Friday, March 30, 2007


Has anyone suffered from vertigo? Can you offer any words of advice?

I woke up this morning so dizzy I couldn't walk without supporting myself. I went to the doc, he diagnosed vertigo, and prescribed something like Myclizine.

It's sad to say I used to spend good money to feel like this. I just want my head to stop spinning right now.

Friday Shorts

Every time I mention my son Kyle, I feel the need to say "my 22 year old bipolar son". Well, it’s time I stop saying that. He’s a pretty special kid, and I don’t want to define him in this manner. I don’t like being defined that way myself. Of course, I’m guilty of putting myself in that box…

My wife talked to Kyle’s girlfriend tonight. They have a good relationship, my wife has a good relationship with everyone. Just be a real person and you’ll connect with my wife. But neither of them has heard from Kyle for a while, and they commiserated a bit. My wife got off the phone in tears, and said to me "I miss him". I do too. With a little luck he’ll be back around this weekend. The times he disappears are nerve-wracking.

Because it’s a "bipolar" blog, we come to the requisite "frame of mind" part. I’m cycling very rapidly, and I hate it. Fighting depression last night, I was manic yesterday. Right now I’m an even-keeled "blah". I’m bouncing liked a yo-yo. I come home from work, look around the house and the yard and get so overwhelmed by everything that has to be done I can’t handle it. At least I’m handling my heavy load at work OK.

My youngest daughter, Sweetness, has been having nightmares. She is dreaming her new pet bunny "Lilly" dies. She wakes up just sobbing. You should see her with that bunny. She reads to the bunny every day, plays with her all the time, and is really enjoying her. I have to admit that animal is very loving. She’ll jump into my wife’s lap and nuzzle her arm until she’s petted. I’ll take some pictures and post them.

Is society getting more polite, or am I looking old? I’m referred to as "sir" more and more often these days. Maybe it’s the salt and pepper hair, but whatever it is, I don’t like it. My grandfather was "Sir". I’m Jon. Oh well, I might as well get used to it, I’m not getting any younger.

Went to the doc today. After waking up very dizzy, and having pain behind my eyes the last few days I suspected a sinus infection. They didn’t think so, and wrote me scripts for anti-vertigo medication, and an anti-biotic "just in case". But the point of this, they took my blood pressure. I’ve always had high blood pressure, ever since I was in my teens. Never quite so bad they’d force me on medication, but high. Well, they took my bp today: 108 over 78. "Sir" my ass.

Now from the "too much information" category: At the gym locker room the other day, an overweight, balding, 50 + man was standing there with a hair brush blow-drying his pubes. I wasn’t sure whether to be nauseated or amused. I chose amused.

I’ll close with some introspection: In another 40 years (I’m pretty optimistic these days), am I going to be glad I embraced the pharmacological method of treating this disorder? Will the decreased motivation, semi-significant memory loss, lower sexual drive, and diminished creativity be offset by my family’s increased happiness and quality of life? As of now, I think so.

In the words of the immortal Sgt Esterhaus, "Let’s be careful out there".

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Marketing of 'Wristcutters: A Love Story'

From Mental Health America, via Liz Spikol's blog.

Dear friends,

We need your help. AfterDark Films plans to release a Lionsgate Entertainment movie this summer called Wristcutters: A Love Story. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last year to some acclaim. Mental Health America and its national partners have not yet been able to view the film and cannot yet share any detail on the content.

This month, however, AfterDark will launch an alarming “shock and awe” advertising campaign featuring cutouts of the movie characters in the states in which they kill themselves (e.g., jumping off bridges and electrocuting and hanging themselves). These signs will hang from telephone poles and trees in communities nationwide.

Interestingly enough, recent outrage around the advertising campaign of another one of the companies’ films, Captivity, forced AfterDark to remove billboards that showed graphic images of women, being kidnapped, confined, tortured and killed.

