Sunday, December 8, 2013

When you can't do it it together

Crazy pill count:
AM 150 Lamictal, 50 Seroquel, 20 Adderall, 1 Klonopin, 60 Cymbalta
afternoon .5 Klonopin
PM 300 Lamictal, 550 Seroquel, 1 Klonopin

I had quite an amusing story I planned to share with you today. Like really amusing.
But instead I am going to do what I said I would never do.

I am asking for your support to help fund our film, The Great American Play: A Bipolar Film my writing partner and I are trying to get funded through a Kickstarter Campaign.

You know, us. 

We only have FOUR days left to reach our funding goal.
No Funding Goal = No Film
No Film = No opportunity to educate people about the reality of living with bipolar disorder.

I said I would never ask you for money. But this feels like an emergency. It is an emergency that people more deeply understand this beast of an illness.

Understanding means acceptance.
And acceptance means compassion.
And compassion means a better world.
For everyone.

I am going to share with you four voice clips that will appear in the film.
That is if it receives enough funding to turn from our idea and passion into a real film.

This is just a taste of what it may/could be:

feeling weak:

the inevitable manic crash:

a bipolar marriage is a hard one:

reaching for strength from my writing partner:

I don't want anybody who can't afford to make a contribution to this film to make a contribution.

And I know the holidays are here which come with extra expenses, but not making this film comes with some really big expenses too. 

The great expense of not fostering understanding and change.

This dramatic documentary has the power to help educate people about bipolar disorder which is often such a misunderstood and stigmatized illness. This film is a chance for me and my writing partner to do our part in changing that.

Despite all the expenses that go with life...
What if you could contribute $5?
And then maybe encourage a friend to contribute $5?
And then maybe they could encourage one of their friends to contribute $5.
And then...
I think you get the point.

I'm MANIC. I'm DEPRESSED. The rest?
2 weeks through the eyes of 2 best friends
battling the chemical elements 
to write something GREAT.

Well, what happens next? 
I guess we'll have to watch the documentary to find out! 

You can make a donation of any size with a minimum of $1.
To offer support for our film:

I finally came to the place of being able to ask for your support because what I am forever telling you.

We can't do and endure everything alone
We need support. 
And that means we need to ask for that support we need. 

Don't you dare ever think you are not worthy of support, our what you have to offer isn't important enough to ask for support. I suppose that, "don't you dare" includes me too. 

And so here I am...asking for your support. 

Until next time...

Monday, November 25, 2013


Crazy pill count:
AM 200 Lamictal, 30 Cymbalta, 20 Adderall, 1 Klonopin
afternoon .5 Klonopin
PM 300 Lamictal, 1 Klonopin

Sometimes we need to cry.
And it's okay.

Until next time...

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Pipe Dreams to Reality.

Crazy pill count:
AM 200 Lamictal, 30 Cymbalta, 20 Adderall
PM 300 Lamictal, 150 Seroquel

Today, I would love to share with you why I've found myself so busy and pulled away from what I love so much. Yeah, I'm talking about you and this blog.

This back story is reallllly long but esscential.
I hope you will power through.

Glue your eyes open or something. I'm sure it's safe.

I am beyond lucky to have the writing partner I have. That is if you believe in luck. Together we collaborate on a little something called Flash-drama. This genre consists of plays that last less then ten minutes. Ours usually last about three to five.

We call ourselves playwrights.

We met when we were only fourteen. 
On three-way-calling. On a Friday night. 

We were slightly older than them.

Do you remember when three-way-calling came out? 
Uh, like the most amazing thing ever.

I mean look what a great time they are having!

So anyway, back to my writing partner. Many days we hate each other. Hate like I want throw broken crayons at him and who knows what the hell he wants to do to me. But really it's only because we love each other so much. Life is funny like that, isn't it?

I hate him for being self destructive because he is beautifully brilliant.
He hates me because he thinks I am also on a path to destruction.

He doesn't believe in pills.
I do.

Even though he doesn't believe in the fistfuls of crazy pills I swallow in one gulp, he believes in me. Even though I don't believe in his extreme gulps of champagne, vodka, or anything else close enough to swallow, I believe in him.

He believes in me in the times he can't stand the sight of me, or the sound of my voice, and that is precisely when it means the most.

