Daily Archives: February 10, 2016

Weight, You’re Such A Bitch!

I have been so excited to lose the Clozaril weight, so far 24 of 33 pounds, but now! I am stuck.  It is so hard for me to accept that I’m not making progress.  I am still exercising every day, but somehow the weight is sticking.  I think it may be that I’m not as disciplined in my eating as I was.  Part of me wants to say “fuck it, I give up”, but another part says “Goddamn it I will be the fittest fat person you have ever seen!”  What are you gonna do?  Giving up sounds depressing.  I’ve done enough giving up in my life.  I can’t give up on the daily exercise, anyway.  It’s one of my “pills”.  And, even though I have to force myself to do it, once I start doing it, it feels good!  And afterwards, I feel even better.  So, maybe I should just focus on doing what’s right for me and let go of the goddamn results.  Which will come when they feel like it.  Or actually, I’m sure I’m accumulating results of the exercise every single day that I do it, it’s just that it’s not visible to the naked eye.  Over time, it will be.  I think this is true for a lot of the investments we make in ourselves.  Change can be a long damn time in coming, but it takes that daily or weekly or monthly investment, whether it’s exercise, or therapy, or financial investment, whatever, it adds up.  I know it’ll definitely add up in the opposite direction if I stop exercising and start eating sugar again, on that I can depend.  I guess I need to have a little faith.  Oh ye of little faith!  Is that a bible verse?  If so I apologize.  But that’s me.  I want it all NOW.  After a really hard workout, I feel like I should be skinny, like, NOW!  That should do it!  If only…..

Filed under: Bipolar, Bipolar Exercise, Psychology Shmyshmology Tagged: Bipolar, Bipolar Weight Struggles, Hope, Mental Illness, Psychology, Reader

Byron Hamel: “I Am A Killer”


There are times in our lives when we have choices, and times when we do not.

When we are children, we are led by those in charge of us.  They tell us to do things.  Mostly, we do what they say.  We believe what they believe, and behave how they behave.  We observe, and emulate.  It’s part of how we learn.  It’s human nature.

A mother is like God to a child.  Her will is destiny.  Fate.  “Do it, now” says the father.  And the child does.  The master teaches the apprentice.  This relationship between parent and child is a sacred trust.  A way to maintain safety, build character, and establish vital life habits and skills.  IF -and I mean a very big IF- the parents use their power correctly.

Essentially, as children, we are led.  And we follow.  When we are led poorly, bad things can happen.

Choices are steered by forces and circumstances beyond a child’s control or understanding.  Children neither possess the reasoning, nor the physical requirements to take command of their own lives in any responsible way.  Their views of the world are filtered through rules, limits, directions…

As children, we are sheep.  And we are vulnerable.  We are as helpless against the wolves as we are against the shepherds.  And that is why so many of us are taken advantage of as children.

We can not fight back when adults hit us.  We WILL not fight back.  We just get hurt.  And that becomes the reality of our lives.  If we are threatened into silence or submission, we will usually concede.  We will usually be victimized until, by some happy accident, a caring person intervenes.

The choice to end parental abuse is not our own.  Not while we are kids.

If we are lucky or clever enough to escape our abusive situations alive, we become adults.  And then we are called upon to make our own choices.  To behave in responsible ways of our own choosing.

But how?  How the hell do we know what to do, if nobody ever taught us correctly?

Maybe we learned when we were little that the correct way to respond to somebody denying us what we want is to punch them in the ear.  Perhaps we were taught that unsolicited fondling of another person’s genitals is the appropriate way of showing love.  It could be that we were beaten every time we expressed emotion, and therefore grew to hold our feelings inside, fearing punishment.

Now that we are adults, our understanding does not magically shift on it’s own.  If our minds and hearts become corrupted, they remain corrupted until we change them.  And change takes work.  Change takes wisdom.

But we are lost.  We truly have not been led to a place of responsibility.  But here we are, tasked with being adults.  Surrounded by other people who seem to be doing just fine.  But we’re not like them, are we?  We don’t GET IT.  We still need to learn all that very basic stuff.

And there’s a lot of it.

We are left to lead ourselves.  To teach ourselves.  But we haven’t been trained to lead.  And we don’t possess the knowledge to teach.

