A New Life and a New Plan

I recently went back to college after several years. I’m also starting a new job in two weeks. I’m going to be working two to three times as many hours at my new job as I do now. I can’t handle any more failures in my life right now. Although I have a 97% in my class this term, the workload is extremely light and I’m still struggling to stay caught up. I really don’t want to take another “break” from college, but I need to get adjusted to my new schedule before I can continue. I’m also going to take some time to focus on my music. (I play trombone, and I’m learning guitar and piano.) I am also going to work on the short story/novel that I started writing some time ago. Therefore, I am taking some time off from school at the end of the term ending on Tuesday. I don’t see this as a failure, I see it as a successful completion of the term, and setting myself up for success in other areas of my life, and a successful completion of my degree in the future.

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!!

Inner Peace, At Last!

I am at a crossroads in my life in several areas. I have been praying and begging God to help me figure everything out. I went for a midnight drive tonight. I turned off the radio. I prayed. But, this time, instead of me speaking to God, I did something different. I simply listened. I listened with my heart. I listened with my spirit. I got mixed messages for a few minutes. But then I remembered something. Stand where there is peace. And, suddenly, everything was so clear. I listened to and felt the Holy Spirit guide me through each question, and each answer. I listened with an open heart while the Holy Spirit explained the reasons why I should make each of those choices. I have made my decisions. I am at peace. I am just going to patiently wait for God’s plan to unfold. Thank You, Heavenly Father!!