janus – faced: on being bipolar

Dear Internet,

As I started prepping today’s piece, it struck me as I am also a gemini and if you’re hip to astrology, geminis are dual natured. I don’t think you could make my life any more hamfisted or obvious.

So today is World Bipolar Day! Last year, I discovered the cause a day after it occurred — which is always my luck. Since I’m so prolific about writing about my mental state of being, I thought I would take today’s entry and point out some of the resources, blogs, and books that I use to keep my brain in check.

A few disclaimers.

  1. I am not a doctor or a therapist. I cannot treat or diagnose your brain. What I write on this site is what works for me (including drugs, more of which I’ll go into in a sec), so for the love of fuck do not take my experiences as the end all, be all of being bipolar.
  2. Bipolar is, in short, a chemical imbalance in the brain. Unlike things like anxiety or borderline personality disorder, which are managed by talk therapy, it is nearly impossible to function without some kind of drug therapy, in addition to talking therapy. Yes, yes, I know people have said they manage without drug therapy (or talking therapy) and those people who are successful at managing without any type of therapy, successfully, is tiny. Like really, really, tiny.
  3. I implore you not to self-medicate.
  4. There are several different types of bipolarism. I am bipolar 1.
  5. Bipolar is typically comorbid, which means you can be bipolar AND have anxiety AND so on. I am bipolar 1 with anxiety, adhd, and borderline personality disorder.
  6. FOR THE LOVE OF FUCK DO NOT DIAGNOSE YOURSELF ON THE INTERNET AND I DON’T CARE IF YOU USED THE MAYO CLINIC / WEBMD / OR SOME OTHER KIND OF REPUTABLE SITE. You can get recommendations from your general physician, your insurance company or in Google: psychiatrist “name of your city” to get a listing of shrinks in your area. You’re going to want a medicating shrink for your drugs and a talking shrink for your talk therapy. Some doctors can do both. They will diagnose you and work out a treatment plan for you.

The below are resources / books I use or have used and found success with in my management of my brain. I am listing mainly bipolar stuff and US based sites. I have found in my searches for “bipolar” or “bipolar blogs”, up comess lots and lots of academic-y pieces on the disorder or links to sites like WebMD with explanations of the disorder but not much after that. I have also found a few sites that were more about snake oil then providing resources or information.

Which brings me to: Be weary of sites that always want to sell you something like, “How I cured Bipolar in 10 Easy Steps” and that kind of crap. If someone wants to sell you their life story on them and bipolar, that’s one thing, but the rest is mostly snake-oil.

Now the recommendations. (Amazingly, to me, the Reddit subreddit for bipolar is pretty chill.)

Mine

  • Pinterest board where I’ve started curating mental health stuff website
  • Article at MindBodyGreen, “I’ve Had Bipolar Disorder For 20 Years. Here’s How I’ve Learned To Manage It” website
  • EpbaB tags bipolar | bipolar maniamentally healthy

Reources

Blogs

Books


I am a:  LibrarianWriter. Nerd. Geek. Sassy.  Pug owner. World traveler. Pierced. Tattooed. Tall.Music and book lover. Discriminating Guinness taster. Aging, alternative hipster. Eco-conscious. Equally in love with James Bond, Jane Austen, and Doctor Who.

I am not the sum of my diagnosis.

My brain is broken but I am not.

I am more the sum of my parts and so are you.

xoxo,
Lisa

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2013, 1999

 

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Gratitudes: March 21 – March 27, 2016

epbab-header-gratitude
Dear Internet,

Gratitudes and things that make me happy are a part of my carding coursework, and I track them everyday and I’ll post them here every Sunday. (And I also acknowledge this is going to take me a few weeks to go beyond “I have killer hair.”) You can also find the a list of all my gratitudes here.

gratitude

  1. For having an in-building washer and dryer. While I enjoy doing laundry (the smell! the neat piles of folded items!), not having to schelp it out someplace else is a delight
  2. Spring is finally here. It may flare up my allergies but I love the change from one season to another
  3. Friends who send you random presents! (Especially ones who send you fresh baked cookies!)
  4. Wellbutrin continues to work its magic. Let’s all bless science!
  5. The ability to spend time with friends at mini-vacations
  6. New glasses so I can see the world clearer and in focus
  7. For my tattoos, as each one tells a story
  8. For TEH trading days when to walk the dog so neither of us are getting up everyday when the sun rises
  9. I was not the same person I was yesterday, last week, or six months ago. I’ve grown
  10. For music to help express my moods.

happy

  1. Peeps!
  2. Carbonated water
  3. Pita chips and hummus
  4. 1/2 off easter (and halloween) candy
  5. C2E2!
  6. Begrudgingly Daredevil
  7. Pops!
  8. Fluffer nutters
  9. Trader Joe’s speculoos + cocoa swirl paired with pretzels
  10. A new tattoo!

xoxo,
Lisa

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2001

 

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Want to start at the beginning?
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Gratitudes: March 14 – March 20, 2016

epbab-header-gratitude
Dear Internet,

Gratitudes and things that make me happy are a part of my carding coursework, and I track them everyday and I’ll post them here every Sunday. (And I also acknowledge this is going to take me a few weeks to go beyond “I have killer hair.”) You can also find the a list of all my gratitudes here.

gratitude

This week I’m in Chicago for C2E2, the yearly event I have attended since 2012. Instead of my usual ten things I’m grateful for, it’s just going to be one big one, which I’ve been breaking down in bits and pieces over the past weeks:

  1. I’m grateful for everyone who has given me support, cheerled me on, gave advice, offers of hospitality when I needed it, and so much more. I keep telling people the big lesson that I’ve learned in the last year or so is humility and gratitude. My life is still a delicate eco-system and I think on one level it is always going to be, but the foundation is much stronger thanks to everyone who has come forward with help. Really, I’ll probably be repeating this gratitude a lot in the upcoming weeks and months because I really am that grateful for everything that has been given to me. As much as it gnaws at my soul to say that I’m “blessed,” I am feeling pretty beatific these days.

Thank you.

happy

  1. Vintage cameras
  2. Literary maps and cartography in general
  3. Learning a new language
  4. Shield maiden barrettes 
  5. Van Gogh’s The Cafe Terrace on the Place du Forum Arles at Night
  6. glitter gel pens

xoxo,
Lisa

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2014, 2003