Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Weirdo (part 1)

Ever since I was a kid, I knew that I was different. Sure, everybody says that, and to some extent it's true, but in this case I knew that I wasn't just the "run-of-the-mill unique"-- I was downright strange.

For one thing, I was obsessive about things. I would dive into something, and it would consume my life. After my parents split up when I was four, my dad moved to Richfield, right across Cedar Avenue from the Met Center, home of the Minnesota North Stars. In the winter, it seems like we went to a hockey game almost every weekend. Even at that young age, I became an uber-fan. I memorized the entire starting line-up, including their stats. Had there been sports talk radio back then, I could have had my own show and held my own with the Pat Reusses and Sid Hartmans of the world, even though I was only in first grade.

A couple years later, after my dad moved away to Arizona, the first Star Wars movie came out. I became the biggest Star Wars fanatic you ever saw. I memorized the movie, I bought the toys, the comics, the paperbacks, and I even tried my hand at what would become known as fan fiction a couple decades later. All I talked about day and night was Star Wars.

A couple years later, it was model rocketry. Then Dungeons and Dragons. Every hobby I had I threw myself into it completely, obsessively, to the exclusion of almost everything else, including friends and family. Eventually, as I neared puberty, it became music, and the guitar.

(to be continued...)


So, uh, where do I start?

A little about me. I'm in my late 30s. I am a straight white male. I am single (divorced) and live alone in a fairly large city in the upper midwest, with two cats who seem to be very good at producing large amounts of hair and shit, but are still filled with love for their papa (that's me). I work in technology in the public sector.

I am blessed with perfect pitch, and consequently I play a few musical instruments. I also sing and have a four-octave range. I write music, and have put out a CD with my band. I play music at least a couple hours every day.

I am also bipolar. This is a fairly new diagnosis for me. I have had at least six major depressive episodes (that I can count) since my teens. I've taken psych meds for the last fourteen years, and have been on most of the most popular anti-depressants (including Paxil, Effexor, Wellbutrin and Cymbalta). The anti-depressants would work for awhile (sometimes as long as a couple years), and then they'd stop. I'd head right back down.

Finally, a couple years ago, I did a little research on recurrent depression, and came to the conclusion that I don't have depression, but bipolar II disorder. A consultation with a couple psychiatrists confirmed this.

The past few years have been a bit difficult, but are getting better. I decided to start this blog in an effort to work through the different things I feel about this diagnosis, to share some stories and insights, and maybe help other people understand what this whole thing is all about. Oh, and to have a couple laughs about some of the weird stuff I've done because of (or in spite of?) this strange affliction.