Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas... Jesus is the Reason

Christmas... the time of year that we celebrate the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ. A season of laughter and smiles and family and friends. The time of year that we set aside our "differences" and come together to share our love. It is by far my very favorite time of the year. The sound of songs and joy fills the air. The smell of Turkey and dressing and pumpkin pie rushes to your senses as soon as the door is opened. Decorations adorn the living room and every archway that is open. The Christmas Tree is lit and sparkles and blinks red and green and blue colored lights. Some-where, in that same room that is filled with a Christmas Tree, the sound of Christmas Carols playing on the CD, ringing out that we Will "be home for Christmas, if only in our dreams." And on the center of the mantel, with the fireplace crackling and popping below, a Nativity Scene sits, recapturing the night in an Inn Stable, when a mother gave birth to a King.
 I have painted for you the beauty that is Christmas. A warmth coming from the words that are known through-out the World. My heart embraces them and then... a sadness finds it's way into my heart. Sadness that the "joy" of Christmas is not felt by every heart that pumps life into our body. For in this world of such abundant love and joy and gifts and food, there are Still those that will not reap the beauty that is our Christmas. Homeless people, that will spend their Christmas searching for a warm blanket and a meal. Children that do not have a Christmas Tree lighting their way down the hallway in the Wee hours of the morning. No gift wrap will be strewn across their floor and no laughter will echo through their homes.
 The reality of this is that more than 1 million children will go hungry this Christmas season. Families that have lost their jobs due to an economy that is struggling simply to hold it's own. And if their are a million children that are hungry this season, that means their are 20 million + that are Not hungry. Why, I ask you? Why, in a world rich with food and resources, would one single child ever have to feel the coldness that can be this season? Are there not enough homes that will have more food at their table than any one family could possibly eat, to feed that child or family? Doesn't the ratio of not hungry to hungry set on a scale that is terribly out of balance? We have the means to assure that not one child goes hungry.
 We have the ability to make certain that these families can fill the warmth of the Christmas Season. So long ago, a baby was born in the city of David we know as Bethlehem. He came to the Earth to bring peace and good will to all men. We, as his brothers and sisters, can carry on that gift to those less fortunate. It is as simply as opening your door to a stranger in need. The blessings that come with giving of ourselves is absolutely the most beautiful gift we have to give. It doesn't cost a dime because you are only giving to them what you would have tossed at the end of the meal. The rewards how ever are Gihugic!  That means Huge and then some.
 This year, give the gift that keeps on giving. Share of yourself and the feeling inside will go on and on for you. Love is free and God's gift to us is eternal life. Make this year the year you start a new tradition or the continuation of an old one. Open your hearts and your door to someone in need. A family that is alone. A soldier that is away from his family at Christmas time. Light a candle with in someones heart and remember what this season is REALLY about. It is about a baby that became our Lord and Savior. It is about sharing and laughter and love.
{{Luke 2:8-14 “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.}}}

   Merry Christmas to you all.....

Saturday, December 11, 2010

This is Me, Uncovered...

  I began a bit earlier responding to my nephews comments on the blog before this one. As I began to write, I realized two things. First, I am not known as the long-winded responder here on line for no reason. I am exactly that. My responses sometimes look more like "short stories" than simply replies to a comment. To some that is a good thing and to others... well. I stopped my reply to Joshua and decided to write it here instead. I found that I had more to say than perhaps should be in a comment section. Thank you Josh for writing and allowing me the chance to do what I love to do. That is, to write. Though I am responding to Joshua's comments, I believe that many can feel and understand the words here.
 Joshua, I too am glad you found your way here though I will say again, it is with an amount of uncertainties still, for now at least. I am extremely open in my writings here and endeavour to reach out and touch lives. Lives that sometimes believe they are very alone in the many things they experience on a daily basis.  Far too often, a soul becomes lost simply based on the feeling of being odd or a freak because of some of the issues they must deal with daily. Fears that are very real. They all have the ability to separate people from others in an attempt to conceal the issues they do not want the world, especially family, to know they suffer from. How sad that there are more families than you might even want to believe that refuse to believe or acknowledge that someone they love may indeed suffer from a disorder such as bipolar or Tourettes or that they may be Manic. A denial that normally comes from something so simple as not understanding. And as I am known to say often, that which is unknown or not understood is either feared or shunned by those not inflicted.
 Far too often, that soul becomes lost simply because the very ones they love refused to listen to the issues they must deal with daily. Not knowing always if there is somewhere, someone to turn to that will listen. They Know God is Always there as I truly do know. But sometimes the soul yearns for a more human touch of the heart to show them they are not so different, not experiencing things that many others in this world do, each and every day. There are so many different forms of depressions and mental disorders today but most, if not all of them have one thing in common. They leave the inflicted feeling very alone and sometimes even ashamed that they can not always fight these issues.
 I said earlier that I was glad that Joshua had found my site but not without some fear or uncertainties. In reading more and more of my blogs, Josh is going to read things about myself that he may not know. He will see sides of my depression and the effects that the Bipolar and Tourettes have on my daily life that I may have been alright with being less known. But he will also see the love and devotion I have to My father in heaven. the faith that I placed in him with My Sheila for 25 years. He will see the Blessings that God has given to me in learning to take the saddest, hardest times of my life and make them lessons to grow by.
 Joshua was responding to a blog concerning the feelings of selfishness when we take time for our selves. Feeling that in taking time for our own selves, we are taking away time that we could have been devoting to someone that truly needed our help. He made some really good points in saying that though it is easier to give of our selves to someone else than to our own selves, if we do not take time for us, then we may not be good for anyone else. The words do ring with truth but often applying those words to our own lives isn't as easy and does not seem as important. Feeling undeserved of the very love and inspiration we strive to have others believe they DO deserve is a way of life for those like me. A thought process that echos over and over that We are not here to make our selves feel good but to reach out to those that feel alone or lost or different.
 A song rings in my ear that I have loved for as long as I can remember hearing it. Bless the Beasts and The Children. {Karen Carpenter sang it beautifully} It says to bless the beasts and the children for they have no voice or choice. Give them warmth when darkness surrounds them and give them hope and love. That is my true desire and I would do without if it meant another would not. And so it brings us back to the beginning in pondering the thought that if we want to have time to ourselves, are we selfish? Did wanting someone I love very much to Not visit one day leave me marked as cruel and unfeeling? Was the suffering and tears I cried for that day worth the time I Took for myself? Or would it have been better to simply say No to myself and allow the visit?
 These are just some of the things I struggle with daily. This is but a tiny part of what my world is like up close and personal. The fear inside that someone close to me, dear to my heart, will now see things about me that may turn them away. Please readers, do not believe for a moment that a loved one would not do such a thing. If this were not so, then we would have a lot less sad, lonely people that one day simply say "Enough... I can't live in this sadness any longer" and give in to something that can not be undone. God's perfect love is that we turn away no one and yet, still, in this world there are those that are loved more and shunned less by strangers {perhaps Angels Unseen} than by their own family.
 Remember, smile at everyone you see. You have no idea what battle they may be fighting inside. Your smile may be just what they needed to say, "It is worth another day."          

Thursday, December 9, 2010

And so... I write.

Morning comes to us whether we wish it to or not. Waking, standing and starting my day at 5 a.m., many say, "any day I wake is a good day." I wonder. For many, starting the day is as simple as dressing and going to work. For some, it is the beginning of thoughts that plagued you in your sleep. The reminder that you have unfinished business from the yesterdays that have already past. Business that is really about trying to settle your thoughts. The attempt, no matter how feeble, to find a way to face the guilt that has been a part of your anxieties for days.
 For those of you that have grown children, I think you will understand. I am a father and proudly, I am a Grand-father for the first time. The love I feel for the newest addition to the family is bigger than I could have imagined. A gift from God that I cherish each and every day. Another blessing in a long line of heaven sent blessings that my life has been so beautifully graced by.
 But... there is so much more to this. I mentioned guilt. Guilt that over-powers me and takes me where I wish not to be. Bipolar? Mind issues? Perhaps... or maybe as normal as any other parent reading this. I love to see my daughter and thank God daily that she is so close to me. A few blocks and she is here at the house. But what of the days that I would rather just be alone? Not so much a fact of not wanting to see her. More, the need to have time to sit alone and do my writing or what-ever else I may choose to do. Wrong and selfish to want that? Ahhh, that is the question I do not know how to answer. The very core of my anxieties this day and sleeplessness last night.
 I thought of her and Baby Robert, alone all day as I sat here, quite able to go and bring her over to my home. But I did not. I sat here and the guilt stormed my senses and left me unable to do most anything. Should a parent truly Not want to see his child and grand-child? Is that wrong or is it normal? I carry that question through-out my day and tears  stream down my face. I know of millions that would give anything for the chance to see their loved ones every single day. And yet, I chose not to do that. For what, alone time? I am over-come with wondering. Where does a parent that opts not to see his kids and grand-kids fit in? Am I selfish in this act? Should I chastise myself and make sure I don't do it again?
 My love for my children is full and never ending. My need for time alone is strong and sometimes endless. My guilt is always. This is my life and the thoughts race past me to fast to stop one. And so... I write. The out that purges so much when we are able to place our thoughts in writing. The sasatisfaction that at least Once today, I have sat and stopped my world long enough to write. I do not want to bring my daughter here based on guilt. I want to See her because she is loved. Step into my world for a moment and see why I become so lost in thoughts. My little Bipolar brain crying for the loneliness she had to endure because "I" wanted to be alone. A guilt that will need to be settled in my own way. But that, is another write all in and of it's self.   

