Tag Archives: Bipolar

On Writing


Before the love of writing started I began with reading lots and lots of books – all kinds really.  Then for a few years came book reports.  I enjoyed breaking down a story as well as making drawings for the report cover, particularly as a way to stand out from the rest of the classmates.  After book reports I started to write around the age of 9.

I wrote short stories back then, mostly horror because my family was big on watching horror films and I needed an outlet for my reoccurring nightmares.  So I wrote and wrote and each time I felt my heart become more and more alive.  I remember I enjoyed writing not just because I felt full of life, but because all my teachers said I was good at it.  And whenever someone gave me constructive criticism I was determined to get better.  Eventually I won a writing medal at elementary school because of that attitude.

In Junior High I would go on to write graded screenplays for the entire class to act out on.  By seventh grade I turned my attention to deeper writing like journaling and confessional poetry and during this time short stories were put on hold (and for the most part still is) as my writing began to take on a form of therapy.  With being a loner and feeling like an outcast from family and school, I learned to create friendships with my writing.  Then in later years, I learned about blogging.

So, even though I wouldn’t change a thing, it wasn’t until very recent that I realized I tend to write predominantly when I’m feeling glum (manic), bitter, displeased, enraged or dispirited.  Then of course there are the feelings of when I’m hyped, full of mania (highs) and excitability with huge shots of adrenaline when I train before, during or after.  Once in a blue I write when I’m happy, obsessive or in love too, but my heart lies with writing sorrow first.  So what’s the dilemma?

One dilemma is I believe I’ve limited myself to writing with and/or about certain emotions, so when I’m actually happy I find it difficult to write or get inspired to write.

During the time I was on a mood-stabilizing pill I stopped writing for 3 months completely (which is absurd), not just because it changed my persona to a degree, but because I had less bipolar episodes, less sadness, less excitability, less highs and lows.  I was somewhere in the middle, but not quite.  I wasn’t necessarily happy, but wasn’t necessarily sad.  Maybe neutral? But it made it difficult to find any drive to write.  Now, I’m trying to come up with solutions and creative ways to write about anything and everything to push myself over the boundaries I’ve created.

The second dilemma aside from finding inspiration through negative tone emotions is I started working on a book (a novel).  But, the problem for me is I stopped writing short stories decades ago, so I doubt my abilities since I’ve been out of practice.  Writing in narrative, I find to be more difficult than say, writing a poem, prose or a blog.  This is another challenge I’ve been trying to work on AND I’m open to suggestions from anyone who is kind enough to share.

Thanks for reading.

-Pennington

Individuality of One


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I don’t want to teach.  I don’t want a leech.  I don’t want you hanging over my head like a gorgeous chandelier.  I don’t want you knowing anything about my severe bipolar gears.  I don’t want your arm wrapped around mine.  I don’t pine when impermanence is exorbitant and stands like an almighty saint on my shrine.

I don’t want every moment to be bursting of sunrays.  I don’t want to use you for every essay.  I don’t want your breath around me twenty-four hours a day.  I don’t want any part of your happiness or your pity party or blame.  I don’t want to share our pains and heavy existential hurricanes.  I don’t want to be the “ex” to your exclaim.

I’m not into pacts by blood or marriages and certificates.  I’m not into the mothering and the smothering of willingness.  I’m not into decreasing my space into a tiny box to suit anyone or anything because I am ubiquitous.  I’m not into cuddles that make a person feel connected to humanity.  I’m not into systems manufacturing normality.  I’m not into turning a blind eye to lesser insanities.

I’m not into him and hers and the chest of drawers.  I’m not into sacrificing my time and energy for you and yours.  I’m not into folklore when trying to coexist has been known to set across great wars.  I’m not into careless tongues that mouth everything undone. I’m not into romantic love and the drug it promises only once you dare to plunge.  I’m not into the togetherness of us, but the individuality of one.

