09 August 2013 ~ 0 Comments

Guest Post by Derek Thompson, Author of Somehwere Over the Rainbow, I’ve Lost My Damn Mind: A Manic’s Mood Chart

The book, Somewhere of the Rainbow, began as a blog: if you had a delusional relationship with Britney Spears, wouldn’t you brag about it to the entire world? To create the book, I organized the blog entries like a mood chart, a therapeutic tool which assigns colors to states of mind. The entries are divided into three sections, Depressed, Normal and Elevated, and cover the past three years: my psych ward getaways, my vision of fighting alongside Jesus at Armageddon, my attempts to find a woman who accepts that I sometimes lose my mind. Therapy “sessions” with a fictional psychiatrist provide my present-day reflections on each entry. (I had to create my ideal shrink because I tend to fight with the real ones.)

Here’s a snippet from the book:

Submitted on 4/1/11


So my blood work came back from the lab this week. You would have known about this if you followed my tweets; you really should, I’m funny sometimes. One irregularity popped out at me. They can’t tell a lick about my bipolar from these tests, but they did find out about my immense fear of scary movies what I call atroxtheatrophobia. My brothers despise them too, so it’s a family trait.

I’ve only gone to the theater and watched three scary movies in my life:

1.) The Blair Witch Project in high school with Cuzin Art (I still make him go down basement steps before me).

2.) Saw while I was in the Witt Bubble on a double date (well, Tristan and Boomer went, so I had shades on in the theater and kept my eyes closed through most of it; #truestory#fact#honesty).

3.) A Nightmare on Elm Street in A-Town with my girlfriend whose name was so Southern she hyphenated it; she was way out of my league, and she got a kick out of annoying me by getting the entire ticket line to make fun of how nervous I was about the scary movie (good thing she was fine as hell or I wouldn’t have put up with that s#!t; who am I kidding, yeah, I would).

Ever since I can remember, I’ve had this fear of scary movies and shared it with my brothers. I think Monkey put it best when he described why he hated horror movies: “Let’s see how you do when you’re a seven- or eight-year-old kid and you’re home alone, out in the middle of the country in a remote cornfield, and your older brothers are the only ones around; and they’re scared as hell too. I guarantee you won’t be watching any of that scary movie s#!t then.”

The last thing my brothers and I were about to do on a dark, cold, weary and eerily calm night in the country was watch Children of the Corn (oh, and Crybaby Bridge; not real fond of you either). Instead, my brothers and I could probably be found watching Comedy Central and trying to laugh the fear out of our minds.

So of course when it comes to handing out symptoms of bipolar, I get dealt one of my ultimate fears of horror films: psychosis. What can be more terrifying than the complete unknown? Nothing scares me like pure evil. Pure evil has no reason, no cause, and no justification for its ways; how can something without sympathy do anything else? That is what I see in my mania. It comes as it pleases and does as it pleases. The craziness that overcomes my world can be described simply as my own person horror film come to life. Yet I’ve found pride in living with this. Pride in knowing I am strong enough to overcome my worst fears and then some. And I’m proud to know that I live in what others can only experience in horror movies. Boy, that sounds crazy, which kind of makes sense.

About the Book:
I figure that if I have to endure the worst parts of bipolar disorder, like psychosis, I get to laugh as much as possible along the way. Somewhere Over the Rainbow, I’ve Lost My Damn Mind: A Manic’s Mood Chart is the story of one Millennial’s bipolar life, with moments ranging from the ridiculous to the terrifying to the hilarious. Blending pop culture references and cyberspeak with psychiatric terms, it combines the funny, conversational tone of Sh*t My Dad Says with a nonlinear narrative structure similar to that of Manic.

Somewhere Over the Rainbow will be the first humorous memoir about bipolar by a member of the Millennial Generation–today’s young adults. My book’s humor, cultural references and Internet origins will appeal to Millennials, now entering their twenties and thirties, as well as younger Gen Xers. More than an account of coming to terms with a mental health condition, it’s a story of being young and feeling lost, dealing with heartbreak and still finding plenty to laugh about, no matter what happens.

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