Love in a bipolar world: Pardon my mess, I’m under re-construction

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Last week I received a second refill on my meds. So far I have noticed a significant difference in the way I react and don’t react on my emotions. Funny how a little pink pill can make so much difference.

In the past I was quick to respond with hateful words I would regret as soon as they left my mouth. I would act impulsively to a situation that could have easily been resolved with mere subtly rather than explosive turmoil.

(Photo by Danny Keaton)
(Photo by Danny Keaton)

My biggest hurdle has been my assumptions. Sometimes — no, a lot of times — I assume people in my life should feel a certain way or things should go a certain way and when they don’t, I respond like a child throwing a tantrum. It’s embarrassing and I am ashamed to admit it, but I am still working to improve this section of my life. My past relationships in intimacy, friendship and business have been soiled with my past behavior. In most of my afterwards, I leave deep footprints of ruin.

“Pardon my mess, I’m under re-construction.”

I’m trying to re-construct my wrongs into rights. Some may be beyond repair. I have three great kids: a 20 year old son and two daughters, 18 and 16. Each one has persevered extremely well despite their two shi#$y parents — a mother who used them as pawns in the battlefield of divorce and a father who was absent most of their lives and a deadbeat this past year.

One of my kids has been diagnosed with bipolar (of course, I won’t mention which one). This worries me so much because I see a lot of me in them. I have tried talking to them about, “don’t do the same thing I did,” etc., but with bipolar and adolescence, it’s hard to break through that wall as a parent. I would take on their bipolar and mine at the same time if it meant them living a normal life. I owe my biggest amends to my kids. A lot of times I look at their pictures when they were my babies and think what could have been.

(Photo provided by Danny Keaton)
(Photo provided by Danny Keaton)

Then I have this woman, my girlfriend without the label because she wants it that way. She was in the audience last Saturday for my late show at the comedy club and we spent our time together, again (like all the times when she told me she doesn’t want to see me anymore.)  I am drawn into this spell that submerges me and shoots me back up, just to get enough air for the next drowning.

Every time I see her, I fall for her again. It would be easier to walk away if she was just my lover. But she is more than that. She is my someone I can talk to, walk with, party with, travel and explore with, watch House of Cards with, and the one I share my secrets and fears with. It sucks when the seesaw is lopsided and you’re the one sitting in the mud.

Everyone I know is trying to build a better life. In that aspect I am no different than anyone else. I want and try to do the right thing, but time and time again, I have fallen into the same old actions and reactions. Maybe one day I will build a shelter from all attachment, and all the lies, especially the ones I tell myself. Maybe I can design and build an infrastructure that will guide me through the victory and defeats of life.  Maybe I’ll build a treehouse to remind me, “Don’t be afraid to take chances.”

Maybe … it’s really time for me to start working on me.

(Photo by Danny Keaton)
(Photo by Danny Keaton)


Disclaimer:  THE FOLLOWING HAS NO MEDICAL OR PROFESSIONAL ENDORSEMENT; I am NOT a doctor, nurse, nor a counselor, so take it for what it’s worth.

If you need help with your bipolar, please don’t put it off any longer like I did for over 25 years. In my non-professional opinion, taking meds for my bipolar has been the best thing I’ve done for myself.

For more information and help call NDMDA Depression Hotline Support Group at (800) 826-3632 or the U.S. Suicide Hotline at (800) 784-2433.  I know what it’s like to live with this disease, but there are people out there waiting to help you.

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams!  Live the life you’ve imagined.” – Henry David Thoreau

Danny Keaton
Stand-up comedian – Writer – Lover – Bastard