In the working world, I did discover I had the tendency to take a lot of coffee breaks. I didn't like to sit for too terribly long. I seemed to have a need for variety which I was not getting at work of course. I was good with PC's and held spreadsheet related jobs at the beginning of the personal computer breakthrough. This was in the latter 80's as I graduated from college with a degree in business in 1985.

I had tons of bad luck with jobs, and poor choices/bad luck with girl friends. I had had I think about 6 jobs in 6 years, something like that. Many were layoffs beyond my control, this was the era of corporate layoffs. It affected my psyche of course, with stress and lack of confidence. Gradually I think I may have suffered from a light case of medical depression, perhaps induced from a combination of bad luck in this period of my life and genes.

Eventually I found myself self employed and finally with a decent career as such. I took some LGAT (large group awareness training) seminars that shook my psyche and rearranged my thinking. This I still believe was a very positive experience in my life, yet I objectively entertain the possibility that perhaps it may have been one factor in my later manic episode and bipolar diagnosis.

While I was taking these seminars, I met a great gal and later became married. We now have two cute toddlers. We own a home in a beautiful small town and continue to run the small internet business. While the silver lining of the dark clouds of my younger adult days seemed to appear - there was one blemish - my first (and only) full blown manic episode, which lasted a week. It changed into a deep medical depression at the end of the week, at which time I realized I needed to see a psychiatrist.

I am lucky that I apparently have a light case of bipolar disorder, as all I have had to take as of 3 to 6 months after the full blown mania, is an anti depressant (Celexa.) This tells me perhaps I primarily have depression, but when pushed to the limit stress wise I can snap into full blown mania. If a few days go by with a shortage of sleep combined with either a lot of stress and / or too much caffeine, I can experience hypo manic moods, but these are bunny hills compared to the mountain of mania I experienced for that one week, and do not cause problems other than a certain amount of distractibility.

When a lot of stress combined in the form of stress from my business, getting married, financial troubles including oweing the government back taxes, it was the straw on the camel's back and I slipped into the full blown mania. At the time I was also active on a email subscription list for a club I belong to, and the discussion played a role as well, as you read things people write but it isn't reality as you cannot experience the non verbal communication - therefore you can't tell if someone is telling the truth or not on an email subscription list. There were some serious allegations of fraud and so forth on the list. I think I was also questioning christianity and my beliefs that were a part of me from my catholic upbringing. I think the LGAT training sort of de-brain washed me from some long held religious training and left me with a sort of soul searching regarding my religious beliefs and beliefs about jesus.

At any rate, I became absorbed in the listserve discussion and it turned into a sort of screen play for me. I saw the people writing on the listserv and contributing to a sort of play being written. I saw the drama, the soap opera of the people involved and their allegations of fraud.

Before the mania kicked in - I did experience some vocal hallucinations. This was several times upon waking in the morning, in the state that is almost awake and waking up, I experienced what I thought were voices of a sort of troll or leprechaun or such beings, that were benevolent but that ran out of the house when they noticed I was waking up. I could hear them laughing and calling my name and so forth. I thought it was strange but I didn't think much of it as I figured it was just the end of a dream or something. (Later my psychiatrist told me these experiences are normal if it is during the state when you are beginning to wake up.) I joked about it with my wife a few times.

The creative need, which was a very strong need indeed, urge isn't a strong enough word, for me to write on this discussion list was so strong that after getting back in the garage driving the car with my wife as we went out, I literally raced up two flights of stairs so I could get back to the keyboard and write some more of this "screen play" which was in my head. Furthermore, as I wrote my mind dictated to me creatively, with a sort of Elizabethan or "Shakespearean" English accent. And I had only experienced a few plays of Shakespeare, I had not had much training or education in this area. I suppose you could say the mania had allowed me to touch a part of my mental capacity for a sort of genius in the area of literature. That was my take at least - I have no idea if I read my messages now, which I had deleted fearing the illness that had beset me, if they would have the same impact - perhaps they would be nonsensical and much of the bantor was actually taking place in my head and not from the keyboard. I did feel as if I could heal people psychically by touching them - I touched my wife like this to try to heal what seemed to be a mental scar of hers regarding her self esteem. At that time she seemed to open up to me this mental scar, talking about it, and at no other time did she open up to me like that. I did not go around trying to faith heal anyone though! I wanted to dance when no one else was dancing, with my wife, to a two person jazz group - at the outdoor mall we went to, but my wife didn't want to as she would have been embarassed. In a regular state of mind I would never had had the urge to dance there in public in front of two musicians I don't think unless others were dancing perhaps. At this time I wondered if I might not be jesus, but thankfully i wasn't totally convinced of this suspicion. There was no better explanation for how i felt during the fun, natural high part of the mania.

