"In the night of the soul, it is always three o’clock in the morning, day after day."
~F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Crack-Up
Tonight is apparently a night that is bound to include many different trains of thought, because I'm bouncing all over the place and seeking a place where I can unload what I'm thinking. Hence why I'm back on LiveJournal after the night's post with more to say than I thought I was going to have to this evening. There are a number of things that are lacing my mind this evening, running paces around dark depression and threatening to send me shifting there. I guess I should explain that before I continue on with a jumbled pile of thoughts that are certain to make little sense. Even if it scares off the locals that I've seemed to accumulate on this journal, feel free to wander away as this is about to get a little boring and then a little scary, then just when you thought there was nothing I could say to make it worse...I'm going to. This isn't one of my fiction tales that I can twist when things get too bad and make it all look like happily ever after. The truth is much more horrid than anything I could have written under the guise of myth and creativity. If you're not easily put off by the clinically insane, continue to make yourself comfortable here.
This evening I'm having what my doctor would call a "mixed episode" which sounds a little like someone on the Disney channel messed up and stopped Lady and the Tramp half way through only to start playing Bambi. That was probably the most horrid analogy that I've ever written in my entire life. Besides that it's more a melding of the scariest movie you've ever seen, another movie about crack heads on a high, and a movie where everyone at the end slits their wrist. That almost paints a pretty picture of what I'm trying to say doesn't it? This entry is going to do a lot of that. Medically speaking, "mixed episodes" are a by-product of Bipolar that cause the person inflicted with the episode to be in a state of high mania and deep depression at the same time. That's a complicated way of saying you're running in the fast lane down a country road at midnight doing one hundred miles per hour with your headlights off just waiting on a semi or a sharp curve. These "mixed episodes" usually occur in the valley between severe depression and raging mania, but can occur with no regularity. Other symptoms of this particular example [ which would be yours truly ] of Bipolar include rapid cycling, minor psychosis, hypomania more often seen than true mania, and depression that isn't severe enough to lead to hospitalization but occasionally induces thoughts of suicide. Rapid cycling is defined medically as four or more full cycles [ from mania to depression as one full cycle ] during a twelve month period. Episodes of rapid cycling can cause mood shifts in a matter of hours while other shifts will occur over periods of days or weeks. In this example episodes of true mania can last as long as a full seven days before inducing depression than can last as long as two months. Other periods of lesser mania, or hypomanic episodes, may only last a few days before fading into what is medically described as periods of balance. Periods of balance are rarely seen during this example's episodes of rapid cycling and are usually replaced by "mixed episodes." However, out of a twelve month period the subject shows signs of balance periods four months at a time with no medical interruption and eight months where Bipolar cycles in a rapid fashion at irregular intervals.
"The aggravated agony of depression is terrifying, and elation, its non-identical twin sister, is even more terrifying—attractive as she may be for a moment. You are grandiose beyond the reality of your creativity."
Example also suffers from a mild form of PTSD [ Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder ] inflicted by childhood trauma as well as time served in the United States Marine corps and mild symptoms of Borderline Personality disorder. Mild PTSD causes example further trouble with sleep [ often to the point where the subject remains awake for several consecutive days and the body forces sleep ], reoccurring nightmares, and occasional "flashbacks" when wandering through the woods at midnight. Borderline personality causes the subject further reckless and self-endangering or self-harming behavior [ as already caused by Bipolar II ], increased suicidal thoughts, difficulty controlling anger or the intensity of anger, identity disturbance [ which causes the subject to regularly take second jobs, move from house to house, switch out cars, and explore the possibilities of moving from state to state with no ties ], and increased depression in Bipolar depressive episodes. Couple that with chronic insomnia and you'll find yourself with someone who thinks too much and can't go to sleep.
The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise.
~ F. Scott Fitzgerald
That was a much longer explanation of what I was trying to say than I intended on giving, but I suppose that it'll have to do for the moment even if it was one page long and I referred to myself as "the subject" the entire time. There's probably something unhealthy about that kind of disassociation, but I think I have enough other problems to allow it to slide. It's funny how when discussing a situation that one doesn't wish to speak of you begin to refer to yourself as someone else simply to avoid associating yourself with what you're talking about because to do so would make you physically ill and fight so hard to hold on to whatever measures of sanity that you could find that you'd end up driving yourself further into the realm of insanity. If nothing else at least I educated anyone who dared to read this far [ and didn't fall asleep through the numerous "according to medical sources" sentences of clinical explanation ] on the causes and effects of personality disorders on the mind and they can go to sleep a person who understands people like me a little better and is a little more patient of things they didn't get before. For those of you who have chosen to remain here, I'll carry on with how all that effects who I am and move on to something else that isn't at all related to that and so on until my mind stops running on fast forward. Though along the way I'll stumble over something else that leads to an entirely different line of writing and still explains nothing. Eventually I'll make it to the end and close, but expect it to take some time.
