Podcast: Depression, Bipolar, Schizophrenia, and Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day comes but once a year and is experienced in different ways depending on your age, gender, or whether or not you are in a relationship. Not surprisingly, mental health status plays a role in the way this holiday is experienced, as well.
Listen in as our hosts play the ever-popular Two Truths and a Lie to describe all they went through being depressed while dating.
“You don’t tell a girl, ‘Don’t take that pill.’”
– Michelle Hammer
Highlights From ‘Bipolar, Schizophrenia, Depression, and Valentine’s Day’ Episode
[1:25] We are playing Two Truths and a Lie – Valentine’s Day edition
[2:40] Michelle’s 1st story, “Alabama Stigma”
[6:10] Gabe’s 1st story, “High-school Dating Suicide”
[10:00] Michelle’s 2nd story, “The true story that Michelle told already”
[11:44] Gabe’s 2nd story, “Married Chick”
[17:00] Michelle’s 3rd story, “Break up Because Michelle Bad Mom”
[18:50] Gabe’s 3rd story, “Stupid Mother”
[23:00] The guessing begins!
Computer Generated Transcript for ‘Depression, Bipolar, Schizophrenia, and Valentine’s Day’ Show
[00:00:07]For reasons that utterly escape everyone involved, you’re listening to A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast. Here your hosts Gabe Howard and Michelle Hammer.
Gabe: [00:00:18] Happy Valentine’s Day, everybody! And welcome to this special loving and caring Valentine’s Day edition of A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast. My name is Gabe Howard and I have bipolar disorder.
Michelle: [00:00:31] Hi, I’m Michelle Hammer and I’m schizophrenic.
Gabe: [00:00:34] And today Michelle and I are finally going to admit to the world that we are in love-
Michelle: [00:00:39] We are in love-
Gabe: [00:00:40] and that-
Michelle: [00:00:44] with each other.
Gabe: [00:00:44] we share a Valentine’s Bond. Like, how do you picture our wedding going Michelle?
Michelle: [00:00:51] Ummm, really, really, really well.
Gabe: [00:00:53] I think it’s gonna go poorly. I mean first off we have the whole Jewish not Jewish thing. We have the schizophrenia bipolar thing. We have the fact that we’re not actually dating. I mean I think that’s going to really hurt some things.
Michelle: [00:01:05] I know, and you’re married and everything.
Gabe: [00:01:07] Oh, I forgot about being married.
Michelle: [00:01:08] Am I a sister wife?
Gabe: [00:01:09] You know, I haven’t really considered that possibility but I do think that this is a great segue into letting people know that we are bringing back, for the first time in 2019, and the first time in a few months –
Michelle: [00:01:22] Two truths and a lie
Gabe: [00:01:25] Two truths and a lie.
Michelle: [00:01:28] Two truths and a lie.
Gabe: [00:01:28] So, for those of you who are a little dense, Michelle and I are still frenemies. We are not in love. There’s going to be no nuptials. Don’t get angry that you’re not invited to the wedding because my spouse and your girlfriend would be furious.
Michelle: [00:01:44] Furious.
Gabe: [00:01:44] Furious.
Gabe: [00:01:46] For those of you who are new listeners, we used to play two truths and a lie all the time and then we just kind of stopped for a while because we just kind of ran out of stuff to talk about. But we got some emails from folks that wanted us to bring it back, and we thought well let’s bring it back for a special Valentine’s Day edition and use relationships as our marker. So Michelle and I will each tell three stories. Two of them will be true.
Michelle: [00:02:07] One of them will be a lie.
Gabe: [00:02:09] And they are going to be about dating, relationships, coupling, and there’ll be some sort of mental illness tie in. So I’m not going to tell you the story about the woman that I asked out and she said no because you know
Michelle: [00:02:26] That happened a lot, Gabe
Gabe: [00:02:26] Yeah
Michelle: [00:02:26] That happened a lot. You could tell that story about 500 times, can’t you?
Gabe: [00:02:26] That is very fair. But there is no mental illness tie in. So that is the goal. Okay, Michelle?
Gabe: [00:02:36] Yes.
Gabe: [00:02:37] I am going to use this term very loosely.
