Last week I was asked by my therapist "What would be your perfect day if you had control over it?"
Control over it? Hmm...where do I start?
One week ago I was diagnosed with Bipolar 2 disorder. Two weeks ago I was asked what my perfect day would be. Three weeks ago I was crying into a chicken fried steak at Luby's restaurant in Houston.
Two hours before that I was crying at my Airbnb with my family in the other room and then had a panic attack and fell asleep for about an hour and a half. (I never nap)
One day before that I was a bridesmaid at a wedding.
Two months ago I almost couldn't get on an airplane. That's never happened to me, although a year ago I did start to feel that hurt and closing in on my chest in small spaces.
The day before that at 7:30am, I told my mom in a crying hysterical fit "I'm feel like I'm dying" as I flopped into a sweat and panic attack.
Bored yet? I'll continue anyhow.
For one year I've been losing weight. I've dropped from 120, to 118, to 114, to 109, to 108. Last week I was 104. Today I forgot to eat until I looked up from my computer at 11:55am because I had been trying to figure out how to write this / what to write / should I work on a website? Should I sell a new product? Should I get my sons snack for after school together? Wait was that an email that came in?
Did my daughter's gymnastics coach just call and say that she may be let go from her 5-year old (yes I said 5-year old) development team for gymnastics because she can't stand still? Does she have bipolar?
Wait, I forgot I had a phone call scheduled.
Good thing she called me on time and I answered. Hey, Donald Trump Jr. has just been caught in cahoots with Wikileaks, should I check in with the news? Oh, wait...it's 12:50 I still have not eaten anything today. Oh look my son is home from school because he has half days for conferences and I forgot.
Are you exhausted reading this? I am. But I'll write more because it helps to get it out of my head and I'm sure some of you are interested because oh my god you can't believe I'm bipolar but you're thinking you've really known it all along but didn't have a word for it? Cause I have NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER...
...thought to myself "Hey I wonder if I'm bipolar?". Nope.
Two years ago I began having more and more trouble with people, family specifically, some telling me I'm quite loud. My therapist telling me I speak in a male voice. I persisted. I'm passionate. I feel things. I live life OUT LOUD.
I've had difficulty with some of my dance classes, over-working, over-pushing, and will rev higher and go faster when I feel push back. When I'm in my zone, however, I can teach a kick ass dance class.
I suspected something was wrong. There was one person that was the common variable in this equation.
This year is the first ever time I've really experienced depression. Not take-myself-to-bed depression...but more like I-can't-eat-anxiety.
This year the voices in my head started getting tangled. Tripping. Repetitive.
This year I started focusing on death, not suicide ideation (or any tendencies, ever), but rather because of my Common Variable Immune Deficiency I was diagnosed with a couple years ago. I receive weekly treatments of Hyzentra, a strong medicine that gives me other peoples antibodies.
For a year I received it monthly through IV but now my husband gives it to me weekly. It's not too bad. I'm lucky I'm able to receive it and afford it, since we have health insurance. I lay down each Monday and get fed antibodies while I watch Rachel Maddow and spill food on myself. It's very glamorous.
This year I started trying to create more more more without really creating anything anything anything. Well...that's not true...I did lots of great stuff. But I never feel satisfied. And I can never let anything go. I can't say no.
This year I started having what I would characterize as obsessive chatter, when I would meditate it felt as if my brain waves were wires that were crossing. With use of meditation I can get those to quiet for a bit during meditation but they come back. I reach for the phone - while I reach for the spatula - while I reach for the applesauce...and my head is one flight mind after another. And it's now 6:00pm and I haven't eaten since 2:00? How is that possible when I love to eat so much?
I try to get all this energy out of my body. Each day I wake up hoping to focus. And I continue to create without any real focus but with an intense drive that can't be stopped.
I start to write. I start to post on Facebook. I get passionate on it. It's caused problems and I know it sometimes makes people uncomfortable. I'm not.
Manic is the word.
But every once in a while I get a glimpse of what others have started to see. I have clues about my brain almost as if a window opens and closes periodically allowing me to see myself.
Two weeks ago I gathered all my writings, my texts, my arguments with people, anything anything anything that would help people see into my brain. I was desperately crying out.
Because I can't lose my sh*t. I'm a mom. A creator. A producer. A dance teacher. I have four or five maybe six or seven (dare I count?) businesses, websites, products. Constantly...all day long...I am an IDEA GENERATOR. And one more thing.
I love my life
I really do. It's so much fun and I have a blast creating special moments for people in all the ways I do as I race through the world.
