I woke up this morning in a very dark place. It could be the dreams I had last night, (which I don't remember, I only know they woke me up). When seven thirty rolled around I forced myself up, made some coffee, took a shower, and tried to meet the day. After going on a writing binge and experiencing some real manic behavior, I decided to start taking my mood stabilizing medication, which I had stopped taking in Austin once I felt the serenity of a routine. With all the changes coming back to Boulder, all the possibilities, disappointments, and new social interaction, I've began to notice that my moods were once again swinging from torrid highs to what I am experiencing this morning, a 'bottoming out'. I really kind of hate being on them, as I do have small side affects, (like a slight tremor) but, for now, getting me stable seems to be the course of action. Luckily, I have enough to get me through the next few weeks, but then of course, there is the two—week period of going through the process of it working. This is the thing I understand about this strange disorder that seems to affect me more as I get older. People that have this— I'll call it 'bipolar' (even though I refuse to diagnose myself with this malady) don't like to go on the medication because it 'levels' them out. This morning, however, while not in the manic torrent of writing a play like a madman, I just wanted to feel somewhat normal like the people I saw up at The Farmer's Market. I went there, but found I could not even socially interact—as this darkness has filled up my spirit. I decided to come home and write about it. I can't tell sometimes whether 'the art' takes me there, or if I become manic and 'take the art' there. All I know is that what I've read about and have experienced is very true for me. I do know that blogging helps me to maintain more consistency with the writing, so that I am not isolating on the inside of a play or some other form of mania. I've also come to the realization that I have always had this in some form, as I look back at my past and the way in which I created, mostly in manic episodes. I think I once explained that the process of creating theatre is the perfect manic storm, it has the same trajectory as a manic/depressive episode.
This morning I did call a 'friend of a friend' whose son is withdrawing from opiates, and in that fifth day of being 'dope sick'. I would urge you, any who venture into this lair, there is a reason it is called 'the dragon'. Within it you feel like your life will never be the same. Your body and mind are relentlessly pushing you to 'get relief', and if you can't get that relief your mind is telling you that there is no reason to continue to live. The 'son' would not talk to me, but at least I could impart some advice for this parent who is so evidently going through a living hell watching his son withdraw from heroin. Opiates are also the perfect bipolar storm, only falsely manufactured and raising the stakes a hundred fold. "Beware the dragon", said the dragon slayer, "for he is more than a storm…" I have found when I'm like this, (depressed) if I can find someone to help it makes a big difference. I think when I feel like this I get to the core of why I am so addicted to anything that crosses my path. People who have never experienced what it is like to live through this kind of darkness without relief don't have any idea what its really like. It's like a hell on earth. The strange thing is that you get used to the 'hellish' times, I'm not sure what it does to your character, but perhaps it is when you do live through it, the mania comes because you are so happy to come out of it. I think it’s the same way with alcohol addiction, only it’s a medication that is easily obtained, as 'the dragon' is more difficult to procure. I'm just remembering a poem my mother taught to me, "Beware, the jabberwocky, my son…" Perhaps the jabberwocky has always existed, and those who embrace it are doomed. As someone once said to me about heroin and meth, "it will always try to call you back…" That's another issue with alcohol and drug addiction that 'normal' people are not aware of, it never rests, each day is a struggle to not succumb. Wow, I'm getting in a little deep here, I guess I'm trying to say, if you know someone who has these issues, (and you don't) please understand that it is a baffling and insidious disease, don't think that you can judge it correctly, because you really can't. But, you can be hurt by it, and that is why help has to come from another source, because no addict or alcoholic can do it alone. I suppose that I'm writing through this dark morning. In Austin, when I started to feel this way, I could always go to a meeting, anytime of the day and feel instantly better. Here, it is not that easy to find people to talk about what I'm experiencing. If you are out there, most of you know where I live.
Last night, I was the featured musician at Hills and Hollows, a country store here in Boulder. It was not a huge turnout, but I sure had a good set with the other musicians that were there. We played for three hours, until my back was so sore from standing so I had to quit. Tonight, I have another gig in Escalante at a place called 'The Cowboy Blues". Well, that makes some sense. I also notice that when I feel an episode coming on, music is so much easier to access. It's as if all my emotions are ramped up to red level. So, I will attempt to arrest this on setting darkness before it gets to bad. I've attempted to start AA meetings here, but can't seem to find anyone who will play. At least I have a time, Wednesdays at 6:30, which helps, even when there is no one there.
I still have not heard whether I will be leaving here and going back to Austin. I'm a little worried that I haven't heard from the producer in five or six days. Perhaps that is feeding some of this dark place, preparing for disappointment. All I can do is live through today.
Baby is doing better, but she still smells like a skunk. She is restless now, and so I will take her outside and see if we can work off some of this energy which starts with every new day. The skunk has certainly changed our relationship for now, as she is used to getting lots of pets and scratches. I find I just have to talk to her lots, its funny, she seems to be understanding this skunk separation, and I can't imagine having to live through waiting for it to wear off. She's looking at me now with the look, "what are we gonna do, Dad?" I know that I need to probably go for a walk, but it is hard to get my feet moving down that road. I need to change my guitar strings today, and the earlier the better, or I will find they will stretch out of tune tonight, I'll let you know how that goes…