Have You Seen Him?

You’ve seen him
the way his hat hangs low
new, blue and straight brimmed
clean-cut, clean-shaven
and those eyes
large and bright
dark brown, framed perfectly
with a thick, dark fringe
his mouth
usually curved in a smile
or open with a laugh
his ears
shining with diamond earrings
or his arms
thin, dark and toned
but secretly strong
your eyes have wandered
over his average, muscular body
you’ve seen the way he walks
with confidence and purpose
fast, with long strides

You think you’ve memorized the image of him
but

Have you seen?
the scars that crisscross his wrists
once red and dripping
now thin white slivers
the dark circles under his eyes
heavy with lost sleep
the same eyes once full
of hope and wonder
now swollen
red from a long night
of silent tears
ribs sticking out
no fat to be tugged on
or what about
the curves of his cheeks
tear-stained and sucken
his long fingers
intertwining in and out of themselves
over and over again
when he needs to feel grounded
and the way he spins his Jesus piece chain
back and forth on his chest
when he can’t find the words
how his strong legs shake
when the Anxiety consumes him.

So are you sure you’ve memorized his image?

Look again
please, look again
because he is waiting
for one person
just one person
to notice
how much he’s struggling
I promise you
you have not seen
all there is to him
there is more
that lies underneath the surface
if only someone would see it

Have You Seen Him?

Flawed

I’m the most mentally flawed.
You’re not even built to withstand all I’ve endured. You know shit about the thoughts in my head. Or the strength I need daily just to get out of bed. Just to open my eyes..blank stare.

I know recovered alcoholics with many years of sobriety; pick up a drink because they thought they could; simple as that. They didn’t know about the brain chemistry aspect of their disease and did not apply vigilance into their day to day activities. They are only one drink away from a drunk and yet, they think they can return to social drinking after a prolonged abstinence. Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic. You either an alcoholic or not an alcoholic and only you know the answer. You can be diagnosed an alcoholic but until you come to terms with the reason why you drink, you will drink again.

Daily drinking depletes the brain’s supplies of dopamine, gamma aminobutyric acid, opioid peptides and serotonin systems. These are chemicals that are responsible for our feelings of pleasure and well-being. Dopamine is responsible for the feelings of reward and satisfaction. Why do we drink? To feel satisfied or rewarded for a hard day’s work. That’s fine if you are a social drinker but deadly thinking if you are an alcoholic with no control over your behavior, once you ingest the first drink. It’s not the 5th or 6th drink that causes the compulsion; it’s the first drink that does the damage. Don’t pick up the first drink and you won’t get plastered.

#ChemicallyImbalanced #FlawedSinceBirth

F*ck Bipolar

I put myself in other shoes they called me Bipolar. Call me Bipolar, I’m the happiest mad man right in front of you. You don’t know my story, my struggle, the demons that I combat daily. I tell myself I’m unique but why do I feel weak? I’m a maniac within my own mind, a prisoner to say the least.

I feel lonely, isolated and suffering at times. Everything takes a backseat in my depressed state of mind including my friends and family. When I was in my active addictions to a point I never imagined I would reach, my depression experienced hopelessness, deep sadness and loss of energy. My lack of interests from sex to even watching television were too little. Sleeping to long or too little my mind races with suicidal thoughts. It’s not easy living with Bipolar, but it can be more difficult when the people around you don’t understand your diagnosis.

I’m medicated, educated and dedicated towards my mental illness. I don’t hide behind what I am because I admit I’m Bipolar. I have multiple moods that are sometimes out of my control. I face them head on with full force. Bare with me and stand by me instead of being afraid or nervous. I love a good challenge and I must overcome. Thank You.

Fight the stigma. Let your voice be heard!

#Bipolar #Mentalillness

Dear Charles,

Dear Charles,

I know you’ve been through a lot in the amount of time you’ve been on this earth. I know you’re keeping secrets and I know you’re scared and confused. It’s okay for you to feel that way. It’s okay to have a bad day or even many bad days. You’re allowed. And please know that I’m not trying to scare you when I say that you’re going to have a lot of bad days.

Unfortunately, what they’ve diagnosed you with isn’t going to go away and it’s not just some phase. You have a disease…kind of like how diabetes is a disease. It’s just that yours is a disease of the mind, and it’s often highly unpredictable.

You have Bipolar Disorder II. I guess that explains a lot. Hmmmm.

You’ll have to deal with this for the rest of your life, and I need you not to panic. You have a lot of work to do. You’re about to attempt to win a battle inside your brain every single day for the rest of your life. Sometimes, all you’ll be able to do is sleep and sometimes you won’t sleep for days. You’ll see doctor after doctor and try what will seem like 1,000 medications, but in between all of that, there will be good times. Your life is not over…it’s just beginning.

