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True Power

" True power does not need arrogance, a long beard and a barking voice. True power is attained with silk ribbons, charm and intelligence"

- Oriana Fallaci in "Il Divo"


The Price of Admission

Forgive them, UG   

For they know not what they do ................ 

If we truly care about those we want to remain in our inner circle .......and have the desire to recover from our past.....We must share our feelings(gently), so we(they) can reach the ultimate goal of letting it all go. 

        Most traditional/eastern spiritual teachings are simply a collection of words. 

            These words(poems if you will) are filled with signs that point us back to the source. ... Google 'Tao Te Ching' and 'Lao Tzu'

       And the source(our 'being'), in my opinion, is attained by recognizing our past. Embracing it. ...... because 'IT" is the Price of Admission.

      When we acknowledge the source of our pain........ Discuss it openly w/out letting the EGO enter the room...... Totally void of emotion................we GROW. 

           As an Native American chief once said about the caucasion settlers - "The 'white eye' all have tense faces, staring eyes and a cruel demeanor. Always looking as if they always 'need' something".

    That being said, we NEED to disconnect ....... Let Go.

     In order to achieve enlightenment, we must recognize the(my) L.A.W. of Active Recovery.......

            Some people Watch life happen (LOOK)......
            Some people Make life happen (ALLOW) 
            and the rest say "What happened?(WHAT?!)

    Happy Trails - UG

Talking to you Robyn


Meds vs Mania

Oh how we love our mania.......

        As we wake from our 3 hours of sleep, we pop out of bed with excitement. Can't wait to get to work. We quickly wash off our face and run out the door. As we're starting up the car we think......"Did I brush my teeth?........fuck it". We smack the dice and cruise.


             Whether it be on a football field,  in a  recording studio, the custom car shop or Wal-Mart,  we work tirelessly, endlessly . We check the time. The days fly by. We're busy brainstorming. Working out. Writing lyrics. Performing. Fine tuning our engines. We're fucking special, man. "God Damn, I(we) feel good!" Our passion is alive. Ideas are plentiful. Energy is running at a surplus. Many of us experience life for the first time.........What time is it, again?

            Danger Will Robinson

            Bipolar Disorder is like old luggage, herpes and your old varsity jacket. You can't get rid of it. No cure. None. End of story. It's a terminal disease (that is treatable) and must be taken very seriously(over 30% decide to take their own life)............we have to surround ourselves w/ good support and respect bipolar disorder.

             But of course, not before we kick the tires of this "illness". That's what we do.

             I was watching PBS the other night and Charlie Rose was interviewing Dr James Watson. A Nobel laureate who discovered DNA and the testing models that go with it. A huge advocate of cancer research, he noted that mental illness is next in line. He said the number one thing that mental illness needs is more research. Dr Watson said more research is needed to find the specific genome, the rogue gene that causes Bipolar Disorder(or any other mental illness for that matter). Hence my motivation to raise awareness. We need to do something. However the job might be a little bigger than we think. As Chief Martin Brody said in Jaws -  "I think we're gonna need a bigger boat". Hold on to your seats.

           We can't watch more tha 5 minutes of television before we see some kind of advertisement pushing the next wonder drug for bipolar disorder and/or depression. Who isn't depressed these daze? The Economy, the housing market, Iraq. Afganistan, global warming, Pat Tillman,  Swine Flu, Fox News...........what the fuck is going on?! There's an answer. Big Pharm has been using a "shotgun effect"(pun intended) to find the best Band-Aid for our illness(es)........And we wonder, why?

                  "The Tipping Point is the biography of an idea, and the idea is very simple. It is that the best way to understand the emergence of fashion trends, the ebb and flow of crime waves, or, for that matter, the transformation of unknown books into bestsellers, or the rise of teenage smoking, or the phenomena of word of mouth, or any number of the other mysterious changes that mark everyday life is to think of them as epidemics. Ideas and products and messages and behaviors spread just like viruses do."

                            - From Malcolm Gladwell's NY Times bestseller "The Tipping Point"

Remember I said I was dignosed in 1997

                 " It had the makings of an epidemic. From 1994-2003 the number of children diagnosed with bipolar disorder --- a condition characterized by cycles of devastating hopelessness and despair followed by times of ecstatic excitement--- had skyrocketed. In 1994 only twenty-five(25) of every one hundred thousand(100,000) American kids under the age of nineteen were diagnosed as bipolar. But by 2003 the number of cases had shot up by a staggering forty times. A doubling of this rare but serious condition would have been newsworthy in it's own right, but a fortyfold increase made it clear something was going on. The question was what."

