Monday, April 30, 2012

I'm going to

Crack and cry soon. I think it's been two years. Maybe three. Vindaloo curry. Heat. Exquisitely cruel love. You, my love. The shadow of earth in space. The pinnacle of a suburban garage roof, gritty shingles digging into an inner thigh. Loss.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

I learn

This blog fell off the radar for a good reason.

Major shifts, changes, reprocessing of data. Painful as hell. Worth it? Yes. YES. A thousand times YES.

I never got that “an artist’s birth by fire” crap before. I thought I got it, but I didn’t. I thought it meant you went through a lot of painful shit and eventually just started slinging your pain into a canvas or a camera shutter or a block of words or whatever medium grabbed you, and the product was art because it was wrought from a different hand than the norm, from a bottomless well of terrible emotion instead of an intellect. And the difference was what made it art. Made it stand out of the background noise of living.


The fire that births an artist is not the pain. The fire is the healing of the pain. The fire is the consolidation of past experience into a present that’s acceptable and a base from which to move forward. The fire is the part where you look around at the shattered mess inside your head and decide it’s time to start putting it together. And to do that you have to let someone else see in there. You let them reach their hand into the very deepest ache of your hurt, and sift through the ash of your mistakes, and guide you into standing upright. You let yourself be shown where the fissures are. You begin to fix them. You learn what matters. What doesn’t. You have to let go of what doesn’t matter, no matter how much you want it to matter. You have to take a solid, honest, uncompromising look at the mistakes you’ve made, at what circumstances threw you to the ground in the first place. You have to give yourself credit for what you’ve lived through and you have to give yourself hell for failing and you have to throw all that on the scale of justice and hope to God it evens out.

So now the fire burns away the unessential. The fire purifies. The fire rights the wrong.

I have been able to create what I’ve been creating, what I’m still creating, because of where I’ve been. I have to say this to myself as clearly as I can because it is the most important concept I’ve gotten during this time of change: IT’S ONLY WASTED PAIN IF YOU DON’T LEARN FROM IT.

It doesn’t matter what happens with this anymore. The drive to make the product perfect, to make it right, pulls me forward, but the product itself has lost importance. I learn by doing.

I am learning, I am learning, I am learning. I learn. Forever, I learn. New neural connections blossom in my skull. I begin to see the paths that connect, to see with clarity what perfection we strive for, to understand the place we spend our lives is in the effort. I understand how little I understand. The humbling is empowering. The base from which I step into the future.

Tomorrow, this will be torn down again.

The day after that, I’ll begin again to build it back up.

Monday, April 16, 2012


So I thought I'd game the system and see if I could get my GP to write me a lamictal script since my prev psychiatrist is a d-bag and i don't want to go back to him while I wait for my appointment with the new one in May. The GP totally said the psychiatrist i was going to before is a d-bag. (not in those terms, but very clear what he thought of him.) And he wrote me a script. YES.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Under the waves

Improved function after...whatever day that was when I thought I was headed for the stratosphere again. I did this thing where I walked around the house for a while with my arms twisted up behind my head, with my hands sort of dangling in space. I realized as I was standing in the kitchen that way that I looked like a total idiot, but it somehow worked to bring me back down to earth. Something about the pressure on my ribcage, I don't know. I felt grounded. So I kept on with it till I felt more leveled off. And I've been all right for almost a day and a half now. Also got drunk and watched Jackass 3D with M Friday night after the kiddo was asleep and then got drunk again on Saturday and watched Tenacious D. The amount of gut-busting hilarity seemed to help settle the wicked energy spike.

I've been removing myself from social situations as much as possible. Easter with extended family went okay. At one point everyone was outside with the kids and I picked up the cat and sat alone with him in the living room for about 45 minutes with my eyes closed. It did wonders to restore my sanity. Other people stress me the heck out.

I've found an excellent writer in an online writing community who's been giving me helpful feedback on the book. His work is very polished and I have no doubt he'll make it as a writer. He's somehow able to balance his left and right brain and achieve this zen state of writing in which everything is planned out and yet still creative and spontaneous and engaging. The people who can do that in combination with innate talent are the ones who have what it takes. I don't know how old he is, but his profile says he graduated from Emory in 2009, so I'm guessing he's about 25. Which shows in his writing in funny ways, in suppositions he makes that I recall making at 25. It makes me realize that in spite of all my mental health issues, I have in fact matured as a person, and been through a lot of life experiences that season me in ways other people might not be.

It's also put some swiss-cheese holes in my noodle, but hey. Do the best you can with what you have.

Sometimes I look at this blog and wonder how I can function in polite society, ha ha.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Hww-ing ding ding ding ding

On the way up! up up up!

I called a new psychiatrist today. I haven't officially "broken up" or whatever the hell with the old one, but last time I went in, he charged me $50 cash (plus $30 copay) to call my ins co and pre-authorize Abilify while i sat there (which I might add took 5 mins--$50 for 5 mins of work?! Shit why am I an editor instead of a psychiatrist). Then we didn't set up another appt because I was going to wait for the Abilify to be preauthorized, go home, start taking it, and call him to set up another appt after a week or so of it.

So like 2 weeks ago I got the letter from the ins co about Abilify not being an approved med until you fail with these two other antipsychotics and I only failed with one, blah blah blah... long story short, I never bothered to call the psychiatrist back once I knew I wasn't getting the Abilify. I came down off the mania anyway (and skidded out into a lame-o crash), so I figured why bother. Now I'm cranking back up and need a little somethin something so I don't go as nuts as last time. I'd like to be able to walk down a hallway without slamming myself into the parallel walls and bouncing back and forth so I know where my body is in the space-time continuum.


Signs of crankage: I cannot stop EATING. I didn't start feeling cranked until this morning, but for the past two days, if there has been food around, watch out I don't take your fingers off getting it to my mouth. I think I'm eating about 6 full-size meals a day plus whatever I can get my hands on in between (which has included more junk than is ideal, but hell if I'm going to not eat all the nachos!). No weight gain. Bickity-bam FOOD FOOD FOOD FOOD FOOD. Biking 20 miles was great for taking the crank off yesterday, but it did not do my inflamed appetite any favors.

So what have I learned from this boys and girls? When I get HONGRY it means I'm bout to get MANIC. And type in all caps apparently.

Hopefully the new psych will call me back soon. I hate to think I'm going to go through that whole circus I went through last month again. Hot damn. Let's get the edge off this before it gets out of control.

