Hello!

Blogging has always been therapeutic to me. Given that I recently decided to begin counseling again and revise my medication, I thought that this may be of help, also. I’m Blake, labeled Bipolar, with Attention Deficit Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Panic Disorder, and Anxiety. I attend a mental health clinic for counseling and therapy and take prescription drugs to help regulate my mood, stress and anxiety levels, and likewise (try to) engage in little activities like these to help keep me motivated. I’m hoping to use this as a sort of journal to log my ups and downs, triumphs and failures, and everything in-between…

You should know that an insiders look to a bipolar mind may seem strange. Sometimes I get a break from the symptoms and go on with life as normal, other times a trigger event occurs and I find myself in a dark fog of intense depression and hopelessness. On the other side of the spectrum I can become intensely hyper, experience racing thoughts, have an elated sense of self and make a bunch of irrational, impulsive choices. Then, on the most extreme end, there are the mixed episodes — feeling like it’s the end of the world while having a flight of fancy ideas, tearfulness while fidgety and anxious. It’s a mess.

Couple those symptoms with anxiety issues. At times in my life I experience spontaneous “panic attacks” in which I feel an impending sense of doom, usually that I’m going to have a heart attack due to the palpitations from the anxiety and the inability to catch my breath.

What can I say? I’m a psychiatric melting pot. It tends to give me episodes in life where everything becomes difficult. I’ve lost many friends from it, usually due to self isolation, and goodness knows I’ve lost a lot of jobs from it — whether I become so anxious and tore up over the idea of it that I find myself sitting in my vehicle staring at my workplace for 8 hours until the shift is over, or because I’m so depressed that the idea of running the rat race becomes unbearable. Getting out of bed is nearly out of the options.

It’s not all bad. I have a small group of very supportive friends, and I’m engaged to a lovely lady who has stuck by me thus far.

My goal? Well, even though I don’t want to, I am going to apply for SSD. I’ve had over 25 jobs in my life, and despite various medications and counseling sessions, I never have learned the proper stress and anxiety reduction techniques to cope with the 9-5. A lot of people think it’s a cop out, and to you I extend my wish for you to live with such mentally taxing disabilities for one year, and then let me know how you feel. I want to work. I want to support my soon-to-be-wife the same way everyone else does. But I don’t know if that’s in the cards for me, at least not anytime in the near future.

Another goal of mine is, quite honestly, to maintain the mind state that keeps me chugging along. I have had some bouts with depression that have left me world weary and suicidal, and I know that if the wrong signals get crossed upstairs I’ll find myself there again. Aside from pharmaceuticals and certain techniques and practices I incorporate to stay centered, I am at the mercy of my illnesses. No different than a diabetic, for instance. My illness is just of the mind, rather than the body.

I hope this blog, should you read it, opens your mind to the world of the mentally oppressed, sheds a few misconceptions, shares a little light. In all likelihood there will be some darkness mixed in with it, but I want to keep it as positive as possible. And I want to encourage any reader who is as “mixed up” as I am upstairs that you aren’t alone in your struggles.

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