My Life’s Journey With Mental Disorder – A Memoir

Bipolar disorder and drugs unfortunately seem to be bed fellows. I was involved with a homeless shelter for several years and a number of the clients were Bipolar and every last one of them had addiction issues, booze, drugs, and often both. Bipolar is a cruel master, and when combined with drugs it becomes a debilitating cocktail. Jobs can not be held down, bills can not be paid, and almost inevitably homelessness is the result.

Carlton Davis never made it to the ranks of the homeless, he had a caring and long suffering wife who supported him both financially and spiritually. Now at age 62 Carlton has been sober for 5 years, and through trial and error the doctors seem to have found the magic combination of drugs that have elevated the worst aspects of bipolar, however it has been a long hard road.

Bipolar Bare is a complex read, it jumps around from present day to his childhood, and much of the book concerns his alter ego Carlotta. Carlotta is both his demon and his mentor. Though Carlotta Carlton lives an entirely different life, gay sex, cross dressing, and the always present drugs. This is a modern day Jeckal and Hyde story.

As with many addicts, it started simple, he liked to smoke pot, however during one manic episode decided to move down to Crack Cocaine. Crack is insidious, a short time high, and a long time longing. Hooked from that first time high, you cannot walk down another direction. The $20 a day habit escalates into a $200 a day habit.

Bipolar Bare reads like a living nightmare, as Carlton Davis drifts in and out of reality. We get to follow Carlton as he battles his demons in rehab. Only to relapse on the very day he completes the program.

All in all Bipolar Bare is a very disturbing read. Bipolar by itself is a huge problem. the mood swings are huge, from manic to depressive in the beat of a heart. In Carlton’s case the depressions were so bad that he attempted suicide, and certainly often thought of death. Crashing his car, throwing himself off a bridge, or overdosing. When you add the Crack to this combination you get a very serious situation.

By trade Carlton was an architect, a trade he has had to give up due to the side effects of the medicine he takes. He is also an artist, and Bipolar Bare contains some of his drawings from his crack days. To say the least they are dark in nature. They would keep a psychologist busy for months.

Actually I will make an observation, it is purely anecdotal and unscientific. I mentioned earlier that I had had some exposure to bipolar people. When I look at the ones I knew fairly well, there was a common thread. They all shared an interest in the graphic arts. It could just be a coincidence, however I recently read another book on bipolar and that author also shared the graphic arts interest.

If you, or you know of someone contemplating experimenting with Crack, I strongly urge you to read this book. Crack is insidious. A destroyer of body and soul. I admire Carlton Davis for his courage in writing this book.

I also admire his wife to who the book is dedicated to. The dedication reads:

This book is dedicated to my wife, Virginia Tanzmann. She has stuck with me through thick and thin, good and bad, sane and insane.

You can order your copy from Amazon. Carlton also has a companion web site.

Simon Barrett

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