Now what direction do I go? Do I take the safe route, the better choice, the smart thing to do … or do I take the risky bet, the stupid choice, the dreamer’s dream?
It’s been two weeks on the medication. This could be the start of something great or I could wind up in a lock down hospital. (Taking bets now).
In the past I was against taking medication for purposes of psychiatric treatment. I have always been so outspoken with my opinionated accusations of the pharmaceutical companies in cahoots with the government in making money off our disease (I smoked a lot of pot back then.
Now with my piece of paper in hand with the magic words describing a prescription, I have surrendered to the enemy. “I am now on the grid.” I only pray that the meds work and don’t have any side effects — so far, so good. Oh, and I am happy to say the treatment has not affected my libido. I have been testing all week; otherwise I wouldn’t take the medication. I’d rather be a crazy f#@*er than an impotent saint.
The night before I went to the hospital I told a friend about a nightmare. I dreamt that all of Los Angeles was on fire and demons were invading the city. I am sure I was still asleep, but I also dreamt that I had woke up on my stomach and a demon was on top of me, trying to hold me down and had something covering my mouth as I tried to scream. Right after that, I woke up on my stomach too scared to really move; I laid there for a minute.
After I called my friend and told her about my dream and what I thought about it afterwards, I felt stupid. To myself, “She probably thinks I am a nutcase. Who tha’ hell would believe me, anyway?”
I am not some weirdo who believes in angels and demons and I don’t dress up like some Lord of the Rings characters and go to comic book conventions. Apparently I just dream of angels and demons and I really am a weirdo … and proud of it! I disclosed to my friend my own bulls#!% interpretation of the dream. The demons were making one last stab at bringing me down before I went for help. I know it sounds crazy, but I am always trying to draw inspiration from my pain and fears.
A few days later my friend asked me about my demons. She asked if my demons had a face, what do they sound like? Once again I responded with my own non-professional psycho analysis:
Rousseau was quoted, “There is no devil, man is his own worse adversary.”
I believe that very much. My demons are just like your demons, they all have names: Fear, Doubt, Self-Pity, and Ego. In my art and my bipolar disease, I have grown more introspective. I and many of my fellow “Bipolarians” are more in tune and acutely aware of our demons, which allows us to face them head on. Some of us are winning the war; others have lost their life in their battle.
Maybe we are just having a human dream and none of this world is reality. Maybe when we die we just wake up from our dream (I got side tracked on that last part).
So here I am with a prescription bottle with my name on it; I am on anti-depressants. I haven’t had to take medication for anything since the early 1990’s and that was back in my grunge days when I was listening to Pearl Jam, wearing flannel and hanging out at coffee shops.
Now I have become “one of those people” who consume Big Macs, Starbucks and anti-depressants. However, I don’t look at it as defeat; I look at it as an opportunity. Hey, if you could take a pill that would make you better, why wouldn’t you? It takes a strong person to ask for help, it shows a strong character that is willing to take on the challenge. Staying the same is easy, changing takes heart and courage.
So this has been an interesting start to the new year and to my new journey of recovery. The past two weeks have been seriously the best days of my life — and that’s not my manic personality talking either. I asked my friend (who I told about my nightmare), if I was to make a playlist called “How to seduce an older woman,” what would be the first song? She starts to softly sing: ”Let’s get it on…”
If you suffer from bipolar, there are lots of options for help. If you live in Los Angeles and do not have insurance or the means, check out the Hollywood-Sunset Free Clinic located at 3324 W Sunset Blvd Los Angeles, 90026 or go online www.helpguide.org/mental/bipolar_disorder_self_help.htm
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – You can call 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255
Danny Keaton is a national touring comedian who lives in Los Angeles. He is also a writer, lover and a bastard with Bipolar disorder. Danny is your average person with a mental illness seeking redemption and a non-religious spiritual salvation through love and self-acceptance. Many times he is not aware when highs and lows kick in; to him it is part of his distorted reality. Check out Danny’s website at www.DannyKeatonComedy.com or follow him on www.Twitter.com/DannyKeaton