Pennington

MEDS


drugs

God.  I apologize to everyone.  I haven’t been inspired lately.  I write on the side when I can (and I suppose I can put up all my Part 2 postings that were to be continued despite how awful they read?), but it’s hard to feel like I can write something blog-worthy and share it with the rest of you guys.  I can only write from the heart or what I’m personally experiencing at the moment so I’ll share some recent events with you’s. How’s that?  Thanks for reading!

*

I’ve been on an interesting ride these last few years when it comes to seeing therapists and psychiatrists.  At the age of twelve I was diagnosed with Depression.  I had old features, black circles under eyes, razor cuts on my arms and protruding ribs from starving myself at the time to show for it.  However, decades later it seemed I’ve graduated a few years ago (2013) because now new psychiatrists and therapists have diagnosed me: Bipolar.  This explains all the wicked instant mood swings, triggers that were really landmines and how come many of my relationships as well as friendships have failed.

Of course I debated with these so-called experts about nature and nurture because I’m suspicious of everything and everyone that isn’t me.  I debated about all the things that come from my family’s blood and all the things that come from social disease and conditioning.  Still, in the center I fought with myself and knew the truth: There were cracks in the instances and in between all these instances is where I was getting worse.

I’d go into subterranean dark places for leisure, fun and to isolate myself from the world.  I’d write in essays, poems and prose my suicidal ideations which continued from childhood.  I’d meet with a new friend called anxiety again and again and again questioning the past, present and future concerning everything that became (or was) broken.  Was I going to make it another day in this physical realm? My other good friend (since I was 5) came knocking hard on my door and I’d go through all my cycles of chronic loneliness, hopelessness and meaninglessness and stare at the bottomless grief that arrives to taint and place a million holes in my mind, spirit and heart.

Those cracks in the instances became clear as well as my past history when I was going through one of my most tragic experiences at the age of 12 – signed over to two mental hospitals for over six months – I was fed medication for the supposed imbalances in my brain.  First was Prozac, and then came Lithium.  And of course, I didn’t agree with medication being fed to anyone less than 18 years of age, but my mother didn’t share the same views as her 12 year old.  I had zero control as any kid does at that age and was subjected to doctor’s tests, special diets, wondering what was love and how did it look like and was it true I wasn’t normal and these two medications would be the cure everybody else was looking for?

Prozac made me hyper – so hyper that cartwheels became my favorite thing to perform.  I couldn’t stop!  However throughout the day I’d have hallucinations (of what? I don’t remember anymore – but I’m sure I wrote about it in a lost book for the universe to know) and during the night when I closed my eyes to go to sleep I’d have white flashes come over my eyes like strobe lights.  And when I finally fell into deep sleep, the nightmares were horrible – once I dreamt of giving birth to a demonic alien baby.  (Why would a 12 year old dream of having a baby?)

After the hyperactivity, doctors thought to give me Lithium because my grandmother took it and they had reason to believe it succeeded. (I’m not sure how?)  But something tells me this was all a plot for me to lie on their silver platter to undergo a Spinal Tap procedure.  Lithium had its own issues and the dosage was higher – I had to take it 3 times a day.  With this medication came weekly blood work because mercury and other dangerous things a doctor wouldn’t inform you about were concerns. Then there were countless yeast infections my tiny body couldn’t handle.  Lastly, long-term usage meant my kidney and thyroid would be altered, better yet, damaged to a degree in the future.

So every time a current psychiatrist or therapist would bring up the idea of medication to balance the chemicals in my brain – it’s not a wonder why I would say FUCK NO for years on end!  But a few months ago before bringing on the New Year, I made one of the biggest decisions of my adult life and figured I’ll try medication to stabilize my moods and prevent sudden manic highs and lowly lows.  The reason why I decided to try it is because I’m committed to fixing all aspects of myself.

Then again, who’s to say I need fixing if it’s not someone outside me like a relative, a partner or a societal authoritative figure who keeps claiming there’s something about me I need to fix?

 

To be continued.

-Hall

The Girlfriend Experience


Some clients actually want this.
Some clients actually want this.

