Being Bipolar isn't EASY

and the Art of Slowing it Down

Tag Archives: Art

Will I be mine?

It seems that I am alone. Well not really, I have solid friends & a great family (Mr. Remarkable), but hypothetically speaking and in so far that we all are. It seems that no one can do this: thrive vs. survive thing but me.

My quagmire might be moderate but it’s a quagmire nonetheless and it’s STUBBORN. But I am drawing a line in the sand and allowing, operative word allow, this to be my rock bottom. Treading water is only attractive in so far that it is easy. And easy, I remind you – oh once ambitious one – isn’t where the glory is at.

I have been feeling a certain desperation lately and I don’t know, I don’t have the answer, but I think it’s a call to commit. Commit to answer the Universe’s call to love myself.

And so this Valentines Day (2018), I proclaim that: I love myself.

I am going to accept the responsibility to take care of myself and stop my self sabotataging ways. I am going to try my best, against the odds. To honor love and respect me. All me. The good, the bad & the ugly.

But I ask: How do I commit? How do I put action behind these words? Can I really draw a line in the sand? How is today any different from two weeks ago? Two months ago? Two years ago? Or five for that matter??

I dunno. I just have to believe. Believe in the power of love.

I’m a REAL Princess

Drum roll please? …I’ve decided not to keep my Pen Name, Princess Marksalot. Not to bore you but, while I mourn through it, I’d like to share again that it did have meaning.

One of my Grandmothers, sweet Gma Kay, was an albeit far – lol – descendant of American Indian royalty (so that makes me a REAL Princess) and in Architecture School amongst other more figurative aspects of my life – I’m an editor. As embarrassing as it is, I never mustered a professional grade balsa wood model but I was voted most poetic. 🤗

And, those that follow me closely know that I’m always neurotically editing my Social Media posts, my blogs etc.. So I’ll give you a little insight. (I love being an open book.) I don’t think anything is ever FINAL – and as a Creative constantly designing… as if life’s demonstrable motto is, and everything that I do, an ever evolving work of Art – dare I say masterpiece???

Yeah, I know that that might sound a ‘lil grandiose (I am bipolar & I didn’t sleep much last night) but am most comfortable w/ that so feel free to sprinkle rainbow fairy dust on me, will ya??? I also love using a proverbial eraser ✏️ and the lead smudges that come with it. So do you get it now? Marks a lot???

Further I’m all abt Kintsugi pottery, hence the picture here. If you don’t know, as told by the Modern Gypsy: “Kintsugi is the Japanese art of mending broken objects using gold or silver epoxy. The Japanese believe that when something has suffered damage (and suffer mental damage I did/do) and has a history (that we all do too), it becomes more beautiful”. I see ME, my motto, really the same thing… so maybe I should have been Princess Kintsugi, always in a state of “golden repair”, but it’s kinda too late to change as I’ve been branded.

Those that matter will stay. Those that hate it will unfollow me. And that’s a-okay b/c I aim to show you that I care!! …get it marks a lot (of people). Quick – somebody call a doctor? I am delusional. 😂 😂 😂 I’ll shut up after I say this: it’s all so v personal – how to recover from Mental Illness, there is NO Cure! We’re all so v different.

Make me not belabor you but remind you of a little thing called DNA… So for those of you reading this that do not suffer, as poorly, mentally. We all suffer some IMO. We desperately need to get comfortable with this uncomfortable space.

We all really need to get past our insecurities, is that the right word, fear might be a better word… and talk abt Mental Health to bust the stigma. So say Goodbye to Princess Marksalot, with me – will ya?

I mean well. 🙏 your new & improving, Jessica Kaushik

The Devil is in the (Mental Health) detail, Mies

Don’t ask me why, but (I’m trying to use the word “but” less these days) I prefer to do things the HARD way. The very hard way!

I.e. It wasn’t until most recent years, and I just turned forty-four (44) that I learned to appreciate how our great big beautiful world works. How friends & family, including friends of friends and friends of family, can give you a ‘step up’, help you with that often ever so hard rung on the ladder.

If you can imagine I preferred to do things alone. ME, myself and I. It’s not that I’m not a collaborator. I am. I won’t use a superlative but most creatives need to be… it’s just that I never needed, scratch that – wanted – help. …I should clarify, the type of help that could maybe get one a job that one isn’t really qualified for.

