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Avatar universal

Sobriety making bipolar loneliness even lonelier

So since I was diagnosed a year ago, I can't help but look back through a bipolar lens and analyze the loss of every friendship I once loved.  Now that I am sober (as of 4 months), and don't even have drinking/smoking friends, the isolation seems unbearable.  I feel like I can never get back to my substance-induced 'outgoing' self. Even harder, somehow, I don't have my alcohol and cannabis for dealing with isolation.  I used to have some really good times, and some really bad times-  but I always remembered the good times as something I had lost.  Now, I feel like no social enjoyment of that level will ever happen again.  

My reality is that I got messed up- had a lot of fun, met people, "lived life" (hypomanically) to the fullest.  I never seemed to get in legal trouble for my risky behavior, so the sky was the limit.  Even would bring friends along, all high out of their minds on drugs, as I drunkenly shot fireworks from my moving car in a police officer's neighborhood.   I was wild, I would do almost anything.  That person is now a distant memory.  Can I ever understand how to be this person I am now?  I always had the substances when I would recluse; they always made the 12 hour days alone bearable.  Yes, they gave me many downs as well.  But now, all I have is medium downs and no ups.  I have no hope for my future social life.  No one in my city does anything other than my two favorite pastimes.  Also, my age of 27 has me trapped in an adrift feeling at a university where I feel too old for most grad students even...  yet I look like a mere 22 year old in the face and body, so people my age rarely seem to accept me as an equal.  

Can anyone relate, or give any advice to me?  I have a lengthy 1st journal entry that might help one understand my situation-  also a perfect display of my detailedness that seems to drive all my friends away, if this post hasn't already demonstrated.
24 Responses
Avatar universal
The thing that popped out most in you last post was feeling 15. I was just saying that a couple days ago, but I said 16. I was on some drug most the time for 29 years, the last about 8 was methadone. I felt like I woke up from a nightmare for awhile, then it felt like a neutral dream, and I I've been awake awhile now. Studying the brain and the pleasure pathways of the brain really helped me. Addiction is not all in the mind, though it is in the brain. When we are addicted, the cerebral cortex takes over and will actually shut down the frontal lobe of the brain. Our brain is conditioned to believe and react as if not taking drugs is a life threatening situation. Fight or flight of the old brain, the part even reptiles have, takes total control of thinking. The chemical imbalance that is created by drugs removes emotions not related to survival, we actually lose the choice to use or not. So, when I was going crazy and my emotions crippled me and I losing my mind, a friend said, "Congratulations on feeling again." That really hit home. On drugs, I had moods, but no real feelings. I didn't care what people said or thought, social settings were easier. I didn't care as much a project wasn't finished. After drugs were gone awhile, I really had to push to discover a new me. I felt like I was 16, I'm about at 18 now. It's as if I am learning adult autonomy, work ethics, mature sexual relations, who my friends are, and what I want to do with my life all over again. The hardest as a BP person is not letting my mood dominate me like a teen. That leads me to my main sobriety tool. I keep trying to BE good no matter how I feel. When I have a hyper manic psychotic event, all my tools go out the window, but most of the time, I can say, "this feels horrible, but I know I am doing my best," and do some small thing toward. An AA saying is, We place progress over perfection, ever reminding us to place principles above personalities. Perfection doesn't exist, recovery is a life long process of improvement. BP is too. Walking the path just above the comfort zone is often required. For example, I feel like going under my covers and disappearing, which never helps anything but time pass. I feel like doing that, but I know I have to get out. There are other things I do besides hide to be alone. Biking and swimming are my favorite. Writing and working on a garden bed, anything besides my old habit of finding a hole to hide in. It will get easier, I'm glad you are dealing with BP along with addiction. Doing drugs then BP was a hard road, still is a lot, but it has been world it. Keep up the good fight. Never stop growing.
1551327 tn?1514049467
COMMUNITY LEADER
I have struggled with my diagnosis for the last three years but am getting better at managing it and am becoming more social.  I have been to treatment several times and every time except for this last time I stayed to myself.  I know it stinks when bipolar is the main thing on your mind and it is blamed for every right or wrong thing in your life.  I have type1 and very few manic days anymore.  I still get depressed but I can usually pull myself out of it and when I can't I try to just let it pass.
I was also recently diagnosed with borderline personality disorder which makes my 6th diagnosis.  I took it pretty hard at first because I was just starting to feel normal but I had to realize I have had all of my illnesses since a young age and I am better equipped to deal with them now.  It may be a challenge for you to get out there and be more social and it sounds like you have some codependent tendencies.... which I also have.  I am better at it now but I used to base my mood on other people's moods and when they were down I would act down.  I would only allow myself to be happy when they were.  I also felt that I needed attention and when I did have attention it was never enough.  I have learned to be silent more and listen instead of talking.
This is a good site to come to if you are feeling lonely.  The bipolar forum is slow sometimes as well as the depression but you can always read some of the older posts as you wait on a response from someone.
Welcome to the forum and know that you are not alone.
Larry
Avatar universal
Larry-

