Being bipolar is no picnic. You guys know this much from my random bursts of “The sky is falling on my poor misfiring brain!” posts on Twitter, and occasionally this blog. On most days, “normal” days for me, I sense the mood shifts and change course accordingly with music and other positive triggers. Bad days, I wake up and nothing fixes my broken brain except isolation and heavy duty distraction. Usually in the form of favorite movies and cuddling my stuffed cow collection. (Yes, I have a stuffed cow collection. Obviously you haven’t been paying THAT much attention if you missed it.)
Then there are days like today. I can’t tell what, exactly, I’m feeling. And as much as I hate to say it . . . I blame BatKid.
The last few weeks, I’ve been in my own little bubble. October ran my body and mind through the wringer and it wasn’t until this week that I’ve felt anything resembling sane and healthy. Which would explain how I missed the announcement that today (November 15th) was the day San Francisco transformed into Gotham City to fulfill the wish of a terminally ill little boy.
Over the course of my frustrating morning–Microsoft Office hit a glitch and is updating, so I can’t write. My cold is trying to come back. I made my coffee too strong and am seeing sounds as I type this. Etc….–I’ve been catching snippets and pictures of darling little BatKid darting around “Gotham”, thwarting bad guys, like The Riddler, and saving damsels in distress. It makes me happy in the pit of my rotting soul to see how many people (Over 11,000 according to this article) came together to make this boy’s dream come true. But the instant that happy warms my heart, I remember. This boy is sick. We’re witnessing what may be his last grand adventure. His lukemia is in remission, but it could always swoop in like the Joker and claim this precious child. And as a parent, it hurts.
I can’t begin to imagine what BatKid’s parents are going through today, but I guarantee you they’re weeping more than I am while watching their baby live it up like the hero he is. There’s no doubt he’s a hero. And so are the thousands of people working to bring a smile to his face.
My bipolar tends to make me a perpetual pessimist. It is easier to assume everyone and everything sucks. Why? Because it is a shorter emotional distance from pessimistic to disappointed. The drop from overjoyed with humanity to soul-crushing disappointment is crippling. But today, I couldn’t help but hit happy. BatKid did that for me. I wish I could cling onto his joy. However, that broken part of my head tosses reality in my face. He’s being treated for leukemia. There’s a monster lurking in this boy’s body that could strike back at his treatments at any time. Something not even Batman can defeat. And it sucks. I can’t put into words how much that realization hurts. It hurts more because I am a parent, albeit reluctantly. (That’s a long story….) I couldn’t help but to put myself in the shoes of the parents. Wish I hadn’t.
It was so much easier to simply smile at the footage of an adorable little BatKid racing into a building to catch The Riddler. You can’t see anything through tears.
There’s not much point to this post. Just needed to vent what’s muddying up my brain today. I guess I could say, give thanks to the kind souls who put together BatKid’s epic day. Live by their example and do what you can to make life easier for someone who could very well end up in the dark pit of depression that comes with illness. Even if it is something as simple as baking them their favorite cake, sitting with them through a marathon of their favorite show, being there to hold their hand because they need to feel the touch of someone to remember that they are still alive.
A lot of people are doing this daily count of what they are thankful for on Facebook. To me that seems awfully hollow. Reach out to the people you are thankful to know and love. Spend a little time with them, even if it is via a quick email session or Skype call. Show your thanks by making them smile, just like BatKid is smiling today at all of the folks who are cheering him on while he saves the day in Gotham.