My Recovery Story

Part of my job is telling the story of my recovery. I don’t remember it. I have no clue. I remember where I started. I know where I am now. I don’t know what brought me here.

What I do remember (it’s really long)…
I feel compelled to write this because maybe somebody needs to see it tonight, and maybe people will understand me better.

All I remember is being an aviation major, and being fucking psychotic that whole time. I have bits and pieces of memories, but that’s it. The next thing I remember is being deployed with the military, and I wasn’t really psychotic at that point, but I was troubled to say the least. Then I remember what lead to me meeting my ex wife, the moment when I actually met her, and my mom paying me not to get married, and then me using that money to elope. I’m not going to talk about my marriage here, because I’m still trying to come to terms with how it went down with her. Then I remember leaving her, moving back in with mom, and not really doing much. I spent 3 days in an acute psych facility, and was released. I eventually started working for a stipend through VA Voc rehab. At this point, I remember skipping work for 2 or 3 months at a time, and laying in bed. I got up to shit, piss, and occasionally eat. Showers were very rare. At one point, I decided to start going out. I found the Fort Wayne Komets (minor league hockey team), and that became literally everything to me. I kept going to every home game, and some away games, but I found myself getting lonely when there wasn’t a game. I began going to bars. I would smoke 2 or 3 packs, and drink 3 or 4 beers every night. I would rarely drink enough to get drunk, but I depended on beer to get through the night. After several bad relationships, a high school friend looked me up on Facebook. We started catching up, and eventually started hanging out. This led to a 1 year courtship, on and off, culminating in us breaking up, me thinking I was a fool, crawling back to her, and proposing. We were engaged for 5 years, spending almost every waking hour together. I would give her rides to NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) meetings, but sat in the parking lot. One meeting, she convinced me to go in, so I reluctantly did. I started attending regularly. I liked it. I finally found people like me. I became a volunteer, serving as a support group leader, mentor (instructor), and sat on the Consumer Council (starting at Member-At-Large, and working up to Chairperson). I would still go to all the Komets games. I eventually quit drinking, but moved to a new addiction…gambling. I was at Hoosier Park Casino nightly. With some help, I have, for the most part, been able to stay away from drinking and gambling for a long time. After working as a bartender for a while, my fiancée suggested I apply for the Certified Recovery Specialist (peer support) course. I did, and was accepted. I went on to get my gambling endorsement, and eventually my substance abuse endorsement. I started working as an Outreach Representative for a problem gambling program. The grant for the program was not renewed, and the company CEO got me set up with an interview for a CRS position at Bowen Center, in Northern Indiana. My fiancée also interviewed for the position. They hired us both. We started in the Wabash, IN (30 minutes from home) office on the same day. We both eventually were transferred to the Warsaw, IN area (75 minutes from home). We were able to find a house to rent. We lived there, with her dog, together for very close to two years, eventually finding another dog, Batman, as well. I worked at Domino’s delivering pizzas in the evenings for much of that time. We eventually needed to spend a while away from each other, so we put our engagement on hold, said we would see what happens, and Batman and I moved to an apartment in Fort Wayne, IN where we currently live. That’s when I met my current girlfriend. Now, I am in college, and starting a new job on June 5th, and my girlfriend and I have no clue what’s going to happen next due to the fact that she’s currently living in Texas. But, we have agreed to see it through, and some day, some how, we will be in the same place.
That’s my story. Didn’t really learn any skills. No CBT. No DBT. Just meds, therapy, and telling myself that I had to keep moving forward. I have no idea how I got here. I just know I’m here. And scared to death that at any moment, my “house of cards” is going to come crashing down.

Questions…Do I still hallucinate/become delusional?
Do I still become hypermanic?
Do I still become depressed?
The answer to all of these is hell yes!! I’m rapid cycling bipolar mixed with anxiety and psychosis. There are very very few days that I’m not in some way symptomatic. But, I’ve learned, and am still learning, to deal with it. A lot of people might think that I would be very angry with God for “putting me through this”. Exactly the opposite. If I can deal with this, and a Traumatic Brain Injury, and Diabetes, and a thyroid condition, and extremely low testosterone, and still not have blown my fucking brains out….that proves that it is GOD’s GRACE, MERCY AND STRENGTH that has kept me going. It has given me the strength to fight another day. And, it has made me realize that I’m a lot stronger than I think I am. And, if little old weak-minded me can make it through this, I can live through anything, and SO CAN YOU!!! So, please hang in there! It does get better!!

It’s Been a While…

Hello all.  It’s been quite a while since I have posted any new content.  I am up tonight, so I thought, “What the hell?”