Michelle: [00:02:39] Yes.
Gabe: [00:02:39] Ladies first.
Michelle: [00:02:39] Ladies first? Okay, my first story. When I first moved to Astoria, I was on that kick of I’m going to find myself a nice New York Jewish boy. And I met a nice Jewish boy named Johnny, who worked as a nurse, you see. So he knows medical type stuff. Well, it came out that you know I take some medication for anxiety and stuff and he saw me take a pill at night. Well, this was before I was actually diagnosed as schizophrenic officially. And I was taking a pill at night to relax myself and he would say, “Don’t take that pill. You don’t need that pill. Don’t take it.” He was from Alabama and this is New York. So, he had like just not New York type things. I don’t know what I’m trying to say there, but he was from Alabama. Whatever.
Gabe: [00:03:30] Are you insulting Alabama?
Michelle: [00:03:31] I am insulting Alabama.
Gabe: [00:03:32] It really sounds like you’re trying to like really hard not to insult Alabama.
Michelle: [00:03:36] No, when you come from Alabama and then you come to New York you know there’s a different way of acting.
Gabe: [00:03:41] There’s like a culture shift there.
Michelle: [00:03:42] Yes, a culture shift.
Gabe: [00:03:43] One is one the south and one is New York City.
Michelle: [00:03:45] Yeah, but I just think maybe it was just an Alabama thing or that thing or you’re a nurse. But, you don’t tell a girl, “Hey, don’t take that pill before you go to sleep.” When the girl’s doctor said, “Here’s your pill before you go to sleep.” You know? You want to take that pill unless you wake up nuts.
Gabe: [00:04:02] Did you say so you don’t wake up nuts?
Michelle: [00:04:04] Kind of. Well I didn’t say that. And then one time he said to me that he could never date a girl that had ever tried to kill herself. And I was like, no.
Gabe: [00:04:14] And he didn’t know.
Michelle: [00:04:15] He didn’t know at this point.
Gabe: [00:04:16] He didn’t know that you had ever been suicidal.
Michelle: [00:04:17] No, no.
Gabe: [00:04:18] So you’re starting to get a lot of red flags here.
Michelle: [00:04:19] I’m getting a lot of red flags here.
Gabe: [00:04:21] But he still doesn’t know, you never told him. You just let these go unchecked. He said it, then you put it in your memory bank and then you moved forward.
Michelle: [00:04:28] Yeah, but I was still between diagnosis. I didn’t have a schizophrenia diagnosis yet. Although I knew something was up, and I was seeing a psychiatrist, and taking medication for something, but nothing specific.
Gabe: [00:04:39] But you had been suicidal.
Michelle: [00:04:41] Right. But I didn’t tell him.
Gabe: [00:04:42] Because?
Michelle: [00:04:42] What was I going to say? Like, “Oh, I guess we’re breaking up. Because of oops!”.
Gabe: [00:04:50] ‘Cause of “oops?”
Michelle: [00:04:51] ‘Cause of oops.
Gabe: [00:04:51] All right
Michelle: [00:04:51] And my whole story here, is that we did break up. And I’m so glad we did. Because, obviously, that was not going to work out. Oh, I’ll tell you how we broke up. So he’s trying to break up with me, and I was a little upset about it. I kind of wanted to stay with him. And then he says, “I heard that clingy girls it means they were molested as a child. Were you molested as a child?” And I go, “Excuse me? OK, I think it’s time that you just leave. Now.”
Gabe: [00:05:18] So he had a lot of misconceptions about trauma, about mental illness, and about mental health in general.
Michelle: [00:05:24] And he was a nurse.
Gabe: [00:05:26] Wow. And look, I know this might not be the intent of your story, but if this story is true, this nurse is out there practicing with other people. I have no idea if this story is true or not, but I hope to God this one is the lie.
Michelle: [00:05:40] He was a nurse.
Gabe: [00:05:41] He was a nurse?
Michelle: [00:05:42] He was a nurse.
Gabe: [00:05:42] Who’s from Alabama?
Michelle: [00:05:44] He’s from Alabama. He was a nurse. He told me not to take my pills because I don’t need them, and he can never date a girl that has tried to kill herself, and all clingy girls must have been molested in the past.
