Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Changing Seasons

Okay.  I admit it.

It might be a long time before I get around to finishing that Beattitudes series.  Truth is, I might never finish it. 

That's because I feel like, for now, I've said what I needed to say on the subject.

Maybe sometime in the future I'll need to say something more.

For now... there are other things more pressing, and I'm going to let it rest.

I realize that as a Creative Thinker that happens to me a lot.  I get really into something.  I obsess over it, almost... then I drop it.  Because it's not working anymore.   There are people who see that as wishy washy.  And maybe that's so.  But I've read before that it actually takes a pretty with-it, intelligent person to know when something is finished.  We get that, we Creatives.
So instead I'm going to write a post about myself.

That's a little daring, I guess.  It's been a long time since I've done something intensely personal.

So here it is.

Last week I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Yeah.  With all the stigma and everything.

I have, in my own life and in my own not-so-distant past stigmatized the thing.  I have even said things like "Well I know I don't have that."


The disease where you're volatile.  And scary.

And...  uncontrolled.

And...  mental.

Or whatever.

I always thought that I had something different.

Depression is okay.  Lots of nice people have depression.

Anxiety is okay.  It's like... code for being a housewife nowadays:  I have an anxiety disorder: I am completely understimulated at my own intellectual level, bored out of my skull and at the same time exhausted.

Both of those were okay with me.

But the past few weeks have been tough.  Really tough and I finally broke down and went back to therapy.

I hate going to a new therapist.  It's always so nerve-wracking and tense.  It takes a special person to really click as a therapist.  I've had some really horrid ones.  Just one really great one.

This one fell somewhere in the middle but she was certain of one thing: I have bipolar disorder.  I'm... bipolar.

I took the above photo on the worst day I've had in years mentally.

I was both up and down.  Manic and depressive.  Suicidal and euphoric.  I'd been struggling there, feeling torn in two for three days.

My therapist told me I needed to stop taking my St. John's Wort during my manic time.

I knew I was manic in the fall.

But I never realized this could be a sort of bipolar disorder.  I was content with Seasonal Affective Disorder... but apparently that only applies to people who have seasonal depression.  Mania doesn't factor. If you have any season of mania with that depression... then... well then you're bipolar.


That's where I am.

I'm not taking any medication.  I have a mild case and I'm good about diet and exercise and I have a great support network  to help keep me balanced.

But I needed to write about it.

First of all, because I need to own up to how I'd stigmatized this particular disorder.  Judgement comes back to bite you pretty much every time, I've found.

Second, because I feel like it's important to spread awareness about it.  That it's a thing.  That there are many different types of bipolar.  That not everyone who has this disorder is scary - especially if it's managed.  That it can happen to anyone.  Even me.

Third, because writing is simply how I deal with stuff.  People will tell me that I shouldn't put this out there because of future employment or what have you.  No.  No authenticity is okay with me.  I need authenticity.  I need to just tell it like it is.

Bipolar disorder is a real thing.  There are many different forms.  I have Bipolar II.  My latest issue was dealing with what are called "mixed features".  I found that stopping the St. John's Wort made this stop too.  There's a lot to learn and know.  I'm just tapping the surface.

I realize that awareness is so important nowadays, so here I am spreading a little of that.  I hope this particular piece helped you to understand the disorder a bit more, and maybe tempted you into reading a few articles about the disorder.  Just in case, here are a few decent ones:

A General Description on Web MD

An Insider Description with Lovely Poignant Graphics

How To Talk to Someone with Bipolar

Thanks for reading.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...