Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Livin' la vida bipolar

Well, it appears that I have bipolar disorder.

This has been--oh, about 10-15 years in the making, although it's only been official for about 2 hours now. I've been told by no fewer than 7 mental health professionals over the years that they suspected I had it, at which time I stopped going...until the next episode, that is. I was absolutely unable to admit to myself that I might actually have this. A bad temper? Sure. A fiery disposition? Absolutely. Mood swings? Sure, but I'm a Scorpio!! We're very broody, intense, passionate people!

However, due to certain events, it's become impossible to ignore. I still hate that I have it, but as my psychiatrist said today--denying that I have it doesn't make it go away. It's still there, no matter what I do. However, leaving it untreated will only make it worse, and I'll continue to ruin relationships, my finances and my own well-being.

I start lithium today; we'll see how that works out.

I know that there's still a certain stigma attached with bipolar disorder. Intellectually, I understand that it's an illness, just like diabetes or asthma. But emotionally? It's really tough to admit--to myself, to you, to everyone--that I have it.

But it's not who I AM (which is why I've been careful throughout this post to avoid saying "I'm bipolar", as so many people do. After all, you wouldn't say, "Oh, you know Jen? She's diabetes."). It's a medical condition that I'm learning to manage so that someday, it will no longer affect my day to day life....at least, not very often.

So wish me luck on this journey. Many of my posts about this will be irreverant because hey, that's how I roll. ;) And as I've discovered, bipolars have GREAT senses of humor. Hell, they have to, to deal with everything that comes along with this disease.

Anyway....any time I make fun or crack jokes about this condition, please don't take it to heart, especially if you or someone you know has it, as well. I am in no way making light of the disease itself. Trust me, I know know how heartbreaking and tough it is, both for people who have it and their loves ones. But as I mentioned, this is just MY way of dealing with things. I make jokes and use my sarcasm to make OTHER people laugh.

So sit back and enjoy the ride (although frankly, from here on out, it SHOULD be a lot smoother....).

7 comments:

manic suicide said...

Hey, I'm Bipolar type 1.

All I can say is that you're not alone. It took me a long time to get over the resentment (I'm still not there), shame, and the rest of the junk associated with being bp. It is a long hard road, but if there's anything I can do is recommend you don't go at it a long.

Group Therapy, online support groups, etc are all available. I used avoid these like the plague, they reminded me of me, and being around people who had the same illness did the same. It took me a couple years to get over that before I reintegrated myself and I'm more than happy I did. There's a good forum I go to, if you're interested I'll send you the link although you could probably in google.

Acceptance is the first step :) At least now you know what you're dealing with. Good luck, it won't be easy, but I'm sure you already know that.

Jen said...

Hey MS, I tried to comment over at your page but I had to register and I'm just too lazy for all of that. ;) Yes, send me any info you think would be helpful!! Thanks. (And how the heck did you find me so quickly? LOL)

Nik said...

Jen-- I give you a lot of credit as to how you're handling all of this. I can't imagine how difficult this is for you, but I honestly admire you and it takes a lot of courage to open up and admit these kinds of things. I do have to say that it's good to see you not denying it this time. That's big. I'm here if ya need me, or if ya don't. Love ya!!

Lori said...

Jen...

This is a tough one. But look at you...writing about it, learning about it, getting ready to tackle it with your usual undaunted style. You're right, having bipolar disorder doesn't define you. It isn't you. But it is a part of you and that part definitely should not be ignored.

Be your own advocate. And know that your faithful little cheering squad is behind you all the way.

~Lori

Jen said...

Trust me, Lor--as many can attest, that part of me CAN'T be ignored. =-) Thanks for the post and for checking in.

Eduardo said...

I think you show a lot of courage.

Renee said...

LOL at the "CAN'T be ignored" comment :-)

You're incredible. I think it's great that you're finally accepting that this is a part of you and you have as positive an attitude about it as I could imagine anyone having. Writing about it for the world to see is scary as hell, and you're doing it!

Hugs!!!