Hiya everyone, I'm Margo!
Ok... here it is 2010 and I am finally getting on the blog wagon. Why? Well I didn't really think I had anything to say but for those who know me as a motor mouth would beg to differ.
What really brings me here is because I want to use this blog as a source of self motivation in bringing my new ideas to life and I hope to get feedback that kicks me in the butt from time to time so I can stay focused. I also want to be an inspiration to other bipolar people by telling my story.
Did I say focused? Being bipolar and staying focused is a job in its own. So if you are bipolar and reading this give yourself a pat on the back if you get to the bottom of the page in one sitting. ;o)
...Crash Course in Bipolar...
Being biploar is like watching a rat on a wheel. They work so hard to get where they are going in their mind but never reach the destination. The mind racing is so frustrating. It takes me several times to read something and comprehend it. The things that are no big deal to most people become a huge focal point of frustration to me.
After spending my life (I'm 41) just thinking I was a bitch, I was diagnosed with bipolar about 5yrs ago. I had went back to school after a work related injury left me unable to do heavy labor. I was studying to become a k-6 teacher and was a 1st time mommy to 6 month old Sami (Samantha Danielle Roberts-Wolford).
I had no idea at the time that I was suffering from postpartum depression and bipolar. I just thought I was overly stressed going back to school after Sami's birth. I had somehow managed, with my inability to stay focused for long periods of time, to maintain a 3.5-3.8 GPA.
It was June 04. I drove to Illinois to visit my only sister Ruth (I love u sis) and my brother Curtis meet me there. I remember as he walked in the door at Ruths thinking he looked like a stroke victim. He was pale gray and looked totally drained of energy. My heart sank to my stomach. I was scared. We spent a few days together and Curt feel in love with Sami. I have the sweetest pic of him playing with her feet. We took a few pics and as he started to leave I remember this emptiness that came over me. I knew in my heart I would never see him again. I didn't know how, but I was sure that would be it. We went our seperate ways...
...The Day the World Stopped Spinning...
I don't remember who called me or what time of day it was I only remember that I couldn't breath and time stood still. My brother Curtis was dead just a few weeks after I saw him at Ruths. He would become the 2nd brother to die in his early 40's. My oldest brother Harold, died when I was much younger of a massive heart attack. Not to play down the grief of Junebugs death (that's whats the family called him), Curt's death brought me to my knees and would lead to some of the darkest days in my life.
I stayed with mom in KY while his funeral was held in Illinois...
...Trying To Move On...
I remember wandering through the halls trying to find classrooms I had spent the past 2yrs sitting in day after day. Feeling like I was losing my mind only to find out later I was having panic attacks. It was about two weeks into the first semester back after having Sami. I had worked so hard in college to succeed. I was a high school drop out and although I managed to get my GED I wanted to have a degree to be proud of.
I was sitting in one of my education classes watching the professor talk in slow motion. At least I thought she was. I couldn't breath and the people beside me felt like they where sitting in my lap. In that moment I decided to withdraw from college. I went home and became more irate than ever in my life. I sucked at being a mother, partner and human being.
Everything made me furious. The sound of my daughter crying, the TV, being spoken to. I hated myself and I hated life. I tried my best to shut the world out around me. I layed in bed for days at a time. As you can imagine this is the short version of the story.
I finally realized that I needed help. I had wanted a baby all of my life (I was 35 at the time) and I was screwing up the best relationship I had ever had in my life. it took a lot of courage to go to the doctor. I assumed he would say stop being a bitch and get your shit together. In fact he knew me better than I knew myself.
I decided if I was going to do this I had to put all of my cards on the table, and that I did. By the time I was finished telling him what a horrible person I was I was confident he would be so disgusted he would show me the door. On the contrary the man saved my life in that moment.
"Margo I think you are bipolar," he said. Bipolar? The only time I had ever recalled hearing the word bipolar was while standing in the hall at school and watching this girl as she pestered the shit out of everyone around her. Someone said she was bipolar and I thought I don't care if she is tripolar she is driving me nuts. And that's what I was!?
It took several combinations of meds to find the ones that works best for me. Even though life is much better since being diagnosed and continuing therapy, life does still offer its challenges.
