Finding Normal

I hate the word Normal. Though many of us strive to be considered “normal”, I believe that my version of normal is never going to be the same as someone else’s. I have become well aware that no matter how hard I try to minimize the crazy in my life, I will always have this bipolar bug inside me. Its part of who I am and I sit here typing this knowing that I am bipolar. My question is does the “normal” me have to be the “real” me?

Last week whilst taking my medication and trying to be a model citizen living with bipolar disorder, I under went a touch of the fiery mania. I was eating about one small meal a day on some days and as far as sleep was concerned: I was only getting an hour or two on some nights. I went out and partied and even maniacally thought that I would give up drinking in hopes of loosing weight. I had the usual spending splurges and sex galore and even tried making new friends on the hunt for a the big R word. … Relationship.

 

Sunday Bloody Sunday

All this ended at its height on Sunday night and into Monday morning. Sunday I was feeling euphoric and though I had felt like I was ramping up even higher I decided to meet my friend to exchange our Christmas gifts. I laugh at the irony now but we met in Boystown right out front of Steam Works here in Chicago. I had left work and my outfit was terrible. I was wearing wellington boots, Black skinny jeans, a grey t-shirt (my normal uniform), and I had on this obnoxious white down coat that comes to my mid knee. I looked like a wealthy homeless person as I stood there in front of Steam Works. With shopping bag in hand we exchanged gifts and as I admired the adorable package (on the GIFT not my friend!) I almost began to weep as my heart sank in awe of what he had bought me.

The gift was perfect. It was heartfelt and touched me and instead of crying I exclaimed “Lets have a drink!”. We walked into our Sunday go to spot: Roscoe’s. While we entered the bar we could see that the entire bar was packed with people and holiday festivities such as ugly fucking sweaters and Christmas music playing. With the usual one-dollar Miller Lites in hand, my friend and I began talking about his upcoming birthday celebrations ant stuff like that. Though it was only four-o-clock in the afternoon, I began to feel even more amazing as there were a ton of hotties there. I thought that this would be the time and place that I would end this quest for love.

One beer after another I decided to let my friend and the cutie he had been seeing at one point rekindle their flame as I decided to mingle and find Prince Charming as I only had till midnight or my last Metra to my home in the burbs would turn back into a pumpkin and I would be stuck in the city having to fend for myself and my shopping back of stuff that I had just bought. I met a few friends and wished another a happy birthday as I threw a ten dollar bill at him and insisted that was my gift to him. I immediately ran to check my coat as I had caught a case of the dance fever. Throwing my coat and bag at the coat checking cutie, I decided to run all the way to the dance floor and launch my self like ten lords a-leaping onto the stage and began to dance as if I was Ms. Britney Spears herself. Catching the eye of one cutie sitting there as his other two friends danced I decided to make out with him and I don’t really remember anything about him other than he felt like soft cotton and smelled of Burberry London cologne.

He got bored in my manic brain so I went onto meet more people and at one point signed up to win tickets to a Kesha concert via a Kiss FM booth that was set up. (Ironically I didn’t win but the friend who I threw ten dollars at did.) After dancing and deciding that I would spend the whole night partying, I realized that it was midnight and time for me to move on to better things.

My friend and I kissed each other farewell as we parted ways and I immediately felt the alcohol, medication, 1.5 hours of sleep, and mania stir like a potion in my empty stomach as I began to felt sick. I got an uber and after about a mile I asked for him to let me out as I felt like I was going to be sick. After he left I stood there as my whole manic world went from spinning to black and I threw up the few beers that I had. I sat there on the cold sidewalk feeling the worst in myself and after about thirty minute of me thinking I could recover and walk my self to shelter from the cold and windy city, I gave up.

I wanted to kill myself. I wanted to end everything right there. I felt defeated and terrible as a person. I thought that I had become a lonely burden that couldn’t ever have a relationship that worked well…. Not even with food. That’s where I decided to call my mom and ask her to pick me up. At this point I didn’t care what happened next. I sat there for about twenty more minutes and as people walked past and asked if I was ok, I exclaimed, “Yes! Just chilling!” which was ironic as it was around twenty degrees out that night.

