The Gift of Bipolar Disorder

I have the gift of Bipolar Disorder; so it is believed did Leonardo DaVinci and Van Gogh, my mentors as artists and writers. For more than most of my life time, 20 years to be exact,  I didn’t know I had the illness, and just thought I was different from other people. I was crazy, wild, and had periods of severe depression,  where I went into my studio and hid in bed for days on end.  Most people did not know I was sick. They just saw me as erratic and difficult to get along with.

Often I felt life was not worth living. Like William Styron, who in his memoir of depression DARKNESS VISIBLE quotes Camus saying, “Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental problem of Philosophy,” I was constantly asking myself that question. Twice I found myself answering that life wasn’t worth it and attempted suicide. Once in college I ingested 150 aspirin tablets and a bottle of scotch, but survived. I spent a month or more on the mental ward of a large hospital. I didn’t learn much except if you want to get out of the hospital, learn to play sane. Once when much older and it appeared that my life had completely failed.  (My life as an artist had gone nowhere. My career as an architect was a dismal failure. My writing was blocked.)  I attempted to jump off a bridge. But I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t put other people’s lives at risk in order to end my own.

I was placed in the hospital again and this time diagnosed as Bipolar One. The beginning of a big change happened for me. I finally got off drugs. For years I had self-medicated with cocaine and marijuana. I finally got the help I needed with my extreme mood swings. And it wasn’t the 12 steps, which hadn’t worked for me in the two times I placed myself in drug treatment programs where the prescription was to give it up to God. Well, God alone could not do it for me. I needed medication and I got it. Immediately, I didn’t want crack or pot anymore. Gradually my severe mood swings lessened and I began to feel like a whole person rather than two different people: one a likeable and gentle person and other a disagreable and violent person. The former was male, but the latter was female. I lived for many years a split life.

As legal medical drugs calmed me down, however I could see that all that happened  to me was not bad. My mania gave me an energy and the courage to try new things. My depression gave me an understanding of the low points life can reach. I have had a wide range of experiences, which are a gift to only the few, and if we can keep ourselves from self-destruction we have much to offer the world in terms of insight and compassion. I know now that I can answer the question “is life worth living?” in the affirmative.

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  1. Hello,
    Can i take a one small picture from your blog?
    Thank you
    Eremeeff

  2. Hi, Thank you! I would now go on this blog every day!

  3. I would not go everyday, since I can’t blog but once a week, but thank you for the confidence.

  4. You are welcome to take a picture from my blog. I am sorry for the delay in response your comment was caught up in my spam.

  5. I loved “The Gift of Bipolar” post! This is what keeps me going. Many people with Bipolar are creative, and many are famous from nowadays and past. I have this book “Creativity and Manic-depressive Disorder,’ about famous artists, writers, musicians who probably had Bipolar, and it was inspiring.

  6. Thank you for your comment. It is a gift, but it is up to you what you do with it as the Reverend Sacquety said to me when I wanted to give the gift back to the god I was convinced was my torturer.

  7. Everything dynamic and very positively! 🙂

  8. Hi there,
    Thanks for article. Everytime like to read you.
    Have a nice day

  9. Thank you for your comment.

  10. Thank you for your comment. A new blog is on its way.

  11. Logically, I agree

  12. Thank you for you comment. Keep coming back.

  13. What excellent phrase

  14. I have said this before, but I thank you for your comment

  15. wow, it was just yesterday i was told i have bipolar 1, and i have been struggling to deal with it up until now. “My mania gave me an energy and the courage to try new things. My depression gave me an understanding of the low points life can reach.” thank you for this! it has helped me alot!

  16. Thank you Jamie, You are why I blog. If what I write can help you, it helps me knowing there are others like you out there who share a similar experience. Being Bipolar 1 can suck at times, but at other times I would not trade it for anything in the world. I feel I (and you) have great insight to offer not just on the mental condition, but on the whole of existence from the appearance to the working of men, nature, and machines. Don’t hesitate to communicate with me again.

