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Monthly Archives: June 2012

Brown Sugar Packets: My Talisman

During our last months of high school, a friend and I went out for coffee. We played with our empty brown sugar packets. We exchanged them, and, consciously or not, carried each other’s in our own wallets for years.

If I still have that first brown sugar packet, it’s probably stapled in an old journal. But we still, separately, almost unconsciously, place them in our pockets, or next to our subway cards, or behind photos in our wallets.

The friend and I still see each other, and every time we pick up where we left off last. She has two kids and lives in the suburbs, but we work about 20 minutes apart. If I needed her, she’d be there. She’s there every time I come across another creased brown packet, hidden away in a drawer, or with my suntan lotion, or taped to the back of a photo.

My talisman reminds me of the magic of lasting friendship, support, and time.


Unsettled: Weather, Me

The heat is rolling in. Clouds are filling the sky, but it’s supposed to be 20 degrees warmer tomorrow. I was looking forward to the evening ahead – good company and some good work to do together.

But the weather is creating electricity in me. I’m unsettled. I’ll change my plans around and just relax into it. Still have good company, but break a routine. Maybe skip a movie and draw instead. Play a board game. Make cool drinks of orange juice, cranberry juice, and seltzer. Drink water. Get sleep. Work with the heat, instead of getting frenzied trying to fight it and the mood elevations that often accompany it. Enjoy the summer. Enjoy the heat. Appreciate how it rises up and warps the views I am so used to in other seasons. Try to get that on film. Choose quiet. Make quiet. Drink cool water. Relax.


Mental Health Day

I needed a mental health day – a day where I could get a lot of sleep, which would alleviate the need for adding another small dose of antipsychotic to the daily regimen. Sleep is wonderful that way.

But I felt so weird about taking a mental health day. Those words are not okay for HR. I need an explanation. I chose a day, kept it clear of meetings. So I mentioned that I was getting a cold (true-ish).

Slept until 1:00 p.m., which was lovely. Am now in a nearby cafe having a savory scone and not-sweet hot chocolate, both delicious. My eyes are still heavy-lidded, and the day will be helpful. The rain is so nice, it positively lowers my own expectations of what I will do. I will try to be still.


Bipolar: Building Wings

Ray Bradbury said “Go to the edge of the cliff and jump off. Build your wings on the way down.” (Brown Daily Herald, 24 March 1995)

This resonates with me, because I feel like once I got the bipolar diagnosis, I had to trust the doctors, therapists, and the rest of the team I built. I had to let go of being scared and trust that we would all be able to work with everything that comes with bipolar: the episodes, the side-effects of medication, learning how to relate what I was experiencing with others.

I had to jump, and trust that we’d build the wings.


How To Go To Sleep


Fake Task For Tonight

Tonight’s fake job to get the energy out is to find out how I can get a pair of these jeans. Have little info: Gap. Fall 2008. Cool back pockets. Kept me busy for awhile. Don’t know what I would have done if I found them, but good to keep me busy.

How To Behave As A Hypomanic Guest

When you’re a guest at a party, and you’re hypomanic, bring something to keep your hands busy (knitting or crochet are still somewhat considered cool and therefore okay in polite society, or a camera, or even knotting friendship bracelets), or make up some signals with a friend.

If you’re manic, I recommend you stay home if you can.

I Wonder If Commuter Characters Are Scripted

Sometimes, on the commute, I wonder if the characters on the subway are artists with their performance art projects. I don’t know what’s real, and what’s put on.

I like that I can’t tell.


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