Failure to Launch

Well… My doctor recently diagnosed me as  rapid cycling which doesn’t really surprise me because my mood shifts like the wind. You see this little rapid cycling came about after I went through a depression and my doctor prescribed me bupropion. So what happened?

Bupropion is ad anti-depressant that also helps smokers quit. it is always a risk for bipolar patients to go manic but when you give them an anti-depressant it can shoot them from the deepest of depressions into the highest of manic episodes. I was fortunate enoough to catch this. My doctor had me come in for a check up and he could tell I was manic. I had gone wandering off into the woods one night and become extremely paranoid that the Feds were going to find me and take me away. Usually my mania is great but that was not my proudest moment. So… he cut me off of the anti-depressant and upped my Lithium. 

Anyway, the whole point of my stupid little story is that I LOVED every minute of the mania. After being depressed for so long, I wanted nothing more than to feel the warmth and vitamin like energy that came with mania. Forgetting that I was rapid cycling I drank a whole lot of coffe and tied to induce the mania but I only made my self really really really irritable. 

Right now I reached a small moment of hypo-manic bliss and I decided to talk about how it feels to want mania more than anything only to not get it.  Thus verifying that the Brain controls mania. 

I try everything. I go off my meds or play around with my meds which I know is totally stupid but I crave the manic highs. I will also drink a ton of coffee hopeing that my mania will kick in any moment. But it doesn’t. I end up being rapidly irritable or depressed which is the worst thing ever! No one wants to be a douchebag but when I am in hopes of going manic, my attempts make me a total dick and everyone ends up hating me and that everyone ends up including me. 

I am addicted to my mania  and I totally accept that. In fact I am totally cool with it. Now I know that to most people “that makes me a bad person.” But really I am not. If you have bipolar disorder then you can totally understand why one would rather be manic than depressed. I also love it because I become uber creative and outgoing. People always love manic Alex. They just do. As soon as that manic Alex becomes depressed, he looses his friends. 

I also love the Mr. Hyde version of myself because I become hyper sexual. Who doesn’t want that?

Either way, Manic Alex, or Mr. Hyde, as my dating profiles may say has a whole different experience to life and I prefer it. I love that feeling of the wind on Lake Shore Drive dancing with me. I love gigleing and laughing at every thing. I love finding the most innocent of things fucking hilarious. Life is vibrant, colorful, flavorful, and all of my senses become super heightened and intense. I love.  Mania. I love. life. I love being on Mars, On Venus, on the Moon and I love being the god that Mr. Hyde becomes. 

From a hypo-manic Alex, 
That is all.
Xoxoxoxoxoxox

Alex

Carnal Knowledge

Here we go…

One of the least talked about Bipolar Mania symptoms is hyper-sexuality. One of the first signs of hypo-mania / mania for me is hyper-sexuality. Normally, being a gay guy makes me more prone to promiscuity. I am a pro-sex person. I believe sex is amazing and I think that there is too much slut-shaming in society but I tend to let it fuck things up when I go manic.

Normally, sex is great but when I am manic, sex is amazing and unlimited. Once when manic, I had sex with three different guys in one day. Now I am no angel, but the moment that sex becomes a problem is when it interferes with reality and the overall main goal in life. The fact that I left a class to meet a guy a few floors up to fool around with was not just stupid but I would find out that the guy was married. I still see the guy around town and as he winks at me, I look away knowing that he’s being dishonest. That is something I have a huge issue with.

The semantics around having manic sex is one thing but the actual sex is amazing. When I am manic I won’t just sleep with men. I have made out with women in bars, men in bars, men on the L trains, in a public bathroom, in an alley. I have made out / slept with people all over the place.

The sex when manic is amplified to the highest degree imaginable. When I am manic, I am silly, excited, and child like when it comes to my lust for life. I am kinky and open to different things, sexually, when I am manic. When I am ramping up I start finding the guy I am with to be amazing in every way. When were kissing all i can think about is being in his bed learning everything about him and wanting to form a life with him. It feels like a nerd trying to download the newest marvel movie trailer with slow internet speed.

The issues that I take with hyper-sexuality also tend to risky business. I have been all kinds of crazy when manic and that crazy had a lot of sex. With the sex came the fall out of the riskiness involved. Having to get tested, break up with guys I had told I liked, and even loosing some of my favorite sweaters (among other clothing) were just a few of the things that I had to worry about. The long walks of shame gave me a lot to remorse about. I think that the American version of Showtime’s Shameless shows this really well. Ian, who is gay and bipolar, has hyper sexuality during his manic bouts. I can relate to Ian a lot.

