7 Ways to Thrive with...

Redwood Forest

1 Eat healthy

2 Go work out

3 Laugh at yourself and laugh often

4 Get supportive friends

5 Don't drink alcohol

6 Don't burn both ends of the stick

7 Don't compare yourself with others

Alright, thanks for reading.

No, wait come back; I'm just joshing you.

If you're anything like me, I enjoy a nice list. Basic, to the point list. As a hobbyist in psychology, my self psychoanalyst could be that I came from a strict environment that thrive off of order and performance. There's a duty, a mission, to be faithful to win the "war."

These days the "war" I'm dealing with is my condition and myself. Some of you might know it what it is and other's are learning about it. Regardless of the camp you're in; I'd like to share a perspective piece with you.

With open hands; palms up, take the piece before you.

I'm Barnaby Alkire with a condition that's regulated with medication. I have to remind myself that's all it is and there's nothing wrong with as long I am staple with the medication.

Let's walk down memory lane with a picture...

Below is a picture of me in 2008.

Our POSSE served in Haiti as a mission/ humanity work to help gain hours for the President's Volunteer Service Award. Oh, forgot to mentioned what POSSE was or is. It's a leadership program developed by Shane Johnson and Alfred D. Watts and it stands for Path of Success Students for Excellence. Alfred is the pastor of Cornerstone Christian Center and a church where grace is a word.

Each student is require to maintained a specific GPA, serve 100 hours of community service each year of high school, and attend a yearly week long reprogramming seminars. Ahem, I mean leadership seminars.

It's the summer of my senior year and my mind was exploding with bananas and eventually became mush like banana pudding. A spark ignited to become a on-fire Christian who Kissed Dating Goodbye and was sold out for the kingdom in all purity.

This was the trip that was going to help me with the depression I started to back in the Winter of 2007. Six months before winter came; I was on mission trip to Mexico and after that trip I became fragmented and gave my allegiance to Alfred.

However, it seemed like my bullsh** radar was busted. I drank the Kool-aid of POSSE and CCC.

I trusted in the system of my pseudo-Dad, Alfred; whom I gave my mind to over everything else. If he told me something to do; I'd do it with out question. He gave me hope and direction. He preached about me and I became his loyal dog.

I was kid growing up out of neglectful home and had to be my own parent. My parents wanted me to do well, but there was no push to excel and pursue college. Alfred gladly came into the rescue to play his flute amongst the youth.

Need Jesus?

You may feel like your home was like that and I'm glad we are able to relate with one another. As an adult, I've been revisiting my childhood with books like "Healing Developmental Trauma" and "Scared Sick." I highly recommend both books to help understand your past.

If you felt like you were in a cult, well I have the book for you! It's called, "Cults and New Religious Movements."

Okay, so here I am having the time of my life. This week in July was a mountain top experience. Along with so bizarre haunting situation. Like one of my friends witnessing shadows on the ledges of our compound, or a chaperone seeing a dark shadow figure or others having nightmares.

Despite that, it was awesome. It literally inspired awe and a lot of grief. I came the back from that trip so depressed. I had no idea why I felt so heavy with despair again.

As we attended the Sunday service after the trip, they played pictures of the trip. Every grew silence because of the deep groaning and the endless tears that came out. Lurched over was held by Alfred, he was praying and helped me let the tears run dry.

This was the beginning of something bigger for me and it has taken years to understand my self with this condition. The condition I was diagnosed with in California.

I had three days to rest after my Haiti trip because I was going to spend he month of August with my sister, her husband, and niece. It was a tradition to spend time with my bigger sister and brother in-law every summer at their place. It was cool we did that and I'm glad to make so many awesome memories.

However, I didn't get any sleep during those three days, the days in August and it didn't help what later happened down the road.

As we go further down the road of my stay with my sister, I went into full-on manic episode the last week of August. I had so many crazy delusions like:

  • A grandiose sense of self like I'm an angel
  • I'm sent into the world to save it
  • I hate saying this... I'm Jesus (Which is super weird because others have thought that during mania)
  • I was somehow controlling Volton with my mind
  • Alfred and Shane were California watching me
  • The CIA, FBI, and Facebook were tracking me (Totally nailed that one)
  • I was sending messages to people in Google through the search tool
  • Those monster you see in the movies, they're real and were after me

Others things were super sexuality. I was a freaking lone rabbit. Which made a lot of sense given my parents at 6 kids. Pretty busy, multiplying the earth. With all that said, I had an addiction to porn that stemmed back to childhood. I Kissed Dating Goodbye, so I was left to myself. I never practiced putting myself out there and settled with self eject button.

