Regrets/All Dressed Up‏

I have always loathed the expression or idea that people pass around glibly and thoughtlessly that one should live without regret.  That they regret nothing.  This also means that they learned nothing.  Which makes them a moron.  If one does not first burn their hand on the stove, one does not learn to not touch the damn stove.  Regret is essential, guilt is a valued and valid part of the human experience, in fact, it is at the core of being human.  Without it one cannot sympathize nor empathize.  If we do not know what it is like to experience these feelings ourselves, how can we know what others are feeling and so on.

So when I hear that timeless, trite and smug adage: “live without regret”  or similar, what I hear is “I am a willful simpleton and idiot”.  It isn’t a judgement.  It is a plain statement of fact.  You said it, be prepared to stand by it, fucker.  The truth is that living without guilt, regret and remorse doesn’t make you stupid, though it can contribute to it, what it really makes you is a sociopath.  It just so happens that there are infinitely more stupid people than sociopaths.  I guess that vastly increases your chances of being a less than intelligent sociopath?  We can’t all be Hannibal Lecter, I wonder if there is a correlation between sociopathic dullards and republican party membership?  I think that would make perfect sense.
The reason I mention this is because there is the opposite effect of which I have been guilty, which sadly, does not make one a genius as the trend might suggest…  No, living in a mire of regret and guilt whether real or perceived is not inherently brilliant nor is it admirable.  Even if the guilt you feel isn’t your own, or the regret you experience is borrowed.  Bipolar individuals have a bad habit of being so sensitive to raw emotions that we pick up the suffering of others like radio frequencies.  I often felt as though the emotions of others were like weather systems that I would get caught in.  Add these to our pre existing depression which comes with a side of guilt and regret.  It is a compounding problem.  This is why there are times when we crash and we really want nothing more than to hide in our beds and have no contact with other people for weeks on end.  Which is horrible for us.  We really love people, we need people.  We need their energy and to be around them.  We need their validation.  Yet it gets to a point where we openly reject them or just stop contacting them and hide in our homes without a word of explanation.
I have  been known to to spend crash periods bundled in a blanket on the internet scrolling through facebook finding all of the really obnoxiously stupid garbage that people pass around and blowing a fuse.  Which is the internet equivalent of going to a party, waiting for one ever-so-mildly offensive joke and then completely losing it on everyone in attendance.  Let’s be honest though, there is some really stupid, anti-factual garbage on facebook and for some reason I can’t just let it go.  So I have learned to stop scrolling through facebook.  Otherwise, later I will regret it.  I will feel guilty for absolutely shitting on people who I consider my “friends”.  Whether they are or are not, they could be, they have a connection to me in some small way and maybe should they ever be in my neck of the woods they might like to have a drink, no need to be so dismissive and horrible to them.  Would I be so harsh to random people on the street?  Assuredly not, I have actually gone to task for people on the street.  Yet here I am having a full on dysphoric fit on an acquaintance.  This is not rational, caring behaviour.  There is something about the very nature of facebook in general that has changed the way that I behave and I do not care for it.
I had a wake up call when I full-out exploded on a woman I didn’t know for complaining about how hard feeding her child was.  It wasn’t an argument at first, I found it amusing that someone would complain so hard about such a simple problem.  Then the lady persisted, insisting that this was the worst trial that has ever been handed down to humanity since the dawn of time *insert apeface here*.  I thought of D-day, Orleans, Troy to name a few, but no… Jamming food into your childs gaping maw is the pinnacle of human difficulty.  Clearly I was out of my depths here, my mistake.  If only I had carelessly knocked up some tart, I too could understand the insurmountable difficulty of getting sustenance into a tot.  I was getting worked up at her insistence and my humour at the situation was falling by the wayside.  