                             - From Ori and Rom Brafman's NY Times bestseller "SWAY"

       Let's really think about this for a minute. The more people that are "mentally ill", the more drugs need to be prescribed........and the more drugs that are's a vicious cycle. When it comes to money and control, it's ironic how some things simply happen to get a little extra "push" in order to tip.

            All of us know that when we're first diagnosed, the drugs we're prescribed  are a stone in our shoe. Melancholy days turn into weeks. The fog. We check our guns, sharpen our knives and pick out our favorite Oak tree on the way to/from work. Our loved ones are terrified. They tell us "You're just not yourself" ..." We care about you"..... "The meds are only to keep you safe".    Safe? Safe? If this is safe I'd like to see what fucking dangerous is. These peeps have no idea what we're capable of. We can't stop thinking about the gun, the rope, the tree. Then we finally(hopefully) snap out of it because we're fighters. We're  fucking survivors. This has to get better, right? But how the hell am I gonna get anything done?

           I got an idea...........

           We look into the mirror. We just stare. Who is this MF? We look down at the pill containers. Depakote, Prozac, Nuerontin, Wellbutrin, Zoloft, Celexa, Lexapro, Paxil, Symbalta, Effexor. Are you fucking kidding me? What is this shit?  I'm not sick......We look back into the mirror. And back down to the pills as we throw them in the toilet. Fuck these meds. I can't function. So my family doesn't want me to 'off myself', huh? ............ fuck these pills!!!!"

              Danger Part Deux

            After a few days, if we're lucky, we  feel "alive" again......flipped the switch......broke the code. "Finally I can think again.......let's rock and roll!

          This is  where I take the time to tell you this is the REAL danger zone. Even though we think meds suck, there IS a time and a place for them. Trust me.  Been there, done that.  All conspiracy theories aside, we all need to take the time to educate ourselves on the ins and outs of bipolar disorder. Yes, it can be a gift. We are  all creative and intelligent people. Strong-willed visionaries that want to do it "our way". We tend to be a little hard-headed(wink wink) and don't want to believe we're "sick". The fact is, our "gift", our illness, is real. We need to monitor it. It's like a sacred garden that needs to be kept. Nourished. If your meds are not working for you, stay in touch with you doctor(s). Demand to feel better!

The rest is up to you.








Mount Union Lecture

     My experience at Mount Union was awesome. Dr. Tamara Daily was a great host and I look forward to our next event. GM

‎"On October 12, 2011, retired NFL punter Greg Montgomery Jr. presented the Annual Mental 
Health Awareness Lecture at the University of Mount Union in Alliance, Ohio. Mr. Montgomery 
shared the story of his diagnosis with Bipolar II Disorder and the challenges he has faced in 
creating his own path toward recovery. Mr. Montgomery challenged the audience to think about 
Bipolar Disorder in particular and mental illness more generally in the broader context of life 
experiences, family relationships, and individual responsibility. Using candid personal 
reflections, Mr. Montgomery shared his belief that living well with Bipolar involves both 
respecting the illness and learning to use it to one’s advantage. The evening’s most potent
 message was that people experiencing depression and anxiety have the power within 
themselves to choose more productive and fulfilling paths and limit the negative impacts of toxic

                                 -  Dr Tamara Daily - Dept of Psychology - Univ of Mount Union


I received this note from a close friend who's in 'the program'. In my humble opine, there are many parallels between  the triggers of  both abuse/addiction and mental illness. My point of  "unilateral remorse is needed in order to achieve true recovery"....'The Why'.....must be uncovered and dealt with. Denial is a large hinderance which is conveniently(and often) overlooked...........


       I think thats a larger part of the overall denial as part of the process. The whole family is in denial. Those who dont understand might not initially have access to understanding because they dont have the disease. Its hard to understand your part in something when you don't understand WHY its happened in the first place. Thats a tough hill... See More to climb when all you want is for the person you love to "be better"....its the "fixer" which lives in all of us. But to get down in the trenches and have to "put in work" for that loved one when the perception and problematic thinking is "that is their problem and I am just here to support them" is a different concept altogether. Thats where we separate the talkers from the do-ers. Agreed.


