Life is full of disappointments. I know that. Everyone knows that. The trick is most people don’t let disappointments or hard times keep them down for long. My situation is a little different from most people’s though. I suffer from Bipolar II. It isn’t as nasty as Bipolar I, but I can tell you from personal experience that it messes a person up. Disappointments that hit someone with bipolar can dump that person into a deep, dark hole of depression from which he or she can barely escape. Perfect example is today. An agent sent me a rejection letter for a novel that I’ve written. This is a novel that was previously published, but unfortunately, the publisher went out of business. It averaged a 4.6 out of 5 on Amazon reviews. It’s a good book. This is about the fifth agent that has rejected it. A sensible writer would take the rejection as a challenge and send letters out to five more agents, but all I want to do is quit. I ask myself if writing is worth it. Do the rewards which come few and far between outweigh the difficulties that pile on like a heavy winter snow. I’m not good at disappointment or heartbreak. It devastates me.
I know people would probably laugh at me for saying this, but I think my bipolar disorder kicked in when I was 11 or 12. First, it runs in families, but I’m not going to get into that. Secondly, it is often triggered by an emotional trauma. When I was in sixth grade, my grandmother died. It was actually the first time I had ever really experienced the death of someone I truly loved. Gram had breast cancer, but the problem was, she didn’t tell anyone about it until it was too late to be treated. Of course, my recollections are a bit foggy because I was only 11 or 12. I remember the night she died. I was pretty stupid and did not understand the seriousness of the situation. I remember my mom coming into the bedroom in the middle of the night and saying something to my brother who was five years older than I. When I awoke, the next morning I discovered that my mom had not gotten us up in time for school. That was odd, but it still didn’t quite click in my mind. I ran out into the living room which was half filled with people, and I asked how Gram was. “Steven, Gram died last night,” my mom said. I ran into my room and started crying. My mom’s best friend — because my mom was distraught herself — came in to check on me. She came in to ask how I was. I couldn’t answer because I couldn’t think. She asked me if I wanted to talk about it, but again I didn’t answer. She told me she would leave me alone. I really didn’t want to be alone, but I didn’t stop her.
My life was not the same after that for a lot of reasons which I will write about in future blogs. One ironic thing I remember is that when I went back to school only one kid asked me how I was doing. It was the preacher’s kid that I had beaten up. Sixth grade went downhill fast after that, but junior high was even more horrific.
The story of my grandma’s death did not make it into Walt Michaels is a Weenie because it’s just too hard to write about. Besides, I wanted Walt Michaels to be a funny story with a few good discussion topics addressed — topics like friendship, bullying, and not judging others. The book that the agent rejected was the really depressing one.
Walt Michaels will soon be debuting with a new cover. Look for a sale on it this month. Thank you for your interest and support.