This isn't something that I constantly talk about or that everyone knows about me or anything like that, but if I can't explain myself to total strangers then who exactly can I explain myself to? Probably no one if not you anonymous readers who are possibly the greatest sound board that I've ever known. Here I'm nothing more than another stranger among the millions that frequent this site and share their deepest secrets with an impartial jury who [ hopefully ] does not actually judge or hang, but listens. All of you are wonderful strangers who understand or don't, leave comments or don't, but you allow me the impression that you're at least reading. My best friends from thousands of miles away who listen and don't judge. All of you..you are examples of the best people this world has to offer. Thank you. I've run myself completely off the track this was supposed to go, yet again. It's hard to remain on one train of thought when ten thousand are racing through my head and constantly screaming for my immediate attention. I imagine that I'll be oing that a lot all through out this jumbled mess and I'm probably going to lose you several times. Apologies in advance then, because what has happened here is I felt the need to write and stopped making sense around the time I was going to get to the point and close it off, missed the point by ten exits, got off a no reentry exit and am trying to work my way back through the dead of night with no map. It'll come together somewhere down the line or I'll run out of gas.
I'm not at all a perfect person. I'm no one's role model or someone to be looked up to and remembered and I don't want to be. I don't crave that kind of attention from even one person, because it's pressure. When people pay an extended amount of attention to your existence then you being to wonder just how many of your bad habits are rubbing off on them and if you should change in order to continue to provide good examples for those who make up this country and those who are it's future. I already second guess my every thought without that kind of responsibility resting on shoulders that already feel they hold the weight of the world. I've done some things in my past I'd rather not have the light shed on, then again I guess that's why I enjoy the night as much as I do. It's so much easier to hide here in the shadows than to step into that spotlight and let everything reoccur for an audience of critics. That's also probably why I enjoy the screams of thunder, flashes of sickeningly white lightning, and the down pours of rain so much. Where better to hide than the moments right before the bright burst of lightning when the night is at it's darkest and the roar of the clouds is so loud than not a soul could hear you scream? There is no place that I'd rather be on the earth than sitting in the pouring rain at two in the morning on the edge of a cliff. That's not at all what I started this paragraph out about, is it? There goes my train of thought again.
There are dark shadows that lie through out my life that I don't think I could explain if it turns out there is such a thing as God and I'm called before him to explain my past transgressions. I mean, if I die and I'm suddenly standing at the pearly gates speaking with St. Peter or St. Paul or whomever they've got guarding those things up there I'm in deep shit. I've done things that I'll never be proud of and I've seen things that make terrible dinner conversations. In fact, a lot of the things I've done or been a part of would make the average person sick to their stomach. I'll admit that once the whole story is told I'm not going to come out looking so great and I think that, at least for the moment, I'm perfectly okay with that. It's not as though I haven't always known that I was the villain of this story or anything. We accept what we have to, deny what we can, and forget the rest of it. Since I'm sitting here at my computer listening to the rain hitting the roof it looks like I've all but given up denying and forgetting the things that I've run from for the longest time.
The first thing that my father ever gave me, to my limited memory of earlier years, was a bruise. No, before I tell you that I want to tell you something else. Sympathy for this portion of the story isn't needed and may actually cause violent and obscene strings of comments to your concern. I think my first honest memory of life was when I was seven. I was a big baseball player back then. No, I wasn't big at all I was actually on the small side fro my age and it was my dad who was really into baseball, at seven it's hard to be uninvolved with anything that involves dirt. First game of the season that year and the last inning. I was the first batter up in the box and I ended up striking out. Now that I think about it, that one strike out didn't cause us to lose the game. We were behind ten points and there were two outs left when I headed back to the dugout to chug gatorade and talk about cooties and monster trucks, but Dad never did see the big picture quite like that. So, when we got home he hit me. I don't mean he spanked my ass because I struck out I mean that he blacked my eye. I ended up telling my mother that I got in a fight with some guys from the other team after the game. I don't think she bought it, but I'll bet that she wanted to. It seemed so wrong to tell her the truth somehow, something bordering betrayal. Nothing makes sense when you're seven. I did decide to tell her that I wasn't a big fan of baseball anymore, but she wouldn't let me quit. I didn't play again when the next season rolled around, but my brother decided to. I must have tried to talk him out of it for weeks, but being a year younger than me he still knew everything there was to know and his big brother should shut up. I never went to any of his games it would be too much like watching a death row inmate eat his last meal, but I always knew when they lost. When we both refused to play that next year, let's just say that Dad put his foot down.
