Fucking 6:00 am train, I used to think passing trains were cute, romantic even. Now I only hear the shrill, and screeching nuisance.The proper pain in the ass toss and turn in bed, cover a pillow over my head kind of bother.
The Insomniac or something different, just stardust cycling with the moon.
Some people ask if I remember my time in the nuthouse. I don’t, not well and not with a writer’s particular detail or flowery prose. I don’t even remember the weeks that came after, or before. You know, bipolar is trending, there all these ah-ha moment movies, that don’t feel real.
I couldn’t care less about the cinematic pretty vistas or shocking scenery. That’s not how it felt, at least not for me.
That’s not how being out of your body and manic mind feels. It feels too fast, too dangerous, too mind fucking to be real. It isn’t glamorous when it’s happening on the inside.
Three towering, evil nurses, guarding my door at four am stuck me with a whopping fucking needle of Haldol, that I remember well. The hysterical woman screaming down the hall in excruciating pain made my teeth hurt. I understood her wails; I wanted to howl at the moon right along with her. Instead, I screamed accusations at the nurses and sobbed the same kind of shrill a grinding train makes against steel.
The need to help was visceral, instinctual; I wanted to quiet her fear.
Two big dudes held me down, while one mean bitch, there’s always one rude, spiteful bitch nurse in the movies and in my head. Was she a fat, mean bitch? Yeah probably. She probably hated her sad job dealing with the quacks, and her miserable life at home watching Jeopardy all alone in the evening and dreaming of a beach cruise and umbrella cocktails.
What the fuck do I know? My writer’s mind fills in the blanks, and there are so many forgotten moments. Maybe the brain is kind enough to omit some of the gory details, or maybe the mania is so fast they get derailed and disappear. Poof, gone up into the stratosphere.
She stuck me hard with a smirk on her face. She was as mean as a rattlesnake. Ouch, that fucking hurt. First stick pricks, the body goes limp, and the mind gets real quiet. The dude was good at his job. Twenty years young, muscular, kind and sweet with a square diamond stud.
I had a restful, long and lovely sleep that evening. It was so fucking poetic and almost felt beautiful. There was a silence; I had not known before, no noise, no tossing and turning, no rustling and mussing the sheets.
Me, the insomniac with manic mind slept, a restful, peaceful kind of slumber.
That night, that one particular night I remember well because I woke up with a raging drug haze hangover and sore buttocks. The crazy lady screaming in tongues down the hall could barely remember her name, let alone mine. That’s all right; I spoke her language. She couldn’t know my buttocks burned like a motherfucker. She wouldn’t ever know my terror; I would grow stoic once the meds evened out.
I had a restful night’s sleep locked up high above the evergreens. Maybe this is how it feels to be dead. I am less afraid of death than ever going back.
Months have passed, and I’m finding my footing again. I’m relearning to trust my muddled brain. There is no film to date that portrays how it feels under the skin to lose your mind or the skin I inhabit. The skin I live in houses three pounds of unpredictable floating matter controlling my body, my muscles, my breathing, my voice and my existence. My 360-degree view of the world and beyond.
I do not see colors; I feel them, and no one can take away my Kaleidoscope vision. Sometimes, the world is so breathtakingly beautiful it brings me to my knees, and other times somber grey is the only hue in play. Sounds vibrate right through my down jacket permeating the layers of my skin, my brain, my blood, oxygen, and DNA.
Without the sounds of emotion, I would never have heard the screeching train outside my window. I was so doped up it wasn’t movie star glamorous, or romantic at all. It was bipolar bullshit, but there was coffee readily available. Just like in the movies or when you stay at some cheap, dirty three-star budget motels.
Carrie Fisher died recently. The whole world is in mourning. She was fearless, gutsy, honest, a unique, a creative and living her life openly with Bipolar Disorder. Carrie Fisher was so much more than a movie star, or Princess Leia. She was a role model and advocate for so many living with a disease that is as mysterious and exotic as she. She had smarts; wit and cajones, big ones and her courage made me feel lighter, bolder, and less afraid.
Me? I am feeling her stunning hues swirling and hovering, and the needle prick that stings my heart. Carrie was stardust in love with the moon.
Impossible and yet naturally her darling mother, Debbie Reynolds would pass away one day later of a broken heart, some say. I choose to believe her mom was her moon, and she was her sun, and one cannot bounce back light or exist without the other.
Simply. Life goes on until the curtain falls, but the light only diminishes and never really fades. It shines brighter in others, and your beloveds forever.
We have been given a challenging illness, and there is no other option than to meet those challenges. Think of it as an opportunity to be heroic—not ‘I survived living in Mosul during an attack’ heroic, but an emotional survival. An opportunity to be a good example to others who might share our disorder.— Carrie Fisher
Her words and her life inspiring mine, emotions mixed together stronger on paper. Thank you, Miss Fisher.