One cool thing about the mania (well one of many cool things, except for the things that suck) is that I can see way more shapes in sounds. I can see them all the time anyway, but during mania, I can see more of them at the same time. So music is WHACK AS FUCK. Normally the cacophony of shapes is just like the cacophony of notes--it all adds up to a thing, but your brain doesn't listen to/pay attention to each individual piece, each beat of the drum, pluck of the bass, twang of the guitar, texture of the voice. You just get the effect of what all the pieces add up to. But, BUT, manic music is like manic thoughts: Flight of ideas. Too many planes circling and only a few can land. Get all experiential with it and it's awesome. You can see ALL THE SHAPES OMG. Get overwhelmed by it and it sucks butt.

Phew. I think I better get my ass down to the gym.

Today's ridiculous picture.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Something that matters

So this weekend was a carnival of suckitude that I won't write about because I want to forget it. However, I did just now manage to change out of the clothes I've been wearing since Friday and take a shower, so things are looking up.

First chapter of the book is below. Prologue here.

I: Angie

            Something’s wrong.
Something’s been wrong. But now it’s getting louder.
There’s this physics principle called quantum entanglement. Freaky name, like only nerds with zero social skills can wrap their brains around it. But it’s not that hard to understand. It’s when two particles, like electrons or photons, interact and then get separated. Then, even if they’re millions and millions of miles apart, anything that happens to one immediately affects the other. They never stop being one thing. Separate but together. Einstein called it “spooky action at a distance.”
Jerome and I are not as simple as particles. We’re not photons or electrons or molecules or whatever. We’re infinitely complex human beings, spliced so deeply together that we had our own language when we were younger, half of it totally wordless. Cryptophasia. It isn’t that unusual, a lot of twins do it, but this cryptophasia was ours, a deeper form of communication than I’ve had with anyone else in my life. So deep I feel like a part of him is lodged inside me. Like when the electrons that make up the nerve cells in his brain move one way, mine mirror the movement and I feel it.
That’s not how quantum entanglements works, really. Humans don’t operate on the same principles as electrons. There isn’t any scientifically provable reason I should feel like I have a barometer of my brother’s mental state jammed like a splinter in the back of my mind, even when I don’t see him for days.
But I do. It’s always there. And lately, that barometer has been churning out some seriously weird readings. 
I realized the other day when I was picking up laundry around the house that I haven’t seen him in about two weeks. He stays away from home for long stretches in the summer sometimes. Usually when Dad’s so hammered that he starts shoving Jerome around, calling him lazy and worthless and telling him drawing’s a waste of time and he needs to get his shit together and get a job and blah blah blah. Jerome always bails for at least a few days after that.
Dad doesn’t go after him. Mom barely notices anything’s happening. I think she assumes Jerome comes home during the day while she’s at work and then spends the night with his friends. Which she gave up telling him he couldn’t do after a million times of him doing it anyway. It doesn’t take a lot of resistance to get Mom to drop something. These days I wonder why she doesn’t just take a sleeping bag to the office. She spends all her time there anyway. Especially since Dad’s evolved into such a raging drunk and Jerome’s a surly basket case and I’ve made it clear I can take care of myself.
I guess I wouldn’t want to come home to a family like that either.
I texted Jerome a few times, just a “hey how’s stuff” and a “I need a drawing fix.” He leaves drawings under my door a lot. Mostly our cat Merlin who died when we were ten. There hasn’t been a drawing for days.
But he didn’t answer the texts, or an email I sent, which bounced. I think he deleted his Facebook. I sent another text asking him to come home because I missed hearing him puke. He thinks he’s so quiet about that. I know about it.
No answer to that either, and he didn’t pick up when I called.
Nobody else is going to bother to track him down. Whatever sixth sense is telling me something’s wrong, maybe a gut feeling, maybe a thought that isn’t fully formed, says: It’s time to do something about this. It says it in cryptophasia. It says it the way an electron responds to an electron across a billion miles of empty space.
            It’s four in the afternoon. Hotter than Satan’s armpit outside. Mom’s still at work and won’t be home for at least five hours. Dad will come home around six, nuke some crappy frozen dinner, and start drinking.
I shelve the copy of Wuthering Heights I’ve been rereading and pull on some bike shorts under a skirt. I zip my phone in the skirt pocket, chug a bunch of water, and wheel my bike out of the dark, stuffy garage into the bright heat.
            It feels good to be on the bike, even with the sun pounding on my back and sweat dripping down into my bra. At least I’m moving around. All I’ve done this summer is read and work. After I found out back in the spring that my best friend Lexi had started dating my ex about a week after we broke up, that pretty well severed any depth in our friendship. It was just fake after that. Even if that guy did have the personality of a plastic bag on the side of a highway and wasn’t really worth it.
Now I fly solo. Keep throwing my brain into these complicated books about cognitive neuroscience, then taking breaks with good old Emily Bronte. Grinding every day into the dirt waiting to leave for college in August and really start learning, instead of poking through all these library books I only understand parts of.
I hope starting college doesn’t feel like starting high school. After skipping second grade, I’ve had to get used to always being the youngest kid in the class, the smallest. I don’t know what it’ll be like to be the only 17-year-old on campus.
            I ride into the lousy neighborhood where Randy lives. It’s just on the other side of the state route from our neighborhood. It’s amazing the difference a hundred feet can make. You go from four and five bedroom houses and manicured lawns to houses so small they could fit in our two-car garage. Bowed roofs, cracked windows that don’t fit their frames, unseasonal yard ornaments, torn American flags. Tire tracks and feral cats running through the yards. The word “FUCK” spray-painted on the back of a stop sign. All the houses are so short it’s like they’ve sunk two feet into the ground. It’s interesting to look at and all, but I quit biking through here the day some mulletedhead assholes throwing a football in the street yelled some choice vulgarities comparing parts of my anatomy to certain round fruits.  
Randy’s house scares the crap out of me. I’ve been past it a few times on my bike, but I’ve never been inside it and I don’t want go in now. It’s easy to see why Jerome refers to this dump as the Pit of Despair. I can’t imagine ever actually living in it.
