Monthly Archives: August 2015

My Bipolar Afternoon

I  parked at the rear of the lot. I have started doing that to add to my exercise routine. There I was standing in the rear of the supermarkets parking lot. It was a busy day with lots of cars whipping around. I felt panic raise up into me as I dodged and weaved around the cars, and their impatient drivers. The doors were closer now, but the cars were diving by so fast. So many. I  started breathing heavy again. But I know I had to continue to relative safety.

I  made it to the automatic door and a blast of refreshing cold air hit me in the face. As I entered my stomach instantly knotted. There were so many people, rushing around with their carts reading their shopping lists.

I started to panic. Too many people. Moving too fast. One voice was telling me to get out, another to grab a cart. The sensible won out over instinct. I grabbed a shopping cart and blended in with everyone else. Having the cart in front of me gave a bit of security and I started to calm down into the routine of shopping.

I didn’t need much so I was at the (empty thank goodness) checkout. The woman behind the counter wished me a good afternoon. When I tried to return the pleasantry all that came out was something like “god…..rtune”. My voice wasn’t ready for talking just yet. Now the parking  lot again, only this time I had a weapon, the trusty shopping cart, with me.

shopping cartI dodged and weaved with the best of them back to the car. I put my groceries in the van and began to take the cart (my protector) back to the store. Just when I thought all was well. The fear of the day actually happened.

This kid, driving a new Camero drove right into my cart. It wasn’t just a “tap” either. He managed to take a lot of the paint of his right side front quarter panel.

The kid jumps out of the car and started swearing at me with language I had never heard before, even when I was a Security Officer. That was enough to push me into manic. I reared up to my full height ,(I am a big guy at 6’2″ 325 lbs) and a calm passed over me, and I looked him right in the eye and said, ” Shall we give the cart a ticket then”.

That was enough for him, he got back in his car and left with a squealing of his tires and just about smashes into another car in the lot. I knew my manic ‘phases’ can come out sometimes as anger and hostility. I abandoned the cart and did my own angry drive home.

So how was your afternoon………

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

If I could drink from the pool of ever lasting life and youth……

I would dive in! It would be great to watch my kids grow up, and grand children, and great-Grand children….(you get the idea)

everlasting1.jpg.w300h284yes it would be very sad to watch friends and family die, but I expect a long lineage and ( sounds callus but ) I can make a lot of new friends.

I will still be around when the develop a cure for bipolar disorder. That right there would make it worthwhile. I would accumulate a lot of wealth and prestige from others – a lot of jealously  too – I would have to watch for that. It wouldn’t be much of a life if I was stuck living behind secured walls.

Maybe I could reinvent myself every 40 years or so like the Vampires on TV do.

No it would be near impossible in this era of Big Brother watching our every move.

I guess I would just have to live with it.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

How bi_Polar works

fig bipoar

Just in case you were wondering what Bipolar is

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

World BiPolar Day

bipolaf day

Hey, did you know we have a Day – Go figure! 

Leave a comment

Filed under Depression, Expose, Health, Me, Medication

The Great Run Away

After the September hangover, ( see Summer Camp ) I was a depressed mess. I skipped a lot of school and didn’t go home much. The depression was so deep that I would have done anything to claw my way of that dark pit. So I did.

My friend and I decided to run away and hitchhike to The World Expo in British Columbia. We agreed to meet at the nearby park at 2 am.  I packed up all my stuff in my backpack, wrote the obligatory note stating that this was something I had to do and please don’t call the police so I don’t feeling I was being chased. I made 2 peanut butter and honey sandwiches; Had $7.35 in my pocket and sneaked out the  back door.

I looked for my friend at the park, but he was not there. I waited an hour or so and decided to go on myself.

It was 3 am and in town, so I knew I wasn’t going to get any rides, so I walked and walked and walked out of town to where the (now closed) summer camp was. I lit a fire and went too sleep.