Anyway,  I am still working at the Mental Health Center. I have been there for over 3 years now. It’s my longest Non-Military job ever. I am currently part-time, but we will see if I can make it back to Full-Time soon!

I was working at Walmart as an overnight stocker for about 2 or 3 weeks, but I’m still in the multiple year process of recovering from all of my surgeries, and my body just could not handle it. Too bad. I really needed the money.

Shortly after I moved to Fort Wayne, I resigned as Chaplain at my former VFW Post, and I transferred to a local Fort Wayne Post. I am now the Junior Vice Commander at the post. Due to so many relocations recently, this is my third post. At my first post, I was Senior Vice Commander, at my second post I was Chaplain, and now, at my third post, I am Junior Vice Commander. I just thought that was interesting.

I am in a fairly new relationship. She is great. We are doing awesome! Unfortunately, she is currently living 1,100 miles away. I will soon be going down there again, for the second time in 10 weeks. It’s expensive, but it’s worth it. I am planning on moving there soon within the next 9-18 months, depending on my financial situation, and how soon I can get it turned around (Hence the Walmart job…more income plus ability to transfer when I am ready to relocate.)

I have started my own business. I am now an independent contractor for a company. It’s another Part-Time gig, at least for now, with opportunities to increase my work load as I gain experience. I am doing it 100% from home. I’m sure there will be more about that to come in the future. I don’t really have much else to say on the matter.

I got in another car accident. This time is was not my fault!! I was hit by another driver. It has taken forever to get it fixed. I am finally getting it fixed next week!!

That is all I have. I desperately need to take my medications, as I am several hours overdue. Y’all have a nice day or night now, whatever time of day you are reading this.


Learning Things I Didn’t Know About Myself

Since the break up, and me moving out, I’m learning so much about myself. See, I have never really been on my own, fully relying on myself. I have always been in the military, or in college living with roommates and my parents paying my bills, or in college living on my own with my parents paying my bills. Even when I was married previously, I had my wife, and a few times we were living with my parents or her family, also with my parents paying our bills. And, then I moved to a new town a lived with my fiancée, also with the financial backing of my parents when needed. Now, I’m not saying that I don’t make withdrawals from the “bank of mom” every now and then, but for the most part, it’s all me. I am living alone for the first time in a very long time, and I’m more financially independent than I have ever been. And you know what? I’m making it.

I’m also learning that I’m fine on my own. I don’t need a relationship to be happy. I’m strong enough to be alone. And, I’m enjoying it! Do I get lonely and depressed sometimes? Yes. Do I still talk to my ex multiple times a day? Well, yes again. But I’m learning that I am strong enough to do this. I need to do this. I need to experience life on my own as an adult before I can ever be in a serious relationship again, whether that means working things out with her, or starting a relationship with someone new. I’m having fun! I’m becoming more responsible. I’m doing things that I never thought possible before.

I am also realizing how much I love my job. I have great supervisors, great coworkers and I work for a great company. Will I stay at this job forever? I don’t know. It is quite possible, though. And, I’m already taking steps to further my career with this company and to help make myself more useful to the company. Today, I will be submitting an application to get trained and certified in another specialty. If I complete the program, I will have every certification available for my position at this point. And the company is starting a new program for our clients in which the new certification will be highly valuable.

My plan is to complete the training, prove myself, get back to Full Time, and, as the company grows, hopefully be made a team leader. I plan on discussing this with my supervisor very soon.

And, I’m not stopping there. Once I can get myself reestablished and more stable mentally and financially, I am going to go back to college to finish my degree, making myself even more useful for the company, and also furthering my career.

Update on ” Inner Peace, at Last”

Well, things turned out exactly the opposite of what I was expecting. Instead of getting married, my fiancee and I broke up over Christmas. Instead of buying the house I was renting, I moved to a studio apartment an hour away. Instead of taking a new job with the Department of Veterans Affairs, I recently found out that, after two interviews, I was not selected for the job. But it’s okay. My former fiancee and I are getting along better. We are not exactly together at this point, but we are talking about working things out slowly. I am recharged, refreshed and recommitted to my current job, and I love where I live. I have no doubt that this was all part of God’s plan, and there is a reason. I am doing my best to stay positive! Plus, I still have my awesome dog!!

