Mental illness and military life.

Continuing on from Blog 1  Blog 2   Blog 3

My life in The Australian Navy as a submariner ended quickly. I served a little over a year and my boozing and erratic behaviour cause me no end of trouble and  I left confused and lost. I was extremely fit and managed all the courses well, however, my undiagnosed mood disorder ( Bipolar 1 – http://www.bipolaraustralia.org.au/  ) generate insomnia, anxiety, agitation and confusion. I was 20 years old and completely lost in terms of who I was and what I should do with my life. MInd you many people my age now ( 50 years old ) still are the same.

I left the Navy and returned to Melbourne Australia. I knew a girl before enlisted. I decided to catch up with her. I found a job painting and decorating within a week of landing in Melbourne. I decided to move in with the girl and later we had two children. I am not going to elaborate on the failed 20-year marriage. I will say this, “I was not a fantastic husband or father because I was very moody and often agitated.” Anyway, back to the spiritual story, we got involved in Pentecostalism in our late twenties. We had two small children and had lots of fun in these faith communities. However, there came a time when I was feeling it was just not for me and it was lacking depth or something.

I started to work with the poor within para Christian organisations. i.e food banks etc. I enjoyed this volunteering. I had had a couple failed painting business by now and spent and wasted thousands of dollars. I will not discuss the real estate opportunities or investment failing either.  I had several people working for me at the times and I am an excellent tradesperson, however, I was a terrible money manager at the time. I did try to get away from the painting and spent a couple years doing other things but I always returned to painting.

I hit forty and my back had been giving me grief for years; it finally got so bad I could not work on the tools. I was not working for the first time in my life and had time to look at myself. I realised something was wrong with me and I decided to get some professional help. This was a major shock to be told I had Bipolar and for many years even though I was on Lithium ( Common drug to treat mood disorders ) I was not convinced that it was a true diagnosis.

Finally, after the marriage failed and I was living on my own I decided to revisit Bipolar diagnosis after a push from my Doctor who told me I was manic. I had been off medication for at least 6 months and was struggling to say the least. Consequently, I found a private psychiatrist with the help of my local GP ( God bless her and her persistence with me)

This was life-changing in terms of right treatment and medication. I improved out of sight within a year. From forty years old I studied and complete Bachelors in theology plus other tertiary qualification, with Bipolar – go figure.

Finally, I live a healthy life and I have left a trail of carnage behind me at 50.

These days I do not attend or claim to be Christian or belong to any religion. However, I get great pleasure in meditation and doing my Masters in Applies Buddism. This is a succinct and brief glimpse into my life and my spiritual road. I am more than happy to have the private conversation in detail about things and stages. however, because of the people involved alive and dead, I cannot publically say too much.  This is me graduating and my proud mother. ( Poor Mum, I was a had full as a child due to my illness)

Mum

This me today –

I thoroughly enjoy writing and find it relaxing. I live in Ocean Grove, Victoria, Australia.

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