Friday, May 21, 2010

Trickster Energy

Before my Bipolar diagnosis, when I was acting all crazy and dressing up as Madame Glinka and generally breaking rules and creating minor havoc whenever and wherever possible, a close friend who knew about indigenous cultures and spirituality called me a Trickster. The Trickster archetype shows up in many cultures in guises such as The Joker, The Wise Fool, animal spirits such as Coyote or Raven, etc.

The clowns I paint and draw are Tricksters, though I sense that their energy is currently muted (for now!). More glitter needed???

I got this description of the Trickster archetype of a link called

The trickster is an important archetype in the history of man. He is a god, yet he is not. He is the wise-fool. It is he, through his creations that destroy, points out the flaws in carefully constructed societies of man. He rebels against authority, pokes fun at the overly serious, creates convoluted schemes, that may or may not work, plays with the Laws of the Universe and is sometimes his own worst enemy. He exists to question, to cause us to question not accept things blindly. He appears when a way of thinking becomes outmoded needs to be torn down built anew. He is the Destroyer of Worlds at the same time the savior of us all.

Cool, huh?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Thursday Check-In

Blessed Thursday-- my Saturday!!! :-) :-) :-) It was a cool week: On Sunday I attended my sister's graduation from this wonderful school, California Institute of Intergral Studies... a small, highly-esteemed, EX$PEN$IVE, hippie-dippie university with an emphasis on grad programs in Psychology, the bridge between Eastern and Western schools of Philosophy and Religion, something called Transformative Learning, and the intergration of The Arts in all these areas. My sister is studying to be an Expressive Arts Therapist which is similar to an Art Therapist, the difference being that you get training in many different creative approaches to healing. Her passion for this career path is really inspiring to me.

There were all these folks getting PhDs and their dissertation titles were announced as they received their faux diplomas. I was VERY INTRIGUED-- enough so to start fantasizing about getting a PhD myself. Why write a humble little blog on Bipolar Disorder when instead you can sink tens of thousands of dollars into student loan debt to get a fancy-schmancy degree!?! I must think about this more!

Fashion Newz: I wore my tight-ass Hugo Boss jeans with a spiffy vest and my sis said I looked nice. See photo! The graduation took place at the Palace of Fine Arts theater, a beautiful setting for photo opps.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Clown in Yellow Theory Hoodie

I bought this hoodie at my store the other night-- $20 with my employee discount. Originally $125 if you can believe it! The brand is Theory-- beautiful fabrics and skinny "European" sizing. Perfect for Skinny Boyz and Sorta Skinny Aging Queens.

I wore it all day yesterday (with hoodie down of course) and it made me happy. Yellow is such a great color because it's such an anti-depression color.

I also drew this picture... because I've got to draw a clown doing whatever I'm doing each day.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Magik Meds

First off, thanks to all my friends from the old AOL Journal Days for reading and following this new venture: your comments mean a tremendous amount to me!!!

I hope to eventually connect with others who are living with Bipolar Disorder as well-- I have to do some social networking on other sites for that, I think.
Today's main errand is to pick up refills of my beloved meds. (It's my Saturday, YAY!) I've been popping psych meds since June 1998. THEY HAVE SAVED MY LIFE. I had to capitalize that sentence! Prior to my diagnosis and meds, I was cycling between hypomania-- which is a speedy mood with many of features of mania, two prior manic psychotic episodes in '90 and '94 which were misdiagnosed (!), and depression. I was coping and surviving and appearing relatively normal all the while, except for those two prior little psychotic breaks, OY, OY, OY!
Contrast that to life on meds with therapy, regular sleep, a kick-ass support system of friends and family, some 12-step action, etc... No psychotic breaks, no mania, and less and less of that buzz of hypomania-- for 11 YEARS.
Stick that in your bonnet, Tom Cruise!!!!!
I am so deeply grateful for this return to Sanity, and that is what I want to share in this blog and beyond!
There was one close call... involving pot... subject matter for another post.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Manic Mind in Motion

Beginning this blog has prompted me to go back to my paper/pen journals from '98-'99 when I first got diagnosed. The big psychotic break happened in June '98, followed by a crushing major clinical depression as my brain chemistry came down from the high and got used to the new meds I began taking. A lull, and then a second mania that hit in January '99... ugly details.

