Being Bipolar isn't EASY

and the Art of Slowing it Down


11:37am  01.23.2011

I wrote an email w/ that title in July of 2005 and sent it to my family. Can’t find it anymore but am curious to what it said… I vividly remember that day that I had to get out of DC; the day that I made two plane reservations: one to some remote European city that I had never heard of (its name escapes me now… I didn’t even know what country I was booking a ticket to; let alone how to pack for the weather) and the other to my parents in Vegas. At the time I didn’t care, as I was convinced that the automated teller from United Airlines knew who I was, by nature of my mobile number, and prompted me to make the first reservation.

You have to understand, I believed that the call was intercepted by the Agent and/or Agency that was following me and figured I would just wander the former city like I wandered DC and the meaning of my trip would be revealed to ME. (Gather I have watched too much TV growing up to consider that this was really happening to ME!)

At the moment I made the plane reservation(s) my only concern was to get out of dodge. I was scared that if I stayed in DC any longer that I would drive myself mad trying to reveal what conspiracy I was caught up in*. I was convinced, however frightened I was, that if I followed through with the trip to Europe that whoever was following me would reveal themselves. It was a mess! (Naturally, when I got to my parents house and told them what I had done, they made me cancel the reservation. At thirty-two I still listened to them…)

In retrospect I can describe the experience as figuring out that I was on my way to becoming a Spy; not very dissimilar to how Chuck did on NBC. I certainly was becoming someone who could decipher coded languages and uncover under cover agents.

Have you ever considered that some of the bum’s that you see on the streets are actually under cover agents working for the CIA or FBI trying to keep our cities clean? Of particular concern are the ones you see in the nation’s capitol hanging around fast food restaurants. Someone once told me that DC has more under cover agents than any other city in the world. I don’t know if it is true but it sure felt like it to me. I saw them on street corners, in book stores and regularly at Starbucks.

You have to understand, when I lived and worked in DuPont Circle, just stone’s throw from the United States Capitol. My neighbors were high flatulent politicians; some of whom were being protected and/ or under investigation. Regularly I saw several svelte black suits, in their respective black Tahoe’s, wearing ear pieces. And on occasion there was the van perched at the end of our block.

My agents were less conspicuous than those described above – I believe that they were regular folk, neighbors per say, with Container Store “Contain yourself” paper bags or like these that I try to illustrate below…

When I got to my gate at the airport – the airplane had been delayed; bad weather from up north, as I recall. But the ever so strange thing was that a young man appeared at my gate looking like particular male figure from my past wearing a white on white t-shirt that read: “Move Fast Die Young” in jeans with a white hat and white tennis shoes. He did not acknowledge me in any way – he merely stood in front of my gaze; he wanted to be noticed. More specifically I thought he intended for ME to notice him! At that time I couldn’t take any more messages and was desperate to seek the safety and comfort of my parents in LV – so I pulled a jacket over my head and tried to sleep. I was desperate for sleep.

(At this point, in my writing, I had to pull out my diaries to remember what was going on at that time. I recall dating someone new – someone whom I thought was a good civilian, he called himself a United States bureaucrat, and my boss had a black eye. The second of two bosses that acquired black eyes while I was Manic. But I can’t remember if by that time I had been approached by, what I reasoned to be, a private investigator outside my apartment or not…)

My diary passages confirmed all of that. On 06.25.2005 I wrote: “ I see things all over DC That perhaps I am not supposed to see but I guess I am trying just to be a good neighbor.” And on 07.02.2005 When I wrote my biggest fears to the new doctor – I wrote: “that somebody was going to get hurt, that I have done something wrong & that I’ll never be as good as I know that I am on the inside.”

Sadly I knew then, during only my second episode, that I was never going to be recognized, tangibly, for the racing thoughts that made me leave town so abruptly… on the plane the woman that I suspected that was assigned to watch me was traveling with her family. Good disguise, or so I thought. She too never gave me any particular sign/ acknowledgement. She just sat next to me reading a book on Parenting, protecting me. I had the window seat.

The reputable psychiatrist that my parent’s found for me in LV was a character. He wore red lipstick and allowed my parents and I to eavesdrop on another patient that was convinced that he was Jesus Christ reincarnated… He prescribed me Seroquel. It slowed me down but it didn’t erase the psychotic thoughts or paranoia that I had. I still thought that my family and I were being watched; even when we left the country.

I thought the doctor deliberately prescribed the drugs for me: to help me calm down and to help me sleep; but I thought it was perfectly normal to have the persisting thoughts that I/ We were being followed. I was convinced (he was in part of “the plan”) we were.

I remember using the camera and posting on FaceBook to focus on objects or taking picture’s to help whoever was following me/us to understand my mood, my perspective on the day’s events…

I vividly recall a train ride in Italy. An Italian Army Agent (only have a mental picture left of that guy) sat directly across from me while I held my sleeping three year old niece. It was a symbolic moment for me as I was protecting the future of America, he was protecting us. How I got us into that mess I didn’t know for certain but am convinced that it had to do with a particular Art Project I made on or near Labor Day of 2004.

The art project was a stained glass window ornament that read “’United We Stand” around a flag that I painted red, silver and gold for the song “Make new friends (but keep the old)”.  There was no blue, I wasn’t sad… The background was a myriad of colors reflecting the hodge-podge of people that live in the USA. Wish I could insert an image of it here, but like many things… I probably gave it away.

The volunteer (?) on duty, don’t remember him in scrubs and certainly do not remember him wearing a white jacket, that kept me company as I painted it, wore a pendant that I had never seen before. He told me that it was a symbol for an anonymous organization that he belonged to. He would not reveal it’s meaning… but I believe it was that exchange in the Art Room and my thank you note to the psych ward that ultimately led me to being followed. Wish I could remember what that pendant looked like… really hope to see it again someday!

*Note to Reader: I lived in a previously occupied one bedroom apartment in DuPont Circle. I was told the former tenants looked and acted like al-Qaeda operatives. I was told that there were many of them, like 8, all living in one 600 sf apartment in the heart of the Nation’s capitol. The alarming part was that they all disappeared the day after 9/11; and were never seen again. The best I could surmise at the time and even now was that our quaint, freshly painted, one bedroom apartment in DuPont Circle had been a terrorist cell.

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