I got up and decided to “go to safety” as that time of night. I grabbed a cab to the Starbucks on North Ave. and Wells as I knew that they were open twenty-four hours. As I thanked the cab driver and swiped my car the little machine had blared in red lettering and a loud sound. “DECLINED” was all I aw as I panicked.  All I had was four singles in my pocket and as I continued to keep swiping my card the cab driver got angry and I gave him the four dollars and as he began yelling at me I yelled, “You’re lucky I don’t have you deported!” and he drove off as if I held a gun to him. It was me alone and broke with nothing. I was standing there as an even lower version of myself until the brilliant idea popped into my head that I could bother my aunt and start calling her. It  was very late in the night but she was kind enough to allow me to wait at her apartment on the Gold Coast as I waited for my mom to pick me up.

I got to her apartment and my uncle had greeted me downstairs and I just remember having to reveal that this was not the real me and I had to apologize that I am not always this out of control.  I had also had to explain that I was having issues with my medication. And my aunt had stated that the drugs can become resilient and that having a little bit of alcohol with them was bad too. My uncle made me a sandwich and she tried to question my manic and slightly disoriented self about what was happening.

My sister got there with my mom and and she came into talk to my aunt and catch up and as I got into the car, I fell asleep and woke up a couple hours later for my Monday morning work day.

 

The Fallout

Monday after was awkward. I was crashed and though I just welt a little nauses from he alcohol and empty stomach/medication issue, I went to work early then I went to  my therapist office to explain how my week over all had gone.

I felt ashamed as there have been two things that my therapist has kind of been asking me about lately. What was my mood like for the past week? And What was my eating like for the past week?

Both of these questions brought me shame. I had been manic all week. I had been not sleeping, working on school work, yelling at the people at the phone store over my cracked iPhone screen, and sleeping with people left and right. I had also been eating around four-hudred calories a day on average and though my medication compliance was great, I was broke and felt empty.

After working together she helped me realize that I do blame myself a whole lot for what I do when I am manic and although I know that I have to hold my self accountable, I have realized that my manic self is not me.

If this is the case then who am I?

The Manic Alex is everyone’s favourite. He’s fun, he’s silly and tells jokes, hell sleep with everyone, hell become super creative and fight for what he wants. These sound like all great things but the manic Alex always lights a match to the gasoline that is my life.

I have finally level back to myself and I like the REAL me. Yes I have no money and messed up with my family and some of those around me and I can tell you all right now that I can never walk into the Sprint Store, but I am content with things. I don’t feel like my brain is on fire. Every just is.

Right now I don’t want to be my manic self. I love him but like some things we love, I need to let manic Alex go.  My therapist and I made manic Alex a name. Though I call him Mr. Hyde, His real name is Oliver. Oliver I named after Oliver Twist. Oliver likes an adventure no matter what he has to do for it. He always looks tired and gaunt and doesn’t eat. He also lives a life that is controlled by other forces around  him. Though I love the name Oliver, I am not him. I am Alex. I am a kind, caring, down to earth, quiet, guy next door who loves animals and cuddling. While I sit here in my own realization on who am I am and who I want to be I come to the even bigger realization that I am lonely. I don’t want partners just for sex. I want to find friends and relationships (that R word again), and wholesome good things. I want to spend time with my family and create family or family life with someone.

I write this as something that I can look back at the next time I start to feel that little manic mist covering my skin.

Life goes on but one day it stops. I need to start thinking of what I have to go for and what Ill have when it stops.

Xoxo

 

Alex.

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‘Tis Autumn and I am not Dead.

“Where have you been? What have you been up to? What has ben going on with you? You look so thin!”

 

I know you all have many questions for me. I am ok.

Its been quite a while since last time we met. T’was the third of May and I worked with NASA (or so I thought) to create a blog post about wanting to be manic.

I recall bitching about not being able to make myself manic and sometimes actually having my mania back firing on me.  That was the theme of the entire summer.

This summer was long. I worked a lot, Completed a whole lot of school work, and dealt with the out of left field mood swing. Mania is a part of me and I realize and have coped with that and I know that depression is there too. This summer I was manic. This summer I was depressed. This summer I was a mess.

