The Impossible Miracles of Normalcy

Journal Entry 7/6/08, 22 years old, 4.5 years after diagnosis.

Right now I’m normal headed towards mania because I haven’t taken my meds properly and it’s that time of year for my mood to swing up.

I feel oddly not liberated, but snuffed, decomposed, old, frail, lost, worthless. My drive I always knew is gone, I despise it, loathe it. My only source of creativity is what I write here perhaps these entire past few months; this year if it weren’t for that manic spurt I had earlier. I fail at finding work and jobs on my own. I work for dad’s office now, and I’m even slacking at that. I grow fat on fat food, and non stop video game sessions. My computer is now broken so I watch TV in the meantime.

I feel people take sympathy for me; worry that my roommates talk about me behind their backs about my laziness, poor hygiene, room cleanliness, eating habits, wearing the same clothes every day, day after day.

Where does drive come from? Success? Hard work? I’m “normal” now for me. I used to be able to live, touch, and taste these things. But now, they are out there, irreducibly complex. Routines scream at me and I can’t get up and keep up with them.

Then comes my future. How could I possibly understand what I want if I’ve been bipolar since early childhood? I’ve proven how clever and deceitful I can be with hiding my symptoms when I want to, bordering on if not becoming a criminal mind. I’ve dropped that now, it seems – it’s all lost to me, exhausting to even try to start to think about and in that mindset. But I have been doing that my whole life. I’m 22 years old, and truly a complete loser – parents pay everything, I’m slow, outdated, dry, lack interests, perverted, I smoke… At least I don’t drink much, have sex, or do drugs…

The point is I feel dead without those loopy chemicals. Perhaps the way I handle it now, I really am dead. How do I get past this? I sense that will be the under-attended direction that keeps popping up in my thoughts in the future. Will I ever figure out the miracles of normalcy, in work, routines? I’m scared I never will.

A nonChristian Coming Out

I come from a devout Christian family. I grew up as a devout Christian. Now, I’m not – and they don’t know that. I feel like I would rather tell them I’m gay than to tell them I’m not a believer according to their standards of what a believer is. At least they’d understand the concept of hate the sin, not the sinner.

If I don’t agree with the Apostles Creed, the Athanasian Creed, the Nicene Creed, or see Jesus as the only way to heaven, my soul is going to hell forever in their eyes. They will not hate me, but they will not understand my path, they will impose beliefs on me, and there will be a rift between us. To them, Christ is the only way. I believe there is power in Christ, but that is not what you follow. The focus should not be following, but being. In the next age, we’ll all be there, universe and all.

If anyone has any advice about coming out to devout Christian parents that I’m not a Christian, I’m desperate for insight. I’m at a loss. If I don’t tell them, it will cause all kinds of problems in the future. I plan to do it by e-mail, or I’ll end up walking out on them and they’ve handled such matters better in the past via e-mail.

Thank you!

Where Is My Inner Joy?

Where is my inner joy? This question posed strongly at the end of my meditation this morning, and I felt the strong need to reflect and gather my thoughts on that question. I feel too dependent on other people and on material things to give me joy. It scares me. What I am wondering, is how I generate my inner joy on my own? Where do I turn?

Other material things? This is not an option because they are a dead end. I’ve relied on material things and it’s just another addiction process.

What about religion? Even when I was at the height of my Christian self, I still was not finding inner joy. It was more like anesthesia for the pain in my soul I had. Not until I went through my first break and was cut off from God for a long time was I able to effectively begin to find myself, and my inner joy. However, God came back and fixed my heart in my second break. That was a beautiful experience that is a strong rope holding me to my Christian beliefs and principles somewhat. I recognize a higher power, but not within the confines of traditional religion.

What about pursuing knowledge and wisdom? Doing just this is important, but does not bring inner joy to the surface by itself.

Romantic love? This is a double edged sword. I’m a romantic, to the max. But this is not the inner joy I seek, even though it’s a very big part of it. Never rely on one person to make you happy.

Jesus? I know I mentioned religion. I mean him in a spiritual sense. There is power in his name, the reference to his blood, and to the cross. Jesus was in touch with what kind of world this is, and he was in touch with whatever is out there. He did what he had to do to fulfill whatever purpose he had, and his spirit is present everywhere now. Is Jesus a source of joy in the strictly religious sense? For me, no. But he is in a spiritual sense.

All things considered, something tells me there is no joy without the presence or memories of other people and things. Everything helps with finding inner joy, as long as you don’t overdo anything. Everything must be pursued in moderation, with balance. We are wired like our Maker, and the universe; we can’t be alone with nothing, or there is no inner joy to be had.

I live in finding my purpose and living it in love with other people, in all things big and small. That is my true inner joy.

Severe Family Drama

One side of my extended family and my immediate family experienced severe drama shortly after I was diagnosed 10 years ago. It ended with my immediate family deciding to cut off contact indefinitely, and ten years later it’s still in full force. The oddest part about this fiasco is that everyone had their own good (never malicious) intentions about the entire situation.

My psychotic episode acted as a catalyst to enable a series of events to unfold, which brought up old pains and perceptions about family dating back to before I was born. My parents did the best they could to keep me out of the middle of it, and they did a good job save for what was pertinent to our immediate family and to me. I had enough trauma to deal with at the time, and I had to fight tooth and nail to keep my head above water. My parents were taking care of me, so it was in my best interest to side with them on everything. As a result, people got burned.

At the time of this whole fiasco, each party had its own agenda to try and remedy someone or something or another. I had many agendas in that I wanted counseling for a separate personal problem as well as counseling for my immediate family as there seemed in my mind to be issues there. My aunt shared many of the same beliefs that I did and wanted to help me bring those ideas forward. She offered whatever support she could give in the process, including an open offer for my sisters and I to stay the night if we needed to while everything was being processed. My grandparents wanted everyone to stop fighting, to fix the problem and move on.

In everything, no one was in a position to own up to anything, myself included, and that put gasoline on the fire. I wasn’t able to stand up for what I believed, either, partly because the truth may have destroyed my immediate family at the time. My immediate family was treading water, too, after the stress I put forward. I ended up turning on my aunt in the interest of self preservation and keeping my family together. In hindsight, I believe it was the right thing to do, but it is still a band aid, and that just may have to do.

What ultimately did our extended family in is that we decided against getting a professional third party involved. As a result, everything blew up in our faces. I believe that two things need to happen if there is any hope of reconciliation. One is that both parties (my family and everyone else) need to get to a point where they want to resolve the situation. The other is finding an appropriate third party to mediate. The second part is in place, as my therapist knows the situation very well, understands the complex dynamics involved, and she knows me as well, the catalyst. She does house calls and I have her cell phone number for after hours.

While finding the third party is the easier of the two, at least it is in place in case the miracle happens when everyone wants to give things another go.