EPI 46: Bipolar Author & Aerospace Engineer Troy Steven-Breaking Bipolar
Troy Steven reached out to me somewhere within the last two years. He found me right as I was stalling out on my last two podcasts. So I never responded.
But he was gracious enough to agree to be interviewed again! (Thanks Troy!)
Turned out to be a very fun interview!
Troy Steven got his first taste of bipolar in 1993. He said it made him feel odd, dangerous.
He voluntarily committed himself after that for a 3-week stay. Thus began the heavy meds.
Mania became a regular thing. It hit him hard in 2005.
Another stay in a psych facility took place in 2015.
But Troy has been good ever since that stay. He keeps regular with meds but doesn’t feel they’re the only answer.
He’s big on personal responsibility and optimizing one’s meds.
Troy wrote a book about how he got bipolar under control called: Breaking Bipolar.
Here’s the site for the book: https://breakingbipolar.life
Breaking Bipolar is an empowering self-help book with clear, detailed instructions on how to create a powerful battle plan to break the hold bipolar disorder has on your life and eliminate bipolar episodes for good.
After reading Breaking Bipolar, you will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Create your personal bipolar battle plan
- Eliminate bipolar episodes
- Optimize your medications
- Recognize symptoms of mania and depression
- Find a psychiatrist you trust
- For a support team
- Boost your mental and physical health
- Recover faster from a bipolar episode
- Deploy your bipolar legal rights if necessary
- Navigate psychiatric hospitals
- Win the war against bipolar disorder
- Make your dreams come true!
He delivered a secret at the end of the talk. Turns out he has his own publishing empire! (My words, not his.)
Here’s the site: Battle Press Publishing
Listen to the whole show. We really got cranking as we went along! I can’t wait to interview Steve again!
Just click the “READ MORE” text below for the transcript!
Welcome to the Bipolar Excellence podcast. I’m your host Ken Jensen. I’m someone who overcame Bipolar disorder in an organic fashion back in 2004.
That process taught me a couple things about bipolar. I was living life so incorrectly in relation to what the better part of me wanted and needed me to do, that it took bipolar disorder to shock me into seeing I should go another way.
The fact that it was bipolar that was to change agent meant. I’m more creative than most.
I have a certain slightly amount of intelligence than the average bear, and I have a way of seeing life and expressing myself that most around me do not, in such a way that I can have great impact on those who need me most.
You might be the same. I wanna help you understand this about yourself and I wanna help unlock your greatness and then unleash it on the world in the best and coolest way possible.
Welcome to the bipolar Excellence podcast episode 46, bipolar, aerospace engineer, and author Troy Stephen, Breaking Bipolar.
So, very much still digging this new format of me sharing from my my life and my experiences of building this podcast and the website and all all that goes with it.
I’m enjoying this. I’ve mentioned before, I’m I’m duplicating just in its most general form, the format that Mark Marin uses over on WTF. And I’ve owned this only the second interview I’ve done, so I’m getting better at it.
But I’m already enjoying it more. The first interview was great. And then out of it, I saw things I wanted to do better, could do better, and I invested in a little bit of extra software to help facilitate the improvement.
And I’m I’m still learning some of that, and it’s it’s just getting better as I go. Troy was a blast to talk to. We had a lot of fun on the call.
I think it went it went couple of directions neither 1 of us saw coming. Nothing real dramatic other than 1 surprise, Troy shared at the very end that I completely did not see coming, and I thought was quite dramatic.
And the most positive of senses, it was really cool what he shared right at the end. So that’s not sales thing like you hear on other things, but you’re gonna wanna listen in the end.
Particularly if you’re writing a book. If you are writing a book, pay attention to or or Pay attention to this thing all the way to the end.
Alright? What else was I gonna throw in here? Along the lines of podcasting, I just got hooked up by a new best friend Not that he knows me.
Let me pull this up and and and note to self and listeners, I cannot wait till I have multiple monitors because I never have these links and things prepared prior to the show because it just doesn’t seem to be how my brain works.
And if I had another monitor, I could easily pull things up and sound much smoother in delivering these helpful links and whatnot.
I am failing you. I’ll get it I’ll get it straightened out and improved there too. 1 more note for the book.
So polymash, I found this guy through 1 of the and forgive me if I say your name wrong, Yergin Bergkessel. But it’s at polymash dot com. I was put onto polymash by something out of 1 of these podcasts helpful podcast.
I don’t know what you call them. I get these newsletters about the podcast industry. And from 1 of them, some link I needed to know something about led me to Polymash and Yergens been pretty helpful.
Pretty helpful indeed. He just put me on to something called share link generator dot com. When you have a podcast episode and you wanna make it very easy for your guests to share it on their social sites.
This free software does that. It’s I don’t know what else to say about it. It’s free. No catches. No nothing. You throw in a link, and and you throw in your info, and it it poops out a link.
The other thing that he sent my way that I just signed up for, oh, let’s see. It was text expander dot com. Now this is something I wish I had years ago. Back when I was really seriously deep into developing my websites.
Right now my website is Mostly static other than updating the podcast pages themselves. So I don’t have to write a lot of fresh code. Little bit here and there, but not much.
But I used to reuse snippets of code like crazy. And you gotta save them somewhere, find them, copy them, and paste them. And now I’m finding the same problem with emailing people things that are the same information for each person.
Nothing changes other than their name. It’s a lot of it’s a big time expenditure, and I don’t have that much time. Even if I do have time, I have a limited amount of energy and or discipline to do things well.
So I always have to get out ahead of myself and find shortcuts to beat The things in my life I can’t be, including my own inability to work harder.
So check out textexpander dot com. It’s you save snippets of anything written, anything you gotta type at all, and it works anywhere that you type online period.
Or on your computer itself, and on all of your devices. So I just found them. I just signed up. I think actually I took a 30 day trial.
I didn’t pay anything just yet. But it’s, like, 30 dollars for the year. Like, 30 and change. So to save time of retyping and copying and pay and searching for for files, I can’t wait to beat this thing to death and make my life better.
Now I could’ve sworn what what there was 1 other thing maybe. I signed up for something called xsplit, It’s the letter x and then the word split. It’s xsplit dot com. Now in this case, they’ve got a couple things they do.
And the thing I signed up for was Vcam, where I can use my computer camera, in my case, I’m getting a a logitech thingamajigger to put on the top of my laptop, and it allows you to remove or replace and blur your background.
And I think it does a bunch of other stuff, a whole bunch of other stuff. They got something called broadcaster.
With live streaming and recording studio. But right now, it’s only on PC. It’s only on Windows. So I’m sure it’ll have Mac thrown in at some point. V cam, I’m pretty sure is both. You’re good to go there.
And so I’m just using V cam. And I’m really excited about that because what I’ve been using is my cell phone on a a tripod, with an app called I think it was called well, I better not say, I think it was called anything.
I’m pulling it up right now in my apps, let’s see here. You know, they always say they never have dead time on on radio, which is all this really is, is radio, and I really don’t care.
You know who partly made me not care? Found the app. Focos Live, F0C0S, Live. You go into the App Store and buy it.
That does some really cool stuff right from your farm. That I’m now hopefully gonna replace with Vcam because it’ll make my life a little easier, less less machinery involved, quicker, transitions between tasks.
Back to the silence, the voids within conversation on podcast, There’s a guy named Jocko, navy seal. He appears to be monstrous in in any way, every way.
He’s a warrior amongst warriors. I don’t follow his show. I’ve listened to it every now and again. And nothing against the guys nothing about it really makes me wanna listen to it a whole lot.
But every now and then, I’ll listen to him. And he has a lot of he speaks very slow. He has a lot of Dead time where he just sits and let you drink in what he just said.
He’s massively popular online. I found him on YouTube, Like I said, ironically, I listen almost no podcast. I listen to WTF. That’s for me that’s for me personally.
I like what Mark does. I like who he’s doing it with. I like how he does it. I like why. I like learning about Mark’s life. Then there’s other podcasts I listen to purely for training purposes, not entertainment.
And that’s about it. And there’s nothing to be done for that. I feel almost like I’m somehow letting down the podcasting community, but I don’t have the time or the will to care.
