Wednesday, May 7, 2008

how To Be Bipolar In LA 6
Sandi Yeah, Me.

We left eventually, when I was sure LA wasn’t imploding, and somehow ended up at Riverside Library. I went to the bookshelves again and chose randomly. Books about the Berlin Wall, The American Revolution, The Russian Revolution. Sunday, Bloody, Sunday, Bono. The French Revolution. I’d turn to pages without looking and would read the passages. “Robes Pierre patterned the French government after the United States, etc.” I can’t remember it all. Chinese government-Tienteman Square. I had walked upstairs to a library I’d never been to before, and walked straight to these history books. Strange. Books about the Middle East Conflict. I had an Important Message to get out.

God wants us to live in Harmony, be Creative, and reach our Greatest Potentials. Love One Another, Save the Environment and Stop the Extinction of the Wildlife. Stop the Holocaust in the animal shelters. Spay and neuter your pets. Stop the Wars and Hatred. Help the sick and the needy. All Religions Lead to God. We’re about to hit Critical Mass, with our technology and our abuse of our environment. We’re someday capable of implanting computer chips directly into our brains. Instant Encyclopedic Knowledge, just a thought away. What do we do with all that Knowledge? Believe we to be gods? Or do we go the way of the Egyptians, the Mayans, and the Aztecs? The Roman Empire and the Greeks? Do we become another lost Atlantis? Or do we evolve into what God wants us to be? Compassionate, Altruistic, Loving Beings that migrate to other planets and spread Peace wherever we tread? Think about it. Do you want your babies to die en mass from global droughts? Or do we send Love down The Ages to future generations to come?

I believe our youth become alienated from their spirituality and lose empathy for others by losing themselves in technology. They are exposed to all kinds of trash with the click of a mouse. Not only that, but the culture of violence that permeates our society is looked upon as being ‘cool.’ From gangsta rap, that exhorts misogyny and the murder of peace officers, to U Tube and it’s worldwide influence, kids today have become short-circuited from their true identities and inner selves. There seems to be no moral compass out there to guide them, even if they wanted it. And you cannot tell me that those violent video games don’t affect their psyches. Just look at Columbine. The ease of obtaining firearms in this country is scary, to say the least. Waco was proof of that. Innocent children were killed in that fiasco. Wacko Waco. I think parents should monitor their children’s computers, and stop letting the Internet baby-sit their children. I guess I shouldn’t input this, because I have no children. Let’s just say that I’m an observer of Human Nature. I just want to say that being ignored by your parents and feeling unloved causes psychological damage. I’m living proof of that. I’ve been ill for a long, long time, and I know.

Anyway, back to My Misson…..

So, we drove to Manhattan Beach a day or two later, looking for the Apple Store, because my computer was down, and I desperately wanted to tell everyone about My Message. I was still dancing to all the tunes those days. I had to get on the Internet. I had to reach Oprah. She knew. She was tuned in. Maybe she loved herself a little too much, but she knew. While standing in line, I kept thinking, “Robin Williams, Robin Williams, Robin Williams.” I was wondering why I kept thinking about that name. We stood in line a long time, and I got bored and wandered over to look at some of the products they had there.

I look up, and see a sign, saying Robin Williams, the inventor of the I Phone, was about to launch it soon. It sent me into a tizzy. I had no idea who that Robin Williams was! I thought it was maybe about Robin Williams, the comedian. That Robin Williams is very cool. He makes the world laugh-we need people like that to thrive.

From there, I was desperate to get a cell phone with Internet access, and we traveled around from one store to another, but I couldn’t afford one. My Plan was thwarted. I had to find another way to get The Word out. I went home to my apt., and I begin to channel dead celebrities again. I began sending out a hundred text messages from my cell phone to the Oprah Show, dancing all the while and writing important lyrics down.

“Do You Hear Me, Do You Care?” “Give a Little Bit, Give a Little Bit of Your Love to Me. I’ll Give a Little Bit of My Love to You.” “ I’m Calling on Angels.” “ Our Love’s in Jeopardy, Baby.” Tom Petty: “And I’ll Stand My Ground, and I Won’t Back Down.” Coldplay: “Look at the Stars, Look at How They Shine for You, and Everything You Do. They Were All Yellow.” “ Bono: “ In the Name of Love, What More in the Name of Love?” R.E.M: “ It’s the End of the World as We Know It, and I feel Fine.” Police: “I’m Sending Out an SOS to the World.” Ozzy: “I’ll See You on The Other Side.” Simon and Garfunkel: “Like a Bridge Over Troubled Water.” The Hollies: “ He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” “ Amazing Grace, How Sweet the Sound, That Saved a Wretch Like Me.” The man who wrote Amazing Grace was once a slave trader, and God saved him.

One the songs I kept hearing when I was manic was ‘Free Falling’ by Tom Petty. I kept thinking he was singing about me. “ She’s a good girl, she’s crazy about Elvis, loves Jesus and her Mama too….”

