Monthly Archives: December 2014

Life Raft – Guest Post by Elena (Mrs. Bipolar)

My cell phone rings. It’s 2:30 a.m., but it hasn’t woken me. Sleep has abandoned me for weeks, to be replaced by worry and thoughts of rearranging my future. I do not need to look; I know that it’s him.

“Hello?”

“I need you.” Quietly and softly. A tone of voice I haven’t heard in months.

Instinctively I pick up my keys and go to the car. Thoughts begin to race through my mind as I drive. He left you. He says it’s over. After all his illness has put you through, why are you going to go to feed the mania? But something in his voice had the whisper of my husband. A faint hint of the reason why I fight so hard and forgive so easily.

As I pull up to the hotel and get out of the car, the cold snap of the wind slaps me in the face as if it’s trying to remind me why he’s here. He can’t live in our home anymore. The laughter and conversation has been replaced by anger, aggressiveness and arguments. The illness is winning. It wasn’t so much that he left me as that I let him go. I’m exhausted. So tired from the battle. A battle that seems to be so entrenched in him right now that no amount of medication can halt the forces.

I enter the room and he’s standing there, waiting for me. His eyes look at me with such longing. A longing that says come and find me, I’m still here. I see the man I married. He strips me of my clothes and takes away all of my insecurities as easily and naturally as a caterpillar sheds its cocoon. I step into the light, naked both emotionally and physically. I’m not the tall, tanned, slender girl I once was. The years and the illness have taken their toll.

He inhales as if catching his breath. “You’re beautiful.”

I’m not sure if he is reminding himself or reassuring me. I let him take over, and explore my body. His touch is slow and gentle, comforting in its familiarity. And yet at the same time, it is filled with a newness, a rediscovery. His hands and mouth cover me as if to memorize my body. My skin burns from his breath, his lips, his kiss. I press myself to him, urging him to move faster, but he’s lost in the pleasure of my excitement. Only after he feels my body shudder and go still does he climb on top of me. I feel the animal instinct that is driving him. He makes love to me with such passion and need that it spills forth in a crescendo that leaves us both gasping. We lay intertwined, in body and soul. Each of us holding tight to the other as if we were life rafts; as if we were saving one another from drowning .

Reality begins to sneak back in like smoke beneath the door of a burning building. My emotions take control. I can’t let him see me cry. I know that the illness will soon return and it will use any weakness I exhibit to wedge its way between us. I have to get out.

He asks me to stay, but I get dressed and leave. The door slams behind me, locking the moment behind it. The sun is rising. In a few hours we will be back at the hospital, seeing psychiatrists, therapists and doctors. I am overcome with the feeling that this is the beginning of the end. What end, I do not know.

* * *

Elena left her retail corporate job over a year ago and began a journey to mold the next chapter of her life by her own rules. She loves to keep a journal and write short stories so it was an easy transition for her to enter the world of blogging. Though it has been an ongoing learning curve, she has jumped in with both feet. Now on the precipice of 50, she has begun a blog to share her humor and bits of wisdom as a woman entering into the prime of her life. You can join her on her quest for serenity at www.livingwithbatman.wordpress.com.

On a personal note, Elena was a divorced, professionally educated woman raising two children alone when she met her second husband. After a whirlwind romance, they married and blended their families. Together they have four wonderful children, three dogs, two cats and one very busy, noisy house!

Elena’s current husband was diagnosed with Bipolar Type 1 very soon after they were married. To raise awareness for mental illnesses, she shares her personal experiences as the spouse of a bipolar person on her second blog, thebipolarmaniac.com, which she co-authors with another blogger living with bipolar, giving a twin perspective on the disorder. This blog has recently been nominated for Best In Show and Rookie of the Year in the Wego Health Activist Awards. Please visit and endorse her nomination here: https://awards.wegohealth.com/nominees/10251.

elenaspic

I Had Promised Myself That I Would Do No Writing

December 6, 2014

I had promised myself that I would do no writing. Sounds strange, doesn’t it? Coming from a writer. Some writers have to force themselves to sit down and write. Others have to force themselves not to.

For thirty days following my book’s release, I had intended to do no writing. For months now I have done nearly no writing. Only blog posts and interviews; tweets and requests for reviews. I wanted to complete my media kit and compose press releases; I wanted to post my already-written stories on a multitude of sharing sites, and register my book with the hundreds that offer free promos to authors. I wanted to be able to look back on my launch and know that whatever came of it, I had done what I could to ensure its success.

I didn’t quite make it. I broke down last Saturday – in a very big way. I didn’t even edit, or return to completing one of my several works in progress; I began a new novel. The first day I wrote three thousand words, the day after that, four thousand more. Yesterday I did nothing else and added seven thousand words to the project; in seven days I’ve written twenty-seven thousand words in a book that a week ago I hadn’t even conceived. Today I wrote most of a four-thousand word short story, plus a thousand-word blog post, plus this little one here – I simply don’t want to stop. I don’t want to stop.

I had forgotten how easy it was, how smoothly the words could flow and fly off my fingers, how frustrating it could be to be hampered not by my mind but by the slow speed of my typing and the ability of my back to tolerate being hunched for long hours over a computer. I had forgotten how good it feels to do it, to relax and fall into it, what it means to be working at writing instead of working at promoting my writing.

I forced myself to forget. I didn’t want to remember. I needed to be promoting; I didn’t need to be writing. But now I wonder if maybe I did.

Lori Schafer – Author Feature

I have an author feature today on BooksandOpinions.com. Many thanks to reviewer, proofreader and editor Angela Gibbs for having me!

booksandopinions.com

Lori Schafer ImageExperiencing great success with her story “On Hearing of My Mother’s Death Six years After It Happened“, Lori Schafer is an author you want to get to know. She has also authored “Stories From My Memory Shelf“, which I will be picking up in short order.

On Hearing of my Mother's Death Cover Image

I wrote a review of “On Hearing of My Mother’s death Six Years After It Happened” on November 19th, and you can find it here: http://booksandopinions.com/2014/11/19/on-hearing-of-my-mothers-death-six-years-after-it-happened-lori-schafer/ 

I was fortunate enough to get to read this story before it was released to the public, and I cannot recommend this book enough. It is a wonderful read, and if you have ever had to deal with, live with, or witness the devastating effects that mental illness has not only on an individual, but on their family as well, you need to read this story!

Lori is a writer of serious prose and humorous…

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