One year ago today, just hours into adding yet another new bipolar med to my ever-evolving cocktail, I stood up from a chair, walked three steps, blacked completely the hell out, fell Timber! onto the tile floor (which I cracked with my face because go big or go home), shredded myself eyebrow to chin on my shattered glasses, bit most of the way through my lip, loosened some teeth, got a concussion, and woke up in my sister's car holding a huge bloody rag to my face too confused to remember that Christmas had happened (or, for just a few glorious moments, that I was even bipolar) as she rushed me to the ER, where I looked so brutally horrifying that the nurses assumed I was the victim of a violent assault and three police officers visited my room well before the doctor showed up to give me stitches.
I came home covered in swelling and bruises and scabs and stitches and glue -- after telling the ER doctor in my foggy haze that my modeling days were over and I didn't care if he left scars all over my face but I vaguely remember him informing me that he still had a professional obligation to do his best -- and filled eyeballs-to-spine with a not-for-amateurs headache that brought crippling new levels to my understanding of pain ... and yet I still found a way to take time out of my busy schedule for a quick selfie to document the occasion for future biographers. (You're welcome, posterity!)
This Timber! event was directly linked to my new drug (called Fetzima, who sounds like a resident of the Anatevka demimonde in Fiddler on the Roof) that, as with all psychotropics, came with an alarming list of ramp-up side effects ... including abrupt blackouts. But I knew from a decade-plus of trial-and-error experience that I needed to tough out the first three or four weeks until the side effects subsided and the drug's level (or not level) of efficacy manifested (or didn't manifest) itself.
And despite its hyperdramatic entrance into the musical of my life, Fetzima more-or-less quickly proved itself to be perhaps the drug that effectively balances my serotonin and norepinephrine and keeps me (more or less) stable and engaged and functional and capable and able to go to work and do shows and take care of my parents and run races and buy shoes and buy more shoes and here I am a year later, scar-free (thanks, conscientiously ethical ER doctor!) (though it took a good six months for the scars to heal and the scar tissue where I bit through my lip to subside to the point that I could drink out of a straw again) and concussion-free (pro tip: you do NOT. EVER. want a concussion), and clearly in possession of an added year's mouth wrinkles and silver foxiness.
So if you're inclined, raise a glass and yell Timber! in my scab-free, concussion-free, fog-free, not-functional-free honor today. I'm gonna go out and keep living. Timber!