Prolonged Winter

So looking back at the other day, I decided to skip a dose of my medication to see if things would turn around for me and they did, for a few hours.

I was naughty and decided to pop a couple of the Gabapentin that I take at 300MG for Anxiety and 900MG for Sleep. Thought this medication is mainly used as a nerve pain reducer for those suffering from fibromyalgia. I am no pharmacist but one thing that I have learned is that medication will have different effects at different dosages. While Gabapentin tends to wither make me calmer at 300MG and make me snooze at 900MG, I found that if I take 600MG I will get a bit of a high that then can spike a hypomanic or manic episode. This is exactly what happened.

I had work on Sunday and I got to work dreading the whole day so as I said I would I skipped my medication but instead of taking the prescribed dosage, I took 600MG of the Gabapentin. I felt fine. I even felt rather relaxed until the air conditioning came one and BAM! I was manic.

Like wings lifting my body up out of the depression that I as in, I felt like getting projects done. My mind raced like Seabiscuit and I as I laughed at everything my coworkers said to me I rearranged the shirts and the merchandise as if it was a mission to cure cancer. Everything was amazing until little exhausted me passes out on my train ride home.

I woke up realizing that I was nowhere near happy or high or manic as I had wished that I was and as I sat there feeling confused as to where I was, I felt depressed. Not only had I been lost at sea in side this perfect storm known as depression for the last week but I had been exhausted. The hope that sprang up my legs and into my mind earlier in the day was gone and life had become a shattered mirror of loneliness.

So why am I telling you all this? Well for one, I told you I would in the last post and for the reason that sometimes there is no way around out mood disorder’s hold on us. My mania lasted for around 8 hours and those were the best 8 hours I had felt in a while even though they were at my part time job.

I immediately went home and took my medication and knowingly kept this a secret from my therapist but continued to bitch about how depressed I have been. When your bipolar mind goes rogue and it causes your failure to launch into a manic episode a total back fire, it makes you feel even worse about the disease.

Hugs to all of you.

I know I need them.

Alex

 

Advertisements

On Going Rogue

My bipolar is weird. Every one interprets reality differently. I tend to ramp up quicker than when I become depressed. Though in the mists of a depression right now, I have been getting the sub conscious urge to put off taking my medication.

You see because I have been struggling with bipolar disorder for as long as I could remember and not even know it until my late twenties, I thought that the way I interpreted reality was my normal and now that I have a hard time finding the new normal of my life I go through bouts of depression because I just don’t know who I am anymore.

My brain goes rogue. As much as the real me wants to be stable and get my shit together, I just cant. Its similar to an unstable relationship where the person cant get it right because they subconsciously self sabotage themselves. I am the same when it comes to showing one of my “three ME’s”. When I am normal, I have a hard time finding out the real me and what I want and enjoy in life. When I am depressed as I currently am, everything is awkward and it sucks. I hate being around people, I hate the sun, every thing hurts and I can feel every strand of my hair throbbing as if its just been ripped out. Depression is not fun and the only way to express my hatred for it is simply going off my medication.

I always compare it to Popeye the Sailor. When Popeye needs an moment of courage, brilliance, and strength he opens up a can of spinach and all of the sudden he is someone better. I am Popeye and my Mania is my spin ache quiche. By skipping my medication I anticipate a moment of hypomania where everything is vivid, I don’t need sleep, I have energy and cognition that surpasses anyone in that moment. The wind makes me feel like I am flying and all of my senses are heightened. Why wouldn’t I chose this over the cold dormancy world of depression?

When I ramp up into hypomania everything is perfect… Until, I ramp up higher and keep ramping up higher. Its like driving your car faster than the speed limit. You drive and you get a rush of success as you pass other drivers up. Everything is ok until you get into that moment of “going 65 MPH is not enough and you push the gas a little bit more because 85 MPH is just a lil better.” All this is what most people do. Just ask anyone driving on an expressway in Chicago. When it comes to bipolar, mania is the same. Your mania keeps getting more and more intense until you start to think different than reality and you start seeing things or you may even binge watch Homeland for a week without sleep and start to think that everything is real and that your in the game your self.

