Like Billy Dee, but, you know, a mental illness

Bipolar has me by the balls right now. One moment I am hungry, the next moment I am stopping myself from cooking because I need to watch an episode of House of Cards I have seen over thirty times. No joke. When I finally fall asleep, I wake up and must move from the couch to the bed, or vice-versa, even though the effort zaps any energy I’ve mustered. No rational explanation to myself from myself will work. The need wins.

It is a most inconvenient week for BD to visit.That’s what I call it. BD. So as to not fall off the cliff, I make jokes with myself. It helps me cope. I often imitate Mama Klump when it’s really bad, like today.

billy dee 2

Bee-Dee, Bee-Dee, Bee-Dee!!

See, my doctoral cohort is here and I tried to make it on both Tuesday and Wednesday. I was there but had to leave. Today I couldn’t make it at all, and tomorrow doesn’t look any better. I’m supposed to speak at an anti-white supremacy rally tomorrow night but now I don’t think it will be possible. This could be a humdinger.

I’m writing because it helps me to feel less guilty if I produce something; in-between naps that are more like hallucinations, I’m writing surveys for the upcoming project and sending emails. That can be dangerous, too. Emails get me in trouble sometimes, so I am not sending anything sensitive or potentially confrontational. Now I’m writing about writing, so that’s my meta moment for the day.

That’s my time, folks. Thank you so much for coming out, be sure to tip your servers and bartenders. I’m Meta-Moment, reminding you that the next show is completely different from this show. 

Except it’s not. Not really. Details alter, but the broad strokes are painted in the same ink. There comes a time in which a mental illness is like that friend you love but exhausts the shit out of you. I had one of those and after years of abusing one another, I said enough. We haven’t spoken in 9 years. I still think about them, remembering the positives but also the depths of pain and anger. BD is like that, but we can’t get rid of one another. I take pills everyday, and I often quote one of my favorite films as I do so.

Shut your mouth, Bee-Dee. You’re embarrassing yourself.

BD bides time, building energy like XP to level-up and attack me like a Dungeon Master rolling simultaneous 20s. I’ve got chain-mail on over here and no one in my party has anything more potent than Arya Stark’s Pencil. I know, mixed genres but what are you going to do? Regardless, BD is like a horde of orcs trying to take Hogwarts while Voldemort battles with Yoda in Narnia. There. That should sufficiently confuse and upset my fellow dorks 😉

Because that’s what BD does. It takes the things in your life and confuses them. But not all the time. Yes, I want to break up with BD right now. Very strongly so. But there are positives. Last week I was called a “genius” by three separate people in three separate contexts. And not the, “You’re a genius!” because I figured out how to get the chips to fall in a vending machine. I shy away from this language; I’m uncomfortable with it, but I understand that people mean it sincerely and I try to accept it without believing it. What I do believe, though, is that a not insignificant amount of what people like about me is owed to my BD. I don’t know how to exist without it.

Mimi and I are in the process of watching Gone With the Wind together. We’ve obviously seen it numerous times individually. When I was 5 I made my Grandma Hilda call me Rhett and she was Aunt Pitty-Pat. Watching it this time, Mimi and I cannot go two or three minutes without commenting on how racist and damaging the film has been in many regards. But Vivien Leigh. Oh, Vivien Leigh. Mimi and I are both huge fans of her work. Scarlett is a simply atrocious human being and while the role is what made Leigh a star, she spent her whole life playing parts that could elicit great emotion. From Shakespeare to Tennessee Williams, she was mistress of the theater. Her film career was notable, but she was a lady who trod the boards. She felt hampered by her beauty because she was, above all things, an actor.

And she had bipolar disorder. Her ability to play mercurial characters and to tap into the emotions of others with the simple raise of an eyebrow was most certainly born of the illness. When I awoke on Wednesday, I knew that things were about to get worse. I tried to push through but BD was a roaring dragon. I used that in my portrayal of Caesar this past summer. You never know when you’re going to get struck, and you never know how you might respond.

Bee-Dee is making demands again, so I must log off and tend to the ridiculous quirks that sometimes feel like the only thing keeping me from the hospital. I’ll write again from the fires of Mordor, waiting for Spock to throw the Elder Wand into the Sarlacc pit and win the heart of the Mother of Dragons.

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