Tonight’s NAMI Meeting

I am behind on blogging my NAMI experiences. I still have to talk about our State Conference and the Transforming to Wellness Conference a week or two after that. I procrastinate when it comes to using my keyboard for anything other than gaming or celebrity’s boobs. For email I mostly use my iPhone. I wonder if Siri can take dictation. As you may or may not know May is Mental Health Awareness month. We’ve worked NAMI booths at the hospital, Miller-Coors beer plant and other locations. There I think that list all the events and conferences I am behind on blogging about but I’m not catching them up tonight. No tonight I want to talk about the significance of this evening’s NAMI meeting. You see the way it works is at the start of each meeting the entire group is together for either a guest speaker or just a short series of announcements. After that we break into two separate groups. BTW theres a reason I’m explaining this as you shall soon see. Ok the two groups are: Family to Family support group and the Peer to Peer support group. I am in the Peer to Peer as its for people with a diagnosed mental illness. Family to Family group is for relatives and caregivers of someone with a mental illness. Why this matters to me tonight is this evening for the first time ever my wife,Wendy, accompanied me to the NAMI meeting and she sat with the relatives and caregivers group. Approximately two hours later my Peer to Peer group wrapped up and I went next door to find Wendy. She was wiping away tears as she had shared what it was like being a bipolar’s spouse. She also joined NAMI tonight though I’m sure she won’t be as active as I am. That’s ok. Tonight was a good night for me.


My local NAMI group. Hugs to them all.

About 4 or 5 months ago, actually around the same time I decided leave the MMO known as WoW, I reached out to and joined my local NAMI Chapter. In that time I’ve joined their board and become very active with them. I made lots of good friends too. If I have the blogging energy I will write about some of the adventures I have had with them so far. It’s a great learning experience for me and we reach out and give back too. Please click on brochure link. Sorry but I haven’t figured out how to make a pdf be on display like a pic.

– Van

NAMI Albany Brochure 2015-05

more NAMI

Got the email today. I’m an official member of NAMI and of course its website. They asked me to follow them on twitter but I don’t have a twitter and not sure I want one. Not sure I want an app blowing up my cellphone every 30 seconds. Oh well plenty of time to decide. Workout at the gym was nice again tonight. After my evening meds I think I will sleep well tonight. For a change.


Sweat baby!

Restarted at the YMCA last night. Felt sooo good to workout again. I can’t wait to go back tonight. I had let my membership drop when started back playing WoW. The good thing is I only played or been away for approx six months so I remembered most everyone at the gym. My wife who never stopped going to the gym worked out beside me last night. Yea I know sweet. Went to the store today to get the foods I was eating back then too. Nothing complicated just the good fibers (beans, almonds) apples and turkey. I like to eat an apple on the way the to the gym. I try to time it that I finish the apple as we are pulling into the Y’s parking lot. That way 20- 25 minutes into my workout the extra carbs will kick in. I also used to talk walks before on trails nearby. I plan to restart that soon. The experts say these activities help my bipolar. Well while I place more faith in experts who actually have bipolar like Kaye Jamison..let’s hope they’re right.

its not Disneyland

It’s not easy being friends with a bipolar. I could cut and paste tons of documents that a mere google away but I’m not going to. Nope not gonna quote a single expert or patient. Its not easy being me and its not always easy for friends to interact with me. I know its clique to say but my moods are like a roller coaster. Playful at times, excited and joyful and of course the depths of depression. I cant always see it but I can be needy sometimes or more often attention seeking with friends. I take meds, all my meds I really do. I’ll try to get better. I’ll try to be a better bipolar. I’ll try to be a better everything but I’m still going to be me and thats one wild rollercoaster ride.


Common side effects of antipsychotic medications include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Dry mouth
  • Drowsiness
  • Muscle spasms or tremors
  • Weight gain

Risperdal or the generic: risperidone

Side Effects

Drowsiness, dizziness, lightheadedness, drooling, nausea, weight gain, or tiredness may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

To reduce the risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: difficulty swallowing, muscle spasms, shaking (tremor), mental/mood changes (such as anxiety, restlessness), signs of infection (such as fever, persistent sore throat).


