You Call it Bipolar-I Call it MSD:
Behind the Scenes with Annie
The time has arrived for me to write about something near and dear to my heart, something that I have been prevented from writing, by the very person, about whom I wish to comment. I am speaking about Annie. When they say “for better or for worse,” the more cynical individuals usually assume the latter. Annie and I have had a lot of good years, and we’ve faired well in our partnership.
However, the older I get, the more determined my mind is to establish its independence, as though it were a teenager once again. First I had to haul my brain down to Dr. Jill’s office, and have my panic attack syndrome removed. Now I have some DJ up in my belfry playing 33rpm albums at 45rpm speed. You remember what George Carlin said about playing Black Sabbath at 78rpm? You see God.
I have clung to that turntable, as it spun around at a ridiculous pace, and watched as Annie tried to simply keep up. As the pace went from meandering to frenetic, and then back down, she began to realize that the music being played in my head, had a decidedly foreign tinge to it, and it wasn’t Spanish.
When the gang up in my brain decides it time to party, and gets out the potato chips, it’s time for me to slow the pace down, and examine all factors carefully. Annie has been seeing these characters establishing themselves in my brain with impunity, and she has had to grapple with a lot of debris from the parties that have been going on for the past 18 months or so. Now that all of her work and determination is paying off, I want to set her up on a pedestal, and shower her with appreciation.
That makes her uncomfortable, because she does not like being in the limelight. All of those years of working her magic in the middle school, and she would never let anyone acknowledge it, because she likes to work behind the scenes. She demanded that the credit go where it deserved: to the kids.
Now I want to bestow on Annie, the appreciation I feel, for weathering the storm. I try to tell her how sorry I am, but she won’t allow me to beat myself over the head, because of circumstances over which I had no control. We agreed that I could apologize for the pain I have caused, but that since there was no intent to harm, I could not be held accountable for it, if that makes any sense whatsoever.
So when I asked her how she managed to hang on to her sanity, while I was misplacing mine, and why she didn’t just get out of Dodge, she said, “Because I love you.”
“Could it really be as simple as that?” I mean, I have seen a half-dozen different pictures on FaceBook of couples purportedly married for sixty or more years, and the post always makes a commentary on the reason for their marital longevity being that they were married in an era where things that broke did not get thrown away, they got fixed. But that implies that whatever constitutes “for better of for worse,” is of the mundane “he said, she said” variety of marital spats. They aren’t easy and they aren’t fun, but they are also surmountable, because there is an awful lot of good mixed in with the not-so-good.
But in the middle of all this discussion about what is expected or not expected within the boundaries of marriage, there is no discussion about a mood spectrum disorder. There are a lot of things that are not mentioned, and I am sure we can find more heinous afflictions than a mood disorder, but ultimately, we are playing with the cards we have been dealt. There, I have just likened my life to a poker game, with Annie as the dealer.
Right now, she is dealing me a wealth of information about my disorder, and how others handle it. She reads me narratives describing different therapeutic approaches, and we discuss the merits-and demerits-of each. It was her abhorrence of the side-effects of the original prescription from Dr. Garratt, that finally convinced me that she was an advocate, and not a foe. I am ashamed to admit it now, but that is only one in a lengthy list of things that I would have to be ashamed of, if that was the way we were playing this hand.
But Annie being the dealer, has made it clear that we don’t look backward, unless we can learn from it. Otherwise the focus is on the mood chart and the future. Who knows, along with the joker I’ve been dealt, there may be a full boat in that deck somewhere. I’d even settle for a flush, as long as it wasn’t my face we were talking about, and I wasn’t doing motormouth again.