The paint on the outside is a flat gray that looks like it used to be something else, maybe blue. The roof’s missing a bunch of shingles. There are two windows on the front. You can’t see into them because there are blankets over them on the inside. One of the windows is cracked and has duct tape over it.
I wheel my bike onto the overgrown front lawn, dodging a broken beer bottle and wishing I’d brought the bike lock. Oh well. I drop the bike on its side into the tall grass next to a rusty car with its hood propped open. Maybe my bike will blend in with the rest of the junk in the yard and not look like something worth stealing.
There are three steps up to the porch. Half of the top one is missing. There’s so much crap on the porch that I can barely make it to the front door. There’s a fridge and a lawn chair with no seat and a shelf with a bunch of appliances that look like they’re from the 60s. The floor is covered with broken pots, a tire full of stagnant water, and a blue plastic tarp covering God knows what. I hold my breath and knock on the front door. I can hear the rumble of stereo equipment. Sounds like a video game, or the dramatic part of a movie.
I cough at the skunky stink of pot and nicotine that hits me as soon as the door opens. When I catch my breath, some guy is standing there holding a cigarette and ogling my chest. I wave the smoke out of my face. “Is Jerome here?” I ask around my fear. The dude easily has 70 pounds on me and is maybe five years older.
“Uh,” the guy says. His patchy facial hair is the epitome of gross. He finally tears his eyes off my boobs and turns his head. “Hey Jerome!” he yells.
“What!” I hear my brother yell back from inside somewhere, then he coughs. I can’t see very far into the house. It’s too bright out here and too dark in there. There’s no cool air coming out with the smoke stink, so there must not be any air conditioning inside.      
“Some chick’s here for you,” the guy shouts. He glances back at me and then yells into the house, “She’s pretty hot, dude.” He grins at me and wiggles his eyebrows. I cross my arms over my chest and turn away.
I hear the door creak open further and I turn back around. Jerome’s standing there slumped against the doorframe like it’s the only thing holding him up. I raise my hand to my mouth. He looks… awful. Awful. Like he’s lost ten pounds and been beaten. There’s a big red line on his left cheek and the greenish remains of a bruise around his eye. Both his eyes have dark circles under them like he hasn’t slept for the whole two weeks he’s been gone, and his face is flushed. His hair is weird and flat, as though some of it is missing.
“Fuck off, Mike,” he says to the guy, who’s still standing just inside the door. “She’s my sister.”
Mike snorts. “Whatever. She’s still hot.” He goes back into the house and Jerome steps out and shuts the door.
“Sorry,” he says. “That guy’s a douche.”
“Jerome, Jesus. What happened to you?”
“What? Nothing.” He coughs into the crook of his arm.
“Oh really?” I say. “You just magically have a black eye and a gash on your face and you’ve lost a lot of weight? Huh. Interesting definition of ‘nothing.’”
“I tripped and hit a doorframe.” He won’t meet my eyes, but I can see his irises are dark. His eyes seem to change all the time. Now they’re such a dark blue they’re almost black.
“And lost ten pounds? Physics doesn’t work that way, last I checked.” I take my keys out of my pocket and hold them up in front of his face, then drop them onto the porch. “Oh, look at that, gravity still works. The rules of physics must be intact.” 
He shoots me a sideways irritated look and coughs again.
“You tripped, huh? Were you high?”
“Are you high right now?”
“Not right now, no.” He coughs more. It’s a gnarly cough.
“You’re sick?” I say.
“It’s just a cold. Randy has one too. So does Frankie.”
“Is Randy even here?” Somehow I wouldn’t be surprised if he weren’t. This is just someplace to crash that isn’t home.
“Yeah. We’re playing GT5 and I’m up next. So if you don’t mind…” He glances at me and sees me staring right at his face. His eyes dart away and he looks out over the jumble of broken junk on the lawn.
“You look like you’ve been hit by a truck,” I say. “Why aren’t you answering my texts?” It’s so dark under his eyes. He looks how he used to look back when we were ten. Right before he flipped out.
“Sorry. Phone battery died.”
“Bull. I’ve known you for seventeen years plus nine months in the womb, you think I can’t tell when you’re lying?”
He smiles, just a little, and looks down. I put my hand on his arm. His skin is hot and he shrugs my hand off. “Come on,” I say. “Just tell me what’s up. I emailed you a link to this art thing and it bounced, it said ‘no such recipient.’ So I tried to put it on your Facebook. Did you unfriend me? Or did you just obliviate your online existence?”
He keeps swallowing, like he does when he’s trying to not say something. His skin has gone from flushed to drained. “I trashed it all,” he finally says. He turns to open the door behind us, but has to stop moving for a minute to accommodate the cough. That’s definitely more than a cold. There is some serious crap going on in his lungs.
“Wait,” I say.
He finishes coughing and clears his throat. “Look, if Mom or Dad bother to ask where I am, which they won’t, just tell them I’m hanging here and I’ll come home in a few days.”
“Could you stop being a jerk for like two seconds? Has it occurred to you that I’m concerned? You look like shit and you’re really sick. This is freaking me out.”
Jerome’s eyes widen, but before he answers, Randy opens the front door holding a game controller. There’s a small kid peeking out from behind him, maybe six years old. He looks a little like Randy. “It’s your turn,” Randy says to Jerome. “Hey, Angie.”
“Hi,” I say, staring hard at Jerome before I glance at Randy. “How’s it going?”
“Same old,” he says, looking down at me. A hank of dark hair falls over his eyes. Randy would be cute if he’d cut his hair and take a shower every now and then and stop wearing all those stupid death metal shirts. He puts his hand on the little kid’s head.
“You don’t have a cold, do you?” I ask Randy.
“Huh? No.” He lets go of the kid’s head and brushes his hair out of his face with a split-knuckled hand. He turns to Jerome. “You coming back in or what? Joe’s waiting.”
Jerome takes the controller out of Randy’s hand and ducks back into the house. “See you,” he says to me as he goes. The kid follows him.
Randy glances after Jerome, watching him for half a beat before turning back to me. “Uh, so, you need anything?” he asks me.
I sigh in frustration. “No,” I say. “Just… oh, forget it.”
Randy watches me for maybe three seconds, almost like he wants to say something else. But then he turns back to the door. I don’t know him well enough to press it. I start picking my way back across the crowded porch.
“Watch that busted step,” he says, and goes back into the house and shuts the door.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Me party

That's right. I had one.

But now my gut's paying for it. I think there might've been gluten in the rinotta. Can't find my Librax.

Oh wait found it.

Me party still worth it.

Met with a new writing group today--total strangers, read the first chunk of my book out loud in a coffee shop to people I'd just met. For an introvert, that shit is like jumping in a pit full of ravenous hyenas, but I've got to get feedback on this beast before I can start querying. And this is how you do it. You talk to people in the real world. If you believe enough in what you're doing, then you swallow your fear and you deal with it. You just, fucking, do it. So I did it.

