EPI 6: Bipolar: Jeremy Ellenbogen Seven21 Media Center Interview
Just click the “READ MORE” text below for the transcript!
Welcome to the Bipolar Excellence Podcast, Episode Six, the Jeremy Ellenbogen interview at the Seven21 Media Center. So this is the fifth, the final in a five interview series. Happened a bunch of years ago. And this is the intro bringing me current into December, 2021. And there’s another intro from when I did something very similar, about three years back.
And I don’t remember what I said in that. So I don’t want to be repetitive. Just let it be known: Jeremy Ellenbogen and his family are just salt of the earth people, some of the best people I’ve ever met. And what brought me to them was the start of this entire mission with helping people with bipolar, really.
I was looking to get a TV interview that happened with me at a local Kingston station. I needed to get it reformatted into something I could put on the Internet. And I just did a search and found the Seven21 Media Center that had the tools I needed to get that done. That’s all I knew about them at the time.
I’d never even heard of them. I’d driven by the building probably many, many dozens of times and never knew what was in it, nor did I ever care. So this was all completely random as random could be. And it completely changed my life. A whirlwind of adventures and some misadventures kicked off the day I walked into that building.
Couldn’t foresee any of it. Some of it was so far out. Most of it was positive and helpful and productive. All of it helped me become what I am now talking to you today. It all helped. But I got myself into some situations that I didn’t need to be in. Like I said, all good.
Regardless, I had fun. I walked into a ball of interesting people, the likes of which you can’t invent. It had to just happen. And to this day, I’m doing everything in my power to position myself as someone who has a solid reason to go back to that building.
I haven’t been part of that world for some years now. And I’m dying to get back in there. I visited a few times over the years since I’ve left and I miss it.
The place has an energy to it. It has a smell to it. There is a vitality in the hallways that I can almost taste and I want back in. And I am going back in, but for now, well, you’ll listen to one more intro and then you’ll hear my bipolar story told from yet one more direction as Jeremy interviewed me.
It was a little rough. I remember that. And I do remember one of the things that lingered from bipolar was I had a tension in my body, a constant tension that made it hard to breathe. And if I was in any kind of situation that would ratchet up the fight or flight, it made it even harder.
So I don’t think you can even hear it on the interview. If I hadn’t have told you, you wouldn’t notice, I believe. But it was something I dealt with quite a bit, just fighting to breathe and not sound like I was strangling or something and weirding out the people around me.
I say that that was a leftover from bipolar. But now that I have, I don’t think that’s what it was. It was just a leftover of me dealing with the totality of me. I don’t think this was even bipolar. Because… the breathing? I fixed it using Network Spinal Analysis Chiropractic. That was definitely why that went away.
And there’s multiple stories I have to share about that kind of care. And I will. All right. I’ve already talked longer than I cared to. So I’m going to transition you now into the original intro and then to the original interview. It was a good thing. And I miss all those people and I miss that building. All right. Enjoy!
Original Review Starts Here
Hey everybody. This is Ken Jensen with the After Bipolar Podcast, Episode Six, the Seven21 Interview or The Whole Enchilada. I don’t even know what the hell an enchilada is. Hopefully I can find a picture of one to make the post make sense on the website. So this is the final interview in the interview series, the initial interview series that kicks off this podcast.
This interview, like the rest, I haven’t listened to it since it got made. And this was pretty interesting because this was actually a video that got shot. I pulled the audio out of it. I’ll see if I can get the video on my site. And when I do, I’ll put the link on the page on Outsiders Journey.com. Actually, I’ll put the video right on that page.
I do that. I keep talking until a better or correct answer presents itself. All right. Jeremy Ellenbogen, who owns the Seven21 Media Center in Kingston. His building was where the Mad Demigods Episode era of my life took place. Jeremy is not a mad demigod. He’s an accomplished businessman and a very solid human being and citizen.
The guy that I met there, whose organization I became part of for quite a while, he was the Mad Demigod. Jeremy was solid. Jeremy, I don’t think at this point in the game, he had done any interviews like this. I could be wrong, but he interviewed me and it was a professional video shoot. His video producer is Filmographer David Zoltan.
Oh, no, sorry. I always get this wrong because there are two first name- sounding names. Zoltan David, “Zoly” shot this. Zoly, after he heard my story. He’s from… I can’t remember. And I apologize Zoly if you’re listening to this, I think Yugoslavia, maybe Hungary. He escaped a communist soldier invasion.
He was in jail for a while. His stories from what he endured in prison were incredible, before he escaped and fled to America decades ago. But he thought of all of that after he heard my story. And then he shared with me. That was incredible. I wish I had that on tape.
Anyway, this was a really good interview. You can’t hear… we didn’t do it completely right. You can’t hear Jeremy asking me the questions, unless you have the volume cranked up to a hundred percent.
But you’ll understand what the questions must have been based on what I’m saying in response. Cool thing about this was I laid out all the steps of my system. And I hit on a lot of really nice key points for each step. And I never did that before in any onstage venue or anywhere else.
I never hit on all the steps. Cause, honestly, I can never remember them. If you put a gun to my head and asked me to tell you, I always forget some steps. Because the way my mind works, I wrote it all down. All I gotta do is send you to the website and I’m gonna do the same with you guys now.
