reading #111

AME AND THE TANGY ENERGETIC
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bipolar. foaming

life and all its head aching
enormity

dull like old world
war weaponry
under glass

twist the cork to
the pop

bubbles burst over West Hollywood
neurotransmitters desperate
to breathe

out the dizzy head
gasping

the flutes
fighting for air

now i can do anything i
can write a book i
can read a book i
can call ten hundred acquaintances
make them friends
make them family i
can be anyone i
ecstatic applause
then static

underwater
ina drought
perspiring

life and all its head aching
enormity

dull like old world
war weapons
under glass

twist the cork
pop

bubbles burst over Hollywood
neurotransmitters desperate
to breathe

out the dizzy heads
gasping i

fighting for air i
in the gutter
below the booths

ecstatic applause
then static

underwater i
ina drought i am
perspiring i

effervescence
Hollywood
shouting and calling
singing

the flutes spill over
and over with
foam

effervescence
Hollywood
laughing and screaming
screaming and i

and i
i

the flutes spill over
and over with
foam

mood elevator

thursday. pm

starin
at some reflective floor
some polished hall

waitin
4 the doors
to meet

a light
a chime
a bounce

the bottom
falls out

i rolled in
all atomic
uncontained
energy

now ima
hydraulic
haul ina
box

a simple
toe turn to
taxicab flag
hell

friday. am

going up?
ya             (im down)

bouncin
friendly
coffee sloshin
mornings

suspended in
definite
frenzy

the mood

only sleep
can break it
up

review

Review: An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness

An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and MadnessAn Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness by Kay Redfield Jamison
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Kay Jamison has spent most of her adult life studying mood disorders and living with bipolar illness. In this memoir, she faithfully shares her experience. She takes us inside a manic episode as she remembers it, and then the subsequent deep depression. Even breathing becomes a chore. She details the times she spun out and how the beauty of the world through fresh mania soon becomes lost in a whirlwind of racing thoughts and confusion. Anyone who has needed medication may relate to the resistance to taking it Kay describes so well, and the consequences of refusing meds when you need them. For years she started and stopped Lithium, and even when she knew she needed it, she would stop when either she fell dreamy in love with the memory of her mania, or the side effects became too much to bear. Turns out she was on a much higher dose than she needed. But the side effects of Lithium were nothing compared with the devastation which came of allowing her mania to resurface. Her marriage and friendships were poisoned. She maxed out her credit cards. Her professional life suffered. She wanted to end her life.

Miraculously, with the help of family and friends and therapy and meds, she was able to run a mood disorder clinic at UCLA, gain tenure, and today stands as a highly regarded clinician at Johns Hopkins. But most importantly she survived it all. Bipolar illness, aka manic-depression (although the latter usage has fallen out of fashion in diagnostic circles, she believes it sums up the experience), takes lives. People get attached to their mania, they dream of their mania, and some never come around to accepting they need meds. This book is a must read for anyone with bipolar illness.

View all my reviews

Mental

When you get diagnosed, you get to try on your diagnosis. Although you might have been manic-depressive, now you are bipolar so you go out in the world and feel the two poles, pulling at your mid-section. You can thank your therapist. Your therapist can thank the DSM-4, and other diagnostic materials that helped them reach that conclusion. Or you can get really really mad and tell everybody you’re shrink is trying to label you. Call it libel. Then someone might tell you you have an anger problem, especially if you set their house on fire or went to their school with a gun and started flashing it on people for kicks. You wouldn’t be there talking to them, if you had actually used it. You would be behind bars. Someone else behind bars, or even on the other side of the bars would not be telling you you had an anger problem, then, because it’s a given. They would be telling you stand up, sit down, and running their baton up and down the rails just to piss you off some more. You should feel lucky not to be locked up. I suppose you can thank yourself for not going off the deep end. Or thank your therapist. They are the one who put you on the bipolar meds to control your manic-depression. And they didn’t even know you had an anger problem. Geniuses.