknown. Not All will be new. Some of the places we have been and people we have known for a lifetime will be refreshed and begin anew. AND some things... will remain exactly as they have been for a very long time.
This morning I was asked about the Bipolar Disorder. When asked, I always feel compelled to answer the question of "what is it" and "how do I know if I have it?" The link of have placed here gives a very good "Medical" description, which of course is where one should look first. It is very important that if you do think you may suffer from this affliction that you contact your Doctor and discuss it with her/him. They will know the proper channels to take in order to determine what it is you feel you may have.
But truly, a doctor is only going to be able to take you so far and then the individual personality traits step in. Though most Bipolar people have the same initial signs and actions that come with being Bipolar, each and every person is different in some ways. Some may suffer deeper Lows and deal with their issues unlike another Bipolar person. Depression is Always factored in as part of being Bipolar. Though one can be depressed and Not be Bipolar, no one that suffers from Bipolar disorder is with out Depression. How life's obstacles and sadness is faced and dealt with also have a great deal to do with how deeply effected you are by the disorder. What triggers a Low often evades the patient and there may be times that No reason s found. It simply comes on and effects your daily routine, your love life, your thoughts and decisions and it effects your ability to function in the "outside" world. Small things that never effected you or that do Not effect most people may set your emotions on a downward spin. Tears that may go on for hours or even days. The feeling of being worth nothing to anyone or that everything or everyone you touch will turn into a disaster. A desire to be alone a great deal of your time and the fears of what may happen if you stay in the Low too long are always thoughts inside the head of a bipolar person. Highs that cause you to believe that there is not a single task nor a single person that you can not fixed or finish. But in the end, the Low slips in and the realization that you are NOT a Super human sets in.
Today... actually last night, I had a life altering situation come to me. And in that situation, the very question that was asked of me, was answered. The Low that has set it's Talons into my mind is as strong as they get for me. As I describe it to you, you will have a first hand experience with a bipolar person in a low. Confusion and a feeling of dis-connection from the rest of the world settle inside my mind. Uncertainties and the barrage of guilt and anger and sadness and fear all coupled together by a string in my mind layed the foundation for a Low that will take me from one end of being lost to the other side of feeling empty and alone. I will process and assess and I will take blame and atone. I will feel as if I don't deserve to know happiness or love because I have hurt someone, in some way... whether or not that actual hurt even occurred.
Is it cold in the house today or is it simply my sadness that has left me wrapped in a blanket, feeling as if it were 20 below zero in the house. Turning the heat up in the house only to find oneself roasting and turning the heat back down again. The world, for now, suddenly seeming less safe and less inhabitable by one such as myself. Smoking far more than normal and searching the empty space around me for some type of security, anything that I can take hold of and hold close to me as if it were a life line to reality. A door, once open with a "welcome" mat in front of it, now closing, though I struggle with whether or not that can even happen. The door closing from the inside and myself standing somewhere outside. Afraid and writing with all that I am because it is a "safe place" for me. Scared of where this Low may take me and so I fight with all that I have inside of me to stay afloat in a sea of sadness and silence and fear.
THIS... this is My world. This is what being Bipolar is to me. The emotions tearing at me and the knowing that I will have to face this up close and personal and that it will take all that those that love me unconditionally have inside of them to pull me out of this train wreck. "You can't stop a freight train in motion"... Unless you take the tracks away it rides on. Always, Simply Me.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
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Sunday, December 27, 2009
Today I sit alone in a very quiet house. No kids, no sounds except for the purring of my cat George. Yes, George is of course a she. But, enter my little Bipolar brain and just nod that "Of course" nod that tells me you are not at all surprised. I think back to the year that is almost finished with a sense of completion, yet at the same time... with a feeling that so many things did NOT get done. Projects started 100 times over, sometimes with almost the promised look that they Would in fact be completed, but with the knowing that they probably would not.
I have watched all of my girls grow and change in many ways. I have felt things that have Always been, slowly slip away, leaving me with a sense of emptiness. I have been loved more than I am sure I deserve. Time has gotten away from me more often than I have controlled it. Times with my therapist that has helped me more than I can say. And finding a safe place that has finally settled in to my heart and mind, telling me that she will not hurt me or take advantage of the mind set that is "my" little world.
I wonder what this new year will bring to me. I await it with a huge mix of excitement and fear. Excited that I may see my next novels in print. Excited that I may see my oldest two daughters find happiness and true love. The fear of knowing that for every "UP", no matter how high it takes me, there Will be a "Low" to battle. Wondering if I will have the strength to make it through the on-slaught of Lows that will be part of my New Year. And the knowledge that with new things come changes and changes are simply something I do NOT do well with.