Bono groks it. A Stranger in a Strange Land: Robert Heinlein. Sending out an SOS, sending out an SOS, sending out an SOS……

The dead celebrities were sending messages to their loves ones. Bob Hope, George Burns and Gracie Allen: “Say goodnight, Gracie. Goodnight, Gracie.” Marion/John Wayne, Marilyn Monroe/Norma Jean, Cary Archibald Leach Grant to Jennifer: “I love you.” Hello from James Dean. Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, and Carl Perkins to Jerry Lee Lewis: “You’re the ‘Last Man Standing,’ from the Million-Dollar Quartet.” Sam Phillips says hello, Killer. Keep pounding those ivories!

To Eric Clapton: “There are No Tears in Heaven.” To the person who left the window open: “Forgive yourself. ” On and on, I texted. John Lennon was a Prophet. “Imagine Strawberry Fields Forever, Yoko, Sean Beautiful Boy, Jude.”

From Princess Diana to Wills and Harry:
“ Mummy loves and misses you and I’m looking after you. It’s Your Responsibility to carry on In My Footsteps and Show the World what you are made of.” From the Other Side: “There is no death. We are all alive and with you.”

I don’t know how many famous people I communicated with. All night long, totally manic and exhausted. Finally, when the sun rose, I called the Oprah Show to see if they got all my messages. The woman who answered said no-they didn’t have the capability. Dammit! On to Dr. Phil Show. Called Paramount Studios. No go. Called KFI news radio, so I could find the address for George Nouri, the host of Coast-to-Coast talk show: he’ll believe me! The lady I finally got in touch with said his address was something like, 777 7th St., I forget the city.

Number 7s kept coming up for me in all these travels I had made. Weird. I sent him a letter and told him that God loved him. Don’t know if he got it or not. He probably thought I was crazy if he did. Oh well, I tried. I really did. I went to my church and stood up in front of the congregation, and with the microphone, told them God is Real, and that all these synchronistic things kept happening to me. I’m a shy person, so to get up in front of a lot of people and talk was really something for me.

These things really happened to me. I would think, “I’d like to get a book on Dried Flower Arrangement.” And it would appear at the local thrift store I frequented. Or a book on Feng Shui. There it was, as soon as I walked into the thrift shop on another day. I wanted to get some copies of National Geographic, so I could draw some of the wildlife. I go to a yard sale, and this woman just gives me boxes of National Geographics. She also gave me loads of home decorating books, which I’m always on the lookout for because I like to decorate.

I have had many instances that have happened to me like that. One day, I found a book entitled ‘Jesus Lived in India.’ It told of Jesus’ ‘Lost Years’, between childhood and His Ministry, where He studied mysticism with the yogis. I’m reading this old, worn book I had found, and a program comes on the History Channel about the exact same thing. Synchronicity. And I can tell you the medication that sent me on this Spiritual Journey. Cymbalta. That, added to Wellbutrin, woke me up and sent me on my way. I went off it after awhile, because I’d have terrible night sweats and my small appetite became non-existent.

I also went into this Bath and Body store one day to buy some products for this idea I had of getting beautiful baskets and filling them with their products and then selling them. There was a 50 percent off sale going at the time, and I wanted to take advantage of it. I’m like a poor person’s Martha Stewart. I walked into the store with my credit card, got a big sack, and just started grabbing products like a mad woman. I’d say it took me about 15 minutes. The sales girls would bring me more big sacks to make my purchases. When I was done, I’d spent over $900!

They had to get some kind of dolly with shelves on it, and two girls had to wheel it out to my car. I had filled my whole car up with it. Insanity. I brought it all home, and it was all over my living room and bedroom. I had to stumble over it like I was walking in a minefield. It took me 2 days to inventory it. I had bought hundreds of products. I finally came to my senses about a week later, and tried to take it all back. I felt too embarrassed to take it back to the store where I’d purchased it, so I took it to another store to try and get a refund.

Needless to say, these people were very unhappy with me. They had to circle each and every one of the items, and then strike it off. It took ages. I was humiliated. I had taken a friend with me to help me, and she was embarrassed too. Finally, the manager that was helping me gave up out of frustration, and told us about another Bath and Body in the area to take the rest of the stuff to get a refund.

A couple of days later, I took my boyfriend with me to the other Bath and Body. My friend that had gone with me before didn’t want to go, understandably. Humiliation again. Sales girls glaring at me and hating me. They asked me why I was doing this to them. I blushed and told them a story about how I had agreed to go into a home decorating business with a so-called friend, and that she had asked me to put the money up front to cover the purchases and had then backed out. They told me that they would lose their commissions for the day because of me.

Again, it took forever, circling each item and striking it off. The manager had to get help to do it. I felt horrible and tried to get them to stop a few times, but my boyfriend would only glower at me. Finally, when he wasn’t looking. I told them to say that they couldn’t find the rest of the items, so I would have to take them home. The manager said, “Next time, get a business contract written up.” I slunk home, tail between my legs with about a hundred dollars worth of products that day. Since I receive $800 a month from Social Security, you can say I had gone overboard a bit, to say the least! I still feel a twinge of embarrassment about that one.