I am sorry to hear that your second diagnosis has put you back into the same boa, so to speak, as me.  I hope that the knowledge of your previous progress gives you strength in dealing with the present.  Your post was very insightful, and I see some things I could definitely take a look at.  I haven't actually ever gotten advice before from a peer that really rang true.  I see so many people on here say how it's is so hard to explain it to someone, or to feel like they truly understand.  I believe there is a lot of truth in that.  I've never really had a candid conversation about bipolar with someone before.  It makes it easier over the internet, I think.  What a pleasure it is to have a reply to the only question I've ever posted about mental health.

You are so right about the codependency thing.  I seriously won't enjoy myself unless I believe everyone else is to the fullest.  Spoiler alert: they are never enjoying themselves enough for me to believe I'm doing a good job.

I find that now, I am so afraid to talk to people, I don't know how to approach it.  A former girlfriend once told me, "Brett, I think you are alone so much that when you finally get around a person you just spill out"  It is true.  I want them to stay in my life and feel like I have to express that to them with my interest.  It probably overwhelms people.  Now, I am afraid to offend by smothering people with too much interest in them, or conversely being boring.

Tomorrow, on it looks like 3 hours of sleep, I will start a new group therapy, as well as see a different pdoc I believe.  I'll keep in mind what you said, and maybe mention them in group therapy.  I'm excited because I joined the last group halfway through.  Now, I have more of an opportunity to bond with people since day 1.