Popeye never really showed what his spinach would do to him if he kept eating more and more but I now that my spinach ends up not looking to great for me. This is me. I go rogue. It all start with me getting either angry or me starting to feel the hair on my arm or neck tingle as a breeze blows and I end up in what seems like a great trip down hypomanic lane it can go a few ways but one of them that happens is that I tend to become full blown manic and days or weeks later I am waking up from a ten hour coma wondering why my room is a mess, why I ordered so much on eBay, and why people hate me. The depression after a manic episode is the worst. Because while my brain is not producing any serotonin, I cognitively feel the guilt that comes with realizing that I fucked up.

Bipolar acts cyclically. This is a fact. Mania then Depression then normalcy the mania is what my life currently looks like and no matter what I try I am drowning in faulty brain chemicals.

As I said earlier, I am currently depressed. On a scale of -3 to +3 on the depression/mania chart I am at a -2. This scares me because I don’t find myself wanting to do the things that Normal Alex and Manic Alex likes to do. I find myself agoraphobic and dreading the very thought of having to leave the house. I find myself nonstop binge eating. Along with crying spells, I feel nothing but pain. Again, as I said before, I feel every hair on my head throbbing with pain. I feel every joint in my body aching.

The worst part is that I wish more than ever right now to be manic and feeling nothing but euphoria. This is the through that I hear whispering into my brain every second of every day right now. A lil voice telling me to go off all my medication and, like Popeye, take my spinach.

I am wondering if I have the control to self medicate and ramp up and at the right time begin taking my medication again. Could I self medicate and take an upper to get me manic?

What happens next? Well I guess You will find out next post.

Wish me luck, I could be going into battle.

Alex

On Being a Voice

I have always wanted to blog and write and write for a blog and though I have many creative thoughts I think that writing a blog about my creative thoughts on bipolar and producing a voice for those in need of one is the best way to use my talent and time. People who suffer from mental illness have different brains. That’s fact. (No Fake News Here). Having bipolar makes my brain wired differently and because of this my brain thinks and works differently to someone who isn’t diagnosed with a mood disorder. When it comes to writing this blog, I want tit to be as raw and as real as if you were having a conversation with me.

I do know how to write and have written a whole lot in all my years of school. I have always found fascination with writing and while I love both fictional and non fictional writing I especially love writing in the creative way. You see today’s artistic community makes writing in form of poetry more appropriate than say ten years ago when I was a student in high school. This liberal form of writing that is allowed today has given me the opportunity to creatively and expressively write this blog in the way that I see fit.

You can see that my writing is sometimes sloppy. This is because bipolar has so much to do with cognition and the brain that I don’t want to show the edited and “healthy mentality” of a fake bipolar blog. I wanted to write this blog as me living with bipolar and not me as if I were living with bipolar. Hence the misspellings (some times intentionally) and the disorganized thought process. I used to always write creatively using a outline but when it comes to blogging I find these little segments very therapeutic and I tend to write what is on my mind at that moment and of course sometimes pouring over a thousand words of my bipolar thought process.

I have always looked at famous people who have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and tried to study how their art differed from others. In other words, I often try to find how bipolar people think and interpret the world. As someone who is bipolar, I interpret the world differently in three different ways. When I am balanced and at a 0, my cognition and writing is thought out evenly and organized and when I am manic, I tend to be all over the place with my writing.

I chose to write because it is a great outlet for me to cope with the fact that I am living with bipolar disorder. I also hope that my writing about my experience as I am experiencing it helps those seeking answers.

I encourage all of you to write as you and use your voice as it would be used naturally instead of looking to be a New York Times writer or even a overheard Carrie Bradshaw.

Am I a bipolar gay guy living in the city or is the city causing me to be a bipolar gay guy?

Just kidding,

 

Alex

 

Interviews

So its really hard interviewing as a normal person, but what’s it like being bipolar and going through the interview process? Its ten times worse.

