april is the cruelist month.

Seven years ago this month, my body and mind went through traumatic period. i had apparently been in a deep winter depression. Through April 2001, my mood elevated so fast i went into complete psychosis. I had no idea what was happening to me and my ability to think rationally vanished faster than anyone could fathom.
By the end of April 2001 I had lost my retirement and savings fund, my apartment, my friends, My girlfriend, my pets, my freedoms, my dignity and the ability to control my thinking or behaving.
By the end of April 2001, A young bright and respected young man was locked down in the psychiatric cell of a prison, talking to his lizard- man – hallucinations.

Boy that seems like i life time ago. But today April is still a month that i spend extra attention to… my health management that is.
I manage Bipolar disorder, and like many others with this “serious mental illness”, April is a bumpy month.
In fact April is a peculiar month for Mental Health in general… It is Statistically the highest month for attempted suicides and successful suicides.

All though i feel fine, and am enjoying the nice weather right now I am filling out a mood chart. (((more on mood charts on my next post)).
The biggest thing i am really paying attention to is my sleep. I already have a regular 7 hour a nite sleep pattern.

years past i would have had serious problems falling a sleep. ( i should point out that loss of sleep can force my mood into hypomania.)

Breathing exercises and meditation practices have been a huge plus today in helping me fall asleep at night when i need to.

I am able to relax my mind and body, let go of my thinking mind that keeps me awake… and stay sane a bit longer (hehe).
At night i close my eyes and do a breathing exercise. if my mind is really starting to race I journal/meditate to let whats on my mind…out of my mind. and get some sleep.
I cannot do the atheletic exercises i use too. but physical yoga, balance exercises integrated with meditation are a huge help.
April is the Cruelest Month,/breeding Liliacs out of the Dead land...”
said T.S Eliot in the opening of “The Wasteland“…
Well not anymore, for me.. I learned to love life in the early spring, April showers, April Bumps…or not.
I am looking forward to a Pennsylvania spring.


About chris
I write because I'm not good at it. I share because, writing without sharing seems empty. Thus, I write and share what I think is meaningful.

13 Responses to april is the cruelist month.

  1. Thank you for sharing your experiences with the rest of us. I was diagnosed in 2005 with PTSD and I understand (more than I’d like to) the issues surrounding “mental disorders”. I’m writing a series right now about PTSD and I’d like to include a trackback to your blog if you don’t mind. If you get a moment, take a look at my area and tell me what you think.

  2. happy says:

    it’s sad that such disorders have to come. i’m glad that things are a bit better now.

  3. chris says:

    Laura — thank you. it be my pleasure to have my post cited. I will look more into your site over the weekend.

    Happy– thanks. perhaps i truly enjoy the pleasant things in life because i have learned to tolerate the unpleasant things.

    both pleasant and unpleasant experiences are in the participation of life. One without the other, we may never know the differences in it.

  4. chris says:

    L. Anderson I hope you return here to read this comment:

    One of my all time favorite blogs on life with mental illness is:


    The author is a hobbiest writer who says she works in customer relations.

    she has since ended posting there. But with your field, and her tremendous blog on “living with stigma”

    I think you’ll really enjoy the content.
    perhaps She might be interested really be interested the possibilities of your site.
    editing this comment—
    I forgot she moved many of her posts to:

  5. Hope this inspires you and adds to your thumbnail pantheon:


  6. chris says:

    thanks Grant… in fact, you may have helped my come up with a poster design for a local MHA (mental health of America)!

    the list on the video:

    (great achievers who may have or have bipolar disorder…)

    President – Abraham LINCOLN
    Musician – Adam ANT
    Actor – Ben STILLER
    Actor – Burgess MEREDITH
    Astronaut – Buzz ALDRIN
    Author – Charles DICKENS
    Nurse – Florence NIGHTINGALE
    Director – Francis Ford COPPOLA
    Boxer – Frank BRUNO
    Scientist – Isaac NEWTON (my main man!)
    Actor – Jean Claude VAN DAMME
    Musician – Jimi HENDRIX
    Actor – Linda HAMILTON
    Composer – Ludwig Van BEETHOVEN
    Prime Minister – Winston CHURCHILL
    Music Producer – Phil SPECTOR
    Director – Tim BURTON
    Actor – Richard DREYFUSS
    Musician – Ray DAVIES
    Model – Sophie ANDERTON
    Musician – STING
    Musician – Kurt COBAIN
    Actor – Ned BEATTY
    Musician – Ozzy OSBOURNE
    Actor – Jim CAREY
    Actor – Robert DOWNEY JR
    Actor – Robin WILLIAMS
    Actor – Spike MILLIGAN
    Actor – Stephen FRY
    Artist – Vincent VAN GOGH

    Always a the great idea man you are.

  7. I apologize, Chris…I’m still trying to get the technical stuff down on WordPress and only found your replies today. I’m also working on doing trackbacks and will have your blog cited on mine as soon as I figure out how to do it. I appreciate your comments and it DOES help to know there are others who understand.

  8. p.s…I LOVE YOUR POSTER IDEA! Where can I get one?

  9. chris says:

    I haven’t finished making the poster yet Laura. I have been busy this week.

    feel free to copy my rough draft poster, however i just realized i forgot to put Howard Hughes’ name under his picture :P

  10. Glory Blanceagle, Psy.D. says:

    can you tell me how i can order the “Great Acheivers with Mental Illness” poster for the counseling center i work in?

  11. chris says:

    Hi Glory Blanceagle.
    I am a newbie to digital photography, and i have not figured out how to print a poster yet.
    Hopefully i will soon.
    However if you got to the charts tab:
    or https://echopen.wordpress.com/charts/
    you see a better draft to download on JPEG image or PDF (as in Adobe acrobat)
    just put the image up on that page. It is a 1000 pixels wide so it migh be slow.

    I will send you an E-mail whenever i get the actual posters made, if your still interested.

    thanks for stopping by!

  12. Zoe says:

    today, i spent literally hours jotting down notes on some of your posts on the ‘maslow’s tool box’.
    seeing all this great knowledge so easily explained is really helping me cope with my own emotions and with helping others with their own.
    thank you very much.

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