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.
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.
I didn’t realize how I much appreciated silence until my late twenties, after another mental health breakdown. A bad breakup had sent me running to another self-help group and, unknowingly, into a deeper search for God.
“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.
A few months ago, I began looking through my journals at old poems I had written. “Strange planet” has gone through several revisions over the past year or so, and this is where I’m at with it so far.