That’s where I’m at. Hopefully, 1 of you guys or a bunch of you guys out there are picking me the way I picked Mark. That that could be a thing.
I feel solid on that. I’m still getting better at using squadcast. That’s at squadcast dot f m. Squadcast lets you do Internet based recording. There’s, like, no way to screw it up, and they keep copies of everything in the cloud.
So even if you if it goes sideways and you screw something up as I already have a few times. They’ve nothing’s lost. You can’t really blow this thing up. You you just stumble your way through the learning process.
And they’ve got you they’ve got your back, so you you can’t really hurt anything. I’m already getting better with that. And I’m just liking how my whole system’s coming together for delivering these podcasts to you guys.
It’s a lot of work. And when I get supremely pissed off at something. I start considering, reconsidering, does this thing even need to be in place?
Is there a better way to do it? A simpler way, a cheaper way, a faster way? Or do I even give a shit that it’s here at all really when the point is to get the shows at out? On that note, I did away with transcribing.
It’s another irony. On the last episode, I really spoke highly of transcription and why it needs to be in place, that’s all still true. But the way the voice to text editor I was using worked, it wasn’t working well enough for me.
And the act of transcribing was starting to age me. And it was now that I’ve gone to interviews and these things are are so long, Like the other night, I worked for 17 how was it?
No. No. I worked for 2 hours, and I got 17 minutes of an hour and a half long audio transcribed. I’m like fuck this. I I literally hate this. I hate this shit.
I don’t wanna do it anymore. I wish this thing was working more like what they showed in the ad. And I know in my case, the way my voice sounds, I could see how it was tripping up the the AI and the transcription service.
The way it was phonetically writing things, it thought I was saying. I’m like, I’m never gonna win this fight because with my eyes closed, I it sounds like I’m saying what it’s writing as well. It it’s it’s no good.
So I decided to dump that for now. I and what I’m gonna do is the audios are the audios. They’re here. They’re podcast episodes. They’re done. When I’m in a better position to do so, I hire out the job on fiverr dot com or something.
I hire out the transcription service to somebody else that you just come in behind me transcribe all these episodes, and I’m never gonna touch again.
Give me the the written file and I throw it in on the episode page within my site. Bipolar excellence dot com. And that’s how that’s gonna go.
And I’ve gotta tell you what a load off my mind that was because I’ve been fighting real hard hard to find the discipline time and energy to transcribe and it’s I can’t. It’s it’s beyond me even with with software help.
I know that because of how everything works in the world particularly online, they’ll get better at some point where the mistakes that a software makes are gonna be less and less, which will make them easier to use, but they’re not there right now that I can see.
And I’m I’m done fucking around.
I clipped them out And I feel so much better because it doesn’t matter. They need to be there and they will be there. Do they need to be there right this second for me to achieve my goals and to help you guys the best?
No. They can sit until they’re ready to be acted upon. That’s the kind of decisions you gotta make sometimes particularly as a bipolar creator.
We we have the energy to really hang in there even when it’s killing us. And the part of our mind that likes fighting certain kinds of fights and taking on the complexity of everything won’t give up because it’s it’s food.
Problemsblems like that, depending on where you’re at in your bipolar journey, problems like that are like manna from heaven to your brain.
It just gobbles it up. It’s like being stoned and eaten pizza. Your brain’s like, this ain’t working. The the the more intelligent party was like, this ain’t working.
I’m wasting a lot of time, but but the other part of you that enjoys the fight and and having something for all your many neurons to do within their constant firing, won’t give up.
And that’s a really tricky thing to know when to give up on a project or some piece of a project. I did an episode about dead somewhere not not long ago in the life of an outsider series.
So Look for that. Something about when to quit. I’ll try to find the link and put it in the show notes. And that’s about it. I I supremely enjoyed talking with Troy. And I think you’re gonna like what he says.
He has a very similar way of fighting bipolar. It’s not exactly the same as mine, but it’s awful damn close. And he and I had a very similar at least in the most dramatic slash critical points, bipolar life before we both healed.
So I’m really glad to bring him to your attention. I hope you go into the links that he he provides in his episode to go and check out the the book that he wrote, he’s gonna write another 1 soon, and also the secret.
You gotta check out the link to the secret thing he mentions the very end of the podcast. It just blew me away when he said that, and it was so fun to learn it the way I learned it.
And it’s making it’s just 1 more thing that makes me so glad that I I knotted up and decided to go do these interviews because I had a bit of fear going into these interviews.
Just the doing of them and I was much happier to just be a lone wolf and and make my own training sessions.
And I knew I knew better than that. I knew not to maintain that perspective. I knew I had to go interview people, and it’s been Fran now and now Troy.
And for different reasons, I love speaking to both those people. And that’s that’s always gonna beat away be that way. I know how I am with people and their stories. I’m gonna love everybody I interview.
If you’re a potential guest, I’m gonna love talking to you. You’re gonna say something I wouldn’t have thought to say. You’re gonna have a way of helping somebody that has nothing to do with how I help people, and everybody wins.
And we’re just gonna have a good time. Alright. That’s it. Let’s go into the Troy Stephen interview. Hello everybody. Hello, Troy. This is Ken Jensen, and I’m with Troy Steven. Troy wrote a book called Breaking By Polar.
Troy is an aerospace engineer, and he Shares in his book his wellness plan for fighting bipolar, with the main point of bipolar heal heal thyself, He believes we should take personal responsibility in his fight as do I.
And Troy has a few benefits of being bipolar that he’d like to share which completely and totally matches what I’ve been telling people for years about this illness.
Troy found me online or I believe maybe Maybe you’re did you have an agent at 1 time? No. I did approach you online though. Okay. Few people reached out that had books.
Troy reached out quite some time ago when I had a different show which fell flat because I wasn’t sure where it was going and couple years later, he was gracious enough to still wanna sit and talk with me.
So thanks thanks, Troy. I don’t think he’s having me on the show.
So what is your bipolar story? What how did it how did it show up in your life in the first place? It the first time I had a bipolar episode was in 19 93. I was married living in Raleigh, North Carolina at the time, had 3 children.
And I started getting paranoid in having hallucinations, it it was really gradual, but it ramped up pretty quick. I got to the point where I was going to sleep in the la z boy downstairs, not able to sleep hardly at all.
Feeling a little bit like what the heck’s going on and maybe even dangerous a little bit. And so I ended up I decided I was gonna drive to Florida and hunker down in a motel for until I figured out what the heck was going on.
I I got about 2 hours out of town and couldn’t keep going because I was gonna miss miss my children too much. So I drove back to Raleigh. I went to an emergency room of a hospital and told them what was going on.
They they transported me to a psychiatric facility, and I voluntarily admitted myself had a psychotic break while I was in the hospital. Was in the hospital about 3 weeks.
Put on heavily medicated on medication and returned home and kinda got myself out of that hole, but it was a life changing thing. You know, it was never the same. After that, you know, I was working as an engineer.
My next episode happened in 2005 where I started getting manic, maybe they’re skyrocketed. I ended up throwing away all my medications. And quit taking medications. And actually, I still had a bottle of lithium.
I took a bunch of lithium. I hadn’t, like, planned to kill myself, but I just ended up, like, spontaneously took this medicine Jeez. Yeah. I ended I ended up calling 911 myself and then went to a regular hospital.
And then, you know, how long like, it’s it’s interesting that bipolar people when they’re not having bipolar symptoms are just like a normal person excelling, work you know, working?
Yeah. And then when you are having the symptoms, it’s it’s I didn’t have my next episode in 2015.
Each of these 3 episodes, I ended up in a psychiatric hospital. I decided to start writing a book about really a self help book to help myself as well as I always wanted to write a book.
I’m a big reader. Always wanted to be an author. So I started writing my book, came up with a battle plan, like a whole life wellness plan, that I could follow to to overcome my symptoms and so on.
And since 2015, I’ve been good. No more bipolar symptoms to speak of, and I’m actually feel like I’m I’m optimal at this point. That’s interesting that you bring up the lithium.
I did the same exact thing. With the same reasoning. I I had a I was completely out of my mind 1 night with with something with bipolar, and then I went and drank, which was a common thing for me.
And then when I came home in a rage, I it was like a lashing out and I I took a whole month’s worth of lithium.