Living Bipolar (and Enlightened)

      For the last couple months, my girlfriend and I have been reading 'Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life' by Dr. Wayne Dyer. In this book,  Dr Dyer examines the 81 verses of the Tao Te Ching (The Way of Life)  written by philosopher Lao-tzu over 2000 years ago. Within each verse, as in any spiritual text, there is a powerful message that can be examined, discussed and applied to our lives. In the 17th verse, coined by Dr Dyer as 'Living as an Enlightened Leader, gives us a nice point of reference. Not only does it advise us on how to lead, but also to figure out our past (the Why). I  feel to acknowledge the roots our pain, deal with them, let go and move on is a very brave act. Choosing to change our minds(our ways of thinking), take action  and mentor others that are suffering, even braver."

                                                                  -  GHM, Jr

"With the greatest leader above them, people barely know one exists.

 Next comes one whom they love and praise.

 Next comes one whom they fear.

 Next comes one whom they despise and defy.

 When a leader trusts no one, no one trusts him.

 The great leader speaks little.

 He never speaks carelessly.

 He works without self-interest and leaves no trace.

 When all is finished, the people say, "We did it ourselves" "

                         - Lao-tzu from Tao Te Ching

    Here are a couple thoughts  by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer's from his book, Change Your Thoughts--Change Your Life;

     "You can personalize it by substituting the words parent or teacher for leader. 1st you must stay in the background and become an astute observer of what's taking place; then ask yourself how, without interfering, you can create an environment that will help everyone act responsibly

.  Whatever your decision, you'll be well aware of the need to create an environment where everyone will be able to say, "We fixed it ourselves without the need for any interference from anyone--we really don't need a supervisor."

  This approach involves suspending your desire (ego) to be seen as a strong authority figure.

  Truly inspiring leaders get results by their own example: encourage others to be responsible and do the right thing, but not by proclaiming and bragging about their impeachable management. They create space for others to be inspired and to achieve their own greatness. When the time comes for receiving accolades, they dissolve in the background, wanting everyone else to feel that their accomplishments arose from their own leadership qualities. The supreme Taoist leader always leaves people to choose and pursue their own way of life, their own conception of the good. The view of a self-styled authoritarian is not the way enlightened leaders see themselves; rather, they raise the energy of an environment through a viewpoint that elevates lower inclinations.

In the 17th verse, the Tao offers 3 other ways of choosing to be a leader.

1. To make a difference in the lives of others, resolving conflicts through love. By being an instrument of love and making an effort to praise others, this leader stays in harmony with the Tao. The draw back is that using the approval and affection of a leader for motivation means turning control of one's life over to that leader.

2. The ineffectiveness of fear as a leadership style: if I can get you to do as I desire by using a weapon, then you'll only behave in these ways as long as I have the power to threaten you. When I leave, my influence over you departs as well.

Studies have shown that students in the setting of teachers who were considered strict disciplinarians, they were well behaved when the feared individual was in the room, yet when she or he departed, the classroom turned chaotic.

The opposite was true of instructors who viewed education as an opportunity to praise and encourage students: their presence or absence had almost no noticeable impact. This is a great thing to keep in mind if you're a mother or father!

3. Least effective means for managing others is to use tactics that will encourage them to despise you, for the moment they leave your sight, they'll defy all that you say and stand for. Children who despise a parent tend to emulate the hateful tactics to which they were subjected, or they detach themselves completely from that doctorial adult and spend years attempting to heal the scars from the terrible treatment.

Instead of believing that you know what's best for others, trust that they know what's best for them. Allow others to share their thoughts about the path they see for themselves. Let your position be known, but also convey that you trust them to make the right choice. Then step back and peacefully believe that the way you look at this situation will change. Offer praise when those if your charge are making their own decisions, even when their behavior may conflict with yours. Trust yourself to give the best response by not seeing yourself as knowing what's right. "When a leader trusts no one, no one trusts him."