You see here’s my take on interviews… You get one shot. If you blow it then that opportunity is forever gone. Once I schedule an interview in become obsessive and neurotic over it. A few days ago I received an offer to schedule an interview for an internship with a local Chicago based production group that specializes entrepreneur’s in taking their fashion dream and making it a product. I immediately got excited and then, like the perfect storm, I started planning.

Mistake #1

I decided to go off my meds.

I went off my meds because the way I look at it is it’s like I am Popeye and my mania is the spinach that will help me get through anything. I have done it many times and each time I think that I have manic episodes harnessed until the depressive crash comes and I have a negative bank account, and I almost ran away to LA with a guy I just met to get married (True Story). So I skip my night time dose and by morning my brain takes flight. For the next few days (or until I tank a sedative to knock me out) I zip around on a mission of life. I begin not sleeping or sleeping around 2 hours a night and I begin feeling everything. My senses are heightened and my mind is racing faster than I ever thought it could. I begin the mania with euphoria and then become irritable.

Mistake #2

Obsessing about the interview is what tends to happen due to the mania. I will sit there at my job and have conversations in my head and constantly pot and plan every single detail about the interview process. I will plan multiple interview outfits in my head so I know which one to wear based on my mood and the weather that day. I will also obsess over the actual interview. I will do extensive research on the places, and people that I am going to interview and I usually tend to walk into the interview knowing more than the person who will be interviewing me. I am very Carrie Matheson (Homeland) like that.

So I had the interview last Thursday and by time the day of the interview came it was my four day without being on my medication, I hadn’t been eating due to mania telling my body I didn’t need food, and I hadn’t slept more than 5 hours those four days due to my mania telling my body I didn’t need seep.

I went from a manic episode into a mixed mood episode which is the worst. Imagine your brain telling you you’re happy and then sad and anxious and worthless and then amazing in every way all at the same time. I went into the interview nervous and ready and and walked out a mess. My manic brain and put me in fight or flight mood and I could feel like I was wanting nothing but to run away from life. Though the woman who interviewed me told me that this had been a “great interview”, somewhere in my mind I thought that I had failed miserable because my bipolar brain had said so.

I immediately walked form the loft and down an alley to the local coffee shop I had grabbed a coffee from many times due to having a repeat hook up pal there for several years, grabbed a chocolate muffin and a coffee, and ran to the train to eat my feelings and drink my fourth cup of coffee that day.

The day ended sour as I went home and started fights with my family. I went home changed and laid don for a bit only to feel the impulse to take the train back into the city to go out for drinks…. So I showered again and changed again whilst blasting loud 80s rock music and dolled my self up to go out.

So I hopped the train back to the city and ran to Sofo Tap for a Daddy infused Rupaul’s Drag race night mixed with Stoli-Lemonades. What was supposed to be manic me feeling the wind in my hair with a couple beers turned into manic me getting super manic and tipsy.

Lets just say that the night ended on an adventure and I was smart enough to head home because I had gone home and realized that it was time. I swished some Seroquel around my mouth and entered ten hours of sedation only to get ready for work the next morning.

My mania can help but after so many times of my mania back firing and turning my life into a shitstorm, my therapist and I have decided that interviews are important but I need to try them with my medication keeping me grounded mood wise.

Bipolar disorder makes everyday situations much harder than they should be. When it comes to interviewing for jobs and internships, most people without bipolar cant do it. I am proud to say that I have never not gotten an offer after an interview and right now due to me not taking my medications, this may be the first time.

I was freaking the fuck out because I thought I didn’t get the job but I found out today that there may be other factors making the interview process a tad bit longer than usual at the place that I applied for so we will see.

Being bipolar is difficult when interviewing but I have been working my ass off for years with bipolar undiagnosed and then diagnosed so I cant fret it to much.

We just have to see ourselves for all the good that we are.

“Please  remember us better than we were.”

Handshake and Hugs.

