How to Eat an Elephant

Sometimes, I feel stuck in my problems. It is as though I have been tasked to eat a whole elephant. How does one eat a whole elephant?

I go to my journal or talk to trustworthy people about the elephant. I talk about specific problems I am facing, and get them written down. If I cannot write/talk about my issues, or put a finger on any of them, drawing an abstract picture in color about my feelings can help bridge that gap.

When I am stuck or paralyzed, I find there are many things floating around in my mind-heart that are causing issues. I write each one down and end up with a list of smaller pieces to work on.

After dividing the elephant, I conquer it in small portions at a time. I develop habits that lead to the life I want to live. Otherwise, the elephant will remain whole – and I shall stay stuck in my problems indefinitely.

-theothersid3

photo credit: The British Library British Library digitised image from page 215 of “The Land of the Lion; or, Adventures among the wild animals of Africa. With … illustrations” via photopin (license)

Mental Modulations of Time

In special states of mind, time flows in a circle, particularly in both elevated and deeper states of mind. This can be due to meditation, mental illness states, drug-induced, or during visions.

In every day states of mind, time flows in what seems a unidirectional line of time from the past to the present to the future, not going backwards.

In between the special and every day mental states, time can slow down, even close to a hault, such as during a fight or flight experience or hypomania. Time can also speed up, such as when one loses time during a depressive episode or when having a good time.

During special mental states, the timeline going in a circle is the realm of time close to being lapsed. In this realm, we explore ourselves from without and within. Other areas I explored include love, faith, wisdom, my deepest wounds, my highest moments, angels, demons, Christ, Father, Wisdom, the other side, and everything in between.

The results of my psychotic episodes due to bipolar I mania were profoundly life changing. Time behaved as a circle during the extreme portions of these experiences. It flowed in everything as a gentle river does. Time was refined, not wasted, at peace, whether I was surrounded by evil or God’s presence.

In every day life, we can try to live our lives to the best and the fullest. Or, every moment can be seen as a moment closer to death. The first option is the better one for living one’s life to the best and fullest in love. Being negative all the time feels like dying – in a bad way. Both outlooks rub off on people around us.

-theothersid3

Explanation of Death by Psychosis: Part 3

I met the faces of wisdom and folly during my first psychotic break at age 17 on 12-25-03 in Orlando, FL. I experienced the faces of good and evil with my entire being during this vision.

At first, I was with wisdom’s embodied spirit. She gently pointed me to my then unknown wife, by name on that Christmas morning, 2003 in Orlando, FL.

Folly, wisdom’s shadow, appeared after wisdom left, the one who helped make my life a standstill for 6 years. She tied my soul to another woman, my obsession, via black magic. She snuck her spirit in to guide me to darkness every step of the way and shut out God’s light.

I experienced a couple of spectacular organic, drug-free trips down rabbit holes which ripped my mind-heart-spirit from my body. It reached the point where I physically looked down on my body, an empty vessel on autopilot.

The first trip was immediately after my vision on 12-25-03. The second trip was 6 years later at age 23 starting on 6-16-09 the first day of my second hospital stay.

The next step both times was to climb back out. I was lucky they ran their courses safely back to reality both times instead of being stuck in a state of perpetual psychosis afterwards.

The next step is to recover from this profoundly intriguing, devastating trauma. 17 years later, I am starting to wrap this up. For me, this involves developing the lens of my worldview after having such intense spiritual experiences, making peace with them, and gleaning the good from them to take ownership of.

I did everything I could do short of physically dying in the face of evil after folly put a spell on me. Mentally, my spirit was broken in 2003 and began to heal in 2009. I held onto the experience I had with wisdom to keep myself together during those 6 years.

6-16-09 marked the first day of my second hospital stay and the second trip down the psychotic rabbit hole, which was book 2 after book 1 being the first trip. When God laid his hands on my spiritual heart and brought me back, he shattered the twisted black magic from my own folly and folly’s.

7 years later on 6-16-16 marks the first day of my third hospital stay. I did not go down the rabbit hole, but I learned what the darkness and the light and everything in between sounded like in my head. I learned discernment during that stay.

The face of evil leaves behind the darkest shadows that none can pluck. They haunt me and I learned to shut them out. It is so personal and potentially destructive, I cannot acknowledge these shadows in the wake of wisdom. They come from the darkest cesspool of Gehenna, where the filth and bodies are burned.

With the light of wisdom in the world comes the shadow of folly in the world. Both go hand in hand. I choose to pursue wisdom as best I can. The light brightens the more I pursue wisdom and love.

Decades later, I have a deeper connection with God as a result. I also have a connection with darkness I have learned to manage. The darkness is my shadow, not me. The brighter I shine, the smaller and darker the shadows become.

I am still building myself up at age 34 in 2020, 17 years after age 17 in 2003. My wife embodies that spirit of wisdom I encountered at age 17. My wife is a person of God and formed from my rib, the one wisdom indicated by name. I experience God through her.

The shadows stay in my little black box I made for them in my mind.

-theothersid3

Life’s Changes Since We Met

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A lot has shifted in me since I met her seven to eight months ago.

Instead of the ever painful “where is she?” I constantly asked myself in the past, it turned into “This person is right in front of me… I more than love her to death, and her me.” That, right there, changes a man. I am loved completely like that and know I love her just as much.

I can tell you there are ways that are very basic that it changes me, as well as ways I do not yet understand.

