Woe is me

What does it feel like to have someone worry about you? Ask you how you’re doing once in a while? “You seem sad, what’s on your mind?”

Did I ever have that? Or has it just been so long that it feels to have always been non-existent? I will always have that from my parents. But honestly, I don’t need that type of support from my parents. They wouldn’t know how to help me with my current state of emotions.

This is the self-pity world I’ve created for myself.

My children will and always will be our main priority. Their sensitivity, emotions, health, and overall well-being is more important than anyone else in my life. They are young boys with big sensitive hearts and deserve every ounce of positive energy this universe has to offer. My wife has her support system. Her friends and coworkers are always there to check up on her, especially now that her husband is such an emotional wreck, they are there to see how she is doing. And that truly is wonderful that she has that, she needs that, she deserves that. The other people in her life are going to heaven for being there for her. As for me, I have me. Of course she loves me and supports me, that doesn’t go unrecognized. But to really look into my soul every now and then, that is something that I wish I had here. I receive constant unconditional love from my children. That type of love cannot even be explained. The way a child looks at their mom and dad like we have all the answers to the universe is such an inspiring and magical feeling, and I am blessed for it. But they are 5 and 8 years old. They’re too young and naive to even begin to have a clue to what has been going on with their daddy. There will eventually come a day when they find out that I don’t have all the answers. That I am not the superhero they believe me to be. That I am human just like them. Children this age do not know what bipolar is. That being said, I need another adult in my life to check up on me once in a while. Not my biased parents who will blame everyone for my struggles while denying that mental-illness is a thing. I love them both, but they can’t help me. As a matter of fact, although they mean well and their heart may be in the right place, they would just cause me to have even more anxiety. Back when all I would think about was death and what it would look like to everyone if I had expired my own life, how would it effect my parents? It would absolutely devastate them to the point of absolute inner chaos. It would devastate them to the point of impossibilities. They wouldn’t be able to handle it. In my fantasies, I imagined myself adding to the note, emphasizing that they do not need to worry about me. Do not feel sorry about not being here to protect me. I am a grown man, my adolescence came and went a long time ago. My passing should be easier to process. You’ve protected me when I needed protection. You’ve passed the torch over to me. You’ve seen me grown into a man and you did a really great job. Now you no longer need to worry. You will be sad, but don’t be scared. It’s ok. Really.

That was how my sick fantasies would play out in my head. But I feel the need to clarify that I am NOT suicidal. I know I’m painting this horrific picture for you, but it’s nothing to be concerned about. I don’t need this to be passed over to my therapist or the cops. I do not need an unnecessary 5150. I am safe and the people around me are safe.

All I’m saying is that I am in desperate need to be someone’s concern. If I had that type of support system, to be checked up on, perhaps I would have less self-loathing days and more optimism, like the way I used to be. I used to be awesome. I had a million friends. People would often go to me so I can uplift their spirit. I used to be a fucking rockstar. Where the hell did that guy go? The guy with the calm eyes and peaceful smile who knew all the right answers. I truly did have the key to the universe. I am crying out for recognition, nothing more, nothing less. I need to be reminded that I matter.

“The stars can’t shine without darkness”

Featured

The rest of my life

Born and raised in the swamps of New Jersey… the garden state… the arm pit of America, I will be the first one in line to stand up and defend my beautiful home when someone puts it down. From 1 day old to 27 years old, I’ve hung my hat from the Exit 98 sign over looking the Garden State Parkway. On a breezy day, if you listen closely you may be able to hear the sound of my soul blowing in the wind across the Point Pleasant Boardwalk. The Jersey Shore. A place where NO ONE from any other state will say “hey kids, how about a family vacation to New Jersey”, well, other than maybe New York. It’s a place of over-priced access to any beach, big wild hearts, Bruce, and pretty Jersey girls.

Now don’t think for a second that I’m making this out to sound like it’s a place for everyone, because it isn’t. My wife absolutely loathes New Jersey. She wanted out a long time ago. And aside from her, there were absolutely many other people who were looking for a way out as well, for multiple reasons. We may be in agreement that it truly is beautiful as far as the scenery, but all they see is the canvas right in front of them, they don’t see the beauty that carries on way beyond the painting, right down to it’s roots where it stems from. And that’s totally fine to be in disagreement there. But for others, or for most I should say, it’s almost as if it’s a cult. When I hear someone say “you have to be from jersey to understand” I cringe. I don’t know what it is about that statement, but I hate it, it’s annoying. But honestly, it’s so true, you really do have to be from there to see it’s charm.

Porkroll egg and cheese on a hard roll from Bagel Bin for breakfast, Surf Taco for lunch, two plain slices at Pasquales Pizzeria for dinner. Then at some point you wanna meet up with your friends. Back then, some had cell phones, some didn’t. But we didn’t really need a phone. There was always at least one of us in a group who had a phone, so if we were looking for someone or if someone was looking for us, we would just check with the one with the phone. But phone or no phone, we would all start meeting up at the same bench on the boardwalk one by one, usually around 9 or so. That’s where we would all end up every night. That was our place. We would loiter in the same spot on the boards for 4-5 hours. Somewhere in between we would split up, some would go to arcade, some would walk onto the beach, some (definitely me) would go to Chippy’s French Fries for a giant cup of greasy overpriced fries with gravy on the side. I would walk to that bench with a tub of fries like a 4 tear old with a tub of ice cream. And that gravy… so good. If it were a Friday or Saturday night, we’d wait for the people to leave Jenks (club) and we’d sit there and watch the dudes fight with their girlfriends, bro’s fighting with other bro’s, people throwing up, girls with their makeup smeared from crying all night. Oh it was a horrific site to see, but we would laugh and laugh. Then right around 2am or so, we’d leave the boardwalk and head to the Ocean Queen Diner where they almost ALWAYS had 3 tables pushed together waiting for us. At times there would literally be like 20 of us. We’d sit there with our coffee and talk about the night, for hours. Usually after our 8 or 9th cup of coffee, or until they’d kick us out, most of us would call it a night. I would usually leave with a very small crew, like 4 or 5 of us, we’d take one car, leaving the others at the diner, and head back towards the beach to watch the sunrise.

I miss those days. But all they are to me now are good memories of a life I once lived. At 20, 21, 22, it was perfectly normal to have an adventure like that every night. Now at 38 years old, even if I still lived in NJ I obviously wouldn’t be able to do that. I grew up. We all grow up. You can’t stop age no matter how hard you try. No matter how badly you wish you could stay the same age forever, that isn’t reality. Life keeps on going, and the only way to be ready for it is to embrace the inevitable.

I was married in June of ’08, and four months later I would leave New Jersey forever. Of course at the time I didn’t know it would be forever. We left the state for work. Bonnie was a new nurse who had just graduated from jersey city university, and she took her first job down south in North Carolina. I was stoked to live in another state, I just took it as a new adventure, and I love adventure. It’s a new unfamiliar place with different people with a different culture. It was exciting.

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

After about 2 years there, I started to get homesick. And by the 9th year, I was way past homesick and I started to feel a new emotion that I never quite felt before. Depression. As I mentioned before, my wife loathes New Jersey. And as I pushed and pushed, I just couldn’t reach her. There was no way she would ever go back, she’d leave me before she went back to that place.

It eventually dawned on me that it really wouldn’t be fair for her to live in a place where she would be unhappy just for me. And I think it was around this time that she realized that it isn’t fair for me to live in a place where I’ll be unhappy, at least that’s what I like to believe.

Once we got to San Diego, I was finally able to see the light side of life again. I felt different, like I had been reborn. My soul still moves with the wind on a breezy day in New Jersey, my soul will never leave, but my heart followed me from NJ. But something followed me from North Carolina. Something dark, something dangerous. Something ugly and violent. Something that is responsible for over 800,000 deaths a year world wide. Depression. It followed me out here and I didn’t even know it. It followed me out here like Robert De Niro in Cape Fear. Only this time it was as big as King Kong, and it had me in the palm of his hand. My theory is that I held it in for too long in North Carolina, it filled up like a balloon. And once I got out here it was too late, it had popped. If you hold in your thoughts and feelings long enough, you’ll eventually explode. That is why it is so important to talk to someone. You should always get professional help no matter what, unfortunately I waited too long… but it’s always helpful if you have a friend to talk to, someone who you’re comfortable being completely vulnerable with, someone who understands you. Just a friend, that’s it. I’ve had the same friends since high school. They would do anything for me if I were in a crisis. But my crisis happened and I was too afraid to reach out to them. I guess maybe it’s because I’ve been away for so long that I slowly began losing touch with them over the years. They have families of their own and I just really didn’t want to interfere with their lives. The last time we were together, like really together as best friends, we were much younger. We all have our own stuff happening and that is why I didn’t want to reach out to them. I may be wrong about this, but it’s my assumption that maybe perhaps I spent too many years away from NJ. At the time I had no idea that I would end up the way I am now. Right now, my only friend is my wife. And I’ve pushed her away. Or at least that is what my mind keeps telling me. I love her so much, but I don’t think she looks at me the same way she used to. She is my only friend and if I ever lose her, I’m fucked. I am emotionally fucked and I couldn’t handle it.

Wow. So I’ve been working on this post since 2:30 this afternoon with many pauses in between. It was supposed to be a happy post about New Jersey and I couldn’t wait to finish it to show it off. But in the middle of my writing, it took a wrong turn. That’s how quickly my mood changes. Its embarrassing. I don’t want to edit it now because I’ve spent too much time on this, plus I need to get my emotions out and set them lose. Let’s see if I can change this around.

San Diego was supposed to change our lives, and it did. But not the way we’ve imagined, at least for me. I’m trying so hard to rebuild my faith in this world but it’s so hard. I hurt. I need to constantly be reminded by my wife that she’s still in love with me, and that’s exhausting on her part. Another thing I realized about myself is that my ONLY trigger is her. I don’t necessarily mean that in a bad way, what I mean is that when it feels like I’m losing her, that’s when my depression and mania sets in. Nothing else in this world is a problem to me, I don’t have any other triggers. But it all starts with my asshole of a brain. These damn thoughts and worries. It’s my fault and I don’t want it to be my fault.

Recently, she suggested that I go back and spend a few weeks in NJ. But honestly, I don’t want to anymore. Every time I go back to visit it looks different. I hardly recognize it and it sure as shit doesn’t recognize me anymore either. I became a stranger in the place I got my name from. It just isn’t the place I remember. I don’t feel that charm anymore. I don’t feel anything when I think of NJ. I’m just lost.

You know, when I first had the idea of becoming a blogger, I wanted to use my mental health as a way to possibly help others. But I just turned this into a journal instead. Releasing all of my struggles to a world of people who don’t even know who I am. But it still helps. I may not have my friends near by to talk to, so I use this as a way to get it all out. I was writing in a notebook, but it just felt like I was talking to myself.

It’s still a work in progress, and I WILL turn this around. I may be lost, and I may not be as happy as I once was, but I don’t ever want to leave San Diego. My happiness is somewhere to be found, and it starts within my family. Family is everything to me. Triston, little Ari, and of course my wife Bonnie. These are the people who keep me alive. The ones that give me the fuel I need to keep going. I must keep going.

I fell asleep last Saturday

Underneath polluted skies

I walked alone on those Jersey nights, and I

Saw the boardwalk start to fall

The emptiness starts to drown

The quiet corners of this town, and I…

Late last night, I made my plans

It was the only thing I felt I could do

Said goodbye to my best friend

Sometimes there’s no one left to tell you the truth

It’s gonna kill me… the rest of my life

Let me apologize while I’m still alive

I know it’s hard to face all of my past mistakes

It’s gonna kill me for the rest of my life

This is my all time low

Somehow it feels so familiar

Somehow it seems so familiar

I feel like letting go

And every second that goes by

I’m screaming out for a second try

Said goodbye to my best friend

Sometimes there’s no one left to tell you the truth

It’s gonna kill me… the rest of my life

Let me apologize while I’m still alive

I know it’s hard to face all of my past mistakes

I’ve got to live with them the rest of my life

This is the mess I’ve made

These are the words I can’t erase

This is my life support shutting down for the final time

And it twists like a blade

And it kills me for the rest of my life

If you won’t forgive me

The rest of my life

Let me apologize while I’m still alive

I know it’s time to face all of my past mistakes

It’s gonna kill me for the rest of my life…

☠️❤️ Less Than Jake ❤️☠️

Advocate for yourself

This past February I was hospitalized and put on a 72 hour hold. That was when I knew that I have to get my bipolar under control. While I was on the hold, I met with my psychiatrist for the first time. He wasn’t ready to discharge me at first, which was scary because I didn’t want to be there in the first place. I mean I am grateful that the damage that I may have caused didn’t happen and nothing at a permanent outcome, but he said that he will discharge me if I would agree to this partial hospitalization program (PHP). I was thinking “I will agree to do ANYTHING if it means that I can get out of “jail”, have my phone back, and actually eat my breakfast/lunch/dinner will actual human beings.

Well, in order to get into the program, I have to sign something that says I will commit to not touching marijuana or alcohol while in this type of treatment. I’ve never a regular marijuana user, I just picked it up a few months before my hospitalization. It wasn’t a part of me and I didn’t rely on it. But I signed it just to get out of my hold.

I have now been in this program for 4 months. I went from going 5 days a week, 6 hours a day to the IOP (which is what I am in now) 3 days a week, 3 hours a day. Every.single.day they have me in the drugs and alcohol group. I have asked time and time again to PLEASE put me in one of the mood groups. They keep telling me that I’m supposed to be in this group because of my marijuana use. Well today, 2 weeks before my discharge, I finally exploded and said “I do not, have never, and will never have a drug or alcohol problem. THAT is NOT why I am here. I am here because I WANTED TO FUCKING DIE. I belong one of cognitive therapy groups. Every day on our 15 minute break I see your patients outside on the sidewalk vaping, right before they go into THEIR mood group high. How dare you think I have a drug problem. You are not respecting my needs. I’m graduating from this program in 2 weeks, if I end up back upstairs (inpatient) at anytime, that is YOUR fuck up”. It’s so frustrating.

These therapists, they are amazing. And they really are, I’m not being sarcastic one bit. BUT they have it all figured out, don’t they? They always know what’s best for the patient even if the patient doesn’t have a single trace of THC in their urine, yes, they test once a week.

I won’t deny for a minute that this is not a good program, because it is. It’s an amazing program and I really am absorbing the coping skills that I need, when I am NOT in the drugs and alcohol treatment room just staring at a fucking wall, unable to relate to what anyone is saying.

I guess the purpose of this post is to vent, but also to finally say that you should ALWAYS take your therapists advice, but NEVER be afraid to question it or stand up for yourself if you feel like something isn’t working. Just like medication. If you feel that your meds aren’t working, discuss it with your psychiatrist. Don’t ever just stop taking it, but definitely have that conversation.

Advocate for yourself, even if no one else will. Don’t ever just “accept” the things that you may not feel is right.

But ALWAYS seek help no matter what.

Insecurities and adventures

I don’t know how to start these things. Sometimes my “creativity” needs a little nudge in order to get started.

So I’ll just start it like this..

Ever since the “reset” button was pushed (refer back to a few posts ago if you’re not caught up), like 2 weeks ago, things have felt a little different in our relationship. Things have felt better. She seems a lot less exhausted, well, other than her body and mind going to shit from working the graveyard shift and sleeping all the next day, then goes back into the graveyard, and a little more calm. I’ve full on taken the roll of a stay at home dad. A typical day in the life of Adam consists of setting my alarm for 5am, showering and getting ready for the day, making coffee, waking the kids up for school at 6am, getting them dressed, brush their hair and teeth, feed them breakfast, be out the door at exactly 6:30 -because at 6:32, the freeway becomes mayhem- drive 30 miles which takes 54 minutes with the morning rush hour, drop Triston off first, then drop Ari off, drive 20 miles to Alvarado Parkway Institute so I can learn how to cope with existing in society, go to the gym right after, drive 30 minutes to get Triston from school at 2:05, go to Barnes and Noble to help him with his homework, drive to Ari’s school, take Triston to one of his appointments, occupational OR speech therapy, check the planner to see if Ari has any appointments that day, stop at the grocery store on the way home, buy a Bouquet of flowers to replace the dead ones, grab the boys a snack, take Bonnie’s clothes out from the dryer and do her a favor by folding them, then do Triston’s laundry, then do Ari’s laundry, then do my laundry, feed them dinner, give them baths, put their pajamas on, brush their hair and teeth, lay out their clothes for the next day, get them in bed, then clean the dishes, wipe the counter down, sweep the floor, feed the animals, walk the dog….. take a deep breath and fuck off on the couch with a candle burning, glass of wine, and re-runs of Breaking Bad.

No, I am not patting myself on the back. I put myself in manic mode because I know that the second I sit down, I will lose all motivation. And not to mention, I just really want to help my wife out with as much as I possibly can. Because I love her. With the way my emotions have been in the past 6 or so months, with the paranoia that she is out there with someone else betraying me and our marriage, I needed to put those demons away. Nothing good will ever come from it.

So, instead of being paranoid and watching every step she makes, I’m going to do the opposite and kill her with love, kindness, and compassion. She may take it or leave it, that isn’t up to me. But at the end of the day I take great pleasure knowing that I’m doing this for her.

Now, let’s talk about my insecurities and how they’ve become the new paranoia..

Yesterday we had a really great day. Together we brought the boys and our dog to the Del Mar dog beach. When we first moved to San Diego, everything was amazing. We were happy, we had each other, and our marriage was solid. Yesterday as we were standing on that boulder watching the waves crash under the big blue sky, I was reflecting on the people we used to be. I was nostalgic even though it’s only been a year and a half. At one point I grabbed her by the waist and put my arms around her and said “do you remember when we used to do this and enjoyed it before everything went to shit”?

First let me clarify that I do not believe she is cheating on me, those demons fucked off. But of course, the old demons were replaced by the new demons. Last night as we were laying in bed, I started to really get carried away with letting my brain take the midnight wheel. We are having financial issues this week. She brings in the only income and I can’t contribute at all. All I can think about was her and her coworkers. She works with people who really have their shit together and aren’t an emotional wreck like me.

“Why is she with me when there are other men out there who can offer her things that I cannot”

“She is a very strong and intelligent woman, and she works with intelligent men, and I’m just Adam. A dope from NJ with no direction”

“I am worthless to her and the kids”

“With her salary and with the salary of someone else, together they can buy the perfect house”

“I am holding her and the kids back”

“I should do the right thing and let her go”

Those were the voices that were going over and over again until I couldn’t take it anymore. I just had to get up and go on the other room. On the dark kitchen floor, I sat up against the cabinet under the sink with my head between my legs hysterically crying, and I couldn’t stop. I felt absolutely useless. My depression took another turn, and this one hurt. When the voices tell me the things I mentioned above, I’m not very nice to myself. I put myself down, I degrade myself. I’m too deep in that hole that I really do, with all my heart, believe these things about myself. I am her idiot husband.

This morning I came clean with her and confessed what was on my mind (and still is on my mind). What she said to me today is what she’s been saying to me for years…

“You can do what I do if you give it a shot”

-are you serious? Do you really believe that I can do what you do?

“Go to college, it’s never too late for college. You can do ANYTHING you want as long as you don’t sell yourself short”

-yeah but, I was a senior in high school 3 years in a row, I graduated when I was 20. When it comes to math, I can’t go beyond multiplication. I’m just not book smart, I never was.

“Well… you need to find that ONE thing that makes you happy, and pursue it. Do something with your photography skills”

-LOL “skills”??? I wouldn’t necessarily say that I have skills. I bought my camera back in 2010 and I couldn’t even begin to try to understand the settings. I have no idea what I’m doing.

“It doesn’t matter, that’ll eventually come. What you need to do is get the word out somehow and say that you are trying to get a portfolio together, I need people who are willing to let me shoot them for free”

-yeah but, what if I suck and the exposure is all fucked up or something? It’s embarrassing.

“Well, there are photography classes you can take 😁”

So this morning I finally took her advice and started looking at courses I could take. I know my wife. What makes her exceptionally cool is that I know she would support me 110%. Obviously, we need the money. However, if I find that one thing that would make me happy, and I stick with it, and can potentially make it a career some day, she would back me up. It would be different if I didn’t take chances and just sat in my ass all fucking day soaking in my own sorrow. Which is what I’ve been doing. How can anyone be attracted to THAT?

At this point in my life, depressed, anxious, paranoid, on the verge of losing my family, and standing on the edge.. at this point in my life why not just say YES to something and take that leap? Embrace it. I can’t tell you how much I fucking love the word EMBRACE. If I started coming home every evening, with a HUUUUGE stupid smile on my face, completely stoked about my day, things would get better for my family and myself. Even if I’m not getting paid a dime, I can guarantee that my wife Bonnie would enjoy being my wife again. When she and I first met in the winter of ’06, she would see that man again. It’s the only thing I can do with myself and just embrace whatever challenges come my way.

Thomas Edison was one of the most important humans to had ever walked this planet. He was a very inspirational man, and there are three quotes that have inspired for a long time, I just did nothing with it and ended up being a lazy insecure fucking nobody. He said:

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”

And

” many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

So why couldn’t I just listen to him and go for it, even if I didn’t achieve my goals? Let’s fucking go and embrace this amazing world with curiosity, adventure, and heart!

Let’s go!