During this week of mania, I had tons of energy, this huge need to write this bogus screen play, I thought I must have reached a state of enlightenment, similar to that of a prophet, it was easy for me to go out hiking hills - I felt stronger. At one point on one of my hikes in the hills, I became fearful that I might disappear as my energy seemed so hot and bright. My rapid speech and my seeming enlightenment of course scared my wife. She recommended a psychiatrist but I would not go telling her I had reached an enlightenment which could only be compared to a mental state of experiencing heaven on earth. I also entertained the idea that perhaps (being raised Catholic but not practicing most of my adult life) if everyone's mind changed to this level of "enlightenment" and productivity, that we would have a sort of 2nd coming of Jesus, in the form of the "body of christ" - all citizens of the planet on this same enlightened wavelength. While I was manic, I felt connected as if a puppet - to strings - go God and to others and the universe. I read later that this is a common experience when people are manic - a connectedness experience. I thought that God has his God, and he has his God, and so on. That there was a sort of kite string - the Ultimate God would pull the string this way, then this would delegate its way to me. Then I would control what I could on these invisible strings. I was a sort of puppet. At one point I felt as if God was lonely, sitting in a chair in a hall of mirrors, pulling his puppet strings, that the faces of God in the mirrors were all the subordinate Gods and eventually us as subordinate Gods. All strung together. I also entertained the idea that perhaps this was not God at all but a sort of mental trap one could fall into and be trapped in this hall of mirrors which was actually an experience of hell. I didn't know if I was under the influence of "god or the devil". I dictated what I thought at one point at least were Gods words on the email subscription list, that I had been to heaven and hell that week. Mental states. When I was manic, I felt as if I could make a fortune - since your mind seems to work at very high rpm, the opposite of depression which brings about less productivity and creativity and a lower rpm level. If I stayed manic I am sure I could write some wildly creative screen plays. But all the mania in the world is not worth the ensuing depression, so I am happy to be at a normal rpm these days, however common a person I remain.

When I heard helicopters overhead I thought it was that people knew about me as a sort of 2nd coming, although I really did not believe I was a 2nd coming, perhaps all humans combined if they had the same mental clarity would combine into a body of christ type of 2nd coming. I thought horns honking on the freeway (which was close by) were horns honking because of me.

The number 3 seemed to haunt me during this week. In part I think due to the trinity and the reference I was entertaining about the 2nd coming as a body of christ. I may have either really experienced or hallucinated, it is impossible for me to really know, the phone ringing 3 times on several occasions for example.

At one point during this action packed week of mania, I got down on the floor laying on my back and experienced whether in actuality or in delusion, and flood of energy coming at my mind - an enlightenment type of experience. As if truth itself had entered my mind as if being hit by a fire hose stream of information in energy form. Very much like one Joan of Arc movie where she is portrayed experiencing this sort of thing (which led me to believe that perhaps Joan of Arc was bipolar/manic.)

Toward the end of my week of mania, I thought that I was communicating from a certain point in the universe, either God or aliens or to heaven - to someone or group. The I thought the FBI would find out I was communicating there and I would be in trouble. I thought the internet was one huge antennae and that I was sensitive and gleening truth and communciation from this point in space.

Another time I had mentioned the illusion and analogy of the rat in the maze, looking for the cheese which the rat thinks is outside the maze, but it is really inside the maze - as an analogy for us already being in heaven during our lifetime but we don't realize it. The next morning I could have sworn there was a dead rat in our alley and I called the homeowners association to have their maintenance crew come and pick it up. Was there really a rat - I think so but at the time I didn't know I was experiencing mental illness so I do not know for sure today. And it could have been a mere coincidence as well.

During the mania, my wife enjoyed sex with me more than ever before or after I think.

I don't know why the number 3 was so important and prevalent in my week of mania. I would write something for instance, with much urgency, and find that I emailed it exactly at say 9 pm - a divisible of 3, on more then one occasion. Again I had deleted all my messages fearing the illness that beset me, it makes you quite afraid when you experience a mental illness and you have to start taking medication. I was also afraid of troll or leprechaun type dolls for several months after my manic episode as well. I wish I had saved the messages. I found them to be on the subscription list archive later - but it seemed to me someone had edited them and removed many of them. Is this true or not - I cannot tell at this point. It may be that I thought I wrote more then what I did, and that some of it was different from the reality of what I wrote.

I tried to forget the week of mania as much as possible. I was afraid if I wrote about my experience that it would trigger the full blown mania again. As anyone who has experienced the down side of bipolar disorder - the terrible depression which is a sort of "what goes up must come down" - it isn't worth the week of heaven for months of hell. The depression was so bad I could not drive myself to the psychiatrist, my wife had to drive me. Later I drove to a local store and forgot how to drive home - I was confused. I could only work 2 hours a day (thank goodness I was self employed). Gradually over months, I could work more and more and got closer or back to normal.

