Bipolar Bob’s BLOGs

March 1, 2007

Open House

Filed under: Bipolar, Friends — Bipolar Bob @ 6:05 pm


The Edmund Edelman Community Mental Health Center in West LA had a 10th anniversary open house. I have been seeing a Pdoc there for about 3 years. I just joined the art therapy group this Monday ( I went once last year, and didn’t want to add it to my schedule back then) and they asked if I had any artwork I wanted in the art show at the open house. I picked the perfect Monday to go back because I have some watercolors from years ago that I am very proud of. I don’t think that I would have won best of show, (as if it was a contest) but I’m sure that I was easily a close #2. Now that I think about it, there were a couple of other pieces that were of a high quality too. My problem is I’m too much of a realist, in my artistic renditions. I do watercolors, but I will work and re-work one little section of a piece for hours till it at least resembles the photo that I am working from. I need to loosen up with my work, it sure looks like it will paint faster. Part of me just doesn’t want to burn through that much paper, even though I have a bunch of good blank paper from when I painted years ago.  It’s just not cheap stuff. (sorry i wondered a bit there, back to the open house)


I got there too late to see the client theater group’s performance, but I heard good things about it. They had food and drinks, and a bunch of deserts. They had some music by clients too. I heard the namesake of the center Ed Edelman, former Los Angeles County Supervisor, speak about his thoughts when creating this center, and how his hopes have been exceeded. He also was given a collage done by the art therapy group. There were three collages given out and they all looked great.


Guest speaker Elyn Saks gave a great introduction and talk about her up coming book “The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness”. She is an associate dean and professor of law at USC and has had a hard fight with schizophrenia most of her life. I was very impressed by her talk but a good friend of mine, Ned, was very disappointed. He had heard her talk before about chronic depression, but I guess that she just came out as a schizophrenic recently. Since Ned has unipolar depression, he really wanted to hear more of her story, and right out of the box she says that she is schizophrenic. I bet he wanted to stand up and leave right then. Her story had similarity to mine, although her condition sounded much more harsh than my own, so I was very interested. The bottom line of her talk was, talk therapy got her through life, up to 4 and 5 times a week at times. She knows the myriad of pills do much of the work, but there is no substitute for support that you can get from quality individual therapy. She also read a few excerpts from her book. Some of the delusions she talked about sounded familiar, and some she just lost me. She took questions from the group assembled, but after 3 or 4 I got up and walked out as I was dying for a cigarette. I was tired, so I beat the rush to the elevator, and headed for home.

 I was stressed a bit shortly after I got there.  Once I had done the circuit around the artwork twice  I headed up stairs by the food.  I haden’t seen Ned and I assumed  he had come and gone.  As I felt like I and seen everything I was ready to leave.  He said he wanted to talk to me, but I was outta there.  I had pushed the button for the ultra slow elevators, and a minute later I spot Ned looking at the artwork at the other end of the hall.  That saved me.  He had been in the auditorium watching the theater group.  I am so glad I spoted him when I did.  


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