I’m so Tired

It’s twenty after two in the morning and I’m nowhere even close to getting to sleep. Forty milligrams of melatonin and a big fat bowl and my fucking brain just won’t give it up. Petty arguments, some from years in the past, show up in the front of my mind and there I am, right in the middle of it again and you bet your sweet ass I’m mad as Hell.

If I was here alone I would be screaming with rage right now. After a while I’ll start to get a grip. There’s usually some crying involved in these events, so I have to wash my face. I have to do it in the kitchen because I can’t look at my face in the mirror. Great, just great.

This is going to pass, I know, but that’s not exactly good news. Just a couple weeks ago I was positively delightful. I had a smile for everyone I met and funny ass jokes just rolled off my tongue. It’s been like this before so I know what comes next: Bad news.

A bipolar 1 manic episode is nothing to sneeze at. I earned a second degree black belt to help improve my discipline and self control and it’s still, often as not, an all day battle to keep it together.

Going out of the house to run an errand can be a daunting task, sometimes because I don’t want anyone to see me like that and sometimes because I worry that I might invite the attention of law enforcement by frightening someone with my anger, which I will admit is a terrible thing to behold. And the best thing about it? Every time it happens it’s worse than the time before. I can medicate myself until I can barely speak, yipee-ki-yay.

Once I reach the giddy peak of this madness, the tipping point as people are fond of calling it, there will be a terminal velocity drop into a depression that will probably last until spring. I won’t feel anything, good or bad and I won’t care either. I’ll wear out my friends, some completely. They’ll give me their love and I’ll treat it like garbage on a vacant lot.

Having said all this, it may seem that, since I can predict it I should be able to control it. That’s what I thought.

I had a well-meaning friend who showed me “A Beautiful Mind” in an effort to show me just how simple it would be to overcome this problem. The movie itself was very entertaining but also very fictionalized. At the end, Russell Crowe (I can’t remember the character’s name) was able to thwart Special agent Ed Harris, FBI, by asking a student if there was anyone standing next to him, and when the student said no, Mr. Crowe simply ignored him. Problem solved, right? Not exactly.

I had to explain that our hero with the beautiful mind most likely suffered from paranoid schizophrenia, a completely different animal from bipolar disorder. If that’s how he dealt with it and it worked, good for him, but there are some serious differences.

In cases of paranoid schizophrenia, I am told, delusional behavior is fueled by ostensibly external elements advancing a fictitious narrative of either their importance or the idea that everyone is “Out to get them”, Grandeur and persecution. Whether it’s Agent Harris or Jesus speaking from the toaster (Real thing, no shit), the voices in that person’s head rarely speak the truth. I have no Jesus in my toaster, the voice in my head is me. He knows everything, pulls no punches and never, ever lies. You can’t think your way out of it any more than you can drive a roller coaster. Anyone who thinks otherwise should be glad they don’t know what they are talking about.

I’ve been to lots of group therapy sessions and support groups, enough to know that none of these conditions are preferable to any other, and having steaming gobs of horse shit like “Depression is a choice” or “Just ____” thrown in your face isn’t just degrading and insulting, it’s also infuriating and can put someone in a potentially dangerous situation. There is, unfortunately, no penalty for gaslighting or triggering a person with a mental health condition. The weight of that falls on us and the best we can hope for is to get a little compassion from the bench.

There is someone sniffing around out there, a mean-spirited sow of a woman, who enjoys berating me with the most vicious things she can think of. She likes to say posts like this are a pity pot, as if I need the sympathy of anyone. I have plenty of that for myself. Remember, the voice in my head never lies and he will be my ally, so your weak pejorative will have no impact on me. He’s the only one who gets to beat me up and he will straight up kick the living shit out of you for trying.

So, she-pig, take note: The last time you rained your verbal filth on me and walked away, that was because I am a decent and good hearted person. I am not that person right now and if you fuck with me, you will be bringing a butterknife to a swordfight. I will do what you do , only a hell of a lot better. I won’t care if I lie, I won’t care if everyone knows it. I won’t stop until I have hacked you up into a stinking pile of rancid, flyblown pork chops.

It has been my experience that people don’t really care if someone is being trolled, as long as it isn’t them. It is, however, an absolute kick in the pants to read, and I aim to please, so keep your shit covered snout out of my business.

Sorry about that, sports fans, that’s what they call mixed mood state. I guess I have beaten this poor dead horsey enough for now. It would seem I’m tired in more ways than one.

If you Can’t say Something Nice, part II

In my first post I said that I had a few ideas about finding a way to stem the tide of pettiness, anger and hate that is ruining America and the world in general. Some of them might seem simplistic but Ockham’s razor will give you a clean close shave most of the time.

