On the Yellow Brick Road

Week 38 Back in Minnesota

Some weeks are harder than others.  This was one of those weeks.  As I have described in my previous blogs, especially last week, that I have old emotional wounds that never healed correctly.  They got 'infected' and then 'scabbed over' so I look like I am healthy on the outside but inside I have some really terrible wounds that drive my behaviors.  Someone said to me this week, in front of a bunch of people, "Oh we can't talk like that in front of David, he is so innocent."  Which is absolutely not true.  All anyone has to do is read my sermon "Be an Ambassador for Christ

Why did I do them?  Simply put because those old wounds that are infected, infected my entire being and still do.  For last week's homework my therapist had me look at one of those wounds and journal about it.  We then talked about what I had journal.  I was left feeling cold, terrorized and shameful.  I then shared the same thing in group and was again left with the same feelings, except after everyone gave me feedback I wasn't terrorized anymore.  I was partially comforted.

But I was also left feeling lonely and broken.  Both nights I could have really used a hug from Trudy.  She did her best to comfort me with her words but there are days when the warmth of a hug is what I need.  And learning how to comfort myself in healthy ways is something I am learning all about as well.

Three things brought me comfort this weekend.  The first was a nice phone call with Trudy.  The second was going out to see a favorite blues band, Trampled Under Foot (I will add a link later when I have the photographs up).  And the third was going to the Sat. Morning Jam and playing for a few hours with some really great people.

So why write about this and be so public about my struggles?  Am I looking for pity?  No! 

I do this because maybe someone else is struggling with Bi Polar and will be comforted knowing that they are not alone.  If you are struggling with Mental Illness, there is no shame in that.  Find a good psychiatrist not just a regular doctor.   Then find a good therapist who will work with your psychiatrist.  And then learn everything you can about your disease.  Treat mental illness the same way you would treat knowing if you had cancer or cardiovascular problems.  I didn't do these things for a number of years and because I did not take care of myself I put my entire life at risk.  Don't make the same mistake I made.

Week 37 Back in Minnesota

I know for some people this might not make sense but I was ready to return back to Minnesota after spending 10 days in Topeka Kansas with Trudy, Benjamin, & Catalina.  The simple reason is our new life is going to be in Minnesota and I need to do things to prepare for our eventual move. 

One of the things that means is doing a good job at work.  And the fact of the matter is I can do a better job at the office than working remotely at this point in time.  Even though 90% of the team is remote I still need contact with people in the corporate office.  I am new to my current position and I need to be able to get up and ask the people who know how to work the process.  Plus I am a people person and I want to be around people during the day.

The second reason is that I am doing good work in both individual and group therapy.  I have already started to notice little changes in my thinking.  I now know that I am on the right path.  For my friends who have read Tolkien, I would say that I have just walked onto the "Old Road".  I know the "Old Road" is long, has obstacles, 'monsters', and it is easy to get lost by stepping off the road in search needed supplies.  I have my companions, my faith, and my version of Sting (my guitar & camera). 

Last night I went to a House Concert, held at my friend's Scott & Linda's home, for .  I got to hear some stories about Dad and his fishing buddy.  It is good to know they are both so active in their community and have friends they do things with.

I finally finished a book I was reading, The Agile Samurai - How Agile Masters Deliver Great Software, this week.  Here is the book review I wrote about it.

I head back to Minneapolis Sunday.  In some ways I am ready to go back.  In other ways I am never ready to head back.  And this is my life for now.  Nine months of living like this.  I am doing better than I expected.  Today I am with Trudy, Benjamin and Catalina and I will enjoy my time with them.


Website update - Comments turned on

Since I have the week off I am experimenting with website updates.  I have again turned on the comments capability of the website.  Please make comments on the site.  If you are a registered user of the site you can sign in and make comments with fewer restrictions and have more editing features available to you.  If you are not a registered member of the site then you can still make comments to the site.

