Monday, November 3, 2014

I'm sorry. Part I

Crazy pill count:
AM 300 Lamictal, 90 Cymbalta, 1 Klonopin
PM 300 Lamictal, 25 Seroquel, 1 Klonopin

I thought we could take a trip back to The You Are Awesome Topic Request Survey.
It's been too long and I did promise to honor your requests.

If you've never taken the survey Click Me!

It's anonymous, there are only two questions…

You don't need a #2 pencil

A pair of #2 pencil socks

A pair of #2 pencil shoes

or a magic wand.

You don't even have to answer both questions if you don't want to.
Wow! What fun! Click that link.

Question/Concern: Making amends after it stops.

Oh, boy, this is a good one. I'm going to assume "after it stops" means after an episode of any variety. The aftermath. I will do my best to answer this question but this sort of thing can be really messy. I will also break this into three posts so it won't take you five hours to read.

This question is such a tough one because it can have so many variables:

{1} Who did you upset/hurt? 
{2} What the hell did you do while:
       {a} manic
       {b} mixed
       {c} depressed
       {d} bat shit crazy
{3} How to make amends

I am certainly no expert in making amends but I will take a shot.

I'm also not an expert at making toast. 
My toast normally looks like either the first or the last. 

This question/concern is actually so spot on as I, myself, am going through a "making amends phase." Deciding to do the survey today and seeing that question put a lump in my throat.

Sometimes life is funny like that.
Things appear at just the right time.

{1} Who did I upset/hurt?

When I lived in L.A. I had a boyfriend I was crazy about.
The only problem is that I also was crazy.


I had not been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, yet, and so I was not medicated properly. Not being medicated just how you should be = bat shit crazy.

 (Hey, take your crazy pills! Don't be bat shit crazy!)

Not only was I only taking antidepressants, I had no idea what was wrong with me. I just knew something was very wrong. Taking only antidepressants = great variations in your mood as well as manias and mixed episodes. It is very important, when bipolar, to be on a moodstablizer. Although some bipolar kids, like me, also require an antidepressant, you must take a moodstablizer at the same time or we will be zooming to the moon.

Not only was I crazy about this boy, he was against pills. With his lack of support I was also not always on pills. Letting someone sway me into not taking pills is possibly the stupidest thing I have ever done.


But I didn't know any better.

I didn't know how important crazy pills were.
I didn't know I had bipolar disorder - nor did Dr. L.A.

I started "dating" another boy who I was even crazier about.
He was my best friend and literally saved my life.
Twice.


Many times, late at night, I would go to his house, tucked in the Hollywood Hills, just to be held. And in the morning the two of us and his dog would be tangled in the sheets looking like a women's perfume ad.

And, as a bonus, he just happened to be a model.
I didn't even have to press the bonus button!

Let me paint a mental picture for you:

Imagine the most gorgeous boy you have ever seen…
add eyes so blue they put the ocean to shame…
add a body perfectly sculpted like a Roman statue…
and then times it by a million…
That's what he looked like.

(Don't worry, hubs, you're still the most handsome man in the world to me.)

I am saying "dating" because he was never really my "boyfriend" but rather my "lover."
Yes, I took a lover. I know it's so Hollywood. I should be in US Weekly.

I was also making out with a boy from my group therapy every Tuesday, at 7:00pm, in the parking garage. It would be wrong to revile his name so I will just leave it at that, now, he is famous. I know, I know which issue of US Weekly am I in?

Let's see:
I didn't have a Royal Baby…
I'm wasn't in hiding…
I wasn't torn between only two guys…
And I didn't have a secret wedding…
Okay, fine, I was never in any issue.

But, woah, hold on there tiger…I was dating two boys and making out with another all at the same time?! Yeah, unmedicated manic me can be a slut like that. Click here for my slut post.
I'm telling you, this is more proof how important crazy pills are. And not just crazy pills but the right crazy pills.