OK here’s one: Consider how many times you have changed your way of thinking, or you have changed someone else’s way of thinking on social media (That includes this site). Everyone’s anger is righteous, everyone’s cause is just. Ask them, they’ll tell you. You can shut down someone who disagrees with you any time they make a point. Click that mouse and you don’t have to think about that idiot and the stupid things they say any more. That doesn’t bode well for any kind of progress toward reconciliation and mutual understanding. You don’t have to believe you are wrong to consider the reasons why someone else might think you are, so maybe we could all be open for some discussion.

It’s late and I’m sleepy. More later.

Two Weeks until FOOTBALL!

Whee, look at me go! Two blog posts in the same week, what’s happening here? We’re not exactly out of the woods yet, and we may well be backing up a little bit here in the good ol’ USA, but there is balm for our aching souls waiting in the endzone.

My wife and I tried watching reruns of games from seasons past but it just wasn’t the same. Panthers games are generally exciting because they are, more often than not, a little too close for comfort. They call ’em the cardiac cats for a reason. Watching a game from a previous season kind of dulls that edge of your seat feeling.

I’m sure we have all noticed that many of us have become caught up in this argument or that over the last year and change. Football will afford us the opportunity to take our stand and defend it with the full strength of our convictions without attacking the Human qualities of the ones on the other side of our argument. The NFL has a very well deserved record of community service but perhaps none as great as this could be. Maybe this will be the season when we remember what it was like to high-five a stranger because our team, OUR team, scored a touchdown or made a great defensive play. I can’t wait for some of that.

In fairness, the college game probably has more fans overall than the pros, so I would be remiss if I didn’t give them equal time. It’s hard for me to maintain something like loyalty to a single college team. I never went to college so that’s no help. Really the only thing I have to go on is my own history. I was born in Maryland, so I root for the Terrapins. I was born in Cumberland, Maryland, which is almost West Virginia, which makes it almost almost Heaven. West-by-God is home to generations of my family members, so I also pull for the Mountaineers. My wife likes the Michigan Wolverines, so I kind of adopted them except when they play Maryland, then it’s go Terps all the way.

“Football is gay. Football is lesbian. Football is beautiful. Football is queer,” “Football is life. Football is exciting. Football is culture. Football is transgender. Football is heart. Football is power. Football is tough. Football is bisexual. Football is strong. Football is freedom. Football is American. Football is accepting. Football is everything. Football is for everyone.”

I love this. I love everything about it except one thing: The bickering that always comes when someone makes a statement like that. “Football is for everyone” isn’t exactly a hard concept to grasp, you just have to want to.

I don’t often agree with Jesse Jackson but, credit where it is due, the man has a Hell of a way with words. I would like to dedicate the following words to Reverend Jackson, with my sincere thanks for the inspiration. Ready? Here goes.

LEAVE YOUR HATE AT THE GATE

Pretty good, huh? Win or lose, let’s all have a good time.

P.S. Get well soon, Mr&Ms. Jackson.

Jeopardy! in, well, Jeopardy

I’m a Jeopardy! fan, and no doubt about it. Following the sad passing of Alex Trebek, the ongoing series of prospective hosts has made for exciting television and truly excellent discussions regarding who is everyone’s favorite and why.

Right now, my vote goes to Aaron Rodgers. He’s handsome, charismatic, smart, funny and has the affect of a leader. I say all this and I’m not even a Packers fan (Go Panthers!) As of the last leaderboard, he was sixth in the running.

The prospect that brings up the rear for me is, yes I’m going to say it, LeVar Burton. This isn’t anything about his being Black, but about his making it about his being black. He’s the only one in the field who has actively campaigned for the job, which is tacky enough, but then he has to tell us all that it would be historically significant, a statement that is both heavy-handed and untrue.

Wayne Brady, Steve Harvey, Michael Strahan and Aisha Tyler have all moved into hosting positions formerly occupied by White men, so that’s nothing new. If Mr. Burton would like to strike a blow against discrimination, I suggest he throw his support behind Mayim Bialik. Jewish people have been subject to injustice of every kind for thousands of years and that’s before we even get to the all the ways women have been done wrong since the beginning.

Robin Roberts isn’t my favorite person, but as a Black woman she bears more social cachet than Burton, male privilege and all that.

Jeopardy! is a great game and I love watching and playing along. Let’s not ruin it by making it about race.

If you can’t say something nice…

I’ve been sitting on this blog for months now, waiting for some kind of respite from the anger and spite. It would seem that my time has finally come.

It’s Canada Day. I know Canada has problems too, just like every other country on earth. Somehow it seems , for the most part, that these good people manage to sort them out with a minimum of the aforementioned anger and spite. I have a few ideas regarding a solution to some of these problems that plague my country, but you won’t be reading them in this post. Canada day good, Pissed off people not good.

Thank you, Canada, and have a good one. Now take off.

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