And as you know — Oh, man. — heavy metal. That’s too much. That’s too much. And then they sent a lot of cops to get me because I used to I used to have huge rages.
I’m a marine. I’m a war vet. That stuff would all come out. And the cops got there in time enough to save my life, but I fell into a 2 week coma off of that.
Holy cow. And then I had to convince them they put me in the psych ward for a few days. And interestingly, Not too many months before that.
I had been a I had been a security guard working in psych a lock a psych lockdown ward. Oh, wow. So irony. And yeah. That I had to convince them I said this was like self harm, not suicide. I just I was freaking out.
I was enraged at everything. I just wanted to hurt. Everything in anybody including myself. So I I slammed that lithium. So what where was your head at when you took your extra lithium? What what what did you say kicked that off?
I had I was on a mess and, you know, I wasn’t didn’t stop taking my meds, but I went into a manic state, and it you know, like he’s it’s kind of a slow ramp up and then toward the end, it starts to skyrocket.
I was very paranoid. I went to grocery store and thought I got followed home by some Mexicans that wanted to kill me. Hallucinations. And like you, I also when I get to that point of high mania, I feel dangerous — Yeah.
— and have to distance myself from people and and scared to go to sleep. Once you start loo you know, sleep is crucial for people who are bipolar and once you start losing sleep and not getting good rest, it exact exasperates things.
Yep. The last thing I remember after taking the the lithium I laid down on a couch. And then I think it was about 30 minutes, 45 minutes later.
I I kinda thought I heard piano music from upstairs, I was living in the downstairs department, and that woke me up in time to call 911 and apps the thing is is no 1 upstairs had a piano.
So it saved me That’s something. You gotta wonder, I I have I’ve had a handful events that happened during my active bipolar years that I don’t know we share.
I don’t wanna go in too deep here, but you gotta wonder about how some things played out during the bad years that that helped us survive it.
Because some really odd stuff happened to me. I would imagine being the way I was, drew some really odd people my way at at different times and strange things and conversations came out of this.
That stuck with me even when my head was completely spun that ended up helping me later in life. I don’t I don’t know what to make it at, that they were very strange events with different people.
That helped either in the moment or meant something to me later that I’d have never met him if I hadn’t have been on a bipolar tear of some sort.
Did you ever run across anything like that with just I don’t even know. Just odd events colliding like that with other people in some weird energy space?
I know what you’re talking about and I can’t think of I’m sure I had some of those run ins with people and so on, but I kind of have have evolved into where I think I’m a, you know, I’m on a life path.
I actually, you know, follow a higher power, and I try to stay on the escalator and I, you know, I feel like every day right now every day is I’m thankful for being here.
There’s not a day that goes by when I don’t say I’m thankful and that’s that’s a huge thing in your mental state. I feel the same.
I used to I had to read about it and learn it. But I had a bad habit at the end of each night for some years of running down the list of all the ways I failed and all the people I’d harmed, and I’d go through it and I’d add to it.
Or then I might even pray and the names I’d pray for to list would grow obsessively long. And I couldn’t stop trying. Just trying to, like, a tone, like, tying to a tone every night before going to bed and it was exhausting.
And then I read that 1 of the first things you have to do to get well is let go of your guilt and shame. And that this thing with the list at night a common 1.
They’re like you’re taking out all of bed and then your subconscious is working on it. You’re just keeping things alive that need to rest and and you need to forgive yourself. And it’s very hard to do.
I don’t know about you. I caused a lot of harm, and it was really hard to forgive myself. But I I had to work on it just to break that part of the cycle. That was the lowest end of the cycle, and it was utterly destroying me.
And when I got my head around it and stopped running through that list at night. It was such a relief. Was that part of your experience at all? Yeah. As I 1 of the things I in my book, it’s called train your mind.
And this to help people who aren’t bipolar, but especially people who are bipolar. And like the internal dialogue where in your mind you — Yes. You’re ruminating and going over these negative things in the past.
1 thing my psychiatrist recommended that helped a lot was if I know somehow negative thoughts or ruminating, then I say a key word, noise, out loud, and change my try to change my train of thought to something positive and, you know, get rid of all that negativity and what’s ruining my day and wasting every second in my life and I wasted enough time due to this illness and just generally And as you get older, life goes faster and faster, I just try my best not to waste time.
Yeah. This is so good talking to you, I you’re you’re you’re just mirroring back so many of my own experiences and thoughts. And I don’t often get that. Well, this is nice. I think this is all turned into low level therapeutic for me.
I feel fine, but I’m just it’s really good to connect with somebody in such a so far complete fashion. Absolutely. You know, I Another good thing that’s helped me a lot is I started attending bipolar support groups.
Mhmm. And, you know, you go into a room with with people who have experienced the same things as you and and you you could say whatever you want because there’s no judgment.
It really helps a lot to connect with people. And, yeah, that’s the face to face getting to know people a little bit and talking and laughing and other people who are bipolar has helped a lot.
Yeah. The the job I have in the real world now, I work with dual diagnosis people, and I’ve been doing stuff for the past I don’t know.
I think about 5 years now. I’ve had a million jobs in the fifties. I’d just show up and if I can get through the interview to Jobs and mood.
I’ll figure it out. I learned out about myself a long time ago. But in the last 5 years somehow I’ve I’ve I’ve managed to stay on a more I’m more of a career path within 1 industry, mental health, really, that suits me.
When you when you say dual When you say dual diagnosis, what do you mean that what are the dual things? You get people that have mental health issues and addiction problems.
And you almost that’s it’s almost a foregone. You almost can’t have 1 without the other. It’s it’s pretty common. And since I can relate so well, and I was exposed to so much.
And bipolar, I experienced every every version of it. It makes it real easy for me to talk to people that don’t think anyone’s gonna understand them. And and I feel 4 though, my empathy, but I’m also fascinated by their stories.
People like yourself, it’s I like knowing how the mind works and why, particularly when it goes sideways. And it took me some years to realize, I think it’s because I’m gathering Intel to help myself. That was never my direct.
That wasn’t my intention. The fascination’s the fascination. But I’ve learned over the years, the more I talk to people that have been down roads like what you and I have been down, indirectly or directly, it’s it’s been helpful to me.
I guess it’s almost like a spread out version of the bipolar groups like you’re saying.
Yeah. You know, as you have these episodes and as you’re living with bipolar, in the beginning, you’re crashing and burning and you’re actually learning what to watch out for. And I think that’s a lot.
What you were saying there is, you know, knowing what happens and watching out for it would in yourself and realizing and recognizing something’s going on and maybe you need a medication adjustment, maybe, you know, you need to change something but you know something’s going on and you know what happened in the past.
It turned into disaster so you’ve learned stuff Yeah. I’m big on parameters. In my case, medicine only fueled the fire. Every medicine they gave me worsened the condition, and I didn’t want it that way.
I wanted a pill to make this pain stop, but it it didn’t appear for me. And I was told in a clinical fashion, I needed to go somewhere other than psychiatry.
And the doctor at the time, I trusted fully. We just talked straight. It was at the VA, and he was the top guy. He said, you gotta do something other than psychiatry, but because I’m a psychiatrist, I don’t know what that is.
But he’s like, you got about 6 months before you die by cop. So you better figure it out. And he goes, I wish I could help you, but I don’t I don’t think any psychiatrist can. And that’s what led to me discovering the things I did.
And then part of it was parameters. I’ve been symptom free since roughly 2006, but it’s because I became aware of my parameters. I don’t stray outside them. I don’t think the illness went anywhere.
I just don’t feed it in any way, so it’s not a part of my life. But I’ll get little warning signs in a day. If something’s not quite the way I need it to be, I’ll get like this low rumble and it’s it’s it’s the other guy.
He’s like, you better do something with this right here. I’m gonna hang out a minute, but you better start looking into and this.
And I’m like, oh, 0, shit. He’s right there. Okay. And then I’ll I’ll I’ll get myself out of this situation or change whatever. And nothing becomes anything. It’s just A quiet little knock on the door.
I’m gonna come in if you don’t fix this. Where are you at with that? Because sounds like you you mentioned that earlier something about parameters and and it sounds like do you take meds still?
I’m not anti meds, by the way. They didn’t agree for me, but I I learned a lot of people. There’s all kinds of ways to skin this cat.