But as you listen to this, you’ll hear exactly what’s in my system. But if you want in-depth explanations with action steps and video, explaining even more, way more than what’s in this interview, then go to Outsiders Journey.com and you’re going to click on the wellness guide, the green field. Click on that. Boom. You’re in.
10:00 Min Mark
In this interview, I remember you’ll hear as the interview moves along, I get a little more amped up. That’s in part, because I used to get real excited in sharing what I knew. I was very super passionate about it. I’m not _super_ passionate about this stuff anymore. I feel good about it, but I take more of a passive role in getting this information to people.
I let the system do its own talking. And that’s how I saved my time and energy. And I’ve just simply calmed down. The more time has passed, the more relaxed I become as a person. So I don’t get that wound up so much when I’m talking about anything. It can still happen. I’m still a bit of a wild child and I can get wound up over something. I really can.
But I don’t choose to do so about this material anymore, which is cool. I bring that up because if you’re bipolar or supporting someone who is, some of you, it’s not all bipolar people, but you know what it’s like when you get hit in the face with a manic episode. It’s a lot of energy. I had a little of that leftover. The manic side/ anxiety side of bipolar, were the last things to go.
But as I’ve said before, on a list that contained dozens and dozens and dozens and dozens of symptoms, all of which were bad, to have it get down to just those last couple things, as they slowly trickled away, that’s a success far as I’m concerned. That’s an acceptable success, a big one. You’ll hear that a little as the interview proceeds.
So. Go listen to the interview.
Interview Starts Here
Ken: I’m here to share my message with the world on how I overcame bipolar disorder. I’m using a system I developed called TORQUE BACK that I developed to save my own life. And I now teach this to other people so they can get out of the despair filled pit that is a bipolar disorder.
It’s a pretty God awful existence when you’re deep in the symptomology of bipolar disorder. And people need to know that there is reason to hope, and there are answers that they’re not have ready access to. I had to do a lot of digging to find what I found, and I have answers that are going to surprise people and give them reason to keep fighting.
Jeremy: So tell me how do you help people? What have you done?
Ken: I authored a book called It Takes Guts To Be Me: How An Ex Marine Beat Bipolar Disorder. And the reason it’s titled that is because my training in the Marine Corps, played a huge part in what enabled me to develop the system later in life.
I am also a speaker. I am a life coach. I specialize in walking people through the system that I share with them. And I share the system for free. So if somebody has it in them to just follow my steps, they’re going to be fine.
But I find that a lot of people have need for somebody to personally walk them through these steps. The transition to get off of medication and onto the natural steps that I use can be a rough one.
I also like to make it very clear that I tell nobody to stop their medication and to not hide any of this from their doctor. Get permission. Do whatever feels comfortable. I’m an option if you reach the point where all hope has been exhausted.
Jeremy: So what are some of the benefits that you had to be able to offer the world?
Ken: Well, primarily with my system, you regain your health. When you regain your physical health, your mental health comes along for the ride. The biggest problem with the traditional methods of treating mental illness is, they approach the brain as if it’s in a separate compartment, having nothing to do with the human body.
That couldn’t be more incorrect. The body and the brain are intricately linked. They depend on one another. If one is not well, the other one has no hope of being well. The system has a by-product of not only helping somebody to overcome their bipolar disorder or severe depression, addiction, since all these things are pretty much interrelated. ADD, schizophrenia even.
It has a by-product of improving your entire existence of life and the usage of my system, and as you build upon the steps, and I teach people how to do that, your whole life improves beyond… you fight to get back to zero.
And then you go beyond whatever your best point was in life in the past. You can go beyond that with my system. I didn’t even know this when I put it together. I was as surprised as anybody to find out what had happened to my life, as I got better. People need to know there’s hope.
This is a very hopeless illness.
Most people become worse and worse and worse. About 75% of people relapse into their symptoms, even while following a doctor’s strict orders. It’s just… there’s this pervasive feeling of “there’s no way to win.” And I was there. I felt that. I just refused to give up and I found a way to win, but it was a very hard ride for me.
And people need to know I’ve compiled it all into one nice, neat package. They’re not going to have to take as long to get the results I got. What took me years I can deliver to them in minutes.
Jeremy: Tell me, what is bipolar disorder? Give me a rundown of like some of the symptoms and what things you experienced, why it was so difficult for you.
Ken: Bipolar disorder, at its simplest, is mood swings. You have mania, which is very high. You can do no wrong. All your ideas are perfect. You’re very expansive in your thinking. You’re very confident in your way of behaving to the point that you’ll take unnecessary risks.
At the low end is depression. It’s a form of depression and despair that is mind numbing. I spent many days in the fetal position in whatever apartment I might’ve been living in, not knowing how the next five seconds of my life were going to work or why I should even try. And you can oscillate between these two things.
Bipolar breaks down into different classifications, which to me is a moot point. It’s all related. What form it takes doesn’t matter. But the moods oscillate between… you can get locked into high for a day, a week, a month. Or all your symptoms can go away for any length of time, then come back. Or you can bounce back and forth in any kind of a time span.
