My ‘Empire State of Mind,’ Requires Mindfulness to Prevent Spin Cycling.
I first became aware of Bipolar Disorder’s link to creativity when I read a ‘Help Wanted’ ad for an Advertising agency.
It read, “Alcoholics, Compulsive Gamblers and Manic Depressives need not Apply.”
After that, I stopped briefing potential employers about my bipolar illness, even though in my field, Alternative radio, bipolar was often seen as a plus.
My hypomania gave me the additional energy to write for three magazines and a newspaper on top of being an irreverent, highly rated Disc Jockey.
My co-workers called me ‘Infomaniac’ and ‘Brainiac’ because I always had my nose in a book and clever quips for the seconds between songs and commercials.
My mind is still a mushroom field of projects, ideas and crusades.
My body can’t keep up!
I’m worried, though, because each day includes a cycle or two.
I wake up with trepidation; certain my ‘black dog’ is back.
I blank out my mind to cancel the fear-based thoughts.
I make green tea and head to the office. Before checking email, I turn on some VERY LOUD music.
I achieve liftoff. That’s fine. The danger is when I get so lost in my writing by the time I look at the clock it’s 2:00 pm, it’s time to go to the gym and I haven’t eaten.
Sometimes I get so lost in my writing, I look at the clock and it’s 2:00pm, I haven’t eaten and it’s time to go to the gym.
I’ve surpassed the speed of the sound. The boom-clap of the sonic boom signals me I’m in the danger zone.
Sometimes I heed it. Other times, not. I’m like Elton John in “Rocket Man,” but I don’t ‘Miss the earth’ and don’t EVER want to ‘Touch down.’
The dire truth is this: When I place my creativity ahead of myself, I’m risking 19 months of bipolar stability.
Every good gambler knows sometimes you have to walk away from the table.
The house always wins.
Crash and burn.
My last Bipolar Depression relapse lasted four months.
But who’s counting? Each dreadful day felt like a year.
The anhedonia prevented me from feeling pleasure.
I comforted myself with bread, butter, cheesecake and wine. I normally don’t drink. I regained twenty pounds and became pre-diabetic.
Before my relapse, my husband bought us tickets to see Joan Jett and The Who in concert. How where we to know how I’d feel three months later?
Not wanting to let him down, I went, in a state of abject misery.
What a nightmare. We left early because I couldn’t bear the noise and bailed on our hotel room.
Yeah, we really lived it up.
When I’m depressed, I’m anxious; feeling guilty I bring others down.
(As if I’m the center of their universe).
My mood swings aren’t my fault, but I could be making better choices.
I know I’ve needed outside help…and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, (DBT) looks promising. It can be expensive, depending on your insurance.
After 3 months advocating for a sliding scale, I’m in Mindfulness-based Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT).
Even on sliding scale, it’s almost as much as a car payment.
And I need a new car.
Almost as much as a new driver.
If I reach the goals of my three-part, six-month treatment plan, things will be better for me and my husband, who’s been breathing second-hand smoke.
DBT is a 52-week course. Many find it so beneficial they repeat it for another year.
It’s a huge investment of time and money in ME.
One I CANT afford NOT to make.
via bpHope – bp Magazine Community