One more poke at my ‘diplomacy dyke’ as Tim Minchin puts it and I was off.  Thirteen kinds of hell poured forth from my very bowels, all the way past my internal organs, totally bypassing my neck and head and right out my arms through my fingertips into the keyboard.  This woman took the full force of all the fire I had inside of me.  All because she couldn’t feed a child aged four to six.  I am not a bad person.  I can at times have very lousy aim.  This kind of fire should be reserved for the truly horrible people in the world.  The oil magnate who wants you to keep buying bigger cars, voting republican and loving jesus, but not the real jesus, the evangelical bullshit version.  Simply so he can control, manipulate, enslave and feed off of you.  These kind of pustulent, sacks-of-crap deserve the kind of wrath that I shat forth on this poor ignorant mother.  Her only crime was being frustrated, tired, annoyed and stressed-out.  Being a fulltime parent is pretty hard on people.  So my dysphoric berserker-rage wound me up and set me loose on a friendly civilian.  Since then I am very careful how much I expose myself to facebook.  The fallout from that event is still being felt.  People have no way of knowing that I am not simply ‘an asshole’, but that I have a condition that sets me off.  I am not claiming innocence, that I played no part and that ‘it was Jack, what can I do?’.  Though, you can see how it can go from harmless joking around to nuclear rage and offensive diatribe at the drop of a hat without warning.  I am very thankful for the medication.  I feel like less of an asshole and I have so much less explaining to do.  I feel far less guilty and I have way less regret.
I like clothes.  Not just men’s clothing but women’s as well.  No, I don’t wear women’s clothing, but if it didn’t look really awkward I probably would.  Frankly, they have far superior options to men, a larger range and pallette.  Which is why it dismays me that most women have exactly zero clue how to dress.  Fortunately there are guys like me.  If any woman asked me to go clothes shopping at any time I would say yes emphatically.  I adore clothes shopping with women.  I know, it isn’t overly manly and I like it so much that I don’t care enough to tell you the myriad of manly ways I could kill you to off-set your opinion of me.  Oh wait.  I kind of just did.  Either way, I can wrench on large detroit diesel engines, I know a fair few things about weaponry that should give you pause.  I think kitten heels are super cute with a tight, mid-thigh length, sleeveless, deep v-neck dress.  Fuck me, right?  But, who doesn’t though?  It isn’t as though that takes the height of fashion sense to understand.  Yet there aren’t too many men in the world who would have typed that sentence who aren’t gay or somehow involved in fashion, I am neither.  I can’t stand open toe platform shoes, I have a bias against them.  But I am not against a platform nor an open toe, just the combination.
I like clothing and I like shopping for clothing.  Even after having “filled out” in my thirties I am slender of build with broad shoulders.  I am a 44 regular, 32 waist and inseam.  6′ tall.  If I were ever so slightly more attractive (substantially) I might have been a model.  I like to dress nice.  I like looking sharp.  So during hypomanic episodes that are euphoric I get carried away on shopping sprees buying clothing.  The problem being that my current lifestyle little requires me to dress nicely nor to be found at public occasions or outings.  When I get home at the end of the day I remove my work clothes and don some pajamas and this is what I wear a bulk of the time.  So I have a small collection of fine clothing that I will likely never wear to anything of note.  This is just another thing for me to regret.  I find myself feeling guilty that I can’t live the lifestyle that I have prepared myself to dress for.  They say “don’t dress for the job that you have, dress for the job that you want.”  Were this the case I would be well prepared for a life as a playboy or a spy.  My casual clothing however is far more practical and blue collar, which I wear to avoid wearing a suit and tie to the car wash.  I like jeans.  I like relaxed clothing, I just don’t like wearing them every day like a slave to some mediocre life wherein I never aspire to anything beyond a fixture in the indentured servitude of our shadowy overlords.  I am fully aware that dressing any other way doesn’t make it any less so.  But I look and feel better and if it doesn’t hurt it helps.  Except that because of my dysphoric nature I have alienated people and I now find myself all dressed up with nowhere to go.

