Being Bipolar isn't EASY

and the Art of Slowing it Down

Tag Archives: Dharma

Time to talk

It’s still “Time to Talk” somewhere…

And so I further share many people are most comfortable talking to me personally and I find that extremely worthy/valuable. But isn’t it really most curious about societies comfort level. I find it FASCINATING in fact???

That shared, although most fortunate & grateful for my connections, I am often saddened that people – the majority, in fact – feel that they need to hide their trials & tribulations and I struggle with how “private”, a.k.a. kept on the DL (down-low) undercover, our intimate conversations are.

It motivates me frankly to be all the more open (which mind you is both alienating & I reiterate sadly alienates) to show that there is no shame in very vunerable. IMO it is often most meaningful!

In large part even though this (new & improved) feed of mine is still in the beginning stages, it has been ruminated over for years, I make an important mention today. You may read/ deliberate/ remember on your own and not respond w/ a comment or a like AND that is o-kay BUT I ask you to pls consider this: mental health to quote my cousin about a recent teenage suicide in her community “is clearly a multi-layered issue with no clear path to help….except communication”.

So I encourage you to help me, help us bust the Stigma. Reduce the isolation & shame and challenge you to communicate even if you feel uncomfortable.

*Note to reader: This was originally posted on Instagram with the (UK) hashtag #timetotalk. You can find me @jessicakaushik for smaller FUN stuff.

I yield to God

Warning: The following is highly personal & daily LOVE from one of many fearless leaders blogging today

I yield to God or at least I think I can. How well or not well one knows one another has little bearing in SM (Social Media) IMO. Matters little where care/concern, voices/truths are expressed/considered. But alas there in lies my problem with the crickets (I LOVE your hearts): so much is wasted largely on part of keeping up with the Jone’s and FOMO (fear of missing out).

It’s a much more powerful tool than we allow. Try as I might to make it a better tool. A tool that I both need and want. A complete luxury, I am aware WordPress. You have my permission to go ahead & crown ME.

But ppl, you ppl, are so much better than Google in a land with few Western or English resources. I post here to work things out and am most grateful that you listen but I’d really like to chat more with you; listen to your advice.

Maybe look at my naivety this way? ATM moment for all intents and purposes I am nobody & have done little. I might have 1000 friends/followers between FB, IG & WP – some are duplicates – and that’s GREAT. Really great!

But Leo, The Nerdy Lion, here is most right!

All my blogging, posts, replies & personal and intimate emails (writing) with friends etc.. have been enough. I have found my Voice. I need not look ANY further.

I have most everything that I need besides your chirping lol and so I declined a suggestion to learn how to speak from the Heart (which I am to do in my writing) by taking a class. I’m just gonna write the fcuking book.

There I said it.

Now I have to do it! <inject utter & daunting fear> MVMB, now I have fear… If you follow me here – you know: vulnerability is my path.

I need not be normal nor popular. And I do not have the desire for approval nor recognition. Certainly nobody needs to give me permission. 🙂

But I do desperately desire to know if what concerns me resonates or makes one think or is supportive. It effects the keeping up with the Jone’s and the FOMO’s – a well known human behavior. But it took me so many years to understand that I do have it, because many of you that I follow here or elsewhere or have read etc. (you get the point) have it! So #thankyou.

I deeply thank you for your existence because, and I quote Dani Shapiro, it’s our job, our responsibility (good word responsibility), perhaps even our sacred calling to take whatever life has handed us.

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. /\

Everything is NOT enough

So, get this? 

After ten (10) plus years I was hospitalized, again!? And all because Mr. Remarkable was in China. By no fault of our own, we’ve been involuntarily separated since mid July?! So as you can see, my husband wasn’t around to see me slip, in person. I don’t intend to offend anyone, but make light like a feather, as in the looney bin for 5 (five) days!?!?!?!?!?!? <insert a BIG frown> 

And so, here – with this photo (he was so v nice to comply), I take/took back my power! I did not “unite”/bond really with any of the other mentally ill patients. Was afraid to talk to them, really. Gather I shouldn’t say that! But most were hearing voices & secluded themselves to their, shared, rooms. It was really REALLY sad.

