Bipolar Prose

Getting to Know Me by Leah Sackett

“Must be something inside,”  – Adam Ant 

I tried to write my memoir, but it kept getting tangled in lies. I came out of Catholicism, and then I threw my lot in with Judaism. So, basically, I’m an Ism. I wear my guilt on my sleeve, and the sexiest thing in the world is whatever is forbidden. Sometimes, I do the unforgivable, and wear my privilege like an 80’s shoulder pad bulky, ugly, and phony.  I’ve been known to tease my hair to hide my ears, yet I have two piercings in the left earlobe and one piercing in the right. I was the leader of campus ministry at my all-girl high school. Then I was an atheist at a liberal arts college.

I have bipolar disorder Type 1. In this case, being #1 is the worst. Yea, me! I lost the genetic lottery. If you meet me when I’m manic, you’ll luv me. You won’t meet me when I’m depressed. When I crash down from a full-blown manic episode, I will lose your number and develop amnesia if ever we should meet. When I’m depressed, I talk to myself and other invisible people. I ditch them, too, when that episode is over. When I’m having mixed episodes, it feels like April with all of the rain and the joy of spring on steroids. I’m lying. It is intense and frightening. It’s more like a ticket to Hell thrumming the A-train. All aboard!

I move like a sloth and a cheetah. I rain on my own parade. Wannabe’s wonder what drugs I’m taking, that’s the problem, I’m not. But sometimes, I get a ride in an ambulance when I take too many. In case you haven’t noticed, it’s all about me. I’m too impatient to make it to your big event and sit idly by, a spectator. I’ve got all the time in the world for the repetitive, confessional nature of group therapy with strangers. I don’t want you to know me, but I’m writing this. Don’t kid yourself; you still don’t know me. Hello, I’m Lo. Do you want to play?

Leah Holbrook Sackett’s published books include Swimming Middle River and White Knight Escort Service. Additionally, she has a third short story collection, Catawampus in Sweetgum County, scheduled for publication in spring 2022. Leah was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and won awards: Art Ascent’s Gold Award, Two Sisters Publishing Contest, and the Institute for Women and Gender Studies: Creative Writing Award.

Over 60 of Leah’s stories have appeared in literary journals. She is an adjunct lecturer in both English and the Communication & Media departments at the University of Missouri – St. Louis, where she earned her M.F.A. Leah’s stories explore journeys toward autonomy and the boundaries placed on the individual by society, family, and self.

Learn about her published fiction at

Accolades and Awards

·         Pushcart Prize Nominee for The Family Blend featured in Crack the Spine

·         Awarded Gold Writer Award for Spooning featured in Art Ascent

·         Won Two Sisters Publishing Contest for Best Short Story: Sticker Shock

·         Recipient of Institute for Women and Gender Studies: Creative Writing Award for Somebody Else in Kentucky

·         Best of the Net 2020 nominee

·         Short list in the Strands International Flash Fiction Competition for The Well-Heeled Woman