Monday, November 22, 2010

Tis the Season to Be... Spinning out of control????

I look out the window and watch the rain falling steadily down to the street. It shows no sign of stopping and I wonder when it will turn to ice. the cold doesn't really effect me as much as the knowledge that soon, we will be stuck in the house due to Old Man Winter settling in. I think about the long winter and everything that comes with it. My mind is racing and thoughts are nearly impossible to grab and deal with. I shake my head and know that it is That time of year again. A time that leaves my mind and body filled with emotions and thoughts and fears.
 Most that read my blogs know that I am Bipolar2. Some know that I also suffer from Tourettes. I maintain and lead a fairly normal life with the exception of a need to "wander" when in a store or out doing things. Some look at me and others like me as freaks. there are those that fear us, as though we may attack them or cause some kind of harm to them. Believe me when I say we are far more dangerous to our own selves then to anyone around us. Life is a maze that we struggle through daily. Those that we love and trust, extremely few and far, help to keep us grounded.
 Is this blog about being bipolar? Not really. I simply add my disorders as a means of understanding for you. At least, I hope it helps you in some way. This blog is about the time of year that is here. For me and I suspect many, whether bipolar or not, this is a very Bitter-sweet time of the year. It splits us right down the center and leaves us with highs and lows that travel through our minds like a raging Bull. It causes me to go from euphorically happy and energized to complete depression of the frightening kind. My loved ones watch me closer. My therapist waits expectantly for the depression to raise and lower and cause me to feel like a piece of Silly Putty, being pulled from one end to another.
 I think, as I write this, that I will not be alone in the way I feel inside this season. I am Not the only one that feels this way. I am Not the only one that can't decide if they are happy or sad at the approaching season and the Holidays it brings with it. Ahhhhhhh, there... the word finally emerged. It is not only the cold and ice and rain and snow that brings me to where I am. There are Holidays, one only 3 days away, that also cause the highs and lows. The holidays bring on fears and memories that make my head shake, in the most literal way. There is the coming together of family and friends. Something I love and look forward to anytime we can get together. Anddddd, there is that "OMG" fear that there will be a group and it will be crowded and "will I do something to draw attention to my disorders!!??" 
 The holidays are so beautiful and Christmas is easily my favorite time of the year. But! The stores are packed with people. People that do not understand my issues. People that would view my ticks and small out-bursts as something to fear or shun. What is not understood is normally feared. I know I have to go into the stores to get what I need. O know that there Will be a moment or two that I become a bit lost and seek out a place that seems safe and I Will sit there, hoping that  someone I love walks by and finds me.  I may even cry while walking through the store. Not something I Want to do. Something that just happens. It may be because I saw something beautiful that touched my heart and so I cry. It might be seeing something that takes me back to when My Sheila was with me and we walked though the store, laughing and smiling and loving one another.{I miss her.} Or maybe, just maybe, it was nothing at all except that the people and the store and the season have suddenly over whelmed me and I just cry. So many thoughts. So many to worry about and love and try to be there for, knowing in my soul that I have NOT been. Guilt that can not be measured and more than it can be imagined. You really have to walk through it, literally.
 This is my life. This is how I walk through life every single day of my life. Some very good days filled with love and smiles. Some days not so happy, filled with sadness and an aloneness that completely engulfs you and tries to smother the life out of you. What ever the day may be like, I walk through it with the hope that I will win another battle. Not the war. I don't ask to win the war that day. I simply pray that I can defeat the enemy that is mine. An enemy that is invisible to the rest of the world, making it impossible to explain or give reason for my actions.
 The Holidays. A time for joy and laughter and smiles. A time for fear and sadness and a deep depression that kicks my butt in ways most can not even imagine. I am there. I am half dizzy because my mind is spinning so fast. This can be a very, very long season...   

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Internet friendships and/or relationships. To pursue or not to pursue!!!!

People often ask me about my time on the Net. Being what I would call a veteran of the World Wide Web, I think I am qualified to answer Most questions a person might ask me. There is truthfully, very little I have Not done here nor is there a lot of places I have not visited. from the surfing to chatting to meeting and to the "more" that many of you understand, I have done it all. I was there when voice wasn't. I saw yahoo voice and MSN voice and even was in on the "Cheetah chat" thing. Some lasted and some simply disappeared. Very much like the relationships and friendships that developed here.
 Statistically, 1 in every 5 relationships begin on the Internet now. 32% of the couples today, whether married or simply living with one another, met here on the Net. Those numbers will grow, no doubt in my mind. How successful are the relationships that come from the Web? According to those in the know, about as successful as the relationships born on the Computer screens. Wonderful to know that so many are finding love here. I am happy for those that have found that one true love here. I know what that is like. So then, if Love is in Bloom right here at your fingertips, is there a downside to on-line relationships or friendships??? The answer to that is a For certain... YES!
 When we meet someone here and we give our hearts to them, we begin a walk of life that is as real as anything you will ever find "off-line."  The love is strong and real and the friendships are deep and true. If you are one of the lucky souls to find a real love, then you have already learned how deep a relationship here can and often does reach. The love and caring for someone here is powerful. It can fill your heart and soul with wonder and beautiful feelings and at the same time, it can tear your heart into tiny shreds. I think perhaps the worst part of it all is that things can happen to those you love without your knowledge. Your friend or Love can suddenly vanish from the web and if you can not reach them here or if you are close enough, by phone, you are left wondering and worrying what has become of them. There are so many things that could be the reason they have not contacted you.
 Relationships here are as I said, Powerful!!! They effect your daily thoughts and actions and your heart and soul. As I mentioned before, I have been on just about every scenario that could exist here. I have fallen in love here. I have been hurt terribly here, I have been the cause of hurt and sorrow to many here. I have carried the weight of loved ones and have been carried by those that love me here. I have recieved the "phone call" telling me it is over. i have heard the sadness and tears when I told someone I was "moving on." I have laughed and cried and loved and hated during my 12 years on line. I have also been on the receiving end of two calls, a  family member telling me that the one I cared for and/or loved had gone to heaven, never to be heard from again. I have cried hard for those that passed on and the pain is as real as it gets.
 But truly, I Do believe that the worst part of loving here, whether it be friendship or so much more, is the not knowing. The hours of fear that something terrible has happened to them. the confusion as to where your friendship or love has gone. No response is a scary place to be and waiting in silence for some sort of word that they are alright. The Net went down or their connection wasn't good. 1000 and one reasons why they are not on, but none of them matter because all you can think about is {"where are they.} Thus is the way of the Net and knowing, caring and loving someone here. Something completely beautiful and something fully frightening, mixed and mingled into two places... your screen and your soul.
 Do I recommend meeting someone on line? Would I encourage you to give your heart to someone that is a screen away?Oh Yes, 100%. But..................... I also whisper your way that it can be both fabulous and heart tearing. It has the potential to bring heaven to Earth for you or make life a roller-coaster. At any rate, I would say, try it. Meet someone. Be friends or more. the rewards will almost for certain out weigh any sadness you may ever know.  I wish you only the best...   

Friday, November 5, 2010

Time alone... is it enough???

