The sun will come out, this morning.

I think yesterday (Thursday) was the rebound day that was needed after how rough Wednesday was for me.  That’s the worst part of bipolar, especially when it’s paired with anxiety.  There are the ups, and then there are the downs.  I know you’re saying to yourself, that’s life.  But – bipolar is about surviving life on a much sharper incline.  And I’m feeling good today 🙂

Yesterday I was the recipient of one of the kindest acts I’ve ever received, and I think it is part of my bounce back.  This person did something so kind and so unsolicited that it struck a really strong chord (this will sound extreme, but it’s true) in my soul.  There is lots of good in the world.  There are kind people, there are kind acts happening every day, and there are good things carrying forward every day.

I’m figuring out slowly but surely that part of my survival (along with the recipe that includes my medicine cocktail, my blog-therapy, my connection to a source of spirituality (I’m LDS and it’s very important to who I am) is finding the good out there.  It helps me see that even when I’m having a dark day the sun in shining on other people in the world.  My situation is not an all encompassing one, you know?  As much as it does indeed feel like that when I’m in the midst of a depressive state, it does not shape the realities of the world around me.  Again – there is still good happening in the world on an every day basis.

My happiness is rightly or wrongly the result of a strong day to day effort to see that good that is happening around me.

Music is good to me.

My job is good to me, and for me.

My family is very good to me, and for me.

My mental illness has been good for me.  It’s given me the ability to see the world in a much sharper lens, and with eyes that I otherwise would not have been able to use.  It helps me see the sun in greater contrast, so that (like I wrote about last) I can truly appreciate the sun when it does come out from behind life’s dark clouds.

Life can be good.

Life is good.

The sun is shining today – let’s go enjoy it.



You must have the dark to know the light.

Walking through Costco with my strangely demure children, and all the sudden the room starts spinning and I can’t breathe evenly.

Standing inside a flippin’ Sherwin Williams store waiting for my purchase to be completed, and I feel that ball of ice in my stomach, and a ringing in my ears.  I was seconds away from just walking out of the store when the employee finally finished my transaction.

Sitting in the recliner in my bedroom, because I was hiding from the world anyway, listening to a conference call for work and again, the ball of ice.

Prepping dinner for my family, and suddenly I feel like I need to go and curl into a ball and just try to stay alive, because breathing is just too much.

So …

It’s particularly tough to deal with this today after the peace I had yesterday.  It’s particularly tough to be ok with this at all, and not feel like it’s a large and disappointing step backwards.

But …

I’m grateful for this community of readers.  The interactions that I saw yesterday help(ed) me feel like there is support, and that this reality of mine is not an abnormal thing.

I’m grateful for this tool, this blog of mine.  The name of it holds true – Which Me is Me.  It’s truly a daily thing, figuring out which me is going to be me for the day.  Days like yesterday help me through days like today, and make it ok.

I think in some ways, days like today have to happen.  And it sucks.  But they have to happen.  The clouds have to cover the sun so you can appreciate the brightness when it comes.  Plants, animals, and humans … in short, everything, has to have brightness to survive.  We can’t do it all, all the time.

I can’t do it all, all the time.  There will be times when the bad side of my brain wins the day.  But I am in this for the long haul.  Survival isn’t a one time short term thing.  It’s a day-in, day-out long haul effort, and that’s my game.  Survival.

Peace is …

  • Sitting outside on the porch in this unseasonably amazing Texas weather and watching your kids play and be happy together.
  • Being able to work from home during the acclimation period to this medicine, so that I can a) accomplish what needs to be done for work and b) get used to these blessed pills in a safe place.
  • Sleeping in your own bed for two weeks after nearly a solid month on the road (my crazy schedule, remember?
  • Surviving this crazy disease, and being able to live well.  I remember writing last year that bipolar is no longer a death sentence, and damn it … it’s not.  I am resolved to live, and live well.
  • Finding new tools and resources to help the survival go better and better.
  • Turning on some calming music and blogging.
  • Being able to connect with other people “like” me through various mediums.
  • Having peaceful moments of actualization – is that a word? appropriately used? – with my family, where this all feels ok.  Those are happening more and more, and it brings that peace, and that will to survive that we are all looking for.



Ready to begin.

Of course, it’s a reference to another (Avett Brothers- who else) song.

I’ve been at home from travels now for ten days and will be home for five or six more and it’s been a nice time to pause and take a breath. I also think, given the realities I’m facing with starting meds again that it’s good and important to be home and in a safe calm environment for a small window of time. So … it’s hard to be home, but I think it’s the smart play.

At this point in my mental health experience, I’ve realized that every action I take needs to be moving me towards survival, you know? Survival to me means living as close to relapse free as possible. Survival to me means finding something close to normal and being able to camp out there. I believe that I can get there, and stay.