And if it works for you, I’m I’m happy. Where are you at with that, with your care? Yeah. Absolutely. I do take medication. I think some research well, if people who are bipolar can manage without medication, then that’s awesome.
You know, that’s great. I think the majority of people, I could be wrong, take medication to to to treat their illness I wrote a chapter in my book called Optimize your medication.
Mhmm. And it’s the whole process where, you know, you go to psychiatrist and he puts you on a 200 milligram tablet of say seroquel.
And then he says, in in 2 weeks, ramp it up to 300 milligrams and then 400 milligrams. And maybe at the same time, he said, okay.
That medicine you were taking lamictal that that’s not working and you have any symptoms and that’s why I’m replacing it with Saroqua, you need to ramp it down slowly So there’s a ramp up stage, a ramp down stage.
I have checklists in my book to to tell you whether, you know, maybe 10 or 12 are are you manic and these are some checklists, are you depressed?
These are some some checklists. The other thing you gotta watch out for medication is side effects, and they can be severe side effects.
I took a medicine. Once I started on medication and 3 days later, I was in my la z boy watching TV and I just started puking instantaneously, I couldn’t even make it to the bathroom.
I thought I had the flu. About 3 or 4 days later, I realized it. I contributed to the medicine, went back and saw my psychiatrist, at this time, computers and such wasn’t I mean, never there, but he pulled out this 6 inch thick look.
I forget the term, you know, what this name but and he looked up what’s just what’s the percent of people who take this medication that have that throw up and it was like 20 percent.
And I thought to myself, man, you should have told me this when I started taking it you know? Yep. Yep. But yeah, I take medication and I, you know, optimizing my medication.
After the 2015 episode, I was able to, I think, come up with the medications. I take 4 different meds, and I was able to come up with the strengths of medications and the the right medications where I, you know, I’m not fuzzy.
My brain is thinking optimally, but it took a long, you know, it took from 2003 and of 2015 until I came upon the right right ones that worked for me and all along along the way, I’m going to my psychiatrist and saying, hey, I’m not optimal I’m feeling like this.
I’m feeling like that. Try a different med.
So it was a finally I think if you look, you know, read my book in optimize your medication chapter, you know, there’s a process you can follow and you just need something to fall back on until you get things to where, you know, you’re living life like you want to.
Yeah. I agree. It’s You have to know yourself like few other people do. You can’t leave anything to chance. I’m fond to telling people there’s there’s there’s different things we all know.
Once you’re a certain age, we all know the things we’re supposed to do just to live healthily. But by the time bipolar’s made the scene, the shoulds become have to’s.
Our our body in our mind needs every bit of help we can give it to deal with the illness wherever you’re at with it because I I know in my case, I was overwhelmed by how how powerful it was, how powerful the symptoms were.
I did not realize I did not realized fear could be as large as that I had panic attacks that would last 4 to 5 hours at full strength.
With my heart, both the numbers over 200, and me thinking like there’s no way my heart’s gonna it I’m gonna die.
I’m gonna have a heart attack from this. And and I I used to joke. This illness is so powerful you gotta be in perfect health to have it because it’s gonna ask a lot of you.
How bad did it get for you? How intense did it get like that? Very intense. Like I said, I I had that 1 suicide attempt, which was a life changer where I, you know, I decide I’m I’m not gonna let that happen again.
I’m gonna do everything my power and not let it happen again. I don’t know if you’ve heard these there’s statistics out there, you know, and different studies come up with different things, but a lot of it’s it’s kinda like the overall.
If you go on Google and Google, how many people who are by polar commit suicide actually died from it.
20 percent of people who are bipolar commit suicide and 40 to 60 percent of people who are bipolar make an attempt to commit suicide once in their lives or out in their lives, you know.
That’s a scary statistic, you know. Yeah. Per 20 percent of us got it. Do something and not let it happen. It is. I I remember reading about that a long time ago that this this mental illness had the highest suicide rate and I I get it.
I I lived I honestly can’t tell which was worse. I lived between The fear of death which bipolar enhanced when I thought about the great unknown and dying, that would fill me with a terror and dread that would literally take the breath.
I’d have trouble breathing just at the thought of of the unknown and fear of dying. And then Separate on the other side of that, waking up and doing life was stupid because it was pure pain.
And I had no say in it for a number of years. I just sat and and took the symptoms, and they were so powerful. So I lived in a purgatory.
I don’t wanna be here. I’m too afraid to go wherever it comes next. And it’s strange. I was I was never suicidal, but I’m on I’m almost unsure of why because I I just My god, it was bad. Yeah. I could I could relate with you.
I feel I feel for you. My my kind of bipolar I go manic first and then, you know, crash and burn in some manner. And after I crash and burn, I’m you know, they medicate me, maybe increase what I’m taking.
But at that point in time, you know, it’s like, you know, I’m out of the hospital, and I’m going say I go to a library and I’m on the third floor and there’s a railing, I have to distance myself from the railing because I’m afraid I’m gonna spontaneously jump over and kill myself, or I’ll be like in a target, buying some groceries and all of a sudden, I feel like I’m getting dangerous.
It just scared as hell and I, like, go running full speed out of the target. It’s kinda interesting. Winston Churchill a lot, you know, he was people think thought is is, yes, he had bipolar disorder.
He was always scared of going to a to get on the train and jumping in front of the train, out, you know, jumping to the tracks in front of the train, so he had to stay away from being close to the rails.
You know? So that’s a you know, it’s kinda like doctor Jackal, mister Hyde.
And all of a sudden you’re fine. Nope. Nothing’s going on. And then all of a sudden you feel you feel like something, you know, you might do something to kill yourself it’s it just comes on you quickly at least in my instances.
Another chapter in my book or 1 of the weapons in my battle plan is called the contingency plan. It’s a written 2 page thing you form you fill out and the main characteristics are you have an agreement with your psychiatrist.
You can call call them 24 hours and get get help. I made a the other another of the things is have form a support team of people you can call if you’re feeling like things getting out of control or you want someone to talk to.
So I have my uncle bud, my oldest daughter, Rachel, on his team, And then 1 other thing that when I talked to my psychiatrist about those instances where I was gonna be I felt dangerous and was gonna jump off of a bridge into traffic or whatever.
He told me to carry around a 400 milligram tablet of seroquel, if I start feeling like that to take it right away instantly and even chew it if you have to to, you know, keep your get you back to where you’re not feeling dangerous.
So contingency plan in my mind is very important to where you you know how to fall back onto something that’ll get you back on track? Yeah. I think that’s very wise.
I think that’s gonna be really helpful for people that that read what you put together. I I call that all impulse control not in my case. It wasn’t suicidal. It would look suicidal later to anyone that reviewed the scene I created.
But I used to just I’d ponder. I’d ponder death defying things. And like you said, I used to hike a lot. 1 of my things was getting near the edge of a cliff. I just wonder about jumping.
Didn’t wanna die. Frequently, if I was there, By default, if I was hiking in the woods and on the edge of a cliff, I was having a great day. That was that was where my peace was. And yet I’d get near the edge.
You’d just start thinking, what if? And and it would get so powerful. I’d almost feel my body moving closer, and it would scare the hell out of me. And I was like, what What am I doing and I knew it was part of the the the illness?
That that was 1 of the things that lingered As all my many, many dozens of symptoms bled away across a period of about 2 years and change, that little bit of impulse control was a tricky 1.
Where I’d have to watch myself. I’m like, why are we even in my head? Why are we even talking about this?
This is bad. Don’t turn into the tractor trailer coming down the highway that’s no. And I’d sit there, like, my god. There’s a piece of me that just wants to do it just to see like a science experiment.
I’m like, what is that? I think, you know, bipolar disorder is a biological illness, and things will change the chemicals in your brain, you know, are are moving around and fucking with you.
Excuse my language. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, they are. So I think what would be helpful, could we do like a like an outline run through of your book, how it helps people?
Yes. Let me start out with 1 of the chapters in my book you know, talks about the positive personality traits common to bipolar individuals.
And I’ll start out with that, you know, the link between bipolar disorder and creativity is well established, Vincent van Go, you know, comedians, Owen Owen. So then exuberance is another abounding oubilant effrocessants emotion.
