A journey must start somewhere. This blog post is what I hope will be the opening chapter of my memoir. This is a very raw piece right now, so it will most likely change and expand as work towards completing the first draft of my memoir The Bipolar Writer by the end of the year. This is an introduction of sorts but it is limited in its scope.
In this blog post you will get a glimpse of my journey. This is a pre-release to a series that will be released over the Thanksgiving holiday next week. over the next week, we will explore the last ten years and the roots of my issues of Bipolar One, social anxiety, and insomnia.
This journey starts on a cold November night during Thanksgiving week in 2007.
I never thought it was possible to make it to this all-important ten-year diagnosis and first suicide anniversary. My goal writing my blog and memoir is to look back on my life over the last ten years and share pieces of my life through experience as a member of the mental illness community.
I am Bipolar, but it will not define me ever again.
I chose the moniker of “The Bipolar Writer” because, as I have grown as a person with a mental illness, I have come to a better understand that being Bipolar will always be a part of me, and that is not so bad. To me, The Bipolar Writer is not just me, but parts of me and other writers. Eventually, The Bipolar Writer can be used to write my story down and then the stories of others.
I am proud to be Bipolar and I feel so close the mental illness community. I have shared the worst of me and the mental illness community still embraces me as a brother. At my lowest I wanted to end my life, coming very close the last time, and yet, here I stand. I am alive today because God wanted me here, I have unfinished business. My experience has become my strength and if my experience can save a life, well it means the words I write in this memoir will be worthy.
Within the confines of my memoir, you will find every part of me. My deepest darkest depression thoughts and longest depression cycles. How I found my way in complete darkness to the person who now writes openly about is issues. How being a writer, no— being The Bipolar Writer—is the product of years of ups and downs.
I will share my poetry and my darkest secrets. I will talk about the many medications prescribed to me over the years, and how changes in my medication lead to good and bad things along my journey. I will discuss how the revolving door of psychiatrists in my life has caused havoc at times, and how I have fought for every inch of my recovery.
I will talk diagnosis’ and how sometimes doctors don’t get it diagnosis right the first time, I was first diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. I will talk about how doctors often fail to tell you all the information about the medication that they give their patients (I was never told about the realities of Ativan or Lithium.)
I will discuss my two experiences psychiatric wards and how since my diagnosis of Bipolar one, it has brought other issues into my life like social anxiety. I will explore my insomniac life and why I prefer to be an introvert.
There were so many points over the last ten years that I thought about beginning to writing my story, but every time that I began, the pain of drudging up my past was too difficult.
The reality that in November 2017, it marks my ten year anniversary of ups and downs with depression and mania, and how through it all, I am here alive today.
It took writing my blog for me to the understand the power that is found when writing my story, I will share my experience, my hopes, and dreams which for so long I was unable to do.
I am not a fan of the chronological order of things when it comes to sharing my experiences related to my journey so the events of the memoir will seem to be out of order because what I write about in any given chapters affects different parts of my life and it will often be written about in different chapters.
When I talk about suicide the subject will be in different chapters because when I felt that I had to end my life, which spanned almost three years, it is important to talk about these events together and separately. The countless times I came close to going to that dark place, is not the same as the three times I went to that place.
Jumping around my mind isn’t always so easy, and some events are easier to get through than others.
If you want to have a telling of the chronological order of my life, you may want to put this book down. If you want to see the world through the eyes of someone who is Bipolar, this is the book for you. I hope by its end of our journey through my first ten years of diagnosis we come out better people. If you would have told me ten years ago I would be writing about my journey, and that I would be alive, I would have laughed at you.
Please Help me Publish my Memoir
I am almost done editing my memoir “The Bipolar Writer,” and I have decided to go down the self-publishing route. If you can donate anything towards my goal, it would mean the world to me. I am still working towards enough to pay an artist for a good cover. Those that donate will get a special mention in my memoir on a page dedicated to those that made my memoir possible. Thank you in advance!
Photo Credit: Bryan Minear