Mad Pride

It is not Mad Pride here yet, I actually might have missed it, but the day, July 14, hasn’t crept up on me quite yet.
It is hard to have Pride sometimes, especially in relation to being bipolar. It’s a very unusual illness to have. The first thought after a manic psychosis episode for me is always “Oh my God none of it was REAL!”
The second, more depressing thought is “But some of it was, OMG! What did I do?”
And a third, more eerie thought is “But how will I remember what was real and what wasn’t?”
For the most part I have it figured out.
Except for two things I heard. I’m pretty sure one was a hallucination. But the other one, I will never know.
I was walking home from the bar wearing a top hat and tails and as I walked through a residential area I heard a woman scream and then a gunshot, and then silence. I have no idea if it was real. I didn’t stick around to find out, I just kept walking, and I think part of me knew I was crazy and not to pay attention. But it was weird, and I am still haunted by it. Was it real?

The other thing that happened is I was listening to a song on the radio, which had just come out, and this voice said “The story goes that in the end you’ll be normal.” I was just recovering from my episode and still thought “Fuck, was that real?” I’ve listened to the song many times since and never heard those words uttered, so it probably WAS a hallucination.

And then there were so many things that I wrote while I was going under, and I did this the first time too. It’s pretty weird. Still, I erased a lot of it, and some remains here. Like all of April. I forget the day I went into the hospital, but I think it was around April 20th or so. And my birthday was shortly thereafter, a pretty glum birthday. I got a cake and some presents, and cards, and some of the patients scrounged change to get me a strawberry sundae from DQ. We got to get passes to walk to DQ or the store (usually for cigarettes). And even though we were supposed to stay by the ashtray, a lot of us went on walks down the meewasin valley trail. It was pretty weird. One time my friend was depressed and outside having a smoke on the trail when some uber-tanned fit white women came running by and one said loudly “And that’s where the FREAKS sit!”

I can’t help much about my brain, well, actually that’s not true. There’s my cocktail of mind-altering drugs I take, which are prescribed thank you very much. I have heard of people abusing some of the meds I am on. Which seems ridiculous to me because they are just psych drugs. Like the risperdone, who would take that if they didn’t have to? It’s a freakin antipsychotic!

I am not proud of all the things I do or say while I’m in such an altered frame of mind as a psychotic episode. But I am proud that I can stand in the company of other people dealing with similar issues who still find ways to thrive and build community and make glorious works of art and other contributions to society. And I am proud when I look at a friend with similar issues to me, and be able to say “Don’t you hate it when . . . ” And they can say “I know exactly what you mean.”

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