…But now, @44, I am so very over “ME, myself & I” (if you have this/that neurosis – I encourage you to just STOP while your ahead & get over it now too), which brings me to the thought of the evening, It’s 1:04am where I am (I’m drinking coffee), and although I’ve written about the under cover agents/ physicians/ policemen that have haunted me in the past (Note to Reader: Maybe see https://beingbipolarisnteasy.com/2014/09/07/4cici/) there have also been angels, including President’s of the United States of America.

Yep!? That’s how bad this sh*t has gotten in the past), that have – are you sitting down? – stalked me. …Ooooooooooh! She just said it?!?!?!!? Ooooooooooh…………. is Princess Marksalot’s next mission to find out who her stalkers were/are?

And RED FLAG! RED FLAG!! …did she just use the word “are”?????

Fudge.

Mr. Remarkable, Honey, if your now on the other side of the world reading this, there’s NO need to panic and hop on a plane to come rescue me as you tried a few short weeks ago, but it’s true. Very true.

You may as well know THE TRUTH! I am so broken that ever since the very beginning in the Nation’s Capitol when I ran into George Washington Hospital, was it?, kicking & screaming “Protect ME, Protect my family”… you know the drill (Reader’s I elude to that fateful day often here in my posts) all of my MAJOR EPISODES and I guess very small ones, like we are experiencing now revolve around me being stalked.

Yes, that’s a fighting word. And a pretty legal term at that! It’s just that it breaks my heart to report that since that Labor Day weekend in 1999 or whatever (I can’t be bothered to cross-check & be most accurate ATM) …if I comes up in a Court of Law, I have the year. I remember the faces. The pendant… not!

Sadly, I CANNOT remember that pendant AND I desperately want to!!! The Activist & ever so Fashionista in me WANTS to wear a “pendant” of her own.

If I were a betting woman, I’d say it was GOLD! Solid gold. Every pun intended. (Note to reader: At the very least, I’d like to recover the DIY stained glass that I painted while talking to the pendant; I mean Art Support Staff. …like that’s ever gonna happen.)

But I digress. I’m not going to share my secret’s/ connections/ links via psychotic associations ATM, maybe not publically nor privately maybe not ever – a girl’s gotta hold onto something – rather (notice how I didn’t say “but” – insert grin) poke around here if your interested. Dappled in this blog are myriads of sites that I follow. Love Wiki. And/or some of my Hero’s, big & small – known and unkown.

Outside of these pictures that I often pilfer off the Internet, to visually articulate the title of my posts, I try very hard to give credit where credit is due.

That said. This, above, is a picture of my own. You can tell by the fingerprints. :) By the lot of marks. Ha! That’s a stretch. …Marksalot. I crack myself up & can be so v unintentionally cryptic. A beautiful ‘invisible single display book shelf’ from Barnes & Noble for less than 4USD.

Sadly, if you want one (1) of your own, you’ll have to run to the nearest store – as they were marked down 75% in the gift section in recent months.

It is a great way to make utterly beautiful Art. One just has to spend their money on the books! How very clever and poetic is the man/woman that came up with the idea. I hope he/she is absofuckinglutely rich by now. I have that their muse is wealthy…

I managed to acquire four (4). For ME. The lucky ME!

For a set of Edward Tufte’s four (4) graphic related books. Four (4) of these https://www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/books_vdqi. Saw somewhere; too tired to look for the link tonight but somewhere the Tufte organization makes a recommendation for his top four (4) best sellers, I guess.

Must publish this now & order them right quick! My mama wants me to “go back to bed”!?!?!?!? <insert sigh> She’s right.

Peace out people. /\

Idiosynchronicity

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I wouldn’t wish it on my four (4) year old son but I am acutely idiosyncratic. If you need a refresher on what it means or its common synonyms, kindly google it? I see no point in copying the definition here!

A handful of people, in recent years, have told me that I am also real, interesting, insightful, refreshing & even funny. And so I choose to believe them!

Countless others have also communicated under no uncertain terms that I am also a royal pain in the ass because I do not follow common social rules of engagement. But I am okay with that! I am OKAY with being a pain in the ass, after all I am the problem child – the middle child… it’s all I know?!