The writing group was good. Small. They have a good dynamic and they gave me thoughtful feedback. I suspect they will be the kind of people who will be able to tolerate my bipolar bullshit.

As I was reading, the character of Jerome took on an entirely different tone. Much more angry than he was in my head previously--the way his voice came out of my mouth and said his lines, I suddenly felt this humming inside him, this undercurrent I knew was there but hadn't found the shape of yet. I suddenly got him a lot more. Which is saying something, becuase the boy's been in my head for 16 years now. You'd think I'd know everything about him.

So glad I went. Brilliant writing from some of the other group members too. This could be just the thing.

Today's picture.

Friday, March 30, 2012


One of the most infuriating aspects of mental illness is the way it strips you of your ability to give yourself credit for living with a mental illness. If the disorder in your head were to manifest in your body instead, like say some day you couldn't get out of bed because a disease has made both your legs shrivel up into useless toothpicks, or maybe one day you wake up and your eyeballs are only functioning at 25%, or whatever--you'd have this very clear, distinct thing you have to live with, this cross to bear so to speak, that you'd be a lot less likely to blame yourself for. It wouldn't make you question whether the thing that's wrong even exists in the first place, or if everyone's this way and you're just handling it badly because of some fault in your personality.

But man, fucked-up brain chemicals are just as debilitating as having a body that doesn't function that well. And I want to give myself credit for living with them without breaking my life into pieces, but it is so hard to do that. Today I was walking out to my car to go pick up my kid and I had one of those moments I've had a million times in my life, when there's this insanely powerful surge of emotion that rips a hole through my brain like a tornado and leaves destruction and silence in its wake, and once it passed, I thought, well god damn. Normal people don't have to live with that, do they? Normal people can walk from the house to the car and not have to think hard about breathing because there is this whirlwind serotonin onslaught wreaking havoc with thoughts and impulses like there's no tomorrow. Normal people can just get right in the car and start driving without needing to sit there and slam their head into the steering wheel a few times first. For no apparent reason. It's not like I just found out I was fired or I heard my grandma died or whatever, nothing terrible just happened, but my body is suddenly acting like I've heard awful news when I haven't. There is no news. There is only strong, gnarly ghost emotion. Teeth and claws that don't exist.

And then of course I think, well obviously I've been thinking the wrong thoughts, that's why I have that surge rip through me like that. Like I've dug this canyon into my mind by thinking the same wrong thoughts, and it's unearthed some slathering beast. Like it's my fault. My fault that I can't keep a better lid on my crazy, even if I do all I can to not let it show that I feel like I don't have a lid on it. Whenever it starts showing, whenever I do something that makes me think, oops, people are gonna know that I'm a nutjob, I castigate myself for being weak. Letting it show is a weakness. I am weak if I let it show. I've got to turn down my personality. It's too damn loud. Too much.

But that's the crazy talking! It's just the crazy! AmIright?! Yeah. Now I just have to remember that, at the times when it's hardest to remember.

And, huh, there we are again.

Anybody got any brilliant tips for breaking the cycle of suck? Maybe I could get "It's not your fault" tattooed in reverse writing on my forehead so every time I look in a mirror I'm reminded.

Then again, I usually realize about halfway through my work day that I haven't bothered to look in a mirror yet to make sure I look normal. That whole "crazy" thing.

A look at last night through the lens of a hangover

This morning the office reeks of burnt plastic. Something's wrong with the HVAC. No work on my desk yet so I have a few minutes to write this.

Grand summation of my thoughts on waking this morning: I'm a fucking idiot.

I've turned over everything I can remember and I don't think I did anything too bad. Boss got involved in a long conversation, probably sports-related, with the guy I gave my coat to (sure regretted that this morning when I walked to the bus stop), so if I said anything too asinine, it was probably just around the beautiful girl who sits across from me. And I think she is used to my asininity by now. Oh shut up, I tell myself, shut up. I can't.

Mostly blurs. Hysterics on the couch at the first bar, I don't remember why. Laughing so hard I couldn't sit up straight. Fireballs that went down way too easy. I was going to stop after one, I'm pretty sure, but somehow they kept appearing in front of me, and down they went. Texted M, said I was going out for a beer after work with my department. He said OK. Then my phone went off again at like 10:45, him asking whether I was going to bother to come home. I was sitting in front of a fire outside then, I remember, I think at the place that used to have a bull. A mechanical bull. A half-empty pack of cigarettes on the table in front of me. I still smell it in me, even after a long hot shower this morning. Brushed my teeth twice and the sour taste of mistakes won't go away. I just remembered I took all the cash out of my wallet and left it on the table by the fire. I think it was all singles but I don't know. Hope so. Found a receipt in my pocket that says I gave the cashier $70 for the cigarettes and lighter. That can't be right.

But hey, the circus of stupidity drowned the akathisia. It hasn't bubbled back up yet.

The beautiful girl drove me home. She played this song in the car, all spheres and intersections and light. It was lovely. I loved her then, loved that she said this was her favorite song. The spherical, empty shapes of it made me think about how we all carry these huge spaces inside us that no one else can fathom, and that one of the few ways we can see inside someone else is to look at the things that are their favorites. This favorite song made me understand her brain.

Or maybe I was just too doped up on her beauty. 

I looked at my kid when I got home. Asleep on the top bunk. Then to bed. At least she has one non-fucked-up parent. I try to keep it from her. I do. I try hard, hard, hard to keep it from her. I keep it away from her. No mistakes when I'm with her. That's the goal.

M put his hand on my side sometime. I rolled out of the bed onto the floor. I thought I was going to throw up from the feel of his hand on my skin. I crawled into the bathroom and sat on the floor for a long time. I sipped water. The sourness, sour sour sour, in my mouth. All that smoke. All those shots, all those beers. What was I thinking.

Then dreams. A continuation of happy "hour." Ha. Oh there was sometime last night when I felt so buoyant, so bubbled up and I knew I was wasting happiness, sucking it out of some other time when it was real, burning it with liquor until it evaporated into nothingness. Also though I had a hard time walking, the group was ahead of me and I looked down at my feet crossing over the paving stones and I thought, slow down, oh Jesus slow down. Herculean effort involved in staying upright and keeping my feet going.

In one of the dreams a beautiful naked man was our waiter. But he was mutilated. Ruined. He didn't seem to care, but I knew he was burning it out of himself whenever he wasn't working. I don't know how I knew. Dreams.  Who knows.