There are millions of people diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. It seems like nearly every day a celebrity comes forward to admit that they have struggled with it, just to let us know we can still achieve greatness. You can and will get through this with grace and dignity, even if you stumble a bit at first trying to find your path.

The worst part about being diagnosed with a mental health condition is the ignorance and stigma you’ll face daily. There will be people who will walk out of your life or treat you like trash because you have a disease of the mind. A disease you didn’t ask for or contract doing something unsafe or illegal. It’s just how your brain is wired. But some people may never understand that or even believe it, no matter how hard you try to explain it.

Don’t let their ignorance tear you down. You have enough work to do just fighting the negative voices in your head. You will struggle, there is no question about that. Unfortunately, at times the pain will seem unbearable, and it will get to you no matter how steady you think you are. That is when it is the easiest to give up, but you can’t do that. Not now. Not ever.

Please, whatever you do, don’t hurt yourself in any way. You may feel alone at times, but you are never truly alone in this fight. There is always a light around the corner. There is always tomorrow.

Despite your struggles, there will be moments where you shine. And in time, when you’re more self-aware, your bad days will only amplify the good. You’ll learn to appreciate those moments even more because you fought to get there. I promise you: You can do this.

You won’t have all the answers all the time, but in time, you will learn what works for you and what doesn’t. It will be a struggle, but if you weren’t a fighter, you wouldn’t be here now. I’ll be here waiting.

Sincerely,

Charles 🙏🏽❤️🙏🏽

#BipolarDisorder #Mentalillness

One Love

I struggle with Mental Health issues every day….every….single…day.

I will never understand how people are so uncomfortable addressing mental health issues but are comfortable sending get well wishes to someone with a broken bone or going through surgery. 🤦‍♂️

No, it’s not a phase.

No, it’s not an on/off switch I can flip in my head.

No, it’s not a passing feeling.

No I’m not doing it for attention.

No, it’s not laziness.

No, It’s not sadness.

No it’s not “something you get over”.

It’s a lifelong condition, and I’m at peace with that.

Yes, I’ve had therapy. Group and individual.

Yes, I’ve done exercise and ate healthy.

Yes, I do joke around and make others laugh and smile.

Yes, I’ve worn a mask, due to the stigma of mental health, and honestly…its a shame that I had to hide it.

Always be kind to the people around you. Not all traumas are visible. Just because you cant see their wounds doesnt give you a right to judge or belittle anyone. Love is a universal language, spread it as much as you can. So if you see someone’s having a rough day, share a smile, lend them your ear and encourage them to keep going.

“The worst part of having a mental illness is people expect you to behave as if you don’t”. — Joker

Never Give Up

Hello,

I suffer from Mental Illness:

I stand in the shower head against the tile wondering is my life worth living. The water turns from hot to ice cold down the drain spinning. Why Me? Why Me? Why Me? I want to be “normal”. I want thoughts of better days but that’s impossible when my mind is a dead end maze. I’m good one minute, psycho the next. Ohh Hello BIPOLAR you came out to play. Is this just a brief stop or you deciding to stay. Come along the ride with DEPRESSION and pick up ANXIETY while you are at it. A MANIC trio on a road of disaster. Charles take these HAPPY pills it will swallow the pain and agony but in reality I’m swallowed whole grasping for air. I see a little light…HOPE.

I am not ashamed to say it. It’s the Stigma that shames us all. Just thankful to shed some light upon my darkest hours. We scroll up and down Facebook overlooking the underlying issues of one in danger or seeking help.

There’s only One that Sees and Hears the Pain We Hide From Others. A tear is made of 1% water and 99% feelings. Sometimes sad memories sneak out my eyes and roll down my cheeks. I hide behind my smile and laughter that it breaks my heart and I’m falling apart. Behind my brown eyes are so many hidden tears and behind my body is a soul trying to fight.

~~ The Struggle is Real but The Fight is Stronger ~~

– Charles Louis King

Charles King’s Mural

Feel free to check out my mural above at Boston Logan International Airport until December 2020. Departures….Walkway tunnel between Gates B and C. Left of B38 Spirit Airlines.

___________

I’m Bipolar

I can feel my mood dropping

It’s out of my control

I need to grab a handle either of a bottle

Or of my soul

I thought I left my past in the past essentially

Brain races so much I can’t erase memories

Laying in bed for days they won’t go away

If I stay there all day I know I’ll be okay

I’m trapped in these 4×4 walls

Voices in my head saying don’t pick up calls

Everything will be alright

Because no matter what

I’m a menace to my own insanity

Close eyes lock the doors throw away the key

I stand alone fighting this stigma’s exposure

Am I the only one who is Bipolar?

(Now read bottom up)

#MentalHealth #DeconstructingStigma #bipolar #depression #anxiety #YouAreNotAlone