When I was first diagnosed I was so relieved because I thought I had bipolar disorder and you know how THOSE people act. Then I learned that hypomania IS s a type of bipolar – Bipolar II – and I had to confront my own prejudice against Bipolar Disorder.
I’m cool with it now. I have done a lot of research on both Bipolar I and Bipolar II. I am in good company: Kurt Cobain. Vincent VanGogh. Marilyn Monroe. Virginia Woolf. And did I mention Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher)? Many of us are creative and very, very successful.
Problem is, we tend to step on a lot of toes along the way and tick off a whole lot of people. We’re also intimidating. When I’m in a manic phase, all I have to do is walk into a room and folks kind of lean back in their chairs – like I have invaded their personal space. I throw out this energy – which some people admire and others question.
You never forget the ceiling after a suicide attempt. You finally open your eyes and there it is. An expletive follows, then you assess the physical damage. If you are like me, and your attempt involved pills and alcohol, the physical fatigue, nausea, remorse and anger are beyond words. I know. I was a sick, troubled young woman. It was the 1970’s – decades before the discovery of many antidepressants and the founding of Facebook.
I am now on both.
I am devoted to my antidepressants and Facebook. I am on both daily. I have spent a lot of time researching my antidepressants – how and why they work and their side-effects. As for Facebook, I watched a movie about its young founders.
In my experience, the only connection between Facebook and suicide were the tragic stories about young people who had killed themselves after posting their intentions on Facebook.
I have been sick. I have one of those nasty, traveling colds that started in my nose, moved south to my chest and is heading back up north again to my nose. Just about everyone has it or has had it.
I don’t like to take medications beyond the antidepressants and mood stabilizer I take daily. But the tightness in my chest and hacking cough was driving me nuts so I decided to take some cough medicine. The non-alcoholic, sugar-free, gluten-free, dye-free, non-drowsy, can’t-make-a-meth-lab of over-the-counter kind of cough medicine.
I’m a dutiful little label reader but dang, is the print getting smaller on the bottle or is it me? I got out my microscope but skipped over the warnings about breast-feeding and pregnancy and went straight to the dosage recommendations because I just wanted to get the medicine in me as fast as possible. (After nearly 14 years of sobriety, this recovered alcoholic has finally learned that an extra shot of anything – tequila or cough medicine – is not necessarily good for you. So I actually follow the dosage recommendations.)