I think I was still drunk when I woke up this morning. My brain is dulled. My senses are flat. My ears ring. But other than that I seem to have all my pieces. M and the kid still asleep. Keep it hidden.

And that concludes this morning's wallowing in the land of self-castigation. Up and forward.

Today's picture.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Food food oh lord the food

Epic, Michael Phelps-level calorie consumption today.

The light I shine

Wrapping up the YA MS. The ending is hard to write. I love these kids so much. They're all pieces of me, they're all places I've been and things I've learned that I've had to unlearn and relearn and do over and fix. 

But what is pain for if you can't turn it into art later? What good is the experience of living through hell if you can't use what you know to shine a light on the path and help someone else through?

I fear it goes too far, and I fear it doesn't go far enough. I fear I'm not far enough through it now to shine the light. The pain writes itself. The light, I have to think hard about. I have to concentrate on the light. It's like therapy. You can bitch and moan all you want, but if you're not motivated to solve your own problems, it's useless. 

Writing is therapy. Writing is hard work. Writing is real and worth it and one of the main reasons I get out of bed in the morning. Writing is a giant welcome basket to throw a huge wadded-up ball of hypomania into. It's like working out, it's like puking, it's a bloodletting that tethers me back to the real world by letting me out of it to breathe for a while.

The prologue. 

            Around 8 p.m. on a sweltering Tuesday in June, Jerome climbed out of the back seat of a rusty yellow hatchback with party plates, said goodbye to Randy and Joe, and walked up the driveway to his house. The car pulled away. Its muffler failed to muffle the engine noise.
His dad was the only one home, dozing in front of the TV with a half-empty bottle of vodka. Jerome went upstairs to his room and opened his laptop to check his email for the first time in a week.
The only people who ever sent him anything were his mom, his twin sister Angie, and his grandma in Florida forwarding chains of junk, so it was odd that there were two messages from an address he didn’t recognize, sent six days ago. He clicked the first one. The body of the email said, “I wonder if you ever think about me.” No signature. He clicked delete. The second one, sent five minutes later, said, “I’m thinking about you right now. I’ll be in town soon for an assignment back at the main office. I want to see you.” A picture was pasted under the words.
            Jerome stared at the screen for a few seconds. Then he deleted the second email, cleaned out the trash folder, and deleted his email account. He logged on to Facebook and untagged every photo of himself, then deleted his profile. He shut down the laptop. The black, empty screen reflected his face. He slammed the screen closed and shoved the laptop off the back of the desk. It hit a few of the tacked-up drawings on the bulletin board and took them down with it before getting jammed between the desk and the wall.
He lay on the bed and folded his hands over his stomach, staring at the fading daylight on the ceiling until the bluish hues of dusk turned over to the ugly orange glow of the streetlight.
            Sometime around midnight, he sucked in his breath and lurched out of bed. One foot caught on the other on his way out of the room, but it was too late to stop his forward momentum. His face hit the doorframe with all his weight behind it. He pressed his palm into the gash on his cheek and stumbled into the bathroom and threw up everything he’d eaten at the movie theater with his friends earlier.
Six hours later, when gray daylight began to seep into the window, he opened the bathroom door. He glanced down the hallway at Angie’s bedroom door. It was closed. He crossed the hall to his room and stuffed some clothes, his phone, and his sketchbook and pencils into a backpack, grabbed his skateboard, and left the house.
            No one in his family heard from him for two weeks.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I love how when

I'm up I carry this supposition that everything in my head has value and is worth recording. So much that I carry a notebook everywhere and scribble my thoughts in it so they don't get lost in the constant flood of new ideas.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

"The Kingdom of Childhood" by Rebecca Coleman

I don't imagine I'll post too many book reviews, but I just finished reading this novel and wanted to get my thoughts about it down since it whacked my gong with a heavy hammer.

“The Kingdom of Childhood” is brutal and real. A number of times on my trip through the book I had to take a breather and emotionally withdraw from the characters, because with a plotline like this, you know it’s not going to end well—and the more you care, the more it will hurt. The story is simple: 40-something lonely kindergarten teacher (Judy) seduces, or is seduced by, 16-year-old good-looking, likable high school kid (Zach) who happens to be friends with her son; all of this takes place at a K-12 Waldorf school. Then it all goes inevitably wrong, because it’s literary fiction; if it doesn’t, it’s soft-core MILF porn.

So why get invested in a dark and doomed storyline, in characters who are playing out their mistakes to the hilt like a train wreck in slow-mo? The answer is in the writing. This book is masterfully created, from the plot itself down the nitty-gritty of the individual sentences. I never stumbled once on an awkward bit of dialogue, or on a character description that I couldn’t envision. No overuse of adverbs, no stumbling passive tense. The subtleties sucked me in just as much as the overall story arc. There’s a particularly heartbreaking scene that sums up a lot: Zach, while trying to hide his crumbling mental state, eats a cookie at a school fundraising carnival. The cookie turns out to have been made by Judy. Not long after he eats it, he leaves the carnival and throws up in the parking lot behind the dumpster. Judy finds him, apologizes for upsetting him, and gives him a blow job he can’t bring himself to turn down. Who’s to blame here?

The cookie is, of course, a metaphor, as is the kids’ playhouse Zach builds to be raffled off at the school Christmas bazaar: inside it is where the first intimate scene between Zach and Judy takes place. The Kingdom of Childhood, desecrated by lust and mistakes.

Judy makes an error in judgment that most of us are guilty of: She mistakes a thing she wants for a thing she needs. But she carries it too far when she victimizes a person hovering at the line between childhood and young adulthood; she yanks him, half-willing, into the deep end before he quite knows how to swim, and he’s forced to either learn to keep his head above water at the expense of his self-respect, or to sink. She tells him time and again, as abusers do, that the ball is in his court, that he calls the shots. He believes her because he isn’t experienced enough to determine where he’s culpable and where he isn’t, and because he can’t stop himself from taking what she offers—he’s sixteen and flooded with hormones, Judy is there, he can’t turn it down even though he knows how wrong it is and that she doesn’t care about him, only about what he can give her/what she can take from him.

I didn’t care much about Judy. I couldn’t sympathize with her, even after seeing her suffer as a child and knowing what her current life is like: cold husband, distant children, recently dead best friend. Her life is full of holes she can’t plug up. I get that. Zach’s crisis is the one that made the story worth reading. The tug and pull between his developing moral compass and his willingness to do things he hates himself for is the stuff of a good bildungsroman. Where will he end up? You hope for him. You fear for him. You kinda wanna kill Judy.

