Man, I’m really struggling here… I’ve got a million things on my mind and want to write about them all but every time I begin to type today I see what I’ve written and realize that it probably won’t make any sense at all to readers so I delete and start over. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve deleted and restarted on this post today. It’s extremely difficult to try to convey anything at all in a coherent manner when there are so many disparate topics running through my mind seemingly simultaneously. Religion, sleep, dreams, goals, loneliness: all of these things are on my mind today and I want to write about them all but I don’t want to bore you to tears or end up typing out a saga instead of a blog post. I’ll start with two at the same time since they are related anyway…
Sleep and Dreams
I’ve already written about the insomnia that I’ve been experiencing and how it’s just part and parcel of this whole bipolar rollercoaster. Last night I managed to get a few hours of sleep. But it wasn’t a peaceful or restful sleep. Usually my dreams consist of being in New Mexico. Of the things I’ve done and want to do there. Now and then however my dreams turn, well, extremely dark and violent to put it very mildly. The part of the cycle that I call the “rage phase” enters my dreams and there become scenarios of things so hellish as to make any horror film seem like merely a skit from the idiotic 90s children’s show “Barney the Dinosaur” that I had to watch over and over again because my oldest son was enthralled by it. These dreams are dark every sense of the word. Even if the dream events take place during the day somehow it is always darker than daylight, sort of like an extremely overcast and dreary day where the sunlight cannot penetrate through the heavy black and gray clouds. Last night was a night of those dreams. Three people died. Ambushed and stabbed to death. Blood was almost literally everywhere. The people that died deserved it, but it was some very nasty and bloody business. Who stabbed them to death over and over? Me. It was me that ambushed them and stabbed them repeatedly. Just earlier I had said they deserved it and they did… the reason I ambushed and killed them is because they were hunting for me and meant to do me harm. They were determined and relentless and I wasn’t going to spend the rest of my life simply trying to avoid them. So I killed them. Problem solved. The violence was to such an extreme that it woke me up and I was sweating so much that my pillow cover and sheet were both damp. Fun stuff huh? Well, enough of that. Now for the next topic…
Religion has been a problem for me for almost as long as I can remember. My parents have always been ultra-conservative religious. Church of Christ. Google Church of Christ if you’re not familiar with this particular flavor of Protestantism and you’ll find they hold some very radical and, to my thinking, unhealthy views and ideas. As hard as I tried at various times growing up I just couldn’t bring myself to believe that stuff. As I grew older and studied comparative religion and religious history I found that I couldn’t believe any of it. Not if I were to stay honest with myself. I tried really hard, but I just can’t buy into it. Any of it. I also tried Buddhism for quite some time but couldn’t even buy into some of the core tenets of that either. Meditation has proved useful at times, but that whole ahimsa (non-violence) thing just doesn’t work in the real world. It may be fine for nuns and monks hidden away in their monasteries but not in the real world. Also, I see no evidence of rebirth (different from reincarnation, which I also see no evidence for) just as I see no evidence for Heaven or Hell, other than the heaven and hell experiences we have right here on our planet. I have never seen nor read anything that was the least bit convincing that there is anything beyond this existence.
My ancestry is Norwegian, with some from Germany and one line being Native American. So I decided I would read about Norse Mythology and learn as much as I possibly could about it. It’s fascinating stuff to be sure and I find Odin to be of particular interest. But, I haven’t seen Odin. I’ve read stories of contemporary people claiming they have “been called” by Odin himself. I find that strange. Is it the same as Christians claiming they have “been called” by Yahweh or Jesus? If not then what, exactly, is the difference? Have these people actually seen Odin or Jesus or did they hear a voice (that wasn’t in their head) “calling” them? Or did they do what the ancients did and what some people still do to this day… mistake their own thoughts for the voice of a deity? There’s actually a term for just that within psychiatry but I forgot what it is called. But it means exactly that, mistaking your own thoughts (or sometimes desires) for the voice or will of some deity. I’ve found it’s quite common among Christians. “God has laid it on my heart to move to South Carolina” or “God has called us to minister in [insert country of desire here]”. I find it strange that what they are saying “God” is calling them to do just happens to coincide with exactly what they want to do. If they would only actually read their own “holy book”, the Bible, they would find that it was never that way in the Bible. In the Bible, when Yahweh supposedly called on someone to do something, it was invariably something they did NOT want to do.
Anyway, I guess I just don’t understand it. If I were to count on my fingers how many genuinely unexplained weird things that have happened in all my 51 years it would only take one or two of those fingers! The rest, I now know, are down to the psychotic episodes I’ve experienced due to bipolar disorder which caused auditory and visual hallucinations. Psychotic episodes sounds so terrible and conjures up images of the movie “Psycho” for many people. It’s actually very different and just shrink-talk for “a break with reality”. I understand what they are saying but reality can be a very subjective thing. One person’s reality can be extraordinarily different than another person’s reality. When speaking of reality it is therefore best to speak of objective reality… things that everyone experiences and can agree on such as gravity and our need for oxygen to survive. Anything beyond such examples of objective reality slides rather rapidly into subjective reality and that is a very slippery slope indeed.
There are times when l become so overwhelmed with loneliness that no matter where I am I just want to jump on my bike and ride away full throttle. This is somewhat paradoxical since at other times all I crave is to be alone. Still, I can become consumed with loneliness even with other people around. I think it’s because what I crave when I’m lonely is not simply other people being around but rather someone that I could really open up to. Someone I could share all my thoughts with without feeling judged. Intimacy is a good word for what I’m looking for but not necessarily in a sexual context (though that wouldn’t be a bad thing either!).
It’s incredibly difficult to find someone that you can really open up to. At least it’s difficult for me, I can’t speak for everyone. I divulge quite a lot of information about myself on this blog but that’s just me putting my thoughts, feelings, and experiences into words in blog posts in the hope that someone else might read them and be able to relate. It’s quite a different thing than having a face to face conversation with someone. For me the two things are worlds apart. If someone reads my words and it lets them know they aren’t alone then that’s fantastic. If I get a comment letting me know something resonated with the reader then that’s even better. Otherwise it’s sort of like shouting into a void… I never know if what I write has any impact at all or if anyone is even out there listening/reading. Here’s hoping someone out there actually is.