Friday, September 23, 2011

God is in the Rain

It's not so hard running around naked in public being bipolar, but others seem to discourage this type of behavior. Go figure... But on my adventures I found myself drunk after a quart of vodka looking at the rain from our window and thought it would be a fantastic time to contemplate the effects on the body of a cold rain in the fall season.

So after tiring out my lovely wife out for the night (you know what I mean, mentally tired) I proceeded to run out into the culdesac in front of the house in my boxers convinced that God was in the Rain. And telling any unfortunate soul out at 2am that this was my calling. As I sat in the middle of the road looking upward having the cold November rain fall on my skin I thought that this was life and was to be for me, and God himself sent it exclusively for me. After a few moments my wife figured out that I was no longer around and came looking for me she came running out of the house frantic with a pair of sweat pants telling me if I didn't put these on she was going to call the police. I was looking at her in confusion thinking that don't you see how magnificent this is? Can't you feel God? So I relented and put the pants on but at that time it wasn't the same so I went inside and felt depressed because the moment was gone.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Orange Caterpillar

One thing about being bipolar is that you put yourself into strange situations and I have put myself into more then a few.

For this story (and the many others to follow) I am changing the names of the people around me only to protect them from judgmental assholes out there. And mainly not to be sued by anyone. Because Christ I don't want to be sued again by "so-called" loved ones.

So the year was April 1988. An old school friend of mine from middle school and his brother asked me to go with them to see the Grateful Dead concert in Louisville Kentucky. Personally I was never into the Dead at all. Being a musician myself I thought they sounded like really bad country music, but I was game and I had a free ticket. So what the hell? It started with a drive from Baltimore to York PA. My friend "Tom's" father worked at a Ford dealer there as a salesman. His father did us a favor and let us use a demo car for the next four days to drive the 300 mile journey to Kentucky. It was a spanking new Ford GT Escort with all the frills and a dealers tag to boot and the price listing in the window. Just so we found any offers I suppose. Tom, after assuring his father that he would be the only one driving the car— I took over the first leg of the journey. Ok, so being bipolar I can stay awake for days unlike the other "normals" out there. We drove until we hit the most western part of West Virginia. After of a lot of complaining from Tom that we should stop. To tell you the truth I could have gone another 200 miles. We stopped at a truck rest stop and held out the night. I was ready to go at first light, but Tom and his brother needed to do the normal morning ritual of peeing and getting themselves together to address the new day. We made it to Tennessee that evening. Looking for a place to stay, unlike the awful truck stop the night before we found ourselves at a Quality Inn. $79 fucking dollars for one night those fucking bastards charged us. But it was a place to take a nice shower and clean ourselves up after 11 hours of driving. Plus to drink a little beer and hit the ounce of pot we had was a good stopping point. The next day we made it to Kentucky After it rained the entire trip there we found ourselves on the outskirts of Freedom Hall, we'd stop at a mini-mart to get food and drink. Coming out of the store we see the Louisville sheriff leaning up against his his car looking at us. Being still high from the days travels we were, let us say a little paranoid. And were trying to be non-approachable to say the least. But then the sheriff shouts out, "excuse me boys". "OH SHIT" we thought, we made it this far. But with the sheriff looking at the borrowed car that he saw us exit from with the dealer tags and the price list in the window asked, "Let me ask you boys a question." "Yes sir", I'd replied. "Did y'all steal that car?" he continued. "Oh no sir, you see my friend Tom's father..." as I tried to explain how we'd became in possession of our car, the sheriff interrupted. "Now it's ok, ok I believe you boys", he stated. "You all here for that Grateful Dead Concert commotion aren't you?". "Yes." Tom said. "Well just to let you know; when this whole shing-ding is over, you boys make sure you get outta here." the sheriff added. "Oh yes sir we promise." "you go on your way, but don't want to see y'all tomorrow y'all hear? " the sheriff said before getting back into his cruiser.

So we make it to Freedom Hall and it's a circus! There was only one way in and one way out with a heavy gate closing all of us in. 10am in the morning and people are parading around with grilled cheese sandwich stands, selling beads, clothing, and drugs. The word around was Purple Dragon was the blotter (acid) to get. We set up our tent in the parking lot next to the car and then medical students in a Geo Storm set up camp next to us. They had a 50lb tank of nitrous oxide making balloons for $5 each. Sitting in the tent I see the outline of a young man with a balloon outside the tent. In the next 30 seconds I see this outline ingest the balloon and passes out falling into our tent collapsing it with us in it. The med students felt bad so as a conciliation they offered us free balloons for the rest of the night. I hated that shit, but hey something free huh?