From Judy:

I should have affirmed that it was [a no]. I knew the full litany of what he did not want to do, and this was where it began. If there had remained any possibility that life could throw a cup of cold water in my face and reverse the course of things, it would have been that moment, that question.

Instead, I climbed into the back of the car [with Zach].

And it was at that moment that I stopped being a woman who had made a series of exceedingly bad judgment calls, and became a child molester.

Later, from Zach:

“My problem is I don’t know how to get myself to stop.” He laughed humorlessly. “I don’t know how to make myself stop wanting to be raped.”

To string up tension like that and run a bow of words over it and make beautiful music that breaks your heart is the work of a gifted artist.

Wiped and wired

Jittery and tired.

Yesterday was a carnival of insanity.

Okay, that's dramatic.

But it was rough. I woke up sore, all the shaking from Thursday hitting me right in the kneecaps. Cleaned the house. I can't have a clean mind with a dirty house. Which means I have a messy mind most of the time, since I don't live alone. Or a dirty mind. Which happens.

I got so tired in the afternoon that I had to lay down and when I did, I had a big crash. I lay there face-down in the bed panting from how extremely tired I was, visualizing all the ways I could kill myself when I got up. That's like my freaking wubby or something, my comfort blankie: How will I kill myself when I get out of this bed? Not like those thoughts actually help me get to sleep the way a teddy bear would. I tried to get out of bed after an hour but I only made it as far as the kitchen floor. Then I crawled back in to the bed until my kid came and jumped on my head.

One great thing about having a kid. She keeps you from killing yourself.

I knew staying in the house would only make all this worse so M and the kid and I betook ourselves off to the kids serve spaghetti dinner thing at church. oh god it was pretty awful. I thought I'd freak if I didn't get out of there so I just got up and left about an hour into it and went and sat in the car. A person can only pretend to be normal for so long when there is a hurricane of shit swirling between the ears.

Came home to find a letter from the ins co in the mail that the preauthorization for Abilify is rejected because I only failed with risperidone, and not yet with that other one that starts with an o. So glad I paid my psych $50 to preauthorize that drug, that I now cannot even get. Whatever. I guess I'll call him on Monday and see what to do next. Maybe I'll be fine by then and it won't matter anymore.


Breathe in, breathe out.

Friday, March 23, 2012


This morning for the first time in about a month and a half I feel pretty normal. Hoping it lasts. I got about four hours of sleep, and the tiredness I feel right now feels like a normal tiredness, rather than the jittery awful exhaustion of my body wearing out before my mind does. I only had one bad moment so far today, and it only lasted about 20 seconds. Intense seconds, but ones I knew would end, and they did. It's so weird how the feeling is now accompanied by a strong bitter taste flooding my mouth, when it hasn't been in the past.

Yesterday was bad. Work was stressful. Back when I had all the health problems at the end of January and the beginning of February, I was given a large, complicated project involving legal changes to medical product claims for a national-brand product website our company writes and maintains, and apparently I missed implementing a few changes from the 245-page legal-change document. (No small wonder, since I was recovering from surgery and an anesthesia-necessary intestinal biopsy right at the time the hypomania started up, but I can't forgive myself for it anyway.) My boss called me into a huddle room and explained what had happened and that she'd basically been thrown under a bus about it in front of her new boss, so it sort of blew up, although my boss handled it really well. She had a meeting with the PM after her meeting with me and it wound up turning out to not be that bad. The project manager who'd done the bus-throwing was actually much more concerned about the project being over budget and the fact that no one from the copy department had told our department that the client-facing doc I'd sent to the PM had to be formatted in a certain way. So it was more a matter of miscommunication than the things I missed, which turned out to be minor and were caught before coder implementation. But the time between the first meeting with my boss and her returning from the meeting with the PM and letting me know it was okay was awful. I was already shaking and buzzing, since I'd had little sleep the previous night, and during and after the meeting the shaking got a lot worse. Then the migraine started despite all the drugs I kept throwing at it, and by the time the workday was over I felt ready to crawl under a rock and die.

The shaking was bad all day yesterday. I couldn't stop moving. I just now looked at the Barnes Akathesia scale and I was at about a 3.5 or 4 out of 5 most of the day yesterday. I went with my brother to the Hunger Games premiere at midnight and though I was very interested in the movie and wanted to engage with it, it was extremely uncomfortable to have to sit still in the theater. My legs were shaking so hard that the seats on either side of me were moving from it. I felt bad for the poor girl sitting next to me, but I couldn't stop. Every time I tried to force it to stop, this horrible tingling shot through me and I felt like I was going to scream, so I just kept doing it. By the time I got home it was starting to wear itself out, and I got to sleep around 4 or 4:30. Then I got up for work.

Now I feel used up and tired out, but it's a good tired out. Like a normal, genuine tired, that normal people feel when they don't get enough sleep. So even though it's not pleasant to be foggy-brained and have a slight headache, I'm actually really happy about it. I feel more sane now than I've felt in days. Though it doesn't feel it will last, I'll take it while I've got it.

I had a facepalm moment yesterday when I realized I've been in a mixed state for at least three weeks. Funny how these things are so hard to see when you're in them.

Haven't heard back yet from the psychiatrist that the Abilify was authorized by the insurance company. I saw him on Wednesday and they said it would take 24-72 hours for it to go through, so hopefully by tomorrow I'll have it in my hands. This calm feels somewhat like the eye of the storm and I know it isn't going to last, so it'll be good to have this new thing to try when it does return. I'm nervous that it will increase the agitation/weight loss problem, but still willing to give it a try and see what happens.

Today's picture, taken a few years ago in northern Ohio early in the morning. It feels like a waiting picture. I am waiting.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Up and down and in and out today. Not down, down's not the right word, it's not that kind of down. Or up either. It's nothing to do with sadness/happiness. It's energy spinning and crashing. Dizzying. Came close to puking/passing out on my friend's kitchen floor after a hard uphill bike trip in the sun to her house hauling a 60-lb trailer. It was great. I put my head between my knees and she covered me with ice packs and then ten minutes later i was fine and we watched Motherfucking Bike and everything was funny and OK. She makes most things funny and OK. Thank God.

Saw Dr. M this morning and he preauthorized Abilify to the ins co while I was in the office. Risperidone = failure. It sucked sitting there listening to him tell the insurance company that I'm bipolar 1 and spelling out for them all the drugs that have failed. Like it was a hammer hitting this nail over and over and over, this failed, that failed, this also failed. I don't think he liked it either. I kept trying to turn off the agitation while he was talking to them but by about halfway through I couldn't keep the lid on it and I was shaking like a #@%$. I felt like crawling under the fucking leather couch, which, hello, newsflash, vegans are not cool with leather couches. He was all, you're still having a lot of agitation.


