People are going to ask me if they can read it, to which I’ll respond, “Oh, hell no.” I don’t even know why this is because it is a novel after all. Maybe because it’s too personal right now. Too taboo. Too untouched. Too raw and too abrasive. After all, I’ve never admitted it before.
But here it goes …
In the past 3 years, which encompassed 2 of my most dramatic and life-altering manias, 3 men have come forth asking if I would marry them; promises that were never fulfilled by any of them; each one living with the diagnosis and label of Bipolar One, such as myself.
What they don’t understand and never thought to ask, is that every one of my manic episodes, or spiritual emergencies, are saturated in this theme of a happily-ever-after; even after I have come to terms with this on the outskirts of mania and have decided that it isn’t for me in the long-run; yet it still remains an inticing notion of grace and a sort of decent way of closing a never-ending quest to be tethered to something real, something noble and something tangible.
But normal isn’t what I’m after and it never was. And the first man to see this promised marriage about 15 years back, which made me 25, after 10 years spent together, off and on.
Neither of us were after normal.
We were after magic.
And I have been ever since.
He talked in riddles and rhymes as he tickled the ivories on his grand piano, shifting his heart back and forth like a boomerang aiming for the kill. I cut the deepest recesses of my mind out of paper and fashioned them into characters who spoke lyrically and whimsically behind a stage; anything to hide the truth within my voice. He didn’t make sense. I didn’t make sense. Together, we made sense.
I was the quiet one with a bonfire heart, walking on the edge of a nightmare and a rainbow, feeling my way through oblivion that I could never quite articulate. Resting on a fence between reality and a dream. Not yet a bonified writer or artist, I fed off his music to soothe the chaos just beginning to brew within. I was just a kid, trying to make it up.
Until he came along to shake me up and wake me up.
He was the loud, boisterous soul and “Everyone’s Favorite Soulmate,” as the story goes. A musician. A writer. A poet. A lover. A genius. A philosopher. A comedian. A drug addict. An alcoholic. An arrogant fuck. A trapeze swinger who thought he knew no bounds in love and war and moved from one to the next with ease.
At that point, he was the only man that could break down my walls, which opened flood gates that he invetibly drown within.
He broke it off with absolutely no warning, the only warning I had were an onslaught of prophetic dreams I had months prior; something I hadn’t honed the skills necessary to decifer at the time. There was no closure and the life we had been planning disappeared with nothing but echoes in lonely halls of abandoned dreams.
He shut the trunk to my car, gathering the last bits that belonged to him.
“I love you, Liz,” he said looking me straight in my eyes; the love in which that had burnt out long ago.
I knew then that there was a monumental shift. That wasn’t my name. Not to him. Not once. I was Bits. He was Pieces. Lizzy, Elizabeth, Eliza. Wart on my ass. Anything but Liz.
That right then and there … that moment … seemed to have ripped a hole right through the fabric of the Universe. Time stopped and the vision froze, suspended in thin air, haunting me like a ghost who’d visit me at the threshold of every relationship thereafter for years to come.
Those were his last words to me in person after a decade of cyclical love and loss, make ups and break ups, pen to paper and notes to staff, heartbreak and healing, music and magic, tempers and rage, drug addiction and alcoholism, vice and virtue, laughter and tears, writing and composing, the Beatles and Techno, Whitman and Blake, philosophy and psychology, the Bible and debauchery, loyalty and affairs, deja vu and lucid dreams, traveling and couch surfing, sickness and health, thick and thin, in and out, upside down and inside out, building up and breaking down, the sun and the moon …. life and death, and everything in the space between.
He broke it off over the phone three days later. The only reason being, “I don’t know who you are from one day to the next. One day you’re up, one day you’re down. I’ll visit you in a mental institution, years from now, when you’re 300lbs. Then maybe you’ll understand I will always love you.”
The radio in the car shifted static and Stay or Leave by, Dave Matthews lit up the stage, sifting through my disbelief, demanding my grief to stand front and center as I turned the page.
He always said, “I’ll have to break up with you to fool you.” Meaning, in order to surprise me with a proposal, he’d have to pretend to break it off.
Needless to say, I believed him and it took 3 months of driving home in tears, bursting through that door to my cottage only to find it empty day after day, to finally realize that he was never coming home. 3 years later, I was able to date again. 5 years after that, I was able to forgive and let go, however, it is apparent after 4 solid bouts of psychosis that attaches itself to this notion of marriage and union, that a piece of myself has not fully healed.
It is now 15 years later.
And here I am reliving it all over with others I allowed myself to unravel in the midst of, and for which I fell madly head over heels.
They say that life will keep repeating lessons until they are learned, and is this quite possibly the case? I don’t know. It’s a bit dramatic and over the top, but I’ll take it. I’ll take it because I’ve learned a harder lesson which was this …
When the first man broke it off, I begged to become someone I wanted to marry, not that someone would want to marry me. Even at such a young age, I instinctively knew that true happiness was found within. I knew enough of love to know by then that, in the end, it’s not just a matter of loving another; ultimately, we are looking for a companion that shows us how to fall in love with ourselves. We are longing to see our reflection in another soul.
Fast forward and here I stand, fully immersed in who I am, and loving every bit of this Union with my Higher Self. Now that I know what I deserve from myself, I, in turn, know what I deserve from others.
Empty promises are not on the list.
However, it isn’t that which I’m after.
It’s the promises I made to myself, that I now remember.