untitled

they silently made their way through city streets

adorned with semi-delusional ideas
visual blended them in with countless colors the
nuance the canvas of urban
elements
what if what
they saw then
and
got medicated for
 laughed at
discredited by
disenfranchised for
marginalized by
society for believing
exists

channel anxiety into

today is monday. i have a full work week ahead of me. i wake up semi-refreshed and with a narrow window to make coffee, oatmeal, shower, make up, and dress for the day. i experience the anxiety at first in waking. prayer is helpful to offset it. mindful interaction with my cats. calling someone i love to let them know i care. a mantra i repeat aloud: nam-myoho-renge-kyo. an affirmation: yes. you can do this. the world is yours. basic morning rituals. i hope not to push this anxiety away. it gets larger as i am driving on the freeway. offset it with national public radio. mindfulness in driving. feeling the sensation of the steering wheel. listening to the sound of the road and the engine. soft focusing my eyes so i can see the morning sun as it hits the trees on either side. reminding myself i am capable. i will do the best i can today. i may make mistakes and that’s okay. turn the radio down. i try and half smile or even sing a song out loud to myself. look at the city skyscrapes as i pass through downtown. today is monday. if i stay fully present, in the here and now, it is no different than any other day. i can experience it the same if i breathe deeply and pay attention, and bring my wandering mind back into the moment. i cannot stop my mind from wandering. notice where it goes. remembering something which happened yesterday. last week. concerned about the upcoming holidays. or a particular event coming up. i radically accept that it is the nature of the mind to fall into the past and future. my mind is sensitive. it is trying to help me. it just goes about sometimes the wrong way. gently bring my thoughts back into the moment. oh! there it goes again drifting away. its okay. bring it back. gently. try not to judge myself. try not to judge anyone else. this is all information and im curious. i like to learn. the world is a fascinating place to live. i have anxiety and its not gonna kill me. its trying to help me gear up for the day. tackle all my challenges. i want to relate to it. form a working relationship with my anxiety. put a hat on it and give it a name and a purpose in my life, today.

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

it wants me

it wants me to stay in bed
the trespass of hope
it wants me in my head
dispatching despair

it wants to convince me
i am worthless
i am nothing it wants me to stop
answering the door
and the phone

and i don’t stand a chance
it wants me to die
each new day
and again

when i am worn out and have no more to give
it wants more out of me

it wants my dignity
my self-respect
my laughter
my smile

it wants what i cannot give
what i no longer have
’cause it took it from me
already

i say

just go away!
be done with me! 
move on!

you will keep on wanting and wanting
and i will be someone
you helped me become

someone who knows how to survive you
outlast you
outshine you

someone whose pain people
see in my eyes and
draw closer

depression

My skin so thin and traveling has been hard to endure no matter how local it could be the neighbor and dare i dial your number and be confronted by you and me.

My mind unreal looks for finality in rituals which have no end. Shopping the last pear half or double dozen of egg. Wishing i may never bleach the bathroom again.

All work to go away with every single necessary interaction. The ceasing of small pleasures even, only to take more sleep.

Only to dream nightmares more real than conscious reverie and only to wanna end to those, too, and only to wake to more dishes and emotions to contend…

and the very great pressure of you waiting for me to prove myself real.

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.

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