Binge Studying

You ever find yourself so intensely attracted to something that you go on binges?

I have been studying programming so hard that my body and mind are exhausted most afternoons. It is quite a mess. I have begun to read books again to unwind from the stress that coding brings on me. I never realized how drained a person could be from playing. I do consider it “play” this coding  I am doing. I enjoy it so much. It is like I am addicted or something.

On the one hand it is nice to have something to live for, some pursuit to an end. Yet,  I find that it is taking over my life. And I want to be careful not to get lost in it. There is so much more to this world than just coding.

My Bipolar symptoms are settled – for now. I am having trouble sleeping but that could be due to apnea, although the apnea is not extreme enough to warrant a breathing machine, so says the doctor and insurance companies.

My mind is expanding. My memory is still lacking, but I feel that my cognitive skills are improving, if ever so slightly.

I wonder what it is like for addicts. Do they get drawn in so completely that their whole world is drugs or booze? How does that work? It must be a strong pull. I can kinda see it from my perspective now that I am so instensely attracted to coding. Is it the same sort of thing that, say, a ‘collector’ would feel? You know, someone who can’t pass up a Disney toy at the store without pulling the ole wallet out and buying said item because it will look good alongside the other hundred toys on the shelf?

I’ve attended 12-step programs in the past (in my young adult life) and I never got anything from them that I couldn’t get by simply reading my Bible. In fact, it seems a lot has been borrowed from the Holy Bible in these meetings. It seems Christianity is everywhere but people don’t know its Christianity that is being displayed or ridiculed or whatever. We have so many mentions of God in so many different venues that you can’t run away from it, yet, people deny its power, its core. I think that’s because they don’t really know anything about it. They just know soundbites. Movies. Songs. They make up their minds based on someone’s storytelling and its usually mixed inside a violent movie or a sinful song. They judge Christians without having any understanding of what a Christian believes.

On the other side of the coin, many Christians don’t even know they are corrupting the faith. They smoke, drink, cuss, cradle guns and gun rights over logic, they fight for the right to have babies but they don’t fight to have that baby in a good home with enough food and diapers.

We are ALL mixed up and we are all going to answer for our actions when the day of final judgment comes.

I guess my Bipolar mind is still running around like a looney because I just noticed how I’ve jumped from topic to topic without fully completing a thought. LOL

Just another day in my weird and wacky world.

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A Better Place

I was reading through friends’ blogs today and came across a poem that stopped me in my tracks. The writer described his depression and how everything in his world seemed ‘hopeless’.  As I read, I couldn’t help but think about my own journey through that darkness. It is not a place anyone should have to travel to.

Suicide, and thoughts of, steals our joy, our optimism, and our hope. But God is good in that He IS our hope.

It is hard to remember that , let alone champion that thought of grace when the big black dog of depression is sitting on your lap. It’s a scary time. At the moment, every moment, it feels like the hopelessness will never end. And it consumes our minds.

I personally don’t know how I got out of that depression, and my friend didn’t include how he got out of his, but I am so happy that we are no longer in that place. All I can think is that God must have been watching over us and it must have pained HIM to see us that way. He probably cleared a path for us so that the misery wouldn’t take us beyond what we could bear.

I am in a happier place now. I have something to live for and it was there all the time. My eyes were just clouded and my Bipolar brain was confused.

Those close to me, heard me often saying “I’ve done it all. There is nothing left for me to do.” And that became my downfall. I created my own darkness by those words. My arrogance corrupted my path.

God is teaching me. My eyes are opening to the truth. I need Him more now than ever. And at the heart of it all is: TRUST. My sorest muscle. I haven’t used my trust muscle enough to make it strong. I don’t trust God to do what He says he’ll do. I don’t trust myself enough to do what I ought to do.

 

Spring is here and with it, a renewed sense of adventure. We dont’ have the snow like the northern states, but we get some rainy, windy, chilly days. So when Spring rolls around it is nice to see the blossoms on the trees and the blue skies.

Unfortunately, those chilly days will give way to scorching heat soon enough and we will be wishing for Fall again. Summer lasts for 6 months here in the desert town north of Sacramento and the heat can get up to 120 degrees fahrenheit. My first summer here it was 114 and I got indoctrinated properly.

One summer we had temps over 100 for 38 days-in-a-row. That sucked. Thats’ why I dread summer coming. We never know if it will be a record-setting summer or just a normal heat-stricken journey.

