Not a huge valentine’s day person but just finished up a piece on being in a relationship with another person w/bipolar disorder and mistakes I would never make again. One relationship was with another person Dually Diagnosed like I am. And he refused psych meds, which I (unbelievably), let slide!!!
I wanted to jump from my 12th story balcony but he actually tried to.
Then I met Michael. We were all in AA at the time and Michael walked up to Paul and said, “I’m with Allison Now, and we’d appreciate it if you didn’t bother her anymore.” And that night, two years after Paul had tried to jump off my balcony, he overdosed on Xanax and had to go to the hospital again. I’ve been with Michael now for 17 years. I can’t imagine a life without him. I love him so much. He’s my other half, my better half. I don’t know what I would do without him. Here is a photo of us, back when I had money to have my hair cut regularly, and back when I also was struggling with antipsychotic weight gain. I’m skinny now but not any happier than when I had the dough and a doughier body. Michael, this one is for you! I love you forever. Allison Biszantz (aka bipolar brainiac or Allison Strong)
Obviously there’s an artistic side to me. From my youthful participation in musical productions, plays, risky choice of dropping out of Stanford to pursue acting after doing a commercial and getting my Screen Actor’s Guild Union Card (something half the actors in LA do not and will never have), to my writing, being artful in my disc jockey work, affinity for all kinds of music, (was a musician myself at one time)…but it took me a while to realize how art therapy can do the trick.
My Mom has an MFA from Pomona College outside of LA. She’s an art therapist. One time, when I was in deep trouble, living in LA and addicted to drugs and the man who provided them and the new cars I received just as quickly as I totaled them she did a guided ‘trip’ through what’s called “Sand Tray Therapy). Sand tray allows the patient, or clients, to create their ideal world through trinkets, placement of bridges, roads, dolls, rocks, to symbolize what they would like in their life.
I can’t remember the exact details but my Mom remembers I created a ‘way out’ of the trap I was in and my imminent departure from Los Angeles by use of this treatment modality. I’m not sure why ‘Sand Tray’ never caught on big time but it was useful to me. it made me realize I had it in me to make the move I needed most. To leave that man, my fiancée of 8 years, and leave LA once and for all.
Later in life I married a Geffen Records promo guy and he was transferred to LA, so I went back there, after all. It was much easier to secure voiceover work and commercials when I wasn’t on cocaine, let me tell you. But that’s a whole nother story.