The Value of Education

At my new really small part time job where the toughest part is having to wake up while its still AM, I work for my dad. I’ve also developed a friendly rapport with one of our repair men. He’s a good bit younger than me and isn’t as skill as our senior repair man but he does ok. We always joke around and I’d told him about my condition and status early on but I could tell he really didn’t get it. He told me one day he used to know someone who was “polar depressed” so he knew about it. I smiled and said “yes I can see that you do.”

This past week he quipped that “lets not do anything stressful.” I knew what he meant and that he was only joking around still I turned on a dime and took a more serious tone in my reply.

I told him: ”Got that right. Don’t underestimate bipolar and any other mental disorder. Before I got treated for bipolar in 2001 I had for months called the FBI offices in Atlanta and Washington DC. Mostly the Atlanta office. I was on a first name basis with a lady agent in Atlanta. She was always friendly to me. I mailed and faxed them letters too. I was convinced they were investigating me. They wrote back every time and told me that I wasn’t and never had been under investigation. Not kidding, it’s all true.”

For about 30 minutes he fell silent. “Nothing to say huh?” I asked. To which he said that when we have time he needs to get his phone turned back on. “Ok” I said.

Follow Up

in a follow up to my previous post you can see Return to Me anytime if you have Hulu. I just finished it with a lump in my throat. Gets me every time and done just in time to get ready for my bimonthly NAMI meeting. I have no idea what I’m going to say tonight but just being there is such an inspiration that the words just come to me. They really are my other family.


Return to Me

Have you ever seen Return to Me? Bonnie Hunt directed and stars in it. So does David Duchovny. It’s one of Wendy and I favorites. It’s so innocent it could be on the Hallmark channel. You could let first graders watch it still I loved it.  I’ll always remember it because I was re-watching it on dvd one morning about 15 years ago. It was about 9am and I was alone and unaware of the world outside, We lived in an upstairs apartment then and our daughter was still a toddler though Wendy never left her with me. “What if you have another episode” She’d say. So she dropped her off at her mother’s house every morning leaving me alone for the day. I’d only been diagnosed bipolar 6 months earlier and my schizoaffective diagnosis and first bottle of antipyschotics would come a month or so after that day. Anyways the TV series that David Duchovny starred in was probably my favorite which is why I rented the movie he starred in loved it and was re-watching it  when Wendy called me from work and told me to turn the DVD off and to turn the TV on. That morning was September 11th 2001. I spent the next three days watching a real life X-file. One that still impacts so much off what we do today. Anyways I really recommend “Return to Me,” named after a Dean Martin song, if you need to return to a more innocent time.

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.