“Accepting a bipolar diagnosis fully is “almost like joining the priesthood,” says Sagar V. Parikh, MD, deputy psychiatrist-in-chief at the University Health Network in Toronto and professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto. “The commitment to treatment is a major one that involves going to the doctor regularly and paying a lot of effort to regulating one’s lifestyle. It’s not just a commitment to medication, but a way of life.
“I was convinced that if I could tough it out, I’d be fine,” he says. “I told myself, ‘There is no way I’m bipolar.’”
“It’s common for acceptance to take years,” agrees Evette J. Ludman, PhD,
While I was driving Hannah to school, I couldn’t stop the thoughts swirling around my brain. Then the thoughts started in a new direction of thought when thinking about my illness and its relation to me. I am aware that many people prefer the “person first” style of commentary where Mary has bipolar or Mary, with bipolar, instead of Mary is Bipolar. I’m wholeheartedly for this perception. Hannah is not her disabilities, no question. Instead, she is Hanna who is limited by them through no fault of her own. I’ve often admired how she handles her disability, she’s a strong mini. However, when talking to myself or others you can hear me say “I am bipolar” I don’t see this separation that everyone says is great for those who use it. It’s hard to separate you from your illness, especially a mental one (I have a physical one too) because you question and blame yourself often. There have been many times where I’ve thought, “I’m to blame for all the things that I need” which leads to “I could have stopped this(an episode)” “I should have done this differently,” a dark path to walk. I’m blaming myself for something I cannot control because it’s made up of my neurotransmitters, chemicals, and some brain deformations. How is that not me?
I have decided to attempt something that has me slightly scared. I’m going to introduce a coping tool that comes in the form of another being around ‘you’ and personifying the illness. However, I’ve shared headspace before and the idea of doing this willingly is frightening, but I’m giving it a shot. Therefore, I now present the Bipolar Beastie. The monster of my “With Monster.”
My blog title is from a long time ago when I felt I was being dragged through all this energy & moods by someone else. It’s time to live up to the title I used, With Monster, not Am Monster. My thoughts started with reflections on my recent hypomanic monthish. Thinking of how, if I had just slowed down a little I might have seen it happen. How that might’ve been worse if I fully knew in the middle of it. All I knew was that I had to do all of these things, with or without logical purpose. I made hundreds of cookies without any use, we had tons that I didn’t know what to do with. Thankfully turning them into Christmas presents that saved us, I’m taking it as a win there, but in a curly way. I felt amazing, I honestly thought that it was because I was finally medicated to the point where I could be productive! Instead, it was hypomania kicking in. Not the meds coming to a perfect balance, the beastie. I was tricked.
Now I’m in the ground, depression using its heavy hand to force me to rest within reason. My version of within reason and my psychologist, husband, PT, & acupuncturist’s are definitely not the same. This is part of the reason I need to separate from my illness, make it a riding companion, make it something that’s not ME and my fault. It usually feels like I can always do more, happiness building as I do more and more until I crash. When I’m hypomanic it can last weeks before I get the crash like this week.
OK, Beastie, name to come. Thank you for making me so on top of things and ‘on’ during one of the most stressful times of the year, it was one of my best Christmases ever. I realize that a few weeks of moving nonstop is going to take a toll and make me weak. However, if we could avoid a mixed or fully depressive turn that would be wonderful.
Current Weight Track: 182.6