There’s been a lot of talk in the news lately about mental health. Johnny Manziel announced through a special on ABC I think it was, that he suffers from bipolar as well. Then a few days back Kevin Love, of the Cleveland Cavaliers put out a post about his challenges with anxiety and experience going through therapy. It’s been really great to see these quote unquote famous people come forward with the same issues that I have been through. It’s helped take away some of the self imposed stigma seeing other people who’ve gone through what I’ve been through.

That brings me back to where we started today. I’m ready to begin (again).

To begin living fully.

To begin loving fully.

To being seeing life fully, through the lens that I’ve been given.

To begin being me.


Write to live.

With apologies for my pendulum-Esque writing habits, I open tonight’s entry thinking that I could be in a place where I blog as much as some people tweet. It’s funny as you go through Twitter or Instagram – honestly not so much Facebook – and see how frequently a lot of people post. There are times when the frequency is downright intimidating.

I began this blog a little more than a year ago to help me be able to survive all that was going on in my heart and mind. I was fresh off the closest I’d been to a successful suicide attempt. I was weeks into a life altering mental health diagnosis. I was those same weeks into the world of antipsychotic medicines and figuring out those side effects and living through them. There were times then, and certainly have been since, that my mind literally felt like it was on fire. And to survive, I wrote.

Writing always has this sort of leveling effect on me. I come into myself more when I’m writing – it gives me a reason to figure out the details of what is happening in whatever particular moment, you know? In short it helps me survive. The world seems to slow down its turn on the axis as I write.

Even now, at the end of a good mental health day – but a bad medicine side effect day – I turn to writing, to be sure I can survive.

When I say survive, I don’t mean that I’m moments away from taking my life. I mean survive the current mental anguish and live on to face the next one. Survival for me is being able to face the day with all of its ups and downs, with all of its good and bad moments, and see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Sometimes that light is a train coming because tomorrow will be another heavy day. But there are other times that the light at the end of the tunnel is the beginning of a good cycle for me, where I can see the world around me for what it is.

Mental health diagnoses come in all shapes and sizes and levels of severity. Mine definitely ranks up there on the spectrum, but luckily I’ve had a very instructive first year of living with this. I feel like I have a handle on what it takes to survive, and more importantly, to live.

That’s why we are all here right? To live, and to live well.

And of course, to write about it.


Deja vu, all over again.

Well friends, I have to apologize for the three week hiatus.  There are periods of the year where I travel extensively for work and February was one of them.  Of the 28 days of February, I slept in my own bed six times, and spent one whole night sitting up in the DFW rental car facility.  Crazy times, right?  My job is amazing though, and I love what I do so that helps make up for the craziness that sometimes engulfs everything that is going on.

Beyond being gone most of the month, I also found myself under the boot heel of manic depression more so this month than any time in recent memory.  If you remember, I decided to stop taking meds the first week of January, so we are all roughly 10 weeks of no medicine at this point.  It was something tactile that I could feel growing in my mind and heart nearly every day in the month of February, and honestly on up through today as I write this.  The mania would rear it’s head, I’d plug right into it.  That’s the best and the worst part of my job – it lends itself 100% to a manic existence.  The come down has always been bad, especially now that I know what those feelings and emotions are.  It’s extra tough though, when you’re coming off of a manic high in a different state, or time zone, or even at 35,000 feet flying to one destination or another.

I will say this, thankfully:  Despite the ascendance of the manic depressive wave, I’ve not gotten back to the dark dark place I was in last February and March where I wanted to hurt myself.  To this point I’ve been able to catch myself from sliding that far down, and for that I’m grateful.

Now, to finish the rewind and bring you fully up to speed … Monday I went to my general practitioner and got back on meds.  Same prescription that I had back in the fall, same dosage and everything.  I just did not like the psychiatric care office I was going to and I couldn’t stomach going back there.  Truth be told, that’s part of why I quit medicine, you know?   If nothing else, I’ve certainly learned over the last 14 months that I control my mental health treatment and no one else.  It felt good to take the reins a little bit and get care from a safe comfortable space.

I found an article the other day, more of a compilation really, that talks about what bipolar feels like, and I wanted to share it with yall.  Give it a click and hopefully you can gain some level of understanding.

After two days of being back on meds, it’s like deja vu all over again.  The side effects are back, the resentment at the side effects are back, and it’s just really a tough spot right now.  It’s certainly not easy.  My trust in myself, that somewhere deep down a part of me knows that I’ve made the right decision, is what I’m leaning on as I go through this first few weeks.  They say it takes 3-6 weeks for the medicine to be fully in your system and working … here’s hoping my brain takes the under, and not the over, eh?

In the meantime, I’ll survive.   With my music, and my coping, and most importantly my family.

I’ll survive.


Happy Bipolar Birthday

“Well, this looks like a case of bipolar disorder with attached severe anxiety.”