Alex

On Being Elle Woods

Bipolar is a weird form of mental illness. Some of those suffering with Bipolar must be put on disability or even worse send time in a facility where they can receive treatment and care. And then there’s the other side of the spectrum. The people like me.

Bipolar places many burdens on one’s life. You need to always think about whether your making the right choices and you must constantly live in fear of a change in mood or a severe episode. However, after all the worrying and depressive episode I become manic and creativity just gushes through my brain like a waterfall over rocks. This is where I become circadian phobic.

When it comes to the title of this blog, I was manic when I was told that I would be great in marketing and I was manic when I decided to go back to school for Fashion Marketing. I can remember my first day like it was yesterday. I was the Elle Woods of my school.

In the movie (and now Musical) Legally Blonde, Elle Woods is a pretty young women who lives in the lap of luxury in LA. Wealthy and into fashion and other specifics, Elle becomes empowered by her loser boyfriend and decides to attend Harvard Law School. Poor Elle finds herself in a whole different world. She becomes the new outsider that must learn the ways of all of the austere law students. I was Elle. I’ve been through a lot.

On my first day going back to school, I knew I didn’t fit in. I was wearing a grey beanie, a maroon tee-shirt, a green and crème coloured Alexander McQueen scarf and blue jeans tucked inside boots along with my Paul Smith Sunglasses. I looked really cute. However a six foot two bigger build type of guy working in fashion was not what people expected. I was a country mouse going to school with a city mouse crowd and I knew that I didn’t fit in but I also knew that I had to try to make it work. So old ass MacBook and all, I did. I used a few things to make this happen as Elle did in the movie. I used my age, experience, moral code, and bipolar disorder to get me to where I am today.

Having Bipolar does make it hard for a lot of people to work on different projects we know that. I however have managed to somehow work with my bipolar and, for the main part, harness it to get what I need done. You see my bipolar tends to be the kind where I ramp up quickly. When not taking medication, I tend to become hypomanic which then makes me uber creative and a workaholic. I start thinking well beyond my normal means of thinking and I tend to have many sleepless night as I conquer everything in my way. Imagine a hurricane leaving nothing but ultra creative work behind.

Being bipolar and being in the work force is also always awkward. Normally I keep it all a secret. I don’t tell anyone I work with that I am bipolar. Why? People judge. Those who don’t know anything about bipolar or mental illness automatically assume that I am some kind of nutcase who will end up being a liability when in reality I have managed to work the last ten years in stable jobs. When I did have bouts of depression or mania I was somehow able to get through with people noticing perhaps a mood shift but that’s all. I am really good at keeping my bipolar a secret. Being gay was easy because coming out wasn’t really a hard thing to do since I had always been very dramatic, animated, and eccentric to the point that my gayness blew out of me like glitter and club lights. It was my bipolar that I had to learn how to come out.

Coming out bipolar is a hard thing to do. Will they accept me? Will all of the stereotypes make them think differently? Will they trust me? These are all questions that I had asked myself after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder type 1. I learned that there really is no exact way of doing this bipolar thing. I learned to come out as bipolar to select people and when I knew it was time or I needed to.

The first time I came out to someone in my career path as bipolar was actually a crazy and funny story. One of my favourite teachers had assigned my Retail Buying class an assignment in which we need to make a Retail Journal on the company known as Zara. We had to produce a book that was over a hundred pages and spiral bound in a professional manner that would end up being our final project and result in the class’s final grade. I worked day and night on this assignment and put my best into it as I wanted to not only get an A but also impress the teacher who I admired and wanted to show my full potential. This all worked great. That was until the day before it was due I cycled into a manic episode.

Manic Me decided to scrap the entire 90 pages that I had worked on and went on a two day binge recreating the project as what I thought would be the best book ever. I turned it in and waited for the next class where it was returned to me with a simple “Please see me.”

