Birthday: Reflections, Refractions, and a Serious Confession

Last week was my 36th birthday.  I just getting around to writing about it now, mostly because I don’t know how I feel about it.  One thing is certain:  I feel old.

I broke a rib on New Years . . . Coughing.  I broke it coughing.  Who the hell breaks a rib coughing?  I have saggy man tits and a jiggly belly.  My back hurts.  My blood pressure is up.  I suppose that these are normal things, but there is a lot more on my plate.

Lifewise, I like where I am right now, but it’s not where I expected to be.  To be honest, I expected to be dead by now.

I have a serious confession to make.

I have severe Bi-Polar Syndrome.  I was diagnosed when I was 14.  I spent much of my teenage years in and out of hospitals.  I went to a special school for the “emotionally challenged.”  The side effects from the various medications are torturous, to the point where I no longer know what it’s like to “feel good.”

As an adult, I have never been able to hold a full time job for more than a year or two.  No matter how extraordinary I am at the job, I inevitably have a manic or depressive cycle and lose it.  I ended up working low paying odd jobs and resigning myself to poverty.

Last year, I ended up homeless in the middle of Winter.  I was living out of a ’97 Saturn, which I would park in a park or parking lot and hope that I wasn’t carjacked.

Through most of my adult life, I suffered without help.  I didn’t know that there was help out there for people like me:  mentally ill, but not ill enough to require a group home.

Thankfully, I found help.  MHA found me a place to live, and helped me to apply for disability.  So yes, now I am a drain on society.  I am ashamed of this, very ashamed.  I hate myself for it.  I wish that I could stand on my own, but I tried and failed at this for 36 years.  I still live well below the poverty line (you don’t want to know how low), but at least now I know that I will always be able to pay the rent and have food to eat.

This is not where I expected to be.  I still work towards getting off of disability, but the only thing I am able to do, even when I am having an attack, is write.  It’s the only thing that I have ever wanted to do, and oddly enough, it’s proven to be the only thing that saves me.

I don’t know why I am confessing something that I am so ashamed of, especially when there is such a public stigma towards it (no, I don’t own a gun.  If I did, I would’ve turned it on myself a long time ago.  It worked for Hemmingway, right?)

I am ashamed of being ashamed.  Ashamed of hiding who I am.  I just turned 36 years old, and I don’t care about being stigmatized anymore.  I don’t care if you judge me.  I don’t care if you are revolted, scared, or made uncomfortable by me.  I don’t care if you think that I am melodramatic and think that I should just “suck it up.”

I just turned 36 years old.  I have bi-polar syndrome.  If you have a problem with that, you can go to Hell.

That’s what I tell myself.

Thank you for reading my blog.  If you like it, follow me.  And don’t forget to check out and vote for my serial “The Watchmage of Old New York” on Jukepop Serials.  Chs. 1 & 2 (of a planned 6) is up now.  Registration takes a minute. 

And of course, you can look at my fiction and nonfiction right here on this website.  Writing is the only thing I do well.  Help me to keep doing it.


1 thought on “Birthday: Reflections, Refractions, and a Serious Confession

  1. Very brave, man. I always had a very confessional style on Live Journal. For some reason it has always soothed my soul to bare myself to the world. Reminds me of a Metallica lyric, Honesty is my only excuse. All I can say is good for you for being open. You don’t owe anyone anything. You’ve had jobs that should come with a pension after a year of that miserable shit. 😉 I consider myself incredibly lucky that I found anti-depressants when I hit 30.

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