Robotic List of Symptoms/Promises Kept.‏

I promised a list of my symptoms so that you could see how neatly I fit into the bipolar type two diagnosis.  I put this originally under the tab at the top right marked ‘Info’ alas, I feel as though it may have been missed by many.

– Inflated self-esteem or grandiosity:  during hypomanic episodes that are euphoric in nature I am Bruce Fucking Wayne.  I am the life of the party.

-Decreased need for sleep:  as I have mentioned in my posts I sleep on average four to five hours a night at best and have since my late teens unless I was blackout drunk.

Distractibility:  I intentionally seek out distractions, when none are apparently present.

-Psychomotor agitation:  I unconsciously fidget or gesticulate when I am uncomfortable.

-Excessive involvement in pleasurable activities that have a high potential for painful consequences:  buying sprees, drug and alcohol abuse, casual sex.

-Racing thoughts:  brilliant or terrible connections, rapid and constant.

-Irritability:  I rant.  I get way more angry than I should over things that most people don’t even think about.  Yes, I have outburst while I am driving, but later I really don’t care.

-Radical honesty:  I offend people by withholding nothing, it makes people uncomfortable around me at times and I recognize this.

-Depression:  Obviously.  Otherwise this would be a blog about how amazing I am and why I am so much better than everyone else (which wouldn’t be true).

-Pressured speech:  I didn’t originally list this but I rant like a motherfucker.

Not all people who suffer from BPII experience every single symptom.  Even if they do they may not experience them severely nor frequently.  I happen to experience them all relatively regularly and severely.  So there you have it.  Technically I don’t think that radical honesty is actually a symptom but I include it because it is behavioural and seems to be a shared feature of bipolar.

The medication is working as Dr. Saint claimed it would ever so gradually.  Before the meds at any given time I would have several different threads of thought running through my mind and I would have troubles focusing on one of them.  This made certain types of thinking difficult for me, which as someone who is reasonably intelligent is embarrassing.  I was having the right thoughts, I just wasn’t capable of pulling them forth or bringing them to the forefront of my mind.  Sometimes this would be so challenging that the activity of beginning a given task was unimaginably daunting and I seemed lazy or reluctant.  Not so, the thoughts and ideas were present, just veiled and not co-operative.  Other times however all of these threads would coincide, the planets would aline and I would get all engines on full.  This was a powerful blessing.  Having a swift mind is one thing, but having several in one skull is a rare gift.  Granted, with the meds I have quelled a few of these “minds” and now I only get one or two at best and they may not even be as swift.  Alas, they are focused, firing and doing so on command.  It is nice to be Sherlock Holmes in fits and bursts, but I would much rather be a capable and reliable Dr. Watson.   As it turns out being less inspired and better organized is the vastly superior option in nearly every regard.  I can cite from experience many fine examples, nearly every person I have ever gone to school of any kind with.  Not to say that I was more gifted than every single one of them, but I can say with certainty that nearly all of my peers were more organized than me.

At this point I have limited options for “living up to my potential” as Dr. Saint claims I will do.  I would love to return to school for at least a bachelor’s of journalism, but this would take four years and put me in competition for a job with mid-twenty-somethings with me in my forties.  I would also be way over my head in debt at that point as I kind of already am.  The education would be excellent though the employment would be horrible.  Four years in school (that I likely can’t get into) to scrap for a non-staff internship with no benefits and about as much pay as McDonalds?  People who work at McDonalds are starting to look like geniuses.  Drug dealers are starting to look like gods.  Weapon dealers are starting to look like nightmares that gods have.  I should sell guns.  The medication is only starting to work and as I have mentioned there is a nihilistic bias.  My best shot at a future beyond sticking it out at what I am doing now is to write.  Just write books.  Good, bad, fiction, science fiction, fantasy, romance and horror.  I will save the Non fiction for myself.  Oh, and you guys of course.  Because I love you.  There is plenty more to come I have already got some other things hatched and half bashed into my laptop so keep an eye out.

Addictions, Extreme Personality and Children.‏

The only addiction I ever had that stuck was nicotine.  Which, between topiramate and wellbutrin may not stick for long.  I have already reduced my smoking substantially.  I drank more than heavily throughout my twenties and tried if not abused every substance known to man.  This is what I did instead of education.  Productive, was it not?  Too bad Hunter S. Thompson predates me by about fourty years or I might have had some successful books.  I suppose I still could, but really, after the legends what is the point?  Why would I want to be compared to that?  I guess that doesn’t stop shitty guitarists from making bad (successful) albums in the wake of Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy page.  I have found it particularly strange that no matter how hard I went, no matter how long the bender, I wasn’t susceptible to addiction.  I’m just one of those types I suppose, cigarettes excluded of course.  I would reenact the key scene in “Saw” if I thought there was a cigarette in a nuns stomach.  I’m not proud of it, but I am very attached to the habit (see what I did there?).

