I am celebrating Pride month this year really for the fist time since college. I'm currently in a race to finish my second LGBT teenfiction book in June as part of a pride celebration on Wattpad. I am involved in some queer book clubs in my writing on Wattpad. But I don't know why. Well, what I mean by that is I don't know why this year of any year is one that I chose to write LGBT fiction. I don't know why this year Pride means more to me. There was no inciting incident.
I just finished watching Eugene Yang's "I am Gay" and it got me thinking about the reasons people have for coming out or "staying in." And I think in a lot of ways it mirrors the decision on when, whether or not, and to whom I disclose my bipolar disorder. Because it is easy for me to pass. Most people have no idea unless I tell them.
Of course, one could argue that I am out to THE WHOLE WORLD as a person living with bipolar disorder since this is a 100% public blog and I am easily findable.
Why did I decide to come out as bipolar? Because I want people to know that this is one of the ways that bipolar people may present. I have a nice life and a family and a job and friends. I am not "crazy." I want to represent.
I am forty-seven years old. I am a public school teacher. I live in a cute little house that used to have an honest-to-god white picket fence. I have one husband and three children. I have been in a traditional, awesome, monogamous marriage for twenty four years.
And I am and have always been bisexual. But not out.
I never saw a reason to be out because my life is so hetero and it is easy to pass and it just seems like over-sharing and narcissistic to tell people that I am bisexual.
Actually I took so long to come out there are other terms that might fit me better but I still consider myself bi. (Some of the younger folk would probably describe me as demisexual and biromantic according to the current lingo, but I could be completely off-base here. I'm sticking to what I know.)
I guess I'm not really "in." Because I have been out to some people since I found out myself (kind of late) when I was in my twenties. I'm pretty sure some people knew before I did. I'm out to mostly friends and kind of some family. I guess since some of my family read this they might know now too.
I'm not a viral video star and I don't have any sort of big platform that will make a difference to anyone. Not really. I'm not some role model that people look up to. But I just thought that I would mention the fact that I am not straight. I am invisible--because I am in a long-term, monogamous, heterosexual relationship--but I am not straight.
Also, I think it is really funny that I am bi, bi, bi: bipolar, bisexual and binary (female).
This may be the most cowardly bellow-the-fold, burying-the-lead way of coming out, but there you have it. Ever wonder if you were friends with a bisexual brunette with bipolar disorder? Yup. Pleased to meet you.
Pressing POST. yikes.
I like to write. I like to edit. I am terrified of getting feedback, which is exactly what I need in order to edit. I have just invited several people I know and trust, a few people I really don't know (but I know their moms), and six complete strangers to give me feedback on my first book.
Thus: living in terror.
Now, I want this book to belong in the wider world. Eventually when it has grown up from being just a baby book in its newness... I would like to see if I can get it published.
I want to be comfortable with having anyone reading it. I'm not really there yet. I'm afraid that someone will read it and think to themselves, "What a load of horse hockey." And then I will trash the whole thing in a fit of pique.
Here's the thing. Everyone's writing is horse-hockey to someone.
The danger of being a people pleaser is in wanting to change everything to suit everyone. I will not. There are things I know I like about my book that I will not change. Like who the characters fundamentally are.
I have this tendency to write what my professors referred to as, "Lovely, Canadian novels."
I am neither lovely, nor Canadian, so who knows why that is happening. Ha. The upshot is, I write books with careful prose, memorable characters, and no plot.
I'm not sure why I am anti-plot.
I enjoy reading things with a plot.
I am overthinking everything.
I need to think of feedback like I think of partners in Aikido. Not like it is pleasant to get thrown on the floor, but you need to do that in order to practice. And without your partner, you can't practice. So you are grateful to them for being willing to throw you on the floor.
Of course in Aikido you take turns.
I so badly want to write at the moment, but mere 5 yards away from me there are three preteens fighting over a phone and arguing about which boy they should or should not stalk on insta. And they are soooooo loud. If I try to write all that will come out on the page will be
Oh yeah, he said... and then she said... give me the phone... omg I said something about Eddie... wait you live by me? I'm going to your school next year. What did you tell him about me.
And the SQUEEEEEEAAAALS. The screams! The giggles.
This is exactly what my friends and I were like. I'm pretty sure. So loud. So giggly. So squeal. I drive me nuts.