The problem is it’s LONELY! And yet to get out of bed everyday I tell myself: “It’s not me. It’s everyone else in this damn world that has got it wrong.” I know how to get my point across & am not afraid of having the conversation that no one wants to have. I am not afraid of using words creatively, liberally & succinctly.

And in that way, I am unique!

It’s very sad to admit but it is below me to acculturate!!! The thought of communicating about things that we are all very well aware of, like the weather, makes me want to carve my eyes out of my head! I want to have important conversations with value with real people that matter. And it is in that quest that I continue to learn how different we all are!

Note to reader: I might not look nor dress like Uldus Bakhtiozina in the picture above; I tell myself it’s what’s on the inside that counts! ;) She has a great talk also about her photography & fighting stereotypes on TED if you haven’t seen it!

An Interview with ME

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This is a picture of ME! Can you believe it? After all these years, I am posting a real picture of me, HERE? Caroline Myss’s snap shot, that I posted earlier today (OH wait! That was yesterday…) encouraged me to do it! So, IF you see me on the street, feel free to stop me in my tracks (I like to make tracks) and say hello? I’d love to know what you think about my blog! That said, you still might have to call ME, Princess Marksalot as I am not considering to reveal my real name to the general public until I finish my Screenplay… am thinking that that will be my real debut! Am still tossing some names around for it but it might be called “Being Bipolar isn’t EASY” or bBiE for short… That said, I do intend to share more of my crazy stories one day, they will certainly be in the movie, but as of late it’s been all these posts have been FEEL GOOD… so read on? Get to know ME more intimately?

Who are you? I’m Princess Marksalot; a.k.a. my childhood hero: Pippi! Or you could “Call ME Cliff”, that’s a private joke but I’d probably respond!

Date of Birth? Oh that’s a touchy subject, I’ll give you the year BUT people in my immediate family are super paranoid about identity theft… so suffice it to say, I like to keep them happy & will share, 1973! …I am an OX according to the Chinese Zodiac and a Virgo in the West.

Where do you come from? All over! I was born in Akron then I moved to Germanton (Memphis) at the age of three. I think after that I went to Dallas, then on to Phoenix and New Canaan. My dad was climbing a corporate ladder… which fell out from under him when I started college. During my stint in New Canaan, I was an exchange student in Lisboa… but I digress, I went to college in Cincinnati, DAAP was a great school – don’t know how it ranks today, but when I went t was in the top five (5) for Architecture Schools! During my stint in Ohio again, I was an exchange student in Kobenhaven. (The most beautiful women in the world live in Kobenhaven… note to self, I do not live there!) oh & also New York – how could I forget New York?! I spent most if not all of my co-ops in NYC… After graduating, I moved to New York close to my best friend and my older sister. I fell in love, hard, and followed Scum Lazy-ass Moron, as we will forever refer to him, back to Phoenix. When that fell apart I moved to DC, where I proceeded to loose my mind?! But I loved every second of it! Then to save myself from drowning in my own thunderstorm, I moved to Las Vegas, met my night in shining armor, had a child & begun a life as an expat in Macao (China).

What do you live for? My family. My interests are Architecture, Graphic Design, Photography, cooking, party planning (I love planning a good party), Yoga, traveling & of course writing but I live for my family. One day I hope to live for something greater, …am currently learning how to be a Bipolar & Yoga advocate but my family keeps me going! I am a pretty good wife, mom, daughter & sister if you ask ME, but I am biased of course…

What project ‘s’ are you working on? Well, I have this blog that I get around to in my spare time, which is usually when insomnia strikes, and I have three (3) Facebook pages one for the blog, one for yoga and my own of course (I really love connection). I teach Yoga out of my home, I just became a teacher this year, and dream of opening a Studio one day! Then there’s my 7th Wedding Anniversary party and a Wellness Day in Macao & my Hindi lessons… but, the coolest project by far, outside my son – can I call my son a “project”? lol – is my Screenplay! That I am really proud of! It’s an autobiography & starts with ME getting handcuffed during my first psychotic break in front of Starbucks on Connecticut Avenue in Dupont circle. I am not sure how it ends – it’s about reclaiming my divine birthright; peace, joy, freedom and laughter! I started on this path with a cleanse at the Yoga Barn in Ubud, Bali in February of 2014 and I aim to finish it!