For most of my life my friends, my real, long term, accepting friends.  The people who know that there is something up with me but still deal with me anyway because they see the good features under the storm.  These people, in looking back on my life are kind of miraculous.  I begin to realize that there have been all of these situations where they have invited me into their lives completely expecting (perhaps hoping) that I would start a tirade.  I think I represent a certain amount of excitement.  Like storm chasers these people have gotten close enough to ride the lightning.  At the end of it all though, they end up with normal lives.  They get married, have children and having hurricane Hugo over for diner can get more than a little awkward.  Children love a good storm, until the thunder gets too loud when the lightning is too close.  Then they cry.  Kids normally like me actually, for reasons that I think are obvious.  I’m a silly bastard when I need to be and I am imaginative.  I am typically more interested in what they are doing than the adults.  I think they understand that I find them more interesting.  Grown-ups are married and boring.  I wonder if all people start out bipolar and only some of us outgrow it?  Think about it.  When you are a kid you can be pleased as punch one minute and crying within a heartbeat.  Then, no more than a few seconds later you find something that distracts you and you manage to keep yourself busy until you feel okay.  From there you get worked up and next thing you know you are running all over the place laughing your face off and kicking the shit out of life.  Seriously, I think there is something worth studying here.
So kids like crazy uncle Dysphorian, but the parents understand.  I think they know that there is something amiss.  That I haven’t been wired right since they met me, as far back as high school.  When I think about it, if there was ever a doubt in my mind as a parent it might make me uncomfortable and so I guess I understand.  I have one friend I have known my whole life, he has serious ADHD and a wonderful daughter who is now about five.  I will never have my own children, he knows this and so his daughter has become my niece.  He is very cool about letting me have some time, I think he understands that it affects me.  You see, with my depression and knowing that it was genetic and lifelong I opted to have a vasectomy.  I didn’t want to expose my children to my moods.  I didn’t want them to grow up to suffer the same horrible struggles that I had.  So my friend, the guy that he is, allows me to shower his daughter with affection, she is the closest thing I will have to a daughter and just thinking about that makes me cry.  Which is twisted, you know?  Because I was never the kind of guy to want children.  Not until the last few years, then almost as soon as I had the idea I had the rug pulled out from under me.  To those of you in this thing with children, my hat goes off and my heart goes out to you.  You are a way bigger person than I am.
One never knows for certain though.  Maybe these medications will do the trick and once I see some stability for a substantial period of time I may just adopt.  It isn’t out of the question, yet anyway… I’m sure that should the nature of my disorder become known I would be black listed.

Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project.

I pledge my commitment to the Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.

As a new kid on the block I felt like it might be nice to jump in with both feet so to speak with regards to the mental health community.  In my very first post I stated that my secondary goal was the hope that I could help others through sharing my experiences.  It is in that spirit that the blogs which inspired me are written and it is in that spirit that I carry the torch.  I have repeatedly mentioned my admiration for the community here.  I have continually found myself in awe at the beauty of people who, in spite of or maybe because of their own illness are helping others discover and overcome theirs.  It is a remarkable thing and I would love nothing more than to be a part of that.  So, while I may be new and while I have yet to offer the volume of entries that my peers have thus far, I take the above pledge and humbly request that you accept me among you.  I hope that I don’t let you down.

As for my experiences with mental health, beyond what I have recently posted here with regards to my own bipolar type II disorder I have a long and wide family history.  My fathers family is a veritable cornucopia of dysfunction, his eldest brother is extremely schizophrenic for which he is institutionalized.  This was also discovered later in his life as his behaviour became more erratic and eventually a case was made by federal investigators who collected his correspondences with dozens of people that he did not personally know.  He had written countless letters to many influential people making allegations and accusations of various untold crimes, one of which included “stealing our family fortune”.   There was never a Grey family fortune.  My fathers sisters were both diagnosed with various forms of mania klepto to nympho and were medicated for miscellaneous myriad reasons.  The details of these are unknown to me.  His younger brothers are debatably stable and affable fellows, though there are those who would argue.  I quite like them, though admittedly they are strange.  This is not a mental illness however.  They have their share of mild disabilities, dysgraphia and such.  They always reminded me of a rural and impoverished version of the Addams family.