I thought, as my manic self, that if I were to accidentally get pregnant by my "boyfriend" or my "lover" I wouldn't know who the father was and I would have to wait to see who the baby looked like. That or go on Jerry Springer. And being manic and having no sense of consequences I could have cared less.
This is another glorious and potentially lethal symptom of bipolar disorder. Consequences? What? I've never heard that word before.

As wonderful as my "lover" was and how much he absolutely adored me, he, also, was against pills.

He said everyone else should take pills to be more like me.
Yes, he was quite charming.

He said I had the most pristine and creative mind he had ever known and hated everyone who thought there was something wrong with it or didn't dare see the glory of me. He bet me ten dollars was a genius. Knowing very well I wasn't I took an IQ test. Ends up I wasn't a genius, but he still treated me like one.

He also never paid up that ten bucks.

No, silly, not these kind of bucks. 
I mean where would I keep them?
I lived in Beverly Hills not a forrest. 

He especially hated Dr. L.A. for thinking there was something wrong with me, for prescribing me little pink pills, and he couldn't stand that I took them.

Not having support from the most important people in my life, and not understanding my little pink crazy pills, and not knowing I was bipolar was such a disaster.

It is so important that we:
#1 understand our illness
#2 understand how important crazy pills are
#3 take those pills
#4 have support from those around us who we care about and who care about us back
.
I know it's not always easy to surround yourself with supportive people. You're surrounded by who you're surrounded by. If you don't have support from those people it's super important to find some new supportive people to surround yourself with. A support group is a great option.

But what about when, like me, it's your "lover" who is supportive in so many other ways? For this I have no good answer. Educating them is probably the best bet. But not necessarily a sure bet. But that is an entirely different post!

So anyway…last week I decided it was time to make amends.
I have no idea why.
I just felt I must.



{2} What the hell did I do?
To be continued…


Until next time…




Saturday, October 18, 2014

Why? Because.

Crazy pill count:
AM 300 Lamictal, 90 Cymbalta, 1 Klonopin
afternoon 1 Klonopin
AM 300 Lamictal, 25 Seroquell, 1 Klonopin


Remember my bipolar buddy I wrote about the other day?
my "stnds"

I thought I would share with you a little game we used to play.

The game is called, "Helpline," and is just what it sounds like. Whoever is feeling depressed talks to the other who pretends to be someone working at a Helpline. Funny? Yes. Strange? You bet. But it's actually surprisingly effective. It usually works.

Looks like this works too.

We have both called Helplines enough to know what they are going to say. And besides, we know how to make each other laugh - very important - not just for life in general, but for the effectiveness of the game, "Helpline."

{Disclaimer}
Do not attempt to play "Helpline" at home. 
We are professionals who have trained for over a decade.


We are superstars at this game. 
We are even super at being superstars.
How do you like for fancy?

We play however long is necessary until the other feels better or has a more positive perspective. However, once "Helpline" got out of hand. It got dangerous. And by dangerous I mean I called an ambulance. And by the way, although very difficult, it is possible to get an ambulance in a different state.

When you call an ambulance for a friend you have to be prepared for two possible scenarios:
{1} "Thank you for caring so much. You saved me. Thank you. Thank you."
{2} "How dare you! I was fine. You're an absolute asshole. You are dead to me."


To clarify a bit:
{1}
Visit this artist here.


{2}

Unfortunately this incident fell under #2

But that is the risk we have to take. We have to. If we ever think someone is in great danger it is our duty, as their friend, to help them stay safe. We can't worry they will be mad at us. Because, frankly, #2 is more likely than #1.

Perhaps this was a situation for a "real" Helpline and not our game "Helpline." But without our game I never would have know how much danger he was in, or in that moment, how much and how deeply he was suffering.

Sometimes we have to call that ambulance. We can't worry about our friend being angry with us. The only thing we can worry about is that our friend stays on the phone, and stays safe, until the professionals arrive.

Lucy isn't a professional.
But it doesn't look like she's getting off the phone anytime soon.

Sometimes our job is not to play "Helpline."
Sometimes our job is to just stay on the phone and call 911. 

