Wednesday, 08 October 2014, The Farmhouse Estate, Ceres, Californiaâ€¦
Greetings To & From The San Joaquin Valley!
As Iâ€™ve both made clear in my last two blog posts, as well as with my new book, â€œMy BiPolar Reality; How Life Goes Onâ€¦â€, I am an individual who is successfully managing a (potentially fatal) mental illness. But the truth is, I am not the only one who is working hard to deal with my sometimes problematic symptoms, side-effects or other â€œabnormalitiesâ€ I sometimes exhibit; I have a very supportive family with an amazing amount of loyalty, faith, hope and especially Love poured into my mixture of medications from my wifeâ€¦aside from my mother, I know there is probably not another woman on the planet who would not only tolerate me for almost 20 years, but help me so much in becoming the successful, healthy, happy and peaceful man I am today. My wife, who married me when she was only 19 years old (I was 33) and after knowing one another for only 5 months, ran off to Las Vegas with me while I was riding an incredible manic wave and truthfully, not in my â€œright state of mindâ€, I was not healthy. Yet even after I was forth coming about my suspicion of being mentally ill (my previous wife left me when it was suggested I was BiPolar), even after I compared our vast age difference and the notion that when Iâ€™m 64 sheâ€™ll be sexy 50 year old MILF, she married me. In fact, as I tell the story in the book, she almost DEMANDED we get married!
We did get married in July of â€™95 and like many newlyweds, there was a year or so of turbulence and aggravation; itâ€™s tough to start sharing your whole life with somebody else, perhaps even tougher when you donâ€™t really know everything about each other, but we stuck together. During the 2nd year of our marriage my wife was with our first child and I was again on a high flying manic episode, but a three month serious of very angry and rage filled violent bouts of resentful fury! I was a maniac, smashing things without real provocation, foul mouthed, disrespectful and very arrogant. I was impossible to live with, one time during an argument with my wife I threw a ceramic coffee mug so hard at her that when she ducked and the cup smashed into the wall, parts of it stuck into the drywall! She took cover in the safety of her motherâ€™s suburban home but still came to see me all the time. I even accused her of stalking me, but she kept coming around to make sure I was eating, bathing, behaving and basically alrightâ€¦even though I was horrible to her, I was such an ass but she always came back. Towards the end of that year, ion a cold December night a few days before our first child was due, I had a crash and burn episode that left me unemployed, homeless and so far down it looked like up to me; I only remember stumbling up Michigan Avenue, the stiff Chicago winter wind whipping me hard, freezing the tears before I could shed them, I found a pay phone in a swanky hotel and called my wife. She was there to get me in less than an hour and we have been together ever since.
In my book, â€œMy BiPolar Reality; How Life Goes Onâ€¦â€ I depict the catastrophic complete psychotic break I suffered and detailed the damage this event had on both my wife/family as well as myself. It was several years before I even started making progress in the recovery process and it left me as being on â€œpermanent disabilityâ€ so the entire burden of supporting our family of four was completely on my young wifeâ€™s shoulders. She not only rose to the occasion, but worked so hard that she became the first woman General Manager for this chain of liquor stores where she had started as a part-time cashier only 3 years before; not only a stellar career curve, but quite the accomplishment for a woman who had never had college or formal adult education! My 19 year old child-bride, by the time our 10th anniversary rolled around, had blossomed into a strong, resourceful and authoritative woman. Simply amazing, she has not only stayed with me, helped me through these tragic and traumatic events, raise two amazing kids and still managed to improve herself, to become stronger, smarter, more confident and assured; wow, my wife is an incredible individual! I almost feel guilty writing a book about my own struggles when in my humble eyes, my wife is the real hero who deserves a story!
Understanding that until I got the book offer in April, we didnâ€™t consider relocating to California for several more years. Itâ€™s been a goal of mine, I cut my teeth here and I have been longing to come back home for a long time. We were stuck in Chicago, we were concerned about pulling the kids from school, of being so far from our aging parents, our network of friends and all thatâ€¦before last April moving to California was not something we considered. I had always promised myself, I would never go to California to live until I achieved my dream of a selling a screenplay or scoring a book deal; I didnâ€™t want to be one of those â€œwannabeâ€ kinds of people who come to California seeking the Golden Dreams of their Soul. Thatâ€™s not me, I am not the â€œwannabeâ€ kind of person, Iâ€™m more the â€œI am what I amâ€ kind of person. Then something happened, something completely unexpected and one of the best things thatâ€™s ever happened for meâ€¦I got a book deal, in fact, I got a 5 year, 3 book deal! My wife came to San Francisco with me when I signed the deal at the end of April and she barely thought twice about it, she too wanted to live in California. Since our lease was up in June and instead of relocating again in Chicago, we made a huge migration of our family to The San Joaquin Valley last July. That fueled our motivation to be here now, but truthfully, itâ€™s not an easy transition to make. Moving a family of four, with one child still in school and two family members who need specialized medical care (our daughter is diabetic type 1 and myself), two thousand miles across the country is a very big life adjustment for everyone. Itâ€™s still a process and although weâ€™re feeling more at home every day, weâ€™re aware it could a year or more before we establish real friends.
Over the last few weeks, however, while the final legal matters were hammered out with the publishing companies and as weâ€™ve been waiting for this very large sum of funds (book advance money), itâ€™s been very stressful for the family. There has been countless delays in getting paid, so many changes of plans that my wife started to suspect me of somehow organizing and executing this giant charade; as if I made everything all upâ€¦the book deal, the advance money, the whole change of plansâ€¦she started to frame the circumstances around my past history of symptoms. I have done outlandish things in the past, some pretty crazy things, even some illegal things but this was a charade far beyond the scope I could ever pull offâ€¦and, furthermore, over the past 7 years of the recovery process I have become a completely different person when it comes to managing and controlling my symptoms. I am really good at it, in fact, I even wrote a bloody good book about this disorder, so I knew it wasnâ€™t me. I knew this was all very real, as strange as it sometime seems, I knew all along it was the truth. But wife, in her own moments of weakness, expressed her doubts. It isnâ€™t about the money, I realize, it has to do with her sense of security and the fact that this wait (weight) has been enormously long to play out, simply shook her confidence in me. It was okay, although Iâ€™ll admit it hurt for a moment to think she somehow was giving up on me, now, when weâ€™re at this pinnacle point in our lives togetherâ€¦but then I realized the ridiculous logic of that thought and trashed it! I know itâ€™s not me, she too knows now itâ€™s not me (the funds have been deposited) but more than that, she knows itâ€™s not me because like her, through this amazing relationship between us, I have grown and evolved into a better version of myself too. So hell yeah, maybe Iâ€™m amazed at the way she really loves me, but whatâ€™s wrong with that?
I thought was a good comment to start the dialogue with too!
Does your wife work for BevMo? I am glade you got your book advanced I was starting to get worried as I was reading your blog! :) When does your book come out?
No, she doesn't work for BevMo, although I think she would certainly consider it...The book, published by The Intrepid Editor Press, is released October 31, 2014; We're participating a promotion on November 1st in Modesto with The Jupiter Mental Awareness Network, when I get d'Tales, I'll share them!