Gabe: [00:05:54] So he was a jackass?
Michelle: [00:05:56] I wouldn’t say jackass. More like dumb ass. Dumb ass.
Gabe: [00:05:59] Dumb ass, okay. All right so we’re gonna call that story “Alabama Stigma.”
Michelle: [00:06:03] Yes, “Alabama Stigma.”
Gabe: [00:06:05] So, Michelle’s first story is Alabama Stigma. We’re going to start my first story, now. . .
Michelle: [00:06:10] Let’s hear it, Gabe.
Gabe: [00:06:11] When I was in high school, all the way back in high school, I wasn’t diagnosed with anything, I didn’t understand mental illness at all. I believed, as I’ve said a million times on the show, the pop culture definition of mental illness. So I thought I was an asshole. Because I knew that I wasn’t doing what my parents asked me to do. But I didn’t think that there was any sort of illness or disorder or anything that would involve medical intervention. So, eventually I started dying and a lot of people don’t know that I met my first wife in high school. But long before we were dating, I asked other women out. And as you did joke, I was fat in high school, I had really bad acne. I just was not popular with the ladies. And as much as I would like to blame that on bipolar disorder, yeah, I don’t think that was it.
Michelle: [00:07:06] Well. . .
Gabe: [00:07:07] It wasn’t.
Michelle: [00:07:08] Was it like the five hundred and fifty pounds?
Gabe: [00:07:10] I think being a pimply faced fat ass with no personality and untreated mental illness is probably just not what high school girls are looking for.
Michelle: [00:07:19] I would have to agree with that, Gabe.
Gabe: [00:07:21] Yeah, but I didn’t understand this. I thought that the reason that people didn’t date me is because I didn’t – you’re in high school. So I didn’t understand that whole, you know, high school isn’t how the real world works. I was at a small high school, too. There’s only 36 people in my graduating class.
Michelle: [00:07:36] Are you kidding? There was eight hundred in mine.
Gabe: [00:07:37] Exactly. Exactly. So I was in a small town and just really, firmly, one hundred percent believed that the reason that nobody wanted to date me is because I was a garbage person. I was worthless. I was bad. And I thought about suicide every day for as far back as I can remember, and that was true in high school as well. And when I tried to date, when I put myself out there, when I asked girls out, they said no. This all fed into this belief that nobody would love me. So, I don’t have, like, a story about one specific girl or person. I really just have this idea. I asked so many people out, I tried to go on dates, I just put myself out there. And I was constantly rejected. It all fed into that paranoia and that delusion that I am unlovable, worthless, and deserving of death. I didn’t know.
Gabe: [00:08:33] I just didn’t know that some people just don’t do well in high school. There are plenty of people that do perfectly fine when they hit their 20s or they hit college, that just don’t do well in a small town in Pennsylvania with 36 people who like to hunt deer.
Michelle: [00:08:48] Yeah, I don’t. I didn’t date very well in high school either.
Gabe: [00:08:51] Yeah.
Michelle: [00:08:51] I have to say. The beginning of high school –
Gabe: [00:08:54] But I really, really genuinely, honestly felt that it wasn’t just because I hadn’t come into my own, because I hadn’t grown up. I hadn’t developed a personality. I honestly thought that all of these people were evaluating me reasonably. Determining that I was defective, worthless, and garbage. Rejecting me. This fed into my abandonment issues, and, voila, I thought that I was garbage. And this was one of the many pieces that I put together to decide that death would be a reasonable choice in the future.
Michelle: [00:09:26] Gotcha.
Gabe: [00:09:27] So my story number one is gonna be called a “High School Dating Suicide”.
Michelle: [00:09:34] I think a lot of people can relate to that story.
Gabe: [00:09:37] I think so. I think so, too.
Michelle: [00:09:38] Yeah..
Gabe: [00:09:39] But I think that if people are well-adjusted, and I don’t know what that’s like, but I think if people are well-adjusted, they just kind of grow out of it. Or they learn, or they meet that special person. I always have a saying that says everybody is unlucky in love until they aren’t. Because when you’re single, you’re trying, and you’re not meeting the right person. And, you know, what’s that phrase? You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince.
