31 days of bipolar|day 7: not to be defined…

…by your weakest moments even though you are…

I’m returning to this blog prompt jawn and hope to complete it.

A friend recently stated that it (use to) irk them when someone used their diagnosis as an adjective. I’m in that same mindset. It use to bother me quite a bit, but I’ve learned to let it go easier without jumping straight to getting defensive. Yet there are days when I get really irritated at people when they use the term “bipolar” as an adjective. I’ve learned to soften my approach and be more on the education side instead of anger.

We all hear it in conversation, often daily: “The weather is so bipolar!”, “I’m just a little bipolar!”, “She/he/they are really bipolar! One minute they’re happy, the next they punch a wall!”. All of that. When someone acts up and expresses human emotion, they get labeled as “being bipolar”. Or the weather… I live in Pennsylvania, and we have 6 seasons here; Spring, Summer, Winter, Autumn, Rain, and Construction. Sometimes, Rain and Construction overlap everything else. Sometimes, it’s snowing one day and t-shirt weather the next, only to be 35 and raining the next. Seasons are only a general outline and they happen here. Several times a week, I hear someone describe our normal weather pattern as “being bipolar” Yes, that is offensive. I liken it to slurs like “tranny” or “faggot” and the like. But it’s not a term I want to “reclaim”. I live with bipolar disorder. It’s a fact of my life, just like I am a transgender man and ethnically Hellenic.

What are the worst things someone can say to somebody who has bipolar?

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finding my voice.

Not titling this one with lyrics because I couldn’t think of anything fitting.

I am a transgender man and I am a musician. Where this intersects is in my singing voice. Past the cut is my experience in learning how to use (and find!) my voice while medically transitioning.

This is a blog entry I’ve been wanting to write for a while. It’s the perfect way to start using my domain again, which turns 10 this year! I hope to transform this space into something more functional.

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i’ve seen a chance to say ‘amen’…

…to just let go and start again.

 
 


 
 

Sentencing is on 9 March at 9am. Criminal Justice Center, 13th & Filbert in Center City Philadelphia.

 

I believe that this is open to the public, but I’ll double-check. I know I can bring people with me without them being subpoenaed. I cannot wait for the Judge to sign his fate away.

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gonna let my self go, take off my armour…

…gonna lay down my load  and be free…

I have not used my blog in a while since life got…life-y. I turn to the incredible Séan McCann for inspiration today. His story, in short, comes from a successful career as a part of the band Great Big Sea… until his demons caught up to him and he decided to come clean and face his addiction head-on.

I am also inspired to finally write on my experience as a transgender man and survivor of abuse. This is my truth.
(Also a note that I began writing this a few nights prior to my 30th birthday.)

TRIGGER WARNING:

violence, domestic abuse, suicide, mental illness, addiction, and all sorts of whatever I write about.

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Galaktoboureko recipe

I haven’t posted in a while… So here’s a recipe that’s 100% vegan.. all measurements are approximate because my people don’t measure things since we’re always right. I’m getting better at making childhood favorites dairy-free and mostly egg-free. 🙂

Galaktoboureko
(pronounced: ga-lahk-toh-BOO-ree-koh)
It’s a custard pie that’s kind of like baklava but without the nuts. The name is a combination of Greek and Turkish: “galakto” means “of milk” in Greek, and “börek” is Turkish for a filo-filled pastry. This is a family recipe that I modified to remove milk and eggs.

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31 days of bipolar|day 6: while you live, shine…

…have no grief at all; life exists only for a short while and time demands its toll.

 

This is the text of the Seikilos Epitaph… the oldest surviving complete piece of music, including notation. It was engraved on a tombstone in modern-day Turkey. The composer only lists himself as Seikilos, son of Euterpe (the Muse of Music). Also engraved on the tombstone is the ominous “I am a tombstone – an image (icon). Seikilos put me here as a long-lasting (timeless) sign of deathless (eternal/undying) remembrance.” (translated, probably pretty poorly, from ancient Greek…. I am obviously a modern-Greek speaker.)

It was found engraved on a tombstone in modern-day Turkey, and is said to have been composed in the 1st or 2nd Century, CE. The composer only lists himself as Seikilos, son of Euterpe (the Muse of Music). Also engraved on the tombstone is the ominous “I am a tombstone – an image. Seikilos put me here as a long-lasting (timeless) sign of deathless (eternal/undying) remembrance.” (translated, probably pretty poorly, from ancient Greek…. I am obviously a modern-Greek speaker.) Music is literally in my blood as a Greek-American musician.

Music is literally in my blood as a Greek-American musician…. passed down for centuries in my ethnicity and culture.

I’m a bit behind on this… primarily because I hit this nasty string of instability again. I don’t even know how long I slept, but I stayed in bed for the better part of a week. My illness does that to me sometimes, where I pretty much just disappear.

 

What do you wish you’d known when you were diagnosed?

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31 days of bipolar|day 5: dreams are bad…

…when all they do is leave the truth behind.

An old favorite song came up on my iTunes today.

I’m behind on prompts, but that’s ok… I’ll try to be better. Sleep’s been a challenge again. I did get two new piercings, though. This brings me to 9. Most notably, I guess, is my septum. I’m not 100% sold on keeping it just yet, since it feels kind of odd to have a sharp object literally through the tip of my nose, but the response has been great today. I was told that, not only does it make me look younger, but that it really does a lot for my passing privilege… and for that, it’ll likely stay. The other piercing is #3 that’s pretty much hidden. I wanted a pair for piercing 6 because I was getting annoyed with the one-sidedness of it. I enjoy having new piercings because it helps me reclaim my body in such a visible way.

 

Today’s prompt is kind of simple and sweet.

 What treatment, therapy etc do you do?

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31 days of bipolar|day 4: this where i have come to…

this is where I begin again.

Young Dubs today… in my extreme OCD, I’ve added a field for link to the artist and song title at the bottom. I think I made it work without breaking my theme. It’s been a hot sec since I’ve done anything in php or css, so my head’s a bit sluggish on it. We’ll see if I like it or not.

Today’s prompt is one of my pet peeves. I’ll expand on the topic tomorrow — just wanted to get it up so I wouldn’t miss a day.

How do you feel about people who diagnose themselves online and then treat themselves for bipolar?

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31 days of bipolar|day 3: you thought that you had known me…

…but I wish that you had only known just what was wrong with me long before you did.

Today, I turn to Steven Page, and an album I’ve been avoiding listening to for nearly a year.

Surprise Surprise is a song off of his newest album, Heal Thyself Pt. 1: Instinct, the first half of a double album, with the second to be released at some point between this year and eventually.. I’ve been hesitant to listen to it since last March because a friend had told me that it would likely hit way too close to home. This song came up on my iPhone on my way home this evening, so I sucked it up and started to listen to the album. Big mistake.

I didn’t make it too far in before turning into a pile of emotional on the train.

Steven Page has been one of my biggest influences musically for most of my life. He has this way as a lyricist and musician where he could take the most depressing text and turn it into the happiest tune on the freaking planet, without losing the feeling of the lyrics. His open struggles with bipolar disorder and addiction have gotten me through a lot of bullshit over the years…

So my friend was right — what I’ve listened to so far has hit too hard and too heavy for a Saturday night. This album is a musician trying to find his voice again, regardless of mental illness and addiction. In his honesty, there is hope.

 

Tonight’s prompt is about coming to terms with life. I feel like this song is very fitting to this prompt.

 

How old were you at the onset? How old were you at diagnosis? How were you given the diagnosis and are you satisfied with the way it was handled?

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