This has been a different Christmas for me also. The weather has been a disaster here, truly, since the Spring rains that did not want to stop. And on August 9th, the storm to beat all storms in Eldora struck. Winds so high that the town's meter broke and we were only at 116 miles per hour when it broke. Hailstones so big they took out every window in the house and part of the roof. One, kept for remembering, placed in the freezer, that was the size of a softball. The loss of our pet squirrel due to shock from the storm. Clean-up and new rooves and windows that after over 5 months, is still going on.
December, the month of Christmas... a time for joy and laughter and going to G-ma's and G-pa's for a huge Christmas meal. This year, like so many other things related to the ever changing weather, a winter storm hit us a week before Christmas. Eighteen inches of beautiful but dangerous snow fell on us. Then, Christmas eve and the day before, we were bombarded with Ice!!! Ice and rain and more ice and rain. All roads in and out of Eldora closed to travelers. There would be no Christmas dinner at Mom and Dad's because there was no way to get into their house. A change! Huge and different and hard for me to adjust too. We would have Christmas dinner at home with just my little family. Sitting down and enjoying and knowing that the true reason we got together was to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and to give thanks for all he has given to us. Perhaps our father in heaven wanted to remind some that Christmas is Not about getting together and exchanging gifts. It is about celebrating his son's birth. No matter where you are or what you are doing, it is still the day we have set aside and called it Jesus' birthday.
Still, fear lies inside of me. A fear that the new year Will be like the year that is almost over. That I will still start a thousand projects, still make a hundred promises, that when they were made, were pure and true and that my heart meant to keep. Life, ever changing, some for the good and some... causing me to go into a massive depression again. I know that I am different in my issues and the disorders that are always a part of my life. I hear of all these people that hide away for days. I know of some that simply can not face anyone nor anything and they find a place to be and simply stay there until their Low has subsided for a time again.
Me!!!??? I have family that relies on me daily for so many things. Children that need their father to be able to reach out and be there for them. I can NOT simply disappear for a day or two. I know in my heart that to be able to do that perhaps would be the worst possible scenario for me. The feeling of worthlessness and of failure, the destruction inside of me that goes on because I KNOW I have not completed so many things, would overwhelm me in such a terrible way. BUSY!!!! That is my savior daily. Parents that taught me that no matter what, you have responsibilities and so where my mind or my heart go, must be always secondary to whatever this sometimes 1000 mile per hour brain of mine takes me. Too much alone time, to few responsibilities would translate for me into "time to atone for me sins." Sins that perhaps do not truly exist except inside of my own mind and heart. Hurting people I love because my mouth says what is on my heart, sometimes too quickly. I want to be that number 1 best selling author. I want to be a good father. I want to be true and good. And I KNOW that if not for the things that keep me Busy, I Would find a place and sit and not move and not speak to anyone except for myself.
Life is strange as it is. It is hard at times and beautiful also. I am loved so sweetly and my "issues" simply noticed and tenderly subsided. And yet, still, there is the sadness that lives inside of me that wants so much to destroy anything that might be finished. Why? Because in finishing something, it can now be assessed and judged or rated. And that... leaves a door open to failure. See the abstract places my mind goes? Feel the sense of dis-connection I must live with? Feel my heart today and know that I want the New Year to be a better year. I want to know the things I dream of. I want to touch the lives that are a part of my very being. I want to have a day that I Do NOT see myself as anything other than a messed up man that is out of place in this world. I want to know Peace.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Christmas... A season of joy and family togetherness. A time when people travel miles and miles, their vehicles filled to the brim with packages and food and children squealing and laughing. Thoughts of a huge turkey basting in Grandma's oven and all the trimmings waiting to be devoured by the on-slaught of person after person. Dressing, hot out of the Bird, mashed potatoes with turkey gravy covering them. Sweet potatoes, soaking in brown sugar and marsh mellows with cranberries in a bowl not far away. The relish tray adorned with olives and pickles and celery and carrots and a dip made of cottage cheese, mayo and ranch dressing begging to be eaten. And the Hot buns that will have butter melting inside of them, looking like the perfect place for a slice of the Honey Ham that will be sliced, fresh out of the oven. A house that is filled with all of the aromas that tell us it is Christmas Day. Conversations going every which way and family trying to be part of as many of them as they can at one time.
Listen closely and you can hear Grandma and Grandpa whispering to one another how wonderful it is to have all of their family together again. Each year a blessing just to be still present and well. A prayer being said by all of the children, young and older, telling God we are thankful that his son was born on this day that we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. How beautiful a picture that is. A Picture I painted directly from my own Christmas days Past and Present. How could anything so beautiful have a single thing about it that would cause a person to become depressed????
