Archive for the ‘bipolar mind’ Tag

Is That a Scowl on Your Face or Are You English?   Leave a comment

Ever take a good look at an Englishman?  They always look like half their face is about to ask a question and the other half already knows it will be dissatisfied with the answer.  Usually one eyebrow is permanently cranked up higher than the other, with a slightly wrinkled brow and asymmetrical mouth full of crowded yellow tombstones which all seem to be trying to jump over the lower lip to their death.   But in reality they are great people who have simply never mastered “the relaxed look.”

Then there are the people who might actually have lovely faces, but their frustrations and social indignations cause them to look like they are permanently choking on a LifeSaver and giving you the evil eye all at the same time. These people can control their facial expressions, but their anger within forces them to emulate a look of disgust.  Much like when Paris Hilton has to use a public restroom in Neiman Marcus.

I recently met a girl online with the look of disgust permanently etched on her otherwise pretty face.  It was as if not only the Lifesaver was lodged in her throat, but she detested man’s treatment of women through history and carried the full Suffragette Movement squarely on her shoulders.  She sought out men just to put them down.

I once met Gloria Steinem in the 1980’s in a talk radio station at which I worked in Philadelphia  She spent the better part of her life championing women’s equality in all areas.  Yet she was pleasant, gracious, easy to talk to and was nothing but delightful to me.  I don’t think she had it in for every man.  Nor did she feel the need to set ground rules for the code of conduct and conversation in her presence.

Apparently this woman never met Gloria Steinem and was emulating how she thought a feminist should act.  And when I mentioned a woman I knew remarking she was over 200 pounds,  I got the immaturity lecture piggybacked on the defamation of women diatribe.  Just the mention of a woman’s weight for whatever reason was interpreted as slander of the entire gender.  Her voracity on this issue was so intense it bled through her face giving it a permanent scowl.   And this is the picture she chose to post on the internet to attract men.  But there was no decent English person inside struggling to get out.

At first I was angry, although I saw the warning signs when we began emailing one another and right away she started dictating the things she would not stand for.  Top of her list was how I need to speak about women.  She would not tolerate anything demeaning coming out of my mouth.  I was hugely disappointed because my opening line was calling Mother Theresa a whore and saying women should not be allowed to work outside the home.  Now I had no more smooth introductions.

At this point I should have seen her as a gargoyle, not a perspective date.  I under-estimated her toxicity.  I misjudged her scowl for being an artist tortured by the harsh realities of life.  She looked like the type who came alive through her music and poetry, not from a general disdain for men and a penchant for talking to them like a school teacher.

But I am proud of myself.  My Bipolar mind wanted to attack.  She was out of line and I wanted to shock and awe her, even though George Bush tried it in Iraq and couldn’t seem to make it work.  But I’m not from Texas and knew I could get it right..  I thought of all the things I would say to upset her in rambling emails I would pepper her inbox with on a daily basis.  I was definitely on the precipice of losing control.  She hit my trigger and I wanted to respond in a way much bigger.

Anyone who is aquatinted with me, or has read my book, articles and blogs, knows I have the utmost respect for all human beings.  Some of my greatest heros in life are actually women.  Mama Cass, Big Mama Thornton, Hillary Clinton, Janis Joplin, Rosa Parks and my adopted daughter’s birthmother, to name a few.  And, my 13 year old daughter is smart, strong and has remarkable perseverance in the most difficult situations.  I fully expect her to be a leader in whatever field she choses.  Moreover, I learned manners and chivalry I use every day  from my maternal grandmother, a figure standing out for reinforcing in me the utmost respect for the opposite sex.  I often refer to female as the smarter sex.

However I learned from experience, even when I am right, ratcheting up the tenor of a situation like this only makes me seem insane. Plus, I knew I would say something I would later regret.  So I took the ten minute Bipolar-pause and the knee jerk reaction to embarrass myself passed.  Instead I wrote this blog proclaiming my accomplishment.  Because as Bipolars we all have fired off that email, no matter how righteous we may have been, that we later regret.  And today by not doing something I actually have a feeling of accomplishment.

