Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Excerpt from "Somewhere Over the Rainbow, I’ve Lost My Damn Mind," by Derek Thompson

From the author: This book fills the void that other bipolar memoirs have left empty as a day-to-day personal account of living with bipolar from a writer in the Millennial Generation. What started as a therapeutic process for dealing with my bipolar disorder I’ve transformed into hopefully a guide for others out there fighting. Somewhere Over the Rainbow is more than an account of coming to terms with a mental health condition; it’s a story of being young and feeling lost, dealing with heartbreak and still finding plenty to laugh about, no matter what happens.

So my blood work came back from the lab this week. You would have known about this if you followed my tweets; you really should, I’m funny sometimes. One irregularity popped out at me. They can’t tell a lick about my BMD [Bipolar Manic Depression] from these tests, but they did find out about my immense fear of scary movies, what I call atroxtheatrophobia. My brothers despise them too, so it’s a family trait.

I’ve only gone to the theater and watched three scary movies in my life:

1.) “The Blair Witch Project” in high school with Cuzin Art (I still make him go down basement steps before me).

2.) “Saw” while I was in the Witt Bubble on a double date (well, Tristan and Boomer went, so I had shades on in the theater and kept my eyes closed through most of it; #truestory#fact#honesty).

3.) “A Nightmare on Elm Street” in A-Town with my girlfriend whose name was so Southern she hyphenated it; she was way out of my league, and she got a kick out of annoying me by getting the entire ticket line to make fun of how nervous I was about the scary movie (good thing she was fine as hell or I wouldn’t have put up with that shit; who am I kidding, yeah, I would).

Ever since I can remember, I’ve had this fear of scary movies and shared it with my brothers. I think Monkey put it best when he described why he hated horror movies: “Let’s see how you do when you’re a seven- or eight-year-old kid and you’re home alone, out in the middle of the country in a remote cornfield, and your older brothers are the only ones around; and they’re scared as hell too. I guarantee you won’t be watching any of that scary movie shit then.”

The last thing my brothers and I were about to do on a dark, cold, weary and eerily calm night in the country was watch “Children of the Corn” (oh, and Crybaby Bridge; not real fond of you either). Instead, my brothers and I could probably be found watching Comedy Central and trying to laugh the fear out of our minds.

So of course when it comes to handing out symptoms of BMD, I get dealt one of my ultimate fears of horror films: psychosis. What can be more terrifying than the complete unknown? Nothing scares me like pure evil. Pure evil has no reason, no cause, and no justification for its ways; how can something without sympathy do anything else? That is what I see in my mania. It comes as it pleases and does as it pleases. The craziness that overcomes my world can be described simply as my own personal horror film come to life. Yet I’ve found pride in living with this. Pride in knowing I am strong enough to overcome my worst fears and then some. And I’m proud to know that I live in what others can only experience in horror movies. Boy, that sounds crazy, which kind of makes sense.

Learn more about Somewhere Over the Rainbow, I’ve Lost My Damn Mind and author Derek Thompson at www.somewhereovertherainbowthebook.com. Follow Derek on Twitter at @e4d01rok.

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