The psychiatrist put me on 3 types of meds, an antipsychotic, an antidepressant, and depakote which is the standard mood stabilizer for bipolar disorder. Not liking drugs, I gradually removed myself from taking the anti psychotic and then the mood stabilizer with success. After several attempts to free myself from the anti depressant - I found I could not drop this drug. I don't believe it is an addiction, I believe that I truly need it as the seratonin or whatever the chemical is, stopped working in my brain and that I would be in depression all the time without the Celexa.

I believe I have two side effects of Celexa:

I get carsick easily - I have learned that ginger can alleviate this problem.

My libido is low - ginseng alleviates this problem.

I live a happy, successful, fulfilled life now thank goodness and thank God. I gradually got better and better. I excercised a lot, took the anti depressants (and earlier the other meds) on a regular basis, and I read every book I could find on the subjects of bipolar, depression, and mental illness at the local Barnes and Noble. I think educating yourself can help a lot. I did not use psychological therapy. I should include, to have an objective account, that I did meet a nun on an airplane flight - I mentioned this story to her and she said she would put me in her prayers. I did feel better that week and beyond. I think all of these things helped me to pretty much be cured of bipolar except for it being very light. I tried chiropractic, accupuncture, and massage. I did not have enough money to do the accupunture 3 days a week, so I quit (insurance does not cover it.) I will say with objectivity though, that the accupunture did work as a natural anti depressant. It's just that it was medicine designed for royalty and to this day you need to be wealthy to do accupunture enough to make it work for an illness. The anti depressants were cheaper and just as effective, probably more effective. If you are wealthy and bipolar - you should go to a reputable accupunturist though and give it a try on a 3 times a week or more regimen. I read a book I found on the internet about dental amalgam illness from mercury in tooth fillings - and I thought for a while perhaps that is what triggered my bipolar illness. Now I believe that it probably is just a genetic trait I inherited. I learned that my cousin had a bad case of bipolar (killed himself after all his troubles with his marriage), and that a 2nd cousin now, younger than I, has a bad case of bipolar. These genes are then from my mothers' side of the family.

The glitches I still live with are: I think like a playboy - even as married, I seem to have too much interest in women sexually, although I have not yet cheated, it would be easy for me to "lose judgement" and cheat. I am moody - I only want to do things when I am in the mood for them. I get moody about food, excercise, etc, and eat a 99 cent fast food hamburger often instead of eating what is in the refriderator. I believe that I am a little bit of a forecaster of things to come - but I do not have a grasp of the details of what is to happen - I felt something bad would happen a week or two prior to 9/11 for example, but I did not know what. Sometimes I entertain the possibility that my word is so strong now, post LGAT training, that things happen because of my words. I don't fully believe that but it is a sort of suspicion of mine at times. One good side of the moodiness is I seem to know what I want or have a taste for or think is closer to the truth more now than before as well.

I actually like my current feel for my relationship with God. I feel that he is out there, at a certain direction on the compass - north from my perspective at least, that he is always out there and that he relates to us in a very subtle way. So subtle that if we do not take control of our lives and have faith in ourselves, that we can miss his wishes for us entirely. That organized religion can even get in the way of this very subtle relationship.

Sometimes perhaps the anti depressant makes me feel as if I am living in a heaven on earth.
I also think unhappy people, assuming their basic needs of food, water, shelter and belonging are met, are in a mental state of hell. So to speak, not really seriously. Sometimes I think the anti depressant may have put me in a bit of a "la la land" in this way, but it surely is better then being medically depressed. Indeed if the heaven and hell concept do turn out to be mental states in our lifetimes rather than places our souls go when we die, it would make sense to feel like you are in a "la la land" compared to "normal" folks. Or it may be that "normal" folks have been in this "la la land" all their lives, and I am only now experiencing it as a result of finally overcoming a diffiency or seratonin and/or other chemicals - that I am finally normal. (Although I believe that we are *all* normal, and that what we experience in our lifetimes is always "normal" that we have much more in common then we generally realize.)

My main weakness is that I do not regularly excercise and I really don't give much of a care about that. I need to change that one of these days. Other than that I am quite happy and productive. Although I doubt how much stress I could handle. I make a very good father as I have always loved children a lot. I could spend more time with my children - perhaps we all could, and need to. I enjoy teaching them when I do take the time, playing with them and taking them into nature. I hold the suspicion that prophets throughout history may have had bipolar disorder - perhaps being manic most of the time. It takes a manic to know a manic, and I had experienced my week of mania as if I had become "the next best thing since Jesus." As one author of philosophy told me via email after I emailed him, "you have to be a little cracked to see the light."

Jim G

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