What are your ambitions for your projects? …Ugh – I’d like to make a blockbuster! Did I just admit that? Is that a “flag”, I am Bipolar ya know… All joking aside, who wouldn’t? And in the process, I’d like to make my little sister famous! She has all the skills, as she is an actress AND looks like ME?! Do forgive me for just addressing one project here BUT that’s a pretty enormous ambition! No? My Screenplay, it’s also an insiders guide to how one woman’s hyper alert, idiosyncratic and acutely sensitive manic-depressive mind works! I hope to make what it’s like to be mentally unstable available to more people. To suppress the stigma’s – make mental illness less taboo!

Do you have any political views? All is fair in love & Yoga! And by that I mean, there are different strokes for different folks! I am finding that I mainly vote/ lean one direction but try to see everyone’s point of view and do not side with a political party. Several of my friends & relatives are political die hards and I try to reason with them. But many of you know that that’s pointless! So what do I believe? I believe that all women should have the right to abortion but hope to never have to make that decision myself! I believe that all people should have the right to bear arms but don’t want a gun in the house. God forbid, when I get depressed, I just might use it on myself?! I believe that Education is really important and wish that it was FREE in the USA but that would wreck havoc on our taxes! I am glad to see that Health Insurance is reaching more people now! #GoObamaCare I don’t know if I believe in the death penalty, I think torture is better suited for some! …I support same sex marriage, like I said “All is fair in love & Yoga” – it doesn’t matter to me if some people are born that way or choose that direction later in life! Think that about sums it up… I am really not abreast of what the main issues are! But those are a few that I can think of that are important to ME!

What are your religious views? I have written about them in this blog, but I’ll share what I recently posted about my altar on my Yoga Facebook page here. I think it pretty much sums it up: “I have come to believe that I am a Universalist and believe that our universe, in all it’s glory, is an eternal organism and from it proceeds all life, all consciousness, all creativity… in other words, I believe: ALL is God. On my altar I have a photo of Jesus and a pendant of his mother Mary. (I was raised Catholic, though left the Church shortly after I started yoga in College). You will also find Ganesha, Krishna, Saraswati and of course Buddha up there too. (My husband is Hindu. A Hindu priest married us and another gave my son his name.) I own, but have not read in their entirety, the Holy Bible, a Bhagavad Gita, the Teachings of Buddha & most recently acquired a Qur’an… a close friend and Missionary tells me that I am a Pantheist but I’ll leave that up to you to judge… I promise not to bore you with my spiritual beliefs, in class, but you should trust that they are part of my yogic journey; finding your center is part of yours! Note: that this is intentionally a “Community Page” and I am open to such discussions about God, the Spirit, the Creator of all things, as you like. One thing that I have learned from Yoga since the Summer of 1998 is that WE ARE ONE and in my classes, I will work towards reinforcing that message! Chopra is a huge role model of mine and he often reminds me that we share and are responsible for only ONE World… so kindly keep in mind, as you come to class, that we are in this together!” …imagine that you get the picture!

What do you hope to fulfill in life? I hope to support my husband’s happiness and help make a respectable ‘citizen of the world’ out of my son! …I hope to follow the instructions that my Grandpa Bud gave me and do a job, any job, well! …he really haunts me sometimes, God rest his soul, often I put in the extra effort! You know, tie a pretty ribbon on the package. I could learn more from my Mom; she ties the best ribbons! Trust, I know, this list is not that “lofty” but they are the first things that come to mind!

Do you have any hobbies? Kindly see “What do you live for?” AND “What project ‘s’ are you working on?” above. ;) …the head of Human Resources at my first real job, in Rockefeller Center, told me that smart people usually answer questions before they are asked! Guess this proves that I am SMART? …I have been trying to prove that my whole life! Now my life is complete! …I might not know where Madagascar is nor who fought in the French Revolutionary War ;) but I do know some things!

In your spare time what artists do you listen to? A lot of 5 Seconds of Summer, Green Day & Pink lately! My four (4) year old son loves them… but when I get to choose it’s Pink Martini and Florence + the Machine… REM, Blondie, David Bowie, Eurythmics, Neil Diamond, George Michael & the Eagles when I am feeling nostalgic.

