When I was young, I never would have imagined what turbulent times would lay ahead, and the direction my life would take. For all I knew, I was an average kid. Concerned with what life brought one day at a time not really considering anything too far off other than the next party or swim meet. Little did I know that the road that was before me would be a rocky, twisted, strange trip invariably leading to depression, suicidal tendencies, heights of creativity and bliss and at times a tempered madness?
As I began to reach adulthood and struggled with what is expected of a man I had a very difficult time finding my way. My mind and temperament was quixotic and volatile. I had no attention span. My mind raced from one brilliant idea to the next. Looking back at those times, I now realize that I did not believe I would live past twenty-one years of age, so I did not want to invest too much time. I wanted to leave my mark and go out on top.
I never invested a lot of time in anything but my suffering. I spent plenty of energy and passion then I would fail and then crash and burn and then on to the next big thing. I was a gifted swimmer and musician, but my strengths and my talents were not encouraged, acknowledged or utilized. I know now that my father had a feeling that something was not right with his second son and placating him with temporary tactics would be easy and cheaper than a long time strategy.
I joke that I was raised by wolves. I was not of course, but I pretty much came and went as I pleased and did what I wanted unbeknownst to my parents. I started drinking and smoking pot when I was eleven. I was not a bad kid per se, but I was alone and vulnerable and very impressionable. Nevertheless, I managed. I got by and was in my own little world.
In essence, I never grew up. Later I would be diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and Depression and told that I had a one in five chance of survival due to a high percentage of people with the same diagnose committing suicide. The first Psychiatrist that diagnosed me said that it was treatable, and that could be managed as if I had diabetes. He stated that I would have it for life and that there was no cure.
He was wrong. It was explained to me that it was a chemical imbalance in my brain. Well, I understood the nature of inequality and thought if something can become imbalanced that it could also be rebalanced.
My journey involves healing and a quest for wholeness and wellbeing. It was not easy, but I am here to tell you that it is possible. This is why I have nicknamed myself the –
AGENT OF CHANGE.
Jeff S Turnbull