I was so nervous and although I had come down to a +1 from a +3 on the bipolar scale, I knew that there was something wrong. As I approached her after class she had a look on her face that resembled those given to me by the adults every time something unfortunate happens. Imagine a “Thoughts and Prayers” lip pout. I was weak in the knees and trembling with anxiety thinking that I would have to take the entire course over again. My teacher started off by stating that I was an amazing writer and then she asked, “What happened?” As if I were talking to a concerned grandmother. Her kindness and sincerity broke me and in a nervous hypomanic explosion I blurted out at her, “I have a mental illness and this is me messing up!” She backed up in her chair and calmly asked, “Well does this mental illness have a name?” and with all the hypomanic courage I could muster I said the words for the first time, “Bipolar”. After a brief two second silence that felt longer, she explained that she was surprised because I never showed any disruption at any time after I had her as a teacher for a few classes. She then explained to me that people should ask for help when they have stuff going one. I remember telling her that “every one had problems” and she seemed to be annoyed and then explained to me that Bipolar wasn’t a problem it was an illness just like her asthma was. For the first time I came out to someone as bipolar and I left feeling comforted. It was then that I realized that it was a calculated move to come out as bipolar to those in the work place.

I am in school for fashion and marketing and while I only have a few months left I have realized that  bipolar has helped me a lot through school and though I have told some I have found it comfortable to come out not as a person living with bipolar but as an advocate and someone who has learned to manage this mental illness and use it to better myself personally, academically, and vocationally.

In the end of the movie, Legally Blonde, Elle is at her graduation four years later speaking about her time and how she prevailed and made it. The thing that always makes me a bit warm and fuzzy is that Elle doesn’t change herself, she changes what she knows. That is the one thing that has gotten me through the past years of molding myself into the person that will be graduating and seeking jobs. I am not Alex with bipolar from 2015. I am Alex with bipolar who knows a lot more than what he did before and I am excited to show how much I know and can do.

As I said before, I have been through a lot. Bipolar is a mysterious disease and while I sometimes want to fall asleep in my bed and not wake up, I mostly look back and salute myself for all that I have accomplished and I have no other word to describe my life right now other than “Proud”. Ten year old MacBook and all, I am proud.

 

You guys are everything.

Proud Alex

Grinding Coffee / Grinding Teeth / Grinding My Gears

Those of us blessed with bipolar know that the disease is very complex and can have many manifestations. Some of us with bipolar have some symptoms where as some of us have all. I fortunately have only certain symptoms. Unfortunately, I have them more intense and more frequently than id like. Though I tend to be a more euphoric manic, I have also been cycling with mixed episodes being a buffer in-between mania and depression. I am currently in a agitated state. I have nothing but irritability right now.

Irritability looks like this inside my bipolar world: I am always on the go and I have a mission to succeeded in but every person on the planet is in my way and it is their fault if my plans fail and if they do fail then I should just jump in front of this train and end it all now.

I work in retail (Smart. I know.) and this is where I tend to really assert my irritability. Today I was late to work by ten minutes and while ten minutes is not that big of a problem to most people, to a bipolar Alex suffering from a irritable manic/mixed state it means I will be fired and lose everything I have. After being late I began promptly going on about the morning routines within the store. This includes dusting and mopping and emptying trash and making sure that there are items in stock for the customers and such and I did as I normally should. The problem with being irritable is that the second one customer walks into my beautiful clean store as I’m sipping my coffee in peace, admiring the. Soft grunge music playing I get angry and annoyed. I think to my self, “God Damnit! Why are they in this store? They’re just going to mess everything up and not buy anything!” This is where smart, loving, calm, shy Alex becomes a snooty beyotch. I tend to be, not mean, but snarky and snooty and there are times when I ignore customers. I end up selling about $200 all day and I end up being that bitchy gay guy (with impeccable style) next to the counter with his arms crossed and one hand around his chin glaring at the customers like one Ms. Miranda Priestly in the Devil Wears Prada (IDOL).

The worst part of feeling irritable is the escalation that it can raise my bipolar repercussions. When I get extremely irritable I tend to lash out and say things I normally wouldn’t and do things I normally would thing a couple times about before even acting on. When I get angry I get aggressive and nasty.