I don't go here often anymore... at least not in writing. I feel the pain and sorrow as strongly today as I did 4 years ago. I hear people say that Time heals all. I listen to people talk about how they live in the present and in the future. The past is no longer an "issue" for them. Hmmmm, I wonder if that is totally true. I too live in the present and the future but both have been form in part by my own past. Places I have been and things I have done created the life that is now and in front of me. Now and then, I still go back.
 This morning, listening to an old Elvis tract, he sang "Memories" to me. {Memories, pressed between the pages of my mind. Memories, sweeter as it ages just like wine.......} Words, precious and true that rang through me like church bells, perhaps in part because of the way that Elvis put so much emotion in his words. My heart and mind traveled back for a moment. I remembered our first snowball fight. I recalled the time before our first daughter was born, Time we spent laughing and smiling and playing. We would walk in the rain and never feel it's cold. We would run and reach out in front of our selves, as if we could catch the wind and ride it for a while.
 Time heals??? Time does have it's effects on the memories we carry inside of our hearts and souls. I do not cry every time I think of my Sheila. I do not dwell and allow myself to drift away from the present or for go the future for fear I may one day forget. I assure you that forgetting is not going to be an issue I need worry about. But I don't think Time could do what it is somehow meant to be without adding and element to it. New... new memories, new people, new hearts to love and memories to make. That is an element that I believe absolutely Must be present in order to truly move forward. Without new memories to fill in and grow, I think that a person might simply atrophy. Their hearts and souls, their very being needs to be fed new realities. This is what moves a person on after the loss of a loved one. I don't think it is a matter of "Time" as much as it is having memories to add to the old ones and make them not quite as predominate in ones mind. Always in the heart but perhaps a little bit of peace of the soul also.
 Today... I think of my love and all that we were to each other. She was my best friend and my lover. She was my safe place and my heart. She was the world to me in so many ways. She will remain all of those things, I think forever but, I am also allowing for new memories and new life to come forth. A new grandchild has come into my life. baby Robert is a gift from heaven and I believe with my heart and soul that My Sheila saw him before any of us did.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Mixed emotions... do we or don't we?

Rain mixed with sleet... a dangerous combination for anyone that must drive in it. Strange way to start a blog but where I am going with this will help you understand. Deciding how important it is to go out and drive in that nasty mix becomes the thought of the day. Is whatever you need to do needed enough to actually make the trek outside? You already know that there is a chance you could slide or lose control and end up in a ditch or worse.
 The same can be said for people that are bipolar or tourrets. Sometimes, deciding whether we want to go outside into the elements {i.e. the world} can be a difficult and scary decision. We know that there is a chance we may lose control or "slide off into a ditch." waking with anxiety levels high makes every thing we decide to do an issue. A simple task becomes monumental and words from a seemingly innocent statement can be so simply mis-construed in our minds. The "what she said-what he heard" scenario comes in to play far too easily. Already tense and often a bit agitated because of our anxiety level, we take things the wrong way.  An offer of help or a bit of advise is felt as a personal attack on our mood. The swings from high to low bounce back and forth like a pinball machine. The harder we try to ease the levels of being tense, the more confused or irritated we get. At that point, our actions are taken personal by those that were simply trying to help us.
 Fear comes in to play for those that suffer, fear that something Will happen or something Will be said that sends us into a tail-spin. The entire world outside of our safe place {Home} appears to be at war with us. People just waiting to upset us or find something wrong with whatever we are doing. Embarrassment at perhaps having to explain our actions or ask for understanding leaves us even more stressed. A combination of wanting to do something outdoors and the fear of what might happen if we do go outside.  This is as dangerous for us as the rain and sleet that falls on a highway we are traveling on. Doing what you do when traveling on those treacherous roads is exactly what we should do when we go out when on a severe high or low. Slow down... take time to watch the road ahead, and avoid situations that might add to the chance of a stronger anxiety attack. Life isn't always easy for sure. There is always something trying to find a way to confuse us or disorientate us. We can only do our best and hope the rest of the world is kind to us...   

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Robert is here...

Things I know about... Hmmmm? Babies. I know a lot about babies. I have been watching them in one way or another for about 40 years. I remember as a young man, our church took the "go forth and multiply" verse extremely serious. The families reproduced at an amazing rate and there were children "abundantly" to be held and cared for. My love for babies was apparent and their love for me was equally returned. Parents seem to see the honesty and trust in me and they willingly aloud me to hold their babies during church service. Nothing really unusual except that I was male and few males in the church were interested in holding a baby. It wasn't really "manly" I guess. I really didn't care about that. I just loved babies.
 When my sister came to visit us in Canada, she brought her first daughter Lisa along with her. Lisa was very tiny and I found myself wanting a baby so very much. I was 16 at the time and knew then that I wanted a lot of kids. 5 girls was the magic number for me, although my wife and I only managed to have 2 daughters. Both were then and remain one of my life's greatest gifts from God. I was to be blessed many years later with two more beautiful little ladies. The pure, untainted love of a child is something that is unmatched by very few things on this earth.
 Babies are a precious gift that God "lends" to us for a time. We love them, teach them about life and watch them grow and become adults themselves. While we are very busy teaching them about life, they are teaching us the same. We learn love and patience and understanding. We learn that we will make mistakes along the way but that our children are forgiving and often never see the mistakes we made while raising them. We shower them with love, both pure and sometimes "tough love." In the end, we hopefully have children that grow to be responsible, loving adults that take what we have tried to teach them and apply it to their own adult lives.
 And then, there is the next step in the ladder of life. It is the very inspiration for this write today. Yes, yes and yes-s-s-s-s-s-s, I am finally a grand-father. My oldest daughter and her husband blessed my life with the gift of a baby boy. Robert entered my life on the 12th of October,2010. A wonderfully beautiful little man that weighed just 6 lbs even. Instantly, I fell in love with this little man and he has added such joy and peace to my heart. Never could I have imagined how this little tiny baby could have impacted my life. He has brought so many smiles and so much laughter to this household. Babies are for certain precious gifts. But when that baby is your own grandson, there is an added bonus to it all. Un-conditional love that comes from this baby. He will bring to our lives a new chance to make mistakes and love and smile and laugh and cry. He will enhance our lives and give us reasons to love and spoil and learn new lessons about life. 
 Robert, the next step in the circle of life is here now. He is beautiful and handsome and a true gift direct from our father God in Heaven. I am thankful and feel graced to have this baby to hold and watch grow. Together, he and I will learn brand new and exciting things to do I will do my best to be a good example... well other than when I am teaching him to write his name in the snow as he "relieves" himself while we walk through the surrounding forest here. I have lived to see my grand-child and I thank God for that gift.   

Friday, October 22, 2010

Entrecard... where writers meet.

Today, there are so many sites that promise to help promote and advance your blog site. some of them even follow through but not without a great deal of effort and time by the writer. The fact is, writers write. that is what we do. It is our passion and our life's desire. We spend countless hours writing our thoughts and our feelings and filling out pages with words that we hope will become a novel or a poem. We seek out sites to help our writing or our blogs and find time to be a great commodity. We Need a place to go that we can be confidant that it will promote for us and out-reach to other writers. A place that does all we need but does not take all of our time.
 Entrecard offers exactly that. A place to meet authors and people that share a passion for writing. A place to advertise and promote your writing so that others can share your stories, poems and thoughts you wish to write. Entrecard offers a site to advertise your writings and connect with people of like mind. The other writers can visit your site and see what you are sharing each day. You can advertise on their site, using the points you earn by visiting other members sites. The points can also be turned into cash if that is what you want to do.
 Entrecard serves many purposes for writers but the most important pro to using Entrecard is the link between writers and their blog sites with other writers. The best link is the one that leads others directly to your site. That is what entrecard does for it's users. It puts writers where they can be seen and connects them to the rest of the World Wide Web.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Dignity... You can help your loved one.