The worst being, you can go back and forth between ups and downs in seconds. All day long. You feel great. Nothing’s wrong. Everything’s perfect. Life is fantastic. And just as fast, there is no hope to live. There’s no reason to take your next breath of air. You want to die.
Now, I also got to a point that’s called mixed. Mixed, I believe… because I experienced every form of a bipolar disorder that you care to look up, I experienced every version of it… mixed was the worst.
You have the energy of mania coupled with the despair of the depression. So basically you have an indescribable amount of energy being applied to a level of despair you can’t even imagine. So you pump juice into the despair. It’s exponentially worse than the worst case of depression. You experience both at the same time.
Your body has too much energy in it. I used to refer to it as like a black electricity. You are juiced with a sense of power and movement. And it’s indescribable. It seems to defy physics in how you perceive it. And it just, it burns you alive and nothing will turn it off until it’s ready.
Jeremy: When was the first time you noticed that you had this problem? What age do you think it started? Or, I mean, obviously, physiological you’re born with it. Is that right? Or how does that work exactly?
Ken: When I noticed bipolar cropping into my life? There’s two answers that question. Basically about the time I was 30 was when the symptoms hit so hard. I ended up in an emergency room. Now that I know how bipolar works and what it’s all about, I realize it’s been with me most of my life, ever since I was very young.
It has a genetic component but it can lie dormant in people. A traumatic trigger can kick it off in some people. Some people, it just organically shows up on the scene. For other people, they’d have been fine if something terrible hadn’t happened to kick it into play. And once it’s on, it’s on. There’s no shutting it back off.
I can realize now, all the way back to my youth, how I was the outsider. I’ve always been a unique person. I’ve been the more creative type. But I never knew where to apply that creativity. So I created things that never should have been created, in an effort to expend this energy.
And like I said, by the time I hit about 30, I perceived what was happening to me to be a huge amount of stress. And over time, the stress became constant. It became all consuming. And eventually, it branched out into the further symptoms of bipolar.
I forgot to add that earlier. Bipolar has a middle meaty content to it. I have a list I drew up of 85 symptoms, all of them bad, that have nothing to do with mood swings, that also are a part of bipolar.
20:00 Min Mark
Your body basically goes haywire. You life goes haywire. You’re not a normal person. And that’s in the middle of the mood swings. So you’re not a normal person with a lot of energy of mania, you’re not a normal person coupled with the despair, or you’re blessed with the mixed state: you’re not a normal person with all this high-level amplitude to apply to this crushing despair.
It’s pure chaos. It’s a vision of looking into the bowels of hell itself. Anyone who’s bipolar knows what I’m talking about. You would do absolutely anything if you thought it would make it stop. All bets are off. It just has to stop. It’s that bad.
Jeremy: Tell me, you mentioned that normally it’s triggered by some kind of trauma or something. And you really noticed in when you’re around 30. Was that part of the Marines, or was there some event that you can share with us?
Ken: The Marines played a big part in this. There’s a reason why that was a subtitle to my book. A traumatic event can trigger bipolar disorder. My whole life has been packed with trauma and I won’t spend a lot of time on all the gory details. It’s not necessary.
But I was beaten as a child repeatedly. When I wasn’t beaten, there was just a constant state of dis-ease in my house. My mom was mentally ill but this was in the seventies. And a lot of what’s understood now was not understood then.
She was massively, massively overmedicated with multiple drugs that do not belong in anyone’s body at the same time, because she had so many doctors trying to help her. She took out all her frustrations… and what we now know, we didn’t know for decades was her mental illness… on me.
I took the heat off my little brother. Would draw her attention. My dad was never home. He worked. Sometimes days on end, he was gone. And he just worked to keep everything going. And that’s how my life was growing up.
As I became a teenager, everyone in my world, my dad in particular, but my whole family tree and just everybody, I learned that drinking would solve pretty much any problem. So by the time I was 15, I was a stellar alcoholic. I could outrank men. My liver seemed to have this unbelievable capacity for handling alcohol.
I immediately got into trouble. I experienced my first coma from an alcohol overdose when I was 15. I was in a coma for about four hours. I died numerous times. They kept bringing me to life with the paddles. I share all this because I’ve had so many traumatic events. I’m not sure which one of them might’ve set this off.
I ended up going into the Marines. The Marines, for anybody that can be fairly traumatic. Parris Island, all on its lonesome is pretty traumatic. You survive it. It’s the threat they hang over your head that you’re never going to leave the island until they let you leave the island. And it’s real. And so there’s that.
While I was in the Marines being the creative kind of person that I am… and I didn’t understand any of this. til decades later… I felt trapped. The Marine Corps to me was a type of prison. I had a lot of fun in the Marines. I had fun, the likes of which people would pay any amount of money to do some of the stuff the Marine Corps allowed me to do for free. I don’t regret any of it, honestly.
But a lot of it led to my bipolar making the scene. But being the kind of person that I am, I did not want to have a boss. I did not like discipline. And the Marine Corps in general, it was just a job. It was boring. I had a lot of fun. I did a lot of interesting things. I did a lot of mind blowing things.