I was woken by 2 prisoners from the local minimum security reformatory. They were looking for “smokes” of which I gladly handed over. None of asked why the other was there. They finished their cigarettes and went on their way. I though it be a good idea as it was now noon. I walked out to the highway and literally jumped on shouting “THIS IS WHERE THE JOURNEY BEGINS !” and began my adventure.

I walked thumb proudly thrust out like a flag. Deciding that I was going to walk the whole trip backwards if I had to.I got my first ride about 2 hours later. It was a father and 2 sons, that decided to impress upon me the dangers of hitchhiking alone. I was sort of listening, all th while thinking about my P.B. and Honey sandwiches and my empty stomach grumbling away,

The ride with these fellows was short just a half hour down the road. (thankfully) I had a few more short hops until I hit the mother-load. A man driving to the hwy driving back to work in Edmonton Alberta. He was a hitchhikers dream ride. He paid for my meals and even my cigarettes. He was very talkative too. Telling me about the job he was going to at the Alberta uranium mines. The only conflict was when he wanted me to take over the driving for awhile while he got some sleep. He wasn’t happy when I told him I did not have a drivers license. I kept the information to myself that I was only 15 or I could see myself dropped off at the next town. He grumbled a bit more and stopped the car at a rest stop and got some sleep.

1-hitchhikerI am not sure how much sleep he got. I woke at a fuel station. My driver was in the restaurant so I got out to stretch my legs. We were close to Manitoba in this little spot on the map. I noticed a RCMP cruiser pass me by slowly.

What I didn’t know at the time is the police were called back home, and I had a Canada-wide warrant out for me. I dove back to the car and luckily the driver came back with a clubhouse sandwich for me. He also tossed me a fresh pack of smokes. I couldn’t tell him about the police or that would be end of the trip for me.

It is quite amazing as we drove from the Ontario border into Manitoba, the trees abruptly stop and the flatland begins. The prairies are pretty boring. You see one place, well, you have seen it all. It just stretches out for miles and miles. You get the Idea. We just drove on stopping for sleep,gas and food.

We got to the place where he would start heading for Yucon north, He tried to hook me up with a truck driver going straight through to Calgary, but I declined as I had learned by now if you find a safe ride stay with it. You never know what the next ride will put you through. Besides, I had a fear fear of taking the southern pass and getting stuck at the top of some mountain. (give me a break I was 15)

So north it was. The drive through the foot hills with the mountains to the west was spectacular. We stopped in Moosejaw for the usual supplies and he began to try and convince me to come up to the Uranium mines as they had lots of work. I declined because it was the open road I wanted, not settling for a northern job in the Yukon. We bid our farewells and he drove off, and I was in the middle of nowhere. It was the most freeing experience I had ever felt.

I ate another half a P,B.&honey and started my hike through the Alberta darkness. It was a dark no moon night and I had never seen so many stars in my life. I was mesmerized by how clear the sky was. It was cold out, but I was prepared with a winter jacket in my pack. Threw the jacket on and I was on my way on a cold autumn morning about 3am right smack in the middle between Saskatoon and Edmonton.

I pulled out a portable AM radio I had stashed in my pack. And not a word of a lie, Kenny Rodger’s song ‘On the road again‘ was playing. The other thing I learned about the prairies was how early the sun rises, and how bright it is. No wonder Saskatchewan opts out of Daylight Savings Time, they hold all the daylight.

Another problem with this highway is there were no cars.So, I just took on my attitude that if I don’t get I will walk there, backwards. one car did pass fast, really fast. Didn’t even slow to check me out. The next car actually stopped and offered me a ride. It was around 11 am and I was feeling pretty depressed by then so I just lay down in back seat of their station wagon and fell asleep. By the time I woke it was 4pm and we were coming up on Edmonton.

My drivers offered me a ride into Calgary as they were on there way for a coffee. I thought it strange to drive so far for a coffee but I had learned not to question why your ride was going somewhere. Just where they are going to drop you off.So off t Calgary.