Hopefully Abilify will get the edge off this. I can't remember ever being like this so long, about a month and a half. Downs have lasted that long easily, longer, sometimes almost a year, but ups, usually three, four days. This is unusual. It's more of an agitation than an up, though it's great when that sparkles into it with its hard diamond edges. And the creativity has been off the charts. There are not enough minutes in the hours in the days to brain-dump everything happening in there. That part's good, the alternate-reality functioning in a fairly non-crazy way constantly going on. I want to be able to devote time to it but the current living/working situation does not allow enough. Each day would have to be about 37 hours long (with no sleeping) to even start to get it all out.

I'm going to see Hunger Games at 12:10 a.m. with my brother tomorrow. Yes we are those idiots. Then if it's not lightning and craziness I'm going to get up early and bike 20 miles to work Friday morning. I have so much energy when I get about three hours of sleep. The trick is to not hallucinate while I'm riding, ha. It's excellent that the bronchitis is gone. I think half the problem recently and in Mexico was that I couldn't burn off the energy spins because of the breathing problems and the hacking fits. But that's mostly over now and brutal bike trips really help. Not with the weight problem though, and yesterday the three-bite food problem started again. Not good with all the other weight loss since December, which wasn't extra weight in the first place. Seems like every time i get enough padding on me to hold my clothes up, wham, some kind of stupid bullshit in my brain or body goes wrong and I'm either too mental to eat or too sick to digest for just long enough to wind up with all my ribs showing again.

Right, shut the fuck up Lurid, no one wants to hear you complain about not being able to keep weight on.

Here's a picture of the way the word "MATTERS" at the end of "I Do Not Want This" looks in my head. It comes in from the right and gets this shape and color as it passes through the moment between when it's in the future and when it's in the past. The construct of now.

It is jagged at the edges because it's screamed instead of sung, and shaped like a fish because of the way the "t"sound comes out like a "d", which pinches words and flips the right-side half upside down so the whole thing is like a smashed-flat two-dimensional representation of a helix in my head.

Since the last part of it has been screaming through my head all day:

I wanna know everything
I wanna be everywhere
I wanna fuck everyone in the world
I wanna do something

That sums up mania, right there.


If the toothpaste tube and the sunscreen tube are the same size and shape, don't put them next to one another in the medicine cabinet and then attempt to brush your teeth in the dark while drunk.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


More pain-in-the-arse lack of sleep, sitting still, etc. On the other hand, hey, waking up at six a.m. and having Very Athletic Sex. Us and the birds outside man, flipping at this f'd up 80-degree weather triggering all sorts of heavenly hell. This wheel in my  head is right on the edge of being not-okay, of spinning too fast. But it's okay right now. Barely. Oh god at night though. Jesus. If I ever crack, it's gonna be at 2 a.m.

Went to lunch and drank with my boss for two hours today. It was hard to stop drinking, but I drove and we had to get back to the office somehow, so, eernh. I'm lucky to be in this situation, where my boss is excellent and totally down with pounding them in the middle of the day, since we pay for it at other times by working till 10 pm and melting our brains on red ink and bad grammar. I could not shut up at lunch. I recognize that this is the thing that makes bipolar people interesting, that the flight of ideas and the funny conversation and the general depth of engagement with other humans during hypomania is what makes this even remotely worth the rest of the bull, but even if it looks good on the outside, on this side of it, there's that little edge of terror poking me in the ribs that it's going to tip up into mania and I'm going to start hearing shit that's not there and believing vines are crawling out of the paper I'm supposed to be editing and that the top of the tallest building downtown is actually made out of lashed-together goose feathers and saying something, something, that is not okay with my boss, even though my boss is great and there is not a lot I could say that would not be okay.

That was a long-ass sentence. That's what my brain is doing right now. If my brain were a bike I'd be riding the fucking hell out of it.

Holy shit it's 3:40. Yo brain, if you're listening, which you aren't, how about you start perceiving time the right way again.

Hey Lurid, it's brain, maybe if you start treating me right I'll stop being such a dick to you.

I do not want to give up lamictal since it's the drug that more or less saved my life, but damn. Damn.

Oh my god my heart is like a monster truck inside my ribs right now. It is making testosterone-fueled noises and wants to eat cars.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


I've started to think of my personality as a medical condition. And that every thought and emotion is a symptom.

I hate that.

And all this I'm reading lately, about long-term memory being an imaginative reconstruction tinted with the haze of whatever current emotional filter you look at past events through, and Isaac Newton blinding himself trying to understand light, and the way PTSD shuts down the normal development of certain brain functions, and how attachment theory works and what happens when it doesn't work and how cognitive neuroscience is like marrying the biology of your brain with your thoughts, with cold hard physics serving as ring-bearer, it's all floating like boiling rotini through my head. Like that gorgeous perfect wheel at the bike shop, when I put my fingertip on it and gave it the slightest spin and listened to it, the faint sparkling silver titch of a sound like a miniature chocolate chip while the bike shop owner admired my LeTour and told me how much the rebuild would cost, and the conversation took a while, and when he paused to tally up everything that was wrong, the wheel was still spinning, its tiny sounds shrinking into nothingness but still going. I said okay to everything he said, because my mind was with the wheel. Like the wheel and the concept of entropy existed in two separate universes. That wheel, the wheel like that with no hitches in it, is the wheel that spins in my head. There is no physical force to stop it. An object in motion tends to stay in motion. Until it meets a force that stops it. Like gravity, or wind resistance, or the word "no" or the crackling electricity in the air just before a late-afternoon August thunderstorm.

What the hell am I talking about. I need sleep.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Shut up.

I am all over the place. Jesus fuck. I'd like to get off the goddamned ride now please.

P.S. I suspect my psychiatrist might be an asshole. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Party till you can't

The last week has been a hell of a ride. Emphasis on the hell.

The risperidone has caused terrible insomnia, insomnia so terrible I thought I was going crazier than I was. Or I'm not sure, it might've been the crazy causing the insomnia. It's so hard to tell with crazy. But I think, I think, the crazy was from the insomnia.