I can't escape because I am waiting here while elderboy is having his interview. But I am very crabby about them. None of them have anything to do with me.
I have written one book and put the first draft on Wattpad.
I've had readers in US, Canada, Russia, Germany, France, Spain, Argentina. Nigeria, Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, India, the Netherlands, the Philippines... which is pretty cool.
I'm also in a couple of book clubs so other writers will be reading my stuff.
I am writing book two on Wattpad as well.
The goal is to complete this by the end of June (for Pride Month). So I am writing a lot.
I started taking a new med about a month ago. It is like lurasidone, but doesn't make me a zombie. I still have not researched it. Vraylar. It is approved (allegedly) for bipolar mania and bipolar Depression. I was more on the manic side this spring, so that's partly why I have written 1.5 books since April.
I am a little worried that I'm running into writer's block, but I think what I am actually running into is preteen girls and the Women's World Cup. The game today between Brazil and Australia! Right.
Yougerboy leaves for China next week. Oh no, the girls moved closer. There is only one small lobby here and I need to wait for Elderboy. I can relocate a little bit. We'll see if that helps at all. Oh... I also have my ear plugs but I don't think they work for the specific frequency of preteen girl.
Ahhhh... they left. So now I will abandon you for the project that is eating part of my brain (but not the whole brain because I am not manic.)
My Workplace Accomodation/Coteacher's sister is not doing well. She is undergoing emergency surgery this morning and she was doing poorly to begin with. This is terrible. But here's where the selfish comes in...
I was already worried about the fact that she will probably retire after next year. Now I am worrying about the fact that I may have to finish out the year without her (there are only 9 some days left, totally doable).
Because I am that horrible person that looks at other people's tragedies and thinks: why me?
But I'm really not. I feel for coteacher and her sister and I think it sucks. It's only after the normal human responses that I go into anxiety mode.
I think maybe this is just human nature, or else I am just naturally horrible.
I am disinclined to write in my blog. Why? It takes writing time away from my fiction. I've completed one novel and am working on the second. I think I started the first one in early March and finished it partway through May? It's around 70,000 words. Over 200 pages for sure. I don't recall exactly.
New meds (vraylar) seem to be doing the trick. I still haven't researched them. But now I write because I REALLY REALLY WANT TO and not because I have to.
Just last night, I made myself fold laundry, wash sleeping bags, do the dishes and... something else while Spouse was out of the house. Under new normal circumstances I would have just been writing the whole time.
Okay, this is enough for you. I got other things to do.
Doesn't it just sound like a comicbook villain? Nah. It's my new med. I uncharacteristically don't know anything about it even though I have been taking it for six days now.
Psych NP concurred with everyone around me that I was a little on the manic side (having written a novel in just over a month... among other things.
She had me start on lurasidone for a little while, but I don't like that it makes me drowsy (read: Zombie). So she gave me a one-month sample of Vraylar. It's non-brand-name is cariprazine.
Now, this does go against my only liking meds that start with L... I guess I will have to make an exception. So far this seems like a pretty good fit.
My focus is better. I can do things besides writing (although I really don't want to because I'm still on a roll...). I have a longer attention span than I did a week ago. Which isn't saying much.
I'm really worried about what will happen when I get a new co-teacher (I'm borrowing trouble, I know. But eventually she will have to retire). Workplace Accomodation is so good at dealing with the Ups and the Downs. She deals with them the same way, actually. Just by being calm and not having much of a reaction... and telling me what I need to do. Or just listening when I tell her what I need her to do.
Like start class without me if I can't stop crying. Or make a prioritized list of things I need to do.
I'm done writing this now because I want to go write some fiction. I am done with one book and working on the sequel while I have a few people reading and commenting on the first. I'll do edits, then start shopping it around to agents. Don't worry, I'm not getting my hopes up. I just think it would be cool if this went somewhere.
Spouse thinks I'm a little on the manic side. So does my workplace accommodation. So does another workplace friend. I don't disagree.
I read my last few posts.
I wrote an entire novel in just over a month (I think).
I've been reading the smutty romance more than usual.
I have the attention span of half a gnat. No, half the attention span of a gnat.
I am hyper-focused on writing. It is all I want to do. Maybe all I can do? Not sure.
Staying up late, but waking up early.
I don't even try to go shopping because I know that I would either buy everything, or I would still be lost and wandering around in the store.
