Wednesday, October 26, 2005


I call myself a passionate person. I'd like to think that I am - however, it seems to apply in only one direction. Due to my illness, bipolar disorder, I tend to internalize alot of things. In the process, I shut myself out of seeing other's views, works, and interests in a more passionate light. This really bothers me, for it causes me to appear that I'm not interested, or that I just don't care. The truth of the matter is, there are many more that are passionate on a deeper level that I can only begin to understand. To me it seems that they are rather worldly, and well-rounded - whereas I am self-centered and ignorant to things, events, and people around me.

Admittedly, this has never been easy for me to do - to share an interest in something that someone else does, if it doesn't pertain directly to something of my interest. I do my best to understand, yet still feel empty. In return, they deal with my turns of "woe is me," and my continual rants at what's wrong with the world. It's like having Warren Zevon and Andy Rooney in the same room, taking turns saying what's on their mind. When all is said and done, I feel sad that I didn't listen more than I've spoken.

Understanding Daily Life...

Being somewhat eccentric doesn't help matters much either. When all the talk about the hurricanes was going on (and still is,) I sit here in my own little word - allowing myself to feel misery and pain. This of course is nothing compared to what those folks experienced and will go through for the rest of their lives. I could sit here and knitpick and complain about my life, when in all honesty, it truly could have been worse. Yes, I had some hellacious emotional struggles, but I pretty much had what I needed most of the time - food, clothing, and shelter. When those three needs are met, everything (except relationships) is a luxury. The old phrase, "Could be worse," indeed comes into play here.

A Lot To Learn...
I am slowly beginning to realize just how important it is to build relationships within our lives. Whether it's the friends we meet, the family we know and love, or a spouse, we need those "connections" in our lives more than anything else. This hit me mostly because during my times of genuine need, there always seemed to be someone that was willing to help me in my predicament. It was a combination of friends I've known for years, some new ones, and my family that helped me to get through this mess since the past two months worth of "crashing." I reached out, and they were there for me. For this, I am truly grateful and will always be.

I know that I've covered this subject before, but I feel the need to do it again. That door to being generous has slammed shut again, and I need to "wedge" it open with kindness, forgiveness, understanding, and generosity. When I was feeling generous and kind-hearted, it truly took a burden off of my shoulder, and I literally felt "light-hearted!" When that feeling was starting to go away, I could literally feel it all "sucking back inside" of me, like a vacuum cleaner picking up the dust in the air. I now know why this happened.

So why did I let this all happen again? I'll tell you - I was afraid of losing it all. Somewhere along the line, I became afraid, and reverted back to my old ways. I believe the lack of meds had alot to do with it as well. This being my own fault, in some respects. Just as I thought that I'd "seen the light," I began to tire easily and let myself get weaker with each passing day. Pretty soon that light was gone, and I was trapped in the abyss. I swear that I could hear that door slam and echo down the tunnel. I try to rationalize why I do this, and frankly, it's pretty absurd. I wish that I would have been able to stop, think, and say to myself, "Hey! You know what's going on? You're going back to your faulty thinking again. Stop that!" I began to accept those former thoughts as reality again, and pretty much picked up where I left off. Too much apathy on my part.

Helping Myself...
I could sit here all day and say that I must do this, or I have to do that, but it really won't matter unless I take the steps necessary to go on and succeed. In short, it's easy to talk a good game, but it's another to actually play it. My writing and speaking skills are there, but the mind is somewhere else. It seems to be hiding in bed, not wanting to leave. It is so scared of the "what-if's." Alot of this is inspired by taking the thoughts and concerns of others to heart, and believing that they are always right. Phrases such as, "Are you sure you can afford it?" "Can you make it on your own?" and "Now what are you going to do?" seem to play back endlessly in my mind. I am doing my best to ignore them and just go on. At this point, I don't want to even know if they are valid questions or statements - I'd rather not hear them at all.

And Others...

If I keep playing it safe all the time, I'm going to miss out on alot of things, and people as well. I truly believe that if I feel better about myself and what I am able to do, then I will be more than happy to help other people get through their lives as well. I don't need to be at 100%, but I can't feel miserable either. I don't want a happy medium either - just a feeling of decency to begin with. I thought many times of volunteering for an organization within the community - not because I feel that I owe anything, but to reach out and give more of myself to others. Sure, I do it through playing music, but there is indeed alot of self-gratification in it as well. Maybe going to a nursing home to help feed the elderly, take them for walks, or play them a song would be a good start. Yeah - it's definitely something worth thinking about. Maybe helping children who have a low self-esteem or suffer from a mood disorder (or physical illness) would be great as well. Giving is supposed to be so much better than receiving anyway, right?

A Plan...

Well, as of this moment, I am still looking for a new place to live. I will find it soon - I have faith in that fact. I know that once I have complete independence, I will feel much better about myself and my purpose in life. This will make it much easier to give something to others in need. I don't need to benefit directly, but of course I will in the end, and that's a good thing. I am putting someone else first before me. This will be a whole new experience, and I am truly looking forward to it.

