Looking for people who live successfully with bipolar disorder

Opera glassesWhen you have bipolar disorder, there is no such thing as a free ride. When life is good, really good, there is always a price to pay. After I published my book, I had the best time of my life. Ever. Then my doctor became concerned about my increasingly elevated mood. I had been going to bed at 3.00am and getting up at 6.00am and not feeling tired. What was I doing until 3.00am every night? Well, among other things, I was annotating a copy of my book with quotations about art and life. Lots of quotations. In tiny little writing. I thought I would give it to someone as a present – an example of the creativity of a bipolar mind. Great idea?  I thought so, but my doctor didn’t.

She looked at my annotated memoir and said it would be a very bad idea. She said I had to act swiftly because I was headed for an inevitable, unavoidable depression that she wouldn’t be able to pull me out of. I cried when she told me that. Buckets. She said my mood was very unstable. She said I shouldn’t go to work the next day, but I needed the money and I was paid as a casual. No work equals no pay. If I did go to work the following day, she said under NO circumstances was I to speak to anyone, especially not to the boss. I suppose I really shouldn’t have just done that recorded radio interview that was going to be on the radio the following Saturday. I didn’t tell her about that.

She prescribed Seroquel. Seroquel takes me to the death zone. The smallest crumb renders me seriously unconscious for 12 hours and the following day I can’t function. The decision to take it is not one I take lightly but I took it and I didn’t go to work the following day. The hypo mania put up a big fight.

Then I fell. It was a bad fall. A very bad fall.

But spring is here and I am back blogging. Things are looking up. I am fine. Well, I think I’m fine. I look fine. Perhaps I am  fine. I don’t know what ‘fine’ is any more. What I do know is that I am really, really proud of the things I have achieved. Sometimes the achievement has been getting out of bed or getting in to bed and staying asleep. Sometimes it has been living with anxiety. Sometimes it has been doing public speaking in spite of how awful I feel. I can always pull myself together to present about bipolar. It’s too important. Sometimes it has been doing something really nice for someone. Mostly it has been living with rapid cycling Bipolar 1 and anxiety, and trying to keep everything together. Which I (mostly ) do. I am very proud of that.

I have met plenty of people who struggle with bipolar just as I do. I want to meet people who have bipolar like me and live in harmony with it. I want to meet people who have stable relationships, untainted by mood swings. I want to meet people who have had trouble with bipolar in their past and now sail in calm(er) waters. Is it you? I am told that you’re out there, the experts insist that you are. I don’t believe them though. I don’t believe you exist. Do you? If you do, please get in touch. I’d love to hear from you.

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