Bipolar Disorder Takes a Friend

I can breathe a sigh of relief.  I now have all of the medications I need.  I no longer think I am headed down a path to the hospital because of a breakdown, as my psychiatrist suggested.  She did not know of my medication issue, however.  It is really uncomfortable to tell my psychiatrist that "Well...I took too much of this or that so I ran out at least a week ago...".  But then she is left with the impression I am on the edge of...night?

My friend committed suicide.

I still struggle with the word "friend".  It is as if I never really wanted to admit I had let my heart open up emotionally when we reconnected to admit that I was in any way attached and softened towards him.  Break ups can do that, even though yes, we were friendly towards each other and did confide somewhat in each other over hard and difficult subjects but never our romantic situations.  Nothing was ever, could have ever been anything more than platonic again between us.  I assume he had zero interest as well.  But I did care about him and his welfare, and he was interesting, entertaining, I appreciated his opinions, he had interesting viewpoints, so different than anyone I knew.  And..we had a mutual caring between us.  I think?

Sorry, rambling.  My mind tends to do that when I think of this.  We had known each other since the mid 90's.  Nine Inch Nails "I Want To F*ck You Like An Animal" had just come out, and the video was only played on MTV after midnight.  We went to Lollapalooza and saw Green Day, Smashing Pumpkins, and awesome bands like those.  That is the time in the 90's we dated, a great time for music, and we both loved music.

I never would have known what had happened to him, although I knew he went out of character radio silent, but his mother sent a message in Facebook, saying she had just gained access to his Facebook account and found messages of ours.  I checked, and the messages I have sound kind of excited about whatever was going on, lots of smileys, talking about Chicago, music, our pets, things friends talk about.  Other than finding messages, it would have been bizarre had she decided to send a message.  I had no idea who she was, did not recognize the name.  The last name was not the same, he never spoke of her, seemed to have contempt towards his family.  I definitely knew at the very least he rarely spoke to them and even more rarely saw them.

Since I knew him well enough and we'd had a brief May-September romance in the 90's, I had a sinking feeling about how he had passed away.  I had suspected towards the end that he had fallen into some kind of deep, dark hole of depression that at that time, I did not know nor understand.  It was not too long before Thanksgiving and I was worried, but took it as he was avoiding me, so that was that.  How else do you interpret something like that?

I replied to his mother's message, and she replied in a very long, rambling message that was SO much information and a lot to think about and process.  I had no idea how to respond, but my psychiatrist helped me with that, I was not ok at the time.  I told her I needed time after so much information and said the normal things people say when someone passes away.  But she even sent me a document that she said she believes led to his spiraling downward.  I guess he had been fired from his job.  Before that, he had been put on a performance plan, and he had created a rebuttal type of document to each one of the points in the performance plan.  It was really personal and I do not think he would want me to see that.  It will take some time, but I am sure in the future I will be glad I did.  It answers a lot of questions I have - about him, even about myself.

From the document, as well as from her, I found that he had bipolar disorder as well as an anxiety disorder.  BAM!  Just like that.  We really had the same mental disorders?  And he took his life?  It reminds once again how high risk those with bipolar disorder are for suicide.  I think it is 20% of people with bipolar disorder commit suicide.  Or...another way to look at it - one person in five.  She said he had started taking himself off of his medications, saying he did not like how they made him feel.  You know, that is one thing we never shared about each other.  Now I see, he was the one person I should have, yet at the same time, I see he was the one person I should have.  However, I did tell him I had been suicidal and hospitalized in the past.

I know that I have mentioned him many times in my blog - more than likely as the "angry atheist", probably wondered to myself what made him angry.  Now it does not matter, and has not mattered for quite awhile.  If we argued about it, I do not recall it, and do not wish to remember it if we did.  To the end, he believed what he believed.  He wanted to be cremated and his body given to science.

I struggled with that and mentioned it to my psychiatrist.  Surely she had an opinion because obviously - she treats his disorders because she treats ME.  That also means she must have had her share of patients who have committed suicide and that makes me so sad for her.  I would love a job where I helped people - but that is one HELL of a way to feel like a failure.  Sorry for the language, but holy shit.

Anyway, she has come to believe and has to believe that people who have such mental anguish, pain and torture (I actually think those are my own adjectives, I do not remember hers) must be at peace now.  She cannot imagine a God who would allow someone to go through so much pain to not now allow them  - their minds - to be at peace.

