This is something I wrote in my journal last night.
This is something I wrote in my journal last night.
Jack be nimble, Jack be quick. Jack jumped over the candlestick. But what if Jack didn’t jump high enough, and the bottom of his pants-leg touched the flame of the candle and his pants caught fire? I suppose Jack would call upon his memories of fire protection and safety that he learned in elementary school. Stop, drop, and roll!
Now, what if while Jack rolling around on the ground attempting to extinguish his pants-fire, he rolled into a giant pile of hay. I mean, hay is pretty flammable – he would be completely engulfed in flames! Luckily Jack live near a river, and Jack could simply just rush his flaming body over and into the river extinguishing the fire.
The relief that Jack would feel after surviving his near-death experience would be so great. It’s too bad that while Jack was recouping after his brutal injuries a hungry alligator sneaked up and swallowed Jack whole. He’s dead now… I guess that’s why one should never jump over a candlestick.
It’s kind of silly once you think about it… I mean really – why jump over a candlestick? I mean jeez, walk around or pick it up.
I’ve been blogging on and off since I was in middle school, and I’ve run justinrobbins.net and twistmyfate.com for well over ten years. Over the last five years I’ve retired twistmyfate.com (it redirects here) and I’ve launched and relaunched justinrobbins.net more times than I can count. I always lost interest because I never wrote about anything of substance. I never really let myself be “seen”.
This time around I said fuck it. I’m throwing it all out there. I started this blog mainly as an outlet for myself – putting ideas in my head on to paper, err, screen.
Since launching I’ve been contacted by a fair amount of people. Some find my writing relate-able, some have found it entertaining – which is great. It’s wonderful to hear that people enjoy your writing. It’s humbling, but what’s the most humbling is something I never expected. I’ve had old friends, and even strangers write me – thanking me for sharing my story, because it has helped them with their own mental health struggles, which is an indescribable feeling.
I just wanted to write a quick note of thanks to anyone who reads my rambling words. I am truly and deeply humbled by the responses I’ve received. I’m glad you like it, or if you hate it – that’s fair. Thank you just the same.
I’ve spent the past few days looking at inspirational quotes and the like. I’m not sure why I enjoy reading quotes, but I do enjoy it – therefore I’ll continue to read them. Anyhow, I read a quote today from Walt Disney and it really resonated with me. It reads:
You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.
For me, it relates to my bipolar diagnosis. I have had a sneaking suspicion of the diagnosis in my early 20’s but I stubbornly resisted it. I never truly accepted it as a possibility other than explaining to those who saw me in the throes of an anxiety attack, hypomania, or depression that I think I “might have” bipolar disorder. Even that however was rare, and I would almost proudly tote that I had anxiety and ADHD – and that’s all. Still, in the back of my mind I knew I had a family history of bipolar and the chances of me having it too increased because of this, so I didn’t think about it too much.
I’m unsure of a definitive reason as to why I wanted to not be bipolar back then, but I do have some theories and assumptions. There’s a certain stigma to bipolar, and at the time I believed that the majority of people who heard one may have bipolar would in turn treat them negatively. The term gets thrown around a lot in a colloquial manner when one gets angry quickly, or sad, etc. The phrase I hear most often “I’m a little bipolar today.” would be a perfect example. However, even with the minimization I felt as though if I were to be diagnosed, and I had to say “I’m bipolar” and mean it, that the world would view me differently. My assumption of other’s opinions about the topic is relating the disorder to someone violent, psychotic, or dangerous. I don’t know if that’s always the case, or why I held this view on the world’s reaction. Perhaps it’s how I viewed the disorder myself.
Shortly after the onset of the aforementioned symptoms , I had developed my own coping skills to deal with them. I learned the signs of an oncoming anxiety attack – and how to pull myself out of a depressive state into a functioning, if sad, emotional state. I began to play the piano more, and freestyle or improvise my own songs, emoting my emotions musically. I forced myself to walk around and interact with others during depressive states to keep my mind occupied – sitting still for too long would allow my mind to slow and the depression to takeover. Hypomania, however, I always found pleasurable – and I developed no coping skills in regards to it.
Fast forward six or seven years into my late 20’s (i.e. very recently) and my coping mechanisms began to fail me. Until this point, while my moods still swung rapidly but I could always reign them in to allow me to function, for the most part. Others would simply just describe my personality as “quirky”.
I remember the exact moment I decided I needed to finally go see a doctor about it. I was feeling fine at work, about to head to an event I was really excited for. On the drive I started getting anxious and self-concious about it. When I got to the event, where I’d ordinarily be able to reel those emotions back in, I was unable to do it. I spent the event shy, and worried that everyone was judging me. In essence where I normally would have interacted with a lot of people and earned a decent amount of business – instead was a bust.
I’ve gone on quite a tangent here, but back to the main point – I went to the doctor, was officially diagnosed and began medication, which helped. I started therapy but I resisted it and eventually stopped going to therapy altogether. This eventually lead to my breakdown – or “the kick in the teeth”. I completely lost control of my moods, and ended up on medical leave checking myself into an intensive outpatient treatment program. Which as it turns out, has so far been the best thing thats happened to me.
I’ve still got a lot to work on, but I’m no longer ashamed – and I’m learning how to take control of my mind again. I’m pretty optimistic on the future.
Note: I’m currently hypomanic – my apologies if this doesn’t make much sense.
(with no pre-thought)
Things could be worse. Things could always be worse. Celebrate the fact that they are not.
It’s a new year!
This year I’ve decided to try my best to better myself. I’ve come to terms with my bipolar diagnosis and I’m currently on medical leave, working on myself through an intensive outpatient program that specializes in mental health. It’s going fairly well I think, I’m learning a lot – and processing a lot.
I’ve taken up journaling to document emotions I didn’t know I had. You’d think it’d be fun since I’m a writer, but it’s pretty intense. I’ve written some deep stuff, and some cool stuff. My goal is to start sharing some of the things I write in there, and engage myself more in writing overall as a form of therapy or meditation or what have you.
Because of that I’ve decided to once again, redo my website. This time I’m falling back on my old pal WordPress. I’m currently working out all the kinks and pages and designs and whatnot. At any rate, I’m really excited to start writing again, and even moreso excited to once again start blogging.
Here’s to it. It’s a new year and with any luck a new (and better) me!