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Rapid Cycling and the Impact of Friendship

When you suffer from bi-polar disorder, the only thing constant in life is its inconsistency. Today was the kind of day that likes to remind me how the next down is never far away. I’m not sure what triggered it, to be honest, but I think it all started when I tried to watch the first episode of the Netflix series “13 Reasons.”

Now, let me preface this. I only made it through the first episode. I’ve heard some things that occur in later episodes but don’t know enough about it to say one way or the other. That said, it did leave me feeling a very specific emotion last night and I don’t think I’ve recovered since it ended. That emotion? Worthlessness.

You see, I’ve always felt like I never had the right to be depressed. I said once in a blog I wrote earlier this year that I’m truly one of the lucky ones.

“I was born into privilege. I was lucky enough to be born a white man in a white man’s world. That isn’t a guarantee of success, but it most certainly helps.

I was also lucky to be born to well-educated and affluent parents. We weren’t rich by today’s societal standards but in the town I grew up in we were quite well off. So many others were not nearly as fortunate as me.”

There are so many people out there whose lives were way harder than mine. Instead of wasting time feeling this intense sense of self loathing and self hatred, I should be out trying to make the world better for others. Another part of me sees another truth, and it is even one I wrote in the pages of the novel I’ve been working on.

“There’s no reason to compare scars because they all leave their own mark.”

As badly as I want to believe that, on days like today, I can’t help but feel like it disparages against people who have serious issues related to food, water, shelter, and safety. It’s why I fall down this whole. How useless of a person must I be to not be able to pull myself up from a day like that, when seemingly nothing sent me spinning. It’s also why I’ve always found it very hard to pull out of days like that.

The feelings compound and now I’m left feeling like I shouldn’t be doing this podcast. It’s stupid. I’m stupid. It isn’t really going to help anyone. No one cares. ::Sigh:: All I can do now is attempt to push through it all and hope for the best.

Thanks for reading.

***

I wrote all of that yesterday during lunch. Doubt had made its way into the core of my soul. When you suffer like I do, doubt, paranoia, self loathing, worthlessness… they’re all the kinds of feelings you experience during periods of depression. (Un)Fortunately (depending on the day), acute rapid cycling, that means that I could be seconds from seeing my confidence restored (as long as it doesn’t slingshot me into a mania – I find those just as, if not more so, scary than the depression. I’ll try to cover that on a later date). Last night I found that slingshot happen when I got home from work.

You see, I arrived home to find a package on my doorstep. My best friend, Dan Keesling, had sent me a gift, out of the blue, for no reason I could understand. As I opened it up I found the following message.

“So proud of you dude. Hope this helps you get your podcast off the ground!”

Now… I’m not saying that I need gifts to make me feel better, but this one moved me to tears. It was new equipment to help me with the audio quality of the show.

Now, after a day full of doubts, he restored my feelings in this project. When we spoke, he told me how excited he was about Our Fractured Minds and how he knew it was going to help other people. Again, tears came.

All I can do is hope that the project does just that, and, hopefully, this way too kind gift can help me reach more people with the message. Together, maybe we can really do what this project was meant to do. Together, maybe we can #EndTheStigma.

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