Sunday, August 15, 2010

This is a response that I gave on a forum I found online awhile ago. I did not publish then because I do not like to label myself as bipolar especially since, as I have stated before, I have gone to great lengths to NOT be "diagnosed" (even it is just that the Dr. I see knows that I don't want it so he won't outright say it)
But anyway here it is:

"I just googled bipolar and religion because I am going through very similar to what you are (or were) going through. I wanted to know if that was normal.
It is nice to hear that I am not alone. I am glad you posted.
It gets hard when some serious instability has some religious/spiritual roots. Stabilized on medication I no longer have the spiritual highs and divine inspirations/understandings that I once did, sometimes I miss it, but I also do not drop into the depths of Hell either. So I also tend to relate it all to mania. It is hard for me to know how much religion has played a role in that, especially being born and raised in a very strict religion that has extremely high expectations of it's members (not that that is "bad" it just has been a struggle for me personally in dealing with a disorder that I don't want to accept anyway).
It is hard to know what God wants of me.

I have also found some comfort in Buddhism, coming across it before medication this last time, but I to can still see links to that and some manic issues.

I am having some serious aversion and I am actively involved in my religion. Sometimes I find myself thinking "they are all a bunch of crazies" and yet I can't deny the good that being raised with high moral standards has been, which I know have helped me and saved me from a lot of pain (especially being mental the way that I am).
Anyway, I guess my point is that I appreciate your question and your own concerns. I also appreciate the comments that people shared, especially manic faith.

So I relate to your aversion, only since I have stayed actively involved in my church I am just finding it harder and harder to keep going. I just want to break away for awhile and try to come to terms with what I feel and not with all things that are swimming in my head of what others feel and believe and their convictions and fears... and yet my whole life I have been taught how dangerous that is so I am wracked with turmoil. But at least with the help of medication it is tolerable and I likely will not go "crazy" thinking about. I guess I just need to decide what is right for me right now and be OK with that. Who knows what the future holds.
I also agree it is not "all bad" but rather there is a lot of good maybe it is just hard to find the balance (especially coming from such an imbalanced state).
So thanks again and good luck to you."

Friday, August 6, 2010

suicidal default 101

It's one of those mornings. So many thoughts have been swimming around in my head that I'd like to write about but I just can't find the time. Plus I am a bit unorganized and chaotic...
And today when I feel such a pressing desire to write I can't think of the things that I really wanted to write about anyway.
So I'll just start writing.
...The other day I was chatting (on-line) with an old high school friend. Conversation came around to my mentioning that my brother had died of a mental illness (I still don't know how I feel about that term). The friend asked "how's that?"
Now I was chatting online which means I could not really read the question or the friends understanding of what I had just said, but the particular wording later got me thinking.
"How's that"
I think that it is likely that many don't know or understand that a mental illness or even disorder can be fatal, can actually be the cause of death.
Totally a hard concept to wrap ones brain around.
But when I think of my friends from high school who lost their dad in a very dramatic and tragic suicide. When I think of my friend who I worked with when my brother died and her dad that committed suicide when she was very young. And especially when I think about my brother I know that though technically it was their own hand that would have been the cause of death that their physical chemistry was the cause more then anything else.

My brother was a good person (and the other two men mentioned). He loved life even though he despised it. He was loving, kind and generous. He was so fun and very intelligent. But he had a suicidal default that is not "normal" and, just like a cancer that is not being treated, can only be fought for so long. We don't know who gives up and who gives into death and fighting an illness but many die from things that are not considered major or serious illness's, while some "fight" for a lifetime (or what we culturally and socially accept as a lifetime and a fight).
However in such cases chemistry/physiology over whelm either the body or the soul or both and it is time to let go. In a sense Pain trumps. And with a suicidal default (I believe I have written about a definition to that self coined term) one can easily commit a fatal offence with out really meaning to "kill them self."

Here is one silly little simple personal example that I can give (and I may have given before) about how an out of whack chemistry that seems to cause said default can cause a fatality.
Once, just a couple of years ago, I was driving along the freeway while my beautiful little mind was racing through my newest brilliant life plan. But it was not just formulating a plan of how to achieve a goal that my mind insisted on working through but imagining the course of my whole life in addition. When I got to the end, which took a matter of seconds to maybe a couple of minutes at the most (racing minds work quick), BAM I was done and slamming my high speed car into the cement barriers on the side of the freeway was a flash that was almost overwhelming in the quickness and intensity of such a delusion.
I didn't, but I have experienced varying degrees of intensity and dellusion (I am sure most people have really), but had my chemistry been that much more off I could have easily and instinctively responded to the demand before I realized what I was doing and where I really was.
I was not down and there are many fortunate things to my situation but a suicidal default is something that can over ride the sensible systems and truly has to be attributed to a screwed up chemistry. Because, seriously, it is just stupid to think that under a healthy and properly functioning brain chemistry my body and mind would do that to me. Wait, they don't, when I am on an even keel. Which as of recent has once again had to be achieved with the assistance from the miracles of modern medicine. But I do know first hand the reality of the chemical difference.

Long post, I know, and I don't know that it makes any sense at all but I suppose I occasionally feel the need to defend my brother because we all knew (he had even promised us) that despite his intense and prolonged struggles with a suicidal default he would never do that.
I don't think we realized how intense his struggle really was until he passed and then read his journal. There, it is very apparent that it was not just depression or a fascination with death but a default and a constant struggle, likely the only thing that made any real sense.