This title will be deceiving to some as there are types of professions that’ll give you the girlfriend experience automatically for their own reasons, but I picked this title because it describes my experience perfectly.  See, when your own therapist is trying to give you the girlfriend experience and it doesn’t involve great conversation, an evening gown, a sugar daddy or walking away with an orgasm – you have to question what is going on because some people like myself actually want real therapy.

I’m not looking to sit in somebody’s office and talk about what’s happening throughout my week on a weekly basis.  I don’t want to gossip about my life so the therapist could live vicariously through me.  I don’t want a girlfriend to laugh with that’s presented as a therapist to have offset conversations about my future with.  I don’t want to sit under jarring lights and speak about my opinions or views about my relationship and how does it feel to live with my partner and his two kids.

I don’t want to wait outside the therapist office only to hear loud laughs coming from behind closed doors because I want to KNOW and I want to SEE and I want to HEAR real therapy happen.  You know – the kind of therapy that leaves you crying, reflecting and even feeling lost in your own world by the thought-provoking questions and thoughts that should occur.

The truth is I don’t need to share my present or future plans with this therapist.  I don’t need the option to have a family therapy session.  I don’t need to replace a girl who is a friend because I don’t have any current (real life) girls who are friends anyway.  I don’t need my therapy session to be fun or lighthearted.  I don’t want to be in a niche I believe my therapist has – some kind of Women’s Club.

So the question is:  What do I want from therapy?

I want to stay stuck.  I want to stumble.  I want my thoughts to dig in their own graves if it means I’ll find a better understanding of myself.  I want to cry (if it goes there).  I want the therapist to do their job.  I want a therapist to put in time and effort by taking real opportunities to intentionally ruin my day with childhood trauma and life-altering questions.  I want a therapist who wants to make a difference in every client’s life.  I want to walk away from the therapist appointment feeling like I had a great therapy session and not like I had a fucking girlfriend experience.  I’m not there to be coddled.  I’m there for serious matters.

What I want from therapy is very specific and it has to be because there isn’t any other way to go about it.  I have a family history of mental illness.  Some behavior is learned, while others are given to me directly by blood.  I notice sometimes I’m managing okay, and other times I have to accept that I’m not.  I was diagnosed as a twelve year old kid with Depression.  Now it seems I graduated to being Bipolar.  It is important for me to understand my illness, my blessing and my curse.  And it’s super important for me to understand my behaviors and tics and why I switch into two different types of people without any awareness as to when it’s happening.

The point to all this is:  I remember clearly telling the lady who performed my evaluation exactly what I want(ed) as well as the first time I met and spoke with my therapist.

My therapist has a good nature about her (at times) despite being very different from me and my own life.  Still, I want a good therapist.  And I will get a good therapist because I’m not settling for less and because I’m not going to stop searching for one.  And as I walk away from the therapist office once again thoughts start to balloon collectively but singularly at once:  Why is it every time I’m early to my appointment and lounging in the waiting room I see the same aged clients (late 20’s- early 50’s) strolling out of my therapist’s office?  Why are all these women – whether they’re young or old laughing every time they leave the therapist office?  And why are all the therapists’ clients’ women?

Now the time has come where I believe I’ve fully given this woman enough of my time.  I’m never getting those months back.  Of course this is a learning experience for future therapists and future standards I’m going to set right in the beginning of my first therapy session which takes place next week because this bitch doesn’t play.  I did my goal: I stuck with a therapist for about 6 months because I’m like most men in the world – I have commitment issues.  Nevertheless I learned a lot.  Therefore this is where I break up with the girlfriend experience who is my therapist.

Some Final Notes

Some people have a problem with breaking up with people.  Fortunately and luckily, I do not.  I enjoy it, and frankly – welcome it!  I think about how my life has been about one big confrontation.  And luckily for me I love confrontations because it says a lot about the kind of person you are (or not).  I go on and think about the bases I have to cover in case this therapist decides to fire away questions because she doesn’t like my basic answer which is:  There’s something missing in our therapy sessions.