I had lost my virginity when I was manic. It was unplanned and it was with some one that I liked a lot but wasn’t in love with. Though I had all kinds of sexual escapades prior in my life, it was with this guy and a whole lot of mania that I decided was time to connect a a different level. My innocence was completely gone. Of course it didn’t help that hours after loosing my V-card, I had witness a guy jump out of a window and fall to his death fifty feet in front of me. I had a lot to talk about in therapy that day.

Sex is amazing and I think we should all go out there and do it. Dealing with the bipolar part of me has made me question sexuality. I have found that as much as I love sex, I should’t feel as guilty about it.

Hyper-sexuality is just a little gift that comes along with the bipolar disorder and I don’t think that I would exchange it for anything else. I have “met” a lot of great guys through my manic sexcapades, and I still value them in my life through experiences or friendship to this day. Non-manic Alex still tries to make what happened some-what of value. With my guilty conscious I try to always make up for the sex that I had.

Sex is great. Bipolar makes the life cloudy, however sometimes, I like to live with my head in the clouds.

xoxo

Cocktails

I know what your thinking. No, I am not about to talk about alcohol. Although I could really use a drink, I have been trying out the sober life and although its been about 98% successful, I can say that with in Trump’s first one hundred days, I have been sober for 98 of them. But today’s post is mainly about medication and medication compliance. Two things that I have loss absolut (see what I did there) power in.

The last four months or 100 days, I had been going through a rough depression. After not seeing my doctor since August, I had decided to spend an early march morning asking for help. Although, I would have really gone for some medical marijuana, the doc said no and not only upped my Lithium to 1500mg but added on Wellbutrin. The Wellbutrin made me get out of bed in the morning but it also made me start fights. Not even alcohol made me an angry drunk, but the Wellbutrin did. I was starting arguments and I had become extremely irritable. My mood was in this ballistic era where I didn’t know what would happen next.

I explained this to Dr. G and he verified that I had become rapid cycling.  Rapid cycling Bipolar is exactly the best way to describe where I am right now and because of this, my medication is in the same situation.

I try to take my medication religiously but there are two things that happen that make me move into the medication non-compliance route. I either forget to take the meds and/or wake up too late to take them, or I miss my manic self.

For those of you who have Bipolar disorder, you know how great it feels to be manic. I tend to have no addictions in my life except being addicted to mania. The euphoria of a manic episode is the best high that I have ever experienced, and I have experienced a lot of highs.

I went for my Lithium level blood test yesterday and Dr. G emailed me thirty minutes later saying that my levels were low. This morning he emailed again. I explained that I had been taking the Lithium as prescribed. I didn’t explain that I had been all over the place mood wise the last week.

I hate taking medication because with the medication I still get bursts of hypo mania or mania where my brain believes that the meds are trying to control me or that they kill my creativity. I also can’t stand that after all of the medications I have tried, the side effects are all the same. I always get nausea. i always get tired. But more importantly, they make me fat.

After trying everything under the sun, I learned that the sun is the worst drug. There are theories out there that the Sun can cause mania, and to me that seems somewhat true. Though I have found that nothing makes me more manic than the perfect breeze, the sun does make me a little more happier mood wise, though I hate the sun and how it crisps my very pale skin, now that my doctor is emailing me and holding me accountable, I feel I need to be more accountable.

Why is medication such a difficult thing for people suffering from Bipolar disorder?

 

 

Spawn of Satan

I was always an unusual guy. I have excellent memory and I can remember events all the way back to the age of three. I can remember a lot of how I reacted to life events and I can say that since I was three, I was an emotional ballistic missile.

Bipolar was clearly present while looking back at my childhood self. I always knew that there was something different about me. I thought that I was just more “fragile” and I had accepted that life would always be harder for me because, emotionally, I was just more sensitive. This was diagnosed Bipolar.

My mom and dad had gone through a lot with me as a child. Though I was a fairly well behaved kid, I had emotional outbursts. I would cry randomly, I would become hyperactive and commit acts that I would later feel terrible about. For me, there was always this concept of cause and effect. Only I was never truly sure why I committed the “cause” after I felt the “effect”.

As a child I also dealt with a lot of trauma. When I was three, I experienced my first concept of death. It was my great grandma that i was fond of. I would run into her room every morning that i stayed with her and joyfully would wake her up and announce that coffee was being brewed. When she died, I had no concept of what death was. All I knew was that she was and then she just wasn’t.

Following my great grandma, I lost a baby brother. I was five and I remember it like it was a week ago. I remember that through the process, I was off. I remember being extremely sad or extremely happy. Polar opposites at a young age is what I see looking back now.

After my baby brother, I had lost my grandpa, and then my other grandpa, and then my grandma, and then my dad, and then my other grandma. I had also lost a lot of friends over the years as well. Death was like an alcoholic’s first sip of Gin. The death in my life triggered this craziness and awkward mood unbalance  in which I experienced the world.