Thanks again,
Brett
Avatar universal
I can say 120 days off opiates was one of my worst ever. As my brain healed from drugs, the bipolar got worse. I messed up again, I waited for a year clean to get help with bipolar. I am 43 and went 28 years untreated, for what my therapist and doc call pretty intense BP1. Needless to say, I **** fire works, shotguns, well, anything I could from a speeding care. I disqualified all my good times from bipolar for awhile, but at about 16-18 months clean, I find I am feeling better than I have in years. I've had moments that were good before 18 months, but now I am even seeing things different while depressed. I had to find inspiration to channel my thoughts to. I'm still working on the right BP meds and am still arranging my life to live a healthy BP life, not the BP life that landed me half way around the world sometimes. Maybe that's crazy, healthy BP, but I have the diagnosis that says I'm crazy anyway. I say give it more time and try not to obsess on BP. I was riding the edge all the time trying to fix myself. Now I am just trying to BE myself. It took awhile to figure out what the new me is. Keep searching and need stop growing.
Avatar universal
Enjoyed your post weaver71.  It really makes me think I have a larger number (18 mos) to shoot for.  The self-medicating is over, so now we're in the reality, right?  Your post put a lot of perspective into our situation.  I'd love to see your progression as you continue on.
Avatar universal
Methadone just take so long to leach out of bones and fat tissue. I feel like I had a year of waves. Bipolar played a role in that. Physically also, it's like I returned from prison camp. I had to use swimming, meditating, researching, coping skills, counseling, meds , AA, I've hade to try it all. I didn't honestly believe I could heal. The folks who quit said it would get better. It was a leap of faith. Addictive drugs and bipolar usually don't go well together. You will wake up one day and realize methadone is a closed chapter. New memories become recent past and that past keeps growing.
Avatar universal
It is so great that you have moved on from that.  I have been trying to go to AA, I'm hoping I can make that step.  You overcame something that's always hard for some, and impossible for most.  Thank you for the techniques that worked for you.  I got my first massage (only $27 for an hr) yesterday, and I have never felt more relaxed in my life.  I think that and some of the things you suggested will be my new form of dealing with life's frustrations.  As my sister mentioned today, I used to spend almost that much on alcohol every week.  I made it through my birthday today completely sober.  My friend suprisingly said I could order anything for my dinner, even a beer.  I reiterated what I've told him, there is no 'one beer' for me.  Not on my birthday, not on new years, not this May when I graduate.  I'm really proud of myself for that.
6827092 tn?1389388419
That's fantastic! WOW! Very well done!!!!! Yes, be proud and write it down how you feel as you can get back to this feeling later on :).
As above: it is a massive lifestyle change - something like when you move to a different city and don't know ppl there. How would you find new friends? I don't know what you are interested in but anything what you enjoy counts. The great way how to buddy up is to walk a dog as dog lovers always talk to each other. The dog doesn't have to be yours ;). Join a gym, or some classes - anything where you can meet ppl. And as above - you will make new memories. Give it a time. All the best. x
Avatar universal
Bunny had some great points. I find getting out of my head is easier if I'm moving it. I find my thoughts may be fleeting or going all over the place, but I keep swimming as my central focus, walking and looking to see what kind of trees and plants are growing around. Early recover is a lot of self awareness for addiction or bipolar, lots of similarities. Learn a coping skill and meditate on it and how you could apply it as you bike to a park. If I forget to coordinate my body and mind, my mind gets off it's leash. Don't know if that would help you, but I find that I am instinctively working and using coping skills better than figuring it all out at once, then using my tools. That's like a someone wanting to be pure before going to church or sober before they seek help with alcoholism. Cart before the horse. One thing at a time.'i found one of my first exercises very helpful. I constantly searched for myself having tunnel vision for a couple weeks. Only that. I realized I focused on doctors supplying too many drugs, which made me disqualify all the people trying to help addicts. I found I resented corporate ruled America, disqualifying all the people who sacrificed so much to make it as good as it is. No crucifixions going on anymore, no more public hangings in town square. Anyway, thought Id share what has helped me lately. You are doing awesome. If I was really feeling down, I just kept chanting, "There is no problem so huge that drugs CAN'T make it worse."
Avatar universal
007Bunny and weaver71 - I had prepared something earlier for you both, but I must not have sent it correctly.  I like what I've written now though, so no loss.  

I see a lot of value in what you both have said.  Your words of encouragement are touching 007Bunny.  I am enrolled in school, and just have so much social anxiety it seems superficial.  I attend school in a party town, and so my only social moments were usually made either being drunk or around drunk people.  I've lived her for 8 years and feel as though I haven't made one true friend.  In fact, it feels like a new city all the time.  With the sobriety- its more real but not worse.  I just don't get a moment of clear mind from my old substances.  At least I know the worst thing that can happen is that I spend all my time alone.  I won't be spending my time alone forever.  And I often tear up-- I'm depressed-- but not drinking to the tune of my own sobbing is a relief.  Thank you for your kind words.

Weaver, your suggestions are more than welcomed here.  They give me hope-- I don't feel so alone.  And everyone one of them are things I enjoyed.  I've spent half of my life intoxicated almost daily.  It's surreal still; I feel like I am where I left off at the age of 15.  I used to love doing all of those activities you mentioned.  Now, I just skateboard once every two weeks and often land myself in the hospital due to taking excessive risks. (As I did last Friday)  I miss the swimming, the walking, and the biking.  Those things made a huge difference in my brain and body.  Skateboarding, not so much.  It is now apparent that I have not had some sort of healthy release in some time. I'm going to make it my goal this weekend to just go on a walk or something like that.  