Since my med change I am a bit more ‘together’ – more aware. My mind has cleared a bit and I can think things through. And, I am more talkative. LOL. So, I will stop here and let you all get back to what you were doing.

Thanks for stopping by. Thanks for caring.

If anyone is in a bad place right now, don’t give up or give in. Seek out some help. It will be worth your time. The future is waiting for you.

Peace

Challenges

This week I am firmly stuck in the mud.

I’m online studying to develop WordPress sites and everything is going smoothly up until lesson 42, then….

I’m stuck and I can’t go forward until I figure this error message out. I take a screenshot of the message and then follow the instructions/suggestions that the message provides but to no avail. It is frustrating. That’s what you get for not going the expensive route and going to a college and learning this stuff. But, there is a Q&A forum for this class and I posted a question and in return I get a smart-alec answer to telling me that things won’t work if you don’t put in the required commas, semi-colons, etc. Like I’m that dumb. Honestly. Give me some real help, jerk.

Okay, so maybe I’m a little bit of a jerk myself. The guy couldn’t know that I spent three years in college learning computer programming, among other things.

So, now I check out ‘WordPress Development Stack Exchange’ – a community of coders who volunteer to help each other out and where people can seek answers to questions related to WordPress coding. But, I haven’t asked a question yet because I don’t know how to frame the question. I don’t have a specific sample of code to offer up with the question because the error message gave me bogus info. So now what do I do?

I leave it up to God. I just have to trust that this will be resolved. There is no room for failure. This WILL be resolved!

Patience. I have none. I am a firebug.  I get lit up over small things. I’m working on it. But I am pressed for time. Every day that this is not resolved cuts into my future. We already have clients in the pipeline and should an issue arise that relates to this challenge  I am stuck.

So, if you can, if you would, just throw up a prayer to the heavens for me that this will be resolved. I need all the positive energy that you can muster.

Thanks.

 

On a positive note – I have learned a lot already. The course I am taking is on Udemy and the instructor is really good. I’m in lesson 42 of 101 and there is  so much that has been accomplished to this point. There’s still a lot more to go in building this website for a fictional university. It is crazy how much we’ve already covered. I have a libarary of code I can pull from and reuse in other projects.

My Bipolar self has been doing well these days. No episodes of depression to report and I haven’t been manic for weeks. I am back on track with sleep. I get to bed by 9 or 10 most nights. I will enjoy it while it lasts.  We know how precious getting to bed early is. I haven’t had insomnia for months.

All in all, life is good. I have something to keep me busy and my meds are working the way they are supposed to. And I am finally pulling away from the coding keyboard and taking time out to read blog posts from all of you. One step at a time isn’t too difficult. Small attempts, repeated, will complete any undertaking.

Peace

A New Journey: Fresh Spaces

This year has been like a whirlwind. I have been learning and relearning web code.

A friend asked me to join her in starting a Web Design & Development company. And I said “Yes!” So, I have been reacquainting myself with HTML and CSS and Javascript, and, learning PHP and the WordPress Codex. It’s a lot to take in and a lot to grasp. I am having the time of my life! And, I am not having bad thoughts anymore. I have something to live for!

I have done this without keeping track of my other pursuits. My blog has suffered. I harldy have a presence on Facebook anymore. And, I have fallen out of touch with many friends. I am trying to come back to reality, but this computer programming is so intense I don’t have a mind for much else. I rarely watch television, don’t really listen to the songs on the radio, and my brain is filled to capacity.

The good news is that our efforts aren’t being wasted. We have four clients lined up and waiting and we haven’t even launched yet! Heck, we haven’t even created our own website. We only have samples of what we can do. So  it is great to be in our position.

I will make Sunday the day that I read my WordPress friends and maybe I’ll write a little something too. For now, I am just overwhelmed with my studies and practicing and all of the discoveries and requirements of going into business involves. We are having FUN! And being Bipolar it can be a challenge to have fun unless you are in a manic state!

The pills I’m on now are challenging my sleep. I have vivid, intense dreams that wear me out before I even wake up! I am off of the Lithium – THANK GOD! My kidneys are happy for that. I recently have been under observation as my kidney function dipped into the 50s which is lower than it should be for guy my age. So, the doc is keeping a close eye on me. I still on the blood thinners. In fact, I am taking more now becaues the Carbamazapine (Tegretol) interferes with the Warfarin’s effectiveness so instead of two or three milligrams of warfarin I am taking five and six mgs. But they say this is still a ‘normal’ dosing so I am not so concerned. I just don’t like taking 11 pills every day.