One year ago today those words stopped my heart, and my world, all in one quick moment.  I had gone into the psychiatrist’s office knowing that something was wrong – that the last suicide attempt could have been the final one.  Things were spinning rapidly out of control in my life, and I needed to find the bottom so I could start the bounce back.  That office visit was without doubt, the rock bottom worst moment of my life.

So much changed with those few words.  My perception of the world, my relationships with my family, my professional being – it all changed.  I have had to figure out who am again.  It was like putting on a pair of glasses that you know you need, but it still takes time to get used to wearing.  Immediately post diagnosis the world seemed to slow down with the rush of medicines coming into my life, starting with a therapist, and trying to still – you know – work at my job that was paying the bills.  It was hard, and for quite some time I felt like I was walking around, living my life even, while wearing a set of cement shoes.

Never in my life, either before or since, have I felt what I felt those first few weeks of taking medicines.  Knowing now what I do – the original prescription was the wrong one for me, and unfortunately it took two more rounds of medicine hell to finally find one that wasn’t killing me from the inside out.  Before we landed on the solution though, things got so bad that I chose to check myself into a mental health treatment facility to be safe.  The five days that I spent inside that place were at once nightmarish and life changing.  I learned a lot in that experience; about myself, about my disorder, and about how to deal with my new life as someone with bipolar disorder and anxiety.

When I came out of the facility, several key things had improved: 1.) I had finally found the right medicine and had worked through the initial effects, 2.) I had learned valuable coping skills from caring and competent professionals, and 3.) I felt more comfortable than I had before with my new reality.

Fast forward now from April of 2017 when I left the facility to February of 2018.

As I’ve talked about before recently, I made the decision in early January of 18 to stop taking medicine.  I wanted to exert control in my life, and felt like I “had it,” so I decided to stop.  Six weeks later, I openly and honestly admit that I made a mistake.

It took about 3 weeks, but slowly the feelings and emotions from January and February of last year returned.  They’ve been in varying degrees, and thankfully not constantly, but they’ve been there – more so every day.  A few days ago, I came to a realization that I can’t do this on my own.  For better or worse, I need medicine to control who I am.  Here’s the biggest change from a year ago though, and it’s what I try to hang my hat on when I think across all that’s happened.

Knowing who I am and what I have doesn’t upset me anymore.  I’m not fond of the reality of having to take medicine to survive, but I’m on board with it.  At this point in my life as someone with bipolar disorder, survival is the ultimate goal.

I survived the first year of this.  I did it.

One year down, eternity to go.


Music, again.

I went on the search for something real.
Traded what I know for how I feel.
But the ceiling and the walls collapsed
Upon the darkness I was trapped
And as the last of breath was drawn from me
The light broke in and brought me to my feet.

-February Seven, by the Avett Brothers


Medicine.  Again.

After just shy of six weeks of being without it, I’ve come the conclusion that I can’t do without it.  That’s part of why I’ve been leaning so hard on music – among other things – the past week.  I need help grounding myself, and making sure that I keep my feet firmly on the ground and my head out of the clouds.  Music has been a life save when it comes to that need in my life.  Medicine will be the big difference maker though, unfortunately.

I’m figuring out that my reasoning for going off meds was a control thing.  Faulty though it may have been, the idea of me not taking the medicine was an attempt to exert some control over my life.  It’s funny how something as routine as taking pills every night at the exact same time could feel like it’s out of control – but it did.  I’m sure that every other bd sufferer out there feels the same way – like all semblance of control has been lost due to the structure of a treatment plan.  But that’s also the false premise, you know?

I need the medicine in me to be able to keep control.  The ups are too high, the downs are too low, and fast is too fast.  There is no control there, in that existence.  One of the major downsides to psychiatric care though, is that it takes 2-4 weeks to get in to see a doctor for a prescription.

So.  In the absence of medicine …  Music.



I’ve spent the last three days hosting a conference with my company in sunny South Florida. It’s been fun to be in a nice hotel, eat fancy food, and it’s been fun to do the work aspect of this as well. My job involves higher education so I’ve spent these last three days with professors from colleges and universities across the country.

These particular professors are all super passionate about their subject matter. I was actually part of the team who helped build this group of attendees out, so it was really gratifying to meet these people and spend time with them. We had Ph.Ds, department chairs, division coordinators and more at this conference, so again, it was a really good cross section of people.

They all got me thinking though, about the idea of passion. I mean, these folks were coming out of their chairs during group discussions so it was really something to see. Their particular discipline – sociology – may seem at first glance to be something that isn’t pertinent, but they love it with every fiber of who they are you know? As i saw them so passionate about a segment of academia, I really wanted to do an inventory of my spell to see where I’m passionate about life, you know?

What am I passionate about? What matters most to me? What am I willing to come out of my chair to defend, to argue in favor of, and to discuss with others? I think I know those answers but it’s always insightful to do an internal review of self you know? If you can’t live passionately, in all aspects of life – what’s the point?


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