Today is one of those days where I could just curl up in bed and pull the blankets over my head. When you spend two days arguing with someone over a trip you didn’t want to take to begin with and they keep coming at you even after you’ve agreed to keep the professional obligation and they tell you that you use your bipolar disorder as a crutch and that you’ll never be successful well you have no choice other than to cut the cord.
My therapist, because of my (her words) remarkable success in conquering bipolar disorder has asked me to present my journey to an official board. She says they find it helps with maintaining balance in giving service back on the part of the client.
So to have someone who claims to know me better than I know myself and that she’s ‘just being honest’. And the thing is I don’t think it was anything malicious on her part. She’s really good at what she does and I respect her a great deal for it.
I feel as if I’ve been through an emotional war of contrition and it’s hard to do anything. I have projects that need finishing and this bullshit ain’t gonna cut it.
You know how you have family, friends who are like the family you should have had in a fair world (lol), then friends you make through work in the beginning, and then people, who prove to be only worthy of acquaintance status?
I have a really small circle of friends. I can count them on four fingers. You’ve heard me talk about most of them already. There’s Missy. Really, there hasn’t been much we haven’t faced in our friendship together. Starvation, the struggle to sell our work and gain representation, paying bills, heartache, my mental illness, our past abuse survival, each other(lol) and fight to put our name on the film and publishing maps. We’ve shared cross country trips, endured film festivals as green horns and have been the odd man out in several competitions. We both love film and books and music. We love soap operas. We cast our stories whether co-writing or working on separate projects. And yes we fight from time to time. But we’ve known each other for 17 years. And I know of the people I want in my corner she’s number one on the list.
The next person on the list Pamela Turner. I’ve talked about her too. She is one of the kookiest, most talented, hardest working writers/screenwriters/filmmakers/artists I know. I met her in 2001 when she auditioned for a film Missy and I were putting together. She stepped in as cinematographer with her equipment when another cinematographer backed out 2 days before filming. She’s taken me to the emergency room and watched me puke my guts out. She’s taken me to the emergency room when I thought I was having a heart attack and no one else would or could. She’s taken me to countless therapy session and doctor’s appointments because I don’t own a car. I read her work and love it. Not because I’m a yes person, but because I genuinely like her work. She’s one of the most ambitious and hardest working friends I have. And next to Missy she’s the best friend I have. Yes she makes me crazy sometimes, but all friends do that to each other. I’m sure I do it to her.
Then there’s my out of state friend, Elise VanCise. If there ever was a hard luck case it’s her. But she doesn’t sit around moping. She’s also an author and blogger and graphic artist and a single mother who works ceaselessly to give her son a good life and a safe home. We bonded over NaNoWriMo and a shared love of the television series Highlander and Russell Crowe movies. If there is any justice in this world she will succeed further than her wildest dreams.
The same goes for all of my friends. I should’ve said one hand. Carla Deal is an extremely talented artist and when she gets out of her own way she writes incredible stories. She’s a wonderful cook, a great mother, and when I hang at her place we always watch Youtube videos into the wee hours of the morning. It’s one of the few times I’ll drink.
Finally there’s the Marr family. Mary and Paul. (Their son is adorable but I’ve hardly gotten to see them in recent years). Mary was my friend when I was 19 years old. When I was struggling to establish boundaries with my family. And trying to know who to trust and who not to trust. Paul was the first Alpha male I ever knew who was also funny as hell and a big softie once you got to know him. To this day whenever I call their house he says, “What are you wearing?” He such a perve but in a harmless way. He was the first guy to say string the bastards up when it came to my attackers. And he was always trying to protect me from the instability at the time that was my family life. That’s another thing, they’re coming in for Fandom Fest. Mary and Paul are regulars on the Con circuit in the southwest and have family in Kentucky. I’m really looking forward to their visit.
Really on a day when you lose your friend and it’s never any fun when that happens, it forces you to sit back and reflect on all that you do have. And what I have is a lot. I was told I would never be a success, that I use my mental illness as a crutch, and that I have poor taste in friends and that they are enablers.
As Pam said, I have fans who love my books, I have awards, I have a successful blog, I was asked by my actual therapist to present my story before an official board because it is such a model of success. I have made new friends in the professional world and feel like things, though they feel hurtful and withering now, will only serve to make me stronger in the future.