Nick and I, with love written on our arms.
The Hotband and I. A promise of love, support and hope. Always.
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I have openly written about my bipolar disorder many times before. I even had a separate blog for it once upon a time. I still utilize that blog now and then when I just feel like seeing my random, skewed thoughts in black and white but not necessarily form a blog post about them. I think the last time I was there was October of last year. (2009).
Anyway, it seems to me to separate that part of my life is to pull out a big chunk of who I am and put it somewhere else, further perpetuating the stigma of mental illness. Fact of the matter is, I find a certain beauty in being beautifully fucked up. Crazy beautiful. That’s what I like to call it.
While surfing around these interwebz, I found myself in pretty good company. Want a list of other fucked up famous people? Here’s a few of my fav’s:
Buzz Aldrin, astronaut. Yes. We put a fucked up person on the moon. Then again, how do we actually know he was there? Maybe he just pretended to be while he was off his meds and his full account of being there was just a figment of his imagination.
Jim Carrey, actor. This should really not surprise you. Jim’s has had well-documented freak outs over the course of his career. Plus, I really don’t think he’s an actor. He is just being Jim. If he weren’t bipolar, he probably wouldn’t be nearly as funny. Bipolar people, for the most part, are pretty creative and funny. At least, that’s what we tell ourselves.
T S Eliot, poet. Okay. This dude wrote an entire ode to a Cat. Or, rather, a bunch of cats. For some reason, crazy people are often associated with cats. You don’t make fun of the crazy dog lady. No. It’s always the crazy cat lady who shares the Nine Lives with Fluffy and Waldo. Dog people don’t get our special brand of crazy.
Sigmund Freud, physician. *blank stare* Yeah. This one sort of speaks for itself. Next?
Marilyn Monroe, actress. Ah, Miss Marilyn. The quintessential poster child for the manic depressive. She’s up, she’s down. She’s high. She’s low. She’s pristine. She’s promiscuous. This is one of the more tragic cases of crazy on my list, because she really did have the world by the balls once upon a time. A big trademark of someone with manic depression is an over-sized ego that basically masks low self esteem. Oh, and large breasts. And a desire to sleep with the President. Barack is kinda hot now that I think about it…
Edgar Allen Poe, author. You’re seeing a lot of poets/authors and actors on this list. That is because really talented people are generally fucked in the head. Where do you think our creativity comes from? Life experience? Certainly…OUR life experiences which are vastly different than those of you “normies”. Poe writes about sex with corpses and black birds and tolling bells and Nevermore’s. He’s a scary bastard. Not Charles Manson scary…but the gentle scary of a person with bipolar disorder. We generally are not violent people…unless provoked.
Margot Kidder, actor. Another actor with a well-documented history of losing her mind. For four days, she roamed the streets of Hollywood, disheveled, dirty, homeless, without her teeth. Then again, she kind of sounds like my grandmother. Ah, but she has bipolar as well, so it’s all good. History of drug addiction. Another problem with we manic depressives are our addictive personalities. Sex, drugs…and obviously, Superman.
Vincent van Gogh, painter/artist. Yeah. Four words for you. Ear in a box. Which, of course, should not be confused with THIS which was epically funny but not at all related to mental illness. Well, maybe just a touch of borderline personality disorder with a dab of narcissism and a side salad of histrionic.
So, as you can see, I’m feeling pretty good about the company I’m keeping. And sure, someone will flame me for making light of the disease. But, keep your blood pressure in check. This is MY disease too. This is my life. I live and struggle with the wonders and the agonies of bipolar disorder every single day. I, however, choose to make light of an illness that nearly brought me to my knees once upon a time. Sometimes, you have to laugh…lest you never stop crying.
Lastly, let me leave you with a quote from someone with bipolar disorder that I admire greatly. Princess Leia. What can I say? I’m a sucker for chicks with cinnamon rolls on the side of their head. Plus, she has a Wookie.
Bipolar disorder can be a great teacher. It’s a challenge, but it can set you up to be able to do almost anything else in your life.
– CARRIE FISHER
Truer words were never spoken and this time, I’m not laughing.
