My road the last 8-10 months have been rocky. I haven’t been psychotic by any stretch. But my disease has been front and center in my life. Testing me. Stretching me. Triggering me. Impulsive decisions leading to complicated situations for me and everyone around me.
In December the film Missy and I have been working hard to bring to the big screen, Letters to Daniel, suffered a major setback when the other producers on and us decided to part company amicably. This was very close to actual production starting. Although I had no hard feelings towards them I was devastated just the same.
In the wake of the setback I was forced to function as any film producer would. I had to inform everyone involved with the film that the shoot was being pushed back. It was a terrible as I had been incredibly stressed and probably manic at the time. I cried all day. I was raw with grief. In the midst of a depression I had to put my big girl panties on and contact locations and explain the situation over and over again.
The cast we had worked so hard to put into place, well, some of them left the production. I can’t really blame them. Cancelling nine days out from production looks unprofessional and we took a hit to our credibility. Some did not want to stay with us. We have lost people since. Some for creative differences, others wishing we could guarantee pay, which I truly wish we could have. The talent and patience of our leading ladies has been extraordinary.
In the months following the pushback I have not been on the most even of keels.
I know to look at me one would think nothing is wrong with me because I don’t appear to be suffering. Bipolar disorder is sneaky. Just when you think you’ve got it licked it will bite you in the ass. People assume you are making correct decisions because well, someone like me, when things are good can conquer the world. Bipolar disease is something that makes you vulnerable because your judgment is not always the best.
In the months following the pushback there have been incredible highs, lows and everything in between. I’ve made some questionable business decisions. Ones that I have paid dearly for. Fortunately the Universe has a way of letting you know when something is wrong. I saw this quickly and the Universe made a way for me to make amends to those who perhaps who do not completely understand my reactions, or why they can be so intense.
On the good side Letters to Daniel, the screenplay has really picked up traction. Including being nominated for three awards in the same weekend at three separate festivals. Of those I represented Missy and me and the to-be produced film at the International Christian Film Festival. I attended it with my now agent and co-producer on the film Julie Fink. There were multiple requests from producers and even one contact I’m not at liberty to discuss.
I was “on” there and had a wonderful time. But as with anything some previous decisions I had made were on impulse and I had potentially burned a very important bridge. Fortunately when I approached her about making amends re-establishing a working relationship and making amends with our friendship she left the door open.
That was very important to me. As she was a casualty of the crisis I was in. And to some extent, am still in. My agent before she took me on put this caveat in. Before making any decisions regarding my career I clear them through her and Missy first.
She came to me through my book Letters to Daniel and our connection is one of friendship and family. She unlike some recognizes how crucial Missy is to my mental health. I trust her. And as I move through my healing process and push to make Letters to Daniel the independent film happen it is crucial I have people around me who not only believe in me and my talent, but recognize that I have disease. That at times can be triggered by outside events or even bad relationship choices.
My family has come to an understanding of my disease and its mercurial nature that I don’t present like others in the family. That symptoms aren’t always as obvious. I think the last five months especially they have seen what a crisis looks like on me. As I seek to find my equilibrium again it is my sincerest hope that others like me become aware of this blog. And if they see themselves in it and need help, that they will seek it out. Older readers of the blog I am most vulnerable right now. I hope in reaching out I find the same supportive audience I found in the beginning.
I will get better. I have the tools. What that will look like this time around is anyone’s guess. But I know the meds, therapy, and support all make a difference. And I hope I can make a difference too.