That’s a celebration of the passion and joy and mania and hypomania — Mhmm. — and it starts with that person who makes everyone smile. Emotional’s perspective, what goes up must come down and then go back up again.
And then after having experienced in all these ups and downs that are a lot more severe than than normal people, I would say, you gain this perspective and you know how to handle things better.
Hyperosexuality is another — Oh, yeah. — feature, Romania, which isn’t really a bad thing. No. I sort of missed those days. Be honest with you.
Resilience after suffering through tragic bipolar episodes, people where bipolar act of resurrecting themselves, gives them resilience to handle almost anything else that may come their way through life, encourage tied in with bravado and grandiosity, and its most severe courage can entail dangerous risk taking.
Yeah, his best courage is rare, inspiring, and heroic.
And so, you know, there’s like I think it’s a whole, like, your thrust of your show is that people who are bipolar can excel at things sometimes better than people who aren’t bipolar.
I have something to say to that when I was applying for disability, from the federal government years ago, my doctor who I I loved.
He was he was very smart. We talked straight and I could keep up with him with the vocabulary and the and the his word choice is the lexicon of the of the psychiatrist world.
So we had fascinating conversations, but He told me to get your disability, there’s a test I have to give you, and you have to fail it. And he said, you’re I’m not gonna lie for you. I’m gonna I’m not gonna I’m not gonna game it.
But he said, I’m telling you right now, you will fail it. I know you. But he’s like, it’s gonna give you problems. I’m like, what do you mean? He said, what’s the first question? First question was, do you take unnecessary risks?
And I got disheartened. I was like, No. And he he grinned. This guy barely cracked a smile or got loud about it. He was very quiet, and he was like, You are 1 of the most risky people I’ve ever met in my life.
He’s like, you have no fear of anything, but it’s because you have a higher standard of risk. What’s a risk to most people is normal to you. So he goes, you are never actually in danger when you do things.
But you do very dangerous things no 1 else would even think of doing. And he goes, that’s why you’re gonna fail this test. And then I got happy. I was like, Alright. That’s good. And then the very next question was something similar.
I was like, well, this one’s and he’s like, relax relax. You’re not doing so well as you think there too. And they’re He goes, you’re fine. It’s how they need to see you so we can prove your case.
So that fascinated me when he when he said what I was With my risk taking, I was like, yeah. Yeah. I don’t have fear of much anything with anything. He goes, yeah, that’s a mystery to other people.
Yeah. I I guess go along with positive people who are bipolar and people who have excelled that have dealt with bipolar. I named, like, 3 different, well known bipolar’s, you know, a quote from them, the first one’s Mariah Carey.
I think it’s completely reasonable to feel like you’re unwilling to face your diagnosis in the beginning. It’s important that you keep trying day by day. Next 1 is Damey Lavato.
I I pulled depression and really got my life off the track. But today I’m proud to say I’m living proof that someone can live, love, and be well with bipolar disorder when they get the education support and treatment that they need.
And 1 other is Kanye West when you ramp it when you ramp up, it expresses your personality more. You can’t become almost adolescent in your expression. We don’t take medication every day to keep you at a certain state.
You have the potential to ramp up and even end up in the hospital. So here’s 3 well, you know, people know know these 3 people and they’ve been able they they’ve been diagnosed bipolar.
They’ve had all these kind of bad episodes like we have, but they’ve been able to overcome it in their life. Yeah. Yeah. That is that is the key thing to my show.
I believe there’s it’s not all bipolar people. It’s just a very hyper a percentage of bipolar people, and then bipolar people themselves are more apt to fall into the creative role than non bipolar.
So it’s like on 2 different levels we’re ahead of the game in certain areas. And I think where the problem arises, is where do we put ourselves?
I know that 1 of the things that literally drove me crazy, was holding jobs. I can’t stand. Never getting to express what I’m really about. And if I did, sometimes it worked. Sometimes it didn’t, but I was always limiting myself.
And that that holding in whatever the better part of me was, the creative side, that was intolerable and bipolar started growing because of That’s how I saw that. Stress. Yes. That’s so bad. That’s 1 of the things to wash out for.
So what else is in your book? Okay. So I mentioned I have 9 weapons in the book. We talked about the contingency plan. Next chapter is enemy recon. This is where you need to learn as much as you can about bipolar disorder.
You know, Google it, learn from people that have bipolar disorder. You need to get a PhD in bipolar disorder. You need to and never stop learning. I talked about optimize your medication.
That’s another weapon. Find the right psychiatrist. That’s key. It’s kinda like, you know, finding the right psychiatrist is kinda like finding the best mechanic for your car that you won’t anyone work else work on it?
Mhmm. And I have a check a couple of checklists in that chapter on how to find the right psychiatrist.
Next chapter is train your mind and this chapter has a lot of the information from our processes and techniques from self help gurus. Napoleon Hill has a process called auto suggestion. My Galrie West Carlos Castaneda.
And so there’s about 8 or 9 different things that that you can use to train your mind. Another chapter is train your body, you know, take care of yourself outright. Drink a lot of water, get some exercise.
It’s good for people are bipolar to get out in the sunshine and get some fresh air. I have checked her in another weapon called recovering from the episode. Another weapon is psychiatric hospitals.
It tells what it’s like to be in a psychiatric hospital and just being aware of what what it’s like to be in the hospital, is very helpful when you’re recovering from it when you’re in the hospital with an episode and the final weapon is called legal rights It talks about the American Disabilities Act.
If you’re you’re, you know, get into trouble and you’re not making it to work or, you know, you’re basically, if you have problems on work because of your illness and they fire you, you have recourse And another thing about legal rights is sometimes people that you’ve your family or things that, you know, you’ve had that’s run your relationships.
They can involuntarily commit you to an to a psychic Azure’s hospital.
I think it’s called the Baker Act. And so if that happens and you’re really not know, maybe they’re just like pissed off at you and they try to get you put in the hospital.
Yeah. You have you have things you could fall back on, you know. So those are the 9 weapons. And like you said at the beginning, bipolar heal thyself. It’s up to us to take responsibility for our illness.
No 1 else is gonna do it for us. And the main thrust of my book besides that is you can make your dreams come true if you follow this battle plan don’t ever give up, you know, life’s too short.
That is definitely true. That was I still get it once in a while now, but it’s not it’s not because of the the illness.
But 1 of the things I get told frequently enough is the fact that I never give up. Now it’s more, let’s just say, it’s more entrepreneurial and regular life problems.
Back in the day, it was dealing with bipolar, and people that have read read my book, they just can’t believe how bad it got and that I just kept going. And I used to That was nice to hear, and I thank people.
And then even years later, with bipolar in my past, I came to lean on that. It became like an insight. Other people handed me an insight to myself that I I forcefully leaned on a little more when anything got rough.
I I became more aware of the fact that, like, yeah, I don’t ever give up. I still just because I’ve dealt with bipolar, doesn’t mean there’s not ups and downs.
You can have certain certain feelings, particularly like a panic or an anxiety attack, it still will happen to me. I get them very rarely. They’re measured in years apart.
Every now and then something will it’ll rise up, and it comes up quick, almost like like magma in a volcano. And I feel it and I’m like, oh, shit. You gotta be kidding me. This is back because it comes out of nowhere for no reason.
And I learned through a number of of ways to Sometimes these things just happened and are completely normal, and they got nothing to do with bipolar. And the other thing is I don’t resist them anymore.
I’ve learned through actually a very particular type of chiropractic called network spinal analysis, that doctor taught me a way of experiencing these bad feelings without getting emotionally involved in them.
And the reasoning is something’s trying to process and get out and finish. If you fight it and tamp it down and don’t let it finish, It’s still waiting to be dealt with and it’ll come back to haunt you.
So if you can let these things just do what they gotta do and knock it all wrapped up emotionally, They will simply process and you’ll feel fine.
It’s a very hard skill to to to put into play. It was not easy in the beginning, but I actually got my head around it.
Another person that used to teach that was a man named Bill Harris. From a company called CenterPoint that did meditation that helped me a lot. He said the same thing.
Shadow material, all kinds stuff. He’s like a lot of what’s what what’s up with these mental illnesses is something needs to finish. We can’t deal with it, and we’re fighting them down instead of letting them come on out and be done.
