Wednesday, May 4, 2011


I can't believe it has been almost five years since my last stay in a psychiatric hospital. Since then, the periodic whirlwinds of self destructive Bi Polar madness have continued to try and break me, yet somehow after slipping on my own guts, I have always managed to stuff them back in and sew myself up each and every time. I don't need my shrink to help sew me up, but it's nice that she keeps a first aid kit handy when she notices that I am dragging my guts on the floor!

A couple of questions I am frequently asked by various people are how have I been able to stay out of the hospital without traditional pharmaceutical treatments and medication, and why am I so against them?

The questions I brood upon even more frequently are how can I use something so paradoxical, and sometimes deadly to bring beauty, and hope into this world, or better yet in my own living room?  How can I  touch the hearts of many, or maybe even just one? I even wonder how am I going to be able to accomplish something that seems far-fetched and impossible? How can I beat this? Most importantly, do I believe that I can?
Then there are questions that not only seem to strike a nerve but jolts and singes them as well, leaving a scent like crisp burnt hair. Let's keep it real. How can someone as 'crazy' as I am raise a child to become a magnificent, capable person, someone better than me? I often wonder how am I ever going to pull this off? Can I help her see beyond Barbie? Can I seriously teach her to curb her own brand of 'Crazies'.

Twiggy is depending on me, her mother, to show her how to live and tap into her own happiness on this stupid-fucking-ball-of-dookie. How can someone like me possibly make a difference in her life? In any ones life? There is no doubt in my mind that I am absolutely, positively sure that I am crazy enough to try. The pressure is on like a ton of lead elephants.

No Meds? How come? I have spent too many years chasing after the right combination or 'Cocktail' of Bi Polar meds but to no avail. I felt like a fucking lab rat or a guinea pig trapped in a cage with crappy dog food shaped pellets for food. I was on a mental and emotional roller coaster while Doctors would pump me full of meds to take the edge off, to sleep, to come down, to pick me up, to slow down rapid thoughts, to stop hearing voices, to stop being suicidal, to think more clearly, to stop hallucinating, to stop being depressed, to stop being manic, to stop being crazy. After a while, the meds just seemed to stop everything. I was anything and anyone but 'Araena'.
The more I tried various combinations of meds, the more lost I became. I was barely treading water in a sea of unbearable side affects and allergic reactions to the meds. The more pills I took and tried for Bi Polar, the more I visited the psych ward for a 'Tune up'. I was becoming a 'frequent flyer' and the psych ward was like the Hilton.

Nothing seemed to really work. I have attempted suicide several times in the last 18 years, each time overdosing on pharmaceutical medication. I remember begging and pleading with Doctors to reconsider my treatment plan, asking them if they could recommend any alternatives. I was repeatedly told that there are no other alternatives. They seemed to be so elated to write yet another script for the same suicide-inducing medicine I had just overdosed and choked on. What's wrong with this picture? And I'm crazy?

My heart sank into a pit of moonless despair. Hope was not only lost, Hope was fucking whacked. Her limbs and head missing, sawed off, virgin-like body mutilated, decaying in the trunk of a rusty old Chevy at the bottom of some lake. Hope's body would not be discovered for a while...until Twiggy came along.

I have been zombified, robbed of my life force, my creativity, my sex drive, my essence, my mojo. I was robbed of 'Araena', whoever she was. All I know is that I can't seen to get to know 'Araena' as long as I am being pumped full of meds like they are Goobers. Oh, and I can forget about being a 'really good mom'. How could I if I am constantly on lock-down at the Hilton getting Tune Ups? My biggest fear is failing to be a good parent, losing Twiggy as a result, and then having to explain to her it's because 'Mommy is crazy'.

During my last 'Tune up' five years ago, the Doctor told me there really isn't much more they could do for me. She told me to consider ECT (Electric Convulsive Therapy or 'Shock treatments'). Twiggy had just turned a year old. All I could think was that I really do not have time for anymore 'Tune Ups' especially ECT. How would I be able to care for her then? Would I forget her name? How long would it take for me to remember? No way, not for me. Well if not traditional for Bi Polar treatment, then what?

My interest is in healing, not simply managing horrific symptoms, or learning to live with and cope with them. For me, healing means not having to accept things as they are, not having to accept a life condition of Hell and shame. Healing would mean not having to just endure, tolerate, or continue to suffer.

I would never encourage anyone to stop taking their medication. I can only share my own experience, strength, and scattered bits of hope. My experience is that for a number of reasons, traditional treatment for Bi Polar Disorder is simply not for me. I couldn't even tell you the last time I took an Aspirin, but I can tell you that I have been extremely pro-active in seeking, researching, and receiving alternative treatments. This process is quite time consuming, discouraging, financially taxing and exhausting. I have no regrets about my decision to seek non traditional remedies for this Bi Polar, cunning, and baffling madness.

No matter which treatment path I choose, I know I am accountable for my own life, how I live my life, and the causes that I choose to make. I can choose to remain in the world of Hell, or I can choose to fight my way out. I alone am responsible. Today I am up for a good fight!


  1. No, the meds don't cure anything. To survive you have to hone your will and determination. You have to make hard personal choices. The doctors and the pills can help a little bit, but the work is entirely up to you.

  2. Oh i mean the first one. And as I soon as I saw the pic a scrolled down to comment and I just finished reading that.... I hope things become easier.