Many times have I been in the middle of moments where coworkers told me to switch to “decaf” as if caffeine is my problem. I drink coffee and it doesn’t help but ironically the sound of coffee beans grinding, vacuum cleaners zooming, and car horns going off, sounds affect me negatively and I become hypersensitive to many things when I experience irritability.

Its not switching around coffees that I need to really look into. Its switching around my diet and medications.

Xoxo

Alex

 

+/- UPDATE

Balance- the stability of one’s mind.

This is a check in. I am so sorry that I have been MIA for a while but it seems that when you are a student in the final few months of obtaining your bachelor’s degree while working almost full time and living life on the go non stop, you can feel a little overwhelmed or tired.

Its been crazy for me frankly. Since our last little update, you know the one where I had a crazy Sunday night that I dragged my loved ones into, I have been going through so much. When it comes to life, school and work, are good stressors. They keep me grounded and I try to connive my self that they help me obtain some sort of stability. However, when one of those falter, the others go up in flames as well.

School.

I am doing quite well in school right now. I have one class fully completed with a 90%. Though it was an online course, it involved so much work that I found my self living at the Starbucks downing coffee and writing papers. I am currently grabbing ahold in the rest of my courses as well. I have been having tons of assignments due at all different times but I have been able to crank them out.

Work.

As for work, I have been working a lot and working a lot hard. I am one of those people that believes no matter what job one has, they should always hold themselves to a standard of integrity. Because of this, I have been not only working a few more hours to catch up on making some money but whilst at work, I have been trying to really put 110% into everything I do. I like where I work and I love everyone that I work with but I tend to want to be an over worker and I also tend to want to invest a lot emotionally into work just as I do for school no matter how much I am being paid.

Personal Life.

My personal life is awkward. That’s the perfect word to describe it. Awkward.

I have been having a lot of fun which is great… but I have nothing to show for it. When it comes to love and sex, normal Alex tends to be very chill about it. I tend to take things very slow, and I actually end up being the typical shy and kind soft spoken cancer that Cosmo says a cancer guy is supposed to be. I want a guy who’s also kind and chill and loves having a fun time. When ever manic Alex enters stage left, I tend to want a relationship hard and fast. Like Porn but if the guys love each other or something,

My personal life has been this exact way. I haven’t been having a well enough relationship with my friends as I have just been busy when they aren’t and they are buys when I am not yadda yadda, and this is something that my therapist and I have been working on.

When it comes to bipolar disorder, those suffering with it tend to have major relationship issues. Not only are there issues within romantic relationships but also within family and friends.  Originally this is what I sought treatment for way back in 2015 when I first met with a therapist through school once coming down from a manic episode only I hadn’t known what mania or bipolar was to me and how I was one guy in Chicago living with the disorder that was both a curse and a blessing.

Bipolar Me.

Bipolar me is a scary person at times. “Brilliant. But Scary”, to quote one Ronald Weasly, Harry Potter.

I have bene having a mix of medication issues as well as rapid cycling issues du to many factor within my life. Some of those factors are diet, sleep, stress, and medication compliance.

Diet.

My diet is terrible. I tend to not eat enough during the day. Someone one of my physical stature (6’2, 230lbs, 27 years old) should be eating over two-thousand calories a day. I eat, on average, nearly eight-hundred calories a day hence my diet turning me into a constant hangry beyotch. This causes my blood sugar to plummet as my. Mood is shifted, usually, into a depressive episode or an irritable manic state.

As far as drugs and alcohol…. I’ve been sober for a few weeks now with the exception of one drink about 9 days ago.

Sleep.

I am a workaholic. This is a term in the 90’s that was especially used to express someone’s strong work ethic. Workaholism is standard now. Everyone has work going on all the time. With phones we’ve become a country that may leave the office but bring the office with them everywhere they go. I am one of those people. Lately my sleep has been that of non existent or too much so you can imagine how my circadian rhythm is affecting my mood.