Not easy but That’s excellent point for sure. What’s what’s the title of your book and what’s it about? My book’s called, it takes guts to be me, how an ex marine beat bipolar disorder.
I wrote I wrote all the the Marine Corps plays a heavy part, pretty much in any Marine’s life, where We’re marines forever, good or bad, and it just shapes us because it’s it’s intense and there’s a lot of meaning behind it.
But it’s wild. When I was into marines, I fought the marines.
Because really, bipolar was starting to, like, get a foothold. It just wasn’t it didn’t look like an illness yet. And The Marine Corps taught me things about discipline and how to handle yourself that I never used while they had me.
I was just a canker sore to them. A highly skilled canker sore as was my whole shop. We were kinda like we were like regular construction workers in the real world. That draws a pretty intense, wild group of people.
And years later, when bipolar settled into me, and my doctor gave me my he gave me my death sentence. 1 of the things he told me was he goes, I feel worse for you than anybody else out of the hundreds of people I treat.
And I said, why? He said everyone else is hurting. They want the pill. I give them the pill. They go home. You’re the same. I give you the pill. You’re the only 1 that comes back with questions. Why that pill?
Why that dose? What’s it doing with the other pills? I’m doing this here in my life. Is that gonna affect what this pill does? I read about these side effects and he went down his list. He’s like nobody else asked me anything.
I’m like, you gotta be kidding me. They just take this stuff and and the end, he’s like, yep. I said that’s crazy. How can you not be curious? So anyway, I said I had more responsibility with that than when I was doing street drugs.
And so He gave me that sentence, and I I went home that day. I had to drive home over an hour, and I got home, and I was sitting at my desk, and I was doomed.
And at that point of the illness, all I felt was, let’s see, fear, despair, and rage. That was the only 3 things I could pinpoint that I ever felt.
No love, no happiness, nothing. Fear, despair, rage. And I sat there with my head hanging, and I knew the doctor was right. Just based on my track record, like the cops are gonna have to take me out just to save themselves.
I’m becoming too much. And while I’m sitting there wondering what to do, I heard a tiny voice and it sounded like somebody standing on the other end of a football field yelling into the wind.
I could barely hear it, and it was the marine part of me. And he said, this is not the way a fucking marine goes out. Do something, fight. Well, in a movie, maybe this is where the music would get fantastic and I’d rise up like, no.
I was still fear despair and rage. So I sat there and all I did was made an agreement with myself. I was like, fine. Fuck it. I’ll fight. I didn’t feel any different.
I didn’t feel any better. Nothing. I just agreed to fight. And then some very interesting things started happening. The universe moved into into my favor, and it was amazing what started dropping out of the air with certain regularity.
And I started finding the pieces to my puzzle. And then when I wrote the book, III hired a company, and I just wanted to write about my time in the marines because it was basically like a Hunter s Thompson novel.
It was just madness, and really really fun stuff. And when I wrote it, my writing coach said, that’s a movie. Don’t ever lose that. But we gotta help you write something where you figured something out.
And I said I didn’t figure anything out. That began a 2 week argument with this a very nice lady from Missouri cursing me out nightly for 2 weeks straight before I was like, well, I don’t know.
I beat bipolar without drugs. She’s like, what did you just say? She’s like, nobody says that you idiot.
That’s the other half of the book. I was like, it is. I was so happy grateful to just be well again. I didn’t realize what I’d done. I really didn’t. I just was so glad to be okay and be a person again.
And that became the second I had to rewrite the second half of the book, and then that kicked off a few different things happened prior to you meeting me now in this iteration. And now, now I’m to the point where I use my story to help.
People like yourself that are high functioning bipolar. They got their they got their game together, they got their footing back, and that creative things coming out of them, they wanna do something with it.
But they need someone covered her back who understands the certain amount of wiggliness that might be present with the bipolar mind, to keep them on track as they build, That’s what this has all become.
Yeah. That’s huge. Fighting back. That’s that’s you know, that’s when you you say, okay, I’m in a war. Yes. My life’s going through a war.
That’s when in my book I say, you know, the subtitle is is breaking bipolar, fighting the war against bipolar disorder, and I always mentioned bipolar warriors, you know, everyone needs to be a bipolar warrior.
The marine of me is loving this whole military aspect to your thinking.
Where are are you former military? No. Oh, okay. I’m a I’m a aerospace engineer. You know, like the try to put this book into, like, a prop us, you could follow us. That’s that’s — Right. — engineering information.
I find out a very that’s a very fun combination. First, she started off with the breaking bad reference. Which is just such a delightful show. And and and and then your whole military battle plan attack, that That soothes me.
Yeah. It’s like, alright. This is the fight. Here’s what we gotta do. And it it’s empowering. Before bipolar took me out, When I first found out it was bipolar, that was empowering.
And and I knew I knew what I was fighting in. It took a lot of it it took a lot of stress off the off the page. When when bipolar started showing up for me, it was just stress.
I was stressing about absolutely everything and the size of the thing that could stress me was getting smaller, and it was happening more and more each day. And my regular doctor checked me out. I was in my late twenties.
He said, you’re healthy as a bear. You’re the healthiest client I have. I think it’s between your ears what’s going on, and he sent me to a psychiatrist. I said, I don’t care who you sent me to. This has to stop.
And then that’s when I was diagnosed. And that was the first time I felt empowered. Now I know what the enemy is. It’s got a name, People know something about it. Now I can fight. Didn’t happen right away for me, unfortunately.
But it’s still Don’t really have this to anybody right away. No. I I think the illness I’m not gonna say this for everybody but I know for me it was a blessing that you don’t understand it as such until it’s in retrospect.
What I tell people is I was living my life so incorrectly, and I really was, in so many ways, and I was so, like, I don’t give up.
So I would not give up these habits that were not taking me where I needed to be in life and I was my life was a skin disintegrating because of it and I was ignoring the better parts of me.
And because I was so strong willed, I believe the other part of my mind threw bipolar on me just to knock me out of that mindset because after I came part coming out of bipolar was letting go of a lot of old ways of thinking and beliefs and habits.
And I I’m still me and a fun way that I was prior to bipolar. But I’m way more wholesome in in I’m just an I’m just a better person after bipolar, and I realized it it took bipolar to shock me into this next version of me.
That’s, you know, another what came to mind of when you’re talking about being in the marines was a lot of people who live in the military have PTSD, which is a mental thing.
Yep. And about 20 percent of people who are in prison this is just what I’ve heard. I can’t say the exact percentage, but about 20 percent of people who are in prison have a mental illness.
That’s you know. I’d wondered at at this point, I’d wonder almost if it was even more. And — Right. — and then I have I got diagnosed with PTSD.
I’ve been in a I don’t know at this point. A 20 some odd year battle with the VA to get disability benefits. And right. It it we’re going we’re going for D. Well, I never thought it it it kinda cracks me up.
I never thought through any of this about PTSD. Red about it constantly, but I was very hyper focused on bipolar. And then it it turns out a PTSD is just wrapped up in that and I had lots of it.
And then they gave me some tests because the metal the the doctors needed tests to prove that I I had it or experienced it. And when I took the test, I was like yeah, as far as what they’re saying, I I’m riddled with it.
Even now feeling fine. And So I know that PTSD Cripes, if you didn’t even have it going in a bipolar, you’ll probably have it after because you’re gonna do something in the middle or experience something that’s gonna put it in you.
Right. And it’s it’s That’s 1 of the things that’s always blown my mind is bipolar is so all encompassing that other diseases are totally encapsulated within it.
Yeah. It holds groups of entire other illnesses that that we have had to deal with. It’s like We’re tough stuff. The fact that we’re alive to even be talking about it, we’re made of something a little stronger, I think.
And I like that he you know, guys like you and I are here now trying to do something with it to help others get out of that nightmare or at least alleviate it.
You know, we were talking before the show about substance abuse and people who are bipolar.
About 40 percent of people that a bipolar people abuse alcohol or drugs, I know myself and it, you know, exacerbates people the bipolar condition. I’m not saying not to not to do them at all.
I know personally, I smoked pot for a long long time. Yeah. Me too. And I finally quit after my last episode in 2015. I stopped smoking pot, which I think has been a big contributor to me getting well.