Sometimes, I can't stand him either. It's all part of the package.

I mean, seriously, I can be really loud in really inappropriate times and have no clue of the sheer volume of my voice. I am also the person who laughs the loudest in the movie theater and for at least three-seconds longer than anyone else. Not exactly my most charming quality.

But I do believe in him. When he is jerk. When he won't listen. When he wants everything his way and it takes twenty-minutes to come to a compromise. (Because I always want my way too.) I have loved him and our volatile relationship, deeply, since I was fourteen-years-old. And love, well that's pretty powerful. It often borders on incredibly unhealthy and we refuse to talk for days; but we can't seem to stay away for too long because we believe in each other and we believe, really believe, together we are capable of greatness. That's a good person to have on your side. We are collaberators. We are partners. We are for the better and for the very worst the dearest of friends.

So what's with this sentimental rant, anyway?

Like me, and maybe you, he is also bipolar. We have been there for each other through, well, all of it. Through the terror, the hysteria, the tears at 2am, the ultimate despair, and when suicide has felt like the only solution to a life too pained for a single more breath.

We have saved each other. More than once.
And that is worth more than any fight. And seriously, we fight a lot.

So this greatness...what is it anyway?

Since May 2012 we have been working on our Flash-drama plays.
A long series of plays we have planned to turn into a book.

Are you wondering why our project has gone unfinished for so long?
No, not really.

It's because we're bipolar and that shit always gets in the way.
He's up. He's down. I'm up. I'm down.
Someone always wants to take a nap.

It's actually kind of funny and ridiculous in a dark comedy kind of way if I take a step back and watch it like a move.

So, friends, (drumroll please...finally my point), that is precisely what we are going to do. We are making a film. A documentary of sorts of our year of struggles as collaborators who can't get our shit together, because, well, bipolar disorder sucks and has this damn annoying way of interfering with that greatness we are all capable of (including you, by the way). That is if we also quit taking those stupid naps.

Our film can essentially be summed up only a few words:
"Two playwrights. Both bipolar; one on booze, one a scrips. Each has the manic belief they will create the next Great American Play."

The slightly longer summery:
"The Great American Play tells the story of two playwrights (somePlaywrights) who believe they are destined for greatness if only they can complete ten final scenes in two weeks. Both suffer from bipolar disorder and has 'chosen' their way of battling their ailment. The female counterpart has chosen prescriptions, marriage and surbubia. The male, on the other hand, has chosen alcoholism, womanizing, and the Manhattan nightlife. As the film unfolds, they come to find each is still suffering just in different ways. In order to rise above this new realization, they determine to complete their current work and make it The Great American Play. Unwilling not to be great, but also unable to bear the consequences of another manic crash, the film presents somePlaywrights racing against time, creativity, and their own debilitating disorders."

Let's be honest here, both of us are far from what would be coined as "stable," but we have found a version of stability in our twenty-year friendship and our manic belief, that together, we might, just might, be capable of greatness after-all. And it is by creating The Great American Play...together.

The Great American Play is our story.


Oh, yeah, and this is us.

I believe our story is an important and powerful one to be told. Although I have seen many great movies that touch on or focus on bipolar disorder, I have yet to see a single one that has really gotten it right from start to finish. They get some things spot on, of course, but then they ruin it by completely unrealistic resolutions and things of the such.

I feel so passionate to tell the real story of bipolar disorder. The way it is. Each day. Everyday. Start to finish in a mere forty-minutes. Hey, it's our first film, give us a break, we need to start with a short film.

I believe in my core we, (somePlaywrights), are the team to tell and show this story.

There is, however, a little hiccup in the plan. That darn inconvenient fact I have still yet to discover a money tree or become an independent zillionaire. If we want to make a film of this magnitude, the right way, honoring the true story, we need a little something called moola.

This is not the part where I ask you for money.
That would go against everything I have ever believed or continue to believe about this blog.

We have started a Kickstarter Campaign. In case you are not familiar, the way it works is you describe your creative project in great detail. You make a short film clip expressing the essence of your project (for us a film) the best and most creative way you can in only a few minutes time. You set your funding goal - the absolute least amount of money in which you can complete your project.

Then you wait.
It's hard to wait.
You wait for 30 days.

