Becoming a Literary Exhibitionist

Exhibitionism at it’s finest calls for a complete strip down – but like most nudity, sometimes those watching would prefer the clothes stayed on. Authors must dangle and hope the meat on display attracts the eye. Easier perhaps when your life is wrenched from the most vivid hallucinations of Jack Kerouac and Hunter S. Thompson then run through the Douglas Adams’ improbability drive. Prodded with LSD and electrified glow-sticks into the Minotaur’s lair to play. Surely that would entertain?

This is a lifelong dream, a Purpose or a calling that I’ve never been able to just put ahead of everything else. Please share, and thank you for taking the time to browse. Thank you.

IndieGoGo – Crowd Funding Effort

empath-imagery

Insomniac in the Morning

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Another night is gone,

The goddamn birds are chirping,

And while I think I was productive,

I’m sure it wasn’t worth it.

My eyeballs ache from skullbound flashes,

Each tendon in my body is moaning,

The sun and sky are so bright with light,

That “back inside” seems to be an order instead of what’s right,

I hang back at the door, or sheet, or flap,

Screwing up my mind and face to think about,

Why despite the price,

I race the setting rays into the West,

A challenge that bears no chance to win and promises self inflicted malice.

Yet….

It feels so nice to taste the liquor of the stars,

While moonlight drips down as whimsy scented honey,

Transforming us all into the Cosmos serving bar.

Thick blue hued amber smoked into an untouchable glow,

Spirit boosting tinsel to top our nightly gifted box.

Conjures whims and true lunacy,

Sets the true Faithful afloat,

In a boat atop the inbound light.

So freeing,

So, so, slow.

Is BiPolar Mania a Drug to an Addict?

From a general standpoint, every mental illness (at least in my experience) offers it’s afflicted a slightly varied experience from the next in line. The numbers rattle off to “BiPolar Disorder Type I – Last Manic Episode Severe w/o Psychosis.” Next up is the well beloved Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) rounding out with Borderline Personality Disorder for good measure.

In a world of “medicated everyone” not many people blink an eye when the sack of pills comes out. Though in a strangely uncomfortable way it occasionally strikes me to explain what they’re all for and watch them adjust their demeanor in that so common and anxiously polite manner I’ve come to expect.

Here’s the kicker. When I was running a sales organization with a 150 reps, and quotas, plane travel 5 days a week – outside of the unchecked alcoholism at the time – you would never have known. The counselor that has finally found a checkmark next to his name for me continuously tries to reinforce that the mania can be used as an asset, a tool.

That’s where the differentiations come in for all of us.

In the early stages, mania feels like the beginning of fearless adrenaline rush without any edge. Endless possibilities are all within easy reach potentially. The stacks of chaotic problems encroaching all around are not only solvable but nearly laughable in their simplicity. With a blossoming confidence that transcends arrogance to simply become conviction that ANYTHING that I want to do right now I could do. Usually, I start walking, headphones in, my face will become unable to hold onto anything but a ear splitting toothed smile as I laugh out loud looking at the oncoming traffic. Air crisps or whistles across my skin. It’s the first moment you meet a new woman, it’s the first cigarette in the morning, it’s a tank of gas in the car and a world to explore, and it’s far to exquisitely perfect to be sustainable.

For me, this is where it starts. To the reader, if you felt as though there was nothing you couldn’t accomplish, the world was your oyster for a day – would you find it tempting to hold onto that?

Challenge #1 with comorbidity and dually diagnosed:

  • Regardless of consequences, addiction says “If it feels good, do it. Do it again….”
  • Mania can feel equally as potent as the strongest narcotics, with the same hazing of rational cause/effect evaluation.

The logical outcome is the circular pattern of up, down, feel bad, look for other options. Recovering from addiction is reliant almost entirely on the willingness to simply hand in the weapons and stop fighting. Surrender to the reality it is a losing fight, and if you stay away from using, you are on your way to brighter things.

Mania is deceitful though. Sure, it’s easy to throw an ungodly sum of anti-psychotics down someone’s throat until the pattern may well be nearly impossible to repeat. It could be argued on some level, that while a Thorazine shuffle isn’t a high quality of life, if it’s sufficient to overcome the initial hurdles of early sobriety without a high flying manic swing knocking you off the tracks, I don’t know how hard I’d argue against it.