And, you know, drinking came along with it. I still drink, you know, a few drinks every once in a while, but the thing is is just don’t abuse it. Don’t abuse — Right.
— alcohol and pot. Just cut down, you know, if you’re if you’re if it’s bothering you you just have to realize and and give in to the fact that, yeah, it is it is harming me you know, I need to quit drinking as much.
I need to quit smoking pot as much, and that’ll help. It’s it’s interesting because I’ve had in my in my travels talking about bipolar’s.
A lot of people that have benefited from smoking weed I smoked for about 9 years, I I figure a lot. While working out and everything, I was 1 of those guys, and and I didn’t look or act apart, but at home I was I was that.
And then eventually it was just too much. But when I first got diagnosed, that doctor said You’re all stressed out. You smoke a lot of weed for that stress?
I said, yeah. He goes, why you’re gonna hate this part? And he showed me in some book. It was on the list as 1 of the number 1 exacerbators. Now that that was back in like 90 late nineties, somewhere in the late nineties.
And since that time, there’s been a lot of people that come my way to get help by smoking weed or doing CBD stuff and but I think they’ve like you said, I think they found ways to use that stuff micro dosing that seems to actually help people, and III used to tell people if you’re doing any drugs or drinking at all.
Like you just said, it it’ll exacerbate and I still feel that way. But I think maybe for some, There’s a variety or version or a limit where if they don’t cross it, it’s therapeutic.
It’s amazing to me that you and I have such similar thoughts and so on about by far conclusions. Great talking to you about it.
Yeah. Yeah. And, yeah, it’s very I don’t know. It just feels good. I’m normally teaching, or I’m talking with somebody that’s still quite a bit in it. In my in my other life, not not not the stuff I do in relation to my website.
And it’s nice to just Yeah. I have a I have a fellow warrior. It’s like it’s it’s pretty close to trading war stories. We we’ve been there done that. There’s an emotion in it, but like we see it from a a different way.
It’s it’s you know what it’s like it’s like when the movie 300 came out with the with the with the the spartans I was I was still in touch with all my close friends in the marines, and we were savages. We thrived on savagery.
And here it is decades later, and we’re comparing notes on 300. And we all said the same thing. We were the only ones in the theater last finger hysterically through 300 because it was like it was like watching us. It’s just fantastic.
Everyone else has this blood and murder and gore and and trauma and I scared some people when I went because I was screaming my head off and and some of my friends like, yeah, guys I work with didn’t even know where I was coming from.
I think we have something like that. We lived it.
We got the we came out. We got the t shirt. We can talk about it in a way that’s a little a little lighter and we’re still respecting the pain and everything, but it means a little something different once you’ve come out of it.
Exactly. So, is there anything you do for people other than the book, is there anything you’re designing off the back of the book, or maybe you got some future plans to take this a little bigger?
Yeah. I’m writing writing another book called Aff Year Bipolar, a way to succeed. It’s like a 4 by 6 trim size paper back you put in your pocket, and it’s got a lot of what’s in breaking bipolar but condensed down into a checklist.
And so I’m working on that. My psychiatrist is going to write a foreword for it. Oh, cool. The other thing that the engineering part when COVID hit, I’ve been a contractor engineer.
So at the end of March, I guess it was 20 20 when COVID hit. I got laid off, and so I started a book publishing company. Oh. And I’ve so far, I’ve published 39 books of, you know, other authors.
That’s fantastic. Yeah. It’s awesome. It’s fun. I didn’t see that anywhere on your website. I tore it to your website weeks ago. I was I was looking at everything. What a fun little secret you kept just for the show.
Thanks, Joy. Yeah. My website is breaking bipolar dot life, LIFE. Brakes bipolar dot life. I think anyone wants to check it out. And I wanted to know Oh, the book publishing company, is there any public link for that, or any any Yeah.
That’s a great question. My my publishing company is battle press, and the website is battlepress dot media, MEDIA, battlepress dot media.
And they show all the books that I published are on there. Oh, that excites me. Now I’m gonna yeah. That I’m gonna look into after the fact. This is so cool. This is why I like us. We’re up to things that people just don’t do.
Now go ahead. Oh, I was just gonna say maybe sometime in the future we can meet each other talk. Oh, I’m up for anything because that’s Like, you didn’t mention your book publishing on your your other website.
I have a secondary aim to everything I’m doing, which is just nurturing, relationships like this to see what might come of it.
I got some pretty interesting people. I’ll be interviewing soon that knew me back when I first took a run at all of this in a business sense. And then it’s changed it’s changed faces a few times.
And these people have we didn’t talk for years and then I found them again and and they’re up to some really cool stuff. So now there’s like there’s me, helping people, like I said, build whatever.
And then There’s joint ventures, and I don’t even know what, that I wanna do with with people like you where we’re we’re peers, I don’t have a direct plan, but I was I was part of something just a few years after I got out of bipolar.
There was some wiggly leftover stuff, but nothing that you could label bipolar.
And I was in a good place, and I worked in a a building for a while, where every member of the 3 floor building was a media company, an artist web designers, something like that, making movies, commercials, a radio show broadcasted from there.
And 1 of the rules to rent space in the building was you had to agree to do a certain amount of work for any of the other member companies at a reduced rate or free like a commune just so we could all win.
The energy inside that building was like nothing I felt before or since. And I’m trying to create something like that digitally through what I’m doing, like, separate from my coaching.
And it’s already been happening. That’s cool. It is. I just I wanna play with people like us and do stuff. It’s all for, you know, it’s all to help people. Exactly. It’s we do our job right.
We get to live the way we want. And people benefit from it in all kinds of ways directly from each of our own our own portion of the whatever we give. And then together, you know, anything can happen, 1 plus 1 equals 3.
That’s my that’s my little secret in this. I like meeting people like you that are thinking and growing and up to something, never you just never know, and now we know each other.
I got 1 last question for you. How has what are the positives you see with bipolar and you’re being a aerospace engineer or to connections.
Good question. Like you said, the creative part, you know, I do a lot of writing so that you know, test procedures, test reports, have to submit them to the army or Boeing or Lockheed Martin, Sikorsky helicopter.
I worked at I think the positive parts for me about being an engineer in my career was I I started contracting And I worked at some very cool companies.
I worked for lowered aerospace who make active vibration control systems or helicopters. I work for Eton who make a switchgear and an inter uninterval power supplies. Sikorsky helicopters. I worked there for 2 years in Connecticut.
I work for Parker Aerospace in Utah. So it was it’s, you know, learning all this new technology and with my mind frame and being an engineer and able to hone in, I could come up to speed real real quickly at new jobs.
I mean, I love my mind and how great it is when it’s functioning properly and how we can put it to use, but the bipolar part has always been a challenge. It’ll probably continue to be a challenge, but stuff I’ve learned along the way.
Is helping. I’m enjoying life. So I I don’t know if that answered your question, but Well, do you feel Do you feel being bipolar is directly responsible in any way for your creativity and your ability to think the way you do?
Yeah. Absolutely. Like we talked at the beginning with creativity and all these different people who are bipolar that have excelled in life — Mhmm.
— you know, Ted Turner, John Right. Right. I forgot about that, Ted. Called man damn, Catherine, Teta Jones. That’s That’s part of the bipolar part, the good part of the bipolar part. Yes. And it makes for such an interesting life.
I know it gets tricky, At least early on, it’s a different set of parameters. When you are creative like us, Wherever you’re at, whether you’re aware of it or not, you’ll draw people to you that are seeking an energy like yours.
And in the beginning when you’re creative but You haven’t learned enough hard lessons about life. You can get taken advantage of because of of your excitability And I know I could never say no to a very interesting complex project.
And I love networking and connecting people together and building a team to get a project off the ground. And I ended up martering myself because I could always outwork absolutely everybody.
I could always see the bigger picture clearer than everybody, and nobody could keep up nor did they have the desire to help as much as I did even though we started as a team.
And that was something I had That was a habit I had a break. Just stop wanting to volunteer for these things that my mind found delicious, but were gonna otherwise bleed me dry in every other tangible sense.
It took me years to stop doing that to myself because I found it so enjoyable. Absolutely.