  17. Thanks for the info.
    I really liked this article. It explains the bipolar disorder really well.

  18. Thank you for the response. A lot of people seem to like this article. I get a bunch of positive feed back on it.

  19. Hi, Amazing! Not clear for me, how offen you updating your http://www.bipolarbarebook.com.

  20. I update by website every week or so with new blogs, but I am not upating the basic website content very often. Do I need to do that in your opinion? For example I don’t have anything at this time to add on to what I have already said about the Gift of Bipolar Disordrer.

  21. Good Day!!! http://www.bipolarbarebook.com is one of the best resourceful websites of its kind. I enjoy reading it every day. All the best.

  22. The author of http://www.bipolarbarebook.com has written an excellent article. You have made your point and there is not much to argue about. It is like the following universal truth that you can not argue with: Your computer will always crash 1 second before you remember to save. Thanks for the info.

  23. I like this website, clean design! is it a template?

  24. I wanted to tell you thanks for this great read!! I added to my bookmarks, take care

  25. BP 1 as well.

    “I didn’t learn much except if you want to get out of the hospital, learn to play sane.”

    I definitely did the same thing. A deep understanding of moods and personalities can do wonders. I actually helped a few people in there understand this.

    Keeping an eye on the good, can help you take a more positive approach in fulfillment. I must remember this before/during grandiosity. If I focus on the stimulation from “power,” and not ” positive goal achievement” the people I love the most can get hurt.
    They too get wrapped up in the excitement and only after the euphoria goes away, there’s a collective understanding of hopelessness. This drives me bonnnkkerss!!~

    We are all different works in progress. :):(:):(:D

  26. I liked your comment, but I didn’t understand the “collective understanding of hopelessness.” What is that. If there is one, It would drive me bonkers too.

  27. Greetings from Lincoln! I found that very informative. Thanks for the comment. I will be back to check for more info when I can.

  28. keep up this good work. Excellent post

  29. Greet post this will really help me.

  30. Hey, Great blog you have here. I found this post really interesting. Thanks

  31. nice work indeed. Subscribing to your feeds

  32. I was diagnosed at 15. I do feel this is the only way to view our special gift. Its weird to know your included in this vast community of wonderful people. Everyone I meet with it too, is just right- they are so much better than normal people to me, they make sense, they have minds that work as fucked-up as mine and I cherish that. Its a strange thing. A beautiful thing.

    Thank you for this post. Its wonderfully pure. Unbelievably true. You have a good to heart to put this out to the world. x

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  34. I have to show some appreciation to this writer for bailing me out of this type of scenario. After looking throughout the online world and finding tricks that were not productive, I assumed my entire life was well over. Being alive without the presence of solutions to the problems you’ve resolved all through your post is a critical case, and the kind which may have negatively affected my entire career if I had not discovered your web page. That talents and kindness in dealing with a lot of stuff was excellent. I don’t know what I would have done if I had not encountered such a stuff like this. It’s possible to at this moment look forward to my future. Thanks so much for your skilled and sensible help. I will not be reluctant to suggest your site to anybody who desires guide about this topic.

  35. Simply desire to say your article is as astonishing. The clearness in your post is just spectacular and i can assume you are an expert on this subject. Fine with your permission let me to grab your RSS feed to keep updated with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please continue the rewarding work.

  36. I am bipolar and it is the greatest gift of all… Life can be grasped in an intensitiy and beauty unknown to others, the pain and lonelyness is so wonderfull and u can get in touch with the others…. It is beautiful

  37. Hi there, I discovered your blog by means of Google at the same time as looking for a comparable matter, your web site got here up, it appears to be like good. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

  38. Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read anything like this before. So nice to find somebody with some original thoughts on this subject. realy thank you for starting this up. this website is something that is needed on the web, someone with a little originality. useful job for bringing something new to the internet!

  39. There’s definately a lot to know about this subject. I love all of the points you made.

  40. Thank you for the courage to speak out on your experience. I was misdiagnosed with depression in 2000 and treated as such. The result was disaterous and my unilateral decision to abruptly cease those medications made matters worse. Ultimately my license to practice Architecture in New York State was revoked. After over a decade and appropriate therapy I was correctly diagnosed with “Bi-Polar 2” (presently in remission). I am embarking on the process for recertification and would appreciate any resources you can provide.

  41. Look into Bipolar Depression Support Alliance. It helped me a lot

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