Go to The Trouble With Spikol for information on how you can contact AfterDark and try to stop this highly offensive Wristcutters' marketing blitz.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Friday Shorts

Kyle is my 22 year old son who also suffers from bipolar disorder. Since we paid him for cleaning our carpets over a week ago, he’s been gone. How his girlfriend puts up with it is beyond me. But we just heard rumors that one of his good “friends” had someone OD in his apartment, and is facing criminal charges over that death. We were worried that Kyle was there when it happened, but luckily, it sounds like he wasn’t. He has an appointment to make his application for General Assistance on Tuesday, hopefully we’ll be able to track him down by then.

While I know this is of no interest to anyone else, I’m excited about it so I’m going to brag. After 25 years without a serious workout regime I started working out 3 months ago. This morning I ran 3 miles! Even in the peak of my fitness, my teens, I wasn’t able to run 3 miles. I was pretty fast back then, but wasn’t a distance runner. I love to run, and I’m really fired up about this. I can’t run often, the pounding on my knees is painful, and is physically hard on someone my age. Given this I only run once a week or two, and use an elliptical trainer or bike machine most days. My goal is to run a 5 K race this spring, and it looks like I’ll make it. Also, I broke 195 on my weight! As of this morning, I was at 194.5. The weight is coming off very slowly, less than a pound a week, but it is coming off. Target weight: 185. Dream weight: 175. My weight in college: 165.

My frame of mind isn’t a lot better. I’m not really manic any more, more of a mixed episode. I’m slipping between depression and hypomania right now. At least I’m more or less free of the mania I had recently. That was awful.

The work situation is difficult, and that is contributing to my marginal frame of mind. Last summer I left a salaried job I enjoyed to move to a competitor through a consulting company. I was to be a consultant for 3 months, then if my performance was good I’d be hired on permanently. My performance was good, but right after I started the competitor announced a merger. All hiring, of course, was frozen. After the initial 3 months it’s been a series of month to month extensions. Finally they told me they’d like a 6 month contract then evaluate the situation at that time. Well, I don’t like this at all. I have to admit, as a contractor I’m making more money than I’ve ever made. BUT: My expenses are much higher. My family is not covered by insurance, and I’ve already paid several thousand dollars out of pocket for medical emergencies. I have to tell the family we can’t take a vacation this summer because the consulting company doesn’t offer vacation time. Because of medical bills I can’t make several necessary household repairs that must be done. Damn, I hate money problems, and I hate instability.

My girls have been begging for a pet. They’re in the unfortunate position of being the 4th and 5th of our kids. We’ve done the pet thing, many times in the past, many different critters, and have no desire to do it again. My youngest daughter has been writing stories about little girls and pets, not to get us to buy one, but because that’s what was in her heart. Well, through their persistence and downright cuteness, they won out. We now have a black and white bunny named "Lilly". It’s hardly left the arms of the girls since then.

Well, enough for now. I’m going to try to make it around to everyone’s blogs this weekend, hopefully my frame of mind will allow it.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Lyrics Blogging

I've said many times that music for me is that art of choice, that thing that brings me pleasure no matter my mood.

I often gravitate towards music that has a bipolar aspect, or tortured musician aspect, or song subjects that indicate bipolar or other mental disorder. I love Billie Holliday, Janis Joplin, Charlie Parker, Hank Williams Sr, Kurt Cobain, and similar musicians. I dig songs that have a bipolar theme.

One of my favorite singer / songwriters is a guy named Dave Alvin. Dave has done it all, was a major innovator of rockabilly music in the late seventies and eighties, played with one of the earliest and most influential US punk bands in the eighties, and has written and played virtually every musical genre since then. Dave recorded a song a few years ago that captures a bipolar frame of mind. It’s called “Out Of Control”.

I suppose this clicks as all my life I’ve been a little “out of control”. Pushing the limits, living recklessly, not caring that at any time a misstep could bring the world crashing down. I’ve thrown away opportunities, missed fortunes due to stupid decisions, and been lucky to have walked the tightrope and made it to where I am today.

In honor of that, here’s the lyrics to Dave’s song “Out Of Control”.

Dave Alvin
Out Of Control
Album: Ashgrove
(Blue Horn Toad Music, BMI)

I scored some speed in San Berdino
So me and baby could get a little bump
And now she’s in that motel room
Puttin’ on a show for some chump
Yeah, well baby’s gotta make a livin’
And I don’t mind waitin’ out in the car
‘Cause I got some nine millimeter muscle
In case things go too far.