Since that last post I have started a new job working in a store on Chicago’s Gold Coast / Viagra Triangle. I love the job. In all my many years of retail that job has ben my favourite. Sooo… anyway. I manically got the job and am good with it. I also messed up a few of my classes and though I passed them with A’s it was by the skin of my chinny chin chin because I was a little party monster. This led to be a crashing depression. After not seeing my psychiatrist and avoiding him with all of my daddy issues I went off my meds and it was time for a tune up.

Depressed and lonely sitting in the office with his new resident, my doctor tried to understand why I love my mania so much. I again had to describe that its amazing Life feels amazing. I do stupid stuff and don’t care. That is until the depression. The summer ended wrapping around me like a condom blocking all the fun as the could of depression turned me into a fucking dementor (Harry Potter joke).

I had a lot of health issues. I turned a little bit older this summer and I became depressed, tired, and in pain. I also had some dental issues. I was genetically cursed with terrible teeth and all they have done was caused me pain and a whole lot of draining my bank account. What happened was one of my teeth shifted and caused one of my molars to crack and it caused a shit load of pain. My face hurt, my head hurt, my neck and shoulders hurt. I couldn’t handle the pain any more so I went to the hospital and explained that not only was I in a lot of pain but I had the worst migraine in the world. This is where I took my first pain killer.

FLASH BACK to my poor dad. My dad was a kind hearted loving guy who suffered from a lot of back pain. He was a brilliant chef and though he was a good person he became addicted to pills and alcohol. This caused me to never want to take any thing for pain or even drink. This was my mentality until I was in pain and mentally ill.

The doctor prescribed me a pain killer and with that I was in a new world of medication. You see I have been around the block with all the mood stabilizers and benzos and all those. I slept with all kinds of cute little pills. But pain killers were new to me. I never understood why people liked them. I was also an antibiotic.

I went back to my doctor and that’s where my tune up took place. Him and his resident (Love her. She’s going to be a wonderful MD) prescribed me my new cocktail.

Lithium: 600MG in the morning and 900MG at bedtime.

Klonopin: I honestly cant remember the dose.

Gabapentin: 900MG at bedtime (or as needed).

 

Add those to some painkillers and antibiotics and you can only imagine what I would be like.

 

This was my cocktail for a while and I started to become really depressed. I didn’t know who I was. I was spending a lot of time at home and I wasn’t sure who If this was depressed Alex, Manic Alex, New Found Addict Alex, or the real me. It was scary.

After a few weeks of becoming my father and drinking and popping pills while watching the Valley of the Dolls (ironic) I was smacked in the face with the bright idea that I wasn’t going to take any more pills. That’s when I went off the meds again and, drum roll, I was manic.

Mania was fun. I was going out to bars and drinking around work and school and I didn’t need any sleep. I was skipping classes, and singing and dancing, laughing out loud and playing the piano. LIFE WAS ME AND I WAS LIFE.

I stopped seeing my therapist at the other place I was seeing them because between you guys and me: they were not that great. I currently go to a very prestigious hospital campus that houses one of the best mental health clinics around and its great because they take my insurance and they have a sliding pay scale.

My new therapist is an Angel. That’s what I call her because I don’t hate her yet… Angel. She is able to help me and talk me through Bipolar Disorder in a clinical way that does make me sound like I’m crazy but like I am some one that suffers from a neuro-psychological disorder.

I am writing this today because I am some one living with bipolar who has accepted that I am not in control of it nor do I wasn’t to let go of the manic episodes.

I am currently on Lithium and taking the Gabapentin as needed but on a very specific basis since I began taking it recreationally. (It’s a really great high). I am taking my medication accordingly and though I still have manic bursts like last night (Britney Spears Night in Boystown and then Jackhammer (Us Gays)) I am focusing on school and the things in my life causing the bipolar to be so controlling. I am also experiencing the real Alex for the first time in white a while and I am actually kind of digging him.

Today, However, I had  a serious talk with my therapist about an issue that I have kept a secret to many and that I talked about once to another therapist but it was dismissed by them.