Your post about the cart before the horse is so true weaver71.  Its hard to admit, but sometimes I really just distract myself to put off the suffering.  I lay and think of coping techniques, then postpone and postpone.  I find a distraction, and that creates more distractions and problems.  Then, it can be pretty hard to return to reality.  I usually try to do something off the extensive to-do list to get my mind off of things, which has mixed outcomes.  I generally never finish what I set out to do, house projects usually.

I'd really like to work on focusing the mind, not just distracting it because it's easier.  My means of 'focus' really aren't really means at all.  They are coordinated distractions.  It is better to do that and get out of the bed, but I hop right back in when I'm done instead of gaining momentum.  I think the idea of momentum doesn't really work.  I need to just work on things bit by bit.  There is no overwhelmingly strong gear that I kick into that makes me superhuman.  I just have the next 5 minutes, and need to make the best of that.
Avatar universal
Hello, Something that you may enjoy and just might help is Luminosity. It is full of really great mind games. If you get a chance, look into it.
Avatar universal
Sorry, it's spelled Lumosity.
Avatar universal
Crystal413 - Funny, there was a girl named Crystal in my group therapy I joined today AND 4,3, and 1 are some of my favorite numbers for some reason (when they are combined in some way haha).  I did try Luminousity yesterday.  I found it pretty engaging and challenging, but ran out of free games.  Does anyone know of anything comparable to Luminousity?

Weaver71, I can tell I'm going to be reading a lot of your posts.  Your knowledge and perspective is both comforting and amazing at the same time.  I loved the  "congrats on feeling again" quote-- Definitely how I feel.  Speaking with someone going through the same thing is immensely helpful.  Also, thanks for all you just taught me about my brain; the more I know about the physiology and chemistry of my body, the easier time I have accepting my feelings and situation.  Educating myself gives me both strength and hope.  I am trying to join AA after having met with someone who is heavily involved with it.  I know it is going to be an important part of my long term success with sobriety.

Today was a little shaky at the start with 3 hours of sleep.  After 12 hours away from home, I finally lay here-- not tired whatsoever of course.  I was introduced to a new group therapy today.  I experimented with 'group' last semester, and liked it.  Now, I am the only 'vet' in the group, which is nice.     I opened up about the addictions and the BP, explaining a bit about the dopamine and serotonin transmission.  My new counselor praised me, admiring that I took the time to help understand the diseases' correlation.  I know I have a ton to learn, so I am always ready to listen.  

The BP girl I knew from last semesters group wasn't present, though she was thought to be joining.  I have found more in this thread than talking to just about anyone else.  I think it helps that you don't have to look people in the eye-sometimes it feels a little too real... I'm getting there, but not yet.  It is truly a pleasure to see how things have been changing for you weaver71.  As I've already said, you have become a great source of inspiration and confidence for me.  I have been wanting to talk about BP to people to help teach about mental illness in general (my uncle passed away at a young age, a great man who happened to have schizophrenia and alcoholism).  I want to help remove the stigma, correct misconceptions, reach out to others in need... etc.  My school's NAMI has the same organization as a winter pickup game of basketball.  I'm trying to do more, and it gives me strength to see how you start small.  I used this quote last night in a 5 hour long 1,000 word essay (1 hour typing 3,000 words- 4 hours deleting 3/4 of them): “And yet in our world, everybody thinks of changing humanity, but no one thinks of changing himself” - Leo Tolstoy.

I like how you give examples of your biking and swimming.  I wanted to work out today with my friend, but it didn't work out.  I've lost a ton of weight during my recent bouts with depression and have very little body mass anymore.  I notice you pointed out how you would go on walks and just spot out the different plants and trees.  Do you have any other suggestions like that?  Things I can do to start small?  My leg is jacked up from falling down some stairs last Friday.  I'm walking now, but with a pretty decent limp.