You can trust however that I did try to reach many. But they were fairly unreachable!?!? Did I mention that it was sad? Entirely depressing…

I did however meet a REALLY stand up guy! David. (Note to reader: I think it okay to use his real name here – in case he ever reads this, although it’s against my blogwide policy.) Trust, I’ll never see him again!! Which is really hard b/c like I said: he was a really stand up guy. Caught in a similar, but not, situation at the same time in Seven Hills (Las Vegas) to detox. It was serendipitous. 

Mental Health institutions (is a Psychiatric Hospital an institution?) are tricky and although I’d like to help him along his recovery, I cannot. It would have been selfish of me to leave a call back number when I called to say “it was nice meeting you”. Even though I do need friends, that I can touch, while here on an extended holiday in Las Vegas. 

God help me make friends in Las Vegas!? It’d be good to get out of the house more often…

But, I digress. David, if your listening, I respect & admire you! Your (bipolar) mom should be proud. I pray that giving up the sauce will unite you more intimately with others. Alcoholism is an albeit common but more importantly lonely disease. Hence the problem, I gather. I pray that your estranged twenty (20) something year old daughter let’s you in. Try to get in? I imagine that part of your rehabilitation is for your relationship w/ her?? Operative word, your! You gotta do this for yourself! 

Finally, I’ll close by saying: (Chopra is often right.)  I trust if you look for God in other, healthier/wealthier, places you’ll find him or her. Good luck! Xx

Accep(s)tance

Acceptance

 

Note to reader: And this was written a whole two (2) years ago. Couldn’t tell you when?! #sigh I love a good time stamp.

. . .

I learned to be grateful for Macau the hard way! L.R. Knost reminded ME of that: “Life is amazing. And then it’s awful. And then it’s amazing again. And in between the amazing and awful it’s ordinary and mundane and routine. Breathe in the amazing, hold on through the awful, and relax and exhale during the ordinary. That’s just living heartbreaking, soul-healing, amazing, awful, ordinary life. And it’s breathtakingly beautiful.”

 

It’s the “ordinary and mundane and routine” that I have struggled with being an expat in Macau! To digress, it’s the reason that I think I drink. Outside the pollution, Macau isn’t all that bad!! I am most grateful to not have to wear a facemask like many routinely do in Beijing…

 

I have already spoken about not being able to communicate to the locals; I was learning Hindi to speak to my in-laws upon arrival, so I never picked up Cantonese. To date, I can say maybe three (3) words after four (4) years?! You can trust that I use them a lot! Good Morning = Jo Sun. Hello = Ni Hao. And Thank you = Um Goi Sai. …I am most grateful for Google Translate! You would be too if you lived here! There are too many characters in the Chinese alphabet to count.

 

IF you are following ME on Facebook, on the BP Magazine page, you’ll note that I have mentioned that my five (5) year old son cannot run on the grass in the local parks but what I didn’t mention is that we have a lovely resort that we can take a soccer ball to play with on a beautiful lawn after a lovely Sunday brunch. In retrospect, we don’t do that enough as it’s it next to a VERY polluted beach. <Insert sigh> Yes, we have beach, sounds exotic but it’s not, but I will not allow our family to go in the water!

 

This one (1) time & only one (1) time we went to see a play. For my birthday, my husband took ME to see a play about the mentally ill to inspire ME in writing my own story, a Screenplay, an autobiography. My (embellished) autobiography in which I hope to, for the first time admit by blurring the lines of reality, provide an insider’s guide to the inner working of one BP mind and not the events as they passed.

 

Am now I am living a life practically, not entirely unlike John Nash, free from the ‘agents’ that were following ME and my conspiracies in the USA!