Life is full of my people and every one is different in many different ways. I however am very different. In many ways my differences have only made me stronger and see the world in a different way. I am gay, bipolar, boyish looking at times, tall, and fashionable. I am also “fat”.

It feels great to write this. I feel liberated. People wouldn’t bet that I had an eating disorder because I do have some pounds on my that are caused form my eating disorder. But yes. I have an eating disorder and my relationship with food is hideous.

If you would like to hear more about my eating issues respond or shoot me a message and I will go more in depth. But I have found that approaching thirty is causing me to grow up and sort my life out sooner than later.

I hope all of you are doing well and I send my well wishes to you. Have a great holiday!

 

 

Cruel Summer

This was a post that I wrote in the beginning of Summer and it was meant to be posted but as my life derailed I neglected a lot.

 

So it’s Wednesday, and it’s raining here in Chicago. My summer session of school has just started this week and after a very stressful and agonizing three weeks off, I don’t feel the manic excitement I usually do when it comes to being back in an academic environment. Not only have I not been interested in anything but I have also not wanted to write.

I recently went off my meds anticipating a manic high and, of course, it backfired on me and here I am in a slight depression. The numbness has really taken full force. Not only has my diet become a base of coffee and mood stabilizers, but I don’t know what to do with my life. I am sitting here in an empty and dark cave like classroom by myself, wondering, “What now?”

Usually I am a man on the go a man on the go with a mission. This has been suppressed. Everything is just… well it’s just “is”. I have fallen into a level of life acceptance that has become just unmanageable. Everything is just “not worth it”. This is a new depression for me. Usually my depressions are the opposite of what this looks like. Usually I eat a lot more and sleep a lot more and I tend to worry and cry but this depression is the opposite. Im in this state of disassociation where its just me alone in my own head and everything else moving as if reality is parallel to me that inside my brain. …

 

So it’s a couple weeks later and I feel amazing. I couldn’t spare the energy to finish that blog. I was in so much pain and so exhausted that I couldn’t read or type another word.

After living through the depression hell that I had been living through for the last two weeks, work was the last place I thought I would elevate my mood. Tonight, Thursday, I left work and on the way to the bus stop I felt this sudden breeze that lifted my wings that is the mood levels in my brain. I have been going through a ton of different mood changes but over all I have been depressed but there is just something about that fucking wind that makes me want to dance. I don’t feel like killing my self tomorrow on my birthday. I guess my birthday gift to myself is the option to live the rest of my life.

Anyway, onto the bus… I danced my self to the bus stop on Michigan Avenue to get to the train home. As I hopped on the bus, I became enraged with life as I began talking to this guy and flirting with him. He was adorable. Six feet tall, Brown hair, blue eyes, and a boy next door look. Cute jewish guy next door is my type and this guy was everything that consists of. I couldn’t help myself. I began talking to him and found his name to be Josh. Josh smiled and continued conversation with me as I explained to him that this was actually my first time taking this bus route. He welcomed me.

OMG! “Learning to Fly” by Tom Petty is playing and this is my shit.

Anyway, After fucking josh in my head and dancing a linguistic paseduoble with him, I hopped off the bus and ran to Union Station. I missed my train but that was ok because that meant that I could hit up the bar there before having to head home. At the bar I decided to have a double Vodka- Lemonade and begin writing my mission statement for my business idea for one of my Visual Merchandising classes. I decided to create an apothecary and it will be themed from a London Subway. More on that later. So at the bar as I was typing away, I decided to have a drink and get my work done.

The point to my story here is that I feel amazing! I finally dug myself out of this depression that I was in for the last few weeks and I’m so happy.

I finally can live and be happy. I feel like now I have the energy to continue working on my homework tonight and finally get my laundry done. I also have to design my logo for this class tomorrow. I have a full day of school and then work and then I am going out to see my friends. I really need a long night of boystown bars in my life right now.

Roscoe’s is where I usually have my fun followed by Hydrate. If you’re in Chicago: you are invited!

Hopefully there will be more to write about but I will be “out of the office” until Sunday night or Monday afternoon as I have a full week planned with school, work, and the resurrection of my social life.

 

Xoxo

Alex

 

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.