THE WHOLE CENTER

 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 a normal 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 were 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 invested 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 said 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 imbalance 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.

JEFF S TURNBULL