Needing to set the tent back up and get some fresh air, me and Tom's brother Gary walked around the grounds. In a crowd of thousands a really freaky guy walks by and say the words PURPLE DRAGON in a whisper to me!. I stopped looked at Gary and said ok this is it. Running through the crown I found this guy and said we are looking. And went back to our newly erected tent. Balloons still making the swoosh sound that never ended throughout the night. We bought three of these purple beauties for $10 each. And it was the best acid I have ever had. And unfortunately the bipolar part of me has sampled A LOT.

The gist of this adventure started when I was peaking standing in line to go into the show. That said getting to our seats was a journey. We happened to come in the opposite side of the venue and needed to walk around to the other side for our seats. Walking through the crowds of people with the different smells and looks, walks of all parts of life I really just wanted to find my seat and chill out. Everyone and everything was freaking me out at this point.


A girl dancing in the isle had her neck elongated swinging around like a ball on a string. I was increasingly upset that the crowd was louder the god awful music being played.

After the show (and after Midnight) I got in my head that this was all a scam and we were the bait. The Grateful Dead to my knowledge was from the hippy age and things were to be free and cared for. NOT HERE!!!

For the middle of April in was unseasonably cold, 29 degrees too cold. I had a bright orange mummy sleeping bag that closed up around my face and kept me somewhat warm. I decided to bounce around the parking lot trying to convince anyone that would listen to my rantings that this was a scam and we should all revolt. My friends were some distance behind me trying to get me out of trouble. The last thing I heard them say to a bunch of party goers was, "Did any of you guys see I six foot orange caterpillar come through here?" The entire crowd pointed in my direction and my buddies tackled me and carried me back to the car with me yelling, " This is all a scam we should fight the powers that be!"

No one came to my rescue needless to say and had to succumb to the powers of my friends. After a few hours I did come to my realization that this was all scam and I was part of it. Then I drove 16 hours home muttering to myself this whole thing was a bunch of shit.

But my bipolar nature put me there.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Still Life with Bipolar

This year it was finally official, the powers that be diagnosed me with type II bipolar. A double edged sword to me however. On one side it relieved me knowing now there was something of an explanation of why I do strange things, say socially questionable sayings, have put myself in (what the normal would say) crazy situations, and failed relationships with ones that will never understand. But on the other hand I feel now that I'm labeled.

So I've decided to write a series of blogs about my situation and reflect on past experiences to hopefully help anyone out there that suffers from this infliction. To let them know they are not alone and tomorrow is always a new adventure, so stick around to live it.

Sadly, studies have shown that 25 to 50% of people with bipolar disorder attempt suicide. Bipolar is a series of mighty highs and devastating lows of emotion. The highs are like what no drug can produce of euphoria, but the lows are crippling that no drug can remedy. And trust me I've tried them all.

A short list of manic (highs) episodes;

  • Feelings of euphoria
  • An abundance of energy
  • Becoming extremely active
  • Becoming restless
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Racing thoughts
  • Ideas rushing through the mind one after the other
  • Talking very fast
  • Feeling out of control
  • Quickly switching from one subject to another when talking
  • Extreme irritability
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Poor judgment
  • Being confused
  • Sleeping very little
  • Increased sexual drive
  • Abusing alcohol
  • Abusing drugs
  • Consuming excessive sleeping tablets
  • Denying that anything is wrong

Symptoms of depressive episodes, or depression, include:

  • Feeling intense sadness
  • Feeling lethargic -- feeling like you have no energy
  • Unable to concentrate
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Eating too much or too little
  • Feeling worthless
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Feeling helpless
  • Feeling negative or pessimisstic
  • Losing interest in activities that you previously enjoyed
  • Crying frequently
  • Withdrawing from others
  • Neglecting personal appearance
  • Feeling angry
  • Feeling guilty
  • Unable to think clearly
  • Unable to make decisions
But what I've found that these episode are related to triggers. Triggers come in all forms. A old photograph, a passage in a book or movie, contact with certain people, a stressful situation, drugs, (BIG ONE) alcohol, or a song. The thing to try to do is foresee the triggers. And it's not easy, because once you notice them your already in the thick of it.

One thing I don't agree with that "doctors" like to push are mood stabilizing drugs. There are over 128 different drugs 'they' like to push on us. My question is with this is one disorder, why 128 different drug to treat it? Answer is in two parts; One these have no idea on what works, the other is nothing works and it's just to make us complacent. Lethargic with no emotion or ideas. And let me tell you there are loads of us in the creative world. Here's a small list of famous crazy people.