I sit here today and think back to my life's experiences. I remember when I first starting writing in this blog, how many things came to me each and every day. No efforts to find things I knew about and to write them down for you, the reader to enjoy and/or learn from. I realized today that life needs to happen in order to have something to write about. And all to often, life is or has happened around us and we didn't even see it. Too busy, I guess, living to really stop and see what we are living for. Sl-l-l-l-o-o-o-o-o-w down if you can. You will be amazed at what you see.
 That said, my thoughts do go back to an issue that is very real and up close to me in my life. It is "living" happening.  I have dealt with sickness and hospitals and doctors in such numbers, I can not even begin to imagine how many there have been. Sheila's {my wife that has gone to heaven} illness kept us in or near hospitals and doctors for 25 years. My daughters grew up more used to sleeping in hospital chairs and eating fast food on the run than living or sleeping at home. Such, was simply our life and we lived it as best as we could. It was what we did so that we could be near my Sheila as she spent about 1/2 of our married life in hospitals. There were things we strived to do to maintain the one thing that seems to be the first casualty of being repeatedly in the hospital. For that matter, a quick Jot into the ER or doctors office can do the same.
 I am of course talking about your dignity. The one thing that no matter how hard you try, somewhere it will be violated. But a new medical issue has come into my families life. Something that I have watched the family come to terms with and draw closer, as a family should when one is inflicted with an illness. This is new to all of us and though you read about it, talk about it and yes, have even made or told jokes about it, when the reality of it comes falling down in your own lap, you stand up and take notice. A loved one in our family was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's. This illness devastates more than one million people and the effects are felt through-out the entire family and circle of friends. Alzheimer's takes your memory and your thought process and can take much more than those precious commodities from you. It also has the potential of stripping the inflicted of their very dignity. I have spoken on dignity in the past and am passionate about how one goes about preserving it for our loved ones. It is a bit confusing when a loved one becomes inflicted with this brain cell destroying disease. The first action taken seems to be to make light of the loved ones actions and inability to remember short term in an effort to allow them to feel less sensitive to the issue. That is quickly realized as NOT the thing to do. This action can sometimes have the very opposite wanted reaction. But then "the road to Hell is paved with good intentions" obviously personifies in part our "good" intentions.
 I return to the thoughts of dignity. When a loved one becomes ill, and any number of illnesses can be used here, they find themselves in situations that can be embarrassing. Though we can not take the embarrassment's away, once they happen, we, as loved ones can reach out and lessen the effects of the disease. A sound or action can say to them that they are a bother. Your actions will speak louder than life itself to them. To listen to a story that has been told moments before. To watch a loved one redo something they had just finished doing. To watch them forget for a moment where exactly they are at a given time. These are some of the effects of the illness. They each have the ability to steal away dignity by leaving the one inflicted wide open to an others actions. Taking the time to listen and caring enough to not only listen to a story repeated, but to not let them see in your eye's, EVER, that you have just heard a story. The memories that they DO find are so very important to them. Sharing them and showing an enjoyment in hearing them will thwart any chances that you could make the individual feel as if they are ignorant in any way. 
 When my wife was walking, she didn't need to worry if her dress was pulled down or if she was sitting properly. She didn't have to ask to go the restroom or eat dinner or even shower. She was treated with respect and knew her worthiness to all that loved her. There are things that even she said she took so much for granted when she could walk. I, as her husband and care-giver had to also learn along our journey to do things for her in a way that it kept her dignity. I learned by watching and by her gentle teachings. When she needed to go to the bathroom when first disabled, it embarrassed her. She was unsure and very young in our marriage, the trust issue was still in in infancy state. Sometimes I would be doing things and she would need me. Life was crazy for us and time was a luxury we seldom were allotted. I would sometimes sigh or ask her to give me a minute. I would sometimes sound exhausted or "put off." I was after-all new to this also. One day while she was calling for me to help her, I yelled I was busy. "Hang on a minute!" was my terrible response. When I "got to her" she sat there silently crying. My heart broke into a billion pieces when I saw what my words had done to her. A guilt I carry with me even today. I took her to the bathroom and lifted her with such care and love. She finished then asked if I had a minute. I assure you, the way I had hurt her assured that I had at least a minute. this is what she said. This... was my first lesson in Dignity for her.
  "I often wait until I really can not wait any longer to call you. I do this because I know you are busy trying to care for 2 babies and a wife that can not walk. I do this because I love you and I don't want to put more on you than is already there. But baby, I do this too because it embarrasses me to have to ask for help to go to the bathroom. To have you pull my pants down or skirt up makes me feel very vulnerable. You never complain or say a word but I know it frustrates you as much as it does me. But think of this. How do you feel when you are in a hospital gown and the nurses decide to walk you up and down the aisle? You pull the back shut over and over. You turn beet red if someone sees your butt. That is for a day or two. I live that way every single day. My dignity goes out the window when you have to do those things for me. I just want you to understand that IF I could I would but I can't so I trust in you to be there for me, as you always are."
 Through tears that flowed for hours, I heard her words over and over in my head. I thought about how I moved her or how I turned her at night.I thought about the way I lifted her or sat her down. And I began to change the way I did some things. I began to see her as a strong lady, filled with love and caring and the desire to just be respected for who she was. I made sure that she never ever felt like a burden. I helped her with a renewed love and respect that carried us through 100 hospital stays and more doctors office visits than I care to remember. Whatever we did, where ever we went, I made sure that she looked beautiful and was moved and treated with all the dignity she was deserving of. Because of this, she was able to continue life with respect and dignity.
 Over the years, the trust issues of course were settled and the way I conducted my self with her was always with the deepest of love. We were granted 19 more years than the doctors gave her and lived everyone of them as wonderfully and gracefully as we could. What a wonderful teacher she was. The Muscular Dystrophy Association has done many studies on Dignity in their patients. they too have learned that healing comes faster when treatment is given with respect to the patients medical condition and their state of mind. Although the loved one in our family does not require such extensive physical aide, it is still so important to allow them to be them-selves and not feel that the illness is a burden to others or that "They" in any way, tax you nor put a strain on you. I pray that each and everyone of you go through this life never having to deal up close and personal with an ill loved one. But should you, remember that Dignity is something you are freely given . You can reach out to a loved one and give them a peace of mind and assure them that they do NOT need to be different in any way. You love this person and they love you. That truly is All that matters.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Writing for You...

I looked at the name of my blog-site today and it made me wonder. "Things I Know about" was started for several reasons. I wanted a place to put my thoughts. I wanted this place to be somewhere that I could write openly and honestly about issues that effect almost everyone, at least once in their lives. Obviously, the experiences would be a little different from each other since I know that not everyone is bipolar. I know that those that stop here may have loved ones that are inflicted with this disorder. I know that people will stop here for their own personal reasons. They may pass through and never leave a mark on the page. I do hope though that when they leave, they are able to take a little something with them from my own past.
 But back to the name of the site here. "things I know about" started out with me telling you, the reader, about how things in my life had taught me new lessons. How the actions or happenings around me gave me choices of how I would react to each of them. And I wrote about exactly that. From being bipolar and suffering from Tourettes to losing the love of my life and how I would deal with it all, I wrote it down here for you to see. Sometimes, I dug so deep into my soul that I felt as if I were standing naked before each of you. I wrote about my smiles and my tears and the heart break of losing someone so dear to me, it was more like a physical part of my body was torn away from me. The pain was as real as any pain might be, should you have your arm or leg ripped off of your body. You felt it in my writing and I bared my everything for you.
 When I look at some of my writings that are more recently written, I tried to see something I had learned from the event or feeling I was writing about. When I write about my issues of trying to deal with my mind taking me to dark places, telling you how scared or how lonely or sad I am, am I telling you about things I know about? Am I simply writing my thoughts without giving to you a lesson learned? After re-reading a few of the blogs, I believe that I am doing that. i am telling you the roads that being bipolar takes me down. I am showing you that by my writing about it, being candid, that I Am dealing with it. I hope that I am telling you that you are not alone. That is something I know. I am displaying for you things that you as a bipolar person may encounter and that by remembering something you have read here, you will feel a bit less alone. There is a peace in knowing that others feel what you are feeling.
 Even when I wrote my short stories here for you, I am expressing my inner self. Writing is extremely therapeutic for me and so... I write. I write with all of my heart and soul, hoping that maybe it will bring at least of small measure of peace to your souls.
 Things I have learned or that I am learning each and everyday are things I want to pass on to you. I will sometimes write abstractly and may even seem confused in my writing. I am sure that the reader has been exactly where I am at the time of my writing. Lessons are brought to us every day in many forms. It is up to us to decide what we are going to do with them. Those days that I wish no longer to be on this earth are choice days. I can choose to stay or go. So far, thankfully, I have chosen to stay around a bit longer. I will continue to write as long as life allows me to do so.  

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

From Beauty to the Ugliness within... My World.

