I wanted to write something poignant and eloquent about my life and my purpose for writing this blog, but all I have is jumbled words and broken metaphors. Maybe that should have been the name of the blog, but the title Swimming Upstream represents the constant struggle to live my life while fighting mental illness.
I have had bipolar disorder since I was about 12 years old, and depression of varying intensity since I was maybe 7 or 8 years old. I take medication for the bipolar and depression, and sometimes it works. In the past several years I have had increasing social anxiety and avoidant tendencies, which get worse during manic spells. I had an abusive childhood, which made the depression worse and has left emotional scars which are only now beginning to fade. Despite these challenges, I manage to work full-time at a relatively important and challenging job which provides me with health insurance, allowing me to get the treatment I absolutely need.
I am closing in on 50, married 25+ years, and father to two kids young adults. I am (not quite) an engineer with a large public utility company; in the past I have been an IT manager, a wetlands ecologist and a long-haul truck driver. In my spare time I’m a computer geek, a fan of progressive rock and baseball, a bad-haiku snob, an occasional traveler and hiker, cat lover, and I loathe home improvement projects. One time in a West Virginia cafe I thought it would be funny to proclaim I was a liberal atheist from California, but I restrained myself.
I have been blogging for over 15 years, but I haven’t yet figured out what I want to write. I would like to say I’m writing about mental health to help other people, to bring awareness, to fight stigma, yada yada yada, and none of it would be true. From the very beginning I promised I would write for myself, letting the demons out of my head and into the ether in an attempt to make sense of my insanity. Sometimes other people come along for the journey; sometimes I walk alone in blogworld, and that’s okay.
Having said all this, there is so much more to me than I can write in an intro page. Feel free to search or click, or you can ask me anything about myself. You can also e-mail me at fishrobber69 [at] gmail-dot-com.