Along with confrontation I think about liberation.  Breaking up with a partner, wife, husband, business partner and such can be a fantastic release, even if it hurts initially.  I think about the freedom to speaking your mind and expressing what it is you really feel and think about right after moving on and never looking back because if it was good for you, you’ll still be in the relationship or in my case – sitting in a seat across from my therapist who wants to get paid to do half ass work.  I’m not wasting my time to get half ass results.  If a person isn’t driven for success by giving out quality work then why should I (or any other client) be around?

If the other clients don’t understand this, that’s not my problem, and as is, not every client wants what I want.  Some actually want to be coddled.  However, I’m leaving this therapist because I have self-love.  I wish she understood what it is she’s currently providing by not providing.  As a therapist, she should put in time and effort into improving and evolving her client’s lives unless they specified to have a girlfriend experience.

To be continued..

I broke up with my therapist and I liked it.

-Pennington

Vital Home


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I stretch long and strong and wide like a rainbow.  I have my colors back from my fair complexion – and the ones I deem underneath my skin – muscles.  I bask once again in the glory of my religion at the gym; eight months later after being snatch up from a break and fall accident.  I’m finally home.  And I welcome myself back with the eyes and psyche of a new foundation and fresh perspective that glitters like gold from the inside out with positivity and nourishment that stems from redefining everything in my life.

It’s been a long while – shy of four months to make a full year.  But now, I’m in my happy place where endorphins give way to my bipolar lows so I can obtain a high again.  The gym is where I center myself, where I create the magic concoction to establish balance and management of my historic chemical imbalances.  It’s where I get to feel the rush of heat on my chubby cheeks and where I get to unleash my every day aggression.  It’s where I thrive on the blood that swirls in burn and ache in every direction from the temple of my body and mind.

I’m once again grateful for all the higher powers that be for allowing me to feel my muscles with hurt on every movement I push without limits.  I enjoy each turn as I wince out of delight from a rotation where my oblique contracts and I involve myself in the flashback of yesterday:  Engaging full integrity on a few hours of work.  Because for a while I forgot how soreness felt.  I forgot about the subtle peaks in muscles.  I forgot about the way those peaks slowly raise with fever over the course of the night and the next forty-eight hours heavy with temper – delayed onset muscular soreness.

The truth is:  I can live with every part of my body given to the brutal pain of a committed lift.  I can dedicate my entire life to infinite repetitions.  I can die happy on my last breath being exerted against the resistance of iron, and the cerebral connection vital for my mental, spiritual and emotional therapy.  I mean, after all is said and done, the gym is a home dedicated to self-love, despite the general mundane (and sometimes) pieces of a day to day.  This is where my importance lies and one of the many things that gives my life character, spirit, purpose and beauty.

-Pennington

Family, Exposure & Monogamy


Somewhere between the age of twenty-nine and thirty I’ve learned to stop being super strong mentally and to stop being selfish when it comes to people who may not love me in the way common people hold on to their ideal definition of what it’s like to be family.  But things are what they are.  Many times it’s better if one understood sooner than later:  It’s okay to cutoff the systematic approach of over-complicating your life just because you FEEL it’s important or at the very least are filled with bottomless need of something (anything) to continually complain about because it consists of your selfishness and attachment to life.

The thing that bugs me out is how I had the type of childhood where I couldn’t wait to grow the fuck up.  So by the time I made it out my teenage years I ran away from my family as far as I fucking could hoping to deny who, what and where I came from.  (But never to the extent of my pathological liar brother who’s so shameful he tells everyone he’s from Greece.)  At first it was spectacular and I forgot somebody’s sperm and somebody’s egg created me.  In the middle of my twenties I had the hardest time forgiving my family when it was me I needed to forgive.  FUCK THEM!

Than some time last year until the present I realized just how much I’ve missed out on everybody else’s life like my one cousin who was shot 7 times by another man’s envy yet survived somehow.  Or how my other cousin has now been diagnosed with being bipolar and schizophrenic ever since he spaced the fuck out and shat in the living room of his house and started to finger-paint.  Then came my grandfather’s multiple heart attacks and aunt’s breast cancer.