 

But if I am honest a neurological pathway has been eroded and still, some days I see t-shirts, most are in English, and I think that they are wearing it for ME!? And while I am being honest, sometimes I take note of neighboring apartments, one in particular, with their lights on in the middle of the night when my insomnia hits & I question, repeatedly, is there someone in there on an assignment watching ME?!

 

And then I check to see if I took my medication and remind myself that it is only ME that is doing the watching! Gratefully I can live with it now; it does not drive ME crazy anymore. It’s not weird, nor scary. It’s my new normal… a breathtakingly beautiful take on ME & my “ordinary” reality.

 

DIY Life Coach

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Hey Life (Coach)! Here’s what you need to know about ME before we get started!

At a young age, pre HS, I found God. In 1998 I left the Catholic Church & found Yoga, Buddhism/ Hinduism. Since I have had many life experiences including being diagnosed Bipolar about 10 years ago after a psychotic break. (Note: I am not your typical bipolar, I suffer little in comparison to the mainstream.) I have been married to an (East) Indian for almost six (6) years and have a vibrant almost five (5) year old son, we have lived in Macau most of my son’s life.

I got certified as a Yoga Instructor last year but am a soft teacher, into stress relief & restoration, so didn’t attract many students nor provide enough offerings. I really took the month off for YTT for my son, so that I could better serve him but that has proven to have had its downfalls as I am now aware that I really need/needed to serve myself. My spirit. My soul.

Further, you need to know that I firmly believe that I am in the process of evolving, awakening… but lately it’s been a struggle because I feel very isolated. My husband works long hours & my social calendar is somewhat limited to dinner dates with my son, if not partly by choice. (QT with the family is very important to us.) I am aware that there is more that unites us than divides us, in this world, but I have been experiencing a duality of the light and the dark.

And so I have decided, I want to stop struggling and become my own best friend – enjoy my own company. I want to make healthy choices; choosing what I need most over what I want at the moment. I want to create constancy – level out the discrepancies between the waves for optimal mind/body/soul health. I want to deeply/truly accept that my life does not have to be like a roller coaster but can be more like the ocean. I understand that that is sometimes turbulent but on average just fluctuates with Mother Nature. And I can thank Dyer for this one: “I want peace; the result of retraining my mind to process life as it is rather than as I think it should be”.

This is my blog & I am writing a Screenplay; an autobiography. I think perusing the last 10/15 or so posts will give you an idea of who I am and where I am at. I suspect that with this letter to you, my battery is just low, as I believe that I am close & yet so very far away from living my life to the fullest! Frankly, I don’t know what’s wrong with me – I have everything a girl could want and more.

And so Life (Coach), I most look forward to hearing how you think that you could help me reach my goals but more importantly I think we need to start with a simple question “Do you think that we are compatible?”.

Life is a dance

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After reading this post, you may add “snob” to my growing list of nicknames – it wouldn’t be the first time. In college I wouldn’t eat a bagel outside of NYC – forget the frozen ones… & when I lived in PHX, second retirement capitol in the USA to LV, I imported my coffee from Portland on a small Architectural salary while my ex boyfriend, Scum Lazy-Ass Moron, covered my rent!?

So you can only imagine that the story now continues. Sadly I have to accept that in some ways I have changed very little. After all that I have seen in my short forty-one (41) years, I have a really hard time saying that developing countries are “beautiful”! It’s somewhat technical and most certainly reflective of my quest for the perfect words in life but in my narrow world view, I think there should be another word for them… Ever since my first trip to India, in 2009, I have been searching for a new term!

I’d like to say that the people and the experiences they afford are beautiful; and IMO they have been and continue to be – unforgettably so, but I am beginning to wonder if I only appreciate them because I grew up in America, in an arguably privileged household.

It’s not just mainstream Design/Architecture that is missing in third world countries but on average much of the landscapes are barren and dry, the infrastructure is sometimes poorly designed but most often tattered & many of the people, it fascinates me to note through their endless smiles, look tired and their street clothes are often dingy – forever spoiled by the inordinate amount of hand washing.

If that last paragraph makes you feel disdain for me, please consider forgiving me, I am only now finally beginning to understand that I am one of those “Sploit American’s” that so much of the world snickers about.