She did say - he did a good thing, giving his body to science.  He helped people.  True.

I have no idea why our lives kept colliding after the 90's.  Dallas is big town.  That has not happened with anyone else, not physically keep meeting each other like that.  I found once he was working in the same building that I was working.  When I saw him for the first time, it was such a shock, I think I just ran back to my office.

But we became friends, and caught up with each other's lives.  We were both in good relationships (he was the very first time I saw him again anyway) and I was amazed he found someone to put up with him, assumed he had really changed and was happy for both of them.  Sincerely - no reason to lie in my own blog.  Things like that do make me wonder if something is wrong with me, but now I see...uh...something was wrong with both of us!!

We then reconnected somehow, not sure, maybe the day or day before 9/02/10.  Yes, I realize that is a crazy exact day for me to remember.  We both loved Beverly Hills 90210.  I told him Happy 90210 Day and he thought that was so awesome.  I told him about Facebook, and he joined right away and it became such a big part of his life from that moment.

I think his very first post was actually "Happy 90210 Day".

Not sure what else there is to say.  Memories keep flooding so often.  I am absolutely pushing them away, pushing the pain away, I cannot deal with it.  I am not sure if it is appropriate to feel pain for another man when I am married, even though it is platonic, even when I have so much compassion finding out we had suffered the same illnesses...and no one else will ever share the memories I have with him.  That may be the most sad part.  I do not want to cry at 6:30 am so I will leave it at that.  Definitely the memories are the hardest part - what only we shared, especially music. that makes sense as well.  Perhaps that is why music was so important to him like it is to me.

Such a tragedy.

My psychiatrist told me (and I thought - hello?  I am sitting RIGHT HERE??) that she thinks that people who have bipolar disorder have a lifelong struggle between life and death.

A lifelong struggle between life and death.  That sounds really dramatic and I certainly do not struggle with it daily, although her comment did not elude to it being a daily struggle.

A lifelong struggle?  Maybe that is a fair statement.  And perhaps it was for him, and he lost the battle.  I really hope I am not motivated to write about this again.

It is just too painful to think about him, the way he passed away, and....well, everything.

Difficult Day - Or Is It How You Deal with It?

The last week (7 days, not M-Su), have been horrible.  Yes, others have had much worse weeks, I am positive about that.  What am I doing?  Why do I downplay how I feel and why?  I need to stop comparing myself and my feelings to others, it simply does not matter nor help me.

Others seem to have this figured out, but I never have.  When I receive a message from someone I do not know, I have no idea that I have received it.  This has happened to some extremely important messages - like the one that reconnected me to an entire side of my family that I had not spoken to since I was a child.

I removed Messenger from my phone last night, and suddenly in the Facebook app it showed I had messages.  I reinstalled, and new messages appeared from, of course, people I did not know.  Just three - spam it seemed and I started deleting.  The last one I almost deleted, but it was a woman so I paid more attention to her message.

I must have read it several times before my mind comprehended what it said.  She introduced herself as the mother of a a person I have known for about two decades, and told me he had "left us" in February.  She had found a message in his facebook messages from me and wanted to thank me for being his friend.

This is really hard to write about.  There is a lot more to this story, but concentrating on it deeply enough to write about it I now realize is difficult and painful.

I will continue the story when I am able.

I just happened to have a psychiatrist appointment this afternoon - after I spoke to his mother a second time.  It was a few hours after her last message so everything was fresh in my mind and I was trying to process the information and come to terms with something that not everyone is able to make right in their minds.

Lots of crying in my appointment, I cannot do this, just need to say -

My psychiatrist, not just because of this although of course it adds to my ever growing stress and mental anguish I have been experiencing, said I should figure out (and she helped me with this) how to lessen my load of wreaths that have been ordered and I need to create (trust me, so, so many that are late, and so many due by Thanksgiving), and not to take any more orders at least until after Christmas.

She explained why my actively managing my stress level (when possible) is important - for example, not selling so so so many wreaths like I did and am now overwhelmed. I have a lower tolerance for stress, because of my disorder.  It does seem like Mark will get really stressed, for extremely good reasons, but even then, he doesn't lose it and stay in bed for weeks, you know?  He is not a basket case, and I do not know why I am!  Why!!

