Wednesday, September 18, 2019

My Bipolar Mind...

Hello my friends & followers.

This entry is going to be short and sweet, I'm going to share with you one of my latest poems, entitled 'My Bipolar Mind'.

It may not be my best work thus far and I probably could've done better. But it is what it is.

The main theme behind the poem is to let others know who may not understand, the struggles we face each day on the battlefield of the mind.

Even though the title is My Bipolar Mind, I believe that it can explain the struggles other face with other mental health issues.

Till next time, keep talking mental health.



Thursday, September 12, 2019

The Serenity Prayer & A Higher Power...

Hello to all the followers/subscribers to this blog.

As always, I hope that I can give each and every one of you a bit of, not just my story, but the inspiration to keep on keeping on.

Today, for the first time in a while, I have been relatively stable, mentally. No over the edge mood swings like I have been experiencing. My depression, hypomania and anxiety are at a manageable level. So I can say, without bragging, that I am relatively happy with myself. Especially after all the mood swings and intrusive thoughts I've been experiencing. Shucks, I felt for sure I was setting myself up for a trip to inpatient therapy.

Inpatient therapy...I am not against it by all means. I am very open to it if the need should arise. The reason I thought it was my destiny, as I said before, was the the extreme fluxuation of my moods. But, after chatting with a friend and remembering what I was told at my counseling appointment this Monday last, this could be something easily taken care of at my psych session tomorrow (Friday 13th), with an adjustment to my mood stabilizers. And I shall say, I hope that is the case. For one the BH Center I use, inpatient is only used as a last resort. More will revealed later.

Like I stated my mood and other mental health issues have be fairly stable today. I owe that not only to the meds I take note: I now take 75mg/day of Lamotrigine), but also another factor, the following prayer:

For personal reasons, lately I have not had a real prayer life. Plus, if will note, that I crossed out G-d and substituted with 'Higher Power'. Why, you may ask. The answer is both simple and complicated.

Many factors led me to practically losing my faith. To be blunt, I was angery/bitter at G-d, and blamed him for many things that I have endured over my life. Just to name a few things, 1. I was forced by my mother to attend Sunday services every week 2. my sexuality 3. the mental illnesses I have endured most of my life 4. the death of my father.

All those things contributed to not only a loss of faith, but no real prayer life. But that, was destined to change this morning.

I awoke as usual to get ready for work. I felt really good about myself and my surroundings. Then, as fate would have it, I had to go to work, which usually led to high anxiety once I hit door. But, today things were different. As soon as I entered the door at work, and several time through the day, I said that prayer using 'Higher Power' instead of G-d. Then as I went along with my day, it felt like a burden had been lifted. Not really much anxiety to speak of, and no dramatic mood swings.

Sure, it is going to be a long haul for me, not only in my mental health journey, but also to regain a confidence in the person many call G-d. Now I can't say that I don't believe he doesn't exist, but for now I shall call him my Higher Power.

Many issues will have to be resolved in my life through counseling & taking my meds as prescribed. Yes, there will still be good days and bad, but I believe things will eventually work out where I can once more regain a sense of sanity.

I'm aware that I probably could have eplained things a bit more clearly, but I hope I have given each of you something to cling to in your mental health journey. And I ask that you please keep on keeping on. For, There Is Hope.

Till next time,
I bid you all strength for your journey.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Suicidal Ideation & Getting Professional Help...

Hello to the subscribers to this blog, or who may be reading this.

It has been over a month since my last entry, and much as transpired in that time from. The title of this entry should give you an idea of what's been going on in my life.

I'm usually listening to tunes on YouTube while writing. But this being a difficult topic for me to address, I've chosen to pause the app for the time being.

Suicidal Ideation & Getting Professional Help...

Within just days of my last entry, I began to experience severe #suicidalideation for the first time in several years. If you read my previous entry, you should have some idea as to why this mental health malody occurred.

If you can recall, I suffered from a bipolar relapse that had been building for several months, & finally came to head in July. Or so I thought. As the stress levels continued to build, espcially at my job, so did the occurance of vivid nightmares. Plus flashbacks from experiences of bullying in my youth, I thought I'd long forgotten, started to surface. My mind was in such turmoil, I didn't know if I wanted to live or die. I was at the point of wanting to give up.

Then came Monday, 12 August. I'd had a particularly horrendous weekend, and the day wasn't much better. I came home after work that day, and as usual empties my coverall pockets to get ready for a shower. It was then that I pulled something out I never recalled putting into my pocket...a razor blade still in its covering. And, as you can expect since I'd been experiencing suicidal ideation, I was terrified. All I could do was sit in my chair and stare at the 'instrument of death'. I sat there for approx 15 minutes before I could even get the nerve to securely display the item.

