bi·po·lar

Utter shock. Disbelief. Process.
What does this mean now?
Where do I go from here?

I’m not even quite sure what it means to be bipolar. Except for the high plausibility I have been my entire life.

brainimplode

bi·po·lar
adjective
  1. having or relating to two poles or extremities.
     

Today I was diagnosed bipolar. For the first time there was a name to the way I feel.

To be honest it feels like I’m watching the movie of my life play itself out. I’ve been sitting in my car driving imagining little points in my brain being highly active. I have felt detached from my body today. As if a ghost is operating my body. I am trying to feel something different. Some awareness that I can feel the bipolar in my body. With the shock of the news and the new perspective I expect my body to feel different too. I suppose that’s why I’m feeling detached from my body.

I’ve been looking up symptoms of bipolar. I have always had the perception that someone who has bipolar is quite obvious. Their mood swings so severe they throw chairs through windows and fall into crying tantrums in the middle of school hallways. Since I was able to hold it together enough to not chuck a cash register off of a countertop while at work I assumed I didn’t fall into the category. Looking at the symptoms I find at times I feel like I’m reading about myself.

 

  • A manic episode is a distinct period of abnormally and persistently elevated, expansive or irritable mood that lasts at least one week (or less than a week if hospitalization is necessary). The episode includes persistently increased goal-directed activity or energy.
  • Inflated self-esteem or grandiosity
  • Decreased need for sleep (for example, you feel rested after only three hours of sleep) check, I thought I just was a ‘bad’ sleeper, besides that’s what coffee is for right?
  • Unusual talkativeness check, they always called me chatterbox in grade school 
  • Racing thoughts check, I’ll bet I’ll beat you to the finish line
  • Distractibility check, I have to tell you something really important but you-hey what’s that?!
  • Increased goal-directed activity (either socially, at work or school, or sexually) or agitation check, did I tell you about the new 30 day challenge I’m doing, hey I’m a raw vegan now, I’ve decided I’m going to read only books about writing from now on (throws away all other books), I’m going to re-arrange the whole housekeeping closet at work, I’m going to get up at 5AM every morning and go to a meeting. 
  • Doing things that are unusual and that have a high potential for painful consequences — for example, unrestrained buying sprees, sexual indiscretions or foolish business investments check, where did all my money go?
  • The mood disturbance must be severe enough to cause noticeable difficulty at work, at school or in social activities or relationships; or to require hospitalization to prevent harm to yourself or others; or to trigger a break from reality (psychosis).check, um, this shit sucks. have you ever waken up with racing thoughts? yeah i wake up like that every single day of my life. driving to school or work feeling like i’m on a roller coaster. feeling like i won’t be able to sit through class because of how much anxiety i’m having about the paper i’m about to turn in. by 5pm everything is all good man and i can’t stop talking. 
  • Symptoms are not due to the direct effects of something else, such as alcohol or drug use; a medication; or a medical condition. check, I’m sober and I live a incredible life.

I am playing back memories in my head and starting to contemplate their meanings. I am trying to understand why I reacted the way I did. I’m remembering taking the hit really hard when I found out my 5 year old best friend was moving away. Was that a manic depressive response? Or when Aaliyah passed away and it made me super depressed as if I actually knew her. Surely that’s not rationale at all. That must be a bipolar response. Or how sad I felt on the last day of school because I was never going to see any of these people again! What a tragedy!

Okay, maybe none of those responses have anything to do with being bipolar. Maybe those are the responses that make me, me. And I like me. All of me. I haven’t worked as hard as I do to get to a place where I can’t look at myself in the mirror. I love who I am today and that’s why I am going to keep working on this until I find an equilibrium to it all.

I have a friend who knows what I am going through personally. My friendship with this person anchors me in the reality that I maybe, just maybe I won’t feel like this for the rest of my life. What a gift to have a friend who knows what this feels like. I guess that’s a part of why I’m writing this blog. I have hopes that maybe one person will stumble on my posts and relate. Maybe you’ll find solace in knowing you’re not alone. Know that there are folks living with this and not only living but thriving.