I was pretty depressed by then, so I do not remember most of that drive to Calgary. When we arrived we stopped at a very busy truck stop, displaying a huge sign “Best Coffee in the West”. My rides got their coffee to go and took off. I was standing on a hill near the trans-Canada hwy looking over the city.

The smog stinged my eyes, I was really hot, still wearing my winter coat from the north land, and the dust was kicked up by the trucks to the point I was choking in it. I went into the store there and bought three 17 cent stamps and 3 postcards. I wrote “Made it to Calgary and coming home.” I addressed one to my parents, one to my no-show friend and one to the school also asking to be excused the next few days. Only one of the postcards beat me home.

So I jumped on the Trans-Canada eastbound and almost stuck out my thumb when I saw the sign No Hitchhiking In City Limits.

“bugger” I said, and started walking and walking……Calgary is a Big sprawled out city and getting to the city limits took 5 hours in 40ºC temperature. I remember asking some construction workers, who were working at the side of the road, for some water. They actually said “No we just have enough for ourselves.” With a big smile.

I was finally desperate enough to stop by a cemetery and pour water from the tank they out for watering the flowers.  Not The freshest water in the world but it was wet and re-hydrated me. I was really down by this point. the cars and trucks zooming by me started me thinking how easy it would be to just step out in front of a truck, when I saw a yellow sign in the distance stating in bold letters City Limits.

With souring spirits I jumped up to the side of the hwy and stuck out my thumb. I waited and waited, I even found a sign with Ontario scrawled on it. I guess it was a leftover from another hitchhiker who pitched the sign after getting a ride. I did make good use of it though. at least people will know where I am going as they zoom past me.

It was about the 6th hour in that heat when a car stopped. They said they were going to Winnipeg. I heaved myself into their car.

(My first tip off was 2 scruffy guys in a new model Chevrolet Caprice Classic.) But I was too tired to care and fell asleep. When I woke up I could see we were not at a truck-stop, but in a small town. The next thing I heard was “OPEN THE DOOR” as the 2 of them dove in, coins everywhere.

(My second tip off was the fact that they were committing petty larceny breaking into vending machines for gas money.)

We hopped from town to town. I played ‘lookout” while they would do what they do there. It was fun for a while playing robbers.

( My third tip off was when we pulled off the road for sleep and they told me to sleep behind the steering wheel. This was if the cops showed up in the night-I was the driver.

(That was the final tip off and the car only had 1700km on the odometer.)

Apparently these two Bird-Brains had stolen a car in Winnipeg, drove it to Calgary, and now they were driving it back to Winnipeg with it.

When we did reach Winnipeg I asked the to drop me at city limits. They did.

On the road thumb out. 5 minutes later I was picked up by a welder that let me ride in the back with all the explosive gas tanks. We arrived on the other side of the bi-pass I hopped off stuck my thumb out. Almost right away I got a ride going east that was the right direction for me, It fine, that is, until he starting asking for favors that I don’t give. He slammed on the brakes in the middle of the hwy  and practically through me out of the car.

I traveled on a few short hops (carefully inspected first). then I got a good one into Thunder Bay. I was another wagon but the back was empty and he let me stretch out and sleep.

I woke to the driver shouting, “The Power of Christ Compels You” over and over again. I was still sleepy so I had no idea what was going on. “The Rapture is near prepare yourself, prepare”

I had to listen to that preaching for a couple of hours, well better than walking. It was night now, a foggy night. the headlights from oncoming cars cast an eerie glow into the sky as they would drive up the other side of the hills. Just as the preacher started in again about Jesus’s face showing himself in the sky and all the worthy will ascend to the heavens, I saw what looked like a bearded face in the mist.

The only thing was panic. I was ready to grab the wheel when the preacher ascended up. I guess I didn’t think I was one of the worthy. That is something to ponder another day.

He (thankfully) dropped me downtown Thunder Bay. Found a payphone and tried to call my Nanny but she wasn’t home. Too bad it sure would be a big surprise visit. I got a ride from a concerned fatherly type, worried that was up to no good, When he saw the backpack and I assured him I was just passing through, he seemed to relax and dropped my at a rather expensive motel. If there was one thing that is useless to a hitch hiker is a motel. I had 5 dollars to my name, and finally started to break.

