Dear Loyal Readers,
As I write this, my husband is flying my kid and me from point A to point B. If you’re thinking, “Wow. He’s a pilot. They must be loaded. I bet he’s flying them in their private jet,” then you are just plane crazy. (Pun intended, thanks Pam.) We’re flying in a commercial MD 88 with 147 other special-snowflakes. The fact that he’s the pilot is purely coincidence. The odds of this coincidence are the same as winning the lottery. However, as I exit the aircraft, he will hand me a small wad of cash. Jackpot! Thanks for flying the friendly skies. (I forgot my ATM card and only have a credit card and $6.34 in coins in my backpack.) I’ll pay him back when my blog goes viral, but the odds of that are the same as hitting the Powerball…twice, which would be just plain crazy. The Odds.
For those of you who are dying to know, Doug the Pug’s missing puzzle piece has not been found. I must admit, I lied in Part 1. Despite saying I wasn’t crazy enough to search pet poop, I did look for the missing puzzle piece in the cat box when I changed the litter yesterday. (Cats are sneaky, conniving assholes. I was so sure it would be in there. Disappointing.) I guess I am JPC Jen.
For me, the feeling of missing a puzzle piece is not much different from the feeling you get when you misplace your keys, phone, or wallet. Actually, that’s a lie, too. It’s a huge difference. Losing a puzzle piece doesn’t launch me into the sheer, gut-wrenching, butt-puckering panic that losing everything that’s a pain in the ass to replace does. Perhaps it’s not the “feeling” of missing but rather the “idea” of loss that’s so disturbing and upsetting to me.
Do me a favor and play along. What’s the first thing you would think if you couldn’t find something of importance or sentimental value to you? (If you’re my husband, you would think I threw it out.) I’m guessing most of you would think, “It’s lost.” Lost as in GONE…for good. The word “lost” is often associated with permanence. Think about it. If I said to you, “I lost my dog,” you might be hesitant to reply, because you wouldn’t know whether to offer to help me find my dog or to offer your condolences for the loss, as in death, of my dog. However, if I said, “I have misplaced my dog,” then most assuredly you would offer to help me find the dog. (Unless of course, you’re an asshole. I know you’re probably not. Cats have the asshole market cornered.) The word misplaced is often associated with impermanence.
I am assuming that most people on a quest for a missing item will, at some point, think or even believe that the missing item is lost, as in gone, forever. Without that specific item, you are temporarily or permanently incomplete. Humor me, or NOT ALL THERE, if you will. When an item, especially something important, is missing there’s a horrible “feeling” associated with its loss because perhaps the “idea” is that it is permanently lost; hence, you are incomplete without it. Without that piece there is little or no peace.
I realize I’m working with huge assumptions in this entry. I am also aware that assumptions, large or small, run the risk of making an ass out of me. Please continue to indulge me by reading on.
Let’s simplify and return to the Doug the Pug puzzle. Let’s pretend there was a puzzle box with a picture of my face or yours on it. Inside the box is literally 1,000 pieces of my face or yours. After all, aren’t we really puzzles to begin with? Our DNA, our personality traits, our experiences, our environment, and the people who surround us are pieces that come together to form an image of who we are as individuals. Too often we make judgments about people based on their appearances or based on the cover of their puzzle box. Just like books, you should not judge a puzzle by its cover. The picture on the outside reveals nothing about the simplicity or the difficulty of the 1,000 pieces on the inside.
Last week I spoke to two people about my blog. Both said they didn’t see me as Bipolar. I had never thought about what Bipolar looked like. According to these two, I’m not the poster child. Should I be happy, relieved, or disappointed? One even said he would have nothing to offer as commentary on my blog page, because he “wasn’t that kind of crazy.” I laughed it off, thanked the person for the compliment, and explained I work hard so he doesn’t see my kind of crazy. It didn’t upset me. Such comments are the reason for this blog. Truth be told, I was actually diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder in 2004 but refused the label because “only crazy people are Bipolar.” The doctor agreed to call it a major depressive episode because, for whatever reason, that was literally and figuratively an easier pill to swallow and so began my romance with Prozac.
Here’s where I blow your mind or so that’s my wish. It doesn’t matter whose face is on the puzzle box, be it Doug’s, yours, or mine. There will always be at least one missing piece, and I’m at peace with that. See, we are living puzzles. We are not perfect and neither is the world around us; hence, we are all missing pieces, and consequently we are never complete. We are constantly looking for that which will complete us be it a person, a place, a profession, a cause, a cure, a religion, or (fill in the blank). Pieces are constantly being added in an effort to avoid the terrible feeling that something is missing or worse yet lost. Your puzzle simply grows bigger as you grow older. (I just hope my ass doesn’t do the same.) Sadly, I believe our puzzles are only complete when our lives end.
Bipolar Disorder is just one of my many missing pieces. Truth: I’m not all there. Never was. Never will be. There is no cure for Bipolar Disorder…yet. In an effort to fill that void, I started this blog. I am not cramming a wrong or new piece in a vacant spot. I’m just making my puzzle bigger, so that missing piece is just a pinhole, not an abyss. And there is nothing just plain crazy about that.