If you feel like you need a Helpline...
Here is the helpline number:

If you do need a helpline -  it's okay.
It's okay to call.
That's why they are there.
And if you are wondering if you need to call...that means you should.

Sometimes we need to call. 
Have to call.
And like a broken record I will say it again: It's okay to call.
I wouldn't lie to you.

If available, the best pone call is to your doctor. If you doctor is unavailable, don't play the game "Helpline." Call the real deal. Call that Helpline.

Dr. Crazy and I have definitely had our fair share of post midnight "Helpline" calls.
And guess what? That's what doctors are there for. I know it can be hard to reach out to your doctor. But it's their job. And they signed up for it because they wanted to. So don't be afraid to call. And if you are afraid to call, call anyway.

If your doctor is unavailable, call a friend. Call a Helpline (the real deal).
Call an ambulance.
Just get that phone the hell to your ear and don't hang up.

This breaks my heart.

You are not insignificant.
Your place in this world is not small.

It can feel that way. I certainly know, deep in my heart, what it feels like to feel so small the world wouldn't miss me. So then why bother living in such insurmountable amounts of deep pain and despair?

Why? Because there is a moment when those feelings will vanish. When it feels like there is no possible way it will ever get any better it will. If you are feeling this way you might be rolling your eyes at me. Go ahead, roll your eyes. Punch a pillow. Scream the f-word into a pillow (I do that a lot).


And, no, you don't have to be a cartoon character to scream into a pillow.


Decide to never read this blog again because I am full of bullshit.
But there is something you should know. I may be full of all kinds of shit...but not about this.

Remember how I promised to never lie to you?
Remember when I promised you a not so gentle look into a bipolar mind?

Well, bipolar minds can be really morbid and disgusting. And if yours is, it's okay - but you need to do something about it. Please do. Call your doctor, call that friend, call that helpline. It is not shameful. It is necessary.

And the funny thing is that it ends up I am significant.
At least I am to my cats.

I mean, if I weren't here what would they eat? Each other's tails?

This means you are significant too.
I swear it.
I promise it.

The world would be dim without you.
You light is bright to be lost or forgotten.
And that? That is not small or insignificant.
It is the real deal.

You're the real deal.

This headless guy is the real deal.

I hope you know by now I will never lie to you nor sugarcoat anything. Ever. 
And so I tell you, ever so sincerely, you matter.

Did you hear that?
I'll say it again...you matter.
You matter. You matter. You matter.


Just in case you prefer cursive. 

At least you matter to me. And since we already established I matter to my cats, it means I matter. And if somebody who matters believes you matter then it has to be true. There must be some kind of math equation or theory or something about this but I failed Algebra and Geometry and whole other bunch of math classes too.

Do you know why? Because. That's why.

No, not because of science!

But...

Don't be afraid or ashamed to call for help when you need it. It may be a bit scary, but it's not shameful. My buddy even scored a date once on a Helpline. Although I am fairly certain that is against Helpline Rules and she turned out to be really weird. So let me readjust my prior statement. Call if need be, but don't set up any dates.

Stay safe sweet, friends.
And keep those dear friends safe, too.

Until next time...







Thursday, October 9, 2014

Enough?

Crazy pill count:
AM 300 Lamictal, 1 Klonopin, 90 Cymbalta
afternoon 1 Klonopin
PM 300 Lamictal, 1 Koonopin, 25 Seroquel

As a writer I get a lot of rejection letters. A person reads what I write and stamps it:
"good enough" or "not good enough."


I just got another rejection letter the other day. 
I'm used to them so they don't sting anymore. 
They merely echo disappointment.

But sweet friends, l'm not going focus on the below:


Instead I'm thinking of going here:

When I made this piece of artwork I gifted to Dr. Crazy, {CLICK ME! CLICK ME! CLICK ME!}

I told you I would share it with you once it was rejected ten times.
It has been rejected five times which I feel is good enough.