Though I work hard, I see my school career in the same professional manner that I do looking at a job. With that being said a school project will take a long time and require a whole lot of mental and psychical work. This is when I tend to go off my meds and pull all nighters that last a few days. This causes me to not sleep and then induce a manic episode which is why my therapist and I have been trying to get my +2 and -2 to an even 0.

Stress.

Lets just say it. I’m stressed. I’m stressed with good stressors and I’m stressed with bad stressors. I divide my life’s stress into two categories. Good stress is your typical worries that improve your life. For me a good stressor is school. I love school because as much as I hate my classmates and half the time find my self surrounded by pseudo-intellectual teachers, I find it a place where I can be my best professional self. Though I love school and take it seriously, that integrity has gotten me into some mental health trouble. I mean getting depressed and suicidal when school doesn’t work out for me and shooting up into a manic episode when school gives me that thrust of live.

There is also bad stressors. I am having a lot of bad stressors in my life right now due mainly to my bipolar disorder. I am in a significant amount of credit card debt because of my mental health issues and because of the symptoms of mania. I tend to be a manic spender. I buy things that tend to be useless but costly. I start collecting and in a way hoarding. Though I am not a hoarder, I currently have over a hundred bottles of fragrance at home. All of which were purchased at higher times in my life.

Medication compliance.

Medication compliance is really my “Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde” moment. As a guy with an addiction to my manic episodes, I tend to stop taking my medications. I usually do this with all good intentions but I realize after the fact that this was a mistake and I end up hating my self all because the ruin my life is left in.

When it comes to medication there is a mix of factors that I tend to inherently fall upon. The first factor is that I am tired. Because I am tired, I tend to not have the energy or will to even get up off the couch or out of bed to swallow a bunch of pills. This is bad because I want to take medication but I tend to not have the energy. Its not laziness. It is pure exhaustion. What happens next is that my mania kicks in from the lack of sleep or the energy that a normal night’s sleep has given me and I tend to not want to pop my pills because my manic self is too busy doing other things to even think about taking medication.

The next factor in my medication compliance is, again, diet. A lot of my medications have to be taken on a full stomach. Have you ever taken Lithium on an empty stomach? Yuck. Because I have a diagnosed eating disorder, I tend to not eat when I need to take medication. What this does in turn is make me not want to take my meds because I don’t want to eat. See how that works now?

Finally, when it comes to medication compliance, I am addicted to my mania. Yes I love being manic. Anyone with bipolar knows that the disease has many manifestations. Some people have a more severe and dysfunctional form of bipolar where as I like to think that I have the good stuff. Sure, I tend to mess up my life in certain ways and make really bad decisions like getting married to a stranger on Christmas eve, Get hit by taxi cabs twice, loose my virginity after a funeral right before watching someone kill themselves, and hurting/being hurt by a whole lot of guys when falling in and out of manic love with them.  I have the type of bipolar that for a brief moment, I can make it work for me. My Hypo-mania, or what I call a +1, tends to be my moment of bliss, I feel great about life and everything is great. Its where I start ramping up to a +2 that I loose control and of course the drop from the sky known as depression.

I am addicted to the rush of life that I get from being manic. My mania has been acting a little different lately. Because I am on a cocktail of meds that are actually rather effective, my mood has been shifting much quicker. I have been at a +2 and -2 all in one day where as before it would take a few weeks to ramp up to a +2 or fall to a -2. My mood is all over the place right now and I have been having moments that look like mixed mood episodes involving irritability, crying spells, psycho-motor agitation and even moments of euphoria followed by plummeting anger.

My life is in an awkward place right now. School (my life for the last three years) and retail (my life for the last ten years) are coming to a transitional end and although I see my self in a much better life balance in a year from now, I do worry about the changes. While working on school, work, sobriety, mood episode, body image, and overall health, I know that that this awkward time in my life is a definite cause for the imbalance of positives and negative on my mood chart.

Hopefully this is helpful to some of you out there. I know I had some epiphanies whilst writing this.

Hugs.

Alex