Thanks again everyone.  I'm feeling pretty elevated from the increased Wellbutrin lately, but this is helping me know a part of the positivity is definitely real.
Avatar universal
I've been keeping track of the moon a placement of the sun in the equinox and solstice. That helps me stay grounded, going outside daily to se the moon and seeing where the sun rises and sets on the horizon. I try to lay down for sleep at the same time. A teacher suggested I start a library, so I did. I have books on therapy, relapse prevention, physiology, 12 step material, spiritual books, etc. when I have idle time, feel confused, or my priorities are mixed up, I stop and grab a book to learn one thing about addiction and the body. I find it usually gives me perspective and reminds me of how bad things were. Swimming would probably be good with a busted leg. I joined the gym. That was my only social interaction outside meetings for awhile. The sauna, hot tub and pool are heavenly in winter and I have some friends there now. To me, it's a lot about taking the time to make new memories to define myself by. I only knew the drug mind and all my memories were diluted. Shooting model rockets with my son, I took up archery again. I made an potato canon that splatter a pomegranate, every seed was juiced. Good CLEAN fun. Now that's worth remembering. What do you like to do? What inspires you? Not just like a novel, but really is something you believe in and would be willing to make sacrifices to do?
Avatar universal
It is sad, but I really don't feel any inspiration in life right now.  I look back and see what once inspired me, but it feels worlds away.  I had a lot of grandeous thoughts: being the best DJ in my town (though I'm not a top 40 style DJ), leading a gardening revolution in my community and college, leading a mental health awareness campaign, becoming the best graffiti artist in my town and performing incredible daring acts in high-risk areas, being involved in drug-legalization and medical marijuana movements, starting a beer selling/delivery business, becoming a 24 taxi which friends could do drugs in my car, growing large quantities of japanese maples to sell at the farmer's market (they take years to grow), climbing trees with harnesses and rock climbing ropes, building furniture out of recycled pallets and selling them at the farmer's market... the list goes on.  Those are the type of things I would imagine myself doing all the time, it took up about half of my planning.  All I did was plan.  Something kept me from trying most of them.  Probably learning the hard way how hard it was to be successful in college and try to attempt these feats helped ground me.  I really think the BP meds had something to do with it.  I don't feel the same pleasure or high from those activities.

I now don't even have interest in those thing, which may just be part of getting the BP under control.  I cannot do all of those things.  In fact, doing the easiest 3 of them would severely interfere with my life.  I feel closer to my religion than ever, but still don't really feel anything.  I spend 90% of my free time watching The Simpsons or the Office.  I've seen all seasons of both probably 20 times-  no joke.  I'd like to part with these things, but feel so exhausted trying to do anything else.  They are definitely coping mechanisms.  Often times, if I actually finish something it means that I became obsessed and turned the 20 minute fix into the 6 hour project.  I have had so many passing hobbies, it's unreal.  I had to stop working when I returned to school, so traditionally had a lot of time to kill.  I used to be into doing illegal things.  Was doing graffiti for a few months last fall (in an abandoned area people already do it).  I used to be into fooling cops with whatever illegal things I could get away with (nothing unsavory like stealing or anything-  more like baiting them to try to catch me through my drug lifestyle)

i like gardening, writing about my life and mind (can become obsessive), cooking, minor remodeling of my apartment, woodworking, turntables sometimes, fishtanks, framing art pictures, inventing things, taking film, going to church or studying religion, doing excel spreadsheets and budgeting my imaginary income my forecasts (various ploys that always fail), making ginger ale was fun, sometimes drawing, learning a bit of guitar, singing recently (since starting to attend church again), shooting fireworks/exploding things, getting an hr long $27 massage the other day was pretty awesome and cleared my mind pretty well.  I enjoy looking at DIY ideas on Pinterest, something I was reminded of in my all-girl (except me) group therapy today.  I