A Big Thanks...
Thanks to all who read my blog, and as always, feel free to comment. Also, take the time to check out each other's blogs. There are some really great writers out there - lots of untapped potential. I am continually impressed as I read the many blogs out there in "cyberspace." As for my regular readers, I have been looking back on previous posts, and your comments have inspired me to "wake up" once again, and get back out there and fight the good fight. Depression is only causing me to feel pain, anger, hurt, sadness, fear, and to be totally selfish. Of course, we all know this,

But the moral of the story is... (Ding!)

I'm really not a cold and uncaring person - depression causes me to think inwardly and unintentionally overlook the cares, concerns, needs, and wants of others. It's all about being very unhappy and very frightened at the same time. It causes you to think thoughts that aren't true, such as that friends or family have given up on you, or that they are tired of you and your life. It may even cause you to think that the rest of the world would be better off without you, and prompt you to suicide. If you have thoughts like this, or experience depression-like symptoms, do yourself a favor and get help. You don't have to live your life this way - it's not worth it. You don't need to subject yourself to this torment any longer. There are many mental health professionals out there who can help you, and there are medications out there that help with the chemical imbalances associated with mood disorders. You owe it to yourself to talk to them and see there is indeed "light at the end of the tunnel."

Here's where I drop some links: - The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance has many chapters around the country. I am currently a member, have facilitated meetings, and also served as a chapter representative at the "Road To Wellness" Convention. - NAMI is also a great organization to join. They are very active in the community, and organize walks to help fight mental illness.

These are two organizations that specialize in helping those with mental illnesses. I can tell you that my life has improved alot since the 5 years that I joined the DBSA. I walked in a disheveled, sobbing, mess, and got to the point where I could lead a meeting! WOW!

Don't get me wrong, there are many more than those I've listed. These are the two that I am familiar with.

More Links...
These are links to some great blogs of friends who also deal with mental illness, and/or the travails of daily life. I urge you to take the time to read them as well:

Weird Cake

There's Your Karma, Ripe As Peaches

Shithouse Rat


One Day At A Time

Lake Walks

Friends, I will link you when I sit down and finally figure out how to do it. That stuff is all new to me, and it will come in time. Remember, I'm still stuck in the days of good old analog - well mostly, anyway.

Be well, and I'll be back soon.

Oh, one more thing - this song is stuck in my head. It's a nice groove by one of my favorite bands, Kraan. Check it out!


Nikky Egland said...

OK danny heres the story you all wanted - i hacked into my exes acct and found a very sentimental email that he had written to another ex of his, and now i feel very bad for the following reasons: one, i feel awful for hacking into his account, two, i feel bad for his wife, three, i feel crappy cuz i cant tell on him cuz hes my friend, four, i feel jealous cuz he doesnt feel like that about me and i was a way better gf and way more recent in his life. OK there i said it!

broke said...

Just found you and wanted to say hi - I've been enjoying reading your stuff. This post in particular is really insightful - I like the 'moral of this story', good advice. Your concern for others is so admirable.
Take care,

Radin said...

Dear Danny I like your style and enjoy your posts. Sometimes you talk about things which are on our minds too. We are all trying to find a way out and if one is successful others will benefit, even if this be a small step forward. We have our own set backs because we are dealing with everyday life which does not wait for us. We go back and forth but important thing is that in the average we move forward and we are on the right track. And I think you are. On my way to work sometimes I practice communicating with total strangers and when I talk to them about something sincerely and out of my heart I am surprised about their reaction. We feel lonely but we are not alone. Danny you are such a nice guy.

elvira black said...

Danny, first off, thanks so much for the link! I haven't been writing too much about bipolar lately, but one thing I believe is that those with mental illness are often very compassionate (as well as passionate) because they've been through hell and back and can understand the suffering of others, as well as the joys.

I know what you mean about being inner-directed--I think that when someone is ill (depressed, in a schizophrenic psychosis, etc) there's no way to escape being in one's own little universe. It's part and parcel of the thing--mental illness is a lonely road.

But at the same time there can be that paradox of imagining that everyone is judging you harshly. That, too, is usually part of the illness. Though others may give you "advice," hopefully you can take it with a grain of salt and follow your own path.

As far as helping others--that's an admirable goal. I sometimes think about volunteering too, and although that would be great, I personally think that in order to function and contribute something I have to take care of myself first. If that means limiting stress and not overloading on outside activities, so be it. Hope you don't feel guilty if you can't do volunteering for awhile--as you said, doing what you're doing is of benefit to others as it is.

And it's true that you can always find others worse off than you--well, maybe. When I was in a psychotic depression for months on end (several times) I wouldn't have wished that hell on my worst enemy. So I don't believe in belitting your own troubles--just trying to prevail over them if you can.

I'm so glad you have people you can count on for support. When I think of those less fortunate, I can't help think of those with serious mental illnesses who have no one to turn to. These, I think, are the ones who wind up homeless and helpless.

So glad you're blogging again--I get a lot out of your posts. All the best to you....

Tabor said...

You are lucky that you like the song stuck in your head. When a song gets stuck in my head I want to put a tin bucket over it and bang on it until it goes away!