...Don't Get to Comfortable...
I am a firm believer that if you don't sit on the edge of your seat and stay ready life will slap you in the face.
It had been a year or so since Curt died and even though I had not went back to school I was beginning to find some light at the end of the dark tunnel I had been in. I spent time going back and forth to KY and building a relationship with mom, one we had not ever had before. I left home when I was 15 and pretty much have been on my own since then. Oh... did I mention I am also a lesbian? Looking back I don't know if our relationship was strained due to me being gay or due to the fact that I wanted to be independent and didn't mind voicing my opinion. Probably a lot of both.
Sept 9, 2006 I got the call from my cousin that mom had died. I had just spent a week with mom a few days later so emotions was running high. All I can say is thank God I had been taking my meds. In that moment I was heart broken but strangly enough, calm. I think part of me knew it was coming because mom had spent a lot of the time I was there talking about what she wanted me to do when she died. I knew I had to keep it together and make sure her last wishes where carried out.
Leaving out the fact that I have brothers that are not worthy of being called men, moms funeral went over pretty good. Looking back now I realize I was in a state of shock for about two weeks after moms death. I sat there Sept. 11th (my birthday) staring at her casket wondering what the future would hold. Boy was I in for a ride...
...Shadows in the Darkness...
After returning to TN (where I live) I pretty much stopped taking my meds because I didn't think I was able to grieve properly for mom. What I later learned in therapy is that grieving is not based on the number of tears you shed but the way you choose to remember the ones you lose. Nevertheless I did grieve, to the point of almost ending my life. I layed in bed countless days from Sept to Jan 07 and spent more time thinking of how I could end my life than I did living it.
I have never felt more alone, frustrated, scared, sad, empty, helpless and all the other words that come with dispare and agony. Days ran into weeks and I know that I was as close to giving up as I had ever been in my life. Keep in mind that when you are bipolar the things that most people can deal with rationally becomes a full blown episode of irrational thinking.
In those moments I felt like I was in a hole that kept getting deeper and darker. The shadows around me swallowed my soul to the point there was no climbing out.
...Mom to the Rescue...
Early Jan 07. I was laying in bed one day and going through my daily regime of self pity and contiplating suicide. I felt like someone was looking at me. I opened my eyes and even though I didn't see anyone there I felt the spirit of mom all around me. Mom use to tell us when we where depressed or frustrated to "bend over and pull yourself up by the bootstraps and keep going forward."
That morning I sat up in bed and for the first time in a long time I was ready to live. I was sick of being sick and ready to do something about it. I got out of bed and took a shower. I decided to spend the day playing with Sami. Sami loves to paint so I took an old box and tore it apart, got the paints out and started creating out jungle. I had a big brush and Sami had a small one. At the same time we both went for the red paint and Sami said, "big brush get out of here I'm trying to get some paint." I replied, "little brush we can share this paint."
In that moment I visualized all these little paintbrushes running around that looked like humans. Yea, I know, crazy huh? Well little would I know that those paintbrush people would become what is now known as The Moinks Collection. I recently self-published a book based on those cartoon characters and even though the book is yet to break even with the publishing cost, the therapy it has given me is priceless.
Since being diagnosed with bipolar I have lived on disability and it has never been a dream of mine to live on a fixed income. So my plans are to somehow, someway take my Moinks on a rocket ride around the world until they land in every childs tv. Currently I am saving the money to repitch the idea to Nickelodeon. I pitched it once and the package made it to Nicks mail room and from that point they can't track it. Lost! The frustrating thing is Nick requires you to go through an attorney to be represented before they will consider your ideas. So that money is just wasted.
My goals are to help use a portion of the money made with my books (The Moinks Collection Presents Sami's Big Day by Margo Wolford) and future tv shows to help elderly people pay their power bills. Mom lived on a fixed incoome so me and Lisa (my partner) paid moms powerbill every month so she could have money for food. Something so simple made such a huge impact on moms life and I want to pass that on to others.
You can see the full collection of my Moinks as well as sneak peeks of the book @ http://www.themoinkscollection.com/
Next time I will try not to be such a debby downer and tell you about my As One LGBT logos :o)