I don’t know how to wrap up 2012. There is just so much. I feel like for every awesome action there was an equal and opposite very un-awesome action. There was good and bad just like anyone’s year but somehow I feel like the goods were so high they were almost unfathomable. And the bads were so bad that I don’t want to even remember them. It’s been…a year? A whole year? Another one. I suppose we should try and summarize this one shall we?I did some ridiculous things this year. I locked myself out of my house in an attempt to be all grown-uppy. I flew down some stairs while still defying the laws of gravity and never actually falling down.
I jumped out of a damn plane! It was amazing. And it cut some deep rooted ties for me. In every clichéd way that it could ever be, it changed me. The experience introduced me to a new way of thinking. A new belief. An old belief really. It was something that I believed all along but was too scared to admit. And the friend who took me to jump out of a plane changed my existence with the words “We get to go around this earth one time. Make it the very best you can, and also make it the best for everyone else.”I ran in the dirt and mud and icy cold. I jumped literal walls and pits and fire and climbed cargo nets. I pushed my body to heat exhaustion and had to chill with some medics for a while. Then I kept on going. I peed in bushes a few times too.
I went crazy. Again. I went crazy enough to go to the nut house for a while. It was somehow harder this time. Harder than before. This year I was officially diagnosed with what we all knew all along: Bi-Polar. Like, the nutty kind: Bi-Polar 1. I’ve been on the meds before. I have always been so consumed with OCD that the other illnesses stayed at bay. Or fed OCD like a raging fire. I’m still not sure which. They gave me meds. The meds made me fat. I’m still struggling. Hardcore. Hard fucking core.I’m mentally ill and I seem to be reminded of that every damn day.I met people in the nut house. People you meet in the crazy house are some of the best friends you will ever have. They see you at your worst. And they have lived your worst. They are the only people who can truly understand what it feels like to live this life. To have lost family and friends to this disease. They know. And they can change your life. This time I met a friend who was reading a philosophy text book the first time I saw him. He changed me. It turns out that we had known each other for 15 years. But it took the nut house for him to change me.I changed.
This year I got married. I love this man. I didn’t think I could love again. Ever. I didn’t want to. I am still hurt. There is still a hole a mile wide and infinitely deep. There is still cynicism and distrust and anger. So. Much. Anger. But here we are and we are married. Our ceremony was perfect. It was us. It was funny and poignant and followed a 3 week engagement. It was…us. It was Angela and Dual. It was Dual and Angela. And we were officiated by the same friend who changed my world with his words of making life the best for everyone we encounter. And that’s what Dual and I strive to do. We want to make today count. We don’t live for some metaphysical philosophy. We live for today. And we try and heal from yesterday so that our tomorrow (if we get one) will be the best it can be. We remember our pasts so that we can see where we came from. And we are building a life. Together. Me and him. Him and me.I walked out on my well paying job this year. I want to blame the illness. I don’t know if that is fair. But I was cracking from the inside out. I was depersonalizing terribly. I had stopped sleeping. I was in an environment where I couldn’t thrive, I couldn’t create, I couldn’t be myself, I couldn’t control my illness. And when the illnesses attacked, as they often do, it was not real to my employer. I don’t have hard feelings. Not everyone can understand why I act the way I do and how to deal with, well…me. I wish it had ended better. But if nothing else, lesson learned.
I went back to full-time music. It is my soul. When I got divorced, I felt like he stole that from me. I don’t know if he actually did, but that’s what I felt like. I lost my studio of 20+ students. I lost my will to create. I lost music. I lost art. But I found it again. It has taken a while. But I’m back. I am creating. I am playing. I am doing what I am born to do.I started grad school. Mother of all things good and holy, I started grad school. It’s kicking my ass. And I love it. Challenge accepted.
This year, I still mourn my old life. This year, I still hate him. I don’t want to. But I do. I’m trying so hard. SO HARD. I think there may have been a break through a few days ago. But I don’t want to be optimistic. I’ve learned that being optimistic with him leads to devastating pain and irreparable emotional scars.This year we honeymooned! And it was AMAZING. Best vacation I think I have ever been on. Ever. We laughed every day. We loved every day. We were newlywed…(you know what I’m saying) every day. We explored and we created memories. We are married. We are Dual and Angela. And I’m proud to be his wife.
I found myself this year. I explored so many places outside of my box that I can’t find my box anymore. I strayed so far away from the box I lived in for the past 30 years that I don’t even know how to get back there if I wanted to. But I don’t want to. I am done being in any box. Boxes aren’t for me. Labels aren’t for me. Rules aren’t necessarily for me. I said yes to so so many things. So many opportunities to live and experience and soar and even fail, all because I said yes to everything. No regrets. No fear. The worst that could happen is missing life. And I only get this one.I posed nude. Multiple times. I got inked. Multiple times. I got pierced, but only just the once so far.
I represented the IOCDF again. It was amazing and eye-opening. It changes me every year. I am humbled by the experience and excited to continue the work of an advocate and face of mental illness. If I wasn’t sick, how would I get these amazing chances to change the world? I wouldn’t trade it for anything.This year I realized how difficult it is to share custody of my kids. It’s been a whole year of “sharing”. I hate it. It is miserable. But only for me. It isn’t miserable for my kids. And because it is the best thing for my kids, I will deal with it. They are getting a new step-mom soon. I am learning to trust her with my precious babies. I grew them on the inside of me. I felt them kick and held them as infants. I didn’t go to the bathroom alone for like 4 years. I patched up boo-boos and tracked down pacis and Bear. They are my heart and my soul. And I spent this year trying to learn to trust her with my kids. I don’t know if it ever gets easier.
This was the year I got diagnosed. Not the bi-polar because honestly who didn’t see that coming? I have an illness. A “syndrome” to be exact. And I’m processing how to live with it. I’m learning how it will affect my life now and my life in the future. I am learning how to proactively protect and prevent and monitor my body now, so that I can have the best chance for a productive future. I am learning how to cope. And how to act. And, as I am so prone to do, I am learning what I can do to enmesh myself in a community of fellow “syndrome” affected persons. I want to make a difference. Otherwise, what fun is having a syndrome?This year I discovered what I believe in. And I discovered what I don’t believe in. I discovered that it was ok to say out loud what I always already knew deep down inside somewhere. I discovered that the person I was talking to or praying to, was really me. It was me all along. It was me personifying my fears and my strengths and my choices into a belief system that I was born into. I discovered that it is OK to leave the faith of my heritage. It is OK to leave the path. It is OK to say it. It is OK to see the universe and the sky and the stars and our lives and our journey as natural instead of supernatural. It is OK. And it is safe. And it is me. It is me. We get to go around this earth one time and one time only. We live for our lives here on earth. Let’s make it the very best that we can make it. And everyone else only gets the one time too. Let’s make it the best we can for everyone we encounter.
Let’s start 2013. Bring it. I’m ready.