But the day in and day out tasks of being a Marine bored me to tears. To fill this boredom and get rid of it, I did absolutely everything wrong one could think of, to entertain my mind. Led to more traumatic events. I’ve been in brutal physical fights. I’ve been all broken to pieces on the jobs I did in the Marine Corps. I survived missile attacks, pirate attacks on our ship ride across to the war.
I’ve had friends that took the word violence to a level most people never see, that were my roommates. I was either with them or being mauled by them, because that’s how the night went . And by the time I got out of the Marine Corps, I was an unbelievable alcoholic. I was a drug addict. And believe it or not, I was huge and physically fit because I had kind of a construction worker job in the Marine Corps.
I was tough. I was mean. And I was out of my mind. Bipolar was already moving much of this along. I think my Marine Corps training allowed me to keep it at bay. And as nuts as I was, in the Marines, I did not really stand out. I was just more interesting than everybody else.
The Marines is the Marines. And whenever I got violent or nuts, which happened a lot, it wasn’t really a standout moment, compared to everyone around me.
Then as I got older, I had various jobs where my body just took some severe poundings. I’ve had my back folded over backwards, right in half. How my spine didn’t snap, nobody who saw it happened knows. My body has been run through the mill.
Later in life, I had jobs where I did security in really bad situations.
I fought entire gangs by myself, refusing to lose. I fought other mentally ill patients. And then the course of my life has caused me to have many confrontations with the cops. The cops have worn me out, I mean: Worn. Me. Out. On numerous occasions. Any of these things, I think altogether, they piled up.
By the time I hit about 30, bipolar was like, you know what, that’s enough. Let’s look into this now. And then I started having all the bipolar symptoms, the worst of which was a panic.
Jeremy: Wow. That’s quite a story. That’s amazing. You basically covered, the Marines. You covered, you when did it hit.
Ken: Right around right around 30. It hit me hard. I’m 41 now.
Jeremy: We’ve heard all the bad stuff. What have you done? How did you climb out of this pit?
Ken: Well, okay. As bipolar basically deconstructed my physical and mental health, the answer was… you asked me how I climbed out of this pit.
I would need to lead up to how I was helped. Basically. I was “helped” through the injection of massive amounts of medication. Medication had no effect on my illness. It only added to my physical problems and it made my illness worse. My bipolar simply got stronger every year.
When it got to its worst, I ODed again. I was drunk one night. I ate a whole month’s worth of lithium in one shot, not as a case of suicide, but as an act of frustration. And as like the most masochistic way I could think of to upset everybody in my life.
Because the pain is so much, you want to give it away. You develop a hatred for normal people because you can’t believe they can just walk around and not have to feel this.
You’ll do anything to share this pain. And it’s out of your control. That’s what happened to me that night. When we reached the bitter end, my doctor told me, he said we have maybe… and this is my fifth doctor across six years… he said, maybe we have two pills left to try on you. And he said, you and I both know they’re not going to work. You’re, you’re a hundred percent resistant to everything. I’ll try them, but it’s not going to work.
And the thing that I hate as your doctor is, I know that you’re one of my rare patients. You don’t just take the pill and call it a day. You want to know why I gave you the pill. You go home. You research. You dig. You look things up.
He said, this makes you aware. And as your doctor, it makes me hurt worse for you because you know, better than probably any of my other patients, absolutely how screwed you are. You’re totally aware of how hopeless the situation is. And he said, I do not like your prognosis for your future. And so basically that was a death sentence.
I drove home. That was from the Albany VA. And I drove home on the Thruway running this cycle in my mind. My life had already proven to me that what I was thinking was going to come true. I’m going to die in a psych lockdown ward. I’m going to die in a jail cell.
Or I’m going to die on the street one night when I’m out, flipping out and I meet the other Kenny, who’s just bigger and meaner than me, and I’m going to get into it with him and he’s going to wipe me out. That’s where I’m going to find my body.
So I go home… it moves me a little now to even tell it, cause it it’s just such a massive amount of pain I dealt with. I sat at my desk, and this is where the hope comes in, at this point, I had been a recluse for two years. I lived in my parents’ basement. I took medication, smoked cigarettes and tried not to hurt anybody or myself.
All I ever wanted to do was hurt everybody. And I was very capable of hurting just about anybody I cared to, until somebody stopped me physically. I heard a little voice in my head and it was a normal voice. The voice was the Marine in me. I hadn’t heard him in a long time. The voice said this is not the way a Marine goes out. Do something! Fight! Do anything!
And then he went away. It was that loud. I just heard it. And for the first time in about two years, it was the first time I felt any strength as a human, as a man, as a former Marine, anything. I had been wiped out by this illness, the Marine Corps perked up in me like, this is what we’re famous for.
If we go into a battle and it’s completely clear we are going to get annihilated, then we’re like, well, they’re going to remember we were here at least! And away we go! I applied that to myself without even trying. And through a course of events, I started finding sources of help. I tried everything. Everything under the sun. And a lot of stuff was wrong.
30:00 Min Mark
A lot of stuff was rip off scam stuff. But piece by piece, I did find legitimate sources of help. And I started building the system, took me about two years to build it, across a two year span the whole time my health improving. And then I just fine tuned it once it was clear that I was sane again.