I hope that all of you have something in your life that causes you to wake up wanting to see the next rainbow. I am so much happier now that I’ve got something to do other than exist. I wish that and all the more for each and every one of you.

Peace.

May your light shine so that even the darkest of days finds a ray of sunshine leading to you.

Where am I?

I need to apologize. I’ve been away for quite a while now and been out of the loop. And there’s a real good explanation for it, I promise.

I have been away from social media ever since I started a new project. I don’t go on Facebook anymore. I find that twitter is not my thing. And, I have been neglecting my WordPress blog.

I went to go into business in October of 2017 and went through the hurdles to get the thing up online and through that I found that I enjoyed creating the web presence more than I enjoyed the work I was going to be doing. Fortunately, a friend of mine (whom I met on through this blog) offered me an opportunity to build web pages with her and I jumped at the chance. I have been learning and studying ever since.

I’ve gotten so caught up in the whole thing that I have neglected my life. All I do is get up, put on the videos and study, study, practice and study some more. The good news is that I am getting that hang of it. I am learning three programming languages at once. It’s a little hectic, but because I took some programming classes back in college, I am having an easier time than I thought I would.

My friend is learning the design discipline and also taking the reins on the business side of things allowing me to focus on building my coding skills.

I feel good. I have something to live for. Something to wake up each day and say, “Thank you, Lord. I’m ready for this new day.”

I, again, want to apologize to all of you for being so slack with reading your blogs and seeing how exciting your lives are. I am still learning to organize my time. My Bipolar issues are still rearing their heads and forcing me to adjust – continously. What was once a good sleep schedule has devolved into a 12/12 thing and I can’t stand it. I try to go to sleep by 10 or 11 but then I stare at the ceiling until 1am. And the pills I am on are causing me to have very heavy, very vivid dreams and that is leaving me wore out when I wake up.

The psychiatrist helped wean me off of the Lithium but that meant putting me on Tegretol, which makes me have those dreams. I am so happy to be off of the Lithium because it damaged my kidneys. I failed to remember people telling me years ago that long-term lithium use causes kidney damage, so  I just never considered getting off of it. Then I got a new psychiatrist and he immediately went to work to get me off of that medication. I can’t thank him enough. WbORD OF WARNING: If you are on Lithium – get off it as soon as you can. Kidney damage is not worth it. There are other drugs that can take the place of the lithium. Ask your psydoc to find an alternative.

So more good news. Since being off the lithium my extreme thirst has come down, my weight has come down, and the tremors haven’t been as severe. I assume that over the course of the next year I will see more side effects of the lithium to wane. Maybe I’ll even get back to my original weight of 184. That would be a blast!

Being that I am still in an adjustment phase with the programming schedule, I can (and will) begin to MAKE TIME to come out and see you guys. Thanks for having my back and checking in on me.

See you again soon.

Christmas is over. But I still feel like celebrating.

Hi folks! Did you ever get off of a rollercoaster and run through the crowd to get in line again? And you stand there waiting anxiously to ride again? That’s what I’m going through with Christmas. Not because I want to eat, drink and be merry, but, because I want the feeling to last for ever.

Too often people are harried and hurried and simply just are jerks about everything. But when Christmas rolls around a sense of duty infects everyone and they feel that they must not complain. That no matter how difficult the crowds, how slow the highways, how selfish the shoppers can be, all will be okay because there is love in the air.

Every year the tree stays up till way past January. Last year we had it up until somewhere around Valentine’s Day. Sure, we may be kooky, but the sense of goodwill remained. That tree gave us a sense of hope.

If we couldn’t find peace and understanding out in the crazy world, then, by gholly, we would find it at home.

This begs the question, “Why?” Why can’t everyday be just like Christmas? (Sorry Elvis, had to do it). Why on earth do we go through life bitching and moaning and cheating and stealing and being selfish? Why are the folks running this world running it into the ground? Don’t they see that their greed is hurting us all? Can’t they tell that their corporatism is destroying the earth?

I just read something today that stated that the richest people in the world just got 7 trillion dollars richer in 2017 – and that’s not enough for them! They want more so they are buying political favors.

I know this has been going on for centuries. But, please, can someone tell me why aren’t we fighting back as a society? In huge numbers? Why is it there can be a million-man march on the National Mall in Washington and two decades later we are still gunning down blacks like it was some sort of rite of passage? Why can’t we get two million blacks, whites, latinos and asians to march on Washington to voice their opposition to corruption in politics and corporate spending? What do the Bilderbergers know about us that we don’t know?

