Why is there no in between sane and not sane?

My recent (brief) mental ward stay sparked this convo which sparked my friend’s essay on mental health care and stigmas. Since I wasn’t suicidal, there was no place for crying little girls. Or, as my therapist said, “You don’t have to be suicidal to be psychotic!”

Why is there no in between sane and not sane?.


Flash Dance Ass Pants

My mis-wired brain goes back in time too frequently for my preferred in-the-moment experience. I suddenly found myself transported to 1992 today. I had just started self-medicating with “gateway drugs” with some of *those* friends you’re warned about. I was depressed and miserable, and I’d do anything for crumbs of friendship and a buzz to make me forget I wanted to die.
One such mis-wired friend was Sharon. I’m not even faking her name; she’s not worth the waste of a pseudonym. She treated me like shit, but I worshipped her. My mom bought me a skirt I actually liked, which is weird for a teenager, and Sharon said to me, “You don’t deserve that, let me have it.” I protested weakly, but it was pathetic. My caveat: “Don’t tear it like you do all your other skirts.” I saw her three days later and she had destroyed it. I was too embarrassed to go home in it to my mom so didn’t even bother to take it back, just whimpered, “I asked you not to tear it.”
I don’t remember why I was telling you about Sharon exactly, except that maybe the point was that I have no desire to go to 1992 and see Sharon and my ruined skirt. Why re-visit a hideous human being in a seriously deranged part of my life? I have no wish to, it’s just that the record skips and goes back to a previous track.
I wore that skirt for eight hours, yet I’ve seen it countless times. I haven’t found a purpose for this yet other than torment. I guess I’m supposed to learn from it—don’t have shitty friends—but what I feel is anger and frustration. I’m minding my own business, la-ti-da, and then bam! 1992 and a blue and pink flowered skirt I adored destroyed by the girl I idiotically called my best friend. I’m supposed to learn that friends should actually follow the heart-felt passion of the spirit of friendship, not the biting anger of enemies.
I would truly like to conclude this moralistic essay on the Sharons of my life by exhorting with passion, “And I have out-grown cold callousness to feel the enveloping love of growth,” but I can’t, honestly. Instead I can just say, “Goddamn I wish I wouldn’t go to 1992.”

Bipolar, with Love

i guess i am having an existential crisis, partially brought on by a pain flare. PS this is the Queen XOXtine you hopefully know and love—so I guess that it’s even more existential that i am exploring my identity. why are we who we are? what is this? i’m supposed to be “creative” because that’s what that is about bipolar, right? do you all have that stupid stereotype in your countries, by which i really do mean whatever country you live in or hale from?

there’s a very influential woman in the US named Kay Jamison, and if i recall both a Ph.D. and M.D. in psychiatry. she’s like the goddess of all things bipolar. her novel, “Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament” is all about how geniuses are secretly bipolar. so… i’m an artistic genius simply because i got the Russian Roulette of inherited bipolar? i actually might be because i do create objects ‘darte sometimes, but that’s mostly when i’m manic. many people like the high of mania, but i hate it because i know i’m about to do something stupid i’ll regret.

but there’s also the opposite of Kay Jamison: “He was quiet and kept to himself mostly, but he was kind and polite…” then he goes out and randomly shoots a roomful of theater-goers, and the news has a hey-day with his mental illness. they interview all those “nice” neighbors, then interview “experts” on manic-depressive personalities and how if you look just right at the angle he mowed his lawn you can clearly see he is mentally ill.

here’s what happened to me at the job i’ve had over six years: i kept my mental illness to myself until i just broke down. to keep it simple, private, and secret, i told my boss i had a “major depressive disorder.” i hated lying, but who understands bipolar but the bipolar? then i couldn’t keep that under control either. me and my boss were working alone, side-by-side, and i casually said, “i’m actually bipolar, and since i have the library access (i’m an archivist btw), my psychiatrist wants me to read all i can on it.” he said, “you’re bipolar?” i said yes, and in all complete seriousness with no joke he said, “Does this mean you’re going to kill me?”

my heart fell through the floor, i felt puny. i was disgusted and sad. since then he’s learned to be on my team, and he’s one of my greatest supporters. but getting there was extraordinarily hard and still takes coaching

co-worker: “she was such a sweet archivist and seemed happy and friendly in the lunch room.” cut to news reporter— “but, Ms. Pixie had a terrible secret. SHE WAS BIPOLAR!”

 i have no regrets that we got rid of TV no sensationalized crud to clog my mind. no third grade records brought out of a dusty basement that said, “seemed withdrawn from other students,” twisted into a grown-up life of haunting terror. UGH!

and PS, i might change my name a lot. i’m still looking for that “me” that’s out there somewhere.

hearts and rainbows,
Chrissy Pixie