So I want to thank the scowling girl on the internet for helping me reach another Bipolar milestone.  Without her misconstrued interpretations, instructional demeanor and high horse she angrily rides around in mens locker rooms criticizing them for not having vaginas,  I would not have gotten to challenge my Bipolar mind on exercising self control.   Many thanks.

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Do Clothes Make the Bipolar or Does the Bipolar Make the Clothes?   Leave a comment

Did you ever have a “bad outfit day?”  It’s like a bad hair day except your outfit is making you feel like you’re dressed for no success.  If you’re a guy, maybe your shirt is giving you  man breasts, your pants are showing just a little bit too much sock or your sport coat is bunching up in the back like you’re a marionette and someone is tugging at it with strings.  If you’re a woman your jeans might make your ass look flat as a frying pan, you’re not sure if your cow-neck sweater is back in fashion or belongs on a cow or your jewelry is reminiscent of a carnival.  Whatever it is, it will drive your Bipolar mind crazy all day long until you can scurry home and put on something to relieve the emotional stress of being laughed at every where you went… Or so you thought.

I had a bad outfit day today.  It hit me when I was low on clean clothes and needed a black shirt to match what I was wearing.  I ended up wearing a faded v-neck sweater that had seen better days.  When I was standing on the cable car on my way to work and caught a glimpse of myself in a store window, the bad outfit blues hit me like a Louisville Slugger right in the back of the head.  And, I was meeting friends after work.  I couldn’t let them see me like this.

I don’t know how bad the shirt really looked.  I’m sure people wouldn’t have paid it any mind.  But in my Bipolar psyche, all eyes are always on me.  Everyone could see the ragged sleeves and neck.  And the fading would for sure let the world know I was trying to stretch my wardrobe out one more season.  No, this was serious and something had to be done.  I felt like I was wearing a garbage bag with arm holes cut out.  I waited until 10 AM when the stores opened and then ran out of work to a Banana Republic, purchased a new shirt, threw out the embarrassment-special and was back in the office ten minutes later and $75 lighter.   And then my mind was free to ruminate on whether my jeans fit properly and if my boots needed a better shine.

My question is if a Bipolar person with these exaggerated intrusive thoughts starts out the day making absolutely sure they are satisfied with their ensemble no matter what mirror and lighting they apply, will they feel more confident during the day?  Or, does it not matter whether a Bipolar is wearing a Hugo Boss Suit or Channel Gown, they will still be a wardrobe misanthrope and the only way they can stop the obsession is to divert their attention?

There is a certain point where you have to say you look as good as you can and now it’s time to stop over-analyzing and interact with the planet?  Because, other than what your mind is telling you, the only way people will be staring at your pants is if you pee in them.  But as a dry parcel of clothing is doubtful anyone really cares if they are a little short, make your ass look flat or are an “off brand.”  And unlike your head, you can always take them off at the end of the day.

Consequently, I think it’s the Bipolar who makes the clothes.  Appear confident in what you are wearing, even if you are not, because acting like a fashion faux pas is only going to  add to the circus you’ve created in your mind.  Be confident.  It can only make you look better in your bad outfit.  And being Bipolar, you have to ask yourself, “Is my outfit really that bad?”  You know, we are prone to skewed impressions of ourselves.

So, take a play right out of the fictional Bipolar Survival Guide… Find someone wearing an outfit you think is even more hideous, and just be thankful you aren’t wearing that train wreck.   Remember, y0u can always find comfort in someone less fortunate than you to boost your self confidence.

Sunday Kind of Blues   Leave a comment

I’m sitting here in a local San Francisco coffee shop, which is how most San Franciscans spend their days.  Everybody is busily working on business plans for new start-ups or milling around outside on their cell phones trying to convince venture capitalists to fund their new ventures.  The problem is about 3% of these nonsensical deals actually come to fruition and even fewer actually survive the first two years.  But everyone wants to jump on the get rich quick technology bandwagon.  I prefer to call it a hayride.