That said, I’m a stubborn and foolish individual who continues to bolster the thought that, “If we just edge down the manic swings a touch so that I don’t feel like me I bet it would work…”

The reality is that I’m trying to stay high without thinking of it that way directly. My brain will pull magnificently orchestrated rationalizations out of the neurons they were stuffed for a rainy day until I’m willing to concede, that maybe, just maybe, this time everything will balance out. This is where the big kicker comes into play.

Challenge #2 deals with facts:

  • Not only do I know that I can do anything while manic, I’ve proved it to myself so many times over that it feels like I’m reliant on the mania to accomplish anything. Without tipping off into psychosis (which I’m blessed to not endure), in full blown mania, I truly will be the bizarrely entertaining, wildly offensive yet endearing, crazy charismatic and charmingly maniacal life of any party. FYI – sales is both a great and terrible place to put this to use.
  • Factually, I know that I only will have about 1-2 days of the enjoyable mania before it starts to turn me into something wildly unpredictable, sleep deprived, and consumed with a NEED for more – which inevitably leads into the cycle all over again.

 

I had written something try and put it in perspective for my poor parents who have watched this for 15+ years. Mania tried to capture all the blended excitement and frustration attendant with the feeling.

In essence, as everything builds up further and further, I force myself into a corner where the only outcome is going to be using my own self prescribed medication, or face another hospital which in the throes of mania seems completely ludicrous.

I recognize that the world looks at the series of insane adventures that have certainly occurred, the days without sleep, the spontaneous flights of fancy and even actual flights as something only a “crazy” person would do. Certainly, there is an element out of the norm, that’s why I’m taking medication and working on counseling in the first place. But for all the oddness, I delude myself with imagining that there is an element of jealousy beneath the demeaning words tossed around.

When things fade down, I’m always certain to get right back into the cycle with meds, visits, check-ups, retrospection. Invariably when the cycle completes I’ve lost my job, money is gone, probably overdosed once, and I’m homeless and coming back to family with my hand out. There is an absolutely bittersweet element to everything related to the upswings in BPD (much as I’m sure there are to the down as well).

This is not a life that I want to lead. I am working to follow the directions and accept the help of those still willing to offer it. So often though – just like with drugs and alcohol – all the progress fades away when the world takes on that special hue, sharpens up, and the rush comes on. I’ve lost homes, my wife, family, my life 6x (god bless Narcan), and even access to see my children for fear I’ll disappear again and leave them devastated. In the same breath, I left my pregnant wife nearly bankrupt and verging on foreclosure before she divorced me, and since, there are wide oceans of wreckage that spill against the happy homes of those that dared to care.

If you happen to see someone else having the time of their life while they pour gasoline on everything they’ve worked so hard for – speaking from experience – the smile is masking a far greater pain and frustration then is easily seen.

Tears from laughter and tears from misery both look the same.

This was originally written as an awareness building essay for another site that didn’t use it, so I’ll feed myself (and anyone who cares to listen to me prattle) the leftovers. Thank you for reading, and I really would love to hear your thoughts on the topic. ~S

The Rules

 

ADULT:

“Thanks for the signpost there world,

Good to know where the cliffs and hot stoves are,

I’m not sure I totally understand all the reasons why,

But that’s okay – keeps me from getting hurt.”

“TEEN”

“Your rules suck,

You don’t understand me or what I need at all,

I know enough to know I’ll be fine which means you just don’t get it.

I’m absolutely going to get away with it, maybe, if I know I won’t get caught.”

CHILD:

“Why?

What will happen?

I’m probably going to be upset even if you tell me,

But eventually I’ll trust why you say no,

Be patient because I’m still learning.”

ADDICTS:

“You put up a something in front of me and now it’s in my way,

There are a million reasons that I need to be over that obstacle and you don’t understand or really appreciate them anyways,

I’m different from you in so many ways that I can barely imagine what that rule is about,

Doesn’t really matter much because I’m going to do what has to be done anyways,

If that means I have to explain why i did it afterwards,

The rules are there to be broken anyways,

Loosen up and just let me do what I want to,

This is happening one way or another so help me or just move aside,

Fuck it.”

