The Bipolar Mind - A Different Way of Thinking

Yesterday Robin Williams was found dead in his home.  Today the world mourns him.  The news just released a new statement that said he had superficial cut marks on his wrists and had used a belt to hang himself.  His wife, Susan Schneider, had asked for privacy in their time of mourning.  I doubt privacy is what they will get.  

Photo credit - Screenshot ABC NEWS

I've spent the last 18 hours or so seeing post after post on Facebook, Twitter and even references in World of Warcraft about the actor's passing.

 Photo Credit - The Academy - Facebook
Photo Credit - The Academy - Facebook Page

The connection between Bipolar Disorder and creative genius has been discussed throughout the years.  Many believe that the only way the Bipolar mind can live in our modern world is with massive amounts of drugs or heavy medications that quiet the mind.  For years I battled with accepting that I had Bipolar Disorder.  I didn't want to be one of those people who ended up on the streets, homeless or the cat lady.  I didn't want to