Jeremy: That’s pretty amazing. So you hit rock bottom, but it wasn’t to the point where, like I was thinking, you were going to say, you drove off the road or something on the Thruway, you hear that story. But luckily that never happened.
Ken: One of the sick things about the illness… and this was another thing… I mean, there’s so much worse. But one of the things that you expected me to like end it all with the horror of what I was feeling, it gets even worse.
One of the symptoms of bipolar disorder, just one of the dozens and dozens and dozens is an obsessively strong fear of dying. The thought of the unknown is crippling with the amount of fear it dumps into your soul.
When you stop and think as a bipolar person, "What happens when we die?", you get this psychic hit to your self… that is so huge… of terror. Because you don’t know what’s coming next. And the not knowing is… it’s awful. So every day you want to die because life is completely pointless.
There is no purpose to keep waking up every day when you get to the point where I got. It’s purposeless. It’s like waking up and voluntarily being on fire all day and can’t put the flames out. Why would you wake up for that? Yet…dying is so horrifically out of the question. You don’t want to die.
So you’re in this no man’s land of just the worst sort of purgatory. You don’t want to live, can’t imagine dying.
Where does that leave a person? It rips you apart inside like silly putty. You think you’re destroyed, until you hit that point. And then whatever’s left of you just get shredded.
Jeremy: The system you developed: can you kind of pinpoint it piece by piece? Like what it is that you’ve done? And you said it’s a mixture of like natural herbs. And thought process. There’s a checklist. Tell me about what it is that you do.
Ken: The system I invented is called TORQUE BACK. The reason I did that is because out of the 30 jobs I’ve had in my life, many of my jobs were repair.
I’ve repaired just about anything under the sun. And it’s part of how I went about repairing my own health. I looked at myself like I would any other piece of machinery. I looked at my life and my body and my mind like a mechanic, which I basically am at at the heart of all that I do.
What’s going on that shouldn’t be? What is going on that should not be. That’s where every mechanic starts when addressing a problem. And then I took it from there. So the system TORQUE BACK, I envisioned like a torque wrench.
A torque wrench is used to apply just the right amount of force on tightening something so that it holds the load together just right. If it’s not enough, it comes loose. If it’s too tight, the bolt will break. So a torque wrench puts just the amount of right pressure on the job to bear the load.
My system has 10 steps. The steps I used and, and I’ll have to be brief cause it involves so much, but there’s a company called Truehope.
They invented a supplement. It’s a vitamin and mineral mix and it addresses bipolar disorder directly. The gentleman that developed that had to do so because his family tree was committing suicide all around him from bipolar. He was running out of family. He was an engineer. He didn’t know anything about any of this.
So he was my first savior. Basically, Truehope is the foundation to everything else I do. I don’t believe anybody has much hope without putting them in their system. Even if they don’t use my system. If they got completely different nine other steps, I believe they’ll do so much better if Truehope is in their world.
It’s a nonprofit company and they’ll work with you for free beyond paying for their supplement. They will work with you for free with counselors. Endlessly, no charge. That’s the first step. And in the beginning of my illness, that was the first thing I did that had any effect at all on giving me relief.
I had the horrific chance to test it. I ran out of money. I started getting better using Truehope. I ran out of money, had to go back on medication, got the sickest I ever got. And it was in that period that I went into my second coma. I was in a coma for two weeks from that lithium OD. I died a number of times.
They kept restarting my heart with the paddles. They kept pumping something in me that was absorbing the lithium and taking it out of my blood. I defied every physical odd there is to be here and have this conversation. And when I came out of the coma, I was in a lockdown ward for four days, cause they thought I was a suicide. Truehope turned all that around.
Then I added a supplement, from a company called OmegaBrite. OmegaBrite developed a fish oil to fight depression.
I picked OmegaBrite because basically you need omega-threes in your diet. And you need them from a fish product. And within omega threes are two sub-components called EPA and DHA. You need the right ratio of EPA to DHA. Most fish oil brands on the market, get the ratio wrong. So OmegaBrite covers all of that.
And omega-3s have a humongous impact on our nervous system. And they are a component of every cell of our body. And they are almost non-existent in the modern diet, not to mention the omega sixes, which cancel out the omega threes, are, for most cases, 20 to one in strength in the modern diet. And they’re inflammatory. They’re the cause of many illnesses.
They in themselves are not harmful unless there’s too many of them present. The omega 3s cancel them out. So what you have is a lack of omega-3, which in itself is causing illness, and an overabundance in the the modern diet of the omega-6s. So you need to have omega-3 on board.
Nutrition just made sense to me for years. No matter what I did, drugs, drinking, anything, I lifted weights. I’m an oxymoron that way. So nutrition made sense to me. I didn’t have to be convinced that it was necessary component in the fight.
As nutrition leveled off my body, intuitively, I got to thinking, "I think a large chunk of my problem is me. I don’t think there is a problem per se, as much as I’m causing a lot of this."
That’s not to be confused with… bipolar people… it causes such pain when someone tells a person who’s bipolar, or depressed “snap out of it,” as if it’s a will control thing, a willpower thing. It’s not. It’s out of your control. Your only control is to try and do steps like what I have. So I’m not talking about that.
