There’s an analogy I read somewhere about your diagnosis of bipolar disorder being like moving to a new city. It’s a city that you didn’t choose to live in, and you didn’t have a choice in whether or not you wanted to move. But you’re there now, and it’s not some global conspiracy. And actually it’s not all that bad. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone else, but now that you’re diagnosed theres no wishing it away so might as well see what you can make of your new living situation.
There is a war, a chaos of the mind,
When all its elements convulsed- combined-
lie dark and jarring with perturbed force.Byron, “The Corsair”, canto II v 10 lines 328-30.
There’s a period of grieving. I grieved the self I thought I’d be. The life with a blooming career and a nice home and a family of my own with dinner parties and intellectual conversations, but I could only see bouts of hospitalization and being a mess and incoherent thoughts and being reliant on others for the rest of my life. Neither of these are real. Having a diagnosis of bipolar disorder forces you to be super present in your life, and that’s a wonderful thing.
I started this blog to share whats been helpful for me as I navigate recovery. I hope it helps you somehow and bring some comfort and light in your dark places. From someone who’s been walking through this city, I can say what was once a frightening dangerous place is now kind of familiar and not so off putting, I’ve found a new rhythm, can make sense of the shape of the landscape and have learned some tricks.. I’m sometimes even having fun : >