Kickstarter gives you only 30 days time to reach your indicated funding goal. 56% of Kickstarter projects fail. If we don't meet our entire $17,500 goal by December 12, we get no funding. Backers enter their funding intention, now, and their credit cards are only charged on December 12th if our entire $17,500 funding goal is reached.

If not, nothing happens.
And I mean nothing.
No funding.
And no film.

I completely understand $17,500 is a ridiculous amount of money. My jaw drops every time I think of it. But after crunching the numbers that's how much we need.

I know it's a pipe dream, but most everything great started as a pipe dream, too.

So once again, I am not asking you for money for this project.
I won't turn down any finical support, of course, as each dollar gets us closer to making this film a reality - but that is not my intention.

My intention, and what I'm asking for is your support by visiting our Kickstarter page.

Read all the nitty-gritty details about our film.
Watch our short clip.
Oh, and make sure you click on "Updates" so you can listen to me cry.

And then pass our page along if the project inspires you to do so.
And I mean to everyone.

To anyone who might believe this story is important.
To anyone who has lived life on the edge of extremes. 
To any mental health professional you think will believe this story has merit.
To anyone who might want to contribute to our meaningful cause.
To anyone who will listen.

The link to our Kickstarter page:

Here is the link that may be easier to share with others:

Whew, you made it!
Thank you for indulging me and my dreams by reading this wayyyyy too long post.

The takeaway:
Don't be afraid of pipe dreams.
Reach for them.
Do your damnedest to capture them.
Don't be afraid to ask for help.
Do everything you can to tell your story.
Make the world listen.

Until next time...

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Magic. Magic. Crazy, Crazy Magic.

Crazy pill count:
AM 200 Lamictal, 30 Cymbalta, .5 Ativan, 10 Adderall
afternoon 10 Adderall
PM 300 Lamictal, .5 Ativan

I wanted to share my fourth blog conversation with that kick ass girl I mentioned, Laura Dennis, the author of the incredible book, Adopted Reality.

Chat #4
Vital Methods of Managing Bipolar:

On a side note, I came across this Magic Bus: 

I became quite curious:

#one: Where did come from?

And while we're asking...were did the phrase okay come from? 

#two: Where does it go?

{"Where Does it Go?" by Marie Cavicchio}

#three: How much does it cost?

Oh, how handy!
{by Angie Sindergard}

#four: What makes it magic?

{"Increasing Confusion" by Dan Scott}

#5magic: Why is it blue?

And while we are asking...why is the sky blue?
Why are Tiffany boxes blue?

Oh, this is why:

I bet there is something good in there:

#six: Is blue the color of magic?

Look it is!
Ooooh, pretty.

Are you wondering how the heck this relates to being crazy?
I have found myself in the bizarre and unusual position where almost all of my crazy pills are blue.  And taking crazy pills is, indeed, like boarding a magic bus.

You know, this bus:

{Where did it come from?}
A very dark place where thunderclouds hide the moon.
Or from way, way up high trailblazing next to meteors burning to dust at the tip of the Earth's atmosphere.

{Where does it go?}
A sometimes long, a sometimes too very brief, trip to sanity.

{How much does it cost?}
I'm not sure, exactly, but I can tell you what not taking that bus costs.
It can cost you your friends, your family, your marriage, your bank account, your job, your ability to participate in everything that is beautiful. Your life. 

{What makes it magic?}
Traveling from the dark and dank into the light once more. Or soaring gently down to where the tips of our toes can touch again.

Swallowing a pill can do that. How? 
I'm not sure, exactly, but it feels like magic.

{Why is it blue?}
I'm not sure, exactly, but blue sure is pretty.

{Is blue the color of magic?}
When we are talking about crazy pills, my crazy pills, blue is certainly the color of magic.
But this kind of magic comes in all colors. 

What color are your crazy pills? 
Pink? Magic. 
Yellow? Magic. 
Green? Magic. 
Orange? Magic. 
Purple? Magic.  (Lucky duck. I've always dreamed of taking a purple pill.)
White? Magic. 

The secret is that they all have the ability to be magic - to take us on a Magic Bus all the way to beauty, sanity, and then some.

But there are still some unanswered questions. 
Like, wait - how the heck did I get this mysterious bruise?