On my mothers side there is rampant alcoholism.  I personally wonder if it isn’t for some other underlying issue.  I drank quite heavily for a number of years in order to cope with my bipolarity.  I have to wonder if my uncles didn’t do the same.  Other than this however they are fine and friendly country folk who wouldn’t hurt a fly.  They are terse, it isn’t their way to talk about their problems.  A convenient mask for any problem that they might actually have.

All of these things had made me sensitive to mental health long before my current status as a diagnosed bipolar II.  The issue here being that I had seen the inside of a few psych wards when I was young.  I had seen people on heavy medications and even then I told myself that this would never be me.  I think that I have willfully evaded diagnosis, elluded assistance for fear of being like my uncle.  I didn’t want to end up on heavy medication in a padded room, this thought terrified me.  So I have likely ignored obvious signs or willfully struggled through and done my best to maintain in the face of them.  I implore anyone reading this to please not do as I had done.  It isn’t wise to delay treatment, especially in this day and age.  The sooner you can begin working on your treatment and recovery the sooner you can begin to feel well.  It was foolish of me to think that I could bear that burden like a psychological pack mule.  Like I was somehow different and I was capable of overcoming a disorder through sheer stubbornness and determination.  No.  It takes pills to right the balance in your mind and then it probably takes therapy to adjust your thinking and behaviours.

If you want to participate in Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project visit:  follow the instructions that for some reason I had difficulty finding (I increased my topiramate, it makes me ditsy).

Housekeeping and Catching Up

We have arrived for the most part at the present and have a good idea of who I am.  This has been helpful for me, having the diagnosis of BPII dropped on you in your thirties is devastating.  You knew that you were depressed, you had been for a long time.  Suddenly it had taken a turn for the worse and your upbeat periods, or times when you felt ‘normal’ had dwindled to nonexistence.  Where once you had spells where your self-confidence returned in spades, you now had nothing.  Just long stretches of misery.  Compounded by short days and long, cold nights of winter.  This is to be expected of BPII, when you enter your early thirties (right around thirty-three) the hypomanic episodes fade.  The euphoric nature lapses and the dysphoric becomes more prevalent.  Jack was getting cranky.  This isn’t perfectly the same for everyone of course, but this is the average.  I was told this just today by Dr. Saint.  I dig that guy.

As I have mentioned in the past he has been around.  He really knows this illness having dealt with it as one of the first of a group of researchers who actually gave it traction.  Most of the psychological professionals of the time were trying to divide mania and depression into two separate diagnoses.  Of course you could have both, but this in their minds did not make it a specific illness.  There were few who believed that there was a ‘manic depression’, fewer still who believed that there was more than one type, let alone a spectrum.  Our beloved Dr. Saint was among these believers.  I enjoy our conversations, he is a lively fellow.  
Sex.  In my last entry I forgot to mention sex and why I had such a cavalier attitude toward it.  It is pretty standard validation seeking behaviour, the kind you would expect of someone who is depressed.  Not everybody does this, I did and I did it rather poorly.  Not the sex, well… I’m sure I have done that poorly as well at least a couple dozen times.  No, what I meant was that I used to pick women up for the short term, yet fail to keep it short term.  I enjoy women, their company, their nature and everything about them.  I respect them, which I know seems ironic right now.  I would pick women up in a hypomanic frenzy, while I was all arrogance and zeal.  The next day however, I couldn’t bring myself to simply walk away.  Many of these women ended up as relationships.  I am not cold blooded.  It is worth mentioning that many women do want you to walk away.  In those cases I had no issue and sometimes ended up friends or maybe even a booty call (rarely).  I’ve found that some women are ashamed to keep this kind of arrangement, I think they buy into the idea of sex being wrong or shameful.  Oh puritanical fucktards, how you have mentally traumatized people needlessly because you can’t stand your own naked bodies.  These are the truly disturbed people in the world.  
I’m depressed too.  Yeah, okay maybe you are trying to commiserate.  I just find the placement of this super-extra-nuclear-mega frustrating.  It usually happens when you are at a short pause while explaining something about your emotions.  Then without so much as a few beeps the truck has already backed up and dumped this right in there on you.  Again, I have plenty of awkward social deviances.  If you are dealing with someone who has depression wait until you are certain that they are done speaking and do not present your solidarity as a one-ups-manship, nor a dismissive blast.  “Yeah, so what?!  I’m depressed TOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!”  Fuck off, no you aren’t.  You are down, glum, less-than-chipper.  You have a basic misunderstanding of what it means to be depressed, especially if you then follow this with cheerful advice about simply looking at the positive.  Please don’t be this kind of Dr. Phil.  This is where the switch from ‘suicidal’ to ‘homicidal’ exists.  
^ Enough of that shit.  I feel part ways guilty that I even said it, but it has been triggering dysphoric fits so powerful in me lately that I actually snapped on a loved one.  Completely went sideways with anger.  I’m learning to breathe and meditate.  It isn’t helping.  Despite not liking advice from people to ‘look at the positive’ I have been trying to be more positive.  I don’t know.  I buy my t-shirts in vibrant colours so that I don’t find myself wearing olive, black and grey constantly.  Little things.  