Michelle: [00:10:03] Yeah. Yeah
Gabe: [00:10:03] Nobody really taught me any of that stuff. They were just like, “You have a girlfriend? No? Maybe you should lose some weight, fat ass.” And that’s not too far off from the truth. Okay, Michelle, we need to pick this up. Story number two.
Michelle: [00:10:15] Ok. I and this is more of an uplifting story. Oh, an uplifting story. I was dating somebody. I mean and dating somebody for not the longest time at the moment, but we were very open with each other. So I go and I’m shy. I’m showing him my WebMD video and I’m going to show this person I’m schizophrenic. I’m just show them this and I’m like, “Oh, God! They’re gonna think I’m crazy.” What’s going to go on now that everyone can see me again? So we watch the WebMD video. The reaction is, “Oh, that was good. Why did you just show me that?” That’s really the story. Person didn’t care at all. Oh, you’re schizophrenic? OK.
Gabe: [00:10:53] That’s it they just?
Michelle: [00:10:54] OK. It was fine.
Gabe: [00:10:55] And they had been dating you for a while?
Michelle: [00:10:56] Yeah. It was just, maybe, like third date, and here’s a video. Oh you’re schizophrenic? OK. Cool video. I like it.
Gabe: [00:11:03] This is a great story, and we are absolutely going to leave this in the podcast. But we’ve played two truths and a lie before, and you told this exact same story. So I know this one is true.
Michelle: [00:11:11] Damn it!
Gabe: [00:11:13] We are gonna absolutely leave it in, because we accept that most of our viewers have not listened to all-50 some episodes of the Psych Central Show Podcast. However. . .
Michelle: [00:11:25] I’ll tell a different story.
Gabe: [00:11:26] Michelle’s memory is not what it used to be.
Michelle: [00:11:29] I will tell a different story!
Gabe: [00:11:30] No, you can’t tell a different story. That is your story and I know that it’s true. So we are going to call that one “The True Story That Michelle Told Already.”
Michelle: [00:11:37] God damn it!
Gabe: [00:11:39] Story number two. So between my second wife and my third wife, to give everybody some perspective, I wanted to date. And being hypersexual, being mentally ill, being kind of, you know, not the best person, making the wrong choices. I dated a lot, both before I was married, after I was married, and while I was married. So I really, really made a lot of bad, bad decisions when it came to how I behaved in past relationships. That’s how you end up twice divorced. I have some responsibility in that. Some of it was untreated mental illness. Some of it was poor decisions that I made. And it all kind of wrapped together. And after my second marriage dissolved, I am a guy who wants to be married. I’m happy being married, but I want a good marriage. And I really looked hard at my previous two marriages, and I thought, “What mistakes am I making?” And one of the mistakes that I was making, is that I was always dating these unavailable women. Maybe women who were already in relationships, maybe women that weren’t making the best choices themselves. I made a lot of relationship decisions based on how quickly people would have sex with me. So I wanted to do it better. So I created a profile on an online dating site, and I really put a lot of thought and effort and energy into it. And I said that I was looking for a long term relationship, and I wanted to be with somebody that was also looking for a long term relationship. Somebody age appropriate, somebody that was stable, somebody that, like me, had like a job etc. And one of the first dates that I went on was with this very nice woman and I met her it at, like, I don’t know, eleven o’clock that day.
Gabe: [00:13:18] And we stayed together all the way until two o’clock that night. That’s how long the date was 11:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. First, we went to a movie. Then we went to dinner. Then we went for coffee, and then we went to a bar. And finally, at two o’clock we had to go. Because, you know.
Michelle: [00:13:34] 2 p.m. or 2 a.m.?
Gabe: [00:13:36] 2 a.m.
Michelle: [00:13:36] Yeah, you said 2 p.m.
Gabe: [00:13:37] Oh! thank you for correcting me. 2:00 a.m. I apologize. I was together from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. That’s, that’s a long time.
Michelle: [00:13:44] That’s like a lot of time.
Gabe: [00:13:46] Yeah, yeah. This was a magnificent first date.
