I have a diagnosis of bipolar disorder

Published on August 19, 2019 under bipolar disorder

 I have a diagnosis of bipolar disorder

and right now I’m really tired I’m lazy

pretty much too lazy to hold this phone

so I’m just laying down but it’s sort of

in a funk these last few days I feel in

a funk for many reasons but one of them

is just about having a diagnosis of a

mental illness and I’m sort of feeling

responsible for being able to do all

that I can to make things better for

people that have these types of

challenges but not really knowing where

to begin

I feel

I feel kind of alone

I feel like since I’ve been through it

myself that there might be a lot that I

can offer and share but there’s not that

many opportunities to do so there’s some

there’s committees and that’s a place

where I can talk to people in the mental

health system and and offer some of my

experience good bad and ugly that may or

may not help to change the system but I

feel like that’s way too slow or that

it’s and it’s a process that it’s like

words about words but it doesn’t really

get to the essence of what it’s really

like and if it doesn’t get to that then

how is it really going to be effective

or if it doesn’t address some of the

causes I know it’s difficult to say

exactly what causes what they’re

definitely factors and those factors are

often ignored completely such as you

know past trauma or for me personally I

have a diagnosis of bipolar disorder one

and PTSD and so I have medications but

there’s stuff out there that can address

PTSD but it’s not offered

and a lot of people that have a

diagnosis have trauma so it could be

something that might be dealt with more

effectively not even dealt with I hate

that term dealt with it’s not something

to be dealt with this is like a person’s

life and there seems to be a move

towards a recovery model versus a

medical model but from my experience I’m

not even a fan of recovery model recover

from what maybe trauma that led to

mental health challenges but to say that

it’s just something’s wrong with me and

my brain and I have to recover is it

doesn’t even ask me do you feel like

there’s something in you that’s wrong

and if so what is it and do you feel

there’s something you need to recover

from and how can we help you it’s this

is your diagnosis and that’s what you

have to recover from yet there’s no cure

so the recover part is kind of silly in

a way when I was diagnosed five years

ago I had the sense that I went through

some kind of weird spiritual experience


not that it wasn’t partly terrible it

really was but what I’m saying is I was

never asked what do you think is going

on for you like what do you think’s

happening in your situation or even like

do you agree like you have this mental

illness which I still don’t really agree

it’s not that things didn’t happen and

things don’t happen it’s I feel like

there’s more helpful frameworks and even

if a psychiatrist wants to diagnose me

with something I don’t even know if I

really need to know the details of it

really it’s more a matter of for me to

getting my life back in order or how did

it get in such disorder and

yeah I feel like there’s just deeper

questions that could be asked but to

have like a medical diagnosis and then

say okay now you have to recover much of

what adjure recover was because of being

labeled like how necessary is that label

especially if a person is expected to

recover why is that label really


but I guess in reality the label does

help in a way because I’m able to get

access to certain services so

something’s definitely wrong and there’s

ways that I’ve been given access to go

about writing some of the wrongs or at

least glossing over them and you know

painting over them in a way to make you

feel like things aren’t wrong the

trouble is when a certain amount of

stress comes up in my life the things

that are wrong tend to pop up

and to me that’s because there hasn’t

been anything to really help some of

those questions those deeper questions

that were never asked that addressed

some of the root issues and it’s not all

the root issues and that’s not the

entire answer

I wouldn’t say oh I would trade trauma

counselling for all the other supports

that I have they’re all necessary but

when there’s key ones missing it causes

a little bit of trouble and that’s what

I’ve been up against a little bit I just

feel like there’s a lot of conversations

I want to have but I don’t know who to

have them with and like for example

yesterday I listened to a podcast and it

might be something relatively new I’m

not really a podcast person but I came

across it somehow and it talked about a

town where a lot of the population had

mental health challenges and and the

people in the town would actually take

people in as borders just because that’s

something that was always done in the

city or in the town as a tradition and

people did a lot better the people with

the mental health challenges and

they mentioned how these people had a

new start or how they went in with a

strange family so then all of a sudden

there was a clean slate and I feel like

that clean slate is really necessary and

it’s actually something that really

helped me because when I was first

hospitalized five years ago after I was

hospitalized for six weeks I I went home

and stayed with my family and I lasted

about a month and I ended up back in the

hospital and after the second 6-week

hospitalization I went somewhere else to

live I went to like three quarter

housing for young adults and that really

helped me because I could be anybody I

wanted to be and I think at that time

especially I really needed to be

somebody new because I couldn’t be

exactly who I used to be and that person

I used to be was the person that my

parents were used to me being so by

going somewhere else I was able to sort

of get rid of that layer of guilt of

feeling guilty that I wasn’t me the me I

used to be and then also being aware

that my parents felt bad that it wasn’t

the me that I used to be which would be

a second layer of guilt that I no longer

needed to feel guilty about which was

really nice and so that’s one of the

things I feel strongly about especially


the quote-unquote new people that are

coming into the Mental Health System is

if you have the opportunity get away

from your parents even if you think oh

they’re so comfy and nice and they’re my

