Bridges. I have burnt every bridge I have crossed all my life. I have set fire to and burnt every relationship I have ever had. Family, friends, co-workers, bosses, my first wife and child. Being bipolar doesn’t mix well socially. People that love you become confused. They don’t know from day to day whether they will be loved or despised. Enter alcohol and drugs and it becomes a disaster waiting to blow up in the faces of the one’s you loved yesterday but hate today. I had no intention of going through life as a loner but that’s what happened until I met Deborah and married her. Her insight and sympathy and love run deeper than anyone I’ve ever met and that is why she is successful at managing people. Not to mean she has no backbone she has tremendous strength and fortitude. If it wasn’t for her I would have rode the long dead train way before now. We’ve been together since 1983. She likes me when I am sober and is not fond of me when I’m drugged and drinking, (an understatement). Am I guilty of the crime being an arsonist, burning love and affection. No. Is it my fault. No. Are we responsible for being ill? Or being a addict? No. We were born with genetic defects. Do we have a choice to try to get well, find help and support and take medication that will help us? Yes, we have a choice, don’t we? I was told we do, but do we really? My behavior doesn’t make Deborah feel comfortable. She fears that I will die of a heart attack, stroke, liver failure or overdose or suicide. And she is right to fear these things. All I can do is try to love her while we’re both alive. As regards friends I don’t have any. All my friends were junkies and alcoholics and they have all went their own ways as the years have past. All my friends are in cyberspace now liking or disliking each other through our thoughtfulness and words and ideas. Bridges.
Today like yesterday I was hypomanic or manic. It is a crazed state of mind. A little bit deranged and wild. I am now after my fix and a half a dozen beers I feeling normal. What normal is to me is not ready to jump off the cliff just because it would be fun to land in the sand below. You never know what lurks beneath the sand could be rocks or other refuse like broken bottles and such. Being manic is for me has got elements of psychosis. And that’s not where I want to be. I want to be calm, sane and balanced. I don’t want to drive down the street at 70 miles an hour just to buy some groceries and beer. I don’t want to scare my wife into thinking I am out of my mind. But this is the insanity that mania brings on. It makes us do what we normally wouldn’t do and it is rabid with excitement that is difficult to turn off. I guess I am lucky and have the drugs to turn it off. I don’t want to be pulled over, searched and jailed. Nothing more serious than driving under the influence of alcohol would be the charge. I don’t hold my other drugs. I have a great mountain bike I can ride. – John
I’m hypomanic right now. This is the way I woke up. Everything is the way it should be again. The rain outside is washing the dirt from my mind and the thunder is in my head. I want more but I know this is could be leading me to impending doom, a malignant crash. Or accident or a risky overdose. I am living at an acute angle. Somewhere around 90˚ off center. It feels like an electric shock, I am jumpy and precariously at the edge of an imaginary cliff. I can see for miles and miles. My fingers can’t keep up with the devilish, godless, lightning bolt that strikes me like a green fireball and shoots out of my fingertips, smoking. I feel impregnable but my mind is shaky and underneath my serpentine thoughts is a hot loaded gun messing up my good humor and happiness. That always seems to be the way it is. I have to guard myself from hazardous materials. I feel wonderfully clear, untouched by the dirt and filth of my cluttered and uncertain mind. Joy. I’m high, no pain. My mind is full of jelly beans of every color and flavor. If I get too overexcited I’m going to feel paranoid and I can feel beginnings of that coming on. How long can stuff last in the refrigerator? My $4000 dollar watch is sparkling and chasing time. I worry that the mailman might deliver a hospital bill for $6000 dollars that I never got from 2007. I think I need a fix soon I don’t want to get all jittery and raving. That happened yesterday afternoon too. And I couldn’t decide what to do – all this backed up work for the website, clean the house in a frenzy of energy, or get loaded and and chill. I don’t want this to go too far – I know it can – and I could start unraveling. Yesterday Deborah said I was lit up like a christmas tree. There are no leaks in the roof but the sound of the rain is like white noise or a babbling brook. I am going to take a fix and get a beer right now. – John
I let the rainbow effects play around the electric lights and I loosen my focus. There is a new focus, a sparkling effervescence of being. It has opened up into the illimitable Beyond.
I may seem brash and glittery with energy. I may be living dangerously. In this state, I could do anything. But it is all startlingly clear: I’ve touched the element of life and I am enthralled by it.
Happy hypomania. I remember the days.
I’m still here. When I would be concentrating on my artwork and viewing art and writing on the blog, I have been spending each night talking with Deborah about our up coming trip to San Francisco for her mother’s 90th birthday party and also discussing and trying to get a handle on our lives together. It is a combination of things. I haven’t been able to stop drugging and drinking, that’s one major topic, the other is going to San Francisco. Our kids can’t be left on their own for more than a few days, (they might wreck the place missing our attention), I’m talking about our cats. And the fact that I am somewhat eccentric in the way I present myself which the older family members might not understand is really only a problem for them. But I am going, fuck the torpedoes. I can handle it with enough drugs and and a few drinks. It will work out one way of the other. Deborah will probably be there for a week or so and I will fly in and out the next day. Other than that we’ve been fine. I am working on some ideas (analog expression instead of digital) but I’ve not worked out all the details. The materials include large canvas, fabric, buttons and the most famous icons in history. It is going to take more thought regarding production, technique and supplies. I am encouraged by this idea. One of a kind, tangible, and expensive. My wife has been prodding me to come up with some way to make some money and I think this might work. Anyway I’ve taken a brief look at all the work you are all doing and when I get more time I will give it my full attention. Love you guys. – John
What troubles you? The floor I sit cross-legged on swells and rolls like the waves of the sea. This troubles me: I have repeating and intrusive thoughts, seeing my throat being cut with sheet glass over and again. I’m conscious of a dislocation and it’s all in my head.
Is it my sickness you’re experiencing – or is it nothing really?