Why I Ignored the Bipolar Diagnosis in my 20’s… and What We Learned in my 30’s
A year ago, I published about the day I became suicidal, as well as the subsequent months once i texted the personal assistant and got help. I’ve been coping with a bipolar analysis and medicated with regard to fifteen months at this point. Six months ago, We began taking medicine to treat anxiety.
I’ve seen the weight balloon 50 lbs. My libido has turned into more of a sex razor scooter ride. You can accredit a lot of that will to the pandemic. Like the majority of people, I’ve been trapped in my residence for the past year, severely limiting my physical exercise, social interactions, plus thousands of steps lost from day-to-day normalcy.
I skip everything. I skip the smell of breakfast wafting more than midtown every early morning. I miss allocating a coffee catch-up with friends in the midst of a hectic day time. I miss killing time somewhere before the next thing. Hell, I actually even miss hearing “it’s showtime” on a crowded subway.
Those little nuggets of daily connections have been replaced using the amplifying of all the defects of my living space – construction outside my building, an upstairs neighbor operating their 3-11 changes from home, taking phone calls all night, with their voice thundering over the girlfriend and I, once we attempt to The Sopranos in serenity. Every time I hear music outside the window, I feel shivers down my spine, I feel my heart start racing, the anxiety snake slithering up my lower-leg.
If I’d been doing my normal hustle – auditions, classes, composing partner meet-ups, rehearsals, teaching classes, bartending, and catering most of fucking night in making ends meet… I don’t know if any of this would rent space in my brain. It is as though I have all these co-workers that I can not stand in my house, girlfriend excluded, that are also just merely existing in this brand new normal.
It’s truly difficult to evaluate whether or not my 100mg of Lamictal and 10mg of Lexapro have taken effect. So , here I am, composing it down. Have I been taking once life since September 30th, 2019, the day I called the lifeline and got help? Number Thank God. Possess I spent days unable to do anything more than lie in bed, and, maybe muster the particular motivation to stagger over to the couch? Too many to count number.
Have I had panic attacks because our superintendent had his family in the courtyard area, while actively playing music at a affordable volume, thinking that “they were going to become down there forever and exactly what if in 3 years my girlfriend and am have a baby and it’s trying to take a nap and these motherfuckers are down there playing music and what the fuck isn’t he supposed to make us really feel safe how could he do this in order to us…? ” I think the answer is obviously indeed.
In the “real” world (I place that in quotations because, well, what exactly is the “real” world now? ), these pockets of anger, anxiety, and depressive disorders would likely be activated by things like the belligerent guest at a party I’m bartending, a threatening personality on the subway, plus, I don’t know… lifestyle?
I got medicated in November associated with 2019. It usually takes four to six several weeks for mood stabilizers to take full impact. I lived on my meds in the earlier world for about 8 weeks before the pandemic. I seriously wish I had additional time with it, because I was truly beginning to see the progress. I’m grateful for the timing, since the challenges of this past year may very-well have been unsustainable without the aid of my meds.
While i was 28, I used to be experiencing severe disposition swings at work. Operating as a doorman in a busy hotel within midtown Manhattan, I had a major inferiority complicated and thirst regarding confrontation. I was recommended by a union consultant to see a psychiatrist due to my family history of bipolar support groups, depression, and dependancy. The first doctor I could see threw a bi-polar diagnosis at me personally while barely looking up from his personal computer. “Family history” had been all he necessary to hear.
The things i needed to hear was “no, you’re simply in the wrong job”, so I sought an additional opinion. I went in with my solutions slightly modified, less branches of the household tree linking myself to my illness. Your doctor grilled me for that number of alcoholic beverages I had per day, but unfortunately, did not believe I had been bipolar. He sent me on my merry way, with an absolutely loaded cannon of unchecked problems.
The things i thought at twenty-eight: I’m a writer. How could I possibly start taking medicine? That will stifle all the wonderful things that movement through my fingertips when I spend all night in front of my pc, perseverating while creating a story about how our anger and unpredictability got me into yet another fight at your workplace. I’m an professional. I need to be able to tap into my emotions. These are my bread and butter. I cannot danger numbing them.
What I learned at 35: Medication will not block me being a writer or actor. In fact , after composing or acting inside a scene about something triggering, I’m capable of tap out and remove myself once it’s over. I could still cry, remember feelings and feelings, put myself in any place I want. Our training and encounter never went anywhere. What left had been the unsafe strategies in which I would value to produce these feelings. The constant self-punishment which was sometimes impossible in order to discern myself from before I got medicated.
What I thought at 28: Really dont want meds to turn me into a living dead, an emotionless drone who floats through life not feeling anything. I need to feel things.
What I learned at 35: Sorry, but you still feel every single goddamn thing that passes through you. In fact , you feel them even more now. The reason why? Because it’s every slowed down. Years of psychiatric therapy, journaling, and now medicine have given me personally the tools to realize these feelings as they occur. They allow me to see it, instead of letting it consume me.
What I believed at 28: A bipolar diagnosis goes on the permanent record, and I’ll never obtain another job.
What I learned at 35: What permanent record?
What I thought in 28: Bipolar people in movies go off their meds and burn off everything to the surface, that’s not me!
What I learned at thirty-five: Okay, lots to unpack here. First of all, indeed, there are people out there exactly who stop taking their medication and react destructively. I’ve seen it firsthand with people I love. It’s frightening. I can’t talk as a medical professional, yet I can speak as an artist:
The particular portrayal of people with bipolar disorder in movie and television is usually perpetually problematic. It is far too often that the character struggling with the mental illness serves as the albatross to maneuver the plot forwards, and far too usually their “going off their meds” is definitely something that heightens the stakes.
Terrible, Netflix dropped the documentary this year called Crime Scene: The particular Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel, which spends 3 hours building up a few faux ghost tale, perpetrated by a bunch of idiot YouTubers, only to exploit a dead young woman’s bipolar disorder – making sure to check every stigmatizing stereotype box along the way. There’s an overwhelming amount of conspiracy theories and backstory on the hotel’s sordid past, with numerous people providing comments about murders and alleged hauntings the fact that property endured over the years, only for the “gotcha” moment to be that she experienced an episode after going off her medication… which resulted in the girl drowning in a drinking water tank.
So long as the entertainment industry treats mental illness like Chekov’s gun, people who live with it will be hard-pressed to feel at ease speaking openly about this.
I don’t have the ability to the answers. In no way will. I quit my job on the whim to pursue a career as an designer in 2016 plus racked up almost $20, 000 in credit card debt in the process. Was it a daring move that paid back? Yes. Was it a sneaky form of mania? I think so , looking back onto it. Since I started using my medication, I can count on one hand the amount of times I utilized my credit card with regard to something unnecessary, whilst paying off thousands of dollars worth of debt. (Wait…Should I have prefaced that with “I’m no accountant”? )
In the end, I’ve committed to this life – making peace along with my diagnosis while doing what is in my power to treat it – not skipping dosages of my medicine, speaking regularly to a therapist, journaling every day, and talking freely about it… and, you know, diet and exercise things.
So far, so good.
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