Maybe my substitute pdoc was right - maybe my Lamictal is too high at 200mg,  I just don't get enjoyment out of anything really.  I feel relieved when I get things done, that is it.  I went up from 300 to 450 mg of Wellbutrin, what once worked for me before the BP diagnosis and mood stabilizers. I am obviously elevated all of a sudden, but still sort of numb in a way.  It's hard for me to place it, because I always imagined the 'numbing' would literally be a numbing feeling in my brain.  It's more that I feel blah about most things that should excite me.  I don't really think it's depression, but who knows.  Both my pdoc and I don't know.  I always kind of have a hard time not muting my emotions around my tdoc, so I get no answers there either.
Avatar universal
120 days clean was one of the worst days of my life. I went manic and depressed at once, dysphoria. I had to hold onto those things you mentioned, past inspiration and hope. We have a lot in common. I have been an Organic farmer, garden, landscaper for over 20 years. I am currently looking into building a methane producing biodigester to run my house. We build our own fireworks and shoot a lot of model rockets. I had no idea what I would be doing after I was sober awhile. I knew inspiration was in me, I knew hope existed, yet I couldn't feel it. That was when I started saying, "Focus on BEING good instead of FEELING good." I said that to myself a million times, it became a mantra. I just trusted that sober people were right, that it would get better. I took so many drugs I thought I did permanent damage, but kept going anyway. I figured life was bad on drugs, life seems bad now, at least I had other peoples hope to keep me going. At this point, I have to remind myself to stay focused. I chose writing to be my central intention. I started converting an outbuilding into a library. It's coming along great. I keep catching myself changing why I am building it, then I say, "No, I am going to make a writing and art studio, I can change it later, but I WILL finish this." It's a battle and sometimes it goes smoother than others, but I see my progress, that's all I have to hold onto sometimes, but that's more than I had on drugs. I cracked up on the fish tank thing. I was just thinking yesterday that I would put my 100 gal tank in my studio and it will be like my own little apartment. Then I caught myself, nope, it's only a writing studio for now. I tend to over do things to the point they never get done, so this is a good exercise for me. I think it will make me feel better about myself too. I will have one thing that I set out to do and did it. I know it's not much, but it is a sober memory that defines my future. You'll find your way, just give it more time.
Avatar universal
Thanks mate, makes me think about things a little differently.  Haha the fishtank is like 1 hr worth of silicone away from being functional.  But yeah, I am into the organic thing myself, even getting into some heirlooms this season.  I think gardening is going to be the thing I get really into.  I eat a heck of a lot better when I am gardening.  I like the "BEING good" part of your quote.  Wow, and the library addition sounds like a great thing to be working on.  Seeing that grow with each addition must be satisfying to witness.
Avatar universal
"leading a gardening revolution in my community and college, leading a mental health awareness campaign... performing incredible daring acts in high-risk areas,..."

Dude! We have a lot in common. I'm 21 and have had bipolar for a number of years, and just recently started going to church regularly again. Never tried drugs myself, don't plan to. Thing is, college is a great place to discover unlikely things, and one unlikely thing I discovered is that many people have the same dreams that I do. Planting food all over campus, for instance. Jamming down the street, at midnight, in a city where drunk people rush over, pay you a dollar, and parkour over the walls of the nearest bank while a cabbie yells at you (yes, we actually did this). Reminding each other that talent is hard to put a cap on, but superior talent is knowing when to hold back and when to let go. Praying together for a spiritual revival. Talking about what weed does to the brain with both high and not high people, while making an egg salad that turns out to be more delicious than you thought  then get a contact high lasting 48 hours. College is full of people like that, and some of these things I just mentioned, you could almost say my job depends on it.

So while I don't have much specific advice for you, we can probably agree on one thing, and that's that talking about it helps. If it's smooth, and it's relaxed, then it's beautiful. When it comes to excel spreadsheets, I used to use that to track my episodes. But like a lot of my projects, lack of motivation equals lack of sustained effort, so you're no longer giving the plant what it needs to grow. Call it a negative habit or a pattern, if you will. Maybe that's why a lot of us like planting - it brings people together, and you need a lot of work to get there, but in the end everyone can reap the benefits, if you don't get a massive drought or apathy. Wait, I was talking about the urban agriculture revolution. Where I go to school, there's a permaculture plot 35 klicks down the street. Where I spend most of my time now, there's a permaculture plot 180 km down the street. Great minds - even if those people happen to be insane - need to spend at least a little bit of time together.

Recently, I've been mostly depressed for 35 out of the last 40 days. Past five months, though, have been full of crazy stories, and because I like to write a lot, that one day where I missed a parade, hailed a radio crew and fed pizza to six homeless people could easily fill a 190-page book, but I lacked the time, commitment or energy to write anything down, so the story will probably be told with a constant refrain. I'm being told lately that I mumble a lot when I speak, and in a dream one of my colleagues said that I need to be more original rather than blurt out the same words over and over again. So life is a learning process, and I can totally relate to wanting to lock yourself in all the time, the bipolar symptoms, getting more open about mental health, feeling adrift, or even being a bit of a pyromaniac. Police officers can be fun to talk to, I've realized, if you're asking what they do in the kitchen rather than being an antagonist about what they represent to the townsfolk.