There is a measure of people... 3.5 million to be at least close, that the holidays are very hard for to get through. Life isn't always the same on the outside of ones mind as it is on the inside. depression has a way of finding things to be sad about. Taking all the wonders of the season, analyzing them, picking them apart and finding the things that DID NOT happen or that DID happen that had nothing to do at all with the season. Although many wish that for just one single day, their minds could forget all the past and the things that drag them down, somewhere in the quiet moments, when there is NOT 100 conversations going, thoughts will find their way out and take a person from very, very happy to very sad. Tears without reason will fall and feelings will over take the smiles that were theirs only moments ago. They will find a place to be alone because they don't want... or should I say Can not answer the question of why they are sad when someone asks them. It may be as short lived as a cigarette smoke or as long as the night lasts. It even comes in short spurts and a trip to the restroom can be the difference between happy and sad.
I write this today for the reason that I write most of my posts. I write it so that people know they are not alone in these feelings. I write so they don't feel as if they have ruined everything for the holidays or that Anything that goes wrong on Christmas Day was caused in some way by them. I write to let others know that they are loved and that they simply need to walk away now and then, find a place to be alone and gather their thoughts. Even if just for a moment or two, it will help. I write this today so that someone out there knows that if they have their "safe place" person with them on Christmas Day, it is alright to tell them you are feeling a bit Ummmm, "Abstract" I like to call it. "Disconnected" works wonderfully too. I write this today for people... people JUST LIKE ME. You can get through the Christmas Crazies and enjoy them. All the food and laughter and smiles is there for You too. Take the day a moment at a time and remember, those people love you, even when you don't think you deserve to be loved. God Bless you all and May the Christmas season be bright and beautiful for you. And remember, You are Not alone. Not ever. Someone bigger than you or I has his loving hand on us. Merry Christmas from our home to yours. Always, Darrel
Friday, December 18, 2009
As another day was about to close last night, I reached for my guitar to tune the it. A new string needed to be added and so with that comes the stretching and tuning over the next day or two. Agreeing to play and sing with a four year olds program for a Christmas caroling at the local bank was a wonderfully rewarding blessing. The children are eager and they sing with their hearts. No worries about what others may think. No concerns as to whether they are singing in tune or in some key not yet defined by the music industry. They simply want to sing and see people smile as they do. They bring a joy to the hearts of all that hear them sing.
The guitar falls easily back in to tune and my family gathers around to sing a few songs. "Just a moment is all I need, to make sure it is in tune," I tell them. Two hours later, I am sure it is now in tune. We have sang as a family since they were babies. Now, grown and living lives of their own, they ask over and over for songs that we have sang for a life-time. Their life-time and mine. The sad songs of the Sixties. They beautiful songs of the 70's and the 80's ring out. We sing in the same way that this Abstract, bipolar mind works. We slide easily from Gospel to oldies and toss in a bit of country so that my beautiful family can do a little Line dancing.
"I don't know for sure how to Waltz, Dad. Show me please." I look at my oldest and smile. This ole body hasn't Waltzed since a few years before their mother went to heaven. But... Waltz we did. And I still have both my feet! A two step and a jitterbug later and my legs are telling me to sit. Did I miss a step in that jitterbug? Was my Waltz a little faster than need be? I don't know. What I do know is that we smiled and we laughed and we sang. Like those precious Angels I am blessed to sing and play the guitar with at a local bank today, we didn't worry whether it was perfect or not. We only cared that it was fun.
And so today, I think about Christmas and what I will do this year. I will sing with my family and will enjoy all the food and festivities that come with it. I will say a prayer for those less fortunate than I. And I will remember the pure innocence of the children and how they do not worry nor care about what others are thinking of their sounds. They simply Enjoy as will I this Christmas season. Times past mingled with Time present to make the season almost perfect. There is a feeling in the air this time of year. Grab hold of it and smile. Don't look back and don't worry what others may be thinking. Just Enjoy their smiles and laugh.
Posted by Darrel at 7:49 AM
Saturday, December 5, 2009
This morning, as I sit and look out at the snow laying on the ground, thinking about how cold it is outside... I wondered something. Life is a challenge for most these days. There are bills to pay and kids to raise. There are tasks to be done and life in general to make it through. One day at a time. I look around at all that I have here. The roof over my head keeping my safe and dry. I see all of my world possesions. Things I hold close as my own and things that I can not remember when nor the reason why I bought them or still have them. I think to myself just how fortunate I really am. I close my eyes for a moment and I thank God in Heaven for all the blessings he had bestowed upon me. Not riches beyond my wildest dreams but enough to pay bills and enjoy life a little bit.
And then another thought came to me. I began to think about those less fortunate than me. My heart weighs heavy while thinking about the homeless and the unsheltered. My mind wanders to the Missions that open their doors to these people, some barely into their teens. I feel a stab at my heart and realize exactly how blessed I am. There are so many people, adults as well as children that are "without" this Christmas Holiday. They have no home, little to no food and their thought this Christmas will be where their next meal will come from. They are not worried about whether or not that will open a gift this year. All they want is a warm place to sleep and a hot meal to fill their stomachs. Winter is here! The cold has set in and suddenly... it isn't a place that any person should be outside in, unprotected from the elements.
