Thanks all for your responses. I’ll aggregate my reactions in one post.
@Itsastruggle, I can’t say I have the same fluidity of conversation and collaboration as your husband. I wish I did because I enjoy it when it happens. I have an odd mix of both nonlinear and linear thinking. It’s as if both ‘sides’ of my brain work in parallel. The nonlinear part brainstorming and creatively combining things, while the linear part stitches things together in sequence and governs the overall plan. I’m not sure exactly how I started working this way. It may have something to do with training myself to be ambidextrous in my teens. It takes a while for people to trust my process when they work with me, because I appear outwardly disorganized, but internally I’m keeping track of all the pieces on the board. I’m guessing this sort of wiring also contributed to my insight into and management of my disease.
@hope, per “Jeb showers”. I recall being in a mental hospital and for some reason the staff put out a basket of individually wrapped brightly colored marshmallow cream eggs. These were the sort I remember rarely eating as a kid, just a slight notch above those horrible orange “circus peanut” candies you’d get at Halloween that I could never finish eating and mainly just notched with a fingernail or threw at other kids or into the trash. The kind of candy that tasted stale fresh off the assembly line. Anyway patients started filing up and getting in line and it seemed such a spectacle that I remarked to the staff, “it doesn’t take much, I guess.” It was an odd scene where I felt out of place for not getting excited about something I normally would consider quite mundane and approaching revolting.
@Vallpen that’s great! I’m afraid I developed a self-stigmatizing fear or delusion that parents might advise their children to avoid contact with me due to my illness. It didn’t help when I answered my parent’s door on Halloween and saw a kid in an escaped mental patient costume. This was my first relatively florid unmedicated year when I was seeing a Jungian Analyst, so I was a bit hypersensitive to how my illness presented and was perceived. My brother with bipolar disorder by this time had enough public incidents that I imagined our home may have reached “The Radley House” reputation. Because of this, I tended to limit my contact with kids to my nieces and nephews and took the path of speaking to them as peers. A bit like the ‘surfer dude’ sea turtle, Crush, in Finding Nemo who addressed children as little dudes. I learned recently that my sisters kids, who are young adults now, consider me their ‘cool uncle’. Although in response I told my sister, “I guess the bar isn’t very high…”. I’m just generally confused by children and don’t quite know how to act around them, even though my sister says the Uncle role is the easiest gig possible— you just have to show up, and try not to be a jerk.
It may surprise people that writing is often a challenge for me, considering my posts here. I tend to suffer from writer’s block. Many pieces I start to write go unfinished as new ideas come up, and I’m off to the next. It was a big problem for me in my prodrome. I had trouble finishing papers in high school and college. In college I would end up repeatedly dropping a required writing class. I felt my recovery was complete when I was able to return to college and finally finish that darn class so I could graduate. I even got an ‘A’. Some of this I credit to posting in online forums and writing e-mails. For some reason I’m better equipped to finish my thoughts in these media.