Still what throws me for the biggest loop is catching up with my family brings me back to the thought of “Holy shit!  So I’m REALLY am a part of this dysfunctional family” especially when we started to share sex stories.  My aunt M (scratch that!) everyone in my family talks openly about sex in a way that is just like breathing air along with casual humor.

She starts out by saying how her last relationship was horrible and had to end it because the guy didn’t know how to fuck let alone eat pussy.  Than my mother chimed in with, “Why didn’t you teach him?”  “Aye no!  I don’t like teaching.”  I butted in, patted my mother on the back with a chuckle and said, “Well on my end it must be genetics.”  We all laughed, until my mother killed it by saying “My daughter must be the same good lover as me.”  ><

I can’t deny what lacks or breeds within me.  I’m bound by blood and shit.  Yeah, I know a lot of everything happens to be about exposure, and of course, about the very things we frequently collect such as our moral codes.  And I’m not sure, entirely why, I feel like speaking about this, except for the fact that it’s in the forefront of my mind but:  Monogamy.

Some people believe in it and others don’t.  Either way I believe it stems (typically and/or sometimes) from our introduction at home and no matter how anybody makes it seem Monogamy is a Personal Choice (and unnatural ;)).  Monogamy and I don’t get along simply because I look at this word and the baggage it comes with as a matter of possession, not of love or kindness.  And growing up I didn’t have anyone to help me look at it otherwise (nor do I want to at this point in time :D).

In my family, every single person I’m aware of cheats on their partner, spouse, lover, boyfriend, girlfriend with someone at some point of their lives whether they believed they had a good reason for it or not.  The other day I was telling my nonexclusive partner once again:  How I rather be in an open-relationship than the closed one we used to share for the thousand time.   And I used the story my aunt M told everyone in the kitchen to prove the point of why I feel I am the way that I am:  Her son (who’s her favorite by the way) calls her daily on the phone to speak about how he met someone (WHO IS NOT HIS WIFE) who has the fattest ass.

M never mentioned whether he’s already being unfaithful but goes on to say, “I can’t tell him he shouldn’t cheat or mess around with other girls.  He’s just twenty-three years old and married young with an 8-month year old baby.  He needs to experience and have his adventures.  But I tell him he has to delete all the text messages he sends out and receives quickly because his wife who’s already insecure about herself will leave him and she’ll never let me see my grandson again..especially if she found out I was giving him this kind of advice.”

I always felt that before you get into a “closed” relationship with anyone you should learn as much as possible about where their family comes from and what their core values are and what their culture reflects and yada yada yada.  Example:  I dated a Chinese man years ago and never knew I was dating an entire custom so deep that behind my back his toxic family would set him up on dinner dates with Chinese women for an arrange marriage in the near future.

Another important factor is just how great or poor their parenting skills are in terms of these great examples that are not to be taken likely and based on true stories:  Are they the kind of parents to help their children get away with actual murder, such as allowing their son/daughter to pass HIV to their current partner even though the entire family knows about it?  Or are they the type of parents who want the best for their children and actually guide them slightly into leading a fulfilling life with their girlfriend/boyfriend, but have enough decency to never personally conflict their own lives?

Lastly, no matter how much your husband/boyfriend or wife/girlfriend claims to not get along with their parents (like me!) children (no matter how old we become) tend to shadow their first little-known role-models.  It’s hard to be something we aren’t when we primarily are created in our parents image (or whoever we grew up with).  To avoid a situation like the story above (in a sense) it helps to know where your partner came/comes from because (more than likely – unless they experienced a traumatic experience that takes them completely out from who they were) that’s where they’re heading.  Unless again, you come from my family and it’s unfaithful exposure where it’s AUTOMATICALLY AND LITERALLY ENCOURAGED TO HAVE AN AFFAIR/CHEAT.

I’m not saying I condone awful behavior like cheating on your significant other and hope the secrets you’re busy covering up won’t catch up to you (because they will).  What I am saying is I have an understanding and a knack for why people decide to make the personal choice of being mindfully faithless according to the in’s and out’s of my family.  Key word:  Exposure.

Thoughts are welcome.

-Penn