I was trying to define my blog to someone today. Tried to explain what it was about without saying something mundane like “Oh, it’s all about my ever so exciting life.” Truth of the matter is, my life is pretty exciting. Not in a “travel-all-over-the-world-make-love-to-diplomats-spend-too-much-cash” kind of way, but in a “hey, I accidentally shit myself while bending over to pick up a dust bunny” way. How fun is that?
The person I was talking to happily accepted that definition and then asked me another question that I truly could not answer.
“So, why don’t you put your blogposts up on Facebook? You’re friends must think you’re hilarious!”
Truth be known, my “friends” do think I am hilarious. I am one of those chicks that goes straight from the heart to the mouth without a pit-stop at the brain in between. I tend to say whatever I am feeling in my heart at any given moment before my frontal lobe has a chance to say, “Er, CP? That MAY not be appropriate right now.” No. More poor brain is usually the organ that has to do damage control after my heart causes my tongue to flap.
But, yes indeed. WHY don’t I post my blog links on Facebook? Fair enough question.
I think there are a few reasons. First and foremost is privacy. Not MY privacy, mind you, but rather, my husband and children’s privacy. In the five years I have been blogging, I have never mentioned my husbands name. That is not to say that some of you don’t know the mans name. Some of you have met him in “real time”. And, some of you have known me longer than I have known him, so naturally, you would know who he is. Then, there are the select few (read: 3) who read my blog who know me in real life on a day to day basis. Most of my blog readers don’t even know MY name. And, when I meet a blogger in real life, they tend to call me “CP” anyway, because that’s how you know me. But, for the hotband, I have to maintain a modicum of privacy. He has a pretty high profile job and there is a certain decorum that comes with his job.
And then, I look at HIS Facebook page, and he puts up all sorts of horny looking fruit, inappropriate Jesus pics and makes homosexual references with all MY guy friends. So, WHY the hell am I holding back on my blog?
Because…if he wants to put himself out there, that’s his prerogative. I am still going to respect the boundaries, even though he never put any up for me.
Then, there is another aspect I have considered. My Facebook friends vs. My Blogger Friends. Some of you overlap into both categories. I think there are 14 of you, actually, who are “friended” on Facebook but started off knowing me via this blog. My Blog Friends are a much cooler breed. We understand that we can cross certain lines with one another. We know that one year in blog time is the equivalent of 5 years real time. Therefore, I know many of you longer in that sense than I do the people I have been friends with for 20 years or more. And, while my friends of 30 years care about me very much, I don’t think they want to know that I was a domestic violence survivor. I don’t think they care that I survived cancer. I don’t know that they would give a shit one way or another that I struggle with bipolar disorder on a daily basis. And, I believe that most of them would be entirely too judgmental with regard to my drug addiction and subsequent recovery.
So, it begs the question…are these “friends” on Facebook ACTUALLY my friends?
I think in some ways, yes, we are. We have history. We have memories of our childhood and our youth. That’s something that we as adults tend to cling to. My husband, as close as we are, will never understand how I grew up. He doesn’t know what it was like to be a little kid living in NYC no more than I can ever know about his experiences growing up in Israel. It’s nice to have those people in your life that you can reminisce with. It’s fun. But, does it provide a longevity to the relationship? Not really. When I reconnected with some old junior high friends on Facebook, it was a blast. We couldn’t stop talking about growing up in Queens and what it meant to each of us. How it shaped us into the adults we are today. We talked, shared, laughed…and then, burnt it out. While we still engage in some witty banter here and there, do I think any of these people would drop whatever they were doing to be at my side if something traumatic happened in my life?
*sighs* No. No I don’t. Even the person I was closest to growing up has turned her back on me in some aspects. She hides my feed because I am (insert adjective for vulgar, crass, classless, rude, explicit, etc.). And I get it. She’s got her kids on her Facebook. Can’t have me talking about the new lube and vibrators I bought on my status and have it show up on her wall, right? I do get it. That’s also why my son is NOT my Facebook friend…nor are my nephews and nieces. As far as I am concerned, Facebook is NO place for children, period. But, to each their own. My daughter is on my Facebook…but she’s 22, married and knows that her mother is a tad fucked in the head. My son is only first learning that. Why rush it? He’ll get it soon enough.