I went to use a payphone in the lobby of the motel but it was out of order. I asked the clerk if I could use they’re phone for a collect call but he just ignored me and walked away. I was cooked, didn’t even have the energy to get back out there and find a ride.

Then, a very drunk moving van driver came to me and slurred “Do ya need a place to sleep for the night”

My radar immediately went up.

“the clurk iss colling the cops now, you would bee bst to take the offer.”

I agreed and to my dismay there was only one bed in the room and he insisted I strip to my underwear I gave up I stripped and crawled into bed. What he may have done to me it was in my sleep because that was it ’till morning. It was 11am when I woke up the next day. I dressed hurriedly and slipped out the side door. I wasn’t worse for wear so I guessed the van driver left me alone through the night. That was a relief.

I had a few short hops then (again) hit the mother-load. I was picked up in a green valiant packed to the roof with stuff. Not only was this guy driving through to Wingham, he was going to his mothers house where I can get rested cleaned up and fed. Then he was going to drive me home. I know, sounds to good to be true but that’s the way it went.

I was fed a magnificent roast beef dinner, slept (alone) in a big feather bed. I showed and cleaned the trip from my body. Breakfast was homemade waffles with maple syrup, I was Human again!

After breakfast, true to his word, he drove me back to Guelph and home.

Time on road: 7days

Money spent: $5.45

Distance traveled  Edmonton – Calgary – and back


Filed under Uncategorized

Summer Camp

When I was 15 I got a job as a junior councilor at a local day camp. It was a real coming of age time for me. I learned a lot of skills I still use today; First aid, conflict skills, Life guarding, general camping stuff that Isummer-camp-border-clipart-14909_2 knew pretty much from Boy Scouts 🙂

And most of all How To Party! As it was a day camp we would wave good bye to all the kids in the school buses as they drove away. Then it was a race to the coolers to get the beer.

I wasn’t much of a drinker before this experience,  but the other councilors really broke me in, I learned to drink to excess. In hindsight not a good thing, but then it was freedom. Inhibitions gone and I was a rock star! I know only 15 and acting this way just shows you to keep an eye on your 15 year old.

Yep it was a summer of firsts for me. First job, first time needing to show responsibility (failed that one), first girlfriend, first physical relationship, and first feeling of freedom. ( look for that one today). Well made it through without getting canned. They didn’t hire me back the next year, Apparently I was a bad influence on my fellow workers ( that gave me a good laugh ).

I continued to party that summer but not as hard as out at the camp. It was back to school time and one of the worst lows of my life.


Filed under Uncategorized

The Summer of Prozac

dgI was depressed so I went to my family Doctor just like the pamphlets said to do when you are feeling down for more than a week. I was feeling very self conscious sitting in the waiting room with a mental problem rather then an obvious physical one.

Once the Doctor was able to see me (appointments didn’t seem to mean much in his office, I was there for a 3:45 and I got in at 4:30) I began to tell him the symptoms I was feeling for the past month. He did his usual non-committal Hmmm’s and I see’s. He finally asked me if I have heard of Clinical Depression, I answered that I had ( just the whole reason for being there ).

The Doc reached into his goodies cupboard and pulled out a box of I-don’t-know-what-was and instructed me to take it twice a day for 6 weeks, then come back and we will see if they worked. I was a bit upset with myself for resorting to psychoactive drugs to  treat my depression, but so be it.

The first 3 days I felt nauseous and dizzy, and had this pinging sound in my head. I called the Doctor and his nurse booked me in for one of (his sort of time) appointments. After listening to his hmms and ahs , I explained the side effects I was getting being on this medication. He reached into the candy cupboard and produced this flashy box called PROZAC. This was when it had been in the news a lot recently and thought of The Wonder Drug and equally advertised as the drug to stay away from.

