Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Resignation of Turning Down Self Destruction


My dad was formally diagnosed with bipolar disorder after three successive hospitalizations for accute paranoia mania. This is an excerpt from an interview with my dad in Six Feet:

“I can remember it so vividly. I was doing something numerically, something mathematically. It was a series of steps and I was checking it over. And my mind…there was nothing leading up to it...all of a sudden I got a strange feeling in my mind. So I thought “okay, let me not do this any more.” So I drove down to Redner’s [Supermarket]. I was right at the entrance and it was like I was observing myself out of body. I kept going up to people and asking them things. The Warrington police [were called in and] thought it might be a drug issue. Thankfully the Grumkows were there and explained to them that I wasn’t on drugs.”

The other two times my parents were abroad, the first occurring in London and the second in Panama. It was very scary for both of them, but for my mom especially. She said my dad was getting more and more excited on the trip because there was so much to do. Thankfully, England has great hospitals and were very nice and accomodating; the cruise ship they were on in Panama, as well, had a hospital on board.

I'm scared about the retreat. Not so much the retreat itself but what seems to be riding on it. I'm afraid if I keep up at the pace I have been with writing and getting incredibly stressed out like I have been over the last few days that that would jeopardize. I am not taking care of myself, and I have no one here to take care of me. So I'm going to pretend like my mom is here. She would tell me to shave and clip my fingernails, wash my face; keep drinking water, eat the broccoli and carrots in the fridge, do the dishes and clean up the house for guests tonight. Relax and watch the Three Stooges. Do Not Write. If you push this, you will not be well for the retreat and may be forced to forfeit your spot. I've taken two 'mental health' days today and yesterday to diffuse the stress of lack of time. Something in me tells me this retreat is important, and I need to be doing whatever I need to do to ensure that I get and stay well--mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. As Cousade writes, I have become the Lord's rag doll which he throws this way or that.

So until things clean up a bit on the homefront here, I'm going to have to put the writing on hold for a bit. It's funny...he gave me the impression the other night that the One Thing that was holding me back from following him was acknowledging, accepting, and affirming his invitation of love. I sent a txt to my my parents, reading: 'Mom and Dad, I love you too,' and then I read this quote by Rose McGowan on Michelle's blog--one I could have written myself:

"I have great luck. I'm used to people dying and going away. Not used to it exactly - but I expect it. Like, whenever people go off on a trip, I save their phone messages because I think they might die."

I hope that if I die in Thailand that I will be back to tell the story. And at least will my parents would have had it in writing to remind them that all this time, their offers of love were not unrequited.

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