I remembered the date of my late January audition because I had signed up for it back in December.
Back when I was manic.
When I had first heard of this showcase called "This is My Brave," I honestly did not know what to think. I felt so uncomfortable with the fact that through this show, people were able to create a safe, nonjudgmental space where they were free to talk about both their struggle and their recovery in just under 5 minutes. I was in denial that such a creative space even existed, and even more upset with myself for not discovering a place like that sooner. While my great friend who happens to substitute at Carnegie Vanguard High School was trying to persuade both me and my mother to attend the show, I rescinded into my own mental corner and decided to let my brain pick at my emotions than let them be healed at a storytelling performance.
Technology has a way of being very adaptable and versatile. I was also shocked that the producers of TIMB were very open to sharing everything on social media. I was still shocked when I pulled up the Houston TIMB 2019 video and the whole footage was there,right in front of my face. I knew I needed to watch the video. So I did.
I barely made it through the first half of the video without needing some Kleenex!
TIme passed, and although I had missed the chance to both audition and watch the show for 2019, I remember sitting at my computer that December, going on a manic shopping spree. I had just spent hundreds of dollars on Amazon.com, and I just purchased my own website and wanted to start my own blog. I had never had much experience auditioning, but I figured since the show was about me talking about something I face every day, it would not be hard at all. So out of manic curiosity and a sane sense of confidence, I decided to fill the first morning slot for the first day of the auditions. Wearing my nice red dress and carrying a ukulele, I was simply hoping for the best.
WELL, THIS IS MY BRAVE:
Fast Forward to February 1st. I get a voicemail from one of the TIMB producers, telling me that I got the part.
Wow, I thought to myself. I got the part! What happens now?
I stared at the paper the producers gave me at the audition. Looks like I'll have to actually mark my calendar down for all these rehearsal dates, I thought. On February 8th, I got to meet the other cast members of TIMB.
Seriously! It felt like the assembly of the freaking Creative Justice League! Every. single. person. had a creative outlet for their pain and was actually OPEN about it. Had I died and gone to heaven? I was surrounded by a dance, poetry, spoken word, and amazing stories told through 5 minute narration and storytelling. Not to mention the amazing amount of food that was there--fruit, vegetables, PIZZA. EVERYTHING!!!
AND THIS IS OUR BRAVE: KINDA LIKE GROUP THERAPY
Is this what group therapy is like? I wondered to myself as about 14 of us gathered in a circle to go over our presentations. I had nothing memorized--it was all already in me. I just happened to be missing my ukulele. (But luckily there was another musical soul there who let me borrow their guitar!) We all took turns doing our performance, and then we took the time out to give commentary--in real time--to every. single. person. that performed.
The Incredible Hu.....Hope?
When it was my turn, I did my quick speech on how I struggled with Bipolar Disorder and tried to overcome my hospitalizations and other personal problems. When I played my song, I had originally titled it "The Incredible Hulk" to describe how I felt about my disease. I felt like I was dealing with a monster that I could not control, and that every day I was struggling to find a balance between avoiding depression and avoiding mania.
But for some reason, when I finished the song, everyone could have sworn they heard the word "Hope" instead of "Hulk."
Well, gosh, I never thought of it that way! Take a listen for yourself and let me know what you think:
I am so grateful to be part of the TIMB. There is so much to learn and so many people to learn from! So far, I know that the day of the show will be on SUNDAY May 17th 2020 at the Hobby Center! Please stay tuned!
Remember my first blog post ever about switching psychiatrists after 3 years? Well, yesterday was the day I was supposed to meet my brand new psychiatrist at the Casa De Amigos Health Center in Houston. I was so excited and nervous about the appointment. As I stayed in the waiting room, I couldn't help but be on edge.
A whole hour passed before I was able to see him.
When I finally did get to see him, I was surprised at what he told me: "So you are supposed to be taking medication X, Y, & Z."
Each medication that he listed seemed foreign. I wasn't taking any of those medications. In fact, those exact medications he mentioned were prescribed to be nearly 2 years ago, when I was first hospitalized at the Houston Behavioral Hospital.
"But doctor," I tried to explain myself. "I am not currently taking medication X, Y, & Z. I am taking different medications that were prescribed to me--"
"No," the doctor interrupted me, very sure of himself. You are actually taking the medications I mentioned beforehand. Here's proof that these are the medications you should be taking. Look at this screen."
I looked at the screen. There were a long list of medications that were prescribed to me, but something just did not seem right.
"I think these records are outdated," I tried telling the doctor. "I was hospitalized again at this same hospital last year in December. Is it not in your records?"
So we both discovered, after a brief phone call to the records department that it was indeed NOT in my records at all.
And another thing I had to mention to the doctor. I could not afford a $95 psychiatrist appointment in January, so I did not go to one. I ran out of all of my medications except for Lithium, which I continued taking. The doctor concluded that the Lithium was good for me, and decided to add on another medication as well. He also thought it was best that I see him in 1 month as opposed to 3 months, the usual time span between psychiatrist appointments.
I walked out of the doctor's office confused. For one, they did not even have my most updated record on file. How could that be? Secondly, I would have to scraggle up change again to make another $95 appointment--he only prescribed me a month's worth of medication. And lastly, I was not sure if the NEW medications he prescribed would be best for me. I missed my old psychiatrist.
Tomorrow, I'll be making an appointment with my OLD psychiatrist instead. We might not agree on everything, and his office is further away than the Casa De Amigos Center, but I STILL hold a certain amount of confidence in my old psychiatrist that I am willing to test again for the sake of my mental health AND sanity.