EPI-1: Bipolar: Some Of Us Just Can’t Do “Normal”
Hey, this is Ken. Welcome to the podcast. You’re listening to Episode One, “Bipolar: Some Of Us Just Can’t Do Normal.” That is the key to all I have to offer for some bipolar people. Not all. But for some bipolar is a hint. It’s a signal from within that you can’t do life the way most people around you can do it.
What a lot of people, what *most* people are willing to put up with grinds at you, rubs your nerves raw.
Life needs to be a different way for you, and it needs to be so different that you’re struggling to find a template to follow. Someone else who’s got the same issues, been up against the same problems and is somehow still succeeding at life. Doing something that is not the same shit everybody else does when they get up in the morning and brush their teeth, grab their lunch and go to work. That is like a death sentence for you.
On this show, I’m looking for the people who are high functioning bipolar, meaning they’ve been diagnosed with bipolar and it’s either a light enough version that it just makes them more interesting than everyone else in the room, or they’ve done as I’ve done: they’ve either managed the illness out of existence, or they’ve found a way to beat it entirely.
I walked away from this thing. In full? I started in 2004. I was forced. I had no choice. I was given a death sentence. Bipolar was going to take me out. Psychiatrist said it’s going to be death by cop.
I’m a Marine Gulf War vet. And every time my head would just send me down that rabbit hole, I would wake up surrounded by police.
That was my version of it. That of course is not most bipolar people’s experience, but that was me. I went from that to facing the end, to being here with you now, all these years later, and the illness was wiped out solidly by 2006.
I just fought with remnants of anxiety. Really that was about it. So what I’ve come to learn in my journey is bipolar’s not always a bad thing for of us.
I stress this because I don’t want to mislead anybody or give you a false hope.
Bipolar, it grabs a hold of some people in such a way that it’s their best friend for life and that’s that. Or however they come to manage it that’s acceptable to them. That’s doable. Maybe it’s the only choice they have and they grow older, just managing it in that fashion, making adjustments where they may.
And then there’s the remainder of us who realize that not everything about us that is so outside the box is bad.
That is the coolest thing I learned about myself as I, well, like I said, I was forced to design a way out of bipolar because psychiatry couldn’t help me. Matter of fact, psychiatry was killing me.
I don’t want to go too deep into my story, cause this is about you. I just want you to understand: there’s the bottom of the barrel and then there’s the goo underneath it and a foot under that in the mud, holding it all up was where I was.
I did not know you could experience such despair, such bleakness, such terror, such weirdness as I did when I was deep in bipolar, I’m very thankful to this day and every day that it is no longer part of my life.
But there was something left over or maybe we could say never got touched in the first place.
And that was my unique view on life. My perspective, what I want out of life. What I expect to get out of life and how none of that seemed to match with any situation I found myself in, ever, for many years, I was never comfortable in my own skin. I was always the loudest person in the room. Still am.
I lead with humor and everything that I do. Not ridiculously so, but I find the light side in the darkest of things. And I find humor. I can’t help myself, but I find humor as a way to help people get through a lot of painful situations. It breaks the tension at least enough to reset their perspective, help them move forward.
Now, in my travels to try to figure out what to do with myself, in reference to that “being uncomfortable in my own skin” in part, I was, and still am a seeker.
I landed in situations the likes of which being managed by people, the likes of which, that it’s impossible how these things took place. And I was in them and they were all very cool, usually very positive, usually something very helpful to many other people. And it covered the gamut.
I helped build an art gallery. I worked with felons at a halfway house. I worked at a soup kitchen. I helped start a non-profit. I helped build a gym.
I had people who were millionaires, who just liked having me around and I made no money for that, but it was so exciting being at their side or behind them, or assisting them with whatever.
I knew I was learning. I was paying for a form of college.
But still I wanted something for all this and I didn’t get it back in those years.