Autumn... my favorite season of all. I feel energized and a peace about me when this season comes along. Today, one of the most perfect Fall days. It is rainy outside. The clouds are hanging low and dark. Mid-day and lights need to be on to make it light enough to type. Leaves are falling as the rain falls on them and the ground is splattered with the colors of Fall. The grass is still green, with a hint that it might still grow if the Sun would only caress it with it's warmth.
 My porch, long and wide with new wood  that smells so good and looks so very clean. The perfect setting for a Fall day. A cup of hot coffee, flavored with French Vanilla creamer, is held lovingly in my hand. I look out at the rain, thunder rolling somewhere in the not too distant. A trace of lightening flashes across the sky. Not enough to warrant going inside for shelter. Just enough to add to this Fall day. And then, I catch the scent that tells me Fall has truly arrived. I breath in the fragrance of fire-wood, burning somewhere in this little town. It is like heaven to me and I smile softly to myself. How I wish autumn would never have to go away. The knowledge that winter is just around the corner both excites me and saddens me.
And then I feel it. The tear that is slowly making it's way to my cheek. It's warmth turning to quickly to cold on my face. Another follows the same path as the first tear and my mind begins to wander as it does so very often these days. Do they know??? Do they feel me without me speaking? Do my smiles cover enough to hide the torment that I feel, ravishing my insides... fighting my every attempt at simply enjoying this perfect Fall day? Just like the rain taking the leaves down to the ground as it falls, I do not want to take my loved ones down with me. How my soul and my heart fight one another. My heart so wanting to simply enjoy but my soul will not let me.
 Can you imagine living this way? Is it possible to continue to survive when everything you do is turned to tragedy or guilt? A life that any man would beg to have. Something precious that the world searches and steals and lies and cheats just to hold for a moment. Peace, serenity and contentment. They are all mine to have and hold and Yet!!!!!!! I can not find that contentment inside my soul. I think of the bipolar and the tourettes and all that it does to me. Thieves in the night that steal away what is rightfully Mine. A constant reminder that I am Not like everyone else. That I can not simply live my life and not fear that one or the other will pop up at the most inopportune time and whisk away the smile that found it's way to my face. A soul, torn to shreds by wrongs not even his own. tears cried for loved ones because he Fears that they will be sad. Feeling that he IS responsible for their smiles as well as their sadness. Trying desperately to carry their pain so that They can have this beauty and contentment that is so easily his own. A Sadness that over takes me in a way few could imagine.
 I stepped out onto the porch again, taking in the wonders that are Fall. I feel the heaviness of all my thoughts and my mind becomes confused. Is it anger or pain or sadness or happiness that is striving so hard to reach the top of my head and escape? Too many thoughts running around up there to really figure out which one will win yet. All I can do is let the day finish out. I will try to pull out some of the incredible beauty of the day and make it my own. I am not greedy. I do not need it all. Just a little bit of this scene, minus the tears of depression. A man, blessed far more than any man, especially This man, ever deserved to be bless, and yet, sadness is my constant companion. I am not an "unhappy" man. I love to smile and make others laugh and feel good. I love to know that I bring joy to some lives and that when I leave this world, I will be remembered in a good way. Will I be remembered as a good man that had a good heart? I do hope so.
 Welcome to my world. I wonder if anyone will See the pain I fight every day.  Will they read the depth of my sorrows in my words today or will they just see a pathetic nothing, that sits and writes, nothing? Can You feel the depth of my sorrows? Sorrows with not a reason in the world to be there. "I" do not even know where it comes from. I only know that it comes to me during my most serene and love filled times. The highs that are so high, I am euphoric and can envision a fireplace, softly burning, in my living room. I can see myself sitting near the fire, warming myself and smiling as I watch the family going about their day. Such beautiful thoughts. Sighsssss... And then, they are gone. Replaced with a Low that revivals my highest High. Who would choose to live this way? No one would ever ask to live this way. When you doubt that it is real, you give me cause to think that I could have done something to NOT be this way. You crush my very heart and make me feel stupid and weak. Do you know that you do this to me??? Will you cry for me when you read this? I wonder...   

Friday, September 10, 2010

Still unsure...

I am writing my memoirs for my publisher. Something I truly thought would be easy. Wow, was I wrong. I am still trying to decide exactly how healthy this endeavor is for me. Going back to the very places I have run so fast and so hard to get ahead of. In doing so, I realized something. I found that I have done exactly That. I have ran and mostly, stayed ahead of the memories but never truly got "past" them. There is a huge difference in the two words. I stayed one step ahead of issues and events in my life without ever "dealing" with them. I also found that some things I have sworn too, been so very certain that they happened exactly as I tell them today, did NOT happen that way. I lied to my own self to protect my mind from some of the more devastating things that happened. The bipolar or just a mind like everyone elses, now and then?  
 When I think of where I am today, I realize that I created a world that I could survive in. A world that wasn't always cruel and demanding but that offered goodness and kindness. I have thoughts of how the world Should be and wonder if I wasn't born in the wrong time. I missed the part when the world was a softer place to be. People weren't so rushed and families were exactly that... A family. Not some abstract sense of the word but sat together and ate together and actually could strike up a conversation without having to unload a heap of baggage or thoughts before starting. Not to say that my family did not sit at the table together and eat and talk. We did that and it was good, except for the parts when father and mother discovered we had done something wrong at school or home. It always seemed to come out in the middle of dinner. So, there you sat, picking at your food, knowing all to well that when dinner was finished, the "issue" Would be dealt with. Ah, but look at me now. The very one that just wrote about abstract thoughts and words is busy doing just that. I seem to be all over the place with my thoughts.
 I go back now to the origin of this write. How healthy is it to type your memories and re-read where you have been and see the things you have run from appear before your own eyes. I find myself pausing occasionally in my writing of the memoirs. that is something extremely unusual for me to do. I normally sit and just write, letting the energy of writing take me where-ever it might. I fear some of the places I might go with the writing. I known that many family members do not know where I have been in my life. They don't know of the things that created the very man that they question as to whether he truly has issues or is just where he is because he likes to be there. Trust in my words when I say that No One "wants" nor "chooses" to be where I am today. Few would enter such a mind and fewer would survive or come out "sane" if they Did enter.
 Memoirs... are they healthy? Do the wonderfully colorful memories I have out-weigh the bad ones? Will I reveal, perhaps, more than I should? I guess I will have to continue writing to fund the answers to my questions. Living in a mixed up, slightly confused and off-balanced world is not as pretty as one might think. Thank the stars that I have my writing...  

Friday, August 20, 2010

Writing... is it always safe???????????

Thoughts chase me down this morning. Something different from the norm for me. I am usually the one that is chasing them, trying to hold on to just one single thought, even if only for a moment. I am sure it is because of the recent offer I was given by my publisher. One of those "want to, should I, Do I dare, scared and excited" moments for me. I have been asked to write my "memoirs" for them. Hmmmmm????
 Don't get me wrong. I am excited and feel honored to have been asked. And of course, I am going to do so. Contract is already signed. Quickly, I might add because I know me and did not want to give myself too much time to talk myself out of doing this. But with all the excitement comes the fear. I have led an extremely full life. I have seen things and done things that not everyone in the world has the opportunity and often blessing to do so. I have penned and been published twice. I have cut and produced and sold a CD of my own songs. I have known love and happiness, loss and sorrow, guilt and guiltless actions. I have been from the brightest of life's blessings to the darkest places a man or woman could ever NOT want to go.
 So why the fear? I promise there are no buried bodies in my backyard. Well, at least to the best of my knowledge and certainly none that were put there by me. So what do I have to fear in writing about what I think will be a very interesting read by anyone that chooses to pick the book up? I have spent what seems to be a lifetime of living trying to keep thoughts buried back in the far reaches of my mind. People I hurt and things I did that I was not always proud to know I had done them. There are things in my life that few have ever been told about. Secrets that I wrote about in abstract ways so that if someone I knew, close friends or relatives read about them, they might pass them off as just writing.
 I have told, behind closed doors, things to my Therapist, that only she knows. There are moments and issues and happenings in my life that the only one who knew of them is now in heaven. A wonderfully full and happy childhood, filled with travels and adventures that walk side by side with those of any explorer you might read about. Frightening things that most would have ran from and yet... I lived them. And of course, there is always the bipolar and tourrettes and whatever else you want to toss in the hat. Reasons why I am the man I am today. Escapes from life and realities and the places that I have been in my life that were and still are impossible to hide from, try as I might.
 So here I am, back to the beginning, getting ready to write about all of the things that I have worked so very hard to keep hidden or buried so that I did NOT have to face them. I wonder... will this take me down memory lane, bringing warm and fuzzy feelings to my soul?  Am I opening Pandora's box? Will the words I write come back to haunt me or bring back to the surface thoughts and pain and fear that I have so dutifully kept locked behind doors that are hidden behind other doors? This, may in fact be the most "self-created" roller-coaster ride of my entire life. Writing is normally extremely therapeutic for me. In fact, very much so. I wonder if THIS time... I will feel the same way.  

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Depression touches more than just me...

Sitting here thinking this morning, a different sort of thought crossed my mind. I was thinking about how Low I feel and I jumped into the "bipolar" moment. Not unusual for me, but this time, my mind went a way it doesn't go too often. I realized that not ALL Low moments have to be because one is bipolar. I thought about life in general. So many things have changed for me in the past few years. Some of them very good and some of them, well, the jury is still out on a few things. Life as a whole can be enough to send one into a depression. There are bills to pay and work to be done. Projects to start and issues to settle. Now the "projects to finish"  will leave to the bipolar in me. Anyone that is bipolar or loves someone that is knows all to well that there are 30 "started" projects that can be found all over the house and yard and garage ad where-ever else that person may have been.
 But the pressures of life are not indigenous to only bipolar people. Wow, what a reality check, huh? Probably not for a lot of you. But for me this morning, it was. After doing bills and watching the checkbook quickly go from full to nearly empty, my spirits sunk lower and lower with each check filled out. I wondered what I even tried for. Why not just blow it all on some foolishness and let the world settled the debts? Happens every day of the year, at least 100,000 times. And trust me, for one that walks in the realm of being bipolar as deeply as I do, it would not be are hard as one thinks. I can thank my parents for giving that extra boost in teaching me responsibility and the knowledge that it is probably the only reason I do not do just that. I sit and shake my head as I finish with bills. 
 Don't get me wrong. I am thankful every day that I DO have the money to pay my bills. In today's world, so many people are not as fortunate as I am and I Do know this. But still, I felt the tinge of a massive Low coming on and that is when I had the thought I had. The world is tough today and for many these days, it is about survival, not living. Not getting a head but keeping your head above water. A shame, that in a country and world filled with riches, that life can still kick our butts in such a harsh way. But again, it effects everyone, no matter what your mind set may be. Yes, these things, for most of the world pass and they move on. For me, the bipolar in me will roll in this for a while and then plummet me into places that most of the world would not ever care to go. I will shake my head a few more times, try to reach out at a thought or two that is not so dark... and think some more.
 My point though is that low moments are not mine exclusively. They belong to most of the people in the world, at least from time to time. Nothing new to some but for me, this morning... New.  