Mania does that to you. You go nuts and spend all your money. I read about this one merchant here in LA that went mad one day, and took out all of his life’s savings and drove up and down the streets, throwing it out the window. I would go into a bar and buy a round of drinks for everyone and give out big tips. I would go into a Ross to buy a dress, and would go into this fugue state, and would just pull dozens of items off the rack, until my arms were aching under the weight of it all. I would somehow drag it to the dressing room and start to try them on, and then not be able to make any kind of decision whatsoever. I felt helpless and powerless and confused. I would try on clothes for an hour, and be completely exhausted mentally and physically afterwards, and still wouldn’t be able to make a decision. I didn’t know I was bi-polar when that happened to me. I would think, “Oh My God! What is wrong with me? Why am I doing this?”

I can’t tell you how many ‘collections’ I’ve had over the years. Shell collection, book collections, CD collections, audio tape collections, VHS video tape collections (I bet I taped a million programs and movies.), clothes and jewelry collections, scarves, shoes, lingerie, socks, belts and hats collections. Perfume collections. Angel figurine collections, doll collections, colored bottle collections, wooden box collections, candle collections, all sorts of knick-knacks, pictures, home decorations, etc. On and on and on. I would buy a piece of furniture, live with it for a while, and then sell it and buy another. Couches, dining room sets, bedroom furniture. I’d go to Target and buy matching drapes and rugs and furnishings, only to take it all down a week later, get a refund, and do it all over again. I would save the receipts and the packaging it came in, because I knew I had no power over myself.

I had to rent out big storage spaces for all my stuff, and would feel despair when I’d open the door to the space, because I had no idea how to sort through it all, and too ill to try. It would go all the way up to the roof. A mountain of just stuff. I’d try to have yard sales to get rid of some of it, only to start it all over again. I would pack it up and donate some it to thrift shops, enraged at myself for my lack of character and self-control. The money I’ve spent on all of this crap is unreal. I definitely suffer from a form of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. George Carlin does a funny bit about all the stuff we have, and how much we carry around with us.

One of the tenants here suffers from OCD. She has storage spaces all over. We have inspections here quite a lot, to make sure everyone is taking care of their places, and a HUD Housing Inspection a couple times a year. Our places have to be immaculate, and we slave for days to get it all done in time for the inspections. The tenant with the OCD has to rent big moving trucks to take some of her stuff out of her apt. She has to get help, getting it all organized.

Some of the people here have helpers come in to clean for them, because they can’t do it themselves. I’m one of them. My apt. gets to looking like a pigsty, and I can’t do anything about it. My friend comes in sometimes to help out. I’ve got pictures on every wall, and books, knick-knacks, plants, decorative pillows and furnishings everywhere. I get sick of it crowding me sometimes, and I start loading up as much as possible to give to Goodwill. I’m still inundated with stuff. I’ve given away whole libraries of books. It took me years to sort through all the stuff I had in storage. I finally don’t have to pay that bill anymore, Thank God. And storage space in LA is expensive.

Sometimes, I zone out when I’m driving, and completely forget where I’m going and for what. I’m also a germ phobic, and have a hard time of it getting older with the fading looks and all. I mean, that’s how I made my living, was by the way I looked.

So, I went off Cymbalta to stop the tremendous night sweats. But then I became severely depressed again. I was sick for months. I was miserable again. I asked the doctor to put me back on it on a lower dose after I couldn’t come out of the depression and felt suicidal. I was taken to a psych ward at a hospital that day to be monitored. That made me cry and carry on. I asked to be back on Cymbalta because I prefer mania to being depressed. So, now, I’m back on it. Wellbutrin was taken away and Zoloft was added instead to help control my obsessive negative thoughts. I also take the mood stabilizer Lamactil and Trazadone to sleep.

Zoloft messes with my libido, but I’m a little more awake now, and no insane mania like before. I’m feeling a little better. I have a little more energy and am a bit more social. I’ve started making friends again and have even started swing dance lessons. I laugh again. I’m bubbly sometimes. I still get depressed and very tired, but I’m able to sit here in a marathon typing session, telling you how to be bi-polar in LA. I can read again, which is my passion and I can listen to music again. I lose all interest in anything when I feel suicidal. I actually do die, but at a slower rate. One inch at a time.

I just want to tell you people in the world out there that we with mental illnesses are not losers, and to try and financially support the mental health system. We’re Humans too. Our brains are wired differently, that’s all. We’ve all got families and had lives before this Curse took us down. So, if you see a miserable character babbling to him or herself in the street, feel some compassion and maybe toss them a sandwich if you don’t want to get too close. They need to eat everyday just like you do.

Bono, I still think I’m going to meet you one day. Keep up the good work. Oprah, I wish I could have kept all those text messages, but they all eventually disappeared when other text messages replaced them. ‘My Story’, as told to Dr. Phil. Hey, it could happen! Meg Ryan would play me. Ha ha. But then again, I don’t want to use my whole name, because a potential employer might read this and not want to hire me. I have to pretend I’m normal when I go on job interviews. Sandi out.

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