Intergalactic Spaceships/Interpersonal Relationships

What do the two things in the title have in common?  They are both ships that I don’t know how to build.  I know just as much about one as I do the other.  I lack the fundamental skillset required to build either.  Throughout my life I have not had therapy, medications nor a diagnosis to point to.  I couldn’t explain to people that I had this thing and during certain social events I was going to behave in such-and-such a way.  I have just been winging it.  The thing about winging it when you haven’t the slightest inclination about what you are doing is that it always turns out wrong.  There are some things you can learn by trial and error, others not so much.  I became reasonably good at mimicking regular social behaviour, because you see I am clever.  Did I understand it any better?  Heck no.  Take intergalactic spaceships as an example.  I could go out into the back yard right now and start construction on my ship.  I know about as much as all of humanity knows about building these things, perhaps far less than that.  So I would start out with a camper-van and end up with a camper-van with a few extra lights and a broken air conditioner.  Would I understand intergalactic ship construction any better?  Heck no.  But I could talk a good game.  I could tell you about the wiring I had to do in order to add the lights and the technical difficulties I had with the air conditioning unit.  I bet you would be impressed.  After about six or so minutes though you wouldn’t want me near your camper-van.  You sure as shit wouldn’t give me downpayment on the intergalactic spaceship I was offering to build you.