But the blue, crazy pill, magic bus?
No question about it.
Hop on.
It's real.
I'll bust open my piggy bank and spot you the fare. 

You're worth it.

Until next time...

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Beauty of Decisions

Crazy pill count:
AM 200 Lamictal, 30 Cymbalta, 10 Adderall, .5 Ativan
afternoon 10 Adderall
PM 300 Lamictal, 20 Zyprexa, .5 Ativan

Due to moving I have not watched TV in two months. When I lived in L.A. I didn't have a TV for nearly five years. When I moved to Indiana I had a sweet little twelve inch TV I bought from a pawn shop. Pawn shop, really? You bet. Broke college students shop at pawn shops. Well, maybe not, but this girl sure did.

This is also the girl who, along with my to-be-husband and brother-in-law, collected old furniture from the garbage and drove it to the used furniture store for cold hard cash. Wait, collecting things from the garbage? Yes, that's my classy way of saying I was a garbage picker.

Oh, boy, that looks like a good find. Ca-ching!

In fact, I am a life long garbage picker. I used to bring all kinds of trash home and put it in the garage and never touch it again. As a child I was limited to the houses on Elizabeth Drive and what I could fit into my wagon, but, after age sixteen I had a lot more garbage picking freedom. I gained the ability to drive my mother's woody station wagon, endearingly named "The Beast," and cram as much shit as possible into the back and the way-way-back. Oh, and by the way, in case you are wondering, "The Beast" could go upwards of 120 mph.

So anyway, I had this sweet little twelve inch TV but the trick is it didn't get any channels. I really only used it to watch rental "Sex and the City" seasons. (Remember when we had video stores?) Once upon a depression I heard about this girl who didn't go to class for a week, but instead she did nothing but watch an entire season a day. (That might have been me. Oops.)

I think it would be hard to find four women more excited to catch imaginary flowers than these gals.

Wow, that's a lot of unnecessary back story. What the h-e-double-hockey-stick is my point in this ridiculously long, and frankly, quite boring story?

The point is I have not watched TV in two months. But then I discovered a little something called, Hulu. Who needs Blockbuster now, bitch? Not me. Ever since I discovered Hulu last week I have been on a certifiable TV binge.

I am currently working my way through "Grey's Anatomy." Yeah, I know, I know, I am the last person on Earth who still watches "Grey's Anatomy." Well, keep your pants on kids because I'm about to quote "Grey's Anatomy." Yup. I'm that girl. I know you may be pleading, "Please. Please. For the love of God and this great green not quote "Grey's Anatomy." Too bad. Here it goes...

I am going to quote Richard Webber, our beloved ex-chief, from Season 10 Episode 1.
Richard Webber? Can't place his face?
You know, this guy:

Why the long face, Chief? 
Oh, he must be trying to remember where he left his white coat.

This is his, you-just-got-suspended-from-the-OR-face.

He said:

"We're all going to die. We don't have much say over how or when, but we do get to decide how we're gonna live. So do it. Decide. Is this the life you want to live? Is this the person you want to love? Is this the best you can be? Can you be stronger? Kinder? More compassionate? Decide. Breathe in. Breathe out and decide."

I think this can have a lot to do with bipolar disorder. We don't have much (or any) say over whether or not we have a mental illness. We don't get to decide if bipolar disorder is the way we want to live. But we do get to decide how we're gonna live with it.

Take pills? (yes)
Go to the doctor? (a big fat yes)
And we get to decide to love ourselves.

We get to decide to deal with our asshole neurotransmitters the best we can. We get to decide to reach to others for strength when our strength has vanished. We get to decide to be kind to ourselves - compassionate, gentle, understanding, accepting.

We get to decide.
Yes, we have that ability and power. We get to decide to keep breathing in and out. Despite all of the crap...we get to decide, friends.
We. Get. To. Decide.

So do it. Decide to do every fucking thing you can to live your life, our one precious life, as lovingly as you can. I know I said I wouldn't say fuck anymore, but this is an emergency. It is an emergency that we  live our one precious (Godforsaken bipolar) life the best way we can. Because we deserve it. We deserve a beautiful life. And we can have that beautiful life, despite any and all, if only we decide.

Claim that power.
Decide beautiful.

Until next time...

