I got to sleep last night. 8-10 hours of it. I straightened up my room. Was going to do laundry but mom has a load in the wash. Promoted Hekate Press. Promoted my backlist. Read 2 chapters. More reading than I’ve done in years. Promoted my position in a contest with three books, Gemini’s War, Letters to Daniel, and Gunpowder & Lead. Now I’m sitting down to blog.
What I want to talk about is what a nasty piece of work I can be when I’m healing from an episode. It becomes a rollercoaster of emotion as opposed to the occasional bad day where I need to just take it easy. Where the ‘by your bootstraps’ approach is bullshit. And sometimes bipolar disorder has you in its vise-like grip and yanks you up, tears you down, and whips you violently from side to side and you are left to desperately hang on for your sanity has you sleep deprivation, among everything else your chemically imbalanced body can throw at you.
At these times you are forced to other people for support. Maybe people who have as many issues as you do, just tucked away in other places. Sometimes they just aren’t in a place to give you anything. My mother and father are at the top of this list. My sisters take their cash, their time, and play on their love and concern for their grandchildren. They are selfish and take and demand anything and everything.
My parents give me a roof over my head and food to supplement my meager SNAP benefits. That’s all they have left to give. At times like this that is a most wonderful thing. But I need comfort emotionally. I need to be tended to. Not in the clean my mess, make my meals kind of way, although, that is especially nice when you feel as fragile as I’ve felt since this last Friday when the bottom dropped out.
There are people who have really seen me through this last week and I want to thank them now. And before I launch into this, I have been having a shitty time of it. And when people say I can’t make it, this is too hard. I understand that feeling from personal experience. But I’ve always made a choice to survive the earthquake. And hang onto the tsunami of a shit storm of feelings that bombard me. Making that singular choice is not a panacea, but goes a long way as you feel your way along the dark passageways searching for a just a pinpoint of light to give you relief that a way out is possible. While some people joke about the train I choose freedom. Friendship. Good, healthy, supportive friendships are the life blood of hope. In this world I feel secure in stating I have three that have come through for me in this instance.
First up, the usual suspect. Missy Goodman. Though she had her own shit, and I mean serious shit, to deal with this holiday season, and I felt betrayed by her abandonment, it is always with the clarity of walking out of the darkness that we know just how much our friendship means to the other. We have been through hell and lived to talk about. And though this crash came at a rather inopportune time, we are proof, that if you use the tools the therapist and psychiatrist give you, what once was a tsunami can be seen as a simple ripple in hindsight compared to the war you once fought for your sanity. And recovery becomes a matter of riding the wave until you have finally sighted the safety of shore. I am not at one hundred percent. But thanks to Missy I have managed to accomplish tasks even as I recovered. Thank you Missy for this last week and everything you do for me.
Next up, the ever stalwart, ever faithful friend, Pamela Turner. Full time writer, author, screenwriter, and blogger and wife and mother she always finds time for me, her friend. Her touch is not the gentlest, but on Christmas Day, she came over and I made breakfast for us. I kept dozing even as she was here. My mother kept scolding me awake. But Pam never complained. We talked shop, we talked about how dealing with this time of year was especially hard. She can be direct, but for this last week she has been a shoulder anyone should be proud to call friend. Being alone during times like these is hard. She is brilliant, she is the kind of friend who goes the mile and then some. She has not always been treated the best. And over the years she has entered into mine and Missy’s inner circle. She is simply fabulous. And if there was a trophy for friendship I would surely award it to her.
Finally there is Delilah Stephans. Direct without being cruel she endures my constant questions and has become a valued friend to lean on via Facebook. I trust her implicitly to keep my confidences, and I can trust her integrity in working for her at Hekate Press as Marketing Director. She took Bella Morte on the pitch of an idea. But there are countless other stories I pitched that did not grab her and she did not hesitate to say so. I took one of them to Muse. She doesn’t mind me taking books to other houses. Not that the other houses that I’m at do either. She learned a lot working for Lea at Muse, it’s where we met. I have an out clause as Marketing Director should my film/tv dreams come to fruition and I just don’t have the time for the lifting there. She understood I was feeling the burn out and depression and she had no problem with me taking a breather from the computer for awhile. She talks to me in the evening when the anxiety hits and I need to write, online.
And an honorable mentions go to Rebekah, my cousin, and Nicole. Their joy and persistence at beating this rollercoaster we’re on and plowing ahead on their books makes me feel like on the whole, that there is always hope, no matter what stage one is at in the journey.