Mental Illness and Religion

Yes, I know I touched on this in my last post, but I wanted to approach it specifically instead of telling you all the bad experiences I had.

I was diagnosed Bipolar 1 in 2002 (again, to refresh, I left out any talk of psychosis).  I lived my life on the edge.  I was more manic a few years after that when I Djed at a strip club.  Yes, I was taking medicine, but I also started doing drugs which completely counter-acted the benefits of my psych meds.  Slowly I got better and started to live with a couple of friends, who eventually got scared of all the med changes I was going through and how they made me violent and irritable.  They told me that they didn’t want to live with me after our lease was done…. so, I went and lived with my mom.

After a few weeks there, I decided that maybe I should go to church to see what it was like… and I chose the church that I used to go to for Youth Group.  It was 2009.  At this time I was incredibly normal.  No mood swings, no psychosis.  And I was very very stable.  So, I went, and was given such a warm welcome.  I ended up going to the church every Sunday that I was home.  And when I left, they researched a church for me to go to where I was going to live.  I was definitely paranoid about that (and for the right reason), but I smiled and nodded as they handed over the information for the Church (turns out, it wasn’t a very welcoming church and had SO many members that they had to have 2 Sunday services.  I felt completely lost and stopped going).  Same thing happened when I lived in King of Prussia… and a few times during my stay there, I went back to my church, even though it was a half hour away.  Then, finally, I moved back with my mom and went regularly again.  Then… I just stopped going.

My mental illness kept getting worse.  I had to be admitted to the hospital a couple of times, too.  I went every once in awhile.  Most of the time I couldn’t bear to get out of bed.  Finally, in fall of last year, I went back to the church and stayed there.  I will never doubt my decision.  I go every weekend, unless I’m not going to be in town.  I’m on the right meds, I like myself more, I’ve gone from crippling social anxiety to a much calmer state most of the time.  I’ve also lost some friends in the battle, but I do not mourn it anymore.

I know a lot of people may be wary of religion (especially others who have serious mental illnesses), because they’ve got the thought in their heads that all the religious people want to  pray for complete healing and go off their meds.  It’s a horrible stereotype.  People pray for healing, of course, but they pray for the doctors, they pray for the right medication to be administered.  And they know that God put those people in those jobs to help others for a reason.

So don’t be afraid to try it.  Obviously, if you don’t want to, that’s perfectly fine.  I’ll never just tell anyone what to do.

Be brave.


being anti-social

Lately I’ve found myself being slightly anti-social.  This is a relatively new thing for me considering I’ve always been the type of person who thrives on having others around.  Even in high school, when I was going through a really rough time, I was always out with my friends.  Now, however, people make plans and invite me and I tend to not want to go because it means being around people.

Funny thing is, I’m writing this as I sit at the West Chester Diner with a nice handful of my friends.  It’s diner night, and that, for some reason, is different.  Maybe it’s because it’s an established weekly event, but it puts my personal anxiety at ease.  Diner night holds a special place in my heart and no matter how down I’m feeling I can still come out to the diner and feel like things have been lifted off my shoulders.

Regardless, for being a very social person, this new predicament is bothering me.  I’m not sure where it’s coming from or when it started.  I wonder if it has something to do with the lack of creativity that has been plaguing me for months (see a few posts below).  I’m also poor (see below), so part of me also wonders if that plays into it as well.

Is it typical for social beings such as myself to go through phases like this?  Most definitely, I believe.  It’s hard when it’s your first time really feeling this way though.  I’ve been down before (like I said, in high school), but going out… forcing myself out… was a way to ease that burden.  Now it just makes it seem worse.  More tedious almost.

I don’t mean to be all depressing in this blog post, so I won’t continue much more.  I think I’m just reaching out for suggestions on how to deal with this feeling.  I would especially like to know because it would definitely help me relax after work if I could go and chill with some of my friends out at a bar or restaurant.  I do miss everyone.

no money honey

Let’s be honest here… I’m terrible at spending money.  Somehow i have spent $150-$200 in two days.  Granted, there was a fill-up on gas and a movie thrown in there, but in all honesty, I should not be this poor already when we got paid on Friday.  I think it’s time to reevaluate.

Of course, going out to West Chester really doesn’t really help my situation at all either.  Problem is, I have fun when I go out.  I’m going to be 30 years old in 6 months and I act like I’m in my early twenties.  It’s not that I have a problem with that, exactly, but I know it’s not helping my wallet.

