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I've had enough wine that I think I can write one of these now...

Hello, I'm Bipolar I. I take Seroquel, it makes me sleep for 12 hours every night, but I don't attack people or myself anymore. I kind of love Seroquel. Stops the ruminations that I used to think were just a part of life.

I am an artist and a musician. I draw, paint, photograph, Photoshop, write songs, sing, and play guitar. I just landed my second job as a visual artist, through sheer luck, after being unemployed for six months. It pays way better than my first art job, which was barely above minimum wage. I'm feeling optimistic, since they let me set my own hours. I know I'm lucky to have this job.

The Bipolar manifests in different ways. I used to live on my own and had a studio in my house. I was completely unmedicated and enjoyed staying up late and recording, writing, singing, creating. Music sounded incredible blasted through my sparsely-furnished, wood-floor house, and I was quite productive. I had a crazy, spontaneous sex life, punctuated by drunken one-night encounters with hotties half my age, and occasional anger-fueled bottle-smashing and self-injury. Lots of wandering around in Publix without buying anything. Lots of burning it at both ends, and dating the wrong people.

I also have the worst Pre-Menstrual Disphoric Disorder possible. Day by day I turn into a different person before I bleed - crazy-brilliant, but also anti-social, paranoid crazy. Paxil helps for this, but also robs me of my creativity.

Now I live with my mom in a different city. I'm on all kinds of meds, under the care of a psychiatrist (who I think is lazy, I'm right around the corner from finding a better one) and I don't have a studio to create in. I feel a bit impotent here, on Paxil and without a studio. But I'm with a great boyfriend who is also Bipolar (hooray, understanding!), and my mom, when she is here, is more understanding and helpful than she's ever been.

I was diagnosed when I was 16, but it's only been in the past year that I'm learning how to manage the illness (I am 35 now). Fortunately, I have accepted the illness, gone public about it (to foster more understanding from the general public, and to fight stigma) and I'm better off than I've ever been.

Still trying to find my way. Looking for a way to be creative and productive, without going totally mad every 28 days. I'm seeing a talented therapist who is helping a great deal. Staying on my meds, even though it's like being on a leash, having to go to sleep at a reasonable hour every night. I've learned how to cook, so I can make healthy meals for myself instead of going days without food like I used to.

I'm poor as balls and I have no health insurance. Trying to get on Medicaid, but I'm childless and apparently that is an unforgivable sin in the United States, punishable by not being able to get government assistance. My wonderful mom is covering my bills, but it's a strain on her and I want to be self-sufficient. I'm gonna keep applying for Medicaid until I get it. It's strange to think of myself as "disabled" - I can drive, walk, talk... I'm even an acclaimed songwriter... so what's the problem? As many of you are already aware, it is hard to prove a mood disorder as a disablility.

Crazyboards is a wonderful resource. I'm trying to utilize it more. It helps me greatly to know there are others like me going through the same struggle. We can learn from each other and help each other. I am glad to be here with each and every one of you, to give and gain support.

Sincerely,

mad_genius

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey, welcome aboard.

Publix? Wandering around Publix? Sheesh, what is wrong with you? ;)

Sorry about the loss of a studio space. And, if you're poor, I'd recommend Sennheiser HD201s or something. I dunno. You know, Low-fi is all the rage. Lookie the white stripes et al.

Your mom sounds cool.

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