I Need Your Help

November 25, 2012

Dear Reader:

After posting my last piece about Jesse Jackson, Jr. I had a really bad case of Bloggers regret.  Not for what I said, not for how I said it.  I regretted posting it here, on this blog because I don’t think Blog Readers visiting my blog expect to see a political opinion piece, much less one with vitriolic language condemning our former congressional representative’s relinquishing of his seat.

So I’m asking your help.  Would you please look at the poll and answer its question?  Your anonymous answer will assist me a great deal and provide you with post-content you expect to see on Becoming not Became.

Thank you in advance.


T.M. Mulligan



(Ex-Representative) Jesse Jackson, Jr.: Denouement

Hoodwinked?  A definite possibility.  Bamboozled?  Most likely.  Hornswoggled?  Should be considered.

Whatever you want to call it, Mr. Jackson Jr. disappeared six months ago; five months ago Mrs. Jackson Jr. read a prepared statement which delicately described Mr. Jackson Jr.’s sudden absence without divulging the root cause.  Mrs. Jackson’s calculated disclosure purposefully neglected any explanation of Mr. Jackson’s bizarre journey from Washington, D.C. to an addiction retreat in Arizona and finally his willful confinement at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.  Someone with considerable influence strongly urged Mr. Jackson to depart Washington, D.C. without a peep and bee-line himself to the addiction retreat in Arizona.  Certain accounts told of Mr. Jackson reaching out to Reverend Jackson who, it was said, immediately went to aid his son.  Upon arrival Rev. Jackson described Mr. Jackson’s condition as serious: weight-loss, insomnia, restlessness, hopelessness, fatigue, and a general feeling of depression.

When I presented very similar symptoms at the pinnacle of my ascension to mania, I was strongly advised to immediately be evaluated by a psychiatrist in order to determine if I was clinically depressed.  Were my self-medicating behaviors indicative of a substance addiction?  Certainly, especially if that’s what you’re looking for.  But a member of Congress with the best health insurance in the country?  Did he seek an evaluation from a psychiatrist in Washington? Is it likely that a psychiatrist prescribed an addiction treatment facility in Arizona while ignoring Walter Reed Army Medical Center or the Psychiatric Institute of Washington?  Doubtful.  Are we to believe that no one in Mr. Jackson’s inner circle was curious as to what other illnesses might Mr. Jackson be suffering when presenting his specific symptoms?

I must admit that a fair percent of public comments insinuate that timing for political gains has been, from the very start, the predominant focus.  His alcohol addiction (reason for in-patient treatment at an Arizona Rehab Center), bipolar diagnosis (reason for his transfer to the Mayo Clinic), and clandestine exodus from Washington (to protect his privacy while en route) is, to his discredit, a shrewd, calculated, and well-executed chain-of-events whose purpose, Mr. Jackson’s representatives said, was to seek the best treatment centers for his addiction and subsequent bipolar diagnosis.  One month passed before Mr. Jackson’s representatives confirmed he was at a HIPAA protected treatment facility.  Then he was transferred to the HIPAA protected Mayo Clinic.  Then he ran for re-election without a campaign: no appearances, no advertising, no lawn signs.  And he won 64% of the vote!  Finally, six months after his twilight departure from Washington, the requested and ultimately expected communiqué was delivered to House Speaker Mr. Boehner in a two-page letter of resignation citing health issues and a federal investigation.

And that’s it.

But. . .if he has an addiction and suffers from bipolar disorder, then his timing couldn’t be worse for his career and the reputation of his family.  But then again. . .if it was all a ruse to buy time and strategize his reaction to the upcoming federal indictments, then his actions were dishonest, cowardly, and ignorantly insensitive and offensive to those of us who struggle with mental illness on a daily basis.  But what if. . .he is an addict and bipolar and anticipating federal indictments?  It’s difficult, even for me who defended him on this very blog, to be sympathetic.  After all, he’s a crooked politician who stole tens of thousands of tax-payers money for personal gain, who then fled under the guise of addiction and mental illness to protected locations for six months, abandoning his job, his constituents, and those who voted for him, in order to clean his own house and strategize his legal response and perhaps a plea bargain.  Oh, and he’s an addict and suffers from bipolar disorder.

Well Mr. Jackson, I suffer from bipolar disorder and face that fact every single day head on. . .I don’t hide behind it. . .and I certainly don’t break the law and then use my mental illness to garner sympathy.

Truth is Mr. Jackson, you’re a coward, a liar, and a thief.  The Illinois politician’s trifecta!

On Compassion

Compassion is not yours to keep but to give away again and again and again.
If you keep compassion to yourself like a precious object, your compassion will rot, turn bitter, inducing guilt followed by resentment expressed by anger.
Everyone should pray that they die with pockets empty of compassion for then they’ll know eternity:
for compassion is but a seed you sow, and the greatest part of yourself now lives with many others.


Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow. . .

“Seize the day, and put the least possible trust in tomorrow.”  – Horace

When the cease-fire had been successfully negotiated between my bombarded sanity and the merciless encroachment by mania across my poorly fortified borders, I had some time to exit the bunker of my psychiatrists office and assess the destruction caused by my determination to stave off lunacy.  The bipolar assault started with quiet discussions between my moral compass and my livelihood; I deplored my employment and the sanctions forced upon me; I despised their leadership; I spoke out against unfair wage practices.  But surrender wasn’t discussed as I was shouldering the burden of lifestyle and there was a tremendous expectation to avoid austerity measures at all costs.

“No one can confidently say that he will be living tomorrow.”  – Euripides

But as negotiations between sanity and lunacy stalled, my need for stability extinguished every extraneous characteristic strategically in order to sustain a devoted and appeased veneer.  My daily performances of a stable and sanguine employee collapsed the moment I closed my office door.  Obviously, I used to say to myself, you built your house on stilts on a steep slope overlooking a rain forest.  It’s already started to happen, the slipping, the subtle shifting of supports witnessed by numerous cracks, and one day the view will swallow your self-inflated invincibility.  I knew it was on the march, my insight gained by a nightly ritual of alcohol, opiates, and barbiturates; stilts if you will; I tried to shore them up by ingesting higher dosages knowing that an overdose was more likely than a possibility.  But then, at least, the conflict would end, not by a victor, but by a dual annihilation.

“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”  – Abraham Lincoln

It took less than a month before all negotiations broke down; compromise was impossible; mania demanded that sanity unconditionally surrender immediately.  If sanity stonewalled mania would easily breach the helpless border of sanity and annihilate any vestige of reality.  Mania would speedily dispatch all disenfranchised defiance and finally overthrow sanity’s ruling party.  The occupation by an uncontrolled mania took its toll; defy authority; recent stronghold of relationships humiliated then abandoned in an irreconcilable ruin; mania marched through memory, abducting the defenseless past and drained its meaning as a form of promiscuous entertainment.  Mania’s presence transfigured my identity into a mutation; my anatomy remained intact; it was my mental state which sustained permanent damage.

“The crisis of yesterday is the joke of tomorrow.”  – H.G. Wells

Eventually mania’s corruption, lawlessness, and influential overlords devolved into civil war, fracturing mania’s resistance to the significant bombardment of sanity’s allies.  Continued sorties by way of medications, therapy, and education combined with mania’s faltering infrastructure caused their retreat.  Sanity returned and started the intense clean-up, but some things were destroyed beyond repair; some relationships were so disfigured that it was impossible to identify the missing parties; the financial sector had been sacked, sucked bone dry, leaving sanity buried under a mountain of unsecured debt which was nearly impossible to pay.  But the most significant consequence of mania’s occupation was the destruction of sanity’s history; it’s legends, it’s memories, it’s priceless, irreplaceable moments of time’s memory known as the past.  And tomorrow simply vanished along with hope, their whereabouts unknown, disassociated fragments remain, but I’ve decided that tomorrow and hope were victims of mania’s collateral damage.

“What is not started today is never finished tomorrow.”  – Goethe

It’s been four years since the siege.  I’m hardly the vibrant, entertaining, and social personality I was before the conflict.  I’m anxious at the slightest hint of crowds; I can’t tolerate aggression or hurtful behaviors (from people, dogs, television) and must remove myself immediately; my pharmaceutical therapy is a misnomer and leaves me as focused as a puppy on his first day of obedience training.  And I’ve had to forget that today will become yesterday because for me there is no yesterday; in an abstract sense, yes, I understand that there is yesterday but it and most of what it contained is lost to me.  So I practice forgetting that yesterday holds any value.  And tomorrow?  For me there is no tomorrow.  Again in an abstract sense, yes, I understand, but now I’m driven to finish everything today because I can’t think about tomorrow.

Living in the present is a spiritual lesson and if practiced can lead to enlightenment.  But that only applies to those fortunate enough to enjoy the freedom of choice.

My living in the present is just one more day absent of the bookends of time. Every day is always today.

“Tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it.”  – Lucy Maud Montgomery


Waking Is A Cruel Reminder

Daybreak brings a lethargic admission of perjury; or one of those dawdling, cursory, and out of earshot suspicions of yesterday: yet today’s yesterday sidesteps its propriety of disappearance; it haunts my waking like the abstract restlessness of a paradoxical child contesting its own afternoon drowsiness; both the scrappy child and the cantankerous yesterday will eventually accede to time’s quiet erosion of callow resistance and release their hold on the buoy of existence and sink heavily into their rightful place like a puzzle piece.

It’s called “Daybreak” for a reason. In my case it should be called “Every-Day-Breaks.”