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Sound of Darkness

Crazy pill count:
AM 200 Lamictal, 30 Cymbalta, 5 Ativan, 10 Adderall
afternoon 10 Adderall
PM 300 Lamictal, 20 Zyprexa, .5 Ativan

I carry a morbid and painful secret.

No, silly, not the deodorant.
But I do recommend using deodorant.
pH that balance, ladies!

This is the kind of secret I keep in my heart. Not the kind I rub on my pits.

I have a "suicide song." I know that's both morbid and painful but that is my truth. My stripped down, dirty, naked truth is I have a particular song I listen to when I debate razor blades and jot down sloppy words and call it "a note."

I have listened to that song 495 times this past year.
This is well over one hundred times more than any other song in my rather large library.

As I discovered this, tears ran straight down my cheeks. Sure I'm bipolar. Sure I have rough times. Sure I cycle a lot. Sure I want to fade away to nothingness at times. But I had no idea I visited that place, musically, for an accumulation of over twenty-five hours in one year.

It is scary.
It is morbid.
It is painful.
It is bipolar disorder.
It is my truth.

I hope you don't have a song like this. But if you do, I hope to Zeus you will turn it off and reach out. In these times I call Dr. Crazy. We stay on the phone and talk while we wait for the extra crazy pills to kick in. Because that place is scary. Damn scary.

Scared or constipated?

I hope you have a Dr. Crazy; and if you don't, you will keep searching until you find a doctor who is a good fit for you and can give you the help you need - like sitting on the phone while you are certain if you are left alone you will hurt yourself.

This is not Dr. Crazy.
Dr. Crazy is not the President of the United States.
But he sure looks happy to be on the phone.

If you don't have a doctor yet, or a doctor who will do the above, call a suicide helpline or a friend. Bottom line is you need to reach out and then allow others to reach back.

The Daily Rock

I know it can be really hard to reach out. To touch someone. To let someone reach back. To be touched in such a vulnerable time. But you need to have that phone to your ear. We cannot navigate pain, that dark, and that deep, left to our own devices. We just can't.

Do you know how I know?

Because turning off that damn song can be really stinkin' hard. I known this. I know deep in my heart how hard it can be...

But turn it off.
Turn that hot-digadee-damn song off.

Reaching for hope and meaning can be hard. I know, sweet friends, I know. But hope? Well, it always eventually returns. Especially when it feels like it can't. When we are certain it won't. It does. And your life? It always, always has meaning.

Despite what those 25+ musical hours may tell me or you - don't listen because those messages - like the ones that tell you, you or your life no longer have meaning...well, that's just horse shit.

I would show you but I'm too much of a lady to post the incredible pluthera of actual horse shit photos floating around the internet. Just know that it's a huge pile of horse shit. (Use your imagination, kids.)

Sometimes it's really hard to listen to the whisper that says:
"You're important. Your life has meaning. It's important you stick around."

I understand how quiet that whisper can be. So put on your listening ears to hear that whisper that says you are worth sticking around. Because you are. We both are. Listen to that hopeful whisper and not that song.

Woah. She looks like a really good listener.

Having a hard time finding your listening ears?
Try an attent-o-scope instead. 
Just follow these three easy steps below.

Despite any and every morbid lyric to that damn song, despite any chord or rhythm of that damn song, I am still here.

That is proof you can be too.
Because you are here.
We are here...together.

Together, friends. It can feel, oh, so lonely. But we really aren't alone. Truly.

I am writing and you are reading.

I don't know your exact pain - no one ever can. But I know a similar pain. And even through all of that pain - your's and mine - we are both still here.

Let's keep it that way.
The world would miss us.
I mean, let's be honest, shall we? We're pretty awesome.

So please do.
Turn off that song.
Stay here.

Until next time...

Friday, October 11, 2013

Once Upon 143 Days Later...

Crazy pill count:
AM 200 Lamictal, 5 Zyprexa, 10 Adderall, .5 Ativan, 30 Cymbalta
PM 300 Lamictal, 5 Zyprexa, .5 Ativan

Hello, my beloveds.

It's been 143 days since I wrote my farewell (for now) post. Something has happened since then. I have turned bat shit crazy. But who am I kidding, that's not exactly front page news.

I have gone swimming in the darkness.

And then...
I have remembered how to make it back to shore and bask in the light of the sun.