Ok I’ve been on Risperdal for approx a year and I’ve noticed the occasional dizziness, lightheadedness and I even noticed saliva coming from and down my lips when watching TV or on the PC. I keep a paper towel nearby when this happens. I haven’t really noticed any weight gain and I don’t recall a single episode of nausea. I do however experience tremors or spasms in my hands and fingers when playing xbox or computer input intensive video games. I have talked to my psych recently about my time on risperdal and told her that I did have side effects but I thought it was helping me be more stable and for that it was worth these side effects. She told me that while my med lithium was a permanent long term med she’s hoping Risperdal will only be a short term med for me.

I hope so too.



I went to my first NAMI session tonight not really sure what to expect. I had spoken to them by phone and they said they would be on the outlook for me. It was terrible weather. Cold and heavy rain. I never would’ve been out if not for this first NAMI meeting. I’ve known of NAMI almost since I was diagnosed bipolar in 2001. I remember a few years after that Josie Bissett speaking on behalf of NAMI at the end of a movie, Dare to Love,   where she plays the true life story of a young lady with schizophrenia.  I dont usually go for lifetime movies but I loved that movie and I’m secure enough to say that I’m a guy who had tears in his eyes at the end of it.
Ok so I get to NAMI get out in the wind and rain and make my way inside. The building, rather large building, is actually an off campus wing of the main hospital. Yep same hospital that I spent a week in the pysch ward last year. I asked if I was in the right room they assured me I was and an older gentlemen introduced himself to me and told me he was the one I spoke with by phone. OK HERES WHERE THINGS GET STICKY. I signed a confidentiality form. So I can only speak in general terms about my NAMI meeting because I dont want to get kicked. All I’ll say is people talked about their condition and what they were dealing with and I listened. I told them all about me. I told them I had good friends with bipolar they lived far away. I did join tonight. Paid my 3$ fee and I guess as soon as the paperwork is submitted I’ll be an official NAMI member. They went over many activities and events. I cant even remember them all. Theres a separate class for the family members of patients to educate them as well. Good idea. They even told me I could take a course and train to be a NAMI leader but I’m really more interested in getting involved with advocacy. Select members from all the NAMI chapters in the state of Georgia are going to the state capital next month. Sounds exciting. Honestly part of me wants to go and part of me isnt sure if I’m ready to tackle politics in my first month.

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Sponsored by the Behavioral Health Services Coalition

Tuesday, January 20, 2015
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This is a wonderful opportunity for NAMI Georgia’s members and supporters to meet with their legislators. Let’s really get out the troops to show our support for recovery and let everyone know that “Mental Health Matter”!

Left Wow again but with unique opportunity to pay it forward

I recently suspended my wow account this week but over the last approx six years I’ve suspended it many times before. Sometimes suspending with a friend and sometimes just me. This time was a little different because I wasn’t burnt out. WoW has some great gaming qualities but its not the mmo it used to me. Not the mmo I liked. Thinking back to 2008 – 2010 I had so many wow friends I referred to as family. WoW family. I remember logging on and getting hit with a barrage of wispers from different friends. “Lets go do a dungeon, whats the latest gossip”. Some ummm even heavy flirting. One friend of mine, whom we spent some time leveling with even showed me her perfect boobs on webcam. Now that’s the kind of bonding experience true friendships are made of. Oh now don’t worry my wife knows I love boobies. She even calls out to me when True Blood is on “Van their showing boobies.” Besides my wow friends are like a million miles away and even if they lived next door I’d still welcome their bare breast but I would never been unfaithful. Bill Clinton said it best if there is no intercourse there is no sex. Funny I find myself agreeing with democrats more often. But anyways back to wow. I’m disappointed how most all guilds in 2008 used to be close nit families to now too many are a cold board room meeting type guild.

I’m also disappointed in my main which since like 2011 has been a resto shammy. A very successful even ranked resto shammy seems to have lost a step. Idk if its me or shammy class changes or my med changes or combo of all three but I don’t like my numbers anymore. A few years ago when we ran our own guild I used to check them after ever pull. Celebrate them. Screenshot them. Now they leave me disappointed in myself and try as I might I couldn’t find a remedy and I wasn’t doing any good for my cold as a republican corporate board room guild and frankly I was tired of the chill in the air. So I exited the building and took a break from the game, a game that has so much potential, to pursue some far more serious real life issues, pay it forward, but I’ll speak more of that in my next blog.

Funny thing about blogs. They never die they just take long breaks.