I’m even embarrassed to say I had a partner and we drank the micro-brew Kool-Aide too, which was all the rage, back in the late 1990’s.  Unfortunately, my partner had an aversion to making money, I bailed out and he floundered around by himself for awhile and then moved out of the area.  But we could have had something.  It was my big chance at making a serious nest egg.  Instead the hen just farted.

So, I’ll share with you today that I am a little depressed.  However I think it’s more  situational than chemical. I’m sad at 46 years old that with all the things I know how to do, I have never done anything exceptional.  I’ve done a lot of good things, but nothing that I feel will leave a mark that says “Peter Goodman was here” after I am gone. Except, for the circular water stain on the coffee table I left from putting my drink down without a coaster.

Could it be my mood stabilizers kicking in just making sure I feel neither good or bad and just exist in a quagmire of nothingness? Mine keep me in limbo from feeling excitement or despair, in this military “no fly zone” where nothing ever touches me.  They are always there to remind me how much I don’t feel, never even giving me 15 minutes for a mental coffee break.

In all my star studded brilliance I decided to sleep all weekend.  Sleeping is something we bipolars are really good at.  I wish being a good sleeper could help me leave my mark on the world. “God, that Peter Goodman wasn’t much of a guy when he was awake, but boy could that motherfucker sleep.  We’ll never see a sleeper like that again in our lifetime!”

I was already literally sick and tired when Friday rolled around.  And when my girlfriend decided to start in on me about so something ridiculous only her mind could conjure, I decided to go for a world record.  I went to bed and didn’t get out until late Sunday morning.

I love sleeping and disconnecting from my bipolar tormented mind.  I don’t know what it’s doing when we are not together, but at least I don’t have to deal with it.  It probably goes out to get a burger and a beer and then picks up hookers at the adult movie theater.

Actually, sleep has become my new therapy.  If I don’t want to deal with something, I just go home, get in bed and go to sleep.   I’m not talking about work issues or being a father to my daughter.  I’m referring to problems with my relationship, getting a speeding ticket, owing a lot in taxes, etc.  And as soon as I put my head down on that pillow and trail off to sweet slumber, I am free.

I often wonder if this is the effect people are trying for when they commit suicide?  The mindlessness of being permanently unconscious.  I have tried to do away with myself before.  And I can not promise I won’t do it again.  What people do not understand is the constant distress of the bipolar mind.  The depression, sadness and disconnection from the world and everyone in it is unbearable.  And if someone is at the point where they can not stand one more minute of it and medications, electroshock and therapy have proven benign, I believe they have the right to end it.

People do not ask to be born, and certainly not bipolar.  If they want to leave this world it should be on their own terms.  I am not advocating suicide, but I am not going to put a pad lock on the door.  And of course I don’t think it should be a rash decision.  But in the end it’s our decision.

So if you are having a hard day today making sense of it all and questioning what you are doing here, you are not alone.  I am right here with you in the blogesphere.  And if you are looking for a reason to get up tomorrow morning, do it because you might make a difference in someone’s life and without you it never would have happened.  Also, just maybe something good will happen to you.  The odds are a lot better than winning the Lottery.

The other reason to slog onward is because you still can make change in your own life. Get out of that awful living situation.  Find a better job.  Get a better shrink.  Change your meds.  Set something positive in motion and give yourself something to look forward too.  Kick those mood stabilizers in the ass and say “Not today, I’m making a change in my life and you aren’t going to sabotage my motivation.”  Then press the “override” button.  You know, the one between your…. Uh, you know where it is.

And of course always feel free to blog back at me.  I read everything and answer back if requested.  I’m not a doctor and have no psychotherapy credentials.  I’m just a guy who cares about other people with Bipolar Illness and those who love them.