This is the happiest I’ve ever been in my life.

“Mutual Lovers”

Deep in the darkness,

Demons rode our shoulders; Now

possessing God’s Light

God’s Light is frying our demons of the past. All of what we went through was worth it for a future with each other. God has turned a lot of darkness into light in our lives through each other. We found each other in the dark. Thank you, God.

-theothersid3

photo credit: rogiro Trust via photopin (license)

Have Faith in Yourself

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One may expect nothing good coming from completely losing one’s mind to madness, and dealing with the aftermath. I often heard the cliches about how I would be a stronger person as a result and I would learn so much through these experiences. However, looking back, those words of encouragement only spoke of the beginning of what I gained resulting from embarking on the recovery process.

I did a little bit of reflecting in my journal this evening about what I have lost and gained over the past fourteen years, since I was diagnosed with bipolar I following a psychotic break.

Here’s a small list of profound losses I experienced within the past fourteen years:

  • My physical health and good looks
  • My religion, which was a foundation of my life
  • My spirituality
  • My sense of identity
  • My sharp intellect and ability to learn new things went into remission
  • At a couple points, I lost my mind completely
  • My ability to adequately care for myself and my environment

I still struggle hard with my physical health and my ability to adequately care for myself. However, in the past fourteen years, I’ve regained much about the other items on the list.

So, not only have I gained back most of the above list of losses, I’ve found the following:

  • I’ve broken free from the institution of religion
  • I’ve broken the generational cycle of madness
  • I understand family and friends better
  • I’ve learned who I am and what I need to explore about myself
  • I’ve embarked on the road to recovery from severe verbal abuse and isolation growing up
  • I’ve discovered some things never go away, such as my analytic mind
  • I’ve confirmed my passion for writing
  • I’ve found wisdom and a new way of seeing the world
  • I can explore a rich spiritual identity and experiences

During recovery, there are seasons and there are trends. It was pitch black for many years of my life. I had therapy nearly every week for 9 months after my first episode, often focusing on the reasons why I shouldn’t commit suicide. All seasons of recovery present their challenges. Over time, the light becomes brighter, and during the seasons, this light will fluctuate.

However, just know that the deeper my pain, the deeper my loss, the more constitutive my loss… the deeper character I gain, the more I find, and the more cohesive I become as a result of these experiences. I’ve reached a point where I have become someone that is beyond my wildest dreams or imaginations, compared to fourteen years ago.

I’m at a brightly blossoming point in my road to recovery. I still have a ways to go, but I’m making progress faster than I have ever before. The truth is… those cliche encouragements did help a little bit when I took them in good faith. The darker the valley, the harder it is to climb out and the longer it takes to climb out. I had faith in myself that I could get through when I was unable to call on God for help and no one could be there for me.

One thing is always true: have faith in yourself. No matter how bad it is, you can overcome.

-theothersid3

photo credit: Stuck in Customs Aurora Over The Valley via photopin (license)

Jan 29, 2017: A Heartfelt Prayer

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Dear God,

It’s been a long time since I’ve spoken to you from the heart, let alone written from the heart.

This journey is a lonely one and I’m in the middle of a piercing darkness. The light of your son is there in Christ Jesus, and it keeps me going, but it does not satisfy my here.

Thank you for showing me the Beyond, the Heavens, and Hades through my psychotic breaks. Without these visions, I would be more empty, fragmented, and lost.

Continue to show me the way you intend for me, and continue to give me the strength to push forward.

I know I will end up falling astray and will inevitably miss the mark of truth. God, I pray you show me truth and the way to shalom, for myself and those around me.

Keep me humble and malleable. Don’t let me lose perspective. I pray that all areas of knowledge, such as the scientific, philosophical, religious, and the spiritual may one day be united. I pray I may be an instrument in this process.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-theothersid3

photo credit: tamaralvarez Helping Hand via photopin (license)

Change

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So many things have been going on in my life… and much that I just cannot talk about anywhere but in my journals. God is making things happen around my friends and I. I don’t know where this is going, but I’m managing to stay sane throughout all these things.

If this were to happen to me a few years ago, I’d probably be in the hospital by now. I’m now strong enough that I can not only just stay sane but incredible things are happening in the process. I can be there for important people in my life and they are there for me.

Sometimes, I wonder if I’m in a psychotic episode.

Only this is not psychotic… this is God working in real life. Through extraordinary circumstances, 2 of my closest friends met from thousands of miles away for 5 days and fell in love and now he’s moving here with me to find a place in my hometown!

I cannot talk about my side, yet. Not yet.

-theothersid3

photo credit: Fall via photopin (license)

My Personal Battle Wounds

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In high school, I was really good looking and I could have almost any girl I wanted. However, I trusted God with everything back then. Then, my first psychotic episode happened along with a Bipolar I/schizoaffective disorder diagnosis. I started taking meds. I assure you, the trauma, the stress, and the meds all together caused me to gain a lot of weight. As a result, I’m fat now.

I don’t call them battle scars, but wounds that can heal. It’s been top 5 in my worst struggles in life I’ve ever had, that is, being fat. I remember how good it felt to feel good about my body and have all the energy and health and ability to do the things I want to do. Now that I’ve managed the trauma, the stress, and the meds, I sense a reckoning at hand soon!!! 🙂

-theothersid3

photo credit: Hafnarfjall in heavy rain via photopin (license)