Grief, One Year Later

In the years leading up to my father’s death, I’d been preparing for it. He was diagnosed with cancer a decade ago and, since then, his health slowly, but surely, deteriorated.

When it comes to grief, I learned no amount of mental preparation will suffice. Sure, I’d seen grandparents pass away, but this was different: this was my dad, the man who I both loved and at times loathed.

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Where do We go from Here?

The unraveling starts slowly, but surely. From my earliest memories, I’ve been trying to find meaning amid the chaos. I still get the “pictures,” as a recovery friend likes to say. As I continue my research, I discover that psychologists today call those “intrusive memories.”

At times I wonder if the whole world is wrapped up in this web of dysfunction. If we’ve been marching toward this boiling point for some time now, and if we’re about to face a reckoning.

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Bipolar and Acceptance

What does it mean to have bipolar disorder?

I was diagnosed with Bipolar I in college. After a clear manic episode while going to Temple University, a psychiatrist working on the campus prescribed me a mood stabilizer, along with the depression and anti-anxiety medications I was already taking.

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Notes to Self (Part 1)

A few years ago, I began keeping a journal in a Microsoft Word file, in addition to the handwritten journals I keep.

It was interesting to go through the Word Doc and see the ups and downs from the past few years. I decided I wanted to share some paragraphs from the journals in a segment I’m calling “Notes to Self.”

Some of the paragraphs are inspirational, and most of them are written in second person, as that helped me through the hard times.

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Holding on to Hope

“Bipolar disorder is a brain disorder that cause changes in a person’s mood, energy and ability to function. Bipolar disorder is a category that includes three different conditions — bipolar I, bipolar II and cyclothymic disorder.” -American Psychiatric Association

Madness seems like such an old-fashioned term, much like “insane asylum.” However, I’ve known madness in my life and, when going through the mental twists and turns, it can be difficult to recognize just how mad I am.

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