Saturday night I drank a lot of beer to try to get to sleep. It worked for a few hours, then didn't. Sunday night, I hardly slept, but I don't much remember that night. I think I felt okay during the day Sunday. Restless, and I couldn't stop moving, but not bad-restless. I took some pictures of a deer carcass I found, and the carrion beetles eating it. Also the fur. I don't think I drank or did anything else Sunday night. Monday morning I saw the psychiatrist and tried to explain about the insomnia and the terrible racing heart and the weight of each heartbeat, and he seemed less concerned than I thought the situation warranted, since it feels so desperate on the inside of my head and I can't quite communicate that. He gave me an Rx for a different antipsychotic, said I was in the minority on the risperidone side effects. Apparently it is supposed to make a person sluggish and tired, and gain weight. Monday night, I felt desperate, terrible, and I took Percocet to try to get to sleep. Massive failure. I read and fooled around on the Internet till 1, then turned it off and tried to sleep, then failed, turned the computer back on, stayed up till 2:30, then tried to sleep more and failed again, then turned it back on, then gave up around 3:45, then laid there till 5:45, then fell into this state that resembled sleep the way a drawing of a tree resembles at tree, and got up at 7:30. 

Tuesday morning I realized as I was walking in to work from the parking lot that I was talking to myself and yanking on my hair. I don't think I was saying anything important, but I had this idea that there were people populating the inside of my head, and everything I did was a show for the people, like nothing was particularly real, but I had to pretend it was. I don't know, it's hard to explain to myself, and even now it's hard to remember exactly what I was thinking, because I was in such a weird state. I think I remember saying things like "Oh, it's because of the people," (and I remember that making sense, even though it doesn't now) and saying "shut up shut up" over and over. I think there may have been a dramatic reinterpretation of some Nine Inch Nails lyrics. I know there was more because it happened all the way from the car and into the building and up the stairs, and that's a pretty good clip. By the time I got to my desk and had to interact with real people, instead of the ones in my head, things seemed more real, less tenuous. But I noticed any time I was quiet, or not interacting with someone else, things in my head started getting weird again. Like my brain was being jerked to the right constantly. And I had some bizarre emotional reactions to things I wouldn't ordinarily give much thought to. A guy got on the elevator I was riding and I stared at his shoes and got sucked into this morass, nothing I can properly write out because I don't understand it. I don't even have names for those emotions but none of them were positive. Then again, I was in such a slur that it didn't last long. It was like a bottled-up essence of some emotion (or more than one) tipped over in my brain, but it was like alcohol and it hit the warm surface of my cognition with a stink and a flash of sensation, and then it evaporated.

Also I have been visualizing chopping off parts of my body with the 12-inch Turkish cleaver hanging under the kitchen cabinets. No plan to do this, but it's this thing that floats through my head over and over.  

Whack. Then the mess.

I'm writing this down because i want to look at it later and decide how crazy this is. Or was. Because it's better now, but it's not so much better that I can think clearly. I can't.

I smoked weed that night, Tuesday night, thinking surely, surely. This will create sleep. It did not. The shapes of sounds got very distinct, crisper than they've been in ages. Which was lovely. But I was so stoned I had trouble walking. I kept having conversations with my friend and being amazed that the things I contributed to the conversation made sense, because in my head, they did not make sense at all, and each time I said something, it was in response to only the sentence she'd spoken last, not her point as a whole (ha ha, probably there wasn't one, because she was stoned as fuck too). I have no memory of anything she talked about, only the shapes of her words, and the texture of her voice. Even now in my mind it's different from how it was before I listened to it that stoned.

After she went to sleep on the couch, I went into the guest room and laid on the bed, hoping to fall asleep. But I could feel the spinning spinning still happening in my mind. Spinning round. It felt like a thing with substance, a solid instead of a gas. Which was weird, because it hadn't felt that way before. It felt like I was cohabitating in my head with it. Like we were roommates.

Last night I did not drink or smoke or take painkillers, and I somehow managed to sleep for seven straight hours without waking up once, despite thinking around 10:30 that it was going to be a hard night. Then I got up and rode my bike twenty miles to work this morning, and felt generally like a washed-clean specimen of human until I remembered around 1ish to take the risperidone, and twenty minutes after i took it I thought I was going to pass out. I walked from the kitchen back to my desk and the floor seemed very far away and uneven. I'm glad I was alone in the hallway. I think if another person had been in the hallway, I would have asked for help, since reality was slinking away like a kicked dog. But no one was there so I rode my feet back to my desk, seeing as they knew the way, and I sat there stunned for a while till the feeling passed, then I ate my lunch.

Now it's 10:30 again and I'm going to go get into the bed and lie there and see what happens. I hope the thing I hope happens will actually happen. That would be lovely. Lovely.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Over the line

Today I stepped over a line I assumed I'd never have to cross: I started taking an antipsychotic drug. I took the first dose an hour ago.

You live with a mental illness, you draw a line in the dirt: On this side of the line, you can survive. You can fake your way through normal. On that side, you can't.

Now I'm on that side. This side has become that side. 

Lately I got so cranked I practically begged my psychiatrist today for something to bring me back down. Back down. Who'd have thought? I've been manic before. Out of control. Occasionally believed I existed in a shiny and beautiful parallel universe right next door to the one I was raised in. But I always came back down after a couple days, three or four at most. This time it's gone on and on and on and on. Not the parallel universe thing, but the spinning spinning spinning in my mind. Not sleeping. Incapable of slowing down. Of being still. Traffic and desk work are a special kind of hell. I lay down and try to sleep and my head pours out beautiful, complicated art projects, more brilliant than anything I've ever conceived, and then the ideas are smashed against the rocks to make way for the next wave. The colors are loud. The shapes of sounds are crisp and fill my brainpan right up. The fan on my laptop, an endless band of gray stretching from left to right, thicker on the bottom third and thin and whitish at the top, with three solid lines running through.

Fun at first. Beautiful. Then, not. Lurid. 

It's hard to think after the crashes of the past few years that I'd want to take a drug that would bring me back down. It feels like a mistake. I fought so hard and so pointlessly for so long to get out of down. I have to keep reminding myself I'm aiming for normal. It still bashes my little tweety bird against the cage bars to think that I have a disease I'll have to live with for the rest of my life. Let alone that it's gotten to the point of unsurvivability without a drug regimen.

Anyway. We'll see how it goes. My hope: this will swat my mental state like a fly, knock me out of the sky and back onto the picnic basket. I'll shake it off. Get off the drug. Get on with my life.

Until the next time.When there will, hopefully, be a quick fix, something that won't involve lengthy carnival rides on antipsychotics.

Shit. I am not psychotic.