                                       -  Dr Wayne Dyer

      After reading this a couple times, you will start reflect and see where you were inspired and/or discouraged in your life. Take note of when you felt the desire to perform for your parents, teachers, coaches and bosses. In contrast, take note of when you were turned off and despised those in power. The reason I'm asking you to do this is that I truly believe we need to "go back in order to move forward". Once we discover which 'hot buttons' were pushed in our lives and take the time to 'go there' once again, we'll know again how its feels and then choose to make a conscious effort to never do the same to others. Wisdom is the product of experience, pain and growth. A mistake is only a mistake if we don't learn from it.

      Many specialists in the field of mental health and addiction/abuse want us to simply 'move on'. To somewhat allow our inner circle to sit on the sidelines and give us 'support'. When in reality, we need everyone to 'go back' with us and join us in our recovery. This doesn't mean we constantly harp on the reasons of our pain and use them as a crutch. But those who we feel had an impact on our lives (good and bad) should be made aware of their actions. I feel,  through true remorse from those that pained us (and we them), the recovery (discovery) process has a much better chance of being completed. JMHO


Listen to Me !!!!!!

What is Bipolar Disorder?

    Bipolar disorder is a brain disorder that causes persistent, overwhelming, and uncontrollable changes in moods, activities, thoughts, and behaviors. A child has a much greater chance of having bipolar disorder if there is a family history of the disorder or depression. This means that parents cannot choose whether or not their children will have bipolar disorder.

   Although bipolar disorder affects at least 750,000 children in the United States 1  , it is often difficult to recognize and diagnose in children. If left untreated, the disorder puts a child at risk for school failure, drug abuse, and suicide. That is why it is important that you seek the advice of a qualified professional when trying to find out if your child has bipolar disorder.

   Symptoms of bipolar disorder can be mistaken for other medical/mental health conditions, and children with bipolar disorder can have other mental health needs at the same time. Other disorders that can occur at the same time as bipolar disorder include, but are not limited to, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, anxiety disorders, autistic spectrum disorders, and drug abuse disorders. The roles that a family’s culture and language play in how causes and symptoms are perceived and then described to a mental health care provider are important, too. Misperceptions and misunderstandings can lead to delayed diagnoses, misdiagnoses, or no diagnoses—which are serious problems when a child needs help. That is why it is important that supports be in place to bridge differences in language and culture. Once bipolar disorder is properly diagnosed, treatment can begin to help children and adolescents with bipolar disorder live productive and fulfilling lives.

What Are the Signs of Bipolar Disorder?

   Unlike some health problems where different people experience the same symptoms, children experience bipolar disorder differently. Often, children with the illness experience mood swings that alternate, or cycle, between periods of “highs” and “lows,” called “mania” and “depression,” with varying moods in between. These cycles can happen much more rapidly than in adults, sometimes occurring many times within a day. Mental health experts differ in their interpretation of what symptoms children experience. The following are commonly reported signs of bipolar disorder:
  • Excessively elevated moods alternating with periods of depressed or irritable moods;
  • Periods of high, goal-directed activity, and/or physical agitation;
  • Racing thoughts and speaking very fast;
  • Unusual/erratic sleep patterns and/or a decreased need for sleep;
  • Difficulty settling as babies;
  • Severe temper tantrums, sometimes called “rages”;
  • Excessive involvement in pleasurable activities, daredevil behavior, and/or grandiose, “super-confident” thinking and behaviors;
  • Impulsivity and/or distractibility;
  • Inappropriate sexual activity, even at very young ages;
  • Hallucinations and/or delusions;
  • Suicidal thoughts and/or talks of killing self; and
  • Inflexible, oppositional/defiant, and extremely irritable behavior.


Making Amends


    The following tips for seeking forgiveness and making amends come from Daniel L. Buccino, a licensed clinical social worker and clinical supervisor at the Adult Outpatient Community Psychiatry Program at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center and assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University.

    • Bipolar disorder is what you have, not who you are. You still must live with it, stand up to it, accommodate yourself to it, resist it, accept it, manage it. Separating yourself from the problem in this way will allow your true character to help you decide how you want to live with your illness and its consequences. Stability begets stability.
    • Apologize—genuinely, sincerely, deeply, specifically, and directly.
    • Make reparations as best you can.
    • Try to accept responsibility.
    • Redouble your efforts to do the right and virtuous things to show that whatever behaviors you exhibited were the exception, not the rule.
    • Remain humble and well-connected to treatment and find the best treatment providers you can.
    • Everyone makes mistakes, but avoid repeatedly making the same mistakes.
    • Strive to demonstrate good character by being responsible, reliable, trustworthy, competent, and focused.
    • Recognize that rebuilding trust is a process, a staircase to climb at times, not an event.