Sunday, July 25, 2010

To be embarrassed or Not to be... Bipolar, it's not just for breakfast anymore.

I continue writing about Bipolar and it's effects because I noticed something in the responses from my readers. It was the same in almost all of the comments and showed me there is still an issue with being Bipolar. So many readers responded with thanks for being Open about my disorder. I had to sit and think back to when I realized there was truly a problem for me. It has been a long time and my memory struggled to bring back that time for me. Or perhaps, it was more of ME that didn't want to remember back Then. Was I embarrassed? Did I not want to tell anyone? Was it a "dirty little secret" that I wanted to keep all to myself?
 We need to have a look at what the medical field calls the Medical cause of Bipolar.   {{Bipolar disorder is frequently inherited, with genetic factors accounting for approximately 80 per cent of the cause of the condition.}} Chemical issues in the brain also are believed to be a cause of some becoming Bipolar. reading more makes me think about whether we have any cause to be embarrassed that we are Bipolar. It says that not only is sometimes handed down to us but that also, it can be caused by a chemical imbalance in our brains. These two things alone show me that it is not our choice to be the way we are. As was said in my blog comments, NO ONE asks to be this way. So then, are we to be embarrassed by the fact that we are bipolar? If we stay embarrassed, nothing gets passed on to others that may need to know they are not alone.  The people that love us can not learn what is the best way to live with us or to deal with us when we are going through a "mood swing."
 Can I say that I am never embarrassed at the fact that I am Bipolar?  I can Not... times when I shake or twitch at the wrong time. Freaking out over seeing a bunch of sheep or having to turn away from a commercial that has that Damn Burger King, king in it. Finding it impossible not to Baa like a sheep when i see one and making the sound inside my head when people are close enough to hear, bursting inside for having to hold it inside. Of course I am embarrassed by these things. I have tourettes along with the Bipolar. The out-bursts are totally embarrassing, BUT...if i didn't talk about it to my loved ones, didn't tell You, my readers that I do the same things You do, then how would we each know that we do Not suffer alone???
 I hate being what i am. I am at the same time, scared to death of whom I might be if it was gone.  There is sadly, a comfort ability in being what I am. It is a place, a world I have settled into and live with as best as I can, each and every single day. I search for ways to lessen the harsh reality of what i have. I write... i am a writer. A published author who also has a CD out of 13 of my own songs. I am talented in so many ways.  I am nothing! I fail where I so wanted to succeed. I hurt people's hearts because of how i am. I become lost in a world of darkness that lures me to the side of a cliff. Without my writing, I would be completely lost.
 The reality of it all is this. You Will have family and loved ones that do Not accept that what you have nor your "issues" are anything that you can not just "get over." You Will have people that turn the other way when you try to talk to them about your disorder. Some because they think it is not real and others because they do not know how to deal with it nor what to say to you. the truth of it all is also that you will feel very alone and "disconnected" from the rest of the world, more times than i care to say. Life is a constant battle and happiness is a fleeting moment that says The higher your high, the bigger the smiles, the lower the Low that follows will be. And one more truth... YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Remember that, please. Some where out there is someone just like you. And somewhere out there is someone that Will love you exactly the way you are. Never stop believing. We live in a world of thoughts that are so fast we can not grab even one to fix it. But, we Live. That is what really matters.
 I hope this helps some of you and gives you a comfort zone to reach out to loved ones and tell them what is happening in your world. If you do not, they will assume that they have done something wrong. Do not let them carry a burden that does not belong to them. We are what we are and we must choose to face it and live it, or be out cast forever.  

Friday, July 16, 2010

Anger... Just another piece of an abstract puzzle

Oh yea... and there is that other part... I forget sometimes that there are more sides to bipolar and depression than simply not caring. I am by nature a very gentle man. I can be spurred to anger but mostly, I would rather walk away and let time settle a confrontation than look it in the eye. Mainly because I know that anger will rise and I hate that. But then, today I found myself allowing or at least acknowledging that there is a side that gets angry. Anger at myself for the way I am. Angry at the people around me because they are around me. Knowing I would be angry if they were NOT around me. Crazy? Mixed up? Sounding a little "oxy-moronic???? Well, that would be my frame of mind.
 But my thought at this moment is the fact that I do Not anger often and when the sadness has taken me this far, it begins to feed on its own self. The fact I AM angry at those I love for no reason truly upsets me. I have no way to explain it nor to shove it out of the way. I tell them I am in a low and the are loving and understanding. I should not want for more than that and yet... here I sit wishing it were all different. Wondering why I need to be this way. Trying so hard to pull out of this Low ad yet at the same time, feeling comfortable in it. Ahhhh, nothing quite like abstract to leave you spinning and twisting, trying to find a place to sit down for a moment. I believe I may hate the anger part of this the most. It is so out of character and I want so badly to be happy.
 Tears of sadness and anger at myself cause me to want to find a place and just hide away from the world.  Sometimes I think the most insane part of it all is knowing the insanity that runs through my head is the most content place for me. I am more comfortable sometimes when life is so busy and so insane that I can't tell if i want to smile or laugh or cry. At least then, I am not angry at even the way the air is blowing through the window. Poor air...  as if it did anything wrong. But then again, neither has anyone else that must feel the sting of my sharp tongue or feel the heat of my anger on their eardrums, for no apparent reason at all. Shame the hell on ME! The only crime they have committed is loving me. And thank God they do!!!!!!!!
 Oh Lord, let this one pass soon. The next step isn't any prettier. In Fact, it can only do one of two things. get better or, get a Lot worse. This one has lasted too long and the dark places it takes me are places No One wants to go. Trust me! And so, anger with no reason to be here nor any rhyme or reason is SOOOO here. Let's be thankful that I am not in any way a violent man. This anger will be turned on ME, not any one else. And I will deal with it my own way.  

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A silent killer... Depression and Bipolar.

Being Bipolar, I often wonder how much of the depression I suffer from is caused by the disorder and how much would be there if I was not bipolar. I often think of this disorder as a "silent Killer." Perhaps that seems a little much or ridiculous to some but for those out there that suffer from it daily, hourly, even sometimes by the minute, I think there is an understanding in my words.Sometimes things you can see or feel being on the cycle of depression and thoughts that are at times too dark to even describe. There are also the times that we could NOT slow a thought or the millions of thoughts that race around in our head, long enough to even decipher which thought it was that brought on the darkness. There is only the knowledge that it exists and that it can and will take you down long roads of sadness.
 I don't cry where someone can see me so there must b no issues, right? The desire, almost more of a need to find a place to be alone becomes so strong. {You don't want to be around your loved ones???????/} Wow, you must not like them very much.   {You just snapped at someone you love for no reason...} Wow, you must be in a bad mood. {You were just seen smiling and laughing so hard.} There can not be a whole lot wrong with you...Get Over IT!!!!  These are just a few of the things I hear and some from friends or relatives. And of course "It is just in your head. You don't have to be this way!" REALLY...? I can not imagine myself nor anyone else ever, ever wanting nor asking to be "this way."
 I cry in secret so I don't have to hear "What is wrong with you???" I can not answer the question and to stand and stare at whom ever is asking makes me feel like an idiot. And so, life goes on all around me, people very often oblivious to the pain and sadness that is taking over my thoughts. I want to cry and I want to be alone and I can NOT do anything to change it.  I DO love those that watch over me and love me. I can smile outside and cry inside at the same time. What you do not see does not aways mean it is not there.  I try to think of what has caused THIS one to come to the surface but there simply is Not a reason. Again, it is simply there and now I must try and ride this one out and ope the end finds me still able to do the things my family needs me to do daily.
 I think perhaps, the that keeps some of the depression just below the surface is the knowing that there are those I love dearly that do not think there is anything wrong with me. They believe I can rise above it all with a simple thought. they are sure that my issues are no greater than anyone elses and that may in fact be true. But it doesn't mean i am weak or just not willing to move on. Some with the exact same disorder do move on and do live a normal life. I am very happy for them but please don't think that we always share the sadness or ability to face the things that have brought us to this place. Each person is different in some ways. Each of us share different reasons for feeling worthless or that we give nothing to this world that the world would not do fine without.
 I wonder what my existence actually adds to the world. Have  really given anything to anyone that they could not have gotten from someone, anyone else? Read this and feel my sorrow and fear that I will one day lose all that is precious to me. See the darkness that envelopes me now and fills me with doubt about everything and then tell me why ANYONE would pretend to have this or ever WANT to be this way. I only wonder how long this one will go on and if I am strong enough to walk through it all. I guess only time will tell for me. And remember please, what you do not see may in fact really exist. I have learned over the decades of suffering how NOT to let people see me in my darkest moments. Only those that are near me every day know and not always then either. That is why I call this the "Silent Killer."  Hang on tight... this is going to be a bumpy ride...

