Avoidance Is The Only Cure
Dealing with bipolarism and PTSD, I have found one of the only – or, at least, most helpful things I can do is avoidance. That sounds kind of strange possibly”. How does a person with significant neural challenges avoid the effects of those challenges? It might seem that would be mostly impossible.
Actually, it can be difficult, but not totally impossible. The first thing you need to do, of course, is own up to the problem. I.e., I think I’m a bit nuts. A sign is having fits of sobbing for no reason, followed by uncontrollable rages (also for no apparent reason, or minimal provocation). Anyhoo … not on that topic – let’s just assume that the crazy person (let’s say – me) has been diagnosed by several professional nut hunters (therapist and psychologists) as being loony. Well, maybe just having difficulty processing proper social interaction and maybe life in general. So, that part has been determined.
First comes a few days in some facility for observation, diagnosis, stupid support group sessions, etc.. Then you get the meds and more observation and all that. Several rounds of those things until it would seem you can now handle the crap of living with a MH issue. If you survive with any integrity, self-confidence, spiritual strength, or any of the human attributes where you no longer simply loath your self and your life, then you get to go out the Clinic door and reface life. Whatever remaining life you haven’t managed to destroy, anyway.
You are now riding the motorcycle of various medications down the freeway (turnpike) of a new life. And, truthfully, prior to this time you have never been on a 600 lbs., or more, two wheeled motorized monster. AND, there is the lovely sidecar of side-effects of those medications. Which can, and often will, include massive weight gain – even though you eat almost nothing but maybe heavy air. Drowsiness on the order of a two-toed sloth and shaky hands like a Chihuahua in the snow. Amongst a few others that are really scary. And then, one month out ten, or so, the meds just stop working.
Then the whole process starts over. Clinic, observation, diagnosis, etc. Such fun can only be had while totally stink-asse drunk (or stoned, baked, whatever your preference) at the State Fair.
Exercise like an Olympic Hopeful does help. And I mean, running marathons, swimming wide deep-water channels or rowing from Florida to Cuba. Any of these activities pursued religiously can be found helpful. In no way curative, but somewhat helpful. Exercise is one thing you do not want to avoid, no matter how much you might hate it or how painful it might be. Just being strong does help and I mean, not just facing your problem and being emotionally and intellectually strong in dealing with it, but being, and knowing, that you are physically strong.
The daily discipline of getting out and doing something that makes you sweat, is really, really important. Or, once you find out you are nuts, getting physically fit is a side-effect you shouldn’t complain about.
BUT, there are other parts of this scenario that do help by as much avoidance as possible. Some are obvious; i.e. (again with the i.e.) – liquor (alcohol) and recreational drugs. The interaction and side-effects of that plus the serious psychotropic meds can be really bad – as in, you could die or totally loose your mind, which might be worse than dying (I think). Other obvious things like avoiding taking your meds – a millions stupid excuses can be made for doing this. One of the worst is, “I feel fine, why should I continue to take this stuff that makes me fat and sleepy all the time.” Sure you feel fine. That’s partly because the meds are working!!! Don’t be stupid. When you put on your prosthetic leg, it doesn’t mean you are now normal and don’t need the fake leg. Go ahead, take it off and see if you don’t fall over.
What you can avoid. I used to love Classical Music (Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, etc.). Now it depresses the shit out of me. Really badly. I can’t bear to have it playing anywhere. Why? Who’s knows? Sad movies, cowboy music, uneducated or poorly informed people. Really shallow sit-coms or chick flicks. Worst of all, being alone. Again, some of these things may seem like they are obvious personal preferences, but no … for me, these are things I quite literally cannot expose myself to. For other psychos, this kind of list could be entirely different.
Some things that are really simple and maybe could apply to others with these MH issues. I take my meds and I avoid letting my mind think I am any different than anyone else. On the prescribed medications, under professional supervision, I am just a dude like any other dude. I avoid goofing off. Even if I am very physically tired, I avoid chillin’ out. Keep it moving. Any time, my mind starts to reflect on my life and fucked up experiences, I avoid letting those fill my brain.
I avoid, in the following order; negative (cynical) people, negative situations (like confronting a bigot or stupid lawn statements – a blog to come later), horror movies, any situation where I might be trapped into a conversation where I know that a differing opinion would not be welcomed. And several other things I will include in a blog later.
This is not a good ending to this particular piece, but it is the last day of 2015 and I want to get this on-line.
So I wish all my readers a wonderful New Year and may the miracle of prosperity of happiness find you.