Also, do they have prayer meetings at your college?
Avatar universal
Townsend178 - I hope you accept my apologies for such a late reply.  I read what you wrote thoroughly back on the 9th, but as I said in that quick private message to you, I didn't have the strength to reply back yet.  It was a pretty harsh depression.

I guess I think of the idea of people being out there like that, but I am doubtful we align enough.  You and I sound like we'd probably enjoy doing a lot of the same things.  I myself have gotten back into my religious side, attending church a few times and often watching it online when I couldn't make it.  I want to find those people out there.  I just feel like no one I've met is on the same wavelength around here.  This Saturday is the opening gathering of our community garden, where I will be assigned a plot and get to meet everyone.  Will be interesting going to the garden in crutches, which I am on day 10 of this round.  I know those thrills, the parkour, and helping people.  I often see people waving the signs for Liberty tax and think of buying them all handwarmers on cold days.  Then I remind myself of the copious debt I've amassed from doing such things, and I think a little better of it.  The majority of my life I spent all my money to impress and give things to other people, at my own life's expense; a refrigerator with no food-- nothing but drug paraphernalia as my possessions...  I have changed quite a bit thinking-wise.  Where my drug usage used to be a grey area of ethics and beliefs, now I just conclude it is black and white for now.  No huge pro-cannabis teachings, because of how it effects me.  Not that I don't want to spread the word that it can eliminate seizures in many people's MS, I don't want my thinking to influencing me back into thinking it would be fine for me again.  That would lead to me drinking and using other drugs again, and might end up costing me my life.  So, I'm also trying very hard to learn how to not have so many sexual encounters.  I have a lot of regrets there, for many reasons.  Things are different, and I'm still feeling the world out.  I try to think of things like what Tony (weaver71) said to me: "Progress over perfection" and my more recent favorite-- "Learning how to make new memories."  The first one is very hard for me, because I'm very much a perfectionist in some aspects.-- one of those 2-hours-late paper-that-is-5x-the-requirement types.  It does bite me in the butt.  I guess I have to get on with it and just keep waiting and trying a little more at the time.  It would be sweet if I met someone at church I could talk to, other than casual hello's to strangers.  I go to a really big church-- I enjoy the minister a lot.  I think my social anxiety and shyness from childhood is still very present.  I used to not fit in very well, in both my school, family, and friendships.  I was the kid who always had to call up to ask if I could go over to friends' houses-- never the one who anyone invited over or came to see.  So, a lot of my nesting-style adaptation to my life is to try to win over people.  It doesn't work so great, but is something I can control.  I feel like the things that people don't like about me are the things I can't control-- my looks, my social style, how untypical yet anti-untypical I am (if that makes sense).  I just want people who are just exactly like me.  I just keep dreaming about it.  I think of the garden and imagine meeting my wife... It has taken me deciding I really want to meet someone and marry her before I get involved with sex again.  I abused sex as a privilege and made it cheap and valueless in my mind.  Not to mention all the friendships it has lost me.  I always want that one shot back in the right direction for just one thing in my life, thinking that will reverse all the other problems and just make that life I imagine is worth loving.  I like my life now, the fact that I have it.  But I do not love it.  I wouldn't say I'm too depressed as I say that either.  I'm bipolar though, who knows
Avatar universal
actually, I'm feeling a flip
Avatar universal
I relate a lot to you guys. My therapist encouraged me to stay away from organized religion though. About 10 years ago I was teaching adult Sunday school and was told God doesn't want us to give until it hurts. I snapped and asked if Jesus gave until it hurt and proceeded to point out every point of hypocrisyy I saw in each person. I was in a typical BP1 mania and was not wrong in my observation, but was real inappropriate. They replaced me as teacher real fast. I thought about going back to the local Buddhist monastary meetings and remembered them releasing aphids from the salad from our garden we donated and the monk stood there with a dog on a leash. I asked how he would like if if he was on a leash, he freed aphids but is the master of a dog spirit. Did Siddhartha time over animals?. Anyway, I relate to the desire to follow paths of faith and philosophy, but have to be careful with my zeal and delusions of grandeur. I often wish I could keep my mouth shut so I too could get back into community faith. I am working on my resentments and extreme personality, not to mention the Bipolar1.