I was full of questions but received questions that quelled my apprehensions about the drug.After being weened off the old med, I started the Prozac. On the label, there was a pretty clear warning about not giving this med to people diagnosed with Bi-polar or Manic Depressive disorders. Up to this time, we were assuming that I was just diagnosed with good old depression.

HAH! were we wrong. I remember the first day on Prozac the whole world lit up. In side or outside. I had to where sunglasses everywhere. As the Symptoms increased My inhibitions dropped. I was strutting around wearing a straw hat, torn tie dyed shirt, blue jean cutoffs and flip flops. (this from the man who summer wear was not wearing a tie.)

I used to hang out in the food courts until ejected for loitering. I almost got arrested for asking for spare cash downtown. I won’t go into the other mischief I got into. Finally the inevitable happens, I CRASHED into a deep depression, so much so I had to be hospitalized. (see The Hospital Visit)  This were my first feelings of suicide. I was a train wreck. I remember sitting in the hospital waiting room, dressed like a cast member of  ‘Hair’ (only without the hair) uncontrollably crying, just wanting to run away.

Finally an intake nurse came in an admitted me into ‘the other hospital/Sanitarium.

Leave a comment

Filed under Depression, Medication

Why a Security Officer

I became a security officer because it put me in charge of most situations……most.

One of the major side effects of having Agoraphobia is the feeling of helplessnessbadge_m133 in a wrong situation. Working in a position of  authority helps to lessen that feeling. Also, there rules, oh those wonderful rules! People have to be predictable, and obedient, or the security guard will show them the correct way of doing things.

It’s a power rush but it can be the only way an agoraphobic person (like me) can even go outside. I wonder how many civil servants out there (like police,fire fighters) are fighting the same demons we do and it gets you wondering why they overreact a lot of the time. As we have been seeing on TV quite a bit recently.

I did quite well as a security supervisor until they switched me to day shift. Then, there were too many people in the office, most of them my superior. I had lost control of my workplace and I resigned a few months after.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

One of My Budgies has Escaped!!

I put the cover on the cage, like I always do but I forgot to close one of the doors. The next thing I see is one of the birds flying across the living room. These are only caged  birds and not the best he would slide into a wall and slide down to the floor. Over and over again. Every time I would approached him he would just fly away into another wall.

As I am writing this, he is lost for now. I can’t find him anywhere. I will assume he will stop this game of hide and seek and head for his food in the cage. The alternative is tearing the apartment apart and end up hurting him.

He is a domestic bird, scared hiding away from his home and family so he will call out eventually, I hope.

Wish me luck!

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

When I was 16

16 years old was a very non-productive time in my life. I was crashing from my great cross country adventure, In fact , I was a total burnout. I had finished with school and taken up working at the bowling ally. My favorite hangout was a place called Nancy’s Deli (long closed now). It was a split between a fifty”s ice cream parlor snd low end sandwich shop. The main attraction was the bottomless cup of coffee.

All my friends hung out there too slowly getting addicted to caffeine and cigarettes. (I used to smoke back then) The Manager/owner  and I had a ‘rocky’ relationship at best, But I did bring in a lot of friends and we would  order food enough of the time to make me tolerable at least.

We had it out one time. I lost the argument, he threw me out and banned me, I had to find a new hang out spot with free coffee.

Amazingly Nancy’s closed down soon after that as I was bringing in all the regular customer. I know that sounds arrogant but it was true.

That is when I started hanging around the bowling alley and eventually got a job there. I was a “Pin Chaser”. In other words I did all the dirty work there.

I decided that I was going to move out and live on my own. I ended up renting the couch in a friends bedroom for 50 dollars a month. It was all I could afford on my wage of 60 dollars a week.  I started getting into drugs then. Nothing serious just a little pot and hash oil. My big adventure with drugs was short lived. I quit after the police started searching all the kids that worked there, I was pretty bored with the whole drug culture by then.

The rest of my sixteenth year was pretty boring and not worth mentioning.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized