better again

there are expectations
that are placed on our
shoulders, that since
we are taking our
medication and seeing
our therapists and
driving ourselves
places, that we are
cured, we’re fixed, we
can do whatever is
expected of us

and

your belief in us makes
some of that true, the
more support we have
the better off we are

but

please don’t break down
when we do, if we’re
having a bad day don’t
swear it is the end of
the world, we are as
human as you are, we
have days just as you
do, just treat us with
respect like you always
have and we will get
better again

— GB

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Start Again

“There are millions and millions of people with mental problems.  They work regular jobs, irregular jobs, they work at home, they don’t work, they’re married or single, they have kids or don’t, they do laundry and fall in love and have opinions and grieve their losses and, if they’re lucky, take their meds.  That’s what I’m learning.  I am a person with mental illness. So it takes some extra effort.  So sometimes it’s debilitating.  But now that I’m learning to manage it, it’s becoming not my entire life but simply a part of how I live, something people around me live with as well, something I can accept.  I have to, that’s the only way this works.”             —  “Madness: A Bipolar Life” by Marya Hornbacher

This extended quote gets right to the heart of where I am right now.  As someone with Bipolar Disorder, which appears to have been put in my rear view mirror for the time being, I am trying to figure out where I go from here.  What I need to do is figure out how to stop being afraid of things I perceive as being outside my comfort zone.  I’m not sure how to do that, if any of you have some suggestions I would really appreciate it.  Some of the questions I ask are:

Can I get a job?
Can I handle a career?
How about a significant other, or a family?
What happens when I fall apart?
Where does it all go when the only thing I can focus on is me?

defeat is just an
opportunity to
start again

I don’t know where I heard that but it seems like a good motto.  I think I’ll take it as my own.  Now I need to do some serious work on me.  I hope nothing gets in the way.

bulbs buried deep

when the bulbs buried deep
learn of the bees that will visit,
do they change their minds
about growing and flowering

no more than I made a choice
about studying and graduating
when I heard about mental
illness in psychology class

it will happen to some, it may
happen to others, but it is
nothing to keep someone
form their natural course

— GB

My Verse #1

“The powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse.  What will your verse be?” — Dead Poets Society

This quote and more of it have recently been used in an Apple ad on TV.  They use the quote well, it creates some drama (at least it does with me).  One of the reasons it holds such sway is because it comes right out of “Dead Poets Society,” a movie that had quite an effect on me.  It was one of the things, early on in my life, that made me want to be a writer.  I did it in college, I did it when I got out of college, I have always written in some way, somewhere.  It hasn’t always been creative writing (I did some technical writing for a few years here and a few years there) but it has been writing none-the-less.  So after some babbling along here, I’m finally getting to the point.  The quote above asks a question.  “What will your verse be?” and while I’m still considering my answer I will say that the answer starts something like this:

My verse in the powerful play intends to make as much of the world as possible aware of Bipolar Disorder and all Mental Illness in such a way as to reduce the stigma and increase acceptance around the world.  That’s  the way I would like to begin this verse.  I will return with plans on how I’m going to continue and finish out this verse.

You Have Won

when the mountain of doubt
makes it too hard to get out of bed
in the morning, and you do it still
you have won

when you expect to hear demons
on the other end of the line
you make the call anyway
you have won

when going out that door
would me a certain fiery death
but you head out in spite of it
you have won

when the myriad rational
and irrational fears push you around
and you stomp and pound and
push those bullies back
you have won

— GB

A Secret Plot (Not Really)

I’m concerned that since I started writing Haiku I won’t be able to stop.  My mind now thinks in five and seven word phrases.  It was bad enough when I first started to write this blog, I was most comfortable writing in 100 word chunks.  I had to write a section, take a break and write the next section.  And so on and so on….  I still write those 100 word sections but that is for 100words.com.  The rest of the time I write for here.  It’s all part of a secret plot I have to compartmentalize my life through what and how I write.  Well, no, actually it’s not but that sentence came out so easily I couldn’t help but include it.

Now that I think about it though, when I opened this blog up to all my friends and family I demolished a big compartment that I believe had been holding me back mentally, which was the fact that I have Bipolar Disorder.  I had been telling a lot of people that I had been downsized at work(which is actually true) and that I was having problems finding another job (also true).  What I hadn’t been telling people is that  had a psychotic break, had issues with medications and mental health care providers and had ECT Treatments.  It’s really hard to tell someone face to face what I have endured.  I think I’m getting better at it and it is because all of you kind people that read, reply, like and follow.  Writing is my number one outlet now… I’m not sure what it was before I started writing again.  I suspect it was music, either discovering and listening or creating my own.  But most of what I did before was reflected back inside and introverted.  I’m still somewhat introverted now but I have my moments of extroversion and they usually make me and those around me smile.  If I have made any of you smile then my work here has been successful.

Now I’m off to see how many of these Haiku I can fit into a 100 Word entry 😉

A Former Psychotic Episode

You are not real to me.  I know this because when I point my gun at you there isn’t a twitch or flinch or any other sign that that I’m pointing my gun at you.  So I put it down, there’s no reason to threaten you if you are not going to feel threatened.  Why do you continue to stand there like that?  Are you trying to intimidate me?  Don’t you remember? I’m the one with the gun.  Shit, no, the gun means nothing to you because you are not real.  It means something to me though, as long as I have it, I am safe.  I will be able to hold off any attack.  Even from you.  Even though you are not real.  What I really need to watch for are the pigs

If you didn’t care what happened to me,
And I didn’t care for you
We would zig zag our way through the boredom and pain
Occasionally glancing up through the rain
Wondering which of the buggers to blame
And watching for pigs on the wing.

Those pigs a very dangerous, they’re omnivores and will eat anything, even bodies that are left behind.  So be careful with me.  I’m the one with the gun.  Stop wagging your finger at me, I know that you don’t care.  But your lack of concern makes no difference to me.  You’ve been here for a very long time and you have done nothing but stand there.  You have not threatened me in any way.  I believe that you are nothing more than a figment of my psychoses.  You do not exist, the pigs do not exist, this entire room is only a construction in my mind.  That means that nothing is here, including this gun… including me.

Where and when and why do I exist.  Nothing is real so nothing matters.  Nothing is not real so everything matters.  Everything is real and everything exists.  It is all too full.  There is no room to move.  I am suffocating.  I have to get out of here.  I have to go nowhere, where everything is.  That’s where you’ll be.  At least I’ll get to see an unfamiliar face.  It will be such a comfort.