We live in a world where we toss away more food in a day than some eat in a week. I can hear my Mothers voice echoing in my ear. She is telling me that I need to eat what she put on my plate. She says "there are people in this world that are starving!" My thought, though I kept it to myself was "O.k., send this to them then." It was funny then. I laughed about even years later. Long after my mother finally got tired of sitting there telling me to eat and tossed the food on my plate in the garbage. We ourselves were not rich in any way but we always had food and a roof over our heads. We always had heat in the house and the right clothes to wear when the weather turned cold.
Today, so many years later, I Understand. I know that my mother was right. She was right then and she would still be right today. There "really" are starving people in this world. In a world that produces food and more food so that we can toss it if we decide not to eat it, there are those that would gladly have eaten it for us.
Today, this minute, I sit and thank God for all he has given to me and my family. I thank him for the house and the food and the extra things that I sometimes, I forget I even have. I write this to you because we should not live in a world of hungry homeless people. We as a people should and Can reach out to do a little something to help those less fortunate. Walk in their shoes for just a minute and see how it feels. Better yet, walk outside in the cold without your shoes on and feel what they feel each and every day. The economy today has effected every single person in the world in some way. Whether it be big or small, the effects are visible and felt by millions. Jobs are being cut and families are going without many things they had been accustomed to. Lives are being changed and families are finding it harder to pay bills.
This Christmas season... I challenge you to reach out to someone less fortunate than you are. I implore you to seek out a family, a shelter for women or homeless. Find that someone or someones that will go without the festivities of the holiday season and take tyheir hand. Give of yourself something they do not have. There are so many ways to do this. I will list them for you so you don't even have to go looking. Take the initiative and share what has been bestowed upon you and yours. Just think how many we could help, if even for a single day, feel the warmth that is Christmas. Celebrate the precious season by freely giving to someone that does NOT have what you have. Two thousands years ago, a man lived and died for us. He suffered and bled that our lives might be enriched. He gave Everything for people that had nothing. Freely, he gave and freely we should Honor him and do the same.
Please, reach into your hearts and find a way to help another. They are our brothers and sisters, our mothers and fathers and our neighbors. They are not as far away as we may think or try to keep them. This year, let us not allow the "economy" to stop us from bringing warmth and good will to others. freely we have taken and now I ask you, freely give.
Here is a list of things you can do to out reach. The blessings in your heart will be something you can't even imagine. List... More... Food shelters...
This is just a few to help you get started. I promise you, you will not have to look far to find someone to bless. You may find them right in your own community or neighborhood.
Blessings to you All. Give with your heart. Volunteer somewhere and I promise you, it will be appreciated. And be thankful for what you Do have this year. Always, Darrel
Posted by Darrel at 8:51 AM
Friday, December 4, 2009
When I think of writing being called an art, it causes me to think of the why it may be called that. When a writer is transferring thoughts from the mind or imagination, to paper, or as may be the case today... to screen, it does become Art. The ability as much as it is a Need to cause the reader to "See" what is being written is in fact Art.
To write without the ability to create a canvas painting or a Big Screen scene while writing leaves the reader with only words. Words that could be tossed into a Dictionary or a letter to an unknown person. They serve only to fill in space. It is truly the writer that can create a scenario for the reader that comes to life as if it were 3-D or Live , that creates with their mind the painting that will endure and last in a readers mind. To take a simple barn and cause it to become the "Red Barn that stands alone in a field, it's paint peeling from the wood, straw left long ago to dry and be blown into the wind, sticking out from the open window at the top of the now nearly colorless barn" is the same as painting a picture for the reader that they can see as well as feel.
Such is the life and the desire of every writer. This is the essence of their soul being layed out in the open for all the world to see. If a writer can capture this very vivid picture for their readers then he has indeed made writing "an Art." I am confidant in myself that I have done this for you, the reader in both of my novels. Be prepared to not only read the words, but to feel them as if you were sitting right where the characters are.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Surveys are very much a part of a supplemental Income for me. The time spent completing the surveys from different sites is well worth the compensation I receive each month.
I recently came across a new survey site that pays directly to my PayPal. The monies are placed in my PayPal account in a very timely manner. Daily Survey Panel offers over 100 paid surveys a day. If you fail to qualify for one, you simply click to try another and you are on your way. As an added incentive, if you complete a specified amount of surveys each month, you receive a Very nice bonus cash to your account.
The surveys are easy to navigate and enjoyable. Very few surveys will be unqualified for you. And the best part is that each day I watch my PayPal account grow from doing the surveys from Daily Survey Panel. Go ahead and give it a try. You will NOT be disappointed.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
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Posted by Darrel at 12:44 PM