Cleaning trays, drying the rotted seeds from last year, turning the compost, I will have to be satisfied with showing my faith by what I am doing for now. Maybe some tips to keep my mouth shut would be helpful, maybe. Good to see you around, keep up the good fight.
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Interesting perspective Tony.  I know all too well where the inappropriate revelations come in...  Feeling that need to really brand them into everyone's soul.  When my hypomania gives me that similar feeling, it is all too real.  Know that scene in sword fights where the one person is surrounded by 10?

Wow, I really freakin get what you are saying about the zeal part Tony.  It can get a little intense.  'John Wayne vs. entire town gun-drawl' intense.  It is so unfortunate that you were discounted originally, and then that it led to a regretable situation.  It must have felt really uncomfortable.  I'm going out on a limb here, but I think I can relate a little bit to that discomfort-- in both the agitation and the resulting effects.  

What has grounded me lately is to not allow principle to interfere with purpose.  "The greater good" has been causing me to think a lot more lately.  It is nice to see contemplative thinking, as opposed to contemplating my next move (sneakily rubbing hands).  I'm figuring out I have twice as many ears as mouths, so I should listen twice the amount I speak, yes,  but also-- I have something inbetween all three that I often forget to use within the process haha.  I really liked your journal post on pride earlier by the way.

Oh yeah, and guess what?... I started ordering hot pepper seeds haha.  I got some Carolina Reapers on the way!  Just youtube.  I got that and some devil's tongues.  Yehaw.  I had a neighbor take some of my plants from my garden last year, so I may just leave a few of those laying around haha.  The reapers initially taste like a bell pepper I hear, then you get hit with 1.5 million scovilles hahahahah!  Speaking of pride, nothing makes me happier than putting the pride of one of my idiot buddies' in check-- particularly this girl buddy who defeated a little thai chile last year!  She shall see her match this year!
Avatar universal
Ha, just get her. Chili Paquin. They are about a 1/4 inch round pepper, native to Texas and Mexico. Half of one is worse than two whole Thai chilies. I had some indigenous in Yucatan Mexico pull on over on me with Yucatan chilies, very hot. Mind you, I have eaten cayenne fresh. He held his face after biting it just long enough for me to bite one. His face turned red and he was licking like and eating salt. He was on fire, then I was too. I guess that's a universal joke across cultures. I was out in he yard yesterday, I'm picking depends out of the slim in last years fruit. Seeds have to be left in the fruit until they cement, cucumber seed are gross to harvest. The microbes and acids of anaerobic decomposition help form the germ of a seed. I have a million yellow pear tomato seeds. I can send you some heirlooms this summer and next winter, if I know you want them. It's likely too late this year. I am just now drying them. It's gonna be hot and dry on the mountain this year. Biggest drought in over 100 yrs in Cali. Climate change is getting obvious around the world. I'm trying to do my part. My biodigester will be a negative carbon footprint for energy, that is exciting for me.

Oh yeah, look up Urban Farm Guys in Kansas City, they really are doing things right. They are applying some of the best science I have learned.
Avatar universal
Awesome reply!  I can't relate to everything you have talked about.  I have a son who is bipolar.  He alienates everyone around him with his behaviors.  I am glad he is my son.  I really do love him.  I had someone say something like this to me one time, "We can't always choose our circumstances or what happens to us...But we can always choose how to deal with it." I have chosen to grow from this experience.  I work with imprisoned teens I relate to them because of my life experiences.  It also helps me to relate with my son.  I believe that we can use all that has happened in our life to form a person who can help those who follow to succeed.  Serving others has helped me so much.  Maybe give it a try!
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