Michelle: [00:13:52] I hope you hit that at the end of the night.
Gabe: [00:13:52] I did not.
Michelle: [00:13:52] What?
Gabe: [00:13:52] At the end of the night it was 2:00 a.m. and I took her to her car. I walked her to her car. Again, I’m a gentleman. Remember the post-it notes? I’m a gentleman, and I said, “I really had a good time with you. I would like to see you again.” And she said, “That would be wonderful. But I usually can’t get together on the weekends because my husband’s home.” And I laughed. I was like, “That’s funny” And she goes, “No. For real. My husband is usually gone during the week and home on the weekends. He works in another state as a car dealer.” “Are you serious?” And she’s like, “Yeah.”
Gabe: [00:14:27] It was the first time in my life that I was ever speechless. I was. I was incredibly speechless. I didn’t know what to say. I was angry. I walked away. I was just, for the first time in my life, I wanted to be a grown up and an adult and have a relationship with a real, available, moral person. And get rid of, like, all of the mistakes that I had made in my past. And even though I had done everything right, I still somehow found another immoral, defective, lying person. Now I am proud of myself, because the old Gabe would have been like, “Sweet. You’re saying during the week? I got nothing to do during the week.” But I didn’t. I left. I didn’t. I just mumbled stuff. For real, Michelle, you’d have been so impressed with the amount of speechless that I was.
Michelle: [00:15:14] So this has to do with bipolar because you are trying to be respectful?
Gabe: [00:15:18] Yeah, I was trying to get in a real relationship, and somehow I still managed to find that I was just drawn to these people. Apparently, even though I tried to do the right thing, I still ended up in the wrong place. I don’t know that that’s bipolar disorder, but it’s mental health. I was trying to fix all the mistakes of my past, and find a good, available, healthy relationship. And even though I tried to do the right thing, I still ended up standing in front of an unhealthy relationship. And I am proud of myself that I made the right decision as soon as I was aware. But I did have to wonder, why am I so defective that even when I try to be in a healthy relationship, I still end up attracting these types of people? Like, what is it about me? Do I have, you know, “Date me because I’m fucked up” written on my forehand?
Michelle: [00:16:07] You do.
Gabe: [00:16:08] Even though I’m saying the right things, people are like, “Well, he’s saying he’s looking for a long term relationship.”
Michelle: [00:16:12] I get you, Gabe. I get you.
Gabe: [00:16:12] “But clearly he is messed up.”
Michelle: [00:16:15] What are we naming this one?
Gabe: [00:16:17] I think that we should name my story two “Married Chick.”
Michelle: [00:16:24] Married Chick?
Gabe: [00:16:26] Married Chick.
Michelle: [00:16:26] We’ll be right back to two truths and a lie after these messages.
Narrator: [00:16:29] This episode is sponsored by BetterHelp.com. Secure, convenient, and affordable online counselling. Our counselors are licensed, accredited professionals. Anything you share is confidential. Schedule secure video or phone sessions, plus chat and text with your therapist, whenever you feel it’s needed. A month of online therapy often costs less than a single traditional face-to-face session. Go to BetterHelp.com/PsychCentral and experience seven days of free therapy to see if online counselling is right for you. BetterHelp.com/PsychCentral.
Michelle: [00:17:00] We are back.
Gabe: [00:17:01] Story number three, Michelle
Michelle: [00:17:03] My next story. Here we go. We’re going to call him Willie.
Gabe: [00:17:07] Willie?
Michelle: [00:17:09] I like the name Willie. I was dating Willie for. . . ? I actually don’t. I’ve brought up Willie before. The guy that I was dating for, like, two years, and he didn’t know that I was schizophrenic. And then I started my company. And he goes, “What? you’re not schizophrenic.” And I’m like “Yes, I am.” “No, you’re not.” “Yes, I am.” “No, you’re not.” Well, the thing was with Willie once he discovered that I had schizophrenia, and we were dating for a while, and everything and he was kind of deciding that he wanted to move. And all that stuff he kind of told me, like he did want to be with me, but he wanted to move. And part of the reason he wanted to move was that his relationship with me could never really work out, because I had schizophrenia, and he didn’t want to have kids with me. Because he didn’t want our kids to have mental illness in their genes. So him moving wasn’t just for him having a new life, but for us breaking up as well. Because he could never see a future with us.
