I recently binge watched a new Netflix series called, “Spinning Out”. Aptly named for the main character, Kat Baker, who suffers from bipolar disorder with her mother. The family is dysfunctional when either the other more or the main character go of of her Lithium.
The family is a mother and two daughters. All figure skaters either in the past or present. Kat has spent her life raising and taking care of her little sister and mother when she has her bouts of mania. The mother wanting the best for her daughters pushes them too hard and cautions Kat against sharing the fact that she has bipolar disorder with those closest to her.
This becomes problematic when Kat goes off her Lithium and has a manic melt down. One that her mother, her friends and boyfriend/figure skating partner try to cover up. Her mother gets her back on her lithium and tells her to tell everyone she has pneumonia.
When Kat comes back to her senses her younger sister tells her the truth about what her mania caused her to do. Horrified she starts trying to “clean-up” and talk to everyone, but no one wants to hear her out because she’s hurt them. She’s ready to give everything up when her mother says something about a figure skating competition she is still entered in.
Kat busts out of her mother’s home and turns to the modern day form of letter writing, email. She explains to everyone she loves and cares about that she lied, why she lied and that she is sorry for the pain she caused because she did not know how people would react. Her mother had raised her to believe that she would be judged for her mental illness, but instead she finds openness and acceptance.
After she makes it to the skate to the competition, she is still struggling to know what is real and what is not in her emotions. Her and her mother have made peace and she asks her mom how to know if she is in love. Her mother tells her about the moment that she knew that she was in love with her boyfriend, which helps Kat to realize when she fell in love with her skating partner.
I have always been drawn to watching things with figure skating, which is what drew me to this show at first. When I watched what the main character and her family went through with the manic episodes it changed. The struggle for understanding emotions and feelings, what’s real and what isn’t is something I struggle with.
I have been in bad relationships and was married for 10 years to someone that I’m not sure if I really loved him. I always watched TV shows and movies with love stories, but I never believed that love like that was real. That one could actually run into someone they hadn’t seen in years and fall in love, I think Hallmark has about 30 movies with that plot (don’t quote me on that).
It wasn’t that I didn’t want to love, but I’d been burned and found it better to emotionally distance myself. The song “The Heart is a Muscle” by Gang of Youths embodies my feelings on being in love.
Break me off a piece of that And mix it in with a little wine With someone warm and smart, I guess With a heart in first and a soul behind And I won't give in 'Cause I wanna try again There will be no years of silence in the shadow of regret I won't let it so betray me, though my soul got used to it I will look at love as more than just an instrument of pain And will give myself completely to the moving and the strange 'Cause I wanna overcome And try to love someone I will not spend the years depleted of my willingness to try It won't hurt this way forever, it ain't worth the overtime I'm not looking for redemption nor some shallow kind of bliss Lay me down and kiss me deeply, show me everything I missed I haven't had enough And I wanna love someone I will not hurt like this forever, I'm responding to the call While there's speakers in the outfield Blasting out my favourite song I will not play this out discreetly, it is real and unashamed I am human now and terrified, but want it all the same 'Cause I wanna overcome And try to love someone 'Cause the heart, the heart, the heart The heart is a muscle And I wanna make it strong 'Cause the heart, the heart, the heart The heart is a muscle now I wanna make it strong I let bad love betray me once But I was barely outta high school then And I guess I fear the same results That none will take me as I am I wanna be loved, I wanna be whole again So tuck my hair behind my ears and touch my soul again The window is wide, the post unfulfilled And I just ask you to be patient if you'll have me still 'Cause I wanna open up And try to love someone 'Cause I wanna overcome And try to love someone The heart, the heart, the heart The heart is a muscle The heart, the heart, the heart The heart is a muscle now The heart, the heart, the heart The heart is a muscle now I wanna make it strong Source: LyricFind Songwriters: David Immanuel Menachem Sasagi Leaupepe The Heart Is a Muscle lyrics © BMG Rights Management
Even though with my Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), I sometimes feeling my emotions are out of control and that I don’t know what’s real or not. I had that moment that the mom talked about with my boyfriend. That moment when I knew that I loved him.
I have been struggling to remember who I am, what I love, what I love doing and to find myself again. Last year, I was diagnosed with BPD and Lupus. I made a decision to walk for awareness of suicide and depression. I have been lost in a haze trying to find myself.
I struggled with being exhausted and not understanding why I was so tired all of the time. I found myself wondering what was wrong with me and if I was with my boyfriend because “I Hate You, Don’t Leave Me” (a book about BPD). I found out why I had been so tired, which was due to a thyroid imbalance and a hormonal imbalance. I started the thyroid medication long before the hormones and could tell that my doctor had found why I had been so tired.
But my heart, is a muscle, and I want to make it strong. This show helped me remember that moment that I felt four and a half years ago, and to realize I’m not alone in this struggle. I remembered my moment, my zing as they said in Hotel Transylvania, and, with the added help of normal balance, I remembered everything that I felt for my boyfriend and how much I loved him.
I’m going to continue remember that my heart is a muscle and I want to make it strong.