“I’m bipolar and I have hemorrhoids.”


That title got your attention, hmmm?  Let me start off by saying I have neither, but someone did….

As I get used to blogging, I realize I have a wealth of humor in my life and in my line of work.  I’m a therapist.  First, music, and now, soon, a licensed social worker.  Had I written down all the hilarity of previous jobs; in psychiatric wards, nursing homes, group homes, etc. I may have a decent memoir going, for now-I suppose I’ll write these antecdotes as the mood strikes.

When I was 30 (8 years ago), I was trying to ‘normalize’ life after having a serious brain tumor, a lot of surgery, and radiation.  It took me awhile to learn that I was experiencing a “new normal”…and this involved making big changes in my life.  But I started out doing what I knew best:  DRINKING!  Then not drinking, then drinking some more.

In this story, I was ‘drinking moderately’ (in my head.)  I was living with 2 wonderful roommates who hadn’t caught on to my bigger problem, and attempted to do something I used to do, pre-tumor.  Attend an annual festival of horseracing and (mostly) drinking in my town.  Moving from Utah to a Southern state, I’d grown to realize this city had many events that were really excuses to eat, drink, and be merry.  So to not do so, then, seemed impossible to the young girl who, pre-tumor, was there to party!

At the time, I had some unfortunate side effects from recovering from radiation, including dryness in my head but with a drippy nose that seemed to defy the odds.  Add to this a nostril I couldn’t feel (from surgery), my excessive paranoia from said drippy nostril caused excessive wiping of my face, usually too aggressively, as I couldn’t feel what I was doing.  Eventually turning this numb nostril into what looked like a split nostril.  As in, I looked like I had three nostrils.  I was trying, and my friends tried with me, to function ‘normally’ (even though there is no such thing).  “Sure, I’ll go to the festival, I’ll bring mimosas!”  And away we went….

The afternoon passed, and people became progressively more intoxicated.  I started feeling miserable.  I couldn’t hear most conversations, I over-compensated, I was self-conscious about my face!  This wasn’t how it used to be.

And then the blow:  An old ‘partying acquaintance’ approached us.  He was three sheets to the wind and loud.  I think we were introduced, and he exclaimed:  “Girl, look at you!  What are you trying to do to yourself!?  You need to LAY OFF THE COCAINE!  Your nose is a MESS! That’s DISGUSTING!”

Horrified.  My roommate quickly had him by the balls and ripped into him.  “What the fuck are you talking about, that GIRL just got over a BRAIN TUMOR, she hasn’t touched cocaine a day in her life (well, maybe once), and you’re gonna call her out on that?!  You should be ashamed of yourself, and you’d better apologize!”

And then something of hilarity occurred.  One of those “find the silver lining” in a situation sort of thing.  For me, this usually involves humor.  The guy pulled me aside, and said….

“Uhhhhhh……I’m really sorry…….and, uhhhhhh…….if it makes you feel better…..I’m bipolar and have hemorrhoids.”

Me:  “um.  wow.  ok.” (this story would be better with facial expressions)

REALLY?  My roommate’s lecture proved more than effective.  And such became the tagline of coming days, weeks, months, to remind us all of the humor of this shitty, shitty, situation.  ‘I’m bipolar and I have hemorrhoids.’

theLotus:  “Hey, man, that radiation sucked!”

Friend: “Well, it could be worse, you could be bipolar and have hemorrhoids!”

And on and on…..

I’ll post more on the “new normal” in subsequent years.  But on this day, I guess you could say, I felt…


Dedicated to Lindsay


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