What I’m grateful for is I get to go through this sober. I don’t have to question whether the feelings I have are real or not. I don’t have to question whether or not my feelings are being affected by being hungover, being stoned, or being high. I don’t have chaotic situations in my life that could be triggering my emotions because things in my life are good today. With this knowledge I can be confident in getting medicated for bipolar.

Today I started meds. I’ll be journaling about my moods everyday throughout this time. I won’t be sharing that in my blog don’t worry. What I will do, is talk about how the medication is helping me or doing me a disservice. Again, in hopes of helping another person I will describe my experience to the best of my ability. I’m scared as hell that it won’t work. Or even worse, I’m afraid that if it does work I’ll be a totally different person. What if I don’t like that person? However, I’m giving it up to faith and surrendering to the fact that I can’t live like this anymore. It’s time to say goodbye to these manic episodes. Here’s to a new way of life.

Again, time for bed.

Xoxo,
Al

Advertisements

Author:

I am a 26 year old Japanese American queer cis female who is from the bay area and currently lives in Portland, Oregon with her pitbull named Yuki. She is my pride and joy. I have been sober since 2014 and started to work in the sex industry in December 2016. We moved to Portland about 4 years ago in 2013 and have been learning how to thrive in this grey, wet, yet charming environment of Portland. Three things attracted me to this magic nook on the west coast. Tree tunnels (as I like to call them) that tower over roads swallowing you into a tube of nature, people’s tendency to look you in the eye and ask how you’re doing (with expectation of a genuine answer), and tea houses/coffee shops are a past time here. They say this is the city where 20 year olds come to retire or the city of refugee weirdos who just didn’t quite fit in. My diagnosis of Portland is the city that embraces those who love to isolate and be awkward so if hiding out in your room to geek out on your blog or simply drink tea in your room all day is your thing I suggest you check out what the fuss is about in Portlandia. Although Portland is whimsical in it’s own right it has a major amends to make to it’s citizens of color. It’s been here that I’ve learned the most about activism and politics unfortunately as a result of the city’s non acknowledgement of all of their citizens. The citizens here although progressive in it’s own way participates in it’s own subtle yet powerful microaggressions daily. The city is vanilla to put it lightly. When I am not day dreaming of sunnier days you can find me in a tea shop rambling in my journal about the romantic fantasy of hopping a train or living out of a van, admiring baby doll heads and crooked picture frames, watering my indoor plants desperately trying to learn how to have a green thumb, geeking out on astrology charts, obsessing over Michael Jackson and screaming all his songs, flooding my earphones with Princess Nokia to CocoRosie to Mac Dre to name my top favorites, going to strip clubs, crying, praying, attending pole dancing class and learning a variety of ways to make my beautiful backside bounce, holding hands, blowing bubbles, dismantling the patriarchy, writing a story, a poem or working on a zine. My blog has no rhyme or reason but you may find some of those influences as themes in within my posts. What I do hope to do with my blog is expose myself vulnerably if nothing else as an act of leaving behind a documented record of my human-ness but the truest hope, dream in fact, is to help someone out there to feel less alone. I hope that through my ability to candidly share my rawest sense of self I can help build an online community of witches, activists, freedom fighters, freaks, mermaids, pretty boys, studly girls, theys, and thems.

5 thoughts on “bi·po·lar

  1. glad to see these again. i dont even wanna go to a dr because i know they’ll diagnose me with something. at the same time i feel like im/its getting worse. hope your path leads you to where you want to go. love you!

    Like

  2. Wow, I can identify so much with where you’re coming from in this post. I have questioned whether or not I have bipolar disorder for the past couple of years and I share the same fears you have. You’re so brave to face this and to ask the difficult question about what mental “illness” means for your identity. I think you will always be you no matter how your consciousness is altered. I hope that medication improves that quality of your life and that you learn as much about yourself as possible. Love you!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s