Thursday, May 24, 2007

it's official...

my application was received by Women Make Movies.

NOT accepted, but received.

I got the application in just under the wire (which I'm sure is just SHOCKING for those of you who know me), so I wasn't going to make any assumptions until I got the confirmation email:

Dear Applicant—

We have received your application for Fiscal Sponsorship with Women Make Movies.

Due to staff and Review Committee participation in upcoming film festivals, our notification date has been pushed back by a couple of days: We will be sending notification letters via email by June 22. You will be notified either way by that date, via this email address you have provided us. Thank you in advance for your patience!

Thank you for your interest in Women Make Movies’ Production Assistance Program. We look forward to reviewing your proposal.

Best Regards,
Production Assistance Program Staff

So -- when I know, you'll know!

But honestly -- and I'm 95% sure I mean this...

I hope WMM grants me fiscal sponsorship. I do. BUT I will say that getting the proposal done and turned in was a big deal. Bipolar Girl, no longer just an idea, but words and ink on paper! MOST importantly, I stayed pretty calm throughout, got a decent amount of sleep, and didn't crash after. Did I mention I didn't crash after?

I have told dozens of people, "go ahead and apply, and if you don't get approved, they'll tell you what to fix and you can resubmit." I think I believe it. So, that's what I'll do.

And finally, thanks Mom&Dad. We did it!

having one's atoms rearranged is not always a pleasant thing

I've mentioned Dialectical Behavioral Therapy in previous posts; the once-weekly two hour group sessions and then an individual therapy session are making a huge difference in my life -- I can see the positive changes. It's all very solid and skills based -- practical skills to help sensitive people transform into sturdy sensitive people. I've held for many years that insights -- even brilliant, life-changing ones -- are only so helpful without a plan of action.

My last big moment o'truth came when my therapist and I were talking about how hard it is for me to hang on to positive emotions -- I finish something I'm proud of, or have a good day -- and then I come home and want to avoid how I'm feeling by eating something yucky or wandering around to WalMart (only if it's late and nothing else is open -- still, it feels gross).

So N (that's my therapist) gently suggests that one of the reasons I might be afraid of holding on to positive feelings is because in the past, I had trouble distinguishing between positive feelings and mania.

It was a huge moment. YES. This weird avoidance thing (I mean, why would anyone want to avoid feeling good) wasn't just about self-esteem, or the manic cycles that occur when I work my heart out getting something done (and don't get enough sleep) and then crash into a deep depression (boy, howdy, that's a lot of fun).

But the REALLY AMAZING part of the revelation was that I knew that I am learning the observational skills to discern:

oh, this is what happy feels like.
oh, this is what mania feel like.

I can check in with my body -- happiness feels very flowy, and even excitement feels like it's coming inside and flowing outward. I feel very certain when I'm happy. I feel grateful.

Mania feels like it's coming at me -- and I breathe funny.

So I've got these mad skills to put my brilliant moments of self-reflection (and the trusted observations of those around me) to work.

I'm learning, slowly, to bear all kinds of emotions. I remember the first time I watched "sad" get born, then crest and fall. And I survived without distracting myself with some kind of not-so-helpful behavior.

Some people may be born with the ability to exist with their emotions quite naturally. I spent years fighting them, and with good reason -- sometimes, they were way scary, and out of control.

I'd like to say I'm gracefully accepting these good, positive changes in my life, but I am sometimes scared. Between Tuesday's therapy and Wednesday's group session, I'm a often a wreck by Wednesday night. And then there is this _life_ that I'm supposed to lead. Your life is the laboratory, N said to me last night, as I sat clutching my cell phone, weeping in my car in the WalMart parking lot (that's a whole 'nother story).

Basically, I feel these shifts happening at the atomic level in my being, but feel like I have to keep the outside looking pretty much the same -- all right folks, keep moving, nothing is going on over here!

Sometimes I just get tired.

Sometimes even the good changes are exhausting.

In this moment, however, I feel hopeful.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Bipolar Girl Rules the World and Other Stories

There is SO much I want to say, in returning to this blog.

But the most important thing...on Sunday, July 9, 2006, I wrote that "someday, I would make a documentary film with the name "Bipolar Girl Rules the World," but until then, it's my blog." Well, on May 15 I turned in my proposal to Women Make Movies, a fiscal sponsorship organization in New York, NY. So if they say "yes," I'm officially open for business (meaning, I can raise money for the film).

Anyways, I did it!

The goal is to have the film done by around this time in 2009.

Ok, so one step at a time. Right. One step at a time.

For now, enjoy a rough sketch of Bipolar Girl! Notice her levitating pink cowgirl boots! And look for more updates soon!