So what do we end up doing?  Well, we follow.  If we do not take control, we continue doing the things we learned how to do, the way that we learned how to do them.

And that is not a good thing.  It is a bad thing.  It is what monsters are made of.  But we’re not monsters.  We’re just grown up kids who got a raw deal.  And now some new kid is smiling up at us.  And we are God to that kid.  That kid is our chance to do the right thing. That kid is why we are not going to follow.  We are going to choose for ourselves.

We the abused stand on the edge of decision.  And we need to make a vital choice.  We can do the difficult thing, and learn how to parent properly.  Or we can do the horrible thing, and continue the cycle of abuse.  We the abused to do not have the luxury of inaction.  We must choose.  One, or the other.

Now that we are the adults, we have the power to choose.  We can end parental abuse before it even begins for our own children.  It may seem impossible to you.  That makes sense.  Ending a cycle of abuse is hard to do.  And I mean VERY difficult.  But the alternative is the continuation of abuse.  And that is worse.  Further, it is unacceptable.  It is inadmissible.

We need to take control.  We need to take the reigns, and choose for ourselves.  We need to parent ourselves.  Correct our damaging beliefs and behaviors.  We need to become the source of love, safety, wisdom, and security that we wish we had when we were children.

This does not happen overnight.

It will take time.  We will need help.  We will need, perhaps, medication and therapy.  We will need to be kind to ourselves.  Patient and persistent.  If we are to succeed in this, we need to learn to love ourselves in all the ways that we were not loved as children.

With this effort, we find our voices.  We make our own choices.  We take our own actions.  We refuse to emulate the wills and ways of those who damaged us.


I made a good one.  I make good choices every day.

That is why I’m not a total piece of shit.



Byron Hamel was raised by a violent man who got the death penalty for torturing and killing a baby.  As a result of his upbringing, Byron dedicates his life to fighting child abuse.  He lives with Complex PTSD, Depression, and Anorexia.  Despite his obstacles, he’s an amazing dad to his two lovely daughters.

An award-winning Canadian journalist, and television producer, his documentary film, “A Breaking Cycle”, is a powerful journey into the world of tough bikers who protect abused kids.

Byron is currently writing for his blog Trauma Dad, and his book “I Am A Killer”, to be released in 2016 by the Gravity Imprint of Booktrope Publishing.  This post is an excerpt from his work in progress.  His writing challenges readers with both depth and simplicity.  It’s raw and funny, but leaves you feeling hopeful and inspired.





Learning to ride the waves of anxiety

Just got back from Buffalo last night. Even ordinarily, this is a depressing, and horribly anxiety ridden time for me. All manner of fearful, depressing thoughts swirl inside my brain. So with this abandonment thing going on, I was very afraid, I mean actually afraid for myself, that I wouldn’t be able to handle it. But I am riding the waves of anxiety. Sometimes it feels like my chest cavity is full of hot red pepper, sometimes it’s so intense that it literally feels like a gut punch. But I know it is only anxiety and I ride it out. I tell myself it is only a wave of anxiety and it will pass. The thoughts, which are all fears for my son and his future, I try to keep at bay. I am also reading a wonderful book called “The Journey From Abandonment to Healing” by Susan Anderson. This book has given me so much hope that I have the power to recover and live my life without the constant fear of being abandoned. It tells of people who have recovered, therefore if they could do it why the heck wouldn’t I be able to? Of course I will. And now I’ll ride the anxious waves and try to send them love.


Today yoga was impossible.  Several exercises I just sat out, others I hurt so much I could not continue with them.  I feel so frustrated with myself for being so out of shape and fat.  But I’m going to keep going so I can learn them and do them correctly.  I need to stick with some kind of exercise if I’m going to get anywhere in lessening my anxiety or getting healthy.  Please pray against discouragement for me in this exercise.

I slept in this morning but I still want to get back into the bed right now.  My doctor discontinued one of the new medications we had tried so I don’t know if that has made a difference or not.  And I’m on my third Dr. Pepper of the day.  I told my therapist that I’m coming around to the idea that maybe I just need more sleep than I used to  and more than other people do and I’m not hating myself quite as much for it.  She said that sounded like improvement in my mental state.  So I am trying to let go of high expectations and just do what I can do.