So, instead of this just turning into a depressing post, I shall end it here.  Any suggestions?

alive and well

It’s been what seems like forever since I’ve posted on here.  I’m not sure if it’s lack of motivation or the fact that nothing of extreme importance is going on in my life at the moment.  Of course, it could be the combination of that and the lack of sleep I’ve been getting over the past weeks.  It seems that I have a roommate that is a bad influence and I stay up too late for my own good. 🙂

Regardless, last night was an interesting one.  We went to the diner for our Thursday night ritual and for some reason I was feeling a bit socially withdrawn.  I think it’s because I go there to relax and hang out with some close friends… it is essentially supposed to be a writers-inspired night after all… but last night there were so many people that I felt a bit awkward.   Don’t get me wrong… I love everyone who was there, but I felt like I couldn’t get anything done and there were so many conversations going on around me that I couldn’t keep track of any one really.  It’s definitely a curse of mine.

Other than that, life has been pretty simple.  I go to work during the week and relax on the weekends.  It’s a nice, boring life that I’ve managed to achieve for myself (minus the staying up late and being extremely tired the whole time that I’m awake during the week).

On the good side, however, I’ve been chatting with one of my good friends, Leanne, who lives out in Cali at least once a week for awhile now and that feels good.  It’s like we’ve never lost touch.

Signing off for right now… I have some interesting topical posts coming up in soon, I just have to stop being lazy and type them.


how does one obtain a new muse?

I’m wondering if I should bore you with more tales of my knee injury or my lack of love life.  Maybe neither.  Maybe… I’ll talk about the creative drought I’ve been having recently.

What’s sad about me (and possibly others) is that we have our muses and they’re fickle.  Mine, unfortunately, had been a person.  This person and I are not on good enough terms right now for them to be the muse to any of my stories or ideas.  I had this brilliant idea a few weeks back about a postmodern play I could write about mental illness.  In my head thoughts were swirling around and I couldn’t even put them down on paper I was drowning in them.  Now… poof!  Everything is gone.

So I’m asking those who read (and I know there are a few of you… you just don’t comment) to give me some feedback about what inspires your creativity and how you compress all those thoughts and put them onto paper (or computer, whichever you choose). 

I used to write all the time, back when I wasn’t on any medication for my health.  The ideas would just bash me about the head and I would feel so alive.  Unfortunately, I cannot stop taking the medications now, so I can’t even do an experiment to see if it was a product of not being on medication or just because I was young and full of life. 

Regardless, it all ends up the same right now.  I’m trying to reach into a void to pull out ideas and it’s not working.  A magic wand would be nice right about now 🙂

i’m thinking more real

In essence, I’m again apologizing for not updating this blog more than only occassionally.  I’ve felt the distinct lack of need to rant about things going on in society and my life has been overly busy with mundane things such as packing and moving and getting surgery.  That said, I’m taking this blog to a more personal level along with the other “meaningful” posts.  my first one starts today.

As I’m in my new apartment, currently laid up from surgery.  It’s been a bit short of 2 weeks living with Matt and Lynch and all seems to be going well.  I’m finding the utmost enjoyment in watching my roommates play video games on our living room tv (ok, Lynch’s living room tv if you want to get technical).  This is a good thing since the only annoyance is coming from the surgery I had last Tuesday.

I went in for a knee arthroscopic surgery on the 11th.  All was well at first with my healing progressing nicely.  Unfortunately, I’m now in a state where one minute I can walk without crutches and the next minute I’m finding myself in need of them to get from my permanent residence in my lounge chair to my room, and frequently find myself in extreme pain.  I’ve compromised and left one crutch by my chair in order to stave off the pain just a little bit.  it’s been a fun time.  regardless, after speaking with the doctor, I now have to go on short term disability for the rest of the week, which is one one hand more of a respite from work, and on the other hand a bit detrimental to my monetary situation for two weeks in June before they actually process it.  Always a good time.  I’m still a firm believer in the fact that things will work out.

Other than that I think life’s on a good track.  I’m currently getting ready to hobble into the kitchen to do the dishes in the sink (or at least part of them).  Wish me luck 😉

who are your people?

My people are essentric.  eclectic.  weird.  different.  They very greatly in age and background. They have numerous obsessions and quirks.  The best part is, we are still a family.  We accept each other’s differences and revel in our own.  Conversations stem from writing to video games to B movies to fashion to random venting no one else can understand.

To see us, you wouldn’t know we were all friends.  We dress differently from each other, talk differently, act differently.  Regardless, we are us.  I’m guessing that the common ground we all have that we’re outgoing and fun.  We’re ready for anything and will jump at the chance to be involved in activities, others’ lives, or just plain get together.  This also seems to carry over into most of the other people I interact with.

Whether at work, on the train, or in random situations, I always tend to gravitate towards people who exude engergy and lead busy lives (but not because of obligations, but due to hobbies and self-imposed social outings).  People who don’t mind being silly, but who can be serious when need be.

My people are amazing.