This means meds check for me. I can't remember what Psych NP does when I am a little zippy. Not Lithium, that's for damn sure. I only took that once when I was much more on the manic side of hypomania and it made me cry and cry and cry.
Latuda is for sad... lexipro? Nope. That looks like a another one for sad. Do I have a good anti-manic? It's not my main presenting symptom. Crap.
On the positive side, Spouse was at some gathering where someone was talking about, "Oh, the poor family to have to deal with a person suffering with bipolar disorder..." on and on like it was this HORRIFIC thing.
And it can be.
But Spouse talked to them about bipolar from a spousal standpoint and said it's not necessarily that bad... like many things, it is a spectrum.
Glad Spouse thinks I am not that bad. 🥰
I feel like I am just about to go onstage before an audience of thousands to deliver a speech about something I am passionate about, but underprepared to address.
That's just the physical sensation in my body.
Or maybe it feels like I haven't had anything but caffeine and sugar for five days (which is not true).
Last night I was reading (because I am now obsessed with finding good stories on Wattpad and when I do I must read all things that that person has written)...
Anyway, I was reading and it was somehow much closer to 2 am than you might think. But I couldn't stop reading because I was in love with this character and I was getting a bit worried about him. He didn't seem like he was in a very good place.
And as I kept reading it became clear that he had some mental health crap going on.
And didn't want to go see his therapist
And he wasn't able to get enough sleep.
And he was really irritable and withdrawing from his partner
And his meds weren't working
And oh crap it turns out that he actually had bipolar II...
Even then I didn't get the hint and go to sleep. I had to finish reading. He's fine, by the way. I know you were concerned.
Yeah, he decided to quit the job that he hated, went in for some inpatient treatment, fixed his meds and then did not just remove himself from his lover's life like he was doing a big favor.
I sent Spouse to pick up my meds today. I'm going to take them now. I will see if the jittery goes away. I'm serious. It feels chemical.
I DO NOT WANT TO BE ON MEDS.
This is likely code for: I do not want to have bipolar disorder.
Here is my spring break project so far...
It is 12:36 pm and the first thing to cross my lips is bad coffee with two containers of nondairy creamer and a generous squeeze of honey. I just burned the roof of my mouth with a fresh beignet.
I need to pick up my prescription for lamotrigine today. It has lapsed. I don't know when. Okay, I know that I used up the last of the pills some time this last week, but it is spring break. And I am unhitched from time.
Also, my sleep schedule totally sucks.
One thing that was brilliant but I didn't happen upon it until a few days ago was to binge watch Gallatica with my teen (also on spring break) because this means that we both get up instead of remaining comatose throughout the day.
Damn, fresh beginets are delightful. I'm not sharing.
I feel jittery. I have for the past two or three days. It is a kind of jittery that I associate with meds in or not in my system. I wonder if this means I have not been compliant for longer than I think.
I'm still working on my YA novel. I had to scale back on the number of things the main character was involved in in high school because she was too busy to be part of my book. She wasn't even really based on me.
Then I made a list of all the things I did in high school and decided I would make a completely unbelievable character in a work of fiction:
Band, Choir, Chamber singers, Youth Orchestra, Odyssey of the Mind, Community Theater, Soccer, Private piano lessons, Private horn lessons, Private voice lessons, National Honors Society, part time job at a fabric store, co-wrote a one-act play, did freelance calligraphy for the Daytons and had a job as a church accompanist...
and in my spare time I just hung around with the fencing team.
I have, by the way, decided that Depression has great taste in people. Seriously. My friends who are dealing with Depression crap right now are some of the best people I know. (I guess I can be the best too.)
Already resent the time spent away from working on my fiction piece. Chapters 1-7 posted here (now in order).
Wanna do me a big favor? Read one or two of the chapters and then click on the star to vote at the bottom. Why? Because I accidentally voted for myself and I am the lone star on my piece and it makes me feel like a narcissist.
I haven't finished the book I'm writing yet.
I'm gonna give myself a break on that because it hasn't even been a month.
Things keep changing.
Yesterday I wrote at a coffeeshop across from elderboy and bounced ideas off him. Which was fun.
I think I'll try that again.
It is spring break.
A friend of mine is struggling, which sucks.
In fact, probably more than one of my friends is struggling. Which sucks more.
On a whim I'm putting a few chapters out while I'm still very much in progress.
Don't know why.
I guess that's why they call it a whim.
Quaker, teacher, parent,