When I was ten years old I was in the fifth grade. This would later be recognized as my first remembered depression. The entire school year was awful. I had terrible and abusive teachers. I was always cold. I lacked friends. I skipped a lot of school. I only remember it as a tundra. I even had emotional outbursts in school where I would have extreme crying fits.

Around my middle school years (10+) I became addicted to HBO shows. I loved Six Feet Under, Queer as Folk, and I seemed to have acquired my writing passion from Sex and the City. Growing up and coming up age I got of advice from these shows. I interpreted life as someone in their thirties instead of the eleven year old little boy that I was. Also, realizing that I was gay drew me to the gay themes that these shows incorporated. Because of these shows, I may have lived my life as a thirty-something instead of a preteen. This made juggling the stress of puberty extremely chaotic and neurotic.

Looking back, my Bipolar shot through like a comet during my high school years. During my sophomore year, I suffered a terrible depression. Again, the entire year felt like a winter, long with many day in bed sleeping and disturbed sleep. I was friendless, alone, and all I wanted was to roll into my comforter like a human sushi roll wrapped in linen. This became an “issue” when my high school guidance counselor had alerted me that I missed a total of a third of the school year and that if I missed anymore days, I might have to repeat. I over ate bagels and cream cheese and I failed my math class.

During my Junior and Senior years of high school, I experienced mania. I had only experienced mania one time before and that was when I was twelve. Growing up, I thought that I just wasn’t sad anymore but I was hypo/manic. My Junior and senior year of high school threw me into a manic gear shift. I didn’t sleep for days at a time, I was becoming friendly, Some one even nominated me for Homecoming court. I felt pretty cute, I felt thin, I bought clothes that would be worn by a thirty-something to go clubbing instead of a typical school day. I was excelling in my internship as a student teacher and college was on its way.

I was hyper-sexual. I was well aware that I was gay and I wanted to test sexuality out like a new Porsche 911. I started online profiles for gay online communities where I would lie and post that I was eighteen years old instead of the sixteen or seventeen that I was. I felt euphoric. Though I never actually met a lot of them, It felt like I was on top of the world.

The summer after graduating high school, I nose dived into depression. You see when I was in my senior year of high-school, I  took psychology and had learned about mood disorders. I had believed that I was not bipolar but major depressed. I knew that there was something wrong with me but I just didn’t know how to tell any one. At the time my father had been in and out of the picture, my relatives were driving me crazy, and I was not out to anyone outside of the hyper sexual friends that I made during my slutty mania.

I had two secrets lurking constantly: 1. I was GAY. and 2. I suffered from Major Depression with suicidal thoughts.

On the day of my eighteenth birthday, I had my first hospital episode. I told my mom that I was suicidal and that life was a pain in the ass almost to the point where I thought ending it would be the best idea. She drove me to the ER and I was there diagnosed with Major Depression, General Anxiety Disorder, and Obsessive Compulsive disorder. Having multiple issues coming from the idea that I was only depressed was shocking to me. I had no clue how to handle all of these problems. Being a day into eighteen years of age, I left a lot of crucial parts out. I didn’t talk about the stupid ideas, the grandiose thinking, the flight of ideas, and I definitely didn’t chat up hyper-sexuality with my psychiatrist all that much so this is why Bipolar wasn’t brought up.

***I will chat about my hospital stay in an upcoming post so keep an eye out for it!    😉

After my first bought of college (*** Again, another future post.) I had dropped out and decided to work for a while. After working years in retail and constantly dealing with mood swings and just accepting them as the holy trinity of mental illness fuckery that I was diagnosed with, I decided during a manic episode that it was time to quit my job and go back to school for Marketing and Fashion.

At this point I had spent a month partying and drinking and having massive amounts of sex and using drugs and doing pretty much anything one does whilst manic off their ass. During my manic episode I had gone crazy. I alienated all my friends and then during the crash, I was left with nothing but the ruins of my little moment of bliss. With nothing in my checking account and no friends to talk to, I decided to go back into therapy. I hadn’t seen a therapist since I was eighteen in 2008 and it was now 2014. I reached out to a therapist through my school and after a few sessions she decided to have the talk with me.

As my therapist, G, sat across from me, I could tell she had a look on her face. The look mimicked one of a doctor about to tell a patient bad news. While I was going on and on about this class mate’s ghastly rain coat, and all the other problems I had going on in my life, G leaned in and like a random gun shot asked: “Have you ever heard of Bipolar Disorder?”

I was shocked. I  had explained during patient intake that I had that holy trinity of mental illness fuckery and I really didn’t want to have any illnesses thrown at me. I knew what bipolar was but I had no clue how it worked, like Alcoholics Anonymous. Stunned she explained it to me and said that she couldn’t diagnose me but she referred me to Northwestern Hospital to maybe consult a psychiatrist.