But I realized my way of thinking… Very simple. Every decision any one of us has made in our lives, ever, got us to this exact point. Whoever you are watching this video right now, every right, every left, every yes, no, up or down got you right here to watching Kenny speak on this video.
A lot of those decisions were not good ones. If you’re not happy where your life is, rock bottom? There’s no one to blame but you. And in a lot of cases, even the illnesses we have, you have control.
You have more control over your life than you realize. Most people are on autopilot. They don’t realize they can greatly affect their life for the better, because they just don’t know. And we’re taught not to know.
So I looked into a company called Centerpointe. Centerpointe developed a method of meditation that is scientific. I knew meditation would help me but I was not going to sit in a room and stare at a candle and do all the traditional meditation stuff.
I found a guy whose backstory was pretty similar to mine. And he had been a traditional meditationist for 16 years. He said, “End result? I was a drug addict. I was an ass and I couldn’t keep a good marriage going.” He goes, “I was a wreck.” And he said, “Nobody in America meditated more than I did.”
So he used his brain to figure out a scientific way to meditate. And in the long run, he came up with Holosync, which is now part of my system. And one of the things it does is… everyone in the world, everyone, is walking around with a case of brain lateralization.
One hemisphere is doing the bulk of the thinking in a day, and this is completely unhealthy. And it causes many problems, all kinds of problems, to arise in your life. And you’re just unaware of this. Meditation and Holosync enable the brain to let one side calm down and the other side to ramp up.
It also gets them talking together. You can’t have one side of your brain being quiet and one side doing all the work. This causes chaos in your life. Also, we walk around on autopilot, making decisions in our life like I had just said.
The system teaches you to become aware of why you do things like you do, why you have decisions, beliefs, thoughts, and feelings like you do. You learn to look at them without judging yourself and just deciding like, “Is this bringing me good in my life? Or is it bringing me what I want in my life, this thing I just did or how I think. If not, how about we change that?”
And you develop a way to do this without even trying. The beauty of that comes in later in one of my other steps for fighting addictions.
Now, that’s the next step. Quit addictions. That’s a very blase thing to just say, “quit all your addictions.” Anyone who’s tried to quit anything knows that’s just a nightmare. The meditation I mentioned lets it become a natural organic process. You lose interest. You don’t fight to quit your bad habits. You just start losing interest and they fade away.
40:00 Min Mark
You need to remove undue stressors in your life. There are situations in our life that don’t absolutely have to be there. We just think they do. I found for me this applied mostly to people in my life that I loved or held close to my heart. But whenever they were around my life seemed to take a hit.
I realized some of these people, no matter how I felt about them, or them me, they had to go. I had to cut people free. Sometimes it’s a job. I quit many jobs because I was stressing out and I left before I either got sick or did something to somebody else or just did something stupid in frustration. So you need to cut out undue stress, wherever possible in your life.
You need to eat right and exercise. By the time you’re someone who’s already mentally ill, there’s no longer a situation where “I ought to take care of myself.” You’ve left “ought to” in the dust a long time ago. You have now reached “have to.” You have to take care of your body and give it what it needs.
This amounts to eating properly and getting some form of exercise. You don’t have to be a gym rat. Just move. Find anything that you enjoy that causes you to move and not be on the couch, start doing it. To eat right, that’s a huge thing too. Either one of these things is too big to discuss here.
But eat right? Very simple. Shop the edges of the supermarket. Don’t go into the aisles so much. Eat everything in the form it came off the farm as best you can. Eat a piece of meat that still looks like it came off an animal. Eat a vegetable or fruit the way it got picked off the farm.
As soon as it’s been processed and packaged, most of the nutritional value, if it hasn’t been just slightly damaged, it’s usually mostly gone and it’s not going to give you any health benefits. You’re just eating calories and empty ones usually at that.
The next step is to be okay with your life where it’s at right now. This is more of an advanced step. It actually comes into play with using the meditation I use. But basically it amounts to… your life’s right where it’s at, whether you believe this or not, to teach you a lesson. If you can pull the lesson, even if it’s pure terror, “What’s the lesson I’m supposed to be pulling from this?”
Maybe you got to get through the moment, but then look back on it. You gotta learn to be introspective and retrospective. Start looking at why your life is like it is, but know that it is like it is right now for a reason. And if you can figure it out, there’s really good stuff waiting to happen for you in the future.
You need to address all physical ailments. Physical pain of any form directly feeds into mental distress. The mental distress causes you to be more sensitive to the physical pain, and on and on and on.
So if you have some sort of, usually for a lot of people, this is back pain. You need to address anything. If you’ve been sitting on an illness that’s physical that can be addressed, waiting and putting it off. If you get that out of the way, you’re going to find your mental health improves greatly.
Great example for me? My lower back it’s in pieces. I’ve got torn stuff. One of my disks is half as thick as all the rest. I got arthritis. There’s just all kinds of destruction has hit my lower back. At one point I was eating… half of the pile of pills I ate every day was for back pain.