Any closing statements? Please note that I stole these questions from Vonj, out right! There is no shame in stealing! Everyone needs inspiration sometimes… that said, you can find his original post here! I may have just stumbled upon him but I <3 what I’ve seen… http://vonjproductions.com/in-troduction/

Enter Feedback

offer it up

So I am no longer writing a Play. I am writing a Film, a Movie… a Screen Play. Trouble is I have never read a “Screen Play”. (Insert grave doubt.)

In the short span of twelve (12) pages I learned that painting the picture is more important to ME. My resident expert, my younger sister and actress, pointed that out and has helped me understand that Plays are driven through language and dialogue… Movies through images.

I am a visual person; I need images. I speak in images. And frankly, if it’s going to be an autobiography and therefore about being Bipolar, there was little dialogue, outside that with my therapist, about my neurosis’, my psychosis’… for years mind you I hid my conspiracy theories, delusional thoughts and paranoia to the best of my ability!

… I thought that I would write it backwards; from my current, some would argue, ‘perfect’ and stable life to the unforeseen calamities, sudden and serendipitous distress, that they Universe dropped on my doorstep ten (10) years ago this month. But then I woke in a fright a few days ago thinking “backwards is all wrong” and realized: “I need more feedback”! So I sent my logline & synopsis to my nearest and dearest soliciting their criticism.

My Mom, of all people, said “Well written kiddo” full stop.

That’s it?! I mean that’s all my MOM is going to share about these dedicated steps/adventure that I have begun to better understand myself? That’s’ it? I mean C’mon, really??

In the most unapologetic way possible, I have to say that she’s the deluded one! She is most certainly unaware of how cathartic telling one’s story is… my hope is the the act of writing my story, possibly producing it, will change ME, deeply… perhaps proFOUNDly?! Maybe, just maybe, this time I will find myself?

After some prodding and in reference to the title and synopsis of my, now, Screen Play she said: “I think that the title is a work in progress. You will need to work through whether or not people will “get it”. It may be perfect in the end-you don’t have to keep it if something better presents itself.”

And she’s right. I have only just begun. I need to bring my yoga practice into my writing and work at being flexible.

Before it turned into a movie, my older sister said: “That seems like a great starting perspective to begin to write. I just wonder whether by not simply writing but rather creating these artificial constraints (it’s a play, it has a summary, it has a title) that you will more easily get in the way of what you would like to accomplish – figuring out your story.”

A-ha! She is so very right! Much of the “how to write a play” books that i read last year, when this project started, directed ME to write a log line & synopsis to help ME get started. And I gather that I have to look at it just as that! It’s only a beginning. (Note to self. Archive that draft!) Already since her note I have realized that, although she lived part of it, she doesn’t know the whole story. She doesn’t know, nor really truly understand, my experiences from my perspective but more importantly nor do I. I need to allow the story to unfold. That’s a sure fire way to find something.

Then the resident expert, my younger sister, said: “Keep telling the story. That’s at the crux of it all, the storytelling you are trying to do. That’s why we, the audience, care…we’re intrigued by the story. I just read your blog post, Just stop it already, and what popped out to me was this: “Who’s gonna steal an idea about a crazy woman finding herself?” Specifically the “a crazy woman finding herself” Is this your story? It’s actually very compelling. I want read it, I want to go on that journey.”

Aha – she got it! Before I did. (Insert the wise words from my older sister.) That is what my story is about, today!! It is about being on this never ending path of finding myself; it is a spiritual journey… I am writing it, whatever it will become, as if to imply that each of our ‘beautiful’ lives are fated. And to do that I need to let go to see the message better. In his new book “Growing into Grace” Mastin Kipp, the founder of the dailylove.com, is trying to communicate: Life doesn’t happen to us. Life happens for us!

If I do nothing else; I am now on this journey, I am going to let this happen to ME!

Just stop it already

Editing, for me, is like dieting; an endless cycle of yo-yo…

I have had twelve pages (12) of my play, and only twelve (12), written for the last two (2) weeks! Woohoo! Its more that I had this time last year after I read all the how to books.