Anyway.  I feel better now that I’ve written all this down.  I’m still sleepy but Bob will be coming in soon so I need to be awake for that.  My daughter’s sleepover is this weekend so I am preparing for that.  I hope she has a good little group of girls come over.  WE will see how that goes.




Meet the Seat

Originally posted on Our Lived Experience:
Well hello there, say hi to my low chair. It’s where I park my arse for therapy weekly and weakly at ward 13. It sits on the subordinate side of Shrink Two’s desk and I’ve laughed on it, cried on it and growled quietly on it. Most weeks it…

Meet the Seat

Originally posted on Our Lived Experience:
Well hello there, say hi to my low chair. It’s where I park my arse for therapy weekly and weakly at ward 13. It sits on the subordinate side of Shrink Two’s desk and I’ve laughed on it, cried on it and growled quietly on it. Most weeks it…

CBT that wasn’t

I finished Cognitive behavioural therapy a few months back for the major anxiety I was trying and failing miserably to deal with in my life.  You could have knocked me over with a feather when the psychologist started the session … Continue reading

Meet the Seat

Well hello there, say hi to my low chair. It’s where I park my arse for therapy weekly and weakly at ward 13. It sits on the subordinate side of […]

Pretty Amazing!

I’ve seen this before and was pretty amazed by it. This is so inspirational to me, I wanted to share it with all of you. Don’t ever give up!

‘Touched with Fire’ explores bipolar disorder


The movie “Touched with Fire” (also the title of Kay Redfield Jamison’s book) is coming out on Feb. 12th. The synopsis and comments of film maker Paul Dalio are hopeful, especially this “If I had any hope at all that there was any chance, any possibility that I could be happy and full of creativity, and even better than I was before, which now is the case, I would fight.” Hope, that is the one thing we all need and the one thing that sustains us, whether we have bipolar disorder or not.


“Set to be released on Feb. 12, Paul Dalio’s new film, “Touched with Fire,” depicts Dalio’s personal experiences with bipolar disorder. The title of the film is taken from Kay Redfield Jamison’s 1996 book, “Touched with Fire,” which explored how many of the greatest artistic minds in history had bipolar disorder. Jamison herself acknowledges having bipolar disorder since early adulthood. Dalio explains that the book helped him see himself not just as an individual with a “defect” but as having a gift that taps into something that most people can’t. “Touched with Fire” takes Dalio’s personal experiences with bipolar disorder and uses two characters, Carla and Marco, to contrast the different emotions Dalio has felt toward bipolar in his life. The love story between these two characters is a metaphor for Dalio’s “love-and-hate relationship with bipolar: the way they bring out the romance in each other, but also the devastation in each other, and the way they have to reconcile those two things.” He stated, “The journey that I went through that I think a lot of people with bipolar go through is that you get it and you’re lost, but then you easily romanticize that fire ultimately to your own destruction. It ultimately takes most people repeated devastations to let go of the mania. What I wanted to do was have that journey of how they learned that they can have real meaningful emotions and sustain them. My hope is that people are able to watch the film and see where Marco and Carla make mistakes and know that they don’t have to make them themselves.”

One of the biggest themes throughout the film is the relationship that the two main characters must manage with their parents and offers glimpses into each person’s actions. Dalio describes how his family would frequently talk him out of suicide when he was in the midst of a depressive episode. “It was very draining on them, but they really struggled to try and give me hope. The best a family can do is to give hope to their family member, but ultimately it has to come down to the individual. The loss of hope – in my own experience – was the only time I had thoughts of suicide. If I had any hope at all that there was any chance, any possibility that I could be happy and full of creativity, and even better than I was before, which now is the case, I would fight.” Dalio stated that his goal for the film was to show a truthful situation between individuals and “well-intentioned parents.” “The truth is, even well intentioned parents, don’t always know what to do. They are dealing with a situation that there is no perfect guidebook for. My hope was to create characters that the audience could see themselves in. If there were any well intentioned parents in the audience, that they could not only see themselves in the parents, but also through their children’s eyes. That they could at least be able to understand their children enough so they could understand where they are coming from so that they can communicate with them.” Dalio’s final thoughts include describing bipolar disorder like a pendulum, and using exercise, meditation, and a low-sugar diet along with his prescribed medications to help manage the emotional swings. According to Dalio, “True happiness is having an appreciation of the darkest and brightest emotions and being able to experience both of them equally.””