Thoughts on Bipolar Disorder

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It’s been too long since I’ve posted so I decided to publish this article before the end of the year to avoid losing my meager following. 2020 has been bad for everyone and I’m lucky enough to still be alive however I had a few personal issues that prevented me from blogging the way I wanted to this year. Being Bipolar is almost like being made of straw in a land of sudden breezes, one moment you’re intact, the next you’re stuffing your brains back into your hat. So I’ll touch a little on Bipolar Disorder in this article just in case people are curious about it.

I’m no expert on treating Bipolar Disorder but I can certainly draw from a lifetime of experience. I think I might currently be hovering somewhere between Bipolar One and Bipolar Two. This is because most of my life I believe I’ve been Bipolar Two, ( I still find the label confusing) but in the last few years I experienced life altering events such as the final stage of my Anima’s development into Sophia, an accidental natural Satori that lasted 4 months, as well as a near death experience due to an injury that resulted in an infection with major complications that have left me now physically disabled. I was dead for forty five minutes in fact but I was lucky enough to die in an ICU so all the King’s doctors and nurses managed to put this Humpty Dumpty back together again. Those events combined with other minor challenges to my midlife wanderings have forced me to the precipice of Bipolar One, a realm in which I do not care to tread. Being on the edge has enhanced my manic episodes so that they can last up to six weeks or so, (this is a good thing.) However I wouldn’t dare dive into the deep end for fear of waking up in a psych ward. I’ve never seen the inside of one and I plan on keeping it that way.

The only time I truly feel alive is when I’m manic. This may sound scary if you’re unfamiliar with the condition. Perhaps the simplest explanation is to compare it to the sensation of falling in love. It feels good, really good. Better than sex or drugs because mania is far more intense and long lasting. People suffering from Bipolar Disorder can mess-up their lives during manic phases if they haven’t yet learned how to recognize when their mania is manifesting. So if you sat down last night and suddenly drew up plans to rebuild Rome in a day, you might want to take a long look in the mirror and remind yourself that you have a mental health disorder. Problems can multiply if the person has never been diagnosed. Ever had a dad or a crazy uncle that tried to replace the engine in a car or build a treehouse in one weekend? Yeah he’s probably an undiagnosed Bipolar spreading chaos in his wake. Try not to take it personally. We all come out of the oven a little bit differently and just the fact that so many people are now recognized as having mental health disorders may imply that such disorders have a part to play in human survival. Various mental health issues may prove advantages in times of crisis or war perhaps, or may even prove instrumental in unraveling the nature of consciousness. When recognized and controlled a manic episode can be a godsend for accomplishing goals and restoring balance after weeks or months of a depressive episodes.

Depression is the flipside of mania and the only alternate state of being for those with Bipolar Disorder. There is no state of normal. So if you’ve just found out that your spouse is Bipolar you should know now that there is nothing you can say or do to fix it. It is possible for a person with Bipolar to push their state of mind into a kind of joyless purgatory. I don’t recommend it however because you’ll only be doing it to accommodate others and you’ll be so numb that people will still assume that your depressed, lazy or spaced out. A good remedy for a depressive episode is to put your head down and go to work everyday. This is especially true for people in their twenties and thirties. If you’re still in school or lack full-time employment you’re gonna have to work extra hard to stay the path. No amount of friends, family, counselors, therapists, vacations, sex or drugs can drag you out of the funk of Bipolar depression. Shear determination is your only crutch until the day comes when you are vested in a family and career of your own because you’ll be more in balance due to all the distractions that come with economic responsibility.

Life after age 40 comes with it’s own separate playbook. Low testosterone makes it difficult to lose weight, heal from injuries, have sex or even feel motivated enough to do anything more than sit in a comfy chair. Low estrogen doesn’t appear to be much of a picnic either. Job security becomes a genie you’re always trying to get back in the bottle. Your friends have all moved away and your parents start showing their age. You’re usually too exhausted to spend time with your kids and few things taste, look or feel as good as they used to. At this point it can help to have hobbies but I find myself more intellectually hungry than anything else. There’s no single way to handle Bipolar Disorder after age forty. Each experience is unique to the individual.

I started the year on a manic high note until I found out in February that my wife wanted a divorce. The divorce went well as far as divorces go but I’ve also been fighting since the beginning of the year to obtain disability benefits. This has proved to be a slow and frustrating process as Social Security denies all initial claims and grants only a small percentage to those willing to fight it out in court. Meanwhile I’m currently drifting in limbo financially which has exasperated my lowered self-worth and prolonged my Bipolar depressive episode going on 10 months now. However with a Covid vaccine on the way I’m hoping that tensions worldwide will relax and that with a little luck I’ll experience enough mania next year to dive back into my writing and produce some fresh content on consciousness and mental health. I’m not sure how much interest there is in my slice of Bipolar Disorder but I could possibly provide more information if I receive any positive comments about this article.

Until then Happy Holidays,

Conan De Moe 12/15/2020