Is Your Depression Self-Induced?

Interesting read by Readabout's Depression Treatment Team

Self Induced Method To Conquer Depression

Did you know you could self-induce thoughts, actions, words, and feelings into your mind? Self-inducing means to persuade self to do carry out actions, while influencing the mind to act or think of someone or something. For instance, she self-induced the fear in her mind that she would fall if she climbed the ladder. Self-inducing produces a physical or mental state reaction. Now, did you know that some types of depression are self-induced?

Depression is an emotional state of mind. Just as you tell yourself you feel sad, you can interject thoughts in your head to tell self you are happy. Interjection is the process of exclamations in action, which express emotions. The interjections pronounce sounds, words, phrases, expressions, strong emotions and the like, including pain and/or surprise that ordinarily would not have meaning.

The mind composes the subconscious and conscious mind, thus sometimes we are unaware that we self-induce feelings, words, actions, and the like into our minds. Sometimes we use introjections, which are adoptions of other person's values. This means we unconsciously introject values and/or attitudes into our minds, which come from others' who we wish to impress, or sometimes people who we want to accept us. Sometimes we even use projections to estimate our worth. The projections can turn to protrusions. Projections is the unconscious mind, which transfers our inner mental life through ascriptions of personal feeling, thought, impulses, and the like, reflecting them on others.

Therefore, you want to check your depression to make sure it is not self-induced. Life has its vicissitudes, however most times we can self-induce in our minds to strive for the future with positive prospects in mind. When you suffer depression, you are only denying self, as well as reflecting your influences on other people around you. This leads to family chaos, loss of friends and family, and so forth. The highs in lows in life are merely facts of being of worth or valuable. The unexpected change (s) in vicissitude light, could only lead to good fortune if you allow it.

Most depressed souls wallow in their own pity. Most times, they will reflect their feelings and thoughts on others' asking umpteen dozen questions, and all the while, they hold the answers themselves. I have overcome many mountains, and still climbing. If you can learn to overcome your mountains, you will come to conclude that anything life has to offer you, there is an answer. Thus, the overall answers to manage and conquer depression lies within you, still you need to build qualities that make it happen.

Block building:
Confidence: I have confidence that I can count on my self-reliance to manage and conquer my depression. I have faith and will reform my beliefs if necessary, to manage and conquer depression. I will seek support, while remaining loyal to manage and conquer my depression. I have doubts. Start building blocks against those doubts, since doubts is only failure waiting to happen. You should never doubt anything you do in life.

What are my beliefs? What do I have faith in and where are my convictions? What are my principles? Now, use your idea making tools to pull up some answers. The more you train you will find confidence to achieve, trust in you, and certainty that will remove distrust.

Examine self-respect and self-esteem. What did you come up with; self-esteem and self-respect is primarily one in the same. Once you start building confidence your self-respect and self-esteem will rise. Keep in mind, when you do not respect you, you will not respects others, which could lead to great loss.


Family Recovery – The Thin Red Line

It is from my experience, that I’ve found the main obstacle in gaining traction with ‘family or team recovery’ is gaining access to the rigid minds of those in power. Whether it teachers, parents or coaches, years of mental conditioning and blind faith stand in the way of growth. It would be an understatement to say my personal journey (my recovery in life) has been ‘challenging’. Years of trial and error (mostly error) during my never ending search for enlightenment (the truth) has been a gift. It wasn’t until recently that I experienced my personal epiphany …where I chose to truly ‘let go’.

I’ve been studying the topic/theory of ‘letting go’ for about 9 years now. One of my first books on the topic, ‘The Power of Now’ (Eckhart Tolle) showed me how to watch my thoughts; to be an astute observer of the mind. It’s been a constant struggle, though. Ever since I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, people have looked at me differently. They tended (with good reason) to shrug off my philosophies and theories as being ‘part of the illness”. This is where the tough part comes in when trying to ‘learn them me’.

