Bipolar: There is nothing righter than the disease

You may never find the peace you strive for
although you search perusing the many possibilities that can get you there.
Then there is a crack and pieces of peace cover the ground
but not the piece of the peaceful mind
just that piece of glass that cuts into your skin asking for peace.

Your beautiful mind is in pieces spread across the universe
A shining of a star flaring too soon, a soul lost in space and time.
Your beauty flows swiftly and pools, your beauty, your blood
your mind swims lightly in a sense of peace.
The sun reflecting but not off your once bright eyes mind and spirit
Just off of your blood lost.

There is a glimmer of hope that steadies you as you go deeper
into this magical place where the release of inhibitions seem to come so easily
and all at once you are hoping that feeling will not end.
You don’t know who is controlling what or when what is controlling you
but you don’t care the who or what as the heat rises to the top of your
at last peace, some kind of peace.
But as the heat subsides and cool air rushes in you see you are left alone
but you can’t possibly be alone, you had peace, where is it now?
Maybe you are alone. Could you be alone?

You may never find the peace that you strive for, for it may not exist.
But pick up those pieces baby and see if they don’t just go back together
in a different way to create a new beautiful piece giving you the peace you so deserve.

Love,
Mommy

My daughter suffers alone with her bi-polar, with only her guides; her demons that tell her “right” from “wrong”. Trust me, her mom and I try to help. I pray prayers to rival the Pope; I fully expect white smoke to fly at any minute. Here’s the thing with mental illness that I am just beginning to understand. There is nothing righter than that disease in the moment. Bi-Polar is the powerful cunt that holds all of the cards. I adore my angel. From the minute that little baby girl was placed in my arms at the hospital I was hooked but there are more days than not that I have no idea who she is. I keep telling myself that puberty is upping the stakes, if her mom and I can keep her alive through this maybe with proper continued treatment she’ll be okay… I hate the word okay. I want her to be better than okay. I want that brilliant light to shine as she goes through life. God has delivered an Angel who must fight incredible demons every day and one day she will triumph and wake up with peace. I hope.

Bi-polar-coaster… not a free ride

I am not a mental health professional. I am not a professional writer who has done extensive research on my subjects. I am a mother of three who, with my partner, is doing my best to raise our brood. My daughter Olivia suffers with Bi-Polar disorder. It’s a real disease for all of you skeptics out there who think it’s nothing some firm Midwestern parenting couldn’t handle. In fact several times over the last year my little girl has been in such a manic state that it could not be controlled, even by this skeptic who believes that there’s nothing good Midwestern parenting can’t handle. Let me tell you a little bit about Olivia, she was born eleven years ago to a mother who suffers from this same disease but choose to self-medicate before, during and after childbirth. I understand the desire to self medicate when your options for psychiatric care are outrageously costly private care or overburdened state run facilities. So, my angel came to us under what some may consider less than desirable circumstances. When she was an infant I would look deep in her eyes and I would see a hundred years of living deep in those beautiful dark brown eyes. Olivia is a well mannered, intelligent girl (albeit sufficiently lacking in common sense) with a wonderful imagination, a few good friends and a good sense of humor. Her only draw back is the rage that rips through her entire body and has done so from the ripe old age of three years of age. This rage presents itself at home mostly and would caused this little girl to loose all control scratching herself bloody and hating herself and being alive. Once again I took on the parenting deficient role and tried my level headed best to get her to “control herself”. Fortunately, I have Doreen as a partner, who started dealing with the medical end of this right away. In my defense I did take her to a few alternative healers who seemed to be interested in dealing with her allergies, which were and continue to be extensive, but they weren’t able to hone in on my baby’s wiring. So fast forward several years to a fourth grader who’s disease starts presenting itself in school. The at home behavior now includes voices telling her what to do (often resulting on inflicting pain on her two siblings) and raging and school refusal that has resulted in home schooling and her attendance in an outpatient program that provides daily counseling, group therapy and med management. It was quite a year that involved several trips to the emergency room to seek help from crisis counselors and finding what combination of meds would help us keep ahead of this disease. The disease was relentless in Olivia’s pre-teen body and with natural pre-pubecent chemistry changes. The future looked impossible and scary.

Just last week Olivia turned eleven years old. She took cupcakes in for her 5th grade classmates, last night she had a sleep over with a few close friends. She has an amazing group of teachers that are working with us to see that she gets the most out of Fifth grade in order to prep her for middle school. Doreen continues to be a driving force in keeping her treatment in order. We no longer look at the long ball with Olivia, we look to the day to day and thank God that we can do that when so many people have lost precious people young and old to this disease and so many undetected mental illnesses. My daily lack of understanding about what is best for my angel is overwhelming, but I know one thing for sure, I am devoted to seeing her taken care of one day at a time.

The new normal

Adjective
Conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected.
Noun
The usual, average, or typical state or condition.
Synonyms
adjective. regular – standard – ordinary – common – usual
noun. normality – normalcy – perpendicular

It’s hard to describe “normal” these days. Boys liking boys, girls liking girls, boys liking to dress like girls, * gay marriage legal in fourteen states, * first cousin marriages legal in twenty-one states.

In my own home normal is nearly impossible to identify. I climb in my bed most nights and snuggle not with my partner Doreen but with my eight year old low spectrum autistic son Cooper. Who can only really get comfortable in his own bed if all the conditions are right (temperature, feel of the sheets, lighting…) it’s a process of checks before determination is made. Is this normal? Many a morning I wake up next to my son and my clothes have soaked up overflow from the pull-up that has met it’s match at the bladder of my young man. Is this normal? Our oldest daughter Olivia carries around a menagerie of stuffed animals and a favorite blanket on my of her family adventures (the mall, the car wash, church…) without a doubt in her mind that this is perfectly normal. This is the same little girl who at six could knock back pills like a champion with years of experience having suffered from Bi-Polar disorder from the age of four. Is this normal? Our six year old daughter Ruby struggles with short term memory and reading & writing delays, but can make an incredible pot of coffee and will tend to most matters domestic… on her own terms. Normal? The kitten and the dog play fight, the bunny desires nothing more than to cuddle with the older dog. All very… normal?

I get on the train and make my very normal commute into NYC to work on a Broadway show, normal. Once at work I am plunged into a cultural hodgepodge of stage hands, wardrobe, hair, musicians, managers and artists; worlds never meant to meet, but in the world of the theatre must mingle because their worlds wrap tightly together to bring success. We have normal banter that would be to the horror of most Human Resource departments.

This every day life leaves me wondering about normal and how the statement “that’s just not normal” was ever created. So many strive to be normal, but I’d venture to say that their normal is impossible to find.

* Warning: all statistics are derived from the fount of all modern knowledge, Wikipedia.