Gabe: [00:18:08] Wow. Yeah. So he broke up with you because you were schizophrenic, and he didn’t want to have a little schizophrenic children.
Michelle: [00:18:14] Well, pretty much. But he was moving, but then he also was saying that to me. He was like, “Yeah we’re not going to do long distance or anything, because we need to move on. Because it would never work out anyway. We couldn’t have a future really.”
Gabe: [00:18:28] Wow. Wow.
Michelle: [00:18:30] Yeah.
Gabe: [00:18:31] So we are going to call story numbers 3 “Breakup Because Michelle Bad Mom.” Ready for Number 3?
Michelle: [00:18:49] I’m ready for number three, Gabe.
Gabe: [00:18:50] My number three falls in the exact same pattern as yours, which is just coincidental. I want everybody to know right now that Michelle and I do not sit down and discuss these ahead of time. Or obviously I would have told Michelle that she told me that story before. We are playing this game for real. So, when Michelle gets it wrong, it’s because she’s stupid. And when I get it right, it’s because I am super, super smart. My next story is also about somebody that thought that I was bad with children.. So I’ve had, as longtime listeners of the show and people who have read my stuff know, I’ve had, like, four significant relationships in my life. I’ve had many relationships that lasted, you know, a couple of weeks or a month or two. But there’ve been four significant relationships in my life. You know, three wives and and a woman that I lived with for a while. The one that I lived with, I don’t really talk about her all that much. Because in some ways she’s one of the more painful ones. Because she had a child, and we knew each other, and we had known each other for several years. And that means I saw her child go from, like, age one to, like, age 5. And that’s a lot of bonding to do with a kid. And I really loved this child. The kid meant a lot to me, and it never occurred to me that if the relationship ended between you know me and his mom, that would mean that relationship between me and kid would end. Like, I don’t know why I never connected those dots. But I just never connected those dots. I just really thought that I would just know this kid forever. I really took on the role of stepdad really seriously. And I was a co parent. And I loved him a lot. And one day, as the relationship was evolving with me and mom, we were talking about, like, getting married and buying a house and all of that kind of stuff that you do. And her mother, the child’s grandmother, decided that I would be a bad influence on the child. That I would hurt him because of my bipolar disorder. And you can’t let mental patients live with your children. And that’s irresponsible. And convinced the woman that I was dating to leave me. To break up with me. And she told me that as a mother it is irresponsible of me to have you around my child. You will eventually hurt him and I can’t risk it.
Michelle: [00:21:13] That is a fucked up shit.
Gabe: [00:21:15] And I kept explaining that I’m not. That’s not true. And she said, “I have to listen to my mother. My mother has known me my whole life. She’s a good grandmother and she has seen things that I can’t see because I’m emotionally invested and she is extremely worried that you will hurt my child. And as a mother that’s not a risk I can take. As much as I want to be with you. We have to break up.”
Michelle: [00:21:48] How did that make you feel, Gabe?
Gabe: [00:21:50] Like garbage. To this day it is one of the most traumatizing things that’s ever happened to me. It was worse than being diagnosed with bipolar. Like, because I had a kid that I loved just ripped away from me. And you know, I have no rights. I don’t. I don’t have any legal rights. I can’t have visitation. I can’t. She moved away. I haven’t seen the kid since. It was just over. Just like that. I saw him every day for four years, and then nothing. And I was told it was because of an illness that I didn’t want, and that I didn’t deserve, and that was in fine control. I don’t understand any of it. I don’t understand any of it. I still, to this day, don’t understand. I think I was a damn good stepfather. I don’t think I’m a bad person. And to have somebody say, “Hey look, I can see the future. And because of your illness you will someday hurt a child. So I have to run from you.” It’s a lot. So I’m gonna call that. . .
Michelle: [00:22:57] “Stupid Mother.”
