OK. First of all, I swear I am not trying to make Facebook my public diary of dramatic medical catastrophe. That's why I frequently pepper my posts with whimsical stories about our sick cat or my parents' pending mortality. But -- aside from selfies, cat pictures, way-too-easy Trump jokes and long folksy narratives on the let-me-tell-you-an-amusing-yarn importance of family -- dramatic medical catastrophes seem to be all I have to work with on this, the last dying gasps of the carnivorous year that ate all our beloved celebrities. And you have to admit that bipolar depression is so stupid fucking dumb that all you can do is laugh at it. And with my surgically redacted filter, my meandering sense of humor and my location deep in the bipolar trenches, I like to think I'm able to find what's funny, dig deeper to figure out the least appropriate way to look at it and present it to you in the way that's most likely to embarrass my family. So there's that.
Now. On to the gruesome scabby stuff.
So what do you think happened to me?
1) I got in a rake fight with an Amish guy.
2) I sandpapered my face so Kellyanne Conway and I would look alike in our smash Broadway reinterpretation of "Twins."
3) Bernardo really banged me up in the rumble under the highway at that part where the music gets really atonal.
4) I've always gotten dizzy after standing up too fast. Twice in the past I've blacked out and hit the floor, but it was on carpet and I landed on my back in that flattering S shape like when Donna Reed, the wholesome Hollywood actress from rural Denison, Iowa, might get slapped by Joan Crawford, the weirdly manly Hollywood actress from Wire Hangers, Ever, in an impassioned living-room quarrel over men or hemlines or eyebrows and lipliner or whatever it was that women with their hair pulled back too tight used to slap each over back then. So anyway, this, my 798th cocktail of bipolar meds, don't do jack fucking shit for my depression but they do an award-winning job at making me super-light-headed. And this is the awesome part: Monday evening, after emerging from a particularly demoralizing depressive collapse, I was trying to be all productive and shit and the washing machine ended so I jumped up to put the laundry in the dryer, took two steps, felt another dizzy spell start to hit, grabbed the walls to steady myself, completely blacked out, fell Timber! forward, slammed my face into the white ceramic tile in our hallway, lacerated my right eye and the right side of my face with my broken glasses, bit mostly through my upper lip, loosened a tooth, bled like a whatever, scraped an odd snakeskin texture into the back of my left hand -- which is weird because all my other injuries were on the right side of my face -- and gave myself my first concussion. And let me give you a little insider knowledge, just from me to you: Concussions aren't a glamorous football badge of honor; they are insidious fuckers that hurt longer and deeper than you can imagine plus they give you this gruesome sensation that you can feel every surface of your brain, especially the parts that you've maybe permanently injured.
So the takeaway from all this is pretty obvious but I'll say it anyway for all you fellow concussives out there: Doing laundry can fucking kill you.
There's so much more to this adventure but I've been typing this post two or three painfully cross-eyed sentences at a time -- on the still-cracked screen of my iPhone, no less -- before getting so exhausted I needed yet another nap -- and you'd better appreciate that Joan Crawford sentence because staying awake long enough to write it was like slamming my face into a ceramic tile floor -- so I'll tell you the rest in mercifully brief -- but in reality probably tiresomely long -- bullets. Even though my Google search lied to me about how to make bullets on my iPhone so I'll have to use their lesser-and-more-embarrassing-because-they-eat-marshmallow-fluff-right-out-of-the-jar-and-wear-blingy-jeans-and-voted-for-Trump cousins, the hyphens. Sigh.
- I came to in my sister's car on the way to the hospital thinking Christmas hadn't happened yet and -- for one brief glorious moment -- not knowing I'm bipolar.
- I had an ABCDEFG -- or whatever it's called -- at the hospital to see if I'd broken any bones in my face. They told me I didn't, but from the lingering and sometimes breathtaking pain in my head I think they're playing some kind of cruel hazing prank on me to initiate me into being Bradley Cooper's boyfriend.
- My sister wouldn't give me my phone for fear I'd take lurid selfies and write embarrassing-to-the-family posts on Facebook about my adventures (DUH. I mean HA HA! AS IF!) so I joked -- joked! -- with the nurse that he should send in some cops and silly clowns and a circus band to accompany their wacky hijinks that would distract my sister from the fact that they were secretly taking my phone from her and giving it to me. AND HERE'S THE PART INVOLVING THE COPS THAT I VAGUELY HINTED TO YOU ABOUT: Soon after the nurse left, there was a knock on the door and THREE COPS WALKED IN in response to a complaint over a cruelly denied selfie opportunity. I -- the consummate actor -- played right along with their clever charade, demanding they wrestle with my sister to get my phone back. When they politely demurred, I -- the consummate stealthy flirt -- asked the cutest cop to take a picture of me and I'd give him my number (do you SEE what I did there? even with a fake not-broken face!) so he could text it to me. And then we could text each other a romantic location to meet and pick the colors for our destination wedding as soon as my face healed. But he -- pretending to be oblivious to my stealthy ways -- politely demurred and we all had a hearty laugh and I went back to the business of I-just-smashed-my-head-into-a-ceramic-tile-floor bloody pain.
- I joked with the stitches doctor that with every 10 stitches I should get a chalupa and he gamely -- and adroitly -- played along for quite a bit of superlatively clever banter as HE STUCK NEEDLES IN MY FACE and gave me 13 stitches divided into three different locations, none of which individually totaled 10, which I assume is the reason I didn't get my damn chalupa.
- At one point, I heard myself tell the stitches doctor I had no aspirations to be a model -- which is sadly true -- so I didn't care if he left scars -- which I guess is also true -- so the net-net of this harrowing experience may be enough facial scars that I get to play Thug #3 who gets thrown off the yacht by Jason Statham, who, after the director yells "cut" gently towels me off before we sit down to pick colors for our destination wedding.
WHEW! I somehow managed to tell a relatively short story -- in fits and starts between barely restorative naps -- in the godawful longest way possible. But I leave you with a more current selfie of my disfiguring wounds taken right at the scene of the crime: the white ceramic tile floor I slammed my face into four bottles of Tylenol ago.
Since dear, spunky, inspiring, heavily bipolar Carrie Fisher -- a woman I truly respected and adored -- has now drowned in the moonlight, strangled by her own bra -- as she requested her obituary to read -- I will be honored to take up her mantle as a celebrity bipolar poster child. Except without the celebrity part. And more face scabs. And I'm more of a filter-compromised blogger than an international poster child. But still.
I know all of this jumbled verbal coda is a stretch -- and I know I've managed to write another 10-mile post between naps -- but this entire adventure happened because of a little bipolar pill -- and the deadly evils of laundry! -- so I want to end this with two iconic Carrie Fisher quotes:
“I am mentally ill. I can say that. I am not ashamed of that. I survived that, I’m still surviving it, but bring it on. Better me than you.”
"Being bipolar can be an all-consuming challenge ... so if you’re living with this illness and functioning at all, it’s something to be proud of, not ashamed of."