Later that evening, I received a text from the Elementary principal checking up on me. He'd seen I wasn't looking good for some days and decided to text me. He let me know that his office always open if I needed to talk. Man, I was glad he said that, for I desperately needed to talk to someone.

So the next morning, after I got the preliminaries done, I made a trip to the other building for a visit with principal. I told the superintendent what I was going to do, and gave him an indication for the visit. But, it didn't seem to register with him at the moment.

I made to the office, sat down behind a closed door and spilled my guts. I literally broke down when I mentioned the razor blade to him.He was very compassionate and, as I mentioned beforehand, had genuine concern for my well being. How much I didn't find out till the next morning.

Come Wednesday morning. I was struggling severely. I was undergoing a mixed episode of anxiety, depression & hypomania. I mentioned of my malady to a secretary, but didn't think much about it until I was called into the superintendent's office.

He sat me down, asked me what was going, & it was then that I spilled my guts once more. Apparently, the principal had made mention of our discussion the morning before & decided an intervention was in order.. I told him that things were getting unbearable, and I was at the point of giving up. He asked me if he could call my GP upon my behalf & get my next appointment move up I said yes, because I was at crisis level. The appointment happened the next afternoon.

I went in to the appointment full of fear and anxiety. Before my GP entered, the nurse asked me questions and seemed to not believe me about the razor incident. The GP decided that everything was out of her hands now, and referred me to a psychiatrist. The appointment was scheduled for the following Wednesday. Before leaving, she prescribe another med to help take the edge off till my appointment. She went as far if I needed to go for evaluation for my safety. I assured her that I had people checking up on me and would be alright.

Psych Day, 21 August. Had to be there early to get paperwork filled out. So thankful that my sister took me, because I was so anxious it would've been hard for me to fill out the paperwork.

Eventually the nurse called me and did the preliminaries. Asked me the usual questions of psych patients. She took my vitals & weighed me. I found out that I'd lost 11 lbs since 08 July. Too much in such as short time. She then led me back to the waiting room to wait to be called in by my psych.

Once again, when called in to the psych's office, she reasked the same questions of me, then let me spill my guts. It was during the session that she tacked PTSD on to my list of mental health issues, reconfirmed my BMD 2, generalized anxiety along with social anxiety. She then prescribed all new meds. Four in all. An antidepressant, mood stabilizer, one for nightmares, and a PRN for anxiety. Then asked me to return in 2 months for a followup.

I am so grateful that I went to the psych. It was the first time I'd ever been able to open up to a mental health specialist.

I cannot say that things are a bed of roses, for they are not. I have had both good and bad days. Still experience mixed episodes & have times when my PTSD is triggered. All has to be expected until I get adjusted to my new meds. It's only been two weeks, & it may take another 2 to 4 weeks for me to get the full effects of them.

Now on to this week.

This has been an especially hard week for me. This Tuesday past, was the 12th anniversary of my father's passing. My dad was my rock. And since I'm in recovery mode, it made things especially difficult for me.

I've also been journaling in earnest. Most of my journaling involves writing poetry & letters to myself. So long as I can get things out & have records of how I've been feeling, it is a great release.

Also this week, I the ball got rolling for me to see a counselor. My sister & I took paperwork to NW Center for Behavioral Health in Fairview, OK. The desk clerk received my paperwork, asked for pertinent information, then went to consult with the counselor. Apparently, something in my paperwork caused her concern.

The counselor called me in, and once again she asked me questions and allowed me to spill my guts once more.She also wanted assurance that I would have people looking after my safety, or else she would have no choice but send me to inpatient. I gave her my assurance, then she allowed me to return home.

I go for intake Monday next. Intake involves making sure I get all the services I require due to my mental health situation, i.e...psych, counselor, med service & social worker. No bases will be left uncovered. I was also informed, that after I met with their psych, I was under no obligation & could continue seeing my other psych. I asked if I needed to cancel my other appointment, and they said to keep it for the time being, for it could be after that date before say their psych.

I'm sorry for such a long entry. But at least the ball is rolling in right direction for me to get the help I need, in order to enhance my road to recovery. Yes, it's going to be a long & hard journey, but with support I'm getting, I shall make it. I will not give up.

Before closing I'd like to share with you all one of my poems.

It is my hope, by writing about my mental health journey, someone will read it and come to realize that there is hope even in the darkest of nights. I also ask, that if at any time you find yourselves struggling & at the end of your ropes, to reach out for help from friends, family or call a suicide crisis hotline in your area. The help is there if you need it. JUST REACH OUT. YOU DON'T HAVE TO SUFFER ALONE.

Till next time,


Sunday, August 4, 2019

A Constant Battle...

Hello followers of this blog!

It has been more than 6 months since my last posting. I shall not go into detail of why such a time lapse, just that I am back.

