Saturday, May 4, 2013

Dreams Bite: Bite Back

Crazy pill count:
AM 200 Lamictal, 30 Cymbalta, 5 Zyprexa, 20 Adderall, 1 Ativan
afternoon 20 Adderall
PM 200 Lamictal, 5 Zyprexa, 1 Ativan

I participate in a LinkedIn writing group that provides daily writing prompts. I realized a prompt from a few days ago can have a lot to do with bipolar disorder and so I thought I would share it with you. In fact, I found that I was writing it for you.

The prompt: Dreams bite...

And that they do.
At least when you are crazy they can and have, at times, for this crazy girl.

Vampires also bite.
He can bite me whenever he wants.

Bipolar disorder means we have to adjust some of those dreams. Sometimes, some of those dreams may not be that big of a deal like, for example, my dream to make animal crackers in the shape of yoga postures with a few Om's thrown in. My overzealous manic belief system had me thinking I could create a Yoga Cracker Empire. "Trader Joe's would want these for sure," I thought. I believed.

I called every patent lawyer's office in town and all my cracker recipes were a bust. I lost interest. I soon began to refer to it to myself as, "My Cracker Episode." That dream wasn't too hard to let go of.

But what about the dreams that are? What about the dreams that keep you awake at night, whispering into your ear, as you try to count sheep? Those dreams you can almost taste if you allow yourself to swim that deep. These are the dreams that bite your heart and nibble at your soul while saying, "Me. Me. Don't forget about me."

What do we do if that is a dream we must give up?

For me it was film. Cinematography to be specific. I got bit hard by that bug. I moved to L.A. when I was nineteen-years-old. I sent out zillions (seriously zillions) of resumes begging for looking for a nonpaying job where I would be honored to sweep the floor or make a 3:00am "wonder bread run" because famous-so-and-so had a hankering for a PBandJ on white bread and craft services only had wheat. I would do this so I might meet just the right person anyone who could help my dream materialize into something real.

If only there was an easier way to get protein 
than eating eight slices of bread every day...
Like maybe eating one piece of meat?

I even sent a black and white photograph I took of my best girlfriend's naked butt, frozen in the middle of a cartwheel, claiming, "I will put my ass on the line for you," with each resume. Yes, that is a true story. As you can imagine from that pitiful true story, out of zillions of resumes (seriously zillions), I only got one phone call...from Agent Bambi. She was, at the time, an agent to some of the most sought out cinematographers and production designers in Hollywood.

Not this Bambi.
She was a real person. I swear.

My entrance into Hollywood was so glamorous I'll never forget it. I sat through the interview answering her questions while she sat in the next room where her daughter was throwing up into a bowl. Yes, that is also a true story.

Obviously, I took the job.

I worked there, outrageously long hours, for free, for quite a while when I just stopped showing up. I was experiencing one of the most debilitating depressions I had ever had. I couldn't get dressed, open the curtains, or eat more than three saltine crackers a day. (You know what probably would have been really helpful? A cracker shaped like the symbol for Om. Someone should really get on that.)

I learned the stress and demands of the entertainment industry was too much for me - for a girl just becoming officially acquainted with her mental illness. That dream didn't just bite, it bit me in the ass.

I don't regret it anymore. I know myself now and know what I can and can't handle - and Hollywood falls into the can't category. But I felt like a failure for a long time. Knowing my dream, the dream that kept me awake at night, for all of my teenage years, was something that was "too hard" for me. Well...that just bites.

That is what I think of when I hear the two words dream and bite together.

But this is not a sad story, friends. I have found a new passion. A new dream that sweetly whispers me awake in the morning like an alarm clock. At age (almost) thirty-four, my path finally seems so obvious to me I want whack my nineteen-year-old self on the side of the head and say, "Duh."

What I want at (almost) thirty-four is really quite simple.
I want to witness and create beauty...

Through words. Through art.  Through helping others.
And all it takes is keeping my heart wide open so that beauty can easily come and go.
Oh, and to actually write and make art - yeah, that too.

I wish I could sit down with my nineteen-year-old self and say:
"Girl, dreams bite. But you'll be okay."

But since I can't tell her, I'll tell you instead:
Dreams can bite. But bite back.

Wondering how?
By recognizing and accepting our limitations and making new dreams.
Not selling ourselves short, but honoring ourselves.

Always bite back. Always.
Take a huge honkin' bite out of life.

Then take a bite out of crime.

We can attain our dreams like everyone else.
Who cares if we have to make some alterations. (details, details, people)

The trick is to never stop looking for those alterations.
The trick is to never stop fashioning new dreams out of them...dreams that honor who we are in this moment.

Oh, and to never ever, ever, ever give up - yeah, that too.

Until next time...


  1. I am so happy you posted. I love your writing and the way you tackle serious topics with humor and truth. =) hugs bacon! <3

    1. Thanks, Grace. Big hug to you!

  2. I love your new dream. You are living it, you know.
    Big love to you, Awesome One !

    1. Thank you for this. Such a simple comment...but it made me cry with it's truth I hadn't fully realized. xo