There may well come a day when people from all walks of life, from all over the globe, stand together in protest to the ruling class. But that day won’t happen if we allow idiots to vote in celebrities to run the country. And that goes all the way back to George Washington. We’ve got to do better at picking our leaders. We have to do better at researching their credentials and their claims.

We have to TAKE back our FREEDOM.

 

Merry Christmas to All

I just want to thank all of you for being so understanding and not turning away from me. Bipolar is a mean menchen and it had me in its grips for quite a while. I don’t know how the depression got so bad because I didn’t do anything different, I was taking my meds regularly and I have people close by who truly love me. I had it all. Then that big black dog of depression decided to wake up and stir up some trouble. Thank goodness for science! Without people experimenting all the time and so many people volunteering to be lab rats I would have gone out of my mind by now.

Good news! I am starting a freelancing business. For the new year I only want 1 customer. If that happens this will have been a success. I am focusing on writing and editing and proofreading people’s literary works. Wish me luck. 🙂

If you can, come visit my website. That would be really cool. It’s at The Inkwell

Let me know what you think. Thanks

So Christmas will be good this year. There will be presents to open and a turkey to roast. At this time of year I really get to thinking about all the folks who don’t have homes, or families, or food and shoes and friends to talk to. As good as it is for most of us, it is heartbreaking and heartwrenching for many others. This holiday season please take a moment to give to a homeless person. I know they are not the cleanest folks around but they truly are nice people and many of them will smile and in their own way thank you for your kindness.

Many of them are addicted to alcohol or drugs and many are also veterans who were willing to die for you. Give them that respect. Be thankful that it isn’t you on the streets begging for food or money. I’ve been there. In many ways I still am.

Be the change you want to see in the world.

Anti-depressants WORK!

So, it’s been a LONG while since I’ve felt able to function – and – to write something worthwhile.

Thanks to my psydoc for being aggressive. First, and foremost, he has prescribed me some antidepressants. The first pills didn’t work. I got a bad rash all over my body. I think it was called Sertraline. (My memory is still full of holes) I don’t remember the brand name. Maybe Zoloft or Prozac. Anyhow, it was not the right pill for me, so we next went with Tegretol (Carbamazapine) 200mg. It has been a great change. I have some reason to live.
prescription-drugs

Not only has my attitude changed, but, I feel like I can be a member of society again. I still don’t think I can work a regular 9 to 5, my brain and my outbursts won’t allow for it, but I CAN work for myself and so I have started freelancing. More on that later. Back to the meds.

My psydoc, on our first visit, said he wanted to get me off of the Lithium because I have been on it for 10 years, and, with prolonged use is a high risk of damage to the kidneys or liver. I think the kidneys. Either way, the risk is too great to continue with the lithium so we have been weaning me off of it.

It would have been fine if we had something to replace it with. Weaning me off has led to violent outbursts and I have lost my relationship with the therapist. She was too scared of me and she doesn’t want to see my anymore. Ce la vie.

So, I am again without a therapist. Flying solo here. But that doesn’t bother me so much. I’m a loner and an independent person anyway. But I need those pills. Can’t live without them.

Now, I’m confused. I don’t know whether the Tegretol is the anti-depressant or if the Fluoxetine is the antidepressant. I’m taking them both. I think the Tegretol is to replace the Lithium. Anyhow, I am down to only 450mg of lithium (half of what I was taking at 900mg). Like I said, it has not been without incident.

I almost lost my relationship with my psydoc as well. He got an earful of my rage and he was unprepared for it and threatened to throw me to the curb. And yet, it was his fault that my rage was so prevalent because he failed to replace the lithium and left me (and everybody else) vulnerable to the rage within me. But, good fortune was on my side and he understood where I was coming from. So we are still working together. Whew!

So, now I have a website. The Inkwell — There I am farming out my services to anyone who needs helps with writing, editing, and/or proofreading. It has been a real challenge to put up the webiste, and, it was a lot of fun coding the adjusting. I still have a few things to do with it, mostly links and blog posts to do, but it is up and running. Yay!

If y’all don’t mind, I’d like to link to the site every now and again and show you what is going on.

I tell you, those anti-depressants have really changed my life. If you or someone you know suffers from Bipolar and they are not on anti-depressants, talk to the psydoc and see if that path might be helpful.  It’s a WORLD of difference!

So anyhow, it is nice to be back and I trust that I will be active again. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone’s stories.