You’re at this point where you’re reaching me now is where I get what I was looking to get. And now I know how to teach you to get to whatever your version of this thing is as well.
I got about, I don’t even know, I guess technically you could say 20 plus years of learning where to put myself and still be me. And how to filter out the parts of me that made people uncomfortable I wasn’t comfortable simply because. I was being me in the wrong place and /or for the wrong reasons.
This leads to a lot of fights that you can’t win.
Or if you win them, you know, you’ll win the battle, but you’ll lose the war. A lot of frustration, a lot of failure, a lot of experimentation can also be a lot of fun. I had all of the above.
If I were to make a list of all the things I’ve done and who I did them with and why and where it took us… it is phenomenal. And none of it is what day to day life people experience.
I want more of that, but I don’t want to be on the ship so much, sailing to all these distant lands. I kind of want to remain in headquarters and direct from afar. That’s what I’m looking for. There’s people out there like me, who I like, like how I was some years back.
They’re still trying to figure out where to plant their flag or where, or how to even get to that land. And they need my help. That’s what I’m going to offer.
I find it very interesting to work with people who just refuse to fit in.
I like being around people that fight the man, fight status quo, even when it doesn’t really make sense for me to be that enthused about it. And there’s no way I can join them in their fight.
When I’m in the presence of people like this, I get very excited and I feel very positive. Even if it’s semi-suicidal to what it is I need to get done in my life. That’s the kind of energy I like being around, but it does have to be used smartly.
It does need to be put into context of how to lead life. Especially if you’re older. I’m 53. I don’t have time to play games and not have them lead anywhere. You’re probably the same.
We need to figure out how we take what’s in that magnificently odd head of yours and turn it into something usable for you to do whatever it is that talks to your spirit the loudest.
For some of you, it’s going to be a career. For some of you, it’s just a project that has nothing to do with your career. Your career is fine, but there’s something you need to express, just so you feel okay about you. Some of you do want to build big companies or you want to build non-profits.
I tend to find a lot of us that have struggled through something hideously insane as bipolar and get out of it or manage it, we learn things that we just feel we have to share with the world around us, or it’d be a crime, not to. All of that. I’m here for you.
I’ve cast such a wide net trying to figure out what to do with myself. I’ve learned so many things from so many personal development courses. And I’m an avid reader.
I pick everyone’s brain around me, at-will, for any reason under the sun. And I don’t really care what they think of it. I’m smoother about it now than it used to be. But when I want to know something, I’m going to find out what it is.
Lot of times it’s something that just keeps me moving on my way. It’s not a direct hit to help me with what I got to do, but if it adds to the overall flavor, which eventually assists me getting what I need to know.
But in your case, I may have learned something that is exactly what you need to know.
And when I’m talking with people, I remember these things. I want to talk to you guys. This is the start of it.
And then there’s ways on my website, bipolar excellence.com, where you can continue this conversation with me. I’ve done other podcasts in the past. I’ve had other websites in the past.
I’ve published my book on Amazon. It didn’t really go anywhere you would like a book to go, but it’s there dammit! You can find it. And it’ll tell you what my early story was.
And for those of you that want to write a book, I know tons about that.
My God, was that a fight! Was that a battle on no budget! And I did it years ago. It’s easier now. So have hope!
I don’t want this to go on too long. I’m going to make these episodes, helpful, brief, easy to consume. There’ll be some interviews here and there. I have some of my own from the past that I’ll be loading up here shortly, just so you can see where I was at right after I got out of all of this.
Give you more context to figure me out. See if we’re going to be buddies. And we’ll just go from there.
I’m really glad to be back in the podcast saddle, get my studio going up again, got everything, dusted it off with little blinky lights everywhere. Website’s just about where I need it to be. This is an exciting time for me!
And I really look forward to you saying something very similar. One day off the back of working with me. All right, guys, stay well out there. Do not do normal. You’re on the right track. Don’t doubt yourself. We’ll talk soon.