parents and they love me definitely get

away and it’s almost because they love

you and that’s what caught my ear in

this podcast is something that I had a

sense about before which was just the

parents and Kate like caring and

grieving effects and wanting me to do

better faster than I’m capable of

I had an awareness of that the first

time I went home and so by going to this

you know group home or whatever you want

to call it I I was able to escape that

and they talked about in this podcast

that there was a few attitudes that

certain parents would have that

basically would increase the probability

of a relapse

they call it relapse I don’t know if I

would call it a relapse per se because

relapse is saying all you’re like you

this mental illness and you had a

relapse no it just could have been worse

like bad combination of meds and bad

combination of people supporting me

wasn’t a relapse oh it was just actually

getting worse before it got better and

so one of the one of the characteristics

was um over like emotional involvement

and my parents have always been very

distant from my quote unquote recovery

journey and

this has been awesome because that way I

was able to recreate myself new the way

I wanted to and I didn’t really have to

worry about them always watching over me

I didn’t want my parents to become my

mental health police which can sometimes

happen I didn’t want them to become my

nurse I just kind of didn’t want to be

around them because I knew they were

like worried for me and scared for me

and and there was two other attitudes

they mentioned on the podcast that

really indicated that it would increase

the likelihood of a person having a

quote/unquote relapse or maybe just

rehospitalization they discovered in a

study that people with schizophrenia

that went to boarding home did a lot

better in terms of not returning to the

hospital and whatever else then if they

went home to live with their parents so

they came to the conclusion that caring

or closeness closeness like family

closeness is actually a detriment and I

just listened to this podcast a couple

days ago and I have felt about I have

felt that feeling this whole time that

it was just actually my family’s taking

steps back from me and allowing me to be

my own person that helped me recover and

that I really did recover amongst

strangers these people didn’t know me

they didn’t know my past they didn’t


how I was before when they met me I I

had was like a hundred forty pounds so

when I started eating healthy and losing

weight they’re like cool what’s


oh are you okay and like this is I’ve

never been this size before like I’m

usually 100 1520 pounds

so now they’re used to me how I am now

after I’ve lost weight but so they

didn’t really understand when I was

saying that I wasn’t really comfortable

with how it gained 50 pounds and it

really was a fresh start for me to be

around people that didn’t know me that

way I could get to know myself in the

reflection of others like clean eyes

clean heart and that really helped me I

didn’t have to constantly adjust myself

to how my parents saw me before how I

thought they saw me it was it was super

helpful I really feel like that saved me

and I had a lot of people help me that

worked in the mental health system and

and then also a lot of acquaintances who

also had diagnosed mental health

challenges I like to say people with

lived experience with a mental health

diagnosis meaning a person has a

diagnosis but doesn’t mean that

diagnosis is correct or or that I need

to know anything about it it’s just

almost like having lived experience with

the mental health system more so than

saying oh I have I’m a person with a

mental illness you know maybe one day

they’ll have better stuff and it’ll

actually be like we’ll recover as they

say now to the point where you wouldn’t

even know yourself that anything’s wrong

and I feel like

I feel like there’s a lot more to it

than just simply this person is mentally

ill and that person’s mentally ill

there’s a lot there’s many more theories

which may be researched and I’ve done

quite a bit of reading in these last


about it and oddly enough in the last

year and a half or less than that I’ve

been in the hospital three times and

that’s one of the reasons why I’m

talking about it now is because I feel

like maybe the more I research it and

the more I talk about it the worse it


not really worse but I’m acknowledging

that it’s a problem and maybe it’s not a

problem at all

maybe the problem and it talks about

this in that podcast too which is really

interesting is the mental health system

tries to fix people and that’s and I’ve

had this sense too that I’m not sure I

can always grow personally like personal

growth but I feel it’s a little bit

limited just to say these people have

mental health problems and they need to

recover when everybody has stuff and

certain want certain people maybe

manifest more overt behaviors but what’s

behind those behaviors

and a lot of other people they’re just

able to bite their tongue longer hold it

in but certain people who maybe you’re

more sensitive or something manifest

behaviors or for there’s there’s so much

more to it than that

and there’s other paradigms and there’s

other possibilities and to say I need

fixing and and nobody else does is a

little bit limited to me because I can

actually see a lot of things that are

messed up in myself and in the world at

large and we all kind of can but this

the thing is that a lot of times we see

stuff wrong with people out there but

what about ourselves and I’ve done a lot

of looking at myself and

there’s some really bad stuff in there

but there’s also some really good stuff

and I don’t even think it’s a matter of

bad and good it’s I don’t know what it’s

a matter of but what I’m saying is that

may we all need some fixing but to start

from that there’s something wrong with

certain people divides us and it doesn’t

really invite conversation about there’s

no conversation there’s not very much

conversation with people that have gone

through the system to say what do you

see what could be better what so what do

you think really was going on with you

like we gave you this diagnosis after

two days in the hospital what do you

think was going on I’d probably have a

lot of different stories than then what

the psychiatrist would have to tell me


it’s just so much bigger than that it’s