Sunday, July 11, 2010

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Right

I was riding my motorbike along a side street. A car came out of an alley and before I could get out of the way, the car struck me. The driver claimed I drove in front of him and he could not stop. The driver is the one that did Not stop before existing the alley. I knew I was going to need a good Law Firm if I was to win. CLAIMENTLAW seemed to be the one I needed. came to my rescue. They took all the evidence and found that I was not in the wrong.
 The driver continued to say that he was not in the wrong. Claimentlaw.com has the knowledge and the people to search out the truth and present it in court. Their Law Firm works for You. They do their homework and put everything into the case. They do not get paid unless You get paid. They work hard for you and do the walking and talking so you do not need to. Their expertise with motorbike accident claims surpasses the rest of the law firms. They Not only get all they can for you financially but also assure that your medical is covered and that you receive a replacement motorbike.
  Claimentlaw.com  is the only Firm you will need to receive everything that is legally and rightfully yours. They will do whatever it takes to assure that you are compensated in the most professional way. They are your one stop... Only stop Law Firm you will need.   

Monday, June 28, 2010

Awesome Powers Unleashed...

Sometimes, we have to take a second look at things before we see the real truth. This being said, I had just such an opportunity to do that this weekend past. A beautiful wedding, a wonderful time spent with friends and family made up the substance of my weeked. Their was laughter and joy and smiles and song. All the elements needed to make it a perfect day. And oh yes... there Were Storms!
 A 4 hour drive back from Orange City, Iowa turned into a 7.5 hour drive because the weather decided to turn nasty on us. There were 5 of us in my vehicle. We were closely followed by my sistr and brother in law and bhind them was the third vehice in our little caravan. That vehicle held two  of my nephews and my niece. I was driving a 4WD Jeep Commander. The other two vehicles were small cars. The storm hit just before we left the reception hall. The rain was falling so hard that you could barely make out the vehicle directly beside you. Lightening filled the sky at 3 to 5 second intervals. Hail pounded the ground and it's sting nwas felt as we tried to gas the vehicles up for the long haul home. Sirens wailed in our airs and the threat and probability tht a Tornado was nearby had us all retreating under the only cover we could find. Trees.
 Needing more than wanting to keep moving, we took a chance and left the town. We could no have imagined at that moment what the night would become for us. The rain was relentless and the roads were 90% unseen, at Any speed. 230 miles laid between us and home. At an average of 35 miles per hour, we knew it was going to be a vey long drive. We were forced to pull off the road more times than I can truthfully recall because of the excessive winds and rain. No matter what direction we were traveling, the Storm stayed directly on top of us. Darkness was only as long as the in betweens of the Lightening. Winds pushed the SUV over to the left side of the road too many times. We talked of stopping but power to motels along the road was taken out by power lines being torn down by the storm. The highway was covered in trees branches that were only seen moments before the vehicle ran them over.
 At two places, we came to rods with overhead train tressles. The road dipped into wat might as well have been a huge soup bowl. Thewater ran directly to that spot and became a 3 foot deep pool that we Had to go through or stop the trip all together. The option to take a new route was not even feasible. Highways were sealed off going into towns and to turn back would have put us face first directly in the path of this fierce and mighty storm. So travel on we did, watching the headlights of the two cars following us, disappear in the water as they followed us through the ravines. Some were sick from the fear of the storm. Some coddled in the backseats, praying and softly crying. This storm stayed with us the entire trip home and had more opportunities to side swipe us and leave us at the total mercy of the elements.
 My thoughts are this. Through out the trip I kept thinking that this storm could and very possibly would hurt us in some way. 4 miles behind us, a town had been hit a few hours before we made our trip. Houses were taken down to the basements and Pig Confines, holding 300 pigs each, were leveled, killing the pigs as it ate its way through the fields. This same storm was here, on top of us, threatening to do the very same thing to us as it had done not so long ago to those pig confines. And YES!!! I was scared beyond just worry. I was afraid for the little girls we had in the back seats. Iwas terrified for the family that followed us so close, watching our moves so they could mimic them and avoid debri. The awesome power of the storm, of God's own breath, left me full of every fear you could imagine. With a flick of his finger, he could send us sailing off the road and into whatever happened to be in our path. The smal cars behind us taking the brunt of this storm as they tried to keep their vehicles on the road. God's awesome power had been unleashed and we were in the very center of it all. fear gripped me and I closed my eyes to pray.
Looking back, all I could see was the power that could kill us all in an instant, no warning, no selective destruction, simply we were in the wrong place and a very much wrong time. I had thought of how quickly we could all be hurt badly or killed. But then, it hit me. God's awesome power did not only mean the power to kill or hurt us. God is good and he has the power, just as easily to wrap his loving hands around us and protect us from what could be so horrible. His love and our faith were the two elements that could and DID bring us to our homes, alive and safe. His awesome power held on to us and kept us on the road. He touched our lives and brought to me, at That very moment, comfort and took away my fears.
 I write this today to show you that he has the power to, with but a single breath, wipe out everything in the path of his winds. But I take this moment to Glorify his name andgive HIM the credit and the thanks for bringing three families home safely. He IS awesome and His Love is great. A beautiful wedding and a beautiful ending to a very long day...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

George... Just a cat????

Because life goes on, we go on. Sometimes not out of reason but out of a need to see what tomorrow may bring. Perhaps it will be better than the day before it. Death reminds us of our own mortality. Seeing something or someone you love die often brings you to a place of wondering. Abstract thoughts from an abstract mind. Animals... creatures we take and domesticate and make our own. We take from them love that they give to us, unconditionally. they become not just an animal in our home. They are family... children that we care for and love and share our lives with.   And when we lose them, it is very much like losing a family member.
 George, a Female tabby with a male name. So named by a man that lives with being bipolar every single day. To see her named a male name is nothing strange to those that know me and love me. It is simply the way it is. For over six years, George, the name, fit as well as George, the cat, fit into my life. Does it seem a bit strange to write about a cat? Not to my mind or in my world. It seems perfectly normal. She was tiny and she loved to be loved. Know by most of the family and friends that knew My George, as the cat with claws or "the Nasty one", George completed the litter of cats that are part of our home. She stood her ground and often, when she was bored, she played tag with the other cats.  Slapping them as they slept, she instigated many high speed chases in the house.
 And... in the night, when the day was finished, George faithfully climbed int bed with me and slept on one of my arms. She gave kisses and snuggled as close as she could to me. She followed me through the house and waited atn the window, watching for me when I needed to go somewhere. She was more precious to me than I can convey to you in words. If you are an animal lover in any way, you understand my words. You feel the loss and sadness of losing something you truly love. Though I am no idiot and understand She was a CAT, the loss is great and I will miss My George. I will miss the joy she has brought to me and my family. A nasty bacteria took her from me. One that hits without warning and cripples a cat from the knees down. A blood clot on her legs took her ability to move them. An autopsy revealed the clots were only two of so many inside her tiny body. An aneurysm on her heart would have exploded one day and killed her one day not far down the road. Her lungs were scarred from the pneumonia she had when I took her off the street. So many ailments and yet she never showed signs of any of it bothering her. She simply craved and took and gave Love.
 Just an animal???Hmmmm? I guess I didn't see her that way. I saw her as a companion and friend. I wonder how many others cry at the loss of an animal in their family? I hope that my perception of mankind isn't tainted or saddened by finding that I am odd man out by feeling the way I do about losing George. My tears are for a friend, not a "just an animal." We take them into our homes and our hearts and they become such a part of us. When they die, we mourn them and wish they were here. Seems I have been here, done this not so very long ago.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

And "This too, shall pass.... 'gimel, zayin, yud'