In any form of deep thought, we’re taught to stay present and ‘just be’. The saying “If you have one foot in yesterday and one foot in tomorrow, you’ll be missing out  on today” holds true most of the time. However I will say that in “order to grow, we need to go back”. And going back is not only difficult, but a very tricky bridge to cross. Our inner circles are rife with people that don’t want to change. So this is why we need to be very cautious when choosing who/what/where we discuss our past.

It is ‘said’ that we must forgive, forget and move on. But then the question of  “How did I become who I was in the first place?” will eventually arise. And that question, more times than not, will be answered ‘that’s the past and we must move on” and/or “this is your recovery, not mine”. Huh? Of course there are many predisposed conditions and personal choices that need to be taken in to consideration. But the true question to be asked/answered is “What the hell happened?”

This is where I’ve reached the most resistance. We must be careful when it comes to visiting the past, especially with family members. There go, simply because a parent, coach or teacher “did their very best with what they had/knew” doesn’t mean the past is ‘off limits’. We must somehow find our way to an open forum where all egos are ‘checked at the door’. Once this is accomplished, the family onion can be peeled and the growth processes begin.

Best of  luck to all ………………GM


Anatomy of An Epidemic

The following is a review of Robert Whitaker's new book, Anatomy of An Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs,  and The Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America.

     "As others have stated, this book is impeccably researched and the author presents his argument in a very thoughtful, careful way, with a lot of compassion for the individuals whose stories he tells to illustrate his point. 

      However, as I reach the end of the book, I find myself wondering whether it is fair to implicate only Big Pharma and the proponents of biological psychiatry in this scandal. I find myself wondering about the roles of shareholder value in the decision making process in the pharmaceutical industry, and of teachers and parents who would rather think that their children's behavior is due to "chemical imbalance" than to psychosocial issues like peer pressure, unavailable parents, overwhelmed teachers, and the like. 

       While the lopsided presentation of psychotropic drugs by the media certainly is part of the picture (and the problem), the truth is, I think, that we as a society would much prefer the idea of mental illness as a biological problem. It relieves us from personal responsibility, for our financial investments, our children, our students. To me, the most striking part of the book is the description of the callous use of psychotropic drugs to control children and pathologize perfectly normal childhood behaviors, based on the short-term efficacy of the drugs and with no regard for the long-term consequences. I'm a little disappointed that Whitaker doesn't even comment on the wider ethical implications of the problem he is addressing!" .......... Anonymous reader

 My take - The serious issue here is the effect that 'being labeled bipolar' has on our youth. The method in which the drugs are prescribed and eventual stigmata that comes with this diagnosis will permanently change their lives.

 My point - Let's take steps towards 'recovery' within the family unit. Before jumping to conclusions and treating the 'symptoms', let's uncover all possibilities for our children's behavior and take an in depth look at the most reasonable 'causes/factors' that have led to the manifestation of depression in the first place(ie family relationships, school environments, peer pressure, etc). I've found, that in addition to simple 'diagnosis of the child', we must be open to the idea that there's an underlying family issue  that needs be addressed. GM


Lessons Learned - My Perpetual Recovery

My recovery has been debated, scrutinized and frowned upon. The evolution of my theory has been due to a unique set of circumstances. Bipolar disorder, ADD, substance abuse, 9 years of professional football, constant reflection, an unquiet mind and reaching the age of 46 with no kids and never being married. Throw in a caring brother, a recovering sister and an open dialogue with a pair of loyal, loving (and often frustrated) only touch the tip of the iceburg.

The 8th and 9th steps in the 12 Step Recovery* Program read as follows:

#8 - Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

# 9 - Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

I've come to find that the lists and amends' are never ending. And if done correctly, our recovery is perpetual. It's a life long process. A process where we teach ourselves to 'watch our minds'. We must be highly aware of how our brain works. How it can malfunction and throw us into a bad space. A space where we forget. We forget that WE are in control of this journey. A journey which is never easy nor ever predictable. Our recovery will take a lot of effort. But it's do-able, so please never stop fighting.