BI-POLAR (Type 1) FULL MANIA:

“Interesting that you feel that way,

However because you don’t understand that this is connected to the three things I’m working on here which are actually very important to you it must be a mistake that this obstacle is here and I will have to just go around it or through it or maybe change how I see it so that its not actually there at all,

That first push didn’t really work and now I’m really quite angry at this entire arrangement and the ways that is is keeping me from doing what I should actually be doing right now so I’ll have to do this again and more clearly figure out how to get this done like only I can do,

Alright, I’m way more clever then you and this is total bullshit that you’re still in my way despite this fascinating understanding I have of what the other side of this looks like and how good its going to be,

Fuck, I kind of forgot why I wanted to do this in the first place, but there’s a lot of pressure around me getting it done and I made a decision to do it originally for some reason that will surely become clear since nothing bad will be able to happen to me after I take the steps that I’ll figure out when I get to that point and anyways this is way more important then the reasons why you think I shouldn’t especially since I could do anything damn near perfectly right now and that looks like a lot of fun,

Get out of my way or I’m going to snap and that’s not going to be pretty.

I’m just going to do this now.

Wow, that was interesting, but look, another wall, I bet there’s something pretty cool behind it….”

Melancholy for Anya

A minimal background here….the young girl in the photograph is my daughter. Because of both my actions leading up to the divorce and subsequent relapses, along with a “less then friendly” civility between the mother and myself – I have only seen her once in the last year and change. She’s about a year and a half to put it in perspective. 
Anya's Big Blue Eyes (2)

Some sing songs of longing,

Blazing with desire to find or be found.

A lonesome call to remove the isolation,

From the desperate state of silent night.

For others,

Absent are the sounds once felt.

Or missed because of poor choices.

To have loved and lost is a blessing,

To lose a love over choices given away,

Hurts the way that pain self-inflicted does.

Unswayed by pleas for mercy,

Nowhere to misdirect the blame.

I want to know my daughter,

But all I feel is shame.

Not at the beauty she is sure to be.

Surely not at the creative gleam in her eye.

Not her brilliant hand that will craft a world,

Or her soft skin that will feel the kiss of life daily.

The shame is a shattering indulgence.

A reminder striking loudly of what could have been,

Of where I should have been.

Wanted to be, and missed the closest moments with her –

And those can never be reclaimed.

Because she doesn’t know who daddy is –

And maybe doesn’t even know that I’m not there.

I’m sorry Anya.

I love you even if we aren’t together yet.

 

Small note – even though I only have a short call with her and my son weekly, she spit out a “dada” for me. 🙂

Deceitful Beauty – still….

These lovely pictures were taken in Bahia de Kino. This Sonora, Mexico seaside community is home to some wonderful and amazing individuals, and once housed the  long term “troubled youth” program which so scarred those of us fortunate enough to be placed there. Long since closed, Positive Impact was such a credit to the international family of behavior modification programs popular at the time, there is a Facebook page dedicated to the “survivors” of the intense psychological and emotional torture enjoyed by the teens kept there.

While I’d like to think that I’ve completely forgiven my unknowing parents for the 1-year+ I spent there, the damage still lingers. To the now magically disappeared operator, from the bottom of my heart, “fuck you John Anderson.”

  

    
    
    
 

Crazy by the Numbers- thanks DSM (official)

296.43 meet 314.01 and 301.83….you’ll mesh well with the periodic cocaine and amphetamine induced psychosis.

More info, more “understanding” – knowledge is worthless without a way to apply it. Anyone else deal with frustration of the labels on labels that get applied to them via the doctoral circuit?

In The Yard

Blistering heat from a liquid sun,

That has burned up thoughts,

My eyes, their soul and my fun.

What brought on this sanguine approach?

Lost crouching and encroaching on sad joys and lost hope,

I’ve spun out my wheels into newly made glass,

Sand heated to molten,

Razing a shimmering patch.

Skidded to halt over stones constructed as ruts,

My misery shines through soaked in blood, tears, and guts.

Systematic breakdown of holy while high,

Head snapping, throat shaking, body trembling, while I –

Stagger to golden notes,

Choke quietly on the last strand of hope,

Chase goals through my screams,

Praying each daymare fades to a dream,

Balance desperately on life’s beam.

Stable for now,

Scared to say how.

Each breath shoves me closer to the edge,

Welling up my sweet desperate pledge,

To my kids and myself –

“I’ll change this life to a road followed out of hell.”

My mind and spirit can shatter,

Leave me mad as Alice’s hatter –

And though clouds block her burn,

To touch that blistering heat of our liquid hot sun,

Is to what I aspire and yearn.