This is not me. 
I have no idea who this is. 
I might have stolen this picture from google. 
But man, this girl sure knows how to bask!

This is not me either. 
I am not a cat.

Wow, there are so many great basking pictures to steal from google.
Steal? Wait. What? Me? (maybe)

I found myself being sucked into that nasty black hole, with no hope, vanishing, tumbling through infinite space.

And then...
I found joy and beauty in the ordinary.

like a container of these gorgeous, ordinary blueberries

I went zooming off a carousel flying to the merry-go-round. Spin, spin, spinnning.

And then...
I slowed, slowed, sloooowed down into a dark and damp pit.

And then...
I looked up and out and delighted in the wonder of clouds.

And then...
I think you get the idea.

Perhaps you have found yourself somewhere similar these past 143 days too.
I sure hope not, but those are usually the kicks of being a crazy kid.

So why on earth am I blabbing about this, anyway?
I learned a lesson these past 143 days:

I missed you. Man, have I ever missed you. Also, I learned this blog has become a part of me and leaving it behind left a little dark hole of it's own.

My point:
I'm ready to be back.
143 days is far too long.

I mean, I had to use a calculator to add up the days.

I hope you will join me here for whatever that means for you:
Beating your computer?
Tossing around "the f word?"

But most of all, I hope you will feel a bit understood. A tad or a whole lot understood.
I hope you will be able to knowingly shake your head when I say our neurotransmitters are assholes. Because, trust me, they are. Or, heck, even call me an asshole.

And I hope you will feel loved. Of course. So very, very loved...
I mean I love you more than watermelon. Translation: Woah, a heck of a lot.

So that's a heck of a lot of hoping.
I had to use that damn calculator again to count up all that hope.

damn calculator

While I've been away I have still been writing. It's this annoying little habit that's really hard for a writer to kick. I thought I would share a few links with you.

It's way more than, "a few" links.

A lot of what I say I have already expressed to you, here, but nonetheless here are a few words if you fancy a read.

I was published in Issue 2 of Number Eleven Magazine:
"Medicine Cabinet"
Click Me!


I have since then had three "blog conversations" with the amazing author of Adopted Reality, Laura Dennis. Let me tell ya, she is one kick ass girl. Her blog is always a fun read and, oh yeah, read her book.
Get your grubby little paws on it.

Prefer ebooks? Get those paws back out.

You can even read my glowing Amazon review. 

Our first chat on August 25th:
"Creativity & Bipolar Disorder - A Chat with Becky Johnson, Part 1"
Click Me!

Our second chat on August 29th:
"The Love-Hate Relationship with Meds - A Chat with Becky Johnson, Part 2"
Click Me!

Our third chat on October 3rd:
"Psychiatric Medication: Temporary or Life Long?"
Click Me!

And, oh boy, the conversation continues.
More chatting with Laura Dennis to come.

I am lucky to have my dear, witty, and brilliant friend as a writing partner.
We had three flash drama plays published in Issue 3 of Young, Fresh and Relevant:
"The Bluess"

The best part is they forgot to put my name on the piece and spelled both my writing partner's name and the title of our series wrong. I find all three situations to be quite the rib tickler! We weren't trying to be "art-y" or "fresh" or "relevant" by calling it "The Bluess." It's actually called, "The (one "s") Blues."
There is no way to read it online but you can have your very own, adorable, tiny, green copy by visiting their website.
Click Me!

Seriously, am I ever going to quit posting links?! I'm getting really out of control. I had to get out that trusted calculator, again, to realize I have posted ten links. Apparently over the last 143 days I have turned really boring.

trusted (damn) calculator

I also promised to share the creative nonfiction essay featured in this (kind of strange) piece of artwork I created once it has been rejected from various literary journals ten times. I just got another sweet rejection letter yesterday bringing the count up to three. Getting rejected is always such a sweet and tender experience. So much so I'm really looking forward to those next seven letters.

Well, that does it. I'm now up to eleven links.
Geeze, girl, what a snooze fest - let's wrap this one up!

This poor guy clicked on all eleven links.

I'm so thrilled to be back and hope you will join me here as we continue to put bipolar disorder in the greater dialogue of our crazy, crazy, c-raaay-zee world.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for reading my silly and serious blog.

Until next time...