Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Bipolar + Irony = Bipolrony?

Wow. Life is so strange and cool. And ironic, too. ("A little too ironic... Don'tcha think?" as Alanis Morrissette would croon.)

I got a call early this morning from the publisher of one of the magazines I write for to cover a lunchtime talk in town this afternoon. The chat was at a swank hotel and was given by a young woman, Lizzie Simon, who is currently on a book tour to support the personal journey she documented called "Detour: My Bipolar Road Trip in 4-D." (See )

I jumped at the opportunity as one of my very best friends was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder years ago and I have done extensive research on this mental illness (as well as other mental illnesses).

Plus, the people who backed Ms. Simon's visit, a civic-minded and Jewish-oriented group, were going to serve me a vegan lunch --- on the house. Yay! (And it was actually pretty good, mind you: roasted veggies, whole wheat roll, potatoes, iced tea, fruit compote.)

It was a fascinating talk given by Ms. Simon, a mere lass who just turned 30. It became apparent early in her talk that her sometimes tumultuous life journey has left her wise beyond those years. She spoke eloquently and was quite insightful on the subject of BP and her own experiences through confusion, embarrassment, anxiety until finding help - and with that, acceptance.

Hers was evidently a veritable stigma-filled hell until she was able to find her way back to LIFE through therapy, medication and love.

She found acceptance of herself - her whole self. Isn't that what we all strive for?

So of course, I bought her book, which details her emotional and physiological trip through BP and an actual geographic trip across the USA to talk to others who have this often debilitating mental illness. She was kind enough to autograph the book to my friend --- but I am going to read it first! It looks fascinating!

Below is a photo of Lizzie and me:

Soon, I'm off to interview composer extraordinaire Aaron Zigman's parents for another story I'm working on. An interesting day thus far...


karen said...

Wow, you lead an exciting life. Very interesting subject matter. Let us know what you think of the book...

Tanya Kristine said...

i was JUST thinking that would be my comment KAREN1!!

MUCH better than sitting in a cube all day.


JessieGirl said...

My step brother & step sister are bipolar, as well as two of my friends. Bipolar is a hidden affliction, until someone you know is diagnosed then people come out of the woodwork and they are everywhere. I actually had a prof in college tell me that less than 1% of the US population was bipolar. At that point in time i knew maybe 10 BP people and I thought that statistic was just plain wrong.

KleoPatra said...

karen and tanya kristine, when i set out to be a journalist, what i wanted to do is help inform the public... journalism isn't what it's cracked up to be, but every once in a while i am glad to have the opportunity to spread information on subjects that need to be talked about.

jessigirl, thank you for your comment! indeed, bp is a hidden affliction... and the woodwork part is so true. there are many who struggle and there IS help. AND hope. thanks for what you wrote.

and karen, so far, this book is REALLY good, unlike any other i've read in my nerdy book-reading life!

Vicki said...

my brother is bipolar -- and it is tough! glad to hear some light is being shed on it. let us know about the book.

KleoPatra said...

Thank you, Vicki. i'm almost done with the book and it's insightful.