For some time, I've been considering a platform to chronical my mental health journey. Then after pondering it, I decided this blog would serve that purpose.

So, with the change of theme, comes a new blog name, 'Simply Alvin-My Mental Health Journey'. Plus, I have deleted 99% of the old post in order to conform to the mental health theme.

As before, there will probably we a lapse in postings. It all depends upon how I am feeling, and how comfortable I am posting about a certain topic. The posts will not be according to the timeline of my journey. Rather, what I feel I need to address.

The topic of this post, 'A Constant Battle...', deals with a current event in my mental health journey.

To give a little background information, I have suffered from mental health issues close to 30 years. I was institutionalized in a state hospital twice due to mental health and addiction problems. I cannot say how many times I have been on and off medications for my mental illness, mainly Bipolar 2 and Anxiety. But I can say that each time I tried to handle things on my own by stop taking my meds and self-medicating with alcohol, things just got progressively worse as time went on. And for brevity, I shall say that my last mental health relapse began the moment I stopped taking meds from the previous one.

As I said before, as time went on things would get worse. Alcohol consumption became my 'pacifer'. But, it has been within the past, I'll say 6 month, things started to come to a breaking point. I knew I had to see the doctor before things got 'ugly'. Thus, on July 8 of this year, I made a Doctor appointment and was seen that same day. I was asked all the routine things about my mental health, what my diagnosis had been at state hospital, how long the symptoms lasted, sleep patterns, alcohol consumption, were there any inclination of self-harm, etc. The norm when dealing with mental health issues.

That day I was prescribed medications for my bipolar and anxiety. I returned for a followup this last Thursday, and another anxiety med was added to the regimine.

Just like with most medications, it takes time for them to build up in a person's system. I have good days and bad days. That is the norm for mental illness. It is a constant battle to maintain some sense of normalcy. It all takes time, and, I am aware that I will be on medications for the rest of my earthly life. Doctor appointments and medication will be my 'lifeline'.

This past week, I was particularly struggling. Mood swings were bad, my anxiety was at a high level, with the presence of the all-might 'depression' on top of it. Plus thoughts of 'self-harm' kept plaguing my mind. I was not myself. Then come very early Saturday morning, I had a bad nightmare. Thank goodness my phone awoke me when it did, for when I awoke I was in terror and flinging my arms like I was fighting something away from me. I felt miserable most of the day. It wasn't until I decided to take my PRN anxiety med, & listen to some tunes, that I started to calm down.

Now the aforementioned is just a brief summary of my recent mental health episode. In an effort to help clear my mind, I wrote down some things about the episode, which I also entitled 'A Constant Battle..." I shall now share it with you.

In closing I would like to reiterate something, when a person is struggling with mental health issues it is a 'constant battle' to maintain some sense of normalcy. Plus, I urge anyone who is struggling, to reach out for help, Whether it be an MD, Psych, or a friend who will lend a listening ear, or in extreme cases, a mental health (suicide prevention) hotline. In my case with this last episode, it was people I only knew from social media who gave me encouragement to not give up. Whatever it takes, reach out. You are important. There Is Hope.

Till next time, I bid you Peace, Love, and Good Luck with your journey.

Sunday, April 19, 2015


Welcome back to another edition of 'Simply Alvin'. I hope, where ever you may live, you are having a beautiful day/evening/night.

Many things have gone on in my life since my last posting a week ago. I have had several things going through my mind upon which to write about. But, as fate would have, the memory of April 19, 1995 has taken center stage. For it was on that day, 20 years ago today, Wednesday, April 19, 1995, bent on indignation towards the Government of the United States, Timothy McVeigh parked a Ryder rental truck in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Downtown Oklahoma City, OK. The bomb laden truck exploded at 9:02 that morning, destroying the building and damaging several structures in the downtown area.

One hundred and sixty-eight innocent lives were lost that day, of which 19 were children amongst them.

Wednesday, April 19, 1995, was, and still is considered, 'The darkest day' in the history of Oklahoma City and the State of Oklahoma. It was also, up to that time, the 'worst' act of terrorism on American Soil.

It has been said that time will heal, But, for many of the survivors and loved ones of those lost in this senseless act of cowardice, time has not completely healed the wounds.Not even after 20 years.

It is hard to express in words my sentiments. So, I share with you the following verse, attributed to 'Adalwin'.

Oklahoma City...
"April 19, 1995 - 9:02 AM:
Precious lives were taken that day. An act of cowardice and hate. Bent on indignation, a bomb laden truck blew up that day, ending the lives of 168. Tho the wounds may never completely heal and leave a scar upon the soul, we move on and make a vow, 'WE REMEMBER. WE WILL NEVER FORGET.' For the day such a tragic event is forgotten, is the day that history is destined to be repeated."


Til next time, I extend to you my LOVE and best wishes.