it’s like it’s a world it’s a world

problem not an individual problem and in

my experience what I’ve seen is that and

this is gonna sound kind of airy-fairy

but we’re actually connected we’re

actually one thing we’re like like

Humanity is humanity and we’re all a

piece of that and we all experience

distress we all experience turmoil and

suffering and pain and some of us more

than others and I feel like certain

people are becoming more sensitive to

this pressure or this pain that it is

almost like collective pain and the

collective pain is getting so high that

it’s at a threshold that certain people

just start acting out and acting crazy

in a way there’s so many more

interpretations than just that it’s

that’s just one thought and there’s a

lot more to it it’s it has to do with

the evolution of consciousness and I

feel like there’s this energy trying to

push through some of us so we become

messengers but not like messengers

messengers of sort of the whole of

humanity like look what we’re doing to

each other

and look what we’re doing to the planet

this is nothing new but when I’m in a

certain state of consciousness I feel it

so strongly it hurts so bad

I can feel the pain of the person next

to me or I can feel the pain of the

florist or I could feel the pain of the

homeless person and that sounds strange

it’s like feels like hyper empathy and

not like oh just talking to somebody and

sort of feeling their pain but not

knowing where this pain is coming from

and it’s it’s psychic pain its inner

pain it feels like it’s from the

collective psyche but we share one

psyche it’s we all our thoughts come

from outside of us in terms of where did

we learn these thoughts or where do we

get these thoughts they’re from the

structure of society and that structures

creating the pain the division between

us and the haves and the have-nots and

and it’s training us to to not feel

empathy for people and and things but I

feel like certain people are able to

really train it out of themselves but

it’s gonna pop up in somebody else like

it’s got to be balanced so some people

are developing even more empathy and

this is nothing new but I guess for me

it’s kind of new because initially in my

life I was trained to not have that

empathy I was able to be very academic

and very methodical and very calculating


and value being academic and then you

know if my younger siblings were lazy

and stupid and not applying themselves

like they just barely existed for me and

and I wasn’t the nicest person a lot of

times and now I feel like I holy crap we

worry about karma for them from our past

life or like what’s it gonna be in the

next life if it I’ve experienced my own

Karma plus whatever other karma in this

life now it’s almost like reincarnating

several times in one lifetime like I

feel like there’s been a birth and

rebirth and death process several times

and it’s the scariest thing it feels

very real but it’s all inward but to me

it’s like a learning experience big time

because it yeah it not only do I feel

like I’m kind of a messenger in a way

but not really there’s messages that we

all have access to to inform ourselves

even within one lifetime so it’s not

about I feel like it’s a learning

process and I actually feel like I feel

like one day people actually be hoping

that they can go through this

death and rebirth process and some

people do but I mean like this harsh one

with like it’s called psychosis at least

that’s a medical term for it and I don’t

mind that term because it’s definitely

scary but at the same time I also feel

like it’s um it’s healing and I almost

feel like the more that the more pain

that I experienced in that process

it’s either getting more resolved or

it’s just making me stronger for more to

come and I feel like since so many of us

are conditioned and trained away from

these natural human feelings not

emotions but feelings of actually

feeling each other actually feeling what

is happening what we’re doing to the

planet and what we’re doing to each

other even if it’s just a look even if

it’s just a gesture even if it’s just

not looking someone in the eye when they

try to seek out your gaze for

acknowledgement all those things they

divide us

and words divide us and we’re not

divided and most of us don’t know that

we’re not divided until the day we die

and we realize whoa I missed the boat I

really did but for me I’ve you know been

fortunate in a way to experience

psychosis four times and it’s the

scariest thing ever but at the same time

like I I feel that I learned something

about this connection that we have to

each other that were not feeling and and

it’s almost like it has to evolve slowly

because if we all of a sudden all

couldn’t know and see what we were

really doing to each other which is our

own selves we it would be a disaster

just probably mass suicides mass

insanity and then by the timeout that

was over there wouldn’t be that many of

us left so we’re already seeing a lot of

terrible stuff happening in the world

because we’re

you know the terrible has to happen for

us to maybe eventually wake up and see

that that were connected or were we’re

one organism kind of like ants they

don’t see themselves as separate

you know ants work together and build

their whatever bees work together and

these are insects I feel like we’re

supposed to even though I don’t like the

word supposed to but we’re supposed to

work together in a similar way we’re

supposed to cooperate and that’s another

thing that I’m not loving about recovery

or the idea of recovery is that it

assumes that we’re going we each need to

recover to our own little hive by

ourselves and that’s not necessarily

natural in the Western cultures success

is to have one’s own little apartment at

least in recovery from mental health

diagnosis have your own little apartment

by yourself well I’ve been living by

myself now for I guess two and a half

years and I’ve been in the hospital

three times and when I was living in the

group home for two years I was not in

the hospital at all

sometimes I miss people and especially

strangers just living with strangers

I was ready to leave there when I loved


the definition of success being

independence versus interdependence

there’s there’s something missing there

and I think something else I was looking

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