Bipolar Break-Down: Musings from a Mad Mind
Bipolar Life Lessons:
I have learned to view Bipolar as an accelerated learning program for the gifted student and there is a good reason for this.
A). People are never going to completely understand how your mind works. In truth, there will be more times than not that you too will question your identity, reality and just YOU as an unique individual entity. Let’s face it, you have just left most people in your sphere frustated, flabbergasted and often times shuddering with fear simply by being you. I am certain that you have figured out that you are somehow different from those around you by now. Learn to embrace this.
B). You will eventually learn to see these differences not as a curse but as a Superpower. The truth is, although you may see your disorder as a curse, it really isn’t. You see the world differently and there is nothing wrong with that. The problem arises when everyone around you tries to make you see the world as they do and then you attempt to live in their world. You are essentially in denial at this point, which is stressful, makes you try harder and it becomes this Sysiphean plight that results in your brain mis-firing and you having an episode. Learn to accept You (and your world-view) just as you are.
C). Once you learn to embrace and accept who you are and how you see the world, something magical happens. You find that you are less stressed, more authentic and those same people that shuddered with fear are now seeking you out and enjoying your uniqueness. You have figured out who you are, how you tick and how to create realities other people wish they could live in.
To reach this State of Being you first need to show yourself some TLC. Take time to rest and recover, love yourself, nurture your body, mind and spirit. Listen to your Doctor/Therapist and take your medication. Educate yourself on your disorder. The internet has tons of apps that are useful, and your mental health-care providers can recommend literature if you prefer old school page turning over tech-savvy scrolling. Find what works for you.
Now, back to that gifted student premise…if you think long and hard enough you should be able to recall something in your life that you excel at, art, music, writing, solving complex mathematical equations, organizing spaces, schedules, geographical grids…we all have a talent that we may or may not be utilizing. If you aren’t…you need to be. Your natural talents are essentially a built in meditation mechanism.
Bipolar, Purpose and this Page
I was diagnosed with Bipolar 1 Disorder in December of 2005. I am genetically pre-disposed and it is suspected it is from both sides of my gene pond. I am, apparently, very high functioning because most people are clueless unless I tell them, and it seems some family members have forgotten because I am regaled with tales of woe concerning my younger sister’s plight. My younger sister was diagnosed with Bipolar 2 Disorder, roughly 10 years before my diagnosis and behaves as though she was given a lifetime worth of “get out of jail free” cards.
I was never the model child, and I have brought shame upon my family several times during my life, but something clicked when I was diagnosed. There was a reason for my screw ups and weird fugue states; I was not a lost cause! The Gods were not punishing me and I was not the spawn of Satan. It became my life mission to A). get better. So I could B). educate myself on Bipolar and C). learn to control it so it didn’t control me. Much later (like in the past 5 years) my new mission has been to educate the masses. It has been an up and down battle and gone sideways more times than I care to count.
The truth of the matter is, there is a lot of mis-information, stigma and just flat out stupid assumptions made by people that don’t have Bipolar or even know anyone with it. I am dedicating this page to all things Bipolar; information, my personal journey, my sister’s journey (a comparative study of sorts), bit of family history, and resources. Hopefully it helps break down the stigmas associated with mental health disorders and provides support for those that need it.