Being Bipolar isn't EASY

and the Art of Slowing it Down

Tag Archives: Suicide

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.

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/

#4Cici

Here’s a real life dilemma… I am trying to help a friend that dreams about “being gone”. I have spoken to her a length and she is in denial about her depression and possible disabling bipolar disposition. She naively believes that it can get better without professional support. I don’t blame her, I understand her, deeply… as I too struggled with the stigma ten (10) years, before I came out to my ‘extended friends & family’. My heart goes out to her and I was compelled to write this letter to her husband because she is not listening to ME… and I want to share it with you now.

Kindly note: Whether you have been reading my blog for sometime or not, please be made aware that I never use anyones real names. Their privacy is as important to me as my own. i.e. That’s why my pen name is Princess Marksalot and not…

“Forgive the intrusion. I just want to help! I know that this may seem pushy, I know that I am meddling, but I am also taking the risk that you will appreciate why: sweet Cici has reached out to me too. So it is only natural that I feel a responsibility; especially after she has opened up to me more this past week. I know from personal experience that having my husband’s unconditional support has been so very valuable. Often my treatment is an entire family effort; mom, sisters etc..

As you are aware, Cici has confided in me that she struggles with depression. I know that she reached out to you last night in a BIG way! That’s a HUGE step.

She needs YOU to help her respond to the call for help. I believe that she is somewhat paralyzed by the unknown and needs time to prepare herself for a professional diagnosis. You gave her great advice: “not to take to long”; but I urge you to set a time frame with her now. In my minds eye, she needs your help to be strong!

To that end, I want to offer our support; to both of you. I understand that you have read a bit about what I have been overloading Cici with. I am self conscious that it’s been too much but more grateful that I could share it. I have told her that I will lay off but I desperately want to reach her & help her realize that there is an easier way. She is suffering so.

I want her to know that she is not alone! That ‘this’ is nobodies fault, especially not hers; i’s the chemicals in her brain. That said, I mostly want to write YOU now because I fear for her; if she does not seek medical treatment asap. Being gone or even toying with it is no way to live.

At this point you may be interested to now that suicide is the 10th highest leading cause of death in the USA… many of the cases were mentally unstable. I know, from personal experience and from talking to Cici this past week, that she is mentally unstable & in denial. She reminds me of myself years ago…

At this point you may want to know how… I was diagnosed Bipolar ten (10) years ago. Bipolar is not know to run in my family, although I have a cousin that suffers from severe depression… Under a great deal of stress, in my early thirties (30s), I had my first psychotic break & ended up running from an ambulance & being handcuffed in front of a Starbucks. I entered the hospital kicking & screaming “protect me” “protect my family”… and to this day believe that I was followed by under cover agents/physicians/policemen to see what kind of trouble I was in. It wrecked havoc on my ability to recuperate. I lost much valuable time.

In short, I do not want Cici to suffer the same. Not if I can help it. After the first break I was a rapid cycler, meaning I was either very high or very low over a short period of time. A day, a week, a month… sadly it went on for years before I sought the help I needed. For a long time like Cici I tried to manage on my own & with the few unprofessionals that I had. It didn’t work. I needed medication. Trust me when I tell you this; it helped and continues to help more than you can imagine. Cici does not need to have a psychotic break to seek treatment. They are de-habilitating.

Kindly note: I wouldn’t be married today nor have a child of my own if it weren’t for the medication. Cici assures me that she has support at home; she says that you are a gentle man with a great deal of compassion. I sense that from the few times that we have met. But want to urge you today, together, to face this confusion/fear! Cici has good intuition but self diagnosis can be dangerous. In my humble opinion, she needs to see treatment with a professional! I highly recommend my doctors:

HK Psychiatrist: Dr. Desmond Fung +852 2868 9393
Macau Psychologist: Dr. Kay Chang +852 8108 4788

Whatever is troubling Cici is haunting but it is not as bad as it seems. I lived in secret for 10 years. Hardly anyone but my family & a few close friends knew my condition until recently. Don’t let any stigma keep you away. Three really great more authoritative resources to look at follow:

http://www.nami.org
http://www.dbsalliance.org/site/PageServer?pagename=home
http://www.mayoclinic.org

They are also both on FB, I urge you to connect with them however you are most comfortable. Finally, I think that this blog post may come in handy at this time.

http://nectarmadness.com/2014/08/13/the-breaking-point-of-a-legend/

Sending my love to you & Cici. Both my husband & I are here for you 24/7. I mean it when I say: please do not hesitate to let us know if you want to continue this conversation. #4Cici”

If you have better advice that might help Cici, kindly let me know. It’s been a long while since I was really considered suicide. My contact details are in my About ME section.

*Note to reader: I realize now that I should have consulted the Mayo Clinic on the subject of denial BEFORE I sent Cici’s husband my email… but don’t listen to ME go on about it listen to the experts; what the Mayo Clinic has to say about denial is here: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/adult-health/in-depth/denial/art-20047926?pg=2

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.