I completed the final edits of our book Gum on My Shoe Saturday. I expected to feel excited and successful. Instead I felt naked, vulnerable and afraid. Afraid of how people will judge me. It was very uncomfortable.
On Sunday I headed to the City Theater to see Next to Normal. The play opened up the insides of bipolar and sang it loud and clear. There was nothing I didn’t resonate with and it left no stone unturned. Eyes stayed moist. It left me whole again and sure of my course. The silence of mental illness is being broken and the brave me is a part of that.
Next to Normal is a rock musical with book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey and music by Tom Kitt. It won a Tony Award for Best Score; a Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
Its story concerns a mother who struggles with worsening bipolar disorder and the effect that her illness and the attempts to alleviate it have on her family. The musical also addresses such issues as grieving a loss, suicide, drug abuse, ethics in modern psychiatry, and the underbelly of suburban life.
One in four have mental illness. No one is untouched.
And now for a few days bedrest.