Thanks for joining me!
Today I feel like the picture I posted of myself for this blog: ugly; unhappy; and forlorn. Tomorrow or even in five minutes my mood may change…two or more times. Imagine your mood changing drastically in short order and out of your control. Every morning I wake up fearful that my mind will be under attack. And all I wish to feel is normal.
Now 66, I realize I have been living with bipolar disorder for as long as I can remember. Until this past year, my immense pain of enduring life has manifested as anxiety (I’m supposed to say “manic”) and a drive to prove myself worthy yet never gaining satisfaction. That contagious big smile that shines from my face may feel genuine but alas it is a mask.
Once I learned the symptoms of disease, I finally conceded to my therapist Dr. Cathy Reimers that yes I do have bipolar disorder. She thought I had a prejudice against the disease. And I did and still do to a certain extent. There is a stigma that lives with bipolar disorder.
Mauro Ranallo, the “BiPolar Rock N Roller’ produced a documentary of his own challenges on Showtime in May 2018. https://www.sho.com/titles/3460233/bipolar-rock-n-roller and as I watched this very successful fight announcers story, I saw many parallels with my own life. Granted, his challenges were more extreme than my own but my own struggle has been very real and painful. Like me he has had a successful career despite of and because of the illness. Yet I always feel like I’m a fraud. If you only knew who I really was deep inside I would not been given the opportunities. And those that have been the target of my rage certainly had good reason to dislike me.
My mania manifested in both rage and unsurpassed happiness. I regret the rage I sometimes directed at friends, relatives, employees and clients over the years. Regret always immediately followed the rage directed at people I cared about, I liked, and in some cases I loved. These events arose when the disease took over my mind and body and pushed me far from my rational thought. And then came the depression knowing I could be such a jerk.
I can not tell you where my blog journey will lead. My hope is that it may provide help to others who deal with mental illness. Equally important is my hope that this blog will help others to be more understanding of people in their lives that may be erratic in their behavior. Just maybe, their actions are out of their own control and they may need love, support and professional help. Now that I’ve been diagnosed, I have a far greater understanding of others.