Is there – Is there balm in Gilead?

I know there has been a tendency here to dwell on the negativity and the darkness that comes from living with Bipolar Disorder.   Not necessarily because that’s the way I live my life, but the goal has been to share some insight into the pervasive impact this illness can have.  It really isn’t always bad however, and there are many times where life can be just ‘normal’.  (Or statistically common… for me there is no normal.)

I went out with a lady friend for dinner and dancing last night…  She and I have become ‘groupies’ to a local band that was playing, and we met up with a bunch of friends who also follow the band.  Dinner was awesome!  I do try to eat healthy most of the time, but last night was not one of those times.  Big plate of Southern Barbeque (Vinegar based pulled pork for those who don’t know any better) Hush puppies, fresh coleslaw, and a big ‘ol bowl of Brunswick Stew.  Washed down of course with some cold Pabst Blue Ribbon.   My arteries are hardening again just thinking about it!  The band is a group of old men who still rock out to 60’s and 70’s covers.  And rock out they did!  Santana, Van Morrison, Wild Cherry, KC and the Sunshine Band, Loggins and Messina, the Doobie Brothers; they covered them all, and more.  I danced to every song…  and with all my friends.   I even danced with a few lovelies who weren’t part of our group (Maybe I’ve still got ‘it’ after all!)

And to make it interesting, Ex-Wife #3 was there.  Now understand, Ex #3 is the one  who is 12 years older than I am.  The one that made my life so miserable.  The one I cheated on and the one that hates me with a passion that only a scorned Italian New York Woman can have.  She always prided herself on… No, insisted on… being with the ‘in’ group when we’d go out. But last night, it was MY band and MY in group.  I don’t know what she was drinking, but judging from the look on her face it must have been pretty sour.   I didn’t talk to her (we don’t talk) but I did bump into her at the bar… where she was getting her tab cleared, and I was getting another round.   If looks could kill…..   Funeral will be Tuesday at 11, internment to follow.   Not a happy woman.  She left early…. alone.  Guess the friends she was waiting for decided to go somewhere else without her.  Darn.  Not that I am mean about it, or wish her any ill will, because I don’t.  There’s just a karmic satisfaction in knowing that what goes around does indeed come around.

So we danced.  And we danced.  We had drinks with the band during breaks, and we made some new friends.  We laughed, we danced (there’s a theme here), and everybody had an awesome time.   There was no second guessing or self-consciousness.   The music just moved me, and the laughter was unforced.  And there was no drama, even with #3 being there.   I drank too much, I spent too much money (including the cab fare home), I smoked too many cigarettes and I’m sure to be sore from all the activity.  And it was worth it.  It was worth it all…   For last night, there was no illness.   There was no pain.   There was no fear or loneliness.  Just a great time out with good friends.  Bipolar Free.

So you see?   It’s not all darkness and shadows.   There is light to be found on even the darkest of nights.    And yes Edgar… Sometimes The Raven is wrong.  There IS balm in Gilead.

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