A Straight Shot of Politics

A blog from a gentleman of the Liberal political persuasion dedicated to right reason, clear thinking, cogent argument, and the public good.

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Location: Columbus, Ohio, United States

I have returned from darkness and quiet. I used to style myself as "Joe Claus", Santa Claus’ younger brother because that is what I still look like. I wrote my heart out about liberal politics until June of 2006, when all that could be said had been said. I wrote until I could write no more and I wrote what I best liked to read when I was young and hopeful: the short familiar essays in Engish and American periodicals of 50 to 100 years ago. The archetype of them were those of G.K. Chesterton, written in newspapers and gathered into numerous small books. I am ready to write them again. I am ready to write about life as seen by the impoverished, by the mentally ill, by the thirty years and more of American Buddhist converts, and by the sharp eyed people [so few now in number] with the watcher's disease, the people who watch and watch and watch. I am all of these.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

A Fine Madness--the Mental Illness Posts

Over my 300+ posts, I have often written of my own mental illness. It is now called a Bi-polar Condition. It used to be called Manic Depression. I just think of it as a fire in the brain. What is it like? When you are unmedicated, it is like trying to sail a boat in a gale. On medication it is like driving a different company car every day, with slightly different locations for the controls and the dials everytime you step behind the wheel, and with a subtly different pattern of responsiveness on the road.

[Full list of posts below the fold]

I write about my mental illness to combat what we mental health clients call "the stigma", the nameless fear and horror projected on us by the outside world. We are not moral lepers. We are not lazy loafers. We are not, by and large, dangerous to the ordinary people around us.

We are simply mentally ill, usually under incredibly strong psychotropic medication, and struggling for what is known as Recovery. This is the capacity to play a functional role in ordinary society. Recovery is never a given. It must be worked for, and your strength must be husbanded to sustain it. Recovery is also not a "cure" and relapse into non-functionality is an ever present possibility. Relapses have triggers, which you must learn to avoid.

Below are the links, updated periodically, to my mental illness posts. They are a testimony to the fact that you don't come out of mental illness by the same door you went in. When you encounter us, please try to remember this about us, if nothing else.

The Whispering Of The Darkness Gets Louder.

A Whisper Of The Darkness

So Why Did Downtown Columbus Smell Like A Box Of Fresh Doughnuts?

My Enemy, The Stigma

Under The Gun Of The Mind

This July Was A Very Long Time Ago

And Now For Something Completely Different

Everything Ordinary in the World Began to Strike Me as Screamingly Funny

The Encounter with True Silence

The Characters In My Travels
The Reality of Mental Illness And The War Against The Poor