This is how I fail at relationships.  I have a vague understanding of the theory involved.  It is the act of employing any talents or skills to maintain or reinforce it that stumps me.  Over a given period of time it becomes obvious to most people that I am different.  I seem like I know what I’m doing or that I am a regular socially adept guy, but in reality I am flailing.  Without a burst of hypomanic energy and a visit from Jack I have no appeal, and his charms are terribly limited.  In fact his overbearing nature eventually repels people.  Again, I am not blaming a separate entity, we are one and the same.  I am trying to end a paragraph here but instead I am getting a big wall of text no matter how many blank lines I place by way of hitting enter.  So fuck it, add more fun text!
With the guys it’s simple, men look for admirable qualities, things that they would like to see in themselves.  I find that groups of men are round robin apprenticeships.  Each takes turns imparting wisdom and skills on the rest.  If you have nothing to offer to that dynamic you end up the beta.  The beta is going to be treated poorly in every situation.  He will be openly mocked at every opportunity.  Like Sisyphus he will spend eternity doing everything in his power to redeem himself in the eyes of his group, to no avail.  Despite understanding the dog psychology behind the male group dynamic I almost always fuck this up.  I begin by asserting myself as alpha.  Why in fuck wouldn’t I?  As the new guy most groups will have a fair amount of interest in you and offer you this honour.  My mistake is that I get anxious and overdo it.  I’m too boisterous, too abrasive,  I get too familiar too quickly.  I used to consider myself a guys guy, after a while most of the things that men do seemed perfectly ridiculous to me and I had to mimic their behaviour.  I’m no longer natural around men and it shows.  I am completely at odds with their interests and I feel for the most part that this makes me superior to them.  This may or may not be true (due to my bipolar) but either way it is a shitty attitude to have when trying to socialize with people and it begins to show.  Every now and then I meet another man who is generally at odds with other men.  Interested in science and literature more than nascar and football.  These gentlemen I act more naturally around and I find that Dysphorian is able to come to the surface and shine.  I feel humbled and blessed when this happens, sadly it is all too rare, men are loutish and not worth knowing in a majority of cases.
From the instant gratification of lust and all the wonderful endorphins and hormones to the companionship, intrigue, empathy and passion that is women; my bias is easy to understand.  The ways in which I fail them is doubled at least, yet because of their intuition and empathy they are more likely to accept me, even with all of my flaws.  Unless I do something that directly insults or threatens them I can always redeem myself in their eyes.  My success as a friend to women is greater than that to men for this reason alone.  They are nurturing and caring.  I get too attached to women too quickly for all of these reasons and it can really creep them right out.  I don’t think that too many women are used to men who appreciate them completely outside of a sexual relationship, nor understand the value they present as a source of feminine energy.  It is really, really soothing to be in the presence of a woman even without a sexual dynamic, even if only as relief from the constant inanity and competition that masculinity has to offer.  There is a marked improvement in the quality and range of topics of conversation.  When I use a word like ‘serendipitous’ it is understood and not immediately met with hostility.  I FUCKING LIKE SERENDIPITY OKAY! SHIT!
As for relationships, like… past girlfriends…  Well, that gets pretty dicey.  I’m pleased to say that I managed to maintain contact with most of them as at least acquaintances that I actually spoke to later on.  I think most of them could tell.  I think many of them could sense that something wasn’t right with this one.  At first you have the jumping in too soon and sex within the first four days.  Almost every single woman I dated for any period of time began this way.  I started a relationship with a woman once when she landed in my lap at a bar.  I wanted to get rid of her but we couldn’t hear each other so we started passing notes.  She was in my lap… Yeah…  Sooner or later I got fed up and wrote: ‘I would fuck you ruthlessly, but I see no wife.’  I expected her to slap me and leave.  She gave me her number.  I stayed over three nights later.  Nine months later and I was drinking so heavily I wound up in bed with another woman, technically I was raped, before you get all judgemental about me being a dirty cheater.  But, of course I was still kicked to the curb for being a dirty cheater.  Still felt guilty for being a dirty cheater.  It took me years to realize it because I am male, but I straight up got raped.  I gave no consent, I was too drunk to give consent had I done so anyway… Alas this is neither here nor there, the point is the behaviours.  Instead of being a decent boyfriend I was off getting so drunk that I was taken advantage of.  And why?  Because I would rather be obliviously drunk than attached to a woman for an extended period of time.  Why?  Because I don’t like myself so a woman who likes me is obviously crazy.  It becomes an ouroboros of loathing.  I hate her for liking me, because I hate me.  I love her, but she loves me, is she stupid?  I can’t love someone that stupid.  So I act in a reckless fashion.  I sabotage my relationship.  I let the darker side of Jack off the leash more than I should and sooner or later the whole thing implodes.  Fourteen months tops.
The closer women get to me the more that I realize that there is nothing there for them to love.  I am empty inside and I have nothing to offer them.  It is this emptiness that frightens me and I don’t know if I will ever fill that void.  It still exists today and I feel as though I have met my soulmate.  Will she eventually become no different than the others?  She already has about ten months on the longest of all my other relationships.  My emotional resume has not prepared me for this.  I do not know if I have the tools required to maintain this and I stand on the brink of ’till death do us part’.  That eventuality is a certainty, but when?

Dark vision.

This post is going to cover at least three different things and maybe include some rambling.  You are thrilled, I can tell!