The doctors gave me a prognosis of basically “We got about three different ways we need to cut into you, fuse things, cut things, inject stuff. That’s your only hope. And you’re going to be in pain the rest of your life.”
At this time, I had just got underway with using my system, TORQUE BACK to fight my head. I refused to do anything they wanted me to do with my back. I’m not saying that’s always the way to go… ignore your doctor… just for me, I didn’t agree with what they wanted to do.
My back was… I did not move ever. I didn’t even turn my head without thinking, “Where is my lower back before I move?” Because everything would cause my lower back to hurt. And it’d be like a mule kick of agony in my spine. Through the process of doing my system, only thinking of bettering my head, my back pain went away.
It’s not a hundred percent, but it’s about down to about 5%. From pure agony, to about 5%. It’s a nuisance on some days that’s about it. So there’s another reason to hope.
Now let’s see you need to address physical elements and the last two steps. You need to chat. You need to talk to someone who’s nonjudgmental.
And in particular, if you’re going to follow my system, you need to talk to someone who’s not going to be judgmental of you not going the medicine route. You need someone who’s willing to just listen to you. Say whatever. Whatever comes out of your mouth. You just need someone to hear you and know they’ll listen to you.
That is so therapeutic, it’s amazing. Whether it’s a friend or a professional, doesn’t matter, find someone to talk to. And lastly, you need to keep a journal, the act of writing. It triggers a device in your brain that allows for more healing, learning. This is a direct connection to the written word. As soon as you’ve written whatever it is you want to write, you can get rid of it.
You don’t have to keep the words. It was the movement of the pen on the paper and the thought process that goes into why you picked those words and wrote them. That’s what we’re after. That’s where your healing comes from.
The other way a journal is really good is you can dump in that thing the stuff you don’t ever want anyone to hear.
When you’re bipolar, you have urges, thoughts, and flights of fantasy you don’t want anybody to ever know. I mean, the stuff that used to go through my mind, you wouldn’t want me living in the same county with you, if you really knew what I was thinking.
And me as the sick person, I didn’t have control over any of them. It’s just where my head was going. Some of it horrified me. You feel so down on yourself, you’re feeling, “As a good person, I should not be thinking these thoughts.”
And me with my background, combat vet, the drinking in in the Marines and everything I had done… mine usually revolved around hurting people. Badly. Nothing was off limits.
You dump all of that in a journal and then burn the journal. You don’t really want anybody finding what’s in it. But the pouring of your soul onto that page… there’s the device I mentioned earlier, and then you’re getting all the darkness and blackness out of you. It is so freeing. And then you’re not holding anything within you.
That’s my system in a nutshell.
Jeremy: Wow! I don’t know what to say!
Ken: Well, it’s a lot to it. I mean, there’s the steps. And now to go through that… it’s where I come in as a personal coach, because that’s a lot to work with. But I’ve done it all and I can teach it.
Jeremy: So tell me how long you feel that you hit that recovery state and, or is it always like you’re always working hard at maintaining that? Tell me about that.
Ken: Well, as far as my recovery, how long it took, how long it’s lasted and it’s how it works in a day for me… It took me about a year for my symptoms to stop assaulting me. And it’s pretty much a full on assault.
It took a year of just sticking to my program and doing everything I just shared. And I was designing it as well. Some of it didn’t exist. I was putting it together as I got better.
I hung in there just on faith alone because I knew I was out of options. And I had been trained to think, “Well, if this doesn’t work, I can always go back to the doctor.”
And I had that war in my head because no, "I got a file this thick showing doctors don’t work for me." so I was in fear a lot, not knowing if my system would work. So I went a year gradually getting better. And basically my appearance changed before my feelings changed.
People around me just said, “You’re just looking better. You’re not so pallid looking. Your skin texture’s looking better. You’re not looking so sinister these days. I feel more safe around you than normal.” That was a common one for me.
And then I started feeling a little better. I started getting a sense of relief. My symptoms fought hard to survive.
So basically what I experienced was a very gradual lessening in duration and frequency. And by the end of the year… it took a year before I felt sure that like, “I think I’m going to be okay.” So across the whole year I was getting better. And now it’s been about three and a half years now, since I took my last pill for any kind of mental illness and my whole life just keeps getting better.
And the illness itself, I have some lingering anxiety issues that will present themselves in a need to yawn too much. I feel like I can’t quite get a full chest full of air. And it doesn’t seem to be connected so much to anything that’s going on in my day. It just seems to come when it wants. And really it’s just a nuisance.
To maintain what I have? It’s not hard at all. I just live a good clean life, really. But for me, part of my bipolar, why it lived was because I had a lack of fulfillment in my life, a massive lack of fulfillment.
I never knew where to put my energies and my thoughts and my creativity. And I have recently found it. And it just makes my whole life improve.
And I know this is a key thing for many bipolar people, cause bipolar people in general tend to be your artistic types, writers, singer songwriters, painters, architects. they get this urge to create. To show up every day and do something is a prison sentence.
They need to build something new and then move on to the next new thing. To not be allowed to foster that side of your personality is crushing.