The Mirror Approach

I do need to note that I strongly disagree with the 9th steps' "except when to do so would injure them or others."....... Nonsense.........People need to be held accountable. One of the main reasons why there are low percentages of recovery(and high percentages of relapse/suicide) is that those that have raised/coached/influenced  us (i.e. family, friends, co-workers) either don't know what they've done or have chosen to only show 'support' in the recovery process. A one-way approach that makes those recovering cringe every time they (we) hear the all too familiar tones, contexts and verbiage that spun us out in the first place. In order to achieve true recovery, true remorse will need to be shown by all parties. And if done correctly, pain will be involved. That being said, each and every recovery will be unique and will have to treated as such. To forgive/forget the many years of drama will take a monumental team effort. It will require a full family recovery. JMHO

In the end, though, the recovery process is our choice. And it's eventual success or failure hinges strictly on our ability to embrace the program and choose to recover. HOWEVER, I simply want to let everyone know that simply because those in our inner circles might be 'hurt' if we address certain issues............Tough shit.

Making amends, seeking forgiveness (psychologically, scientifically- i.e. through religion, prayer, meditation) is not for those we forgive and or make amends with. It's for us. It's for us to clear our conscience, take a deep breath and move on. A method to quiet our kaleidoscopic mind in order to keep moving forward. The path  to true 'recovery' includes honest reflection and acknowlegement; the two main componants of denial.

As mentioned earlier, the 9th step is where we reach out and make amends to those we've 'hurt'. The following was derived from an open letter I sent to a couple members of the band, Lake Trout. I haven't had contact with these cats in over 6 years, so I decided it was time to reach out. And by the way, I've been 'recovering' for 9 years.

Growth is painful......and thank God for pain

As you know, everything happens for a reason. It wasn’t until just recently I've finally begun to feel comfortable with the man in the mirror. It was 1998. I had just bought into a record label that was in charge of launching the band Lake Trout, a local Baltimore rock group. With a sound shaped by their roots in jazz, LT wanted to take their sound to the next level. I was looking to fulfill dream of owning a label. Our relationship would eventually be broken and never reconciled. Countless mistakes, falsehoods, sleepless nights and misunderstandings would lead to our demise. The record business, any business for that matter, is tough racket. They (we) were young and green. We used to lift glasses to “total world domination by the year 2000”. It would never happen. Not for the lack of effort or passion, but the band wasn’t ready sonically, mentally or financially. And I just simply wasn’t ready. If I knew then what I know now (which I didn’t), they most likely never would of made it out of Baltimore, MD. I definitely would have done it differently (if I even did it all). Chalk this one up for humility ….as in “The road to success is paved w/ humiliation”.

We had fun though….some more than others. ; )

When I met the LT boys, they were young, impressionable and looking for leadership. I knew they looked up to me. I can vividly recall their respect when we first were introduced......their awe. Whenever I arrived to the their their shows……….they would say "Yes! Greg’s here!”

Unfortunately I wasn't in a space (nor wanted) to accept the responsibility of being a leader. My main desire was to just "fit in"… to be one of the boys. I wanted to meet people that ‘understood” me. I learned a great lesson(other than I'm allergic to alcohol/drugs) - that power is lost when you expose your weaknesses. And when you party like I did, you’re destined to make mistakes. My vulnerability was exposed.

A great example of this is in the movie, 24 Hr Party People - The history of the Brit rave scene, the rise and fall of Factory Records. Factory was the record label that produced the Happy Mondays and Joy Division (who eventually morphed into New Order after lead singer Ian Curtis’ tragic suicide). I want to note that even though my label may have had much less success than Factory Records, we partied twice as hard). LMFAO

As I starting hanging out w/ more people in the entertainment business, I got the vibe they (the biz) were on another level mentally. Traveling to France, Italy and Iceland to promote my label, I met a bunch of interesting people. I loved the scene, but my partying and eventual behavior led to a dead end. As they say “drugs didn’t kill Elvis Presley, rock and roll killed Elvis Presley.” And it almost killed me.

During this period of my life, I constantly felt I was missing something. Constantly searching, I would always be followed cloud of boredom and emptiness. Musicians seemed to draw on pain in order to create their art, hence my interest. Most of the people in the record business are intelligent, interesting and forward thinking. But if you’re not paying attention (which I wasn’t), finances (companies) can get out of hand very quickly. I had the tendency to go into business with an open mind, open check book and open heart….trusting everyone. I would never take the time to understand the “nuts and bolts” of a business before writing a check. The late nights and excess would lead to the loss of respect and the eventual demise of the Lake Trout project.

Lessons learned

Holding onto my past and not wanting to let go. Throughout my entire life, in my mind, I felt that I was never appreciated and always misunderstood. And only due to my current enlightenment, thanks in part to an aggressive and much needed de-construction of ego, have I realized that it was an existence in which I created for myself.