It's kinda long.
You might want to sew your eyes open. I'm sure it's safe.

And so without further ado, I present to you the rejected five times:

Fallout Shelter 

I cried deep thundering tears. The kind made of salt rock and fire that burned my cheeks as they spilled onto my pillow. The bedroom had become my bipolar fallout shelter. Although even there I was not safe from the toxic residue of my diseased brain. My head was chock-full of the buzzing of a rattled beehive. I cried so fiercely, for so long, my nose began to bleed. When they tell you you have bipolar disorder, they don’t mention these moments. They may toss around a pair of words like “desperate anguish,” but they don’t include a warning of what that really means.


Sure, they talk about suicide, of course. But what they don’t tell you is when it is only you and your bipolar fallout shelter the notion becomes divinely romantic. The seduction of razor blades calls to you like a thirsty alcoholic’s first morning’s sip of scotch. The allure of death is far greater than any possible earthly experience. There is no hope. And only one will. It is to fade away. To grant a gesture to the great black hole and beg it to suck us from the inside out - thrusting our organs to tumble through infinite space. To a normal person this may sound grotesque. But not to us.

You see, the darkness isn’t just an absence of light. It is having our chest chewed by an army of furious termites feasting on our connective tissues. They are no longer interested in beams made of maple or oak. Instead interested only in the business of boring our guts with holes. Trust me when I say it is a relief to think of our organs finally freed from the constant chest chewing and aching that has claimed a permanent stake in our gut.

Imagining a space and time, where our usually weight barren lungs can breathe with ease, without the gravitational pull of a thousand sapphire moons, or where our hearts can ride the blazing footpaths of comets, instead of beating with an anxious Earthly cadence, behind a cage of muscle and bone, is to us: freedom. 

Death means emancipation from our never-ending pain. Nonexistence is the promise of permanent peace. No, when they tell you you have bipolar disorder, they do not prepare you for this: for the strength and inertia of our failing mind, for the hysterical slipping into a transparent madness, and this call to such a morbid death.

A moment later I gazed at my wrist and saw fresh blood in a streak of golden red. A smile slid across my face. I felt a hint of that peace. My tears abruptly stopped. The pull of the tide of darkness simply let go. A droplet of blood fell from my wrist to the floor and with it I felt a glimpse of that freedom. I saw that black hole and I waved my hands. “Over here! Over here!” I was dizzy from eagerness, or hope restored, or the assurance of an ending, or loss of blood – I didn’t know. 

But then I turned towards the mirror and my heart plunged a million sub-zero seas. My wrist was perfectly intact. I had forgotten. The blood had only come from my nose. When they tell you you have bipolar disorder, and have their talk about suicide and all, they don’t mention the insurmountable pain you will endure at the realization you are dying inside but still stuck very much alive.

What they do tell you is that pain is only temporary with brave sanity behind their own eyes. They will ask us, “What is your plan?” and “Have you made any preparations?” while they scribble on a notepad. Sometimes we tell them, other times, no. Occasionally, we are rendered speechless and the madness settled into the hollow of our eyes must speak for itself. “This too shall pass,” they say if they are the sentimental type.

All the while the darkness dims further. The tide tows us under and out beyond where our toes touch. Waves continue to pound atop our heads with the power of a hundred raging bulls who see nothing but the color red. It’s disorienting. What’s up? What’s down? Where is there a stable piece of ground to grip onto? And where is the site of shore to gain our bearings? “Hang on. Hope returns,” they tell us. But without knowing when, where, or how.

When they tell you you have bipolar disorder they will tell you there are pills to swallow. Then choreograph a promise made of symbols and numbers on a prescription pad. We ingest the rainbow fistfuls of capsules and tablets and wait for the tidy and sound mind they have sworn to us. 

And then? The toxic residue of our chemically faulty brains settles onto the surfaces and into the corners of our bipolar fallout shelter. The ruins of suicidal ideation surrounding us are swiftly swept into the closet and under the bed. We brush the dust from our shoulders. We wipe away the blood. It’s funny, but slowly the agony wanes and soon we’ve once again made peace. But this time not with our death. It's with sticking around.

