Chapter 1
In-Sane Wine

Perhaps I am a crazy person or maybe not. If I believe what the doctors tell me then, in fact, I am somewhat insane. Personally I don’t like that word because what is sanity? And if one were truly sane would they not be deemed In-Sane, Insane or even In-Sanity.
I believe it is all a matter of semantics and boils down to what am I in this very moment. And even if I were crazy and insane in this moment I wouldn’t know it. I never considered I had mental illness even though throughout my entire life I have always felt that I was different than everyone else. Not that I was special even though I know I am unique and challenged.
Life has brought this In-Sane mind many challenges from a Dysfunctional world through a Dysfunctional family and Dysfunctional mind. Not that any of that is truly a bad thing, or at least in my mind, it has been a blessed life to endure so much and continue not only to grow but thrive within all this Dysfunction.
Much like a Lotus flower grows best in garbage, dung and tainted water only to produce a most elegant beauty. But, perhaps, unlike the lotus we are more like a bottle of wine. Born into a bottle our spirit remains inside till our bottle breaks. And we have been given a great choice that sounds simple but requires much practice.
This simple decision have can a profound effect on our lives and wellbeing as well as affecting all those within our personal universes. We can choose what type of spirit, or wine, we will mature into. We choose either to age like a fine bottle of wine or a fine bottle of vinegar. It is a simple decision that has the most profound affect in ones life.
Through all my states of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual crises I have endured I have found the experiences either Vinegar or wine all depending on how I saw myself. And this perception of myself and life has made life blessed. I felt so happy and blessed to receive my Bipolar Affective Disorder because it helped me understand what was in my bottle. The hardest part I also was on Chemo-Therapy at that time to save my liver in 2001/2002. My body was sick and on many days I only got out of bed for the bathroom or take another treatment. Truly my body was hurting but I strived hard not to let the experience turn me into the Vinegar. Sometimes I have called my dark days of depression a vinegar because Bipolar Affective Disorder basically means Manic/Depressive.
Those vinegar days still taste bitter and there have been many more than I care to share since there aer cases of mental illnesses in my immediate family. Even without the external influences my mind rages from periods of excessive eating and sleeping to hours lost in thought or working on ideas that didn’t always work.
Still My diagnoses worked to turn on the light in my mind. It was the last ingredient I needed to finally understand that I’m not different because of my challenges, or being Gay, or that I have survived addiction/recovery as well as abuse and self. My life has it’s share of vinegar but I was never a victim, perhaps an innocent at times, but never a victim. I couldn’t abuse myself again over the abuses suffered at the hands of others. I wouldn’t become bitter but yet I wasn;t a fine wine yet. There was still something missing because I knew I was different wand it was just due to those past experiences.

Then when I was Diagnosed with Bipolar Affective Disorder it was the final ingredient I needed to successfully grow, thrive and understand. The lights came on, the curtained opened and I saw myself in a new light. I knew then that I can never control the thoughts of my mind but I can work on how I react or act upon those thoughts.
I don’t miss those days of fighting vinegar thoughts that can poison a day in just a moment. I am glad my takes take off the most severe edges of my Bipolar swings that happen within a moment
The thing I miss most about those unmedicated days is the mania. One doesn’t recognize the change when it happens unless they are aware of the signs. Heightened energy and activity with much less sleep and nutrition as hours dissolve away like minutes. The creative genius roaring within my head seeking expression even if no one else would or could understand. It is an addictive thing this thing called Mania. Certainly mine isn’t as severe in past times due to maintenance medications.
I am asked “I have mood swings…could I be Bipolar?” My 1st response is “I’m not a doctor but I have played one on TV” (LOL) Then follow with “Probably not because the customary way of getting this diagnosis requires you being in a state of Mania”.
“Well what is mania?” And I continue “Basically one experiences and immediate and sudden change in sleeping much less, eating much less, along with excessive energy as well as some type of exaggeration reality. Depression is must the opposite of that and most people experience some depression throughout their lives because life is hard in so many ways.”
As for me understanding my mental illness helped me to understand myself. And I discovered I have always been a bottle of fine wine because even in those dark days I found blessings, understand and growth. Then again I have always been on a journey of growth and understanding and there is a world of difference between just being or just doing.
So perhaps I am Insane according to the outside world because when I am unmedicated and manic I start talking to God. I find it comforting to know she is bald (LOL). But, I have always felt different and have always known there is a purpose the Divine has just for me.
As to whether I am sane, in sane or in-sane is all a matter of perspective. I see myself as the latter in that I can now see when I am manic or depressive but am always working to be that fine bottle of wine.

Author's Bio: 

Authour of "Human Frequencies", He performes "Humor from Dysfunction" a unique comedic styling,He is a POZitive Speaker. This srticle will be included in his new book "Pages from an In-Sane Mind"