You know I try to take it easy man
And just go with the flow
But sometimes things can get a little bit
Out of control.

Well my old man worked his whole life
In the Kaiser steel slag pit
And I worked there for awhile back when I was a kid
But I got tired of all their shit
But that was years ago man
Before they tore that Fontana plant down
And my old man smoked himself
Into a six-foot hole in the ground.

And I got the same bad habit
And it’ll probably take its toll
But sometimes it’s the only thing that keeps me
From goin’ out of control.

Well my ex-wife’s workin’ evenings
At a Sizzler makin’ minimum wage
And she’s cleanin’ up other people’s houses
Every day just like some slave
She’s livin’ with the kids in a mobile home
Just off the 60 freeway
Some nights I go to see her
And sometimes she lets me stay.

Since she found Jesus
She’s always tryin’ to save my soul
Yeah but every now and then she still likes to get
A little out of control.

I used to work a little construction
But I never got along with my boss
So I do a little import/export
Makin’ enough just to cover my costs
And I’m losin’ my hair and I’m losin’ my teeth
But I’m tryin’ to keep my grip
And live to see one more day
Without makin’ any stupid slips.

You know I could have played the game man
And just done what I was told
But I guess I was born just a little bit
Out of control.

When baby gets done in there I’m gonna
Take her for a little ride
Cruise up into the mountains
Park the car and get a little high
‘Cause baby likes to look at the shootin’ stars
And make wishes as they fly by
And I like lookin’ down at the city
From way up there in the sky.

Then I pull baby close to me
When it starts gettin’ cold
Close my eyes for a little while and let the world
Spin out of control.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Reaction To Coulter's Slur Hints At Shift In View Of Gays

Reaction to Coulter's slur hints at shift in view of gays

Coulter's recent labeling of presidential candidate John Edwards as a "faggot," however, has triggered a huge response, including a campaign initiated today by a gay rights group and media watchdog to persuade mainstream media outlets to dump her for good.

At least four newspapers have dropped Coulter's syndicated column, and 40,000 people signed an online petition to Universal Press Syndicate, which distributes her column, demanding that it release her. Three corporations, including Verizon, stopped advertising on Coulter's Web site after she made the comment.

I normally don't like to get political on this blog, but I really can't stand Ann Coulter. If I wanted to stoop to that level there's a few labels I'd hang on her.

Friday Shorts

I’m done with American Idol. The American masses don’t care about quality. They want cute, sexy, or attractive. This is exactly why I stopped watching all prime time music award shows many years ago. It’s all about packaging and marketing. Make the performer attractive to pre-teen girls and who cares if they can sing or perform – they’ll be successful. Disgraceful.

Kyle (our 22 year old bipolar son) called a few days ago and asked if we needed our carpets cleaned. We did, of course. Kyle can clean carpets better than any professional. We rented a cleaning machine, and he cleaned all day and into the night. We paid him well, he works so hard and does such a great job. My wife paid him in front of his girlfriend, we didn’t want to offend him by giving the money directly to his girlfriend. Kyle continued to clean well into the night, and he asked if he could stay with us that night. Of course he could. We got up the next day, and guess what? Surprise, surprise, he’s gone. Haven’t heard from him since. When will we learn, you don’t give money to someone with untreated bipolar disorder.

70 degrees in the heartland within a few days! Woo-hoo! I’ll get reacquainted with my deck and my humidor of cigars.

My mania is settling into a more pleasant hypomania, and I hope it stays for a while. Of course when I’m manic I slide between the two, but I’m REALLY tired of mania. I need to be able to accomplish something at work again.

USB memory sticks are everywhere these days, I’ve used one for years to carry things back and forth between work and home. I got one not too long ago that has something called "U3". This allows for programs to be run directly from the memory stick. Firefox browser, Trillian messenger, Filezilla FTP, Open Office, IrfanView, RoboForm, and many more free applications. This is a very cool piece of technology. Launch the programs with a single click, leave no footprints or trails on the computer you are using, securely store passwords, bookmarks, and so forth. I won’t work without one ever again.