I now do that. That’s something I want people to know that are sick. Part of why you’re sick is because you’re missing some kind of major point or two. We address the body. We address the mind on a physical level. Then we start looking into why you think like you do. Then we start looking into how your life ought to be.
There are joys waiting for you that you can’t imagine. I’m living proof of it.
So that was Jeremy and I. I trimmed down a little bit of the audio. You could hear me talking to the crew, doing a little production talk after the fact. There was some more things we discussed about how we were going to put this video together and further things we had to shoot.
And Jeremy asked me one more question and I gave another certain amount of five, 10 minutes to that. None of that really was any help to what I’m trying to do here, so I clipped it. But it was fun.
My years at Jeremy’s company, the Seven21 Media Center… and it’s still there… it does better every year. Jeremy fought tooth and nail to make that thing come to life and become what it is now. And the basis of it stays the same. It’s a place where many media production companies of all types can come and work together and help one another, in a non-competitive environment.
It’s more of a communal effort. Everybody gets along and supports one another, rather than try to chase the same piece of pie. It’s if you ever come to Kingston, New York and you can find a reason to go there and say hi to the Ellenbogens, it’s, you’ll be glad you did.
It’s the only place, at least in my experience, it’s the only place I’ve been that the hallways crackle with electricity. It’s got a lot of good vibes, a lot of cool people walk in the hallways. It’s very laid back and yet there’s some heavy-duty action taking place in all those various rooms.
It’s one of the coolest places I’ve ever been in my life. And for a while, I did whatever I could to help the Ellenbogens run the place. I gave time. I gave labor. I found more labor. We had different projects where I went and got people so that we could do mass projects.
The Ellenbogens let me use space pretty much however I wanted. If they had spare room and no one was renting something, I could use it, as well as some friends I was working with. And I had a chance to experiment and investigate a side of my self, my mind, my thinking, my dream building that I never found before, or since.
Now, it ran its course. Everything ended on a good note. And I’ve been back there a few times since. And I’m very glad any time I get to go see anybody from that building. It’s just a pure delight.
But I realized after a while I was turning into a fanboy. I was just hanging around. I was helping. But everything I had come there to do, none of it panned out. None of it became anything long-term or viable. Just a lot of cool things took place. We helped a lot of people. I learned a lot. I had a lot of fascinating experiences. But I needed it to become more than that.
I needed it to become something that fed me. And nothing there was. But I hung out a little longer than I’m proud of. And what I mean is, I couldn’t cut that cord. I couldn’t walk away from that excitement and the sense of potential that that place offered.
And I was hanging out a lot, just talking to anybody in the building. And it took me awhile to realize everybody would always talk to me. Everybody was always polite. Jeremy would never say no to anything I asked for. And he would never stop offering help and material and equipment if I needed it. Cause he’s similar except he was actually getting things done.
And I realized I was starting to getting in the way, like a fan boy. He was never going to say that to me. And different company owners in the building. They love, you know, we all love that vibe, but I was just floating around .For a while it was good. And I did help a lot of people with a lot of things.
But then I started realizing, this is, it’s just getting a little embarrassing now. I’m just here. I’m just hanging out. And I’m not getting anything done and I’m starting to get in these people’s way. So I realized that. And I left so that I wouldn’t wear out my welcome. Which I didn’t.
It was a humbling realization, but also something that represents how well my system was treating my evolving wellness.
I was getting better. I could see things about myself, that when I was bipolar, I’d’ve never saw that. I’d’a stayed and stayed and stayed and stayed. And if anybody ever told me I maybe had to go, I’ve been destroyed, I’d have been ruined. I would have took it so personal. So this was just one more way that I realized I was growing.
So take from that, what you will, if you’re still in the fight. I’m going to put all the links in Outsiders Journey.com for this page to everything I talked about. Again, with the little bit of mania that was coming out of me still, I shared a lot of information quick.
I’m going to put it all on the page for this episode because I won’t share this much detail the way I did ever again, in anything I do related to this.
So it’ll be one of the permanent things that I make sure somebody goes to first, if they want to learn more about what it is I’m doing. And this applies to what I do more on the Outsiders Journey Podcast, for those of you that might be listening to this to see how it integrated into that.
I’m multifaceted and part of why this podcast After Bipolar came to be, was I realized I couldn’t cram everything sensibly into the Outsider’s Journey Podcast. And there’s another podcast coming. A separate one, just for the NSA work that I do, the NSA chiropractic.
So if you’re listening just to see how I did all of that, I hope you pulled a little something from this episode that helps you see how you might do the same.
All right. Back to the bipolar folks. If you need help with bipolar, go find my wellness guide on this page. Look for the green field, click on it. And you’re in. That is exactly what I did to beat bipolar disorder. I left nothing out. I simply refined it and I added more action steps.
It’s the same system that’s in my book, It Takes Guts To Be Me. But with the system online, I was able to share more things in more ways than I could in a print book. Plus, you got links. You don’t got to find anything, you click it and you go right to what it is I’m talking about.
If you want to see what someone with a mind like mine once was, is now turning into, click on the blue lady. And that’s what I’ve built so far, to show how to make use of all this stuff you’re listening to now and hopefully seeing as well. All right. On that note, I look forward to meeting you, whoever you are and be well.