Problem now is I can’t stop editing. In my defense I am just trying to get the structure down so that the next one hundred and fifty (150) pages ease out of me. Luckily my sister is an actress & she is going to help me set up a few technical things before I continue…

It’s a challenge really; because I am using ‘the structure’ as an excuse to review my story. To ask myself if this autobiography, memoir really, is a good idea…

Further, I am aware that I am preoccupied with getting her feedback. So I had to edit it before I sent her a copy, so that it flowed smoothly – so that it made sense to her… so that I could get positive feedback!? And that’s just it. I am trying to control the feedback; force the outcome?!?! Gather it’s insecurity; gather I want my sister, of all people, to “like” my idea. After all, she is the resident expert.

Note to Reader: I took down my post “[b]B(i)E the play” because I feared that someone might steal my otherwise nebulous idea! How silly is that? Who’s gonna steal an idea about a crazy woman finding herself?

And so you see, I also edit my blog. Usually it takes me a few days to publish a post – sometimes a few weeks… I edit my FaceBook page… often I “comment” on my posts because no one else does and I want to get the conversation going. Build community; support. I know it’s pathetic. I do it unapologetically!

It’s fear really. It’s one of the major flaws of being a Virgo; with being a perfectionist! What I really need is to be content with where I am and what I am capable of TODAY.

In my mailbox this morning I got this: http://www.publicationcoach.com/saying-no/

If you are a writer, take a minute and listen to Daphne & then listen to Paulo Coelhos author of The Alchemist: “Don’t give in to your fears. If you do, you won’t be able to talk to your heart.”

It’s HIGH time!

You’ve got to watch this talk on TED!

We all deserve compassion. We all deserve deeper understanding & respect for what plagues us so I’ve decided that I am going to attempt to write a play. Screw Hollywood. Say “Hello” to Broadway!

Oh the things that I think, that I think, that I can think up for the stage?! Might be harder to accomplish on stage than on screen but there are a ton of creative people out there; I’ve just got to meet those that are willing to share in this mission. It’s something new for me to do. It is exciting but I imagine will not always be FUN…

Keeping this blog is good, better than good, & I suspect I will not stop blogging but I think giving you the opportunity to see something on stage, in lights, could possibly reach a greater audience… & that’s just what it is about; I want everyone to appreciate the true Spirit of our differences. I want to open people’s hearts to embrace those of us that are ‘different’ no matter what! Perhaps setting the stage so that we can see our similarities & the things in common we share is THE PLACE to begin?

As I write I am reflecting on something yogi Harbhajan Singh said: “If you can’t see God in All, You can’t see God at All.” And that’s what I hope to do, I hope to show you what role God has played in my life. He blessed me with being Bipolar.

I hope that I can pull it off. You might want to like my page on FB (Being Bipolar isn’t Easy) to keep “informed”. I’ve still got to work out the details & keep this real.

Note to Reader: It promises to be a slow go; I only have so many hours in one day that I can devote to this blog, the play & you know I have to protect my well-being. (On that note I hired a therapist; hopefully she’ll help me get over the humps. Good idea, no?)

Vincent

My son’s Montessori School has a book on Vincent Van Gogh; I think… it’s in Chinese.

Now I am sure. It is in Chinese. ;)

Often, I read it to my Son. I make up the story as I go… I tell him about his travels to Our Fashion Capitol Paris and how he met a few crucial Collectors. I’ll have to record my Story next time I see it. Maybe, I’ll record what I see & then Edit this Post.

God Bless you Vincent, I WONder just where you are Today.

Did I ever tell you?

Did I ever tell YOU: “THANK YOU”? You, the tall one with brown hair that taught me how to demonstrate my appreciation. Are you listening? We were having lunch, albeit at separate tables, at the Middle Eastern Restaurant south of Dupont and you very kindly made a small scene of shaking your bag that said THANK YOU in red! Yes, I got it that message…

& YOU, did you notice that I am learning to write? You, the African-American man from Starbucks! Are you listening? You sat next to me, early one morning and tapped your finger on an ad for writing classes in the City Paper… (one of the more overt hints I was given)

& ALL of YOU, I saw you wearing the Nautica gear… your message was clear. I wasn’t going to get caught playing ‘oleWashingtongames. Thanks for trying to protect ME…

And finally, YOU, did you hear me the first time – the time I told you to “FUCK OFF”? You, you know who you are, I hope that you are listening. You put BUSH bumper stickers, albeit upside down, all over my apartment before we moved in on U Street?!?! Did you really think that I was going to start voting Republican just because he helped me out???