I was journaling the whole time. Here's an excerpt that I find intriguing-- I had "uncovered" The Secret of The Universe during this second mania! Lucky me!!!

"The main idea from yesterday was that we are all capable (animals and humans!) of living out our own fantasies-- creating them as we go along. We can have whatever we want and learn whatever we need to learn-- from any perspective-- rich or poor, old or young, beautiful or ugly, etc. Lazy or hard-working. We can be whomever we want to be and meet whomever we want to meet-- on this physical plane.

But whatever choices we make, we must pay some price-- all our choices have consequences good and bad for others and for ourselves.

We can have it all-- just not all at the same time. And we must help each other to do this. But if we're patient we have an infinite number of chances to be whoever we want to be: Picasso, Barishnikov, a cartoon character, someone or a combination of people in our daily lives; anything the mind can imagine.

We can also choose how we want to die, and I guess, how and when we want to be born! And it doesn't have to be painful at all-- it can be gentle and easy."

Friday, May 7, 2010

Fashion Trends; Meds

The focus of many posts on this blog is going to be split-- I can tell.
Fashion News: I went out to the ballet last night for my birthday and saw Romeo and Juliet with my Balletomane Lady Friends. Unfortunately, the acting of the leads was disappointing, but the production, sets and costumes, swordplay and secondary characters all were excellent, and the score by Prokofiev is absolutely wonderful to hear performed live. I wore my Polo Ralph Lauren Clown Blazer for the first time. That's what I've dubbed it. I felt like a Fashion Victim but hey, it was my birthday so I'm allowed.

Bipolar Disorder Corner; MEDS: I've been taking medications for the symptoms of my Bipolar Disorder for just about twelve years now. I never ever miss a day. It took awhile to find a good combination and I've been through a number of variations over the years. Like everything else about this disease-- I had to go through trial and error, side effects which have greatly lessened over time, getting used to always making sure my prescriptions were refilled on time, going through my share of good and bad psychiatrists, etc. etc, etc. At one point my long-time therapist said to me: "Remaining stable with Bipolar Disorder is your full-time job right now." and I had to agree. I've put that goal before all others, at the beginning of my diagnosis and today. I can take a few more risks these days and I am able to live with more stress in my life, but the one thing I cannot do is stop taking my meds.

This is the NUMBER ONE LESSON I have to share with anyone just beginning to live with this diagnosis. Find a decent psychiatrist, find a decent medication or combination of meds, and stick with it. If one doesn't work, try a different one. Don't give up. IT WORKS!

Oh, and don't drink or do drugs-- because you might as well just throw your prescription meds down the toilet if you're doing that. More on this later!

Thanks to all of you who have checked this out so far...
luv ya, Grove/Alb./Madame G.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Happy Day

Welcome... to yet another new blog! Today's an auspicious day to start a new venture because it's my birthday: I am 52 years young.

When I decided to start this blog I thought long and hard about the title. So many labels! Like everyone else, I've embraced and discarded countless labels in my 52 years on this planet, but the labels in this title are the ones that currently speak to me most. Let's break it down, y'all:

Gay: Yep, that's me! Known it since I was a little boy and I now live in San Francisco-- I mean, really, girlfriend!

Bipolar: I'm reminded of this every night as I pop my 3 meds before bed. Diagnosed in 1998 after a severe and demoralizing psychotic manic episode, which was NO FUN. It's been a long, slow journey back to stability.

NOTE: This is going to be the main theme of this blog, for anyone interested, anyone who loves someone with a serious mental illness, or anyone who can benefit from my experiences.

Artist: Also first experienced as a little boy: in kindergarten I remember how handy I was with arts & crafts colored felt and a pair of safety scizzors; I could cut out tiny little shapes to the amazement of my fellow classmates... and I've been scribbling, pasting, and creating things ever since, though interspersed with frustrating phases of depressed Artist's Block. :*-(

Clown: This is probably my most surprising label. I guess it all started, again, when I was little and realized that I could make people laugh, and perhaps make friends or avoid getting beaten up that way. It morphed into dressing like a clown in various guises, loving all things circus-like and theater-like, and finally: drawing and painting clowns. Even my drag character, Madame Glinka is a Clown Lady. Dress-up in general is a passion, though in my manias and hypomanias I took it a wee bit too far.

That's all for today, thanks for checking this out and please comment if so moved!

What labels do YOU use to define yourself???

love, Grove/Albert/AlbGlinka