Actors & Actresses

Ned Beatty
Maurice Bernard, soap opera
Jeremy Brett
Jim Carey
Lisa Nicole Carson
Rosemary Clooney, singer
Lindsay Crosby
Eric Douglas
Robert Downey Jr.
Patty Duke
Carrie Fisher
Connie Francis, singer and actress
Shecky Greene, comedian
Linda Hamilton
Moss Hart, actor, director, playright
Mariette Hartley
Margot Kidder
Vivien Leigh
Kevin McDonald, comedian
Kristy McNichols
Burgess Meredith, actor, director
Spike Milligan, actor, writer
Spike Mulligan, comic actor and writer
Nicola Pagett
Ben Stiller, actor, director, writer
David Strickland
Lili Taylor
Tracy Ullman
Jean-Claude Van Damme
Robin Williams
Jonathon Winters, comedian

Artists

Alvin Alley, dancer, choreogapher
Ludwig Von Beethoven
Tim Burton, artist, director
Francis Ford Coppola, director
George Fredrick Handel, composer
Bill Lichtenstein, producer
Joshua Logan, broadway director, producer
Vincent Van Gogh, painter
Gustav Mahier, composer
Francesco Scavullo, artist, photographer
Robert Schumann, composer
Don Simpson, movie producer
Norman Wexler, screenwriter, playwright

Entrepreneurs

Robert Campeau
Pierre Peladeau
Heinz C. Prechter
Ted Turner, media giant

Financiers

John Mulheren
Murray Pezim

Miscellaneous

Buzz Aldrin, astronaut
Clifford Beers, humanitarian
Garnet Coleman, legislator (Texas)
Larry Flynt, publisher and activist
Kit Gingrich, Newt's mom
Phil Graham, owner of Washington Post
Peter Gregg, team owner and manager, race car driver
Susan Panico (Susan Dime-Meenan), business executive
Sol Wachtier, former New York State Chief Judge

Musicians

Ludwig van Beethoven, composer
Alohe Jean Burke, musician, vocalist
Rosemary Clooney, singer
DMX Earl Simmons, rapper and actor
Ray Davies
Lenny Dee
Gaetano Donizetti, opera singer
Peter Gabriel
Jimi Hendrix
Kristen Hersh (Throwing Muses)
Phyllis Hyman
Jack Irons
Daniel Johnston
Otto Klemperer, musician, conductor
Oscar Levant, pianist, composer, television
Phil Ochs, musician, political activist, poet
John Ogden, composer, musician
Jaco Pastorius
Charley Pride
Mac Rebennack (Dr. John)
Jeannie C. Riley
Alys Robi, vocalist in Canada
Axl Rose
Nick Traina
Del Shannon
Phil Spector, musician and producer
Sting, Gordon Sumner, musician, composer
Tom Waits, musician, composer
Brian Wilson, musician, composer, arranger
Townes Van Zandt, musician, composer

Poets

John Berryman
C.E. Chaffin, writer, poet
Hart Crane
Randall Jarrell
Jane Kenyon
Robert Lowell
Sylvia Plath
Robert Schumann
Delmore Schwartz

Political

Robert Boorstin, special assistant to President Clinton
L. Brent Bozell, political scientist, attorney, writer
Bob Bullock, ex secretary of state, state comptroller and lieutenant governer
Winston Churchill
Kitty Dukasis, former First Lady of Massachusetts
Thomas Eagleton, lawyer, former U.S. Senator
Lynne Rivers, U.S. Congress
Theodore Roosevelt, President of the United States

Scholars

John Strugnell, biblical scholar

Scientists

Karl Paul Link, chemist
Dimitri Mihalas

Sports

Shelley Beattie, bodybuilding, sailing
John Daly, golf
Muffin Spencer-Devlin, pro golf
Ilie Nastase, tennis
Jimmy Piersail, baseball player, Boston Red Sox, sports announcer
Barret Robbins, football
Wyatt Sexton, football
Alonzo Spellman, football
Darryl Strawberry, baseball
Dimitrius Underwood, football
Luther Wright, basketball
Bert Yancey, athlete

TV & Radio

Dick Cavett
Jay Marvin, radio, writer
Jane Pauley

Writers

Louis Althusser, philosopher, writer
Honors de Balzac
Art Buchwald, writer, humorist
Neal Cassady
Patricia Cornwell
Margot Early
Kaye Gibbons
Johann Goethe
Graham Greene
Abbie Hoffman, writer, political activist
Kay Redfield Jamison, writer, psychologist
Peter Nolan Lawrence
Frances Lear, writer, editor, women's rights activist
Rika Lesser, writer, translator
Kate Millet
Robert Munsch
Margo Orum
Edgar Allen Poe
Theodore Roethke
Lori Schiller, writer, educator
Frances Sherwood
Scott Simmie, writer, journalist
August Strindberg
Mark Twain
Joseph Vasquez, writer, movie director
Mark Vonnegut, doctor, writer
Sol Wachtler, writer, judge
Mary Jane Ward
Virginia Woolf

So all is not lost...

Next entry The Orange Caterpillar.