I guess I don't exactly fit their perception of someone with a mental health issue. I'm not like that person they see in the media, the one who lives with something like bipolar disorder and all its negative stereotypes and stigma. I like those conversations I get to have with them afterward to try and explain what it's like for me to go manic, to show them a peek behind the curtain into what I experience when I'm psychotic.
But the main reason I like the conversations is that I know it's nothing like they think it is. They come in with this idea that mental health issues, including psychosis, is a cookie-cutter diagnosis. That somehow we're the same as the people they see in the media committing unthinkable acts. But for most us out there fighting, it's nothing like that.
So, what I've decided to do is try and recreate those conversations for you by writing a piece of fiction about what it's like for me to have a manic episode. I wanted to show you, to the best of my limited literary skill, what it's like to experience psychotic elements that blur the line between fantasy and reality—taking you into "the Spin," where my manic life is chaotic, hectic, unpredictable, and seemingly out of control.
Contrary to popular belief, my psychosis does not make me evil. In fact, when I'm manic, I believe I'm fighting evil for a good cause. Very much like other manics, my mania is filled with a shitload of spiritual elements and symbolism. I've taken elements from these episodes and layered them on top of a favorite story of mine. I hope this will convey some sense of what it's like in my manic mind right before I get committed.
Like manic episodes that can come and go seemingly when they will, this story doesn't have a traditional beginning, middle, and end. During my first manic episode, I went to bed fine one night and awoke seeing and feeling such shit that I thought someone had drugged me with hallucinogens. The next couple of weeks felt like a couple of hours, with that story coming to an abrupt end when I came to in the suicide watch wing of the psych ward.
This story is short and hopefully comes at you fast, with no real answers in the end, leaving you with only a weird, ambivalent anticipation of the psychosis you know is coming at you in the next manic episode. The same feeling many manics have after they come back down.
I also talk to myself constantly when I'm manic, so you will see a lot of internal dialogue to give you a sense of that state of mind. One last thing: I really wanted to imitate the feeling of my mania running wild in my mind, so I added short bursts of mixed memories from my past episodes—manic flashbacks. This also ties all the episodes together, just as the episodes during my psychosis in real life are tied together.
I've planted a few other surprises to give you as close to a manic experience I can. My hope is that this story will help change the negative stigma and stereotypes that are still strongly out there about mental health issues. I hope that showing what my psychosis feels like will help others out there to keep fighting theirs as well.
Perception is reality, and we need to start trying to change that toward the positive for mental health issues. This is my contribution to that cause. So, without further bullshitting: This is what that's like.
An astonishing—and astonishingly entertaining—history of Hollywood’s transformation over the past five decades as seen through the agency at the heart of it all, from the #1 bestselling co-author of Live from New York and Those Guys Have All the Fun.
The movies you watch, the TV shows you adore, the concerts and sporting events you attend—behind the curtain of nearly all of these is an immensely powerful and secretive corporation known as Creative Artists Agency. Started in 1975, when five bright and brash employees of a creaky William Morris office left to open their own, strikingly innovative talent agency, CAA would come to revolutionize the entertainment industry, and over the next several decades its tentacles would spread aggressively throughout the worlds of movies, television, music, advertising, and investment banking.
Powerhouse is the fascinating, no-holds-barred saga of that ascent. Drawing on unprecedented and exclusive access to the men and women who built and battled with CAA, as well as financial information never before made public, author James Andrew Miller spins a tale of boundless ambition, ruthless egomania, ceaseless empire building, greed, and personal betrayal. It is also a story of prophetic brilliance, magnificent artistry, singular genius, entrepreneurial courage, strategic daring, foxhole brotherhood, and how one firm utterly transformed the entertainment business.
Here are the real Star Wars—complete with a Death Star—told through the voices of those who were there. Packed with scores of stars from movies, television, music, and sports, as well as a tremendously compelling cast of agents, studio executives, network chiefs, league commissioners, private equity partners, tech CEOs, and media tycoons, Powerhouse is itself a Hollywood blockbuster of the most spectacular sort.