Old Dreams Die Hard

Growing up, my dream was to be a pilot, or play for the Oakland (at the time LA) Raiders. When I got to high school, my dream changed slightly. I wanted to be an executive in the aviation industry, such as an airline executive, manager of a small airport, or start my own charter service/fixed base of operation (FBO). I also wanted to be in the military at some point, and had thought about trying to get in the CIA. As far as jobs in the military, I was considering Meteorology, Aircraft Mechanic, Air Traffic Control, Pararescue, or Intelligence. As a young adult, I wanted to play minor league hockey for the Fort Wayne Komets (something I still fantasize about often). Some of those came true. I was able to fulfill my dream of becoming a pilot, although not at the level I wanted. (I wanted to fly for Net Jets, FedEx, or the US Marshalls.)I was also able to fulfill my dream of serving my country in the Armed Forces. Being a professional or semi professional athlete, however, those dreams went bye-bye a long time ago. Any chance I had in being in the CIA were lost when I chose to go into the Infantry when I did have the chance to go into military intelligence (I thought I wanted more of a physical challenge than what I thought would be mental…boy was that a mistake). Now that I am older, even if I had chosen a different military occupation, I could never pass the rigorous psych evaluation to work for the CIA, NSA, etc. Now if I could do any job in the world, what would it be? Well my friends, I am undecided. I have thought about finishing my Meteorology degree or a degree in Aviation Management. But I still want to be an analyst for the CIA, even though it wouldn’t be the “cloak and dagger” operative that I had once dreamt of. I also wouldn’t mind working for the FBI as a Forensic Psychologist or maybe in local, state or federal law enforcement in the computer forensics field. I also wouldn’t mind being a chef. I am also interested in being the Executive Director of NAMI Indiana someday or maybe the State Commander for the VFW Department of Indiana. Right now my top considerations are probably the VFW State Commander, E.D. of NAMI Indiana, computer forensics, forensic psychology, and something that I really feel passionate about is doing pastoral care at a hospital. But, I’m a broke ass mofo trying to overcome 2 serious mental illnesses and a traumatic brain injury, and I’m getting older and more in debt by the day. The chances of me going back to college to be able to do any of that is growing smaller by the second. Whatever God’s plan is for me will come to be. I am learning to listen to Him. When I don’t, He kind of kicks me in the pants as a reminder. So I guess I should stop living in the past, and although I can plan ahead, I need not worry about the future. I need to enjoy the precious gift that is this moment, and not let this gift pass me by.

Just some thoughts…

Life is hard. I am going through all kinds of stuff right now. Physically I’m not well and it’s beginning to take a toll on me mentally and emotionally. It is also causing my work performance to suffer. I just wish I could be done with all of these doctor appointments and tests.

I really want to go back to college, but I have no time or money for that. I am suffering from burn out at work. I either need a break for a while, or I need to change careers. As much as I really want to go back to college, I just don’t know if I have it in me to start that task.


I have been a bit frustrated, fearful and stressed lately.  Financially, driving so far to work everyday, and then having to drive around the region for my job has really been taking a toll on my wallet. On top of that, I have had to miss several days of work lately, due to illness and family emergencies. I just hope things will turn around financially.

I am a bit frustrated with the VFW lately, for a few reasons. First of all, I want to be more active in my role of Senior Vice Commander, but with work and other obligations, I just can’t seem to find the time to do everything with the VFW that I wish I could. Also, I am preparing to move closer to my office at work. I looked into the VFW post in that town. That post doesn’t have much going for it. They have a bar and a rental hall, and they do funeral services, but according to the VFW website, those are the only things going on there. They don’t have a Voice of Democracy, Patriot’s Pin, Teacher of the Year, or anything else of the sort going on. I’m not sure I like that. Also, I am frustrated by the fact that my current post has a decent amount of members, but it is always the same 7 or 8 members at the meetings, and the same 4 or 5 members doing all of the events and activities. People in the post complain that we don’t do enough, but then they want to sit around and wait for someone else to do anything, or they get too involved in their other commitments to really be a part of any of our events or activities.

I am also frustrated and stressed about moving. We are no where near ready to move as far as packing and stuff like that. And we haven’t really been able to take a good look at the house we are supposed to be moving into. And, things keep getting delayed with that. (I will go into how we came across this house at a later date.) The last word that we got was that the remodeling company hasn’t even been able to start the remodeling process on the house yet. So, we will see what happens.

I recently joined the American Legion. I went to the post club tonight to scope things out. I really liked it. I want to go back fairly often. I hope the town we are moving to has a decent American Legion post. I do feel a little guilty, though. I always told myself that I would only be involved with the VFW as far as veteran’s organizations are concerned. But, everyone else does several, so what the hell…I can too, right?

I just want to say that I am really looking forward to moving, once things get settled. It will be a chance to start over. A new church family. New VFW and American Legion posts. Also, I think I will try to get involved with the Knights of Columbus again. I may like this chapter better. I think if I do return to the Knights of Columbus I will want to go through initiation again. I think I would benefit from that.

Peace to you all, and God Bless.