Running from the past doesn't change what happened, then again neither does writing a confession of sorts to a group of strangers that wouldn't know you on the street from Tom, but maybe it helps a little bit for reasons that I might never understand. There I go again with not knowing what I'm talking about, because I'm not sure why it matters that I'm writing any of this. I think what matters more is that I am, why is relevant to any number of psychotherapist analysis anyway. I've already admitted to clinical insanity, so I think we can just let the why of the matter drift off with the wind. I think I'll skip over the repeated bruisings, including the one where I "put my foot down" about who was going to get beat on and who wasn't and earned myself an all expense paid trip to the local hospital. I have a scar that runs diagonal down my back, it's faded now but under the light you can see that imperfection of the skin that tells the story of why I and my three brothers ended up in foster care after my parents were divorced. Looks like both sides of my family never quite understood the difference between forceful discipline and excessive use of said force. That's neither here nor there, because I've never done any of those things. I was just there, another kid growing up in a world that's slowly taking it's self to hell.
What I have done borders on [ and crosses the line ] of things that are legally and morally acceptable so I think in the interest of remaining among the free and unhandcuffed [ not to mention keeping my job ], I'll keep those bits a little closer to the vest. What I can tell you is simply that I have my own code of ethics when it comes to the way things should get done and while it's improved it's self morally over the years in a drastic way and now that I'm on the right side of the law it has also greatly improved legally. Actually I think I'll just let it ride on the obviously stated fact that the law and I haven't always agreed on an acceptable to both parties way for me to live my life, but nowadays we usually mesh. Unless you're going to ask me to wear my seatbelt, drive the speed limit, or not cause the occasional bar fight. Morally, let's just say that there was once a time when the list of things I considered morally wrong included: battering women and children, rape, and standardized testing. That was pretty much the entire list with little variation. I'm not that stupid kid who ran away from home and let the vermin of the human race raise me anymore. Somewhere along that line something in me shifted, it's hard to tell what moment caused it exactly but without it I'd probably be dead. That's when my life came together, that's when I joined the Marines, that's when I thought I had it all figured out. I don't recall a time in my life where I was more wrong.
I won't say that I'm a decent guy, that I'm not an asshole, or that I'm the upright citizen example that I'm supposed to be because there's a rather good chance I'd be lying. I'm brutally honest when I'm not busy playing so many word games I forget what I was trying not to say in the first place. When there's something that everyone in the room is thinking and refuses to say I'm usually the asshole who decides the silence needs to die and whatever it is needs to come to life. I'm probably the hardest supervisor to work for on the face of the planet. I have a tendency to spout of strings of cuss words when there were less obscene ways to discuss my point. I expect as much from others as I force from myself, even though sometimes I push myself over the edge. I bottle everything up until it breaks me and when that happens I'm not usually the most pleasant guy to be in a room with. Until very recently I'd decided that liquor was the perfect solution [ and probably the cause ] of all of life's problems, achievements, disappointments, and breathing. A lot of the time, I'm a jerk. Okay, maybe not to everyone. There's usually a totally different side to me with those things outlined as character flaws rather than honest being, but tonight it doesn't feel like I could be anything but all those things. Tonight I'm fairly sure I'm an asshole rather than a sweetheart with addicting eyes.
There are times when I'm standing in a room with a hundred people and though I'm laughing at the most recent joke someone just told or having a beer, my mind is racing and I'd give anything to be home alone brooding in the dark. My entire life is about wearing mask and telling lies. At least I know where this train of thought originated from, a conversation that's going on somewhere else as I write this. I'm always fine, which as the same person has told me, is what we say when we're really not. On that note she's probably the only person to ever call me out on that and the first time she did I was almost at a loss for what to say to that [ Of course if I'd been completely at loss then I wouldn't be nearly as good at that front as I am ]. I tell people that I'm fine all the time and no one has ever came back with the equivalent of calling me a liar. I'm still not sure if it's relief or worry that being read that easily brings me. Though, it's not as if I mind her having that particular talent, as long as it's because she's that good and not because I've lost my touch.
Because the fronts aren't just there because I'm afraid someone will realize I'm truly insane and have me committed, though it's always a possibility and one that I'd personally like to avoid, but more because of who I have to be. I have to go to work, go see my mom, be there for my friends, be there for strangers when I become the barer of bad news, etc. and every second of every day I have to be the guy that doesn't break. It doesn't matter what's going on. Later, when I go walk the woods or sit down at my computer, that's when it frees. I used to come home at night and write it all down, when the notebook filled I had a small fire in the back yard and started over, but it never really helped so much as it made me believe it was. Just like this.