First:  A primary result or symptom of my depression is something that I have always referred to as “dark vision”.  It is the ability to view anything in the grimmest, most corrupted and loathsome possible regard.  Or perhaps it is an inability to see anything as positive, but I am speaking in an extreme and aggressive sense.  It also gives you an attachment to some really horrible things and a general comfort around that which might make others squeamish.  In addition to these things it makes the impossibly buoyant and cheerful people of the world THE WORST FUCKING THING EVER!!!  I can’t watch daytime talk shows, I want to stab the hosts.  I’m a pacifist.  I swear.  But I would strangle Rachael Ray with her own intestines.  I know, I shouldn’t even type words like this.  It can be really offputting.  Shit like this spills out of my mouth in reality as well, ten thousandfold when I am hypomanic and dysphoric.  I have a much higher shock threshold than the average person I find.  My father nicknamed me “Poe” in my teens due to my interest in the macabre and poetry.  Yeah I was kind of a goth/punk, big surprise.  I turned out okay.  You know, aside from this whole bipolar thing… Fucking genes.  At least my youthful appearance has been preserved, some consolation.
Second: “I’m depressed too, you know.”  I don’t know about you, but this phrase even when spoken by someone who is clinically diagnosed with major depressive disorder throws me into a rage.  Okay, yes, I understand that you are depressed and that you are a beautiful, delicate, tragedy with intricate inner-workings and a full history of genetic shortcomings, not to mention some serious trauma.  But we were literally right in the middle of a conversation about my disorder.  Which is a lousy place to park your baggage train.  I would love to talk about your disorder, but just butting in to the middle of something I felt important enough to share with you, a vulnerability, with a flippant: “Oh well, that’s all well and good for you there kiddo, but I’M DEPRESSED TOO! DIDN’T YOU KNOW THAT I AM MORE IMPORTANT! So just save it for your therapist there, sport.”  I find it really disrespectful/antisocial and I understand some people just can’t help themselves.  I know for a fact that I have a jacket of odd social behaviours that displease people.  So, I understand when people don’t realize that what they have done is offensive, but this little thing is the maximum offense that one can commit against me.  There are times and ways to segue into a conversation about YOUR disorder, leave this technique behind, it is really fucking rude.  Worse still, when people who have no diagnosed clinical depression of any kind say this.  Oh, you had a scary weekend vacation in Syria?  I fucking live here, shut up.  The thing that makes me feel kind of guilty about this is the fact that my life for the most part isn’t that bad.  All of my trouble occurs inside my own skull.
Third:  The lyrics of the song “Not Your Fault”  by AWOLnation sounds straight-up to me like a relationship from the perspective of a person with bipolar disorder:
This love up down,
Please believe.Baby, when I’m yellin’ at you,
It’s not your fault,
It’s not your fault, yeah and
Baby cause I’m crazy for you,
It’s not your fault
It’s not your fault, yeah and,
Maybe I’m a little confused,
It’s not your fault
It’s not your fault, yeah and
Baby, it’s a wonderful news.
It’s not your fault,
It’s not your fault, yeah.Oh, it’s not that you should care.
I just wanted you to know.I’m a fight with myself,
Till I’m bleeding.
Just a taste of your skin,
Starts the healing.
Anyone from my past,
Get your ammo.
Find my sun in the dark side,
Of my shadow.

This is just a small selection of the lyrics and the song goes between these really calm, sweet moments to these intense and frantic moments that remind me of the ups and downs of bipolar.  Just an observation.  This band has made references to psych disorders in the past and seem to be made up of really intelligent members.  I can’t say for sure that this was the intended effect, but it stands out to me.
A link to the official video as posted by Red Bull records on their youtube page:  for those not familiar with the song.  I should note that I have nothing to do with the music industry, so this isn’t a plug.  Just something of interest that I felt was pertinent.
Positive:  I am making an attempt to be more positive.  It goes directly against my character.  Though, this is a character tempered developmentally by a disorder that has pointed me in a downward direction, likely since puberty.   It is nice to write and get things off my chest even if I reread it and think:  ‘Oh crap, I just spent over a thousand words talking about miserable shit and I sound like I’m complaining.’  This is not my intent, but getting the bad out is good.  I have been reading other peoples blogs on the same subject and I am inspired by the amazing people who are putting their stories out there.  You are all really incredible and I feel like I am in good understanding company.  This makes me a little happier.  I like it here, it is nice to feel like you have a place where you belong.  I used to be a really intense redditor, the thing about that is that people will troll and go out of their way to be contrary and disrespectful because there are no consequences, which brings out the worst in people.  At least here people seem to get it.
I am really just pontificating and procrastinating with regards to the promised post about relationships.  It is going to be a challenge but I feel as though it is vital.  It is coming soon.