Last night I sang at a concert. Friday night I produced a surprise flash mob. Thursday I taught a dance class. Tuesday I choreographed for an event. Over the past six months I've created 4, 5 ,6, maybe 12 websites. Some are public and some are not. I have five ideas for new musicals, six for new businesses, three songs I want to choreograph to. One song I have to choreograph to in time for my Saturday class in three days. I can choreograph an entire routine in my head on my hour drive to Palo Alto, dictate it to myself when I arrive in the parking lot, go in, put the music on and teach.
I wrote my first musical in a manic state after having my first child. I was forced to finish it because my co-writer and I were accepted into The New York International Fringe Festival. I wrote my second musical within one year from almost the exact date from when I made an informal hand shake to have it done a year from then and they were announcing the opening night and my title the next day.
I wrote it, musically directed it, choreographed it, starred in it. It opened in Los Angeles a year later.
I did all this. I did it and I still don't feel successful. Maybe I should say I still don't feel fulfilled?
I'm racing to write this article here because in exactly T minus 13 minutes I need to race to pick up my daughter Rylie to take her to gymnastics, where I was told recently that she is maybe not going to be doing because she can't stand still...remember?
So I can only guess that tonight at 11:35pm when my body thinks it's time for sleep but my mind does not I will think about whether or not my kids have bipolar. Do they have my other disorder, CVID?
Even I know that's too much to go into here in one post, so let's just all agree that I'm probably not going to sleep well and instead will have ten more ideas I think of and then finally fall into REM sleep about 2:30/3:00am? Maybe? And then wake up in a haze but not able to stay asleep because there's so much more to create!
Still exhausted? Me too. But I don't want to nap because I'm going to take a dance class at 5:00pm. I'm not teaching it, but taking it because this helps me calm down. It centers me, allows my brain to only think about the next step touch, the next ball change, and the rhythm helps my mind meditate.
So what's the question again?
"Molly, what would your perfect day look like if you were in control of it?"
My response at this moment? Wake up not groggy. I would be able to sleep through the night or perhaps just wake up once during the night. I haven't slept normally in in about 14 years.
Enjoy my morning tea in bed while I wake up and take in some news. I'm not supposed to be watching news because my family says it makes me crazy, but I remain obsessed and not ready to give it up.
Let's not pretend that this is a good time for me to meditate. I get that it is, but my kids are still running around asking me for cheerios and stuff.
Take my kids to school. Calmly, because I'm not late. Listen to music with them, not news. Talk. Enjoy. Not think about what is next.
Focused time with my kids
Say good morning to my local Peet's friends and baristas. I always make a community at whatever Peet's Coffee and Tea I live near. I find it a great way to create community and have a daily check in. I've developed many friendships all over the bay area and beyond because of this. Sometimes I feel like Norm in Cheers.
Handle my medical obligations in the morning. I have a lot due to my immune condition.
Exercise, take a class or teach a class get my full hour and try to burn about 800 calories of my excess energy. This also helps to keep my mind at bay.
Work, blog, think, develop, keeping my body calm, avoid the pulse, insulated, my mind focused, alert and able to create. Help people. Mentor people. Give what I have to offer to the world and not be afraid of what people think if it's not their thing. I want to give to my community. I have a lot to offer. I don't want to be afraid to offer it any longer.
But see? I'm already starting to make ideas. And instead my body wants to grab a mug of tea, put on some cozy music, and quietly design, blog, in a confined space. And yet, my mind holds me hostage. For now.
Back to my day
Meditate. Take my meds for CVID with ease. Eat whole. Be whole. Feel balanced. Drink water. Take time with food. Take time with moments. Create the moments.
Pick up my children, my work day is done. Gymnastics, soccer, homework, ballet, parkour, work on their YouTube channel. Teach them the stuff I've learned by listening to my obsession with online learning. For the past years I've consumed podcast after podcast after audiobook after audiobook. I know a large amount of online marketing, entrepreneurship, design elements, sales techniques, blogging, YouTube and podcast production. I don't know why I started studying all this so heavily.
I think because I knew I would use it all one day. Maybe it would be to create this site. I'm afraid to say it is. I'm afraid because I listened to a book (in a day naturally) about a girl that was diagnosed with bipolar 2. I learned that I could be "under-identifying" with my diagnosis or "over-identifying". What do you think I chose?
Oh well...I just found out about this diagnosis, give me a chance to get this all out of my brain and onto the page. I'm not at all out of the woods and am just now really starting to take this seriously as I can feel it progressing faster now. Quicker swings, more manic pacing as I revisit the past 25 years of my life and connect the dots.
And although I still can't eat, I sure am excited to find out what the future for me holds. My portrayal of a seemingly normal mother of two, who has cares about what everyone else cares about and goes through life with ease was convincing. I think I convinced many people.
I'd say I'm a good actress. I'd say I'm such a good actress that I fooled myself. Even I'm interested in how this story unfolds. I'm sure they'll be twists and turns along the way.
You know what I'm going to say now right?
I feel a musical coming on...