Which brings me back to the original question. Why don’t I post my blogposts on Facebook? The answer is…I don’t quite know. I suppose there might be a small part of me that is going to wonder what people will think of me, which is ironic because I am definitely one of those people who generally don’t give a fuck what others think of me. But, these are childhood friends who have a certain vision of me, a particular memory that I don’t want to taint. Then again, I suppose true friends would love you regardless and understand that the person you were at 14 is not necessarily the person you are at 40.
Then, there is the BIG reason I don’t post my blog posts on Facebook. My brother. He’s a great guy. He totally knows how screwed up I am. He is equally as fucked in the brain. We were raised by the same woman…and THAT, Dear Friends, is the ULTIMATE reason. The one that trumps all. I simply CANNOT have Esther reading my blog. I love my mother but, if you are a long time reader or know her in real life, you know what an absolute LOONEY TUNE she is. If she ever caught wind of the things that I write about her…she’d kill me. Not figuratively. Literally. Like, I have given instructions to my husband to form my blog into a book posthumously if she ever kills me so everyone knows what an absolute banshee she is/was. Don’t get me wrong. There is a certain beauty to being raised by a psychopath. It allows me to be quirky, strange and crazy. When I tell people I am bipolar, they nod. Then, they meet my mom…and suddenly, they nod emphatically…and it all just comes together for them.
The crazy thing is, I have met such interesting and amazing people on Facebook. People that I do NOT know from my past or that I blog with or know in real life. Simply people who I have met in passing either playing a game or stumbling onto their page. Really great people. I would love to share my blog posts with them…but still, I feel some hesitation and restraint.
Hesitation? Restraint? Foreign concepts to me that I am STILL getting used to.
So, for right now, I am simply using the website “Networked Blogs” on Facebook as my tiny baby step, my little foray into taking my blog out of hiding. (There’s a link to it on my sidebar. No, lower. Lower. Yeah. Right there. Click it if you’re on Facebook.) I think, in reality, my blog will exist long after my old friendships fall away. This is home for me. This is where I feel best and can relax and be myself.
And, if you can’t be yourself…why be at all?
I don’t like my mother.
I am certain I have alluded to this fact in other posts over the past three years. Now however, I am pretty certain that this is more fact as opposed to speculation.
“CP, MY GOD! How could you not like your own MOTHER???”
Bottomline? She’s a phony. She’s a bigot. She’s a snob. She’s everything that I am not and everything I strive not to be. If she weren’t my mother, I wouldn’t choose to be friends with her. She’s not someone I would run in the same circles with and I certainly wouldn’t go out of my way to befriend her.
Case in point. My father just had surgery, a full knee replacement, earlier this week. Me, asshole that I am, came running up to NY from Florida to make sure I am there for her. After all, her husband was going to be in the hospital and she would have to undergo all the tasks of running the house by herself. I also felt compelled to be here (I am still in NY at the time of this posting. Someone remind me to clear the history bar!) because my father is not a well man. Every time he goes under anesthesia, it is a dangerous and potentially fatal situation.
Was this gesture appreciated by my mother? No. She tells me that she feels she has been “hospitable” to me. Excuse me? Is this a Best Western? I have to be hosted? The woman talks about me behind my back. Apparently, she feels I am a drug addict because I take my bipolar and schizophrenia medications. They make me tired. That is a side effect that can’t be helped. I borrowed her car to go meet a friend from junior high school who I haven’t seen in 25 years. She cautions me not to “get high” while using her car.
Bi. Polar. Disorder. Not recreational drugs.
Like I said, she’s a snob. I think that she feels because of my ailment, she has produced a less than perfect product. Have I the heart to tell her that my condition is genetic? Damn straight. All the women in my family are prone to violence and psychosis. I am the only one who opted to do something about it…and yes, it changes me. But, I believe it has changed me for the better.
My flight home was supposed to be tomorrow. I called my husband and begged him to make it earlier…just get me out of this house. I feel like the walls close in on me here and she is absolutely venomous when it comes to my recovery.
