Neuroscience, Writing

The Happy Hypomanic’s Handbook

“Intense creative episodes are, in many instances, indistinguishable from hypomania” — Kay Jamison

Besides the birth control pill, I’d only ever had two prescriptions, but those two were the dyna-combo to do me in—I suffered paradoxical effects from Clonazepam, and Ambien was no joke.

It took me until 2011 to make the connection.

Clonazepam induced hypomania, and I suffered benzodiazepine induced depression and rebound insomnia.

I never took another pill, but was dismayed to learn just how long my body would take to be rid of the drug and it’s cognitive interference: difficulty concentrating, confusion, irritability.

Worse yet, it seems they’d broken my happy.

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Culture

I Googled Gidget and Windansea

Are You There God? It’s Me, Gidget.

“Nobody knows I’m a real person — they think “Gidget” is Sandra Dee or Sally Field.”—Kathy Kohner Zuckerman

@Ori would remember the night I walked and told him of all the creepy sites on those dark streets which weave the beach along Windansea into Draper Villas…

< BEGIN CONTEXT / SHIFT TO PRESENT TONE >

firefly flying quietly why she cries, no one notices me...

Authentic Non-Fiction Life

[Richard] Powers is especially effective at illustrating the way the story of the girl with “the happiness gene” spreads across the Internet and, only slightly less rapidly, the traditional media. Thassa’s mailbox starts filling up: “Strange people with Hotmail accounts want me to make them happy. One woman wants to hire me as her personal trainer. She thinks her soul needs a professional workout.”

… This review was written by Jay McInerney (“How It Ended: New and Collected Stories”) and published in The New York Times Sunday Book Review, October 1, 2009. … when I first stumbled into this story the other day, I did a double take… it read like my life…

“Meanwhile, Kurton’s research team is on the verge of publishing a study that correlates specific genetic codes with emotional well-being. But despite the large sample on which the study is based, Kurton is holding back on publication, looking for some missing datum to confirm his findings. When Thassa’s story comes to his attention he thinks he may have found it. …”

I remember listening to a Nobel Prize contending researcher detail his observations of my hyperthymic temperament…

“Kurton persuades Thassa to undergo a series of tests, and when the results are finally published — the ebullient Thassa’s genetic material having confirmed the initial findings — media interest in the Happy Gene Girl goes manic, culminating with an appearance on a Chicago talk show whose host, known to all simply as Oona, “is, by any measure, the most influential woman in the world.” In a canny elision, Powers gives us only hints of Thassa’s triumphant performance, by way of its echoes on the Internet. … “

My effervescent happiness, despite the most contrary of circumstances, led me to be taken and tested, poked and prodded, and accused many more times of being “on something”. Continue reading

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Angela Mari
Are You There God? It's Me, Gidget, Neuroscience

Hyperthymic Novelty—On Generosity: An Enhancement

“What will happen to life when science identifies the genetic basis of happiness? Who will own the patent? Do we dare revise our own temperaments?…”

I once met a physics teacher who immediately recognized me as the main character in the play he was nearly finished writing.

“Absolutely EVERYTHING I remember is realLithium just added a layer of fantasy on it (which I could perceive even at the time).”

Born to Be Happy

After reading an article “Born to Be Happy“, I found myself emailing Hagop Akiskal, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the International Mood Center at the University of California at San Diego whose “work on dysthymia, cyclothymia and hyperthymia challenged the concept of personality disorders, led to the development of a new instrument (Temperament Evaluation of Memphis, Pisa, Paris and San Diego (TEMPS-A)), thereby contributing to the worldwide renaissance of the temperament field.”

“Information may travel at light speed, but meaning spreads at the speed of dark.”

But being told that I was “hard wired for happiness” seemed a bit over simplified and “hard wired” seemed an insult to this interaction-designer-wannabe-cognitive scientist studying neurogenesis and neuroplasticity.

On “Rewiring the Real

“Digital and electronic technologies that act as extensions of our bodies and minds are changing how we live, think, act, and write. Some welcome these developments as bringing humans closer to unified consciousness and eternal life. Others worry that invasive globalized technologies threaten to destroy the self and the world. Whether feared or desired, these innovations provoke emotions that have long fueled the religious imagination, suggesting the presence of a latent spirituality in an era mistakenly deemed secular and post-human.”