The constant loop of negative dialogue never would allow me to accept my role on this earth...........which is to lead. And now, through my perpetual recovery, I'm finally taking THE lead.

To inform those that are looking for answers.

To comfort those that have been tricked to think they were 'crazy'.

And to lead all those that want to recover recovery itself.

Fact is, squeezing life for all it was worth and thinking we could control the outcome simply doesn’t work.

I’ve had to let go in order to gain control in my life……….and Lake Trout had a lot to do with it.

* For those that are familiar w/ the 12 step program, I'd like to stress that the content in this blog is to be read knowing that steps 1-7 have been completed.


Riding The Wave

 What do we do when our secret weapon turns on us for the first time? Our optimism, our energy, our zest for life dissipates like fresh rain on hot pavement.

When BP newbies, those diagnosed, friends and family members, experience the downside of bipolar disorder, the main concern is that 'the funk' is permanent. The most important thing to know about 'the shift' is that it's temporary.

 "It too shall pass".......remember this.

With all the information available on the web, in book stores, local libraries and support groups, I suggest all those affected to research the endless data. By understanding the roots of bipolar disorder, we can all take note of the triggers that push us outside of our productive space.

Please be patient. Go out of your way to do the things you love. For me it's listening to music, writing, working out, coaching and hitting golf balls(when my body permits it). r

Force yourself to get out of your house. Make a phone call to an old friend. Put on the music that you love. Make an effort to 'shake off the funk' by staying active with a good diet. We are what we eat. We are what we think.

It's been over 14 years since I was first diagnosed with Bipolar II. And within every bout with depression, I try to find the silver lining. Our 'gift' gives us the ability to be creative, tap into endless energy and whistle while we work. However there comes a time when our mind, body, and spirit must rest.

Stay positive, strive to know thyself and keep fighting the fight.........every day.

You can do it............I'm fighting as you read this blog today.



Bipolar Disorder - Respect the Gift

After 12 yrs of dealing with BP, I've finally come to terms with the power of BiPolar Disorder. I'd been in denial for a good part of those years, not wanting to let go. Trying to control it. Own it. Make it work. My on again off again love affair w/ drugs and alcohol led me down a path of destruction that was totally avoidable. Yes, I was 'misunderstood', constantly searching for "The Why". I would ride the highs and fightkickscratch through the severe lows. Once the sun peaked through my black cloud of depression, I always allow amnesics to set in. "That wasn't that bad". And off I went. Back to my old ways. I loved when my brain would 'burn'. When I could put a pen to my journal and sizzle. Whether it be a movie premise, business idea, conceptualizing an event or designing a space. Optimistic. Eager to test my limits. Trial and much error. The rage to master. It must've been terrifying to my loved ones to see me spin out of control. Tough. I'm going for it. I'm OK. Let's go.

Sometimes slowly but always surely, I would find myself in the same rut as before. What happened? What was I thinking? The fact was that I didn't respect BiPolar Disorder. The disease. The Gift. Much like a finely tuned race car, BP must be maintained. Managed. A cerebral garden that needs to be kept. We need to have a support system in place. The inner drive(will) to carry on. The ability to fight. The willingness to accept the truth about our illness - that it is real. And in time, this truth(the why) will set you free.

I'm very grateful for the way my friends/family have handled my journey. We really find out who our true friends are during the tough times. I know we all love our mania. But I've found that as each high and low pass, I prefer to stay just slightly left of center(hypo). And this achieved by staying on top of your meds. Making a point to exercise. A healthy diet and an open mind.

Keep on keepin on - GM


My BlogTalkRadio Interview on Bipolar Disorder

The following link will take you to my interview  for 10 Days To Touch 10 Million.  This cause will give  much needed awareness to suicide prevention and the mental health disorders that contribute to this avoidable tragedy. Hopefully it will be both insightful and serve as an inspiration to take action. Your comments would be greatly appreciated in order to refine my goal to touch those dealing with mental illness and/or suicide.

   Thanks in advance - Greg


Forever Misunderstood

                       Ran into to my old friend Dennis Rodman in Ft Lauderdale last week.

       One thing is for sure - "We don't know karate, but we know ka-razy" - James Brown