So there you go. I don’t like my mother. Sometimes I question if I even love my mother or if I simply feel obligated to love her. She loves to remind me how she had a “perfect body” before my cesarean scar ruined her stomach. Ouch. You blame your infant for not having a perfect bikini body any longer?
My breasts and crotch are pretty much located in one central area since having my babies. I don’t blame them for that. I love them for that. So my tits aren’t up to my throat anymore. Big deal. So my stomach isn’t flat now. So what? I have stretch marks on my stomach that resemble NASCAR peeling out on my lower abdomen. Does it matter? No. These are the lines of love…the result of having my babies. I don’t resent them and I certainly don’t blame them.
My mother is out at the beauty parlor right now. The house is so quiet without her here and I am sucking it up for all that it is worth. My flight leaves tonight at 7pm and it cannot come fast enough.
Someday, I pray my children don’t write these same things about me. I don’t think they will. I think they will remember me as a loving, supportive and sometimes a bit crazy mom. That’s the joy of having a mother who is mentally ill.
I can’t say I’ll ever know that joy.
for my other blog. The one that deals with my bipolar disorder.
I have never concealed that I suffer from severe bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Never. It’s something I have dealt with all of my life and I have always been a pretty open book about it.
Lately, my depression has been so debilitating that I haven’t gotten out of bed to eat. I lay in my bed and just cry my days away. I don’t shower. I don’t brush my teeth or hair. I don’t change out of my pajamas. I get physical symptoms like migraines, stomachaches and muscle pain.
Mind you, I am not like this all the time. Figure about every six weeks or so.
This time was particularly bad. Bad enough for me to call the suicide hotline and let them talk me off the proverbial edge. I don’t think I would have committed suicide…but oh God, did I want to. The thing that always stops me when I get like that are my children and now, my grandchild.
I haven’t been much of a mother or grandmother these past few weeks.
Obviously, my medication needs readjusting again. This is not a good thing because I am pretty maxxed out on the depression medications. When they cease in working, it just brings on more pain, anxiety and anguish.
I don’t blog anymore because I don’t feel like I have anything of value to say any longer. (Except for making out with random girls at Adam’s Halloween party. Now that was blog worthy, but alas, I failed to get to the computer. It enthused my husband though…so that was fun.)
I didn’t drink at Adam’s party because I knew it would only fuck with my brain chemistry further. Last year at his party, I got so drunk I ended up vomiting everywhere…but it was a blast. This year, because my depression has been so bad, I was cautious about drinking. And, I felt completely out of my element. Everyone else was so drunk and cool and laughing. I stayed outside most of the night, chainsmoking and making conversation with a guy named Pete the Pimp. I don’t know who Pete is actually…I know his girlfriend blogs…and she’s a good kisser too.
Anyway, what I am going to try to do is blog every day. It’s going to be my tiny baby step of a goal. I should probably pick showering over blogging but when I feel that way, showers exhaust me. I physically can’t do them…and then I cry.
The second baby step will be making sure my teeth are brushed daily. This is part of the “I can’t get out of bed” issue. However, eventually I do pee…and that is when I will make sure to brush.
Doesn’t this all sound ridiculous? Welcome to my world.
Sometimes I want to drop my mania medication so that whirlwind of energy comes back. I am like a tornado when I am off my mania meds. I am girl wonder. However, I also compulsively shop (no, not a bad thing…until you run through your entire savings account in the course of a week on things you don’t need or even want). I tend to get extremely aggressive on the road. Not road rage, but dangerous driving for the thrill of it. I have come very close to killing myself behind the wheel on numerous occassions. I lie. I steal. I haven’t cheated…yet, but the desire to starts to come into play and I cannot allow myself to go there. It’s been the only part of my mania I have been able to control so far. But, to be honest, the want has been there. Not for the sex. I don’t need that. More for the rush, the danger, the thrill of doing things I shouldn’t be doing.
It cost me my last marriage. I wont let it cost me the hotband too.
So, I hope you don’t mind me talking about me “issues” for the next few weeks. Like I said…I normally reserve this talk for my other blog that deals only with these issues. However, I feel if I put this out there in public, I can’t hurt myself emotionally or physically.
Bear with me, People. I am going to try to work through this one little step at a time. Baby steps.