Community Magazine

Manic Depressive Illness: Looking at the Root of My Mental Health and Examining My Past

By Dastein
Root of Life

Root of Life

I hope everyone has been having a great week and hopefully things haven’t gotten too bad…I wanted to start this post by saying how hard it’s been this week to write and that my mind was racked with pain, which is exactly what I wrote in my head but I’m having a hard time forming the actual sentences. As usual I’ve been putting off blogging all day and because of this I’m struggling to produced a post. Couple that with the anxiety of having to work and you can see why it’s been hard to write this afternoon. Not to mention the fact that my head is begin clouded by an annoying voice constantly telling me how bad the post is, how many times I over used the word “and,” why I’m horrible writer and that I tend to shift past and present tenses within the same post which would drive my high school English teachers crazy (which actually is the truth as I still struggle with past/present tense which is evident in a lot of my posts, although I try my hardest to make them uniform, sometimes it just doesn’t work). On the subject of high school English, I’m going to continue my story from a few posts ago, although not in the exact time period we are going to fast forward a few years (don’t worry we will revisit my original diagnosis and what happened afterwards, I just wanted to write about my middle and high school  years, or at least bits and pieces of them. Hopefully I can keep all of the time periods together in my head, if not then we will have quite the jumbled life story. If it works it will be art! *chuckles to self*)

It had been a few years since I was originally diagnosed with ADD and my parent’s had moved my sister and I to a new city. Not knowing anyone, it was hard for me to make new friends, let alone talk with other people. Well actually that is not entirely true, come to think of it I was a pretty talkative kid. That’s right, it wasn’t until college that my anxiety developed and I lost my extroverted ways. In fact as a kid I was really hyper and constantly trying to talk with everyone (hence the ADD). I think it was the awkwardness of being “different,” coupled with moving to a new city that made it hard for me to make friends. I did make one friend, however, his name was Robert. He was the same age as me and we both hit it off on video games and seemed to have pretty similar tastes. Unfortunately, his current friend was extremely possessive of him and didn’t really like me (this part is really hazy, I vaguely remember him but I might be confusing him with someone I knew later in life), however, when our school trip arrived he was unable to join our class due to his mother being paranoid that he might get hurt or sick. It was because of his absence that our friendship grew. In fact, when we got back to school his family invited me to join them at the Long Beach Grand Prix (it’s a massive street circuit motor race that was held a few cities over from where we lived), which was their annual family tradition. This was huge for me as I had never been invited anywhere as well as having a “real” friend…

Well I take that back, I did have one “friend” in elementary school. His name was Christopher. I remember going over to his parent’s condo in Long Beach and playing an airplane simulator on his parent’s computer. In fact I still remember where they lived and I can picture their condo/house in my head. It was a tri-level, smashed in between two other tri-levels at the entrance of a residential neighborhood. There were trees in front of it, and their door faced out towards the main highway. Now the reason I put friend in quotations, was due to something that happened later on. We were close for the first few years of elementary school, however, in fourth grade he was invite to join the GATE (gifted and talented education) program. Unlike most schools, our’s segregated the GATE program from the rest of the school as they believed the progress of the gifted children would be hindered by the “normals.” In fact, the GATE program had portable classrooms that were completely isolated from the rest of the school and on top of that the GATE students would eat lunch at a different time then the rest of us.

End of Friendship

End of Friendship

At first Christopher was the same, we still hung out during recess and went to each other’s homes after school. However, as time went on he began to change. He became distant, arrogant, corrupted. I don’t know what happened, but one day we got into an argument, or maybe he taunted me, or maybe something was said, but all I remember is that I charged at him and pulled a Mike Tyson- I bit his hear and pulled a small chunk off (this was before the famous Mike Tyson fight). What happened afterwards is a bit hazy, I didn’t get suspended or even a detention, we just never talked again. And if we saw each other on the playground we walked the other way. This exemplifies how unstable I was as a child, as without thinking I partook in a violent act towards another human being, something that was not normal for me. I think I had already been diagnosed with ADD at that point and that’s why I got away without much punishment, but I’m not really certain. All I know is, that was a defining moment in my life as it would seem my “friendships” over the next decade would all be unstable, volatile and in a turn of karma extremely painful for me. This includes Robert.

My life is very disjointed, quite like this post. Everything that has happened to me has led from one painful moment to another, each growing in size until they all culminated in my psychiatric hospitalization. Most of my blog has been about the time after the hospitalization and how I have coped with my mental illness. What my goal for the next month is to pull back and examine my life prior to my hospitalization, so as to ascertain the root of my struggles and maybe gain a better understanding of myself in the process. I have no clue how this will proceed as my mood still changes rapidly, but I’m hoping to spend most of my posts examining my past (this will be very painful for me, as I have tried hard to forget a lot of my past and have spent a great deal of energy burying the memories, but I think it’s necessary for me to look at my past.  Plus some of you guys might find it interesting).

I hope you guys will join me as I venture through my past and who knows, maybe something amazing will happen. I also want to open up some of my posts to your guys questions, so if you have anything you specifically would like me to write about, or if you have a suggestion on what time period I should examine, please write a comment on this post.

Well that’s all for now. My eyes are dry and as usual I’m late for work.


Ps. Just to let you know, not every post will be about my past, most days I have no clue what I’m going to write as I formulate and structure everything while I type. I guess that’s one of my talents. I never had to create outlines while working on school papers as I was able to write a structured report in my first draft, I don’t know how it works, the words just seem to flow out of my head and through my hands as I type. It just happens, I guess subconsciously I’m drafting everything.

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