Gabe: [00:22:58] Yes, Stupid Mother. OK. So to recap: everyone, in this round of two truths and a lie – Valentine’s Day edition, the first round was Alabama Stigma and High School Dating Suicide. And story number two is the true story that Michelle already told in a different episode vs. Gabe dating a Married Chick. And story number three, breakup because Michelle will someday be a bad mother vs. a stupid mother who dumped Gabe. All right, Michelle, do you have any questions? Because I am ready to tell you which one is the lie right now.
Michelle: [00:23:37] OK. Tell me.
Gabe: [00:23:39] All right. Are you ready? I know your lie. OK.
Michelle: [00:23:41] Which is my lie?
Gabe: [00:23:42] Nobody broke up with you because you’d be a bad mom.
Michelle: [00:23:44] That’s true. Yeah.
Gabe: [00:23:45] All right. Do you want to go?
Michelle: [00:23:48] Do I want to guess?
Gabe: [00:23:48] Do you want to do anything. You get questions. You’re allowed to ask questions.
Michelle: [00:23:53] The married woman you went on the date with, did they have any kids?
Gabe: [00:23:57] I don’t believe so. No.
Michelle: [00:23:58] What kind of car did she drive?
Gabe: [00:23:59] I honestly don’t know. It was a nice car. It was a two door. It was like sporty, but it was black. That’s all I really remember, and it was also 2:00 a.m., and it was dark. I don’t remember the brand.
Michelle: [00:24:08] Is it? The middle one is the lie?
Gabe: [00:24:11] Is the dating the married chick the lie?
Michelle: [00:24:13] Yeah.
Gabe: [00:24:13] No. 100 percent true story. Completely happened and it happened exactly that way. I really was speechless. To this day people marvel that I didn’t have a comeback.
Michelle: [00:24:24] Well, I don’t see how the first one can be a lie.
Gabe: [00:24:27] Why not?
Michelle: [00:24:28] Because it doesn’t. I feel like everybody in high school thinks that no one wants to date them unless they’re, like, a super popular person. Like, I feel like I felt that same way in high school, too. It just seems too reasonable. Is that a lie? Is that? How could that be a lie?
Gabe: [00:24:44] I told you in the story that I married my high school sweetheart. So how could I also have a story about how nobody would date me in high school? I was also a prom king. And, well, I did leave that out. I was prom king. I actually did all right in high school.
Michelle: [00:25:01] Well, see I wouldn’t guess that. Because you said you were five hundred and fifty pounds, zit faced, and ugly.
Gabe: [00:25:07] Yes. But not in high school.
Michelle: [00:25:09] Not in high school?
Gabe: [00:25:10] I got fat after high school.
Michelle: [00:25:10] OK, so the history that I know about you is not the high school history?
Gabe: [00:25:16] Yeah.
Michelle: [00:25:18] I see. OK, then I said it because I would imagine all of that could potentially really happen in high school. I didn’t realize that the big, fat, pimply-faced Gabe was after high school.
Gabe: [00:25:28] Big, fat, pimply-faced Gabe was after high school. I did have problems in high school feeling alone and lonely. I mean, I did have symptoms of bipolar disorder. But the fact is I had friends. I really did have friends. I dated not a lot. I’m not saying that I was super popular, but I did date.
Michelle: [00:25:46] You were more popular than me.
Gabe: [00:25:47] Well, then the advantage of going to a high school with only 36 people is we really were close knit. I’m not saying that we all dated each other, or anything like that. But I had friends. We made sure that people weren’t left alone. I wasn’t invisible. Now, if I would have talked about, like, my freshman year, that was much more difficult. I was still in Ohio, where I went to a school that had 600 people in their graduating class. But when I moved to Pennsylvania with my grandparents, life changed for me a lot. I went to this little private school. I had a lot of people watching over me. I had a lot of friends. I dated a reasonable amount. I met the woman that I married in high school, my high school sweetheart. I really was prom king. That is a true story. And I did all right. I made it. By the time I graduated, I actually felt pretty good. Until, you know, I got brought back down again. But this does make the true story the one where somebody ripped off their kid away from me because of an illness.
Michelle: [00:26:39] Well, that mother’s a bitch. I mean, I’m just saying. You did much better in high school life than I had. I am, and I was, a big fat pimply-faced whatever.