Week 35 Back in Minnesota

This past week flew by because I had so many different and interesting things to do.  On Sunday I broke up my morning routine by going to the local St. Paul Mexican-American community and having breakfast at El Burrito Mercado.  It was good to have some Mexican food made by Latinos for Latinos !  They have a bakery and a grocery store.  So I know where to get the pastries we use to get when we would visit my mom's family.  And I know where to get my chilies now.

Then I headed off to church where I had the opportunity to play with choir and Pastor Jim.  About once a month they have 'instrument Sunday' where alternative instrumentation is used to help lead worship.  It is fun to learn new music and play.  I did my bit.  Eventually I will get better at it.

Afterwards I headed back to Cindy and Dale's to drop off my guitar and get changed because my friends Scott & Linda had asked me to photograph their son Chris' graduation party.  He just graduated from college and started a new job.  It was fun being the official "photog" at the party.  I hope they like the photographs.  I think I captured the essence of the party.  I made sure to photograph the cousins hugging grandparents because I know those are going to be really important later on.

On Wed. I flew down to Topeka to be with Trudy, Catalina and Benjamin for the next week and a half.  I will be here until June 5!  YEAH.

Thursday my parents drove through and stayed overnight on their way up to Minnesota to visit my brother and his family.  Then they will be driving back and visiting my sister in the Quad Cities and coming back to spend some time with us.

Friday night Trudy and I went out to see the Cate Brothers Band at Uncle Bo's.  I will post photographs and an article eventually.  We spent a few hours before the band started playing talking and enjoying each other's company.  I have missed her company and the phone just isn't the same thing.

Next week I am off for vacation.  We don't have anything planned.  I have some closet packing and rearranging to do.  I plan on playing my electric guitar while I am here.  I am sure we are going to spending a bunch of time as a family together this week as well.

Week 34 Back in Minnesota

Well this week we didn't have any house showings.  In some ways that is a good thing because it gave everyone back in Topeka a chance to catch up.  With it being finals week, it was more important to have a regular week for Benjamin and Catalina, so they could get plenty of rest and be ready for school every day.  I am sure they did very well on their finals.

Catalina is spending Sat. on a band trip to St. Louis to participate in a competition and concert.  After they are done the whole band will be going to Six Flags St. Louis for a fun day.  Catalina had to be dropped off at the high school at 3:00 am on Sat. morning and she will be getting dropped off around 3:00 am Sunday morning.  Poor Trudy .

Speaking of Trudy, all of her hard work organizing paid off.  They won.  If you don't know what I am talking about email her and ask her.  If you do know what I am talking about, email her and congratulate her.

One of Benjamin's classes this semester was Website design.  So on my next trip back to Topeka we are going to spend some time working on this website.  He has learned all about CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) which I know practically nothing about.  He is going to teach his old man some new tricks.

My next trip back to Topeka will be a long one.  I will head back on May 25 and return to Minnesota June 5.  I "have" to use a bunch of my vacation time or lose it.  So I will be using some of it on this trip back.  I will be using more of it here and their over the next few weeks as well.  I was trying to hold to as much as I could for when a move would happen but that has happened as soon as we expected.

I am doing well this week.  My work in therapy has been dealing with family history and parts of my childhood and family of origin that I need to investigate.  It is difficult to look at my past and see not only the damage I have done but also the damage that was done to me.  I don't want to blame other people for my problems and I do want to be honest about the past so I can understand how I got to where I am today.  I was complimented by my therapist (not an easily fooled or swayed person) that he is impressed at how serious I am about my work and effort.

On the work front, I got an excellent compliment from my boss this week.  He told me how impressed he was by how I dove right in and started leading the new teams.  He liked how I transitioned my old teams and how I haven't been clinging to them and how I still help them out when they come by to ask for advice.  He also commented that I seem so much 'calmer and collected' now.   Only having two teams helps.  Being at peace with my current situation (being here in Minnesota while the family is still stuck in Kansas) definitely helps.  Being more social by going to Saturday jams, Sunday worship, and going out to blues shows and movies helps.  And getting the professional help I need is truly the deciding factor in what is helping me get better.