You know, I think a big thing huge thing in my journey with bipolar is once I accepted I was bipolar, then I that, you know, I was I knew I had to fight and just accepting that you have an illness, a mental illness is huge because you can then start taking steps, you know, you’re not fighting it.
You’re you’re going with it.
Doing what you did. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It’s like busting a Bronco. Don’t want it all come. You wanna ride it, but you don’t want it to be like a show pony. You want that thing to go. How do you ride it without killing yourself?
Yeah. Good analogy. Good analogy. I like what you said too about support teams because along the lines of being taken advantage of or or just making it so I could be taken advantage of because I couldn’t stop myself.
I learned to listen to those around me who could see me in a way I could not. And once I once I let go, Kind like what you just said and trusted those who knew me best.
At least listen to them whether I believe in the beginning even if I didn’t believe them. I had to learn to at least hear what they were saying because they could always see in me what I could not.
And over time, I grew to trust that. And they figured out how to tell me in a way that wouldn’t irritate me and just with time, everything mellowed and flowed.
My wife in particular, we joke about different things. Call her my executive assistant. That’s the ultimate goal. We want her to literally be that, but right now there’s different things I need to be, like, kept an eye on.
And and not with bipolar just just weird things. I’ll slack off or I’ll lose track of a lot because I get really interested in reading things, and she’ll bark at me to do something.
And I used to joke about it. Yes, dear. And then I realized, like, no. She keeps me she keeps my show running tight. She knows where I where I’m where I’m I’m weak or not as efficient as I could be. And I learned a long time ago.
She says do something. It’s because she sees the bigger picture that she’s part of and wants me to stay on track with it. And it became a part of our marriage I didn’t see coming. It’s its own sweet little reward.
Just trusting her to keep me out of my own way or keep me moving when I’m slacking off. It’s nice. Yeah. That’s a huge point to me is like like the contingency plan where you have people that Right. Talk to when things are going on.
And it’s, you know, a lot of people who are bipolar they have problems with their family or wife or children when they’re having episodes and the more that the the children and the wife and everybody learns about bipolar, then they can understand you better and give you advice.
They do have us support groups for families that for wives and like they have support groups for spouses that aren’t bipolar.
And that helps meld them at relationships. Yeah. That was something I found even 20 plus years ago, I was a security guard for a while in an emergency room, in an inner city.
So the stuff that used to come into the emergency room, I never even saw on a TV show. I I couldn’t believe the adventure, the violence, the wildness of it. It was it was 1 of the most fun jobs ever had in my life. I did it for 2 years.
And then I worked I when I was only gotta stay in the emergency room because that that that was enough. Somebody had always be there. But if no nothing was happening, I could I could go help out on the psych lockdown ward.
And that was violence on a level I never witnessed even in the Marine Corps to include war. It it was I I couldn’t believe what I used to get in the middle of up there.
But over time, I learned to talk to people more, which would make it Fighting was less. And I grew fascinated with their stories, and that’s how I I sorta without knowing it at the time, I kinda morphed into a patient advocate.
And I’d only have to do the bouncer work when it was just there was just no way around it, but that was becoming rare.
And 1 of the things I I noticed the families. I would tell people then, I got I got I got I got something like what your family member has there that I’m keeping an eye on.
So I get it. And then the pain that they would they would drop in my lap and the questions they’d ask and I never had anything for that because I was the sufferer.
And causing the pain. That was 1 of the things when I made the first iterations of my my company after I wrote the book, I had more people dealing with bipolar people coming to me for help than bipolar people.
And I had no idea what to do about that. I never did anything about it. I realized it wasn’t my lane. I had to get out of it, but it is very hard on the families. It’s a lot like living with a drug addict. What do you do? They’re in it.
They’re in it. Nothing you say is gonna work. Well, I think we covered pretty much a lot of stuff there. I think we covered everything important. I would like for you to please say your 2 web your websites. 1 more time, Joy?
The my website for my book is breakingbipolar dot life, LIFE, and the website for my publishing company is battle press dot media, MEDIA. And again, I find that so cool that you had a secret publishing empire and didn’t tell me.
Alright, Troy. I’ll wrap it up there and I’ll leave with this. Whatever your next major development is, if you’d wanna come back on my show and share it, that would be absolutely phenomenal.
Whatever. I don’t even care if it’s a little thing and you just wanna jam so the public can hear us. I really enjoy talking to you today, and I I’ve never related so well to another bipolar person as you and that’s been enjoyable.
Well, I applaud you for your your podcast and what you’re doing in your life to help others. That’s awesome. You know? Thanks, Troy. Alright. I’ll sign off with that. Thanks for listening everybody. So there you go, Troy Stephen.
It was really fun talk for us both. The squadcast software that I use to record these things now also has video, but I can’t afford to slap it in just yet. I will in about a minute. Plus, I had to just experiment with the audio.
But I’m being sorta pressured by life and those around me in my own inner voice to put these things on YouTube. This is another fear point for me. YouTube is full of trolls, and I learned way back when I first wrote my book.
It takes guts to be me, how an ex marine beat bipolar disorder, that I did not do well with the kind of attacks that you get from people online that feel the need to level such attacks.
Honestly, I I still am not comfortable with that because in part, 1 of the parameters I’ve spoken about with bipolar is just something like that.
I I wouldn’t set myself in a position where trolls could attack me and then I could then ruminate on what they said.
The trolls are bullshit. Sometimes they point out something valuable in in in in their negative fashion. If you can remain emotionless and and and rational enough to process the truth inside the vitriol and the immaturity.
But I’ve never had that kind of patience. I can do it when I’m looking at your stuff and and telling you how to deal with trolls. I can do that quite easily, but for myself, hard to take my own medicine.
But I think it’s unavoidable. I need to be on YouTube, it’s the number 2 search engine. Gotta be there to be found to get the message out. And I’ll go and I’ll figure out, you know, whatever. I just grow a thick hide, I guess.
I found with discussing the topic of bipolar, you can’t win with everybody. There’s a lot of emotion attached to it for a lot of reasons. And a lot of people feel the need to lash out if they don’t agree with whatever you just said.
And then I have a unique way of seeing things that really Even in the unique world of bipolar tree, I can be unique enough still and it rankles people.
I don’t give a shit. And I’m not saying that as a way of fighting or something. I just don’t give a shit. I think what I think. I’m glad with what I think.
And if you can talk to me about something in a way that changes opinion and do so in a reasonable fashion. I’ll consider it. Maybe I’ll change my opinion in some fashion, but that does happen, but it’s only here and there.
And I learned a long time ago, I’m the older I get, the harder it is to Well, shit, what am I saying? I’ve never been good at changing me to fit in with something else. Sometimes there’s reasons to do so.
Sometimes you have to do that because you are wrong or you’re just operating at a lower mind state. You gotta elevate yourself a little. I’ve done that many times over the years and I feel the need to do it less often now.
I’m pretty comfortable with where I’m at. There will be more there will be more humbling moments. There will be more clarifying moments where I’m gonna be like, oh, shit.
I can’t be doing that anymore. I can’t be saying that. But right now, I’ve been in a groove that I’m I’m comfortable with, and I’m sticking on my guns, and I will have to then just put up on whatever the fuck YouTube throws at me.
But anyway, just including that because if you’re gonna run a show or anything if you gotta get the word out about your bipolar passion project. At some point, you’re gonna need to put yourself on YouTube.
Some people thrive on it. Some people are natural entertainers. I am through the spoken word, not through the visual at least not to the public. The way I am works just fine in person.
Just the trolls. Got a face on my guess. Everybody else does. There’s little kids doing stuff online that get attacked and are doing quite well for them. Else, I guess as some little little kid can do it.
I have no excuse. It’s a big scary hairy backed ex marine or vet. What? Fuck an excuse do I have? Still a little trepidation. Alright, guys. Go check out Troy’s publishing empire. Check out that link if you’re gonna publish a book.
Please call him reach out to him whatever way he’s got on his website and start the process with him and see what you can do. He’s an aerospace engineer people. Let that sink in with your decision making process.
He knows what the hell he’s doing in certain areas and the way that makes the rest of us look like chattering monkeys. Just Gonna publish your book, go say hi to Troy. Alright. See you guys.