Short of taking away from that acknowledgment; I’d like to come full circle and back to what place this post has in a bipolar blog…

As I lay in bed and reflect on the theme of my accepted Screenplay and autobiography let me remember what Arianna Hufgington said: ‘Life is a Dance Between Making It Happen & Letting It Happen’… Although I have just begun to tap into my hero’s message, my understanding is that it has something to do with answering the questions: “What is really important?”

Many of you might think that I should have arrived at the answer by now but I am still on this road hoping to learn to pass with less judgement and deeply accept that although we share so many commonalities, our countries, our families, our afflictions are so very different! And short of rejecting myself and diving off the deep end into a pity party, that’s what I think that we all need to embrace. Like them or not, our differences make the world go around!

And with the recognition of that at 3am, I am going to close my eyes and pray. I am going thank our dearest Universe for my teachers – my lessons then & my lessons now. I want to thank the Creator of all things for the extraordinary gift of travel, I feel light years ahead of where I could have been if I were held captive in my homeland. I want to ask that the Spirit Guides and Deities help me to keep it real & to share the finer things that are within my control; appreciation, compassion and love for one another – may it come to me freely and easily. But most importantly I need to remember to thank God for bringing me here to the tip of this iceberg; hopefully I’ll figure out what life is all about, act accordingly & grow deeply and profoundly beyond my wildest dreams!

Note to reader: The picture above was taken on my first elephant trek! Imagine your own possibilities as you realise that little girl from Akron Ohio road an elephant in Thailand!

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!

Perseverance

I don’t know that this is the right forum to discuss this but I want to talk about recognition. So here’s my spin on recognition with relationship to this blog, my blog.

Since September, when I came out, my blog has received approximately 137 views a month. That’s huge in comparison to the 216 views that I averaged per year since I started writing in January of 2011. And those are just the ones that get recorded! I cannot explain the increase in visitors but assume that http://www.beingbipolarisnteasy.com is showing up more often in searches now that I have gotten some traffic with the help of my friends.

Obviously, Mental Health is a popular topic in American, so I have plenty of fellow American viewers but what amazes me is that peeps from Brazil, Italy, the UK, France, Portugal, Canada and South Africa regularly visit my blog. Hell I have even had viewers from Egypt & Montenegro?!

The thing about being able to view the stats is that the public acknowledgment, acceptance, admission… approval, validation feels good. It makes my efforts official. Note to reader: The key word is “public”. Most of my viewers keep their visits “private”. Nonetheless, I find it empowering even if you readers don’t acknowledge my writing by commenting or liking my post. I know that I am being watched… I know because I watch you. It’s a little narcissistic. No?

I may only have 60 WordPress.com followers & 242 Facebook followers and that’s …something. I should say “and that’s enough”… but if truth be told, I cannot because I salivate so much that I have to wipe my drool with my shirt sleeve when I see the hundreds of likes and commentary on other popular bipolar blogs. It’s not the attention but the conversations that are being had elsewhere that I envy!

You see I aim to be an open book, honest about my experiences in hopes of helping bust the stigma of what it’s like to be creative & mentally handicapped but as far as I can judge the thing of it is, is that my stories are not average and I cannot acculturate.

I do not suffer nor cope apparently the way the typical bipolar does, I blame a large part of it on my spiritual practice – yoga, & therefore I can only assume that people, that do not practice yoga, cannot identify with ME. And that’s where the recognition or lack there of rubs. It would be easier if people accepted ME into the social process of blogging but because I do not fit into the socially accepted bipolar identity I am reduced to an outcast.

And yet I try to stay positive. So if you are reading this, accept my appreciation to all of you that read my blog. Writing isn’t easy and so I will persevere. I am just trying to take action, face the stigma & increase public awareness – possibly change THE WORLD (views). ;)

And so as I often do; I leave you with this: http://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/May-2015/7-Things-To-Remember-about-Mental-Health?utm_source=social&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=blog