Gabe: [00:26:48] Yeah, but I mean your personality was still bad.
Michelle: [00:26:51] My personality was amazing. I was just paranoid all the time and thought everybody hated me. So, yeah. Yeah.
Gabe: [00:26:58] Because everybody wants to be friends with somebody that thinks that everybody hates them? Come on, man! Own your own flaws.
Michelle: [00:27:05] I own my flaws. I was very paranoid. I didn’t have a lot of friends because I thought everyone hated me. So I was very quiet, and kept to myself, and only talked to a few people. And when I did talk to other people, when I was done talking to them, I thought, “Why were they talking to me? Oh my God are they talking about me behind my back right now? Because they don’t know. What? They are probably wondering, ‘why did they just talk to me?’ Why was I talking to them?” You know I was what you described basically. And that was my high school.
Gabe: [00:27:31] I see what you’re saying.
Michelle: [00:27:32] Yeah, that’s why I thought that one was true, because that’s very high school for somebody with a mental illness.
Gabe: [00:27:38] I see what you’re saying. You are right. And in fairness, you know it’s a little bit of a cheat. I will give you. I will give you a partial credit. I know your generation likes that a lot. Yes, I will give you partial credit, because, you know, my 9th, 10th, and 1st 11th grade year in a bigger school was much, much more difficult. Remember, I dropped out of high school in 11th grade, and then I went back to a private school in Pennsylvania when I moved to my grandparents and repeated my 11th grade year. But, then my 11th and 12th grade year were actually very good. And so I sort of have two high school experiences. I have the big city high school experience that was really, really bad. And then I have this small town high school experience that was really, really good. So you know, I will give you partial credit. I won and you lost, but with an asterisk.
Michelle: [00:28:28] But I accidentally told the same story again.
Gabe: [00:28:30] That is true. You did.
Michelle: [00:28:32] Well, it’s not my fault. You know my medicine gives me a bad memory.
Gabe: [00:28:35] No, there’s no medicine excuse. Happy Valentine’s Day, everybody. Thank you for listening to this edition of A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast. We love trotting out two truths and a lie whenever we can. So thank you for the folks who e-mailed in that suggestion. Please head over to store.psychcentral.com and buy our swag. It helps keep the lights on. And the “Define Normal” shirts are just frankly not going to sell themselves. There might even be a discount for Valentine’s Day. Except there’s not. Thank you, everybody. Please like us everywhere, send us to your friends, and we will see you next week.
Michelle: [00:29:15] Valentine’s Day!
Narrator: [00:29:17] You’ve been listening to A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast. If you love this episode, don’t keep it to yourself. Head on over to iTunes or your preferred podcast app. Subscribe, rate, and review. To work with Gabe go to GabeHoward.com. To work with Michelle, go to Schizophrenic.NYC. For free mental health resources and online support groups, head over to PsychCentral.com. The show’s official Web site is PsychCentral.com/BSP. You can e-mail us at [email protected]. Thank you for listening, and share widely.
Meet Your Bipolar and Schizophrenic Hosts
GABE HOWARD was formally diagnosed with bipolar and anxiety disorders after being committed to a psychiatric hospital in 2003. Now in recovery, Gabe is a prominent mental health activist and host of the award-winning Psych Central Show podcast. He is also an award-winning writer and speaker, traveling nationally to share the humorous, yet educational, story of his bipolar life. To work with Gabe, visit gabehoward.com.
MICHELLE HAMMER was officially diagnosed with schizophrenia at age 22, but incorrectly diagnosed with bipolar disorder at 18. Michelle is an award-winning mental health advocate who has been featured in press all over the world. In May 2015, Michelle founded the company Schizophrenic.NYC, a mental health clothing line, with the mission of reducing stigma by starting conversations about mental health. She is a firm believer that confidence can get you anywhere. To work with Michelle, visit Schizophrenic.NYC.
Podcast, N. (2019). Podcast: Depression, Bipolar, Schizophrenia, and Valentine’s Day. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 1, 2020, from https://psychcentral.com/blog/podcast-depression-bipolar-schizophrenia-and-valentines-day/