A week or so ago I put up a post about the ongoing battle to seek treatment with my bipolar symptoms. Well, today is kind of a follow-up post to that. First, I want to say it’s been a privilege to have had such amazing, positive feedback from people about that post. On Twitter, here on WordPress and on Facebook – as well as in person – people reached out to share their own stories with me about what they’re going through, either in small part or in detail. A few people even thanked me for saying what I said! I can’t help but be humbled by that kind of response. The nigh on terror I felt about posting up that much personal information and the vulnerability it required of me was rewarded brilliantly by people both professionally and personally so far, and I want to thank everyone who read and reached out. It’s been a bolster in a rough week.
And it has been a rough one. The last week has proven that my ups and downs don’t seem to be done fluctuating lately. I’ve been on the receiving end of some crazy mood swings lately, going all the way to manic and then back down again into depression. Mostly I’ve been skating upwards on mania that has had me nervous for the last week. But thanks to checking in with friends and keeping an eye on myself, I’m in a much less shaky place than I was before.
It also helps that I reached out to the medical facilities at NYU and spoke to some wonderful people. As of today, I’m officially attempting medication for my condition for the first time in years. The doctor I spoke to was wonderful, caring, and considerate of my concerns about side effects from medication. My concerns stemmed from the last time I tried medication, I was unable to concentrate on work while on the pills. I wasn’t overly emotional but I wasn’t exactly doing well either because I found I couldn’t write. I couldn’t reach the place where my creative inspiration came from. So it became a question of doing my work, the work that fulfilled me, or being ‘even’. We’ll see now what happens but it became clear that a change was necessary.
And I will say that, so far, it hasn’t impacted my relationships very badly. I had one instance of someone being unable to deal with my manic energy that felt rebuffing, but I realized I can also be overwhelming when I’m that way. It isn’t that person’s fault, I realized, and moved past it. With the changes I’m making, I hope I won’t always be that way.
I came across a song recently that reminded me of my life recently. It might be about alcohol use but the terminology Pink uses in her song ‘Sober’ is very similar to the ways I have felt while on a manic jag. Check it out:
From now, I’m looking for something a little more even than this. While still being able to feel emotions and work on my writing and be the person I want to be. I’m still groping in the dark to find the way to that place. But therapy once a week and medication and consultations with a reasonable doctor and good friends – all these things can bring me where I need to be. So I suppose I just want to add: thank you for reading this and sticking around. Let’s see what awesomeness I can create while getting my head on straight.