Can't she just give me a pill for this?

She said if I had a job, she could tell me to take time away from work, but I am self employed and I can not do that.  So...we worked and are working on a plan.

She convinced me of it when she said...if you do not do this, you will have a breakdown and be in the hospital where you will not be able to make ANY wreaths.  Good point - if she really thinks that is where I am headed.

I thought a med change would fix it, but...while yes, she made an adjustment, she has made me see how very, very hard I am on myself.

Okay, that's it.  Spent.  Although all I DO is think about things I do not want to think about, and am constantly trying NOT to think about the things I am thinking about, it is so much worse thinking about them and writing about it.


I need to write about my friend though.  Friend?  That is a strange word, I am questioning my entire life.

Obsessed - I HAVE to know and I will NOT forget

I am really tired of this presidential election.  Maybe not for the same reason everyone else is, but it is very hard for me to read news stories in mainstream media.  I have been trying to step back for my own mental health..  Not out of anger,  but the anxiety it causes from using fear on both sides to manipulate the American public.  Using fear works to manipulate us, so I do not think my self awareness of feeling anxiety when I read political news stories is so strange.  Fear causes anxiety - right?  I have an anxiety disorder, so I am sure I am more cautious and aware of feeling anxious than those who do not deal with it daily.

There IS one news story I just cannot get enough of, and this does happen every now again, that I get so completely...perhaps obsessed with a story?  It has not simply just happened but been building over many weeks.

I know myself.  If the headlines disappear, nothing more is said, I will not forget.  If years go by and there is not an answer?  I will not stop searching until I find SOMETHING to satiate my mind.  I am just like that when I get like this.  I do not know why and trust me, I wish I could change this about myself.  Like a horrible itch that I cannot scratch, but way worse than that.

The Wikileaks story and Julian Assange.  Slowly my interest has been increasing.  I hate to write any type of political opinion in my blog but is it political?  Wait - yes, it is very political in the way it is being used, of course.  No doubt, no question.

This is absolutely what started my curiosity.

I have way more questions than any answers and zero conspiracy theories.  Just lots of questions.

Yes, it is political, the reasons and the timing of the email releasing.  Julian Assange has been very clear about that.

However - everything that has been released is true, they are actual emails that have been written by people, things they have thought, said, etc.  No one is really disputing that.  Nothing much besides.."I cannot recall that email?"

So what the frick?  Publicly threatening Russia with a nuclear war over this?  If they even provided Wikileaks the information at all? If it is over Syria, why publicly is it over emails?  Russian had 40 million people going through nuclear war drills - that amazes me.  Hopefully it is an empty threat, but if so, are we the new North Korea?  OR...even worse, will we actually take millions of innocent lives, including those of children, over emails said in confidence by Hillary's campaign?  I am doing my best to keep up with the email leaks, and I do not understand what is worth killing millions of people in a nuclear war.  To me, the leaks are embarrassing, ugly, and a good analogy is a hot dog.  You really do not want to see how it is made.  But a nuclear war?

But now...where is Julian Assange?  After years of Hillary being documented that she wanted him dead, where is he?  I am NOT a Hillary hater, FYI.  This was documented.  It was even said that a dead man can't leak information, but not by Hillary.  See, this is all just very weird.

I will not be so obsessed once I know where the freak he is and what happened to him, unless that is more of a mystery than it is now.

I am amazed that our government is going to such extreme lengths to silence this person, and I simply want to know...why?  If our country is trying to manipulate into thinking Russia is behind this by threatening them with a nuclear war (I am sure we all took it in different ways - obviously for me, I am thinking what the HELL? and thus started my path down the rabbit trail) and doing all they can to hunt him down, as if that would stop the information from being released...

...what more could happen to increase my interest as to what in the world they are trying to silence, and will I ever find out?

Those that want to stay stuck on being mad at Russia and not move on from that, fine - I really do not care how the information was obtained after the fact.  I just want to know what it IS that has the government absolutely freaked out.

I also wonder...if the leaks continue after the election, will the threat of a nuclear war to Russia still remain?  Why would it, if it truly is about Russia trying to manipulate our election process?

So much does not make any sense at all.

I have to know, I just have to, and that's it.  Trust me, my husband will want me to know as well, because I am sure he will start to get sick of my talking about it all of the time soon.  Have that familiar "little talk" with me eventually.

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