Peace

SUICIDE

It’s a thought-provoking label. Suicide. Just thinking about it causes all sorts of problems. But here’us the deal. I have nothing to live for. I am the poorest of poor. I am Bipolar and constantly in the throes of Depression. I have no joy in my life. I am bored with the Internet, with TV, and with people. Because of my financial status I cannot go out to the forest to get in touch with nature. And the forest is only twenty minutes away! But I can’t afford the gas to go there. I can’t afford to get a much needed brake job.

My options are limited. I have no interest in anything: exercise, walking, shopping, eating, drinking, games, etc. My life is a waste of time. My memory is shot, I can’t work, my mind does not examine things right. I am busted cargo. Damaged goods. There is no hope. Even God is uninteresting. There used to be hope there. But now I can’t see it.

So what do I do? Sit on my ass and stare at the walls. There is no productive force in me anymore. I have no hobbies and I couldn’t afford one anyway. My life is worthless. If it weren’t for the fact that my ex and my son are alive I would have killed myself long ago. They are the only reason I am alive. For now. I don’t want to kill myself, but what else is there to do? I’m tired of this existence.

In This Day And Age

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7 June 2017 4:13pm

We are so blessed to be living in this day and age. My desktop wallpaper today is of a green field caught in a morning mist. And I can almost feel myself there with the barbed wire and wood fencing dividing the acreage up. The wall of trees stands at the edge of the mist, barely visible. This scene brings me back to Germany as a kid. The many summers I spent there were spent outdoors, playing in the fields oblivious to the cares of the world. Had I been born in the 1300s I would not have the luxury of this photo to transport me to paradise. Instead I would have to conjure up my own memories, however faint, and I am certain that I would not engage in this practice very often, so I would lose those memories. And what of the other luxuries we take for granted? Phones, Television, Microwaves?

Have you ever stopped to consider what it must have been like before technology put us here? Phones have changed since they were first invented back in the 1800s. I wonder if Alex could see the future for his device? Could he see us carrying them in our pockets and purses everywhere we go? Could he see us watching moving pictures on them? And what of those “moving pictures”? What started out as a clunky, heavy box with only black and white pictures has become high definition viewing on big screens as well as tiny screens. My wife regularly watches tv shows on her iPod and I watch shows on my laptop. We’ve become accustomed to the technology and look with anticipation to the next invention. And then there are microwaves. Back in the 1300s dinner took up a woman’s entire day. Killing, skinning and portioning the meat. Picking, Gathering, and chopping the vegetables And then spending the time to cook the food. And there wasn’t a huge variety of foods to eat. Before the 1300s the benefits of trade went to the elite (as usual) and the commoners had to make due with what they could grow or kill. They didn’t have refrigerators or freezers to store the food. The vegetables could be stored for a few days, at the most, but the meat had to be cured with salt and they didn’t last very long either. Today we have pop-tarts and frozen burritos, we have a plethora of drinks and juices and ales. We have organic foods, but wait, there was no such thing as “organic” in the 1300s because it was ALL ORGANIC – it was all natural. Pesticides didn’t come into play until the 1900s with the industrial revolution. Now we have “perfect” foods. Whereas the fruits and vegetables from back in the day were imperfect and ugly they were still used because nothing was thrown away. It was too valuable. You simply made do. Today we are so spoiled that disfigured fruits and veggies get tossed in the trash because the farmers can’t sell them to the corporations because the corporations can’t sell them to the public. We are too damned picky! Too stuck up!

But let me get back to the memories of Germany…

When I was a boy, I would visit my grandmother in a little town in Bavaria. There were less than 5,000 people living there, but there was a big agricultural plant nearby and many of the locals worked there. Then, in the seventies the town became a health resort paradise and that changed things – but just a little. The town never lost it’s small-town charm. Anyway, my oma used to make her noodle soup and I would watch. If I would have been alert I would have learned how to do it. She made homemade noodles and hung them over the chair-back to dry. She got some ring bologna from the butcher and cut it up and put it in the soup with the veggies and the noodles and it was like heaven. And I never saw her measure anything. It was just slap-it-together and enjoy. I always gained a few pounds by the time I made it back to the States.

My days outdoors were spent with rubber boots on because the ground was almost always wet with dew and puddles. And my friends and I would make friends with the cows and the dogs and the horses. It was the natural thing to do. This picture has blessed me with so many smiles and so many memories. And that is thanks to technology. So though we are spoiled and are stuck up, we are forever blessed. The next time you catch your self taking something for granted, think about what it must have been like in the 1300s or even in the days of Plato and Socrates.