..................................
{Start Lecture}
See how important it is to take those pills? 
Take your pills.
{End Lecture}

Until next time...


Monday, September 29, 2014

When BFF Isn't Enough

Crazy pill count:
AM 300 Lamictal, 90 Cymbalta, 1 Klnopin
afternoon 1 Klnopin
PM 300 Lamictal, 1 Klnopin, 25 Seroquel


Hi there, my sweet, little, fellow crazy ones.
It's so nice to see you! It's been quite a while.

This is not me. 
I don't own a suit.
But look how happy he is to see you.

I cried at the coffee shop the other day. It's not something I am ashamed of or proud of. But thoughts of him still do that to me. Besides, the coffee shop shouldn't play such sad songs.

Him...who is him...and coffee shop...which coffee shop...it all sounds so cryptic.

The coffee shop: City Dock Coffee.
And look at them with their "coffee to go" in 2012.
It must be Throw Back Thursday or something.


I prefer sitting in the futon in the window.
But then there is that risk of crying...

{cue sad music}


And this him is my dearest bipoar friend. Our relationship is very much like the relationship of siblings. We are going through a, "Lose My Phone Number," phase, since we fight like siblings. We do this every so often. But this time it is for a good reason.



Don't call her either.
She looks scary.

When he is sober, he is one of the best people I know.
The best. The kind of friend you are so happy to have you don't know what you would do without them...that is until you actually have found yourself without them.

{cue sad music}

If he wasn't such a bestie I wouldn't have given him a best friend's necklace.

Yeah, I gave him a best friend's necklace.
You know like an official best friend's necklace.

The necklaces chopped in half little girls wear. And, yes, of course this is totally normal for friends in their 30's. Okay, fine, so it's a little (or a lot) weird, but in all fairness, I've never claimed to be normal.

This is a picture of the actual necklaces.
My half is Be Frie

But he is rarely sober these days. And when he's not sober he is hurtful. Mean. An out right asshole. And when I say asshole...I mean break me to tears without sad coffee shop music.

And so I have found myself at the point of self preservation.
If he texts, I don't text back.
If he calls, I don't answer.

But I always fear the worst.
After all, he has attempted suicide four times. And that is scary shit when you love someone so much.

My dear friend...I never know if I am a "drunk dial" or a "drunk text" or if he is really in trouble and needs his "be frei". If he still thinks of me as his best friend - you know, just in case he is still wearing that necklace happy little girls wear.

This isn't the elusive him
but I think I would quite enjoy his drunk texts.

The phone calls, the texts...it's hard to not answer or reply. Double damn it's hard. But I told him not to contact me until he has signed up for rehab or reached out for help in some kind of way. I have promised to drive him to rehab. To sit with him at AA.  I promised I would be there for anything. Anything at all. Like drop whatever I may be doing any moment of his road to sobriety.

And I meant it. 
I still do. 

But until he makes that decision I must vanish with my little, broken, "be frie" heart necklace.

{cue sad music}

On one particularly low, lost, and very scary morning we both made up some rules and agreed to them.

{1} he will live on my third floor

This isn't him but he is going to the third floor
And, oh yeah, I don't have an elevator.

{2} he will go to AA every morning...skip once he's kicked out

This isn't my foot. I don't make it a habit of wearing men't shoes.
But this guy is going to the curb!



{3} absolutely no alcohol...one sip and he's kicked out


But by nightfall, and another few bottles of champagne later, it was all called off.
My heart broke in half that night. Just like those necklaces

{cue sad music}

Until he expresses an interest in getting his disease under control...I will vanish.

{cue sad music}

Holy cow, there is so much sad music on. Can someone please change the mix tape?
That's what us old, (I mean vintage) kids had. I know, it's cray cray to think about. 
("cray cray" isn't that what the kids are saying these days?)

Is is fair to cut him off? I don't know.
This isn't an AA blog.