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Angela Mari
Are You There God? It's Me, Gidget

Hello God, It’s Me, Gidget.

I was on some kind of a never ending silent treatment as if somehow God would actually read my blog and somehow respond to me—among everything else going on in this mad, mad world, including and not limited what seemed like the near blanket agreement that if one was to believe in God then it was merely a delusion which at best should be considered a form of mental illness…

As if…

“Got some attachments and baggage I’m working on leaving.”

10,000 hours, met Malcolm Gladwell at Microsoft.

“Sounds of the city on Capital Hill,
I wore cowboy boots
and did line dances on the bar
where the time went slow
while I learned to drink PBR.”

Here’s looking at you, Rosie.

You thought you could distract me from my homework? I’m going after the belly of the beast, and I couldn’t be more hungryYou carry the blood of my brothers, sisters, prophets and prophetesses.

Following this I saw another Angel descend from Heaven:

His authority was immense,
his glory flooded earth with brightness,
his voice thunderous:

“Ruined, ruined, Great Babylon, ruined!
A ghost town for demons is all that’s left!
A garrison of carrion spirits,
garrison of loathsome, carrion birds.

All nations drank the wild wine of her whoring;
kings of the earth went whoring with her;
entrepreneurs made millions exploiting her.”

Just then I heard another shout out of Heaven:

Get out, my people, as fast as you can,
so you don’t get mixed up in her sins,
so you don’t get caught in her doom.

Her sins stink to high Heaven;
God has remembered every evil she’s done.

Give her back what she’s given,
double what she’s doubled in her works,
double the recipe in the cup she mixed;

Bring her flaunting and wild ways
to torment and tears.

Because she gloated,
“I’m queen over all, and no widow,
never a tear on my face,”

In one day, disasters will crush her—
death, heartbreak, and famine—

Then she’ll be burned by fire,
because God, the Strong God
who judges her, has had enough.

I am strengthened by fortified wine, I nibble on dry bread and think of the dust which composes my flesh, upon which you tread with scaled measure.

Welcome tothe Heist.”

A girl and her kite, following the lead of a boy who decided to fly his and brought her holy spirit while she bathed thinking she was alone in the world.

Time to fly guys.

Eagle is in formation.

Our virtue is in our name.

I am Christian.

I treat this like my thesis

Well-written topic, broken down into pieces

I introduce then produce, words so profuse

And then amend it, every law that ever prevented

Our survival since our arrival documented in The Bible

Like Moses and Aaron

Things gon’ change, it’s apparent

And all the transparent gonna be seen through

Let God redeem you, keep your deen true

You can get the green too

Watch out what you cling to, observe how a queen do

And I remain calm reading the 73rd Psalm

Cause with all this going on I got the world in my palm

I’m making sure I’m with the 144

I’ve been here before this ain’t a battle, this is war

Word to Boonie, I make salat like a Sunni

Get diplomatic immunity in every ghetto community

Had opportunity went from Hoodshock to Hood-chic

But it ain’t what you cop, it’s about what you keep

And even if there are leaks, you can’t capsize this ship

Cause I baptize my lips every time I take a sip

Lauryn Hill, Final Hour, The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill

You won’t find me in the “Kingdom Hall” on Sunday, as I no longer confuse being a Christian with choosing a Religion.

No, you’ll find me talking to the “homeless” wanderer who I can’t take home, or in the bar the true ‘neon chapel‘, not in one of the apostolic mockeries down the street.

Angie Baby, Airwalker

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Are You There God? It's Me, Gidget, Writing

Happy Anniversary — Your Freedom is Fake

Just pick up a phone and dial.

You might reach Ken Kesey.

Which will they prove true?—that I plotted and scripted the scenes, and thus am crazy, or that they are guilty.

Hint: why not both?

Good thing I don’t believe in an eye for an eye. It’s not like anyone is going to see this anyway. 😉

The Cast of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest Posing for their photograph on location at the Oregon State Hospital, Salem, Oregon 1974 — Mary Ellen Mark

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