I made the appointment and ironically whilst manic, I skipped to the appointment. After talking with a bunch of professionals I met the doctor. A man that I now refer to as my Mental Health Dad.

He asked me questions about my sexuality and If I had been tested for HIV. He asked me about my family history. He asked me about drug abuse. Though embarrassed I had decided that I had to be honest. Now was my chance to have a professional read me more than any drag queen ever would and I wasn’t about to throw that away.

“Yep you’re definitely bipolar! You’re flying right now!”

That was it. I was left in shock as I had been anointed with more mental health fuckery. Dr. G verified that I didn’t have multiple issues but that because I kept a lot to myself, my Bipolar came off as the other three.

I left the office with a new sense of self, questions, and my first trial at medications for Bipolar.

I was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder on July 21st, 2015 exactly eight years after my first hospitalization. It took me eight years and a whole lot of “I’m sorry’s” to realize that I was actually bipolar.

It took a lot of time, emotions, thoughts, and energy to find out why I was the way I was. I wasn’t crazy or irrational. I was Bipolar.

Its been two years since I was diagnosed and today, April 27th, 2017 at 1:03AM I am still learning about bipolar, myself, and my bipolar self.

As I flip to the next episode of Sex and the City, I will be thinking of new innovative ways to explain more of the issues that go along with a bipolar life.

Time to learn more from my life.

 

ps: the pic is a Nebula. A nebula is the birth of a star. My Bipolar star.

The Black Box

“Who am I?”

Life is an interesting subject. Scientifically life is the concept of cells forming but humans use the word life for a great many things.

When I usually use the word life, I tend to think in a negative way. “Oh well, That’s life!” is something that I tend to say when depressed. But Life is such a great word for only being four letters!

Well, whatever “life” is, some part of it helped us develop our brains. The brain is called the “Black Box” by doctors and we call it the same in marketing. It is called the Black Box because it is so mysterious. There is no way to completely make sense of a hundred billion neurons firing and sending so many different chemicals to each other. The brain is the most complex organ in the human body and with that complexity comes a whole lot of fascinating “disorders”.

Interestingly enough a few years ago, before going back to school for fashion and marketing, I wanted to go back too school to study neuroscience. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be a neurologist but I knew that I wanted to study the brain and make a difference on helping those with brain and memory diseases such as Alzheimer and Parkinson.  Though I never went back to school for neuroscience, I did go back to school and I did keep up on the latest information on the brain as well as Psychology.

So why am I going on about the black box as my first post on a bipolar based blog? Is because I tend to look at the brain from the biological point of view that I feel a lot of psychologists forget about. Bipolar is a hybrid disease. Just like stress can lead to heart disease, Stress can lead to brain disorders.

I am not saying that my bipolar disorder is stress induced because it is not and frankly, I would find it offensive to think. Yes, I have had my fair share of stress in my life but I have been able to work through that and become stronger from it. It’s not  stress that causes a bipolar black box to swish mood chemicals around like crazy, I believe that the brain and its circadian rhythm  is not always on point.

When I am manic, I am a completely different person. I say, do and think things that i would normally wouldn’t. I also over-analyze my manic episodes from a psychological point of view. I work with my therapist and we ask questions like, “Why did you think that the aliens were coming for you?”  But that’s just it, Why would I ever think that? My life right now is pretty swell. My biggest stresser is that I am trying to work on some big school assignments like a book and some global marketing things. My moods hit me out of left field. I either suddenly sink into depression or I randomly shoot manic causing me to agree in the issue that Bipolar disorder is not just a Psychiatric disorder, but its also a Neurological disorder and should be treated as such.

I am not who I am when I am manic. My manic self is my Mr. Hyde. Bipolar is hardwired into our brains, it’s no who we are, its how we are a bipolar patients. I have experience with a lot of therapists who don’t believe in bipolar or believe that there are only personality disorders and it frustrated me because looking back, I was not made bipolar. I was born bipolar. Since I could remember (I can remember to 3 years old), I showed signs of Bipolar Disorder.

Through genetics, psychology, and other medical research methods, we have found that bipolar is hereditary. This makes me believe that it is more biological than psychological.

The Black Box is one of the greatest and most fascinating things in my interpretation of Life. Bipolar Disorder is  one of the mysteries surrounding it. The brain and nervous system develops our interpretation of life or our sense of reality and gives us a few wild cards along the way. However, I will say that I would not trade my Bipolar Black Box for any other.

Welcome to my crazy bipolar black box driven blog,

Alex Mads

Drum roll….

Hello,

I am Alex Mads and I am living with Bipolar disorder. I decided to start a blog because I love to write, I love people and animals, and I think (at least I Hope) that I can shed some light and give comfort to those living with bipolar.

I recently updated the “Alex Mads” page on the blog so go ahead and check me out.

Welcome and get ready for more.

Alex