I shared my addiction with Skylar Goines, my Mom and my Dad and my other father when I was a teen to no avail. This stuff took captive my brain and I would of been better not being expose to it as a kid. It's known now chemically when over stimulated with dopamine; it was cause a user to be down.

Thankfully, that addiction is broken. If you have an addiction to this shit, check out nofap and their Reddit community.

Back then, it was far from over. I had my laptop that my Dad gave to me; equipped with a Wifi card and I wreak havoc on the computer during the manic break in the kitchen of my sister's home.

Chucking the Wifi card, that received the wretched Sirens song, and slamming the laptop onto the kitchen's table. It was finished... I was free from the Sirens who sung their lullaby of lust. It was over... For that part in my mind, however; I was on a manic rampage filled with incoherent thoughts and delusions.

I made my way into my sister's bedroom, shutting the door, throwing myself on the queen size bed, and using my mental super power to control Voltron. Knocks and bangs were on the locked door as my sister was frantically figuring out the situation. To no avail she called her husband. Who at the time was a high-level career chef and a call to stop to by to help was all he needed.

I eventually came out and from what I remember I grabbed the display plate in the hallway and smashed it on the floor.

Why?

I don't know; it was random. My brain was going so fast that I lost control. What helped was a nice sock to the face by brother in-law. The heaviest sock I ever felt and the coldest handcuff ever to be worn. In the backseat, spitting upwards to ceiling, the officers were going to take me jail, after the police were called for disturbance but, as the story goes, my sister pleading with them telling I was off mentality.

She was right. The next 2 weeks I spent in the hospital getting a psych evaluation.

DSM V Diagnosis: Bi-polar Typer 1

Disorder Class: Mood Disorder

Bipolar I Disorder

A. Criteria have been met for at least one manic episode (Table 11). The manic episode may have been preceded by and may be followed by hypomanic or major depressive episodes (see Table 9).
B. The occurrence of the manic and major depressive episode(s) is not better explained by schizoaffective disorder, schizophreniform disorder, delusional disorder, or other specified or unspecified schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorder.
Note: Major depressive episodes are common in bipolar I disorder but are not required for the diagnosis of bipolar I disorder.
Note: Hypomanic episodes are common in bipolar I disorder but are not required for the diagnosis of bipolar I disorder.
Specify:

  • With anxious distress
  • With mixed features
  • With rapid cycling
  • With melancholic features
  • With atypical features
  • With mood-congruent psychotic features
  • With mood-incongruent psychotic features
  • With catatonia
  • With peripartum onset
  • With seasonal pattern

Table 11: 

A. A distinct period of abnormally and persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood and abnormally and persistently goal-directed behavior or energy, lasting at least 1 week and present most of the day, nearly every day (or any duration if hospitalization is necessary).

B. During the period of mood disturbance and increased energy or activity, three (or more) of the following symptoms have persisted (four if the mood is only irritable) are present to a significant degree and represent a noticeable change from usual behavior:

1. Inflated self-esteem or grandiosity  

2. Decreased need for sleep (e.g., feels rested after only 3 hours of sleep) 

3. More talkative than usual or pressure to keep talking  

4. Flight of ideas or subjective experience that thoughts are racing

5. Distractibility (i.e., attention too easily drawn to unimportant or irrelevant external stimuli), as reported or observed.

6. Increase in goal-directed activity (either socially, at work or school, or sexually) or psychomotor agitation

7. Excessive involvement in activities that have a high potential for painful consequences (e.g., engaging in unrestrained buying sprees, sexual indiscretions, or foolish business investments).

C. The mood disturbance is sufficiently severe to cause marked impairment in social or occupational functioning or to necessitate hospitalization to prevent harm to self or others, or there are psychotic features.

D. The episode is not attributable to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication, or other treatment) or another medical condition.


Note: A full manic episode that emerges during antidepressant treatment (e.g., medication, electroconvulsive therapy) but persists at fully syndromal level beyond the physiological effect of that treatment is sufficient evidence for a manic episode and therefore a bipolar I diagnosis.

______

I have this mood disorder and lithium has been a savior. Without lithium, I can only imagine where I would be.

I shared about my condition with a lot of emotion earlier in the year. It was well received with everyone, but me...

I obviously don't have to share this and I'm sharing because I want to encourage others. My name means son of encouragement.

We all have issues or will face issues. My mood disorder on medication is like a Redwood tree. They soar into the brightness of the sun and they go down deep in darkness of the Earth. They are stay planted, old, and with a strong trunk. Ready to prevail any storm. Fire not so much. :D

I thank God I have this condition because it has given me a rich life. A life that's worth sharing.

I thank God for keeping me safe in the midst of my folly. Follies which I gladly will share as I grow with confidence.

By

Barnaby Alkire

December 2, 2019