My World Bipolar Day Contribution: “Bipolar Is The New Gay”

~Reposting this from February, a peek into the challenges of this disorder. Here’s more information on World Bipolar Day.~

Today we’ll move the pin down one.

The hammies were complaining during the stationary bike warm-up, and now on the leg curls, they don’t wanna move.

“rrrrr…”

I can do this.

“rrr…rrrrrr…”

Look left. Look right. All alone in the gym.

“RAAAAAAA!!!”

There it goes!

Fluid, don’t smack against the arse. Smooth, smooth, smooth…

Ironically, the song I have set for this week’s Turn It Up Tuesday comes on. Fitting, as we’re moving now to the quads.

I growl through upper body presses, then sigh towards the padded stand.

Lower ab leg curls.

As I stabilize my position to bang out crunches, a heavily obese woman enters the gym. She’s got proper gym clothes on, her water bottle is filled, and she’s motioning towards the cardio machines.

I’m so proud of her, showing the lazy skinny punks how to self-care. Her arrival encourages me to push through side crunches, to the point of making my injured right hip sing.

We did it.

I take my time giving Bobby his weekly bath, and suddenly I remember, I HAVE THERAPY TODAY.

I rush him so I can shower. He’s visibly relieved.

As I happen to swipe my smartphone screen, I notice the misread: two thirty not twelve thirty.

Oh.

Ah!

We’ve got time for pancakes!

2:36PM I arrive at the therapist’s office.

“I left the house an hour ago, I swear! Time always works against me…”

We shuffle into the room.

I remove a copy of Night Walkers from my purse. “You might recognize someone in there.”

She chuckles, then proceeds to read my short story, Tokyo Rose.

She looks up. “Metaphorically, what am I examining with this first page?”

“Consider it…the event horizon of a suicide.”

She laughs at the right parts, marvels at the word play, notes my editorializing. I’m pleased that she gets it.

After she’s done, I review with the therapist how this work stems from the memory of my last suicide attempt, now four years ago.

“What does this mean for you now?” Alluding to fame, fortune, popularity.

“It’s me confessing my truths. I put the work out there, because, mainly, I’m not long for this world.”

She mentions Stevie Smith and Nick Drake. I mention Michael Angelakos.

“So it seems that…knowing you’re not long for this world, helps you be part of it?”

“Right.”

I tell the therapist I’m visiting with a spiritualist to understand further the metaphysical dynamic of my existence. As we speak, I’m thumbing through a copy of the DSM-V. She encourages my interest in the science behind psychosis, but reminds me, the DSM is a tome put together by psychiatrists under the influence of pharmaceutical companies.

I mention the show happening tomorrow. She’s visibly proud, but sees I’m not.

I then recall the last time I had a grand event occur involving my art, I ended up in the HPU.

Knowing this, we design a skeletal plan of approach: “How are you going to keep safe?” I offer my initial strategy. The therapist approves of my suggestions. “Give yourself permission to refuse anything that you know will upset you. Allow yourself to be emotional, if you have a reaction.”

“Just remember…you can express yourself, just don’t touch anybody.”

“Right.”

Boo Radley, To Kill A Mockingbird
Boo Radley, To Kill A Mockingbird

I flip to Bipolar Disorder. “I wish We weren’t the new bogeymen.”

“Boo Radley.”

“Yeah.”

I smirk. “Bipolar is the new gay.”

“We should start making T-shirts. ‘Bipolar Is The New Gay’!”

“Yes.” I clasp my hands, “We just want to belong.”

She laughs. “You’re going to be alright.”

Sigh. “I know.”

Time’s up.

I can do this.

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