'gimel, zayin, yud'... {translation>> This too shall pass}. Words written on a ring given to King Solomon. Powerful words that caused this great King to replace his smile with a frown. He realized in reading those words that everything he had, all that he possessed from his riches to his wisdom would one day be gone, just as everything on Earth was destined to be in time. Simple words written that have flowed down through the Centuries and been re-told and re-quoted and even claimed by people that had no right to claim them as their own.
 So what has this to do with anything I am writing about today, you may wonder. The answer is, Everything. The words crept into my head today, completely out of no-where, I might add. Nothing really new for me. Sadly, they did to me exactly what they had done to a King, thousands of years before I was even thought of. Centuries have passed and yet those words took me from that smile to a state of depression in less than an instant. A place that has left me today, evaluating, analyzing my life and what I have or have not accomplished. The feelings that whatever I Have done in this life, it is destined to pass away one day.
 The only real chance one has of leaving their mark on the world is to do something great! Something bigger than life. The fact that it is "bigger than life" allowing for that person to live on, long after they have left this world. Elvis did that. Hemingway did that. Even Wyatt Earp did exactly that. Singers, writers, cowboys... common people that became Uncommon by their works. They did not hide away in some room, working every day to try and find that song or novel that would make them a household name. Perhaps not the dream or desire of every person, but certainly the dream of THIS man. But... I think of the people that stand on corners and sing their hearts out, hoping for that one break, one song, that will take them from the corner of "15th avenue and no-where's land" to the memories of people they have never met.
  What is this really all about today? The face of depression. A look inside, up close and very personal, at what depression looks and feels like. Playing and replaying a song. Crying inside for reasons you don't even know. looking back on where you have been and what you have accomplished and feeling a bit lost and empty. A void that one tries daily to fill but can not. Sadness that makes you want to avoid contact with anyone for fear you will suddenly be over-whelmed with sorrow. Fear that you will never reach the top of the Mountain you have climbed and feel from and climbed again. Sorry that you can not talk to anyone because you simply can't find it in yourself to strike up a conversation.
  " 'gimel, zayin, yud'... This too shall pass."  I wonder sometimes. Will it pass or simply find a place to hide until a time when it suddenly surfaces again, the reason again not really known. Surely, time will pass and perhaps I Will find that special word, that chapter or 10 that grabs the attention of someone that says "Wow, let's make this available to everyone." And If I do find it, will it too then "pass"? I wonder if the world really understands the words I write here today? Words written between lines that will go unseen. Songs playing over and over in my mind. In time, will any of it really matter?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Silence can be so Loud... Final Chapter

As the knife neared his heart, Kindred thought about the woman he loved. He thought about the monster that was going to take his life. And he thought about the souls that had plagued him all of his life and had suddenly ceased their desires to see him dead. In an instant, it all came back to him. The abuse as a child that had created the man that he was today. The hatred and the love he had received, a mixture of good and evil that caused the very way he thought. His daily actions as well as the way he loved and left were a direct result of the abuses he endured through out his entire life. He realized that the fear of loving forever was given to him by this woman that sought to kill him. He thrusted his hands out in front of him, stopping the knife less than an inch from his heart.
 "N0, Mother! I will not let you take from me another moment of my life!" Kindred pushed his mothers arms away from him. He leaped to his feet and faced her. "I should thank you for trying one last time to kill me."
 "The pleasure will be all mine, little boy," she hissed at him. "I will love watching you die. But mostly, I want for your girlfriend to see it all! I want her to see what I saw that day! You, her love, dieing right in front of her!"
 She lashed out with her knife, cutting Kindred across his arm. The cut went deep and Kindred stepped back away from her. Blood ran down his arm and the pain was excruciating. His mother through the knife at him, striking his side. Kindred pulled the knife free and tossed it into the trees. From the side, he saw Clarise stand slowly. She walked to Kindred and placed her hand over his wound. He touched her hand and smiled soft.
 "It is ok, sweetheart... it doesn't hurt anymore. She can't hurt me anymore. I know now that the pain of her slapping me when I tried to love her no longer matters. It was long ago and i have found love with you. Nothing else matters now."
 "I am not finished with you, Kindred!" A gun appeared in her hand. As she took aim, a familiar voice rang out behind her.
 "You are finished with him, sister." They all turned and looked into the face of Kindred's Uncle and Aunt. "You promised if we disappeared long ago, you would not try to hurt him. You broke your promise and so we are here to protect him again."
 "Then I will just kill you first, like I should have done long ago!"As she turned to fire the gun at Kindred's uncle and hard breeze blew through the trees. Kindred watched as the ladies he had loved once all rushed at his mother. She fired the gun but the bullets went directly through their forms. They pushed into her and the gun turned in her hand. A second shot rang out and Kindred watched his mother fall to the ground. Blood ran from under her body and her lifeless eyes stared out at nothing. No longer did they possess the look of anger or hatred. They simply stared.
 "From us to you, Kindred..." was the last thing he heard from them before they faded completely from sight. As quickly as they left, so did the wounds from them disappear from Kindred and Clarise. Only the cuts inflicted by his mother remained. His Uncle and Aunt embraced him as Clarise tended to his cuts.
 "I am free, Clarise. Free to love you and stay at your side forever. She can not hurt me ever again. I simply had to stop allowing her to do so."
 "It appears, my darling Kindred, that the souls have forgiven you also. Now, with your Aunt and Uncle here to help, we can get on with our lives."
 "Stay with us for as long as you like, Kindred. We are not going anywhere."
 That evening, Kindred and Clarise walked hand in hand through the forest.  Kindred stopped and looked up as if he were listening to something.
 "What is it, love? What do you hear?" Her heart was racing with fear.
He smiled at her and kissed her. "Nothing, sweet lady. Do you hear that? I hear the sound of silence for the first time in forever. Silence, used to be so very loud...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Silence can be so loud... Pt 7

Kindred searched his mind for a way to stop the souls from attacking Clarise. He knew that when they were finished with her, he would be next. His mother stood near the cabin, watching with eyes that held pure hatred. Hatred that he knew was for him alone. Her voice was no longer soothing nor comforting. He listened as she chanted to the souls to kill him.
 "Make him hurt as badly as he hurt me! I want to see him suffer a horrible death!"
 Kindred turned to face his mother. He had killed once for her to save her life. Now, she wanted him to die. He thought about the souls and how they to wanted him to die. "Why", he wondered. "Why would they want me dead if they said they loved me so? It doesn't make sense."
 A voice whispered in his ear. The sweetness of his Clarise enveloped his entire being. He put his ear closer to her lips and listened.
  "You have found your answer in your very own words. Search your soul and you will be free."
 Kindred thought about what he had said. He realized that the answer had always been there. He simply needed to understand the "souls." He turned and faced the trees. He could see movement and knew the dark people were watching. As he stood, the "dark people" came out of the trees. He could see their forms, their bodies, For the first time. Suddenly, the souls stopped ripping at Clarise's body. Kindred walked towards the "dark people." He watched closely as the souls began to meld with the dark people. The faces were all familiar. The faces of every lady he had ever loved and hurt. He struggled to understand what was happening, his mind going 1000 miles a minute. As he stood in front of them, one reached out and brushed his face with her palm. The feelings was calming and soothing. He could see sadness in her eyes.
 "Katie, why are you sad? What does all of this mean?"
 "Oh Kindred". Her voice was soft. "You have suffered so terribly because of us."
 "No, not you. You, the people that came to me in the dark were good to me. It was the souls..."
 "Our souls, sweet man. We were split in two when you left us. The side that loved you, will always love you, became your protectors. The side that hated you and wanted you to hurt as much as we did when you left, became the souls that wanted you to hurt."
 "Why now? Why did you rejoin your souls now?What made it all change?"
 "You did, Kindred. You saw your mother for who she was and is. You see her hatred and still, you love her. The lady that has your heart lies dying here. We are sorry for that. Your pain, the selfless giving to protect her and her willingness to die for you made it all happen."
Another of Kindred's past loves stepped forward. She too touched his face. She sighed at the feelings she had while touching his skin.
 "Kendra... I am so sorry for the way I..."
 Kendra kissed his lips to silence him. "Sorry isn't needed. You suffer every day with the pain you put us through. Your own soul has been forever tormented. We are the ones that say sorry, not you. The wounds will heal in time, but the scars, they will be with you a very long time. But no more will you hurt because of us. Go and save that one that loves you most. You no longer need to bleed for us?"
 "I still don't understand! Please, I need to know how this happened."
 "When we took from you, your heart and your passions, we tried to make you give to us what We wanted, needed... Craved. You gave without getting back. We wanted only to be loved by you. When you asked how we could love you and yet hurt you so, we knew that our love had taken from you your freedom to move on. Your allowance of our wounds gave to us all of you. Now, we wish you no more harm. We also simply want to live and love again."
 "Then I need only to let you go for me to no longer bleed for you?"
 "Yes, Kindred, Yes!"
 "But I do not know how." His tears flowed like a waterfall as he spoke. "I don't know how to let go."
 He feel to the ground and cried out as he held Clarise in his arms. Suddenly, he felt the sting and then piercing pain in his shoulder. He turned and looked into the face of his Mother, her eyes dark with horrid anger.
"I can help you "let go", little boy! I will send you to the place you sent the man I loved. This is where I give it all to You!!!"
 The knife was lifted high into the air. Kindred watched as his mothers arm fell, the knife quickly closing in on his heart.

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