I know it is important for me to stand my ground. (so the AA people say)
But it's hard. Really double damn hard.

It's hard to ignore someone you fear is so close to death.
But sometimes we have to.

We have to tell someone when they decide to seek help we will support them in every possible way.

But until then, lose our phone number.

How is this h-e-double-hockey-stick related to bipolar disorder? 

Are you thinking, "For the love of Apollo, if you do not get to the bipolar point I will scream!" Well, geeze, I didn't know you are such a drama queen!

Well, my buddy, as I call him, my bipolar buddy, refuses to take any medication.
(By the way, are you taking your crazy pillls? Take. Your. Pills.)
Instead of taking crazy pills he self medicates with booze.

Unfortunately this not an unusual occurrence for us bipolar kids.
It's so common it has a name: Duel Diagnosis. 

I wish every day he would take his pills.
I wish every day he wouldn't drink.

But guess what?
It's not up to me.

{cue sad music}

Instead of taking those damn and necessary crazy pills I'm always telling you to take, he drinks champagne, or anything within hands reach, or what can be bought at the corner shop.

I do have to say I find it comical, 
as an alcoholic, 
his first drink of choice is champagne.
But to each alcoholic his own, I suppose.


So...um...bipolar disorder remember...this is a bipolar blog...

If you love someone in your life who self medicates bipolar disorder with alcohol, do everything you can to help them get help.

And once you have done everything you can...
the most painful and most necessary step is to cut them off. (so the AA people say)

It hurts. It sucks. But...well...it's possible it may encourage them to seek help.
Sometimes alcoholics have to lose everything before they have the courage to get sober. (so the AA people say)

Because getting sober takes a hell of a lot of courage.

I lost my sister...my mom...my job, by best friend necklace...etc...

After all, that is what we want, isn't it?
For our dear loved one to be sober.
or
To be sober ourselves?

Ahh...finally the point!

If you self medicate with boozy booze mention it to your doctor. Even if you don't want to. Even if it's really hard to. And it probably will be. But our crazy doctors really need to know. It's not something to be ashamed of. It's just something we need help with. Just like being bipolar isn't shameful. It's just something we need help with.

It's really fucking important for you to get the right kind of help. So important I used the f-word when I said I wouldn't use that word anymore. It's that important you get sober.  As important as me yelling the f-word. Oh, yeah, you can't hear me. But I yelled when I said it.

If you are already acquainted with the destruction of self medicating with alcohol please seek the help you need to assist you so you can get well. Any and all help.

{cue Rocky theme song}

A lot of people really love you. Including me. 
And it's important to us that you stick around.
You are that important.

{cue music from any romantic comedy}

Your existence,
your health,
your life is that important to this whole, great, wide world.

(There are a lot of people in the whole, great, wide world, by the away. Just a little FYI)


Take care of yourself.
You deserve everything.

And, well, everything just isn't possible as an alcoholic. 
Especially a bipolar alcoholic.

Besides being sober is totally sexy.
If it wasn't why would someone have bothered to make this pin?

If you want to get sexier and sober I will make this pin for you.
Even though I don't know how to make a pin and it seems like it would be really hard.
I will make it for you. For reals.

("for reals" Isn't that what the kids are saying these days?)

See your doctor, be honest with your doctor, get all the help and support you need, and
be a sober bipolar kid.

For the love of Cupid, being bipolar is tough enough without the added complication of alcoholism.

And I can't forget to mention several bipolar medications should not be combined with alcohol. 
That is one way people accidentally die. Mixing alcohol with crazy pills they shouldn't.


Don't be that person.
Pretty, pretty please with a cherry on top. 
Don't. Be. That. Person.

This world needs you too much.
Sober you.
Properly medicated you.

Offer help to the one you love.
Accept help for yourself.

this is the part where you say



Until next time...

P.S. I heard through the grapevine that a very dear man misses this blog. And so I dedicate this post to him. Thank you, dear man, for caring and reading.