I encourage everyone to jump over to My blog is located here. If you survive seeing my picture, take a moment and subscribe to my posts, it will help me out. Actually, the new design they have there is pretty cool, and makes it very easy to interact with others.

Finally, I got to thinking about the concept of a "community blog". A blog where anyone, named or anonymous, could post. A bipolar disorder theme, of course. You could plug your main blog, make announcements, tell others if a fellow blogger is in crisis, give those who just lurk or are intimidated by blogging a chance to be heard, and so forth. These ideas come a million miles an hour when I’m hypomanic, and can be difficult to implement or maintain when I’m "normal". But this wouldn’t be a big deal, especially with assistance from others. Thoughts?

Enough for now, everyone have a GREAT weekend!

Monday, March 05, 2007


Hey All – I’ve figured out why I haven’t been able to post more, or show any kind of significant support to anyone, or even return emails. I’ve got a mania going on. This is not a feel-good hypomania, although I slide into that from time to time. Unmedicated, I would be a true basket case right now. I guarantee I’d be self medicating and trying to do anything to get relief from this. Instead, I’m battling some racing thoughts and have the attention span of a 2 year old. Work is difficult right now, but I AM able to work. The Lamictal is doing it’s job. It will never take it all away, and it shouldn’t. But it makes life easier to live

Friday, March 02, 2007

Friday Shorts

The BipolarConnect redesign is done. Check it out! Leave me comments on my blog there, which can be found here, under the name GJ Gregory. Don't hesitate to create a profile and share your stories.

Big blizzard yesterday, our city’s worst in a decade. We got between 12 and 15 inches at my house. I have a medium sized snowblower, and the snow was just too deep for it. The wife and I half shoveled, half “snowblowed” my drive and walks. It took almost all afternoon. I went to the gym at about 6:00 AM, and there was an inch of snow on the ground. It’s only 5 minutes away, but in that 5 minutes the blizzard blew in and I was in a white-out. I made it there, worked out, and when I left there was 7 or 8 inches of snow. I was there less than 2 hours. The streets were like parking lots on every hill, the cars could not make it up the hills. I finally made it to a retail area on some higher ground, and went into an Office Depot store where I know the managers. I hung out for a couple hours until they had time to push the stuck cars out of the roads, then I plowed my way into work. Worked for a few hours, and plowed my way home. I never got stuck until I was turning into my driveway, and got stuck in the street. On my way to work this morning, there are cars off the road all over, even some still stuck in the roads. Those poor cars have snow plowed around them, they’ll have a lot of digging to free themselves. It could be worse though, I could be in the southern US, like Alabama or Georgia. I hope all my friends down there came through their storms unscathed.

Let’s see – Kyle called yesterday, I haven’t heard from him in a few weeks. He is considering a local program that will help him get assistance. The only problem is the program insists on homeless documentation. That means he has to be in a shelter, and he’d probably be there for 6 to 8 weeks. I’ve written about it on my BipolarConnect blog. They haven’t published it yet, and per my contract I can’t double-post. But I’ll post a link when they do publish it.

My kids are so funny at times. At different times Wednesday evening both of my girls grabbed a handful of ice and threw it out onto the deck. They claim it is good luck for getting school cancelled. Also if they wear their pajamas and everything else backwards they think it helps. Well it worked, school cancelled Thursday and today.

On a lighter note: Did you know there are several stages of marital “relations”? There is the newlywed stage – insatiable, anytime, anywhere, constantly. Then after a year or two that settles into the hot stage – not as often but very hot and intense. As middle age approaches, things slide into the “special events” stage. Birthdays, anniversaries, valentines day, and other special days. As people get older, things often move into the “oral sex” stage. Yes, believe it or not, oral sex is VERY common among middle aged and older couples. You know what I mean, you pass your partner in the hallway and mutter “screw you”.

I hope everyone out there has a great weekend.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Britney Spears and Bipolar Disorder

The buzz, for those that care, is that Britney Spears has either bipolar disorder or Post Partum Depression.

PPD my ass - that girl's got a MAJOR bipolar hypomania cooking.