The Big Change

The last ten years or so have been a bit of a blur for me. After getting married (again) I settled in to a nice, boring, normal life. To say it was a rut is an understatement, but it was a rut I fell into naturally. I guess I decided to live life the way I was told it should be lived. My entire life was just work, sleep, and video games. I still had most of my friends from my college days, but one by one they drifted away. All the years blend together in one grey blob of boredom and normalcy. It was so bad that my sense of the passage of time became fuzzy. Was that last week or three years ago?

The last couple of years I was back getting treated for my bipolar disorder, taking my meds and seeing a councilor. I hated the meds, but liked my therapist. Sort of. I liked having someone I could talk to about stuff knowing I was paying her not to judge me, but some of our $150 sessions seemed a waste of time to me. They probably were not, but that’s how it felt. What she did help me with was thinking about the cause of my feelings.

I never really thought of myself as bipolar, just as depressed. Sure, I would have moments of mania, but they were short lived, a few hours maybe, followed by weeks or months of depression. I needed to figure out why I had gotten so severely depressed, more so than in the past.

It had gotten very bad. I stepped down from being a well paid manager at the store for no real reason. After about a year, this was not enough either. I was having very dark, suicidal thoughts while at work, to the point I had to call my wife to come talk to me while I worked. That morning, when I had gotten off work, she was waiting for me at home. This might have been after I had woken up that afternoon, I’m not sure which. She told me we were going for a little drive. After a few blocks, I asked her where we were going. She said she was checking me into the hospital.

I talked her out of it, we didn’t need that kind of medical bill. I just needed to get away from work. That’s where the bad thoughts came, so it must be the cause, right? I put in my notice and left a month later. I decided to try a job I always wanted, selling computers at a major electronics retailer (who will not be named, but rhymes with Mest Muy). That really did not work out. A short four hour shift felt like all day, and the twelve hour shift on Black Friday was hell. So I quit there and went back to the old company at the beginning oh 2012. That is also about the time I stopped taking the meds. For one, they were expensive, for two, if I was going to figure out my emotions, I had to actually feel them.

In March, everything changed for me. I had discovered that the biggest thing depressing me was knowing that my daughter, who had become my best friend, was grown up and would be leaving me soon. I knew that our days as friends were almost over and I would just be her dad from then on. This realization made me very sad. SAD. I hadn’t been sad in decades, it was always drowned out by the depression. I was so happy to be sad. Some of you might get what that’s like.

So the pure depression had broken, only to unleash the full power of bipolar. I immediately had a two week long manic period, maybe a month. After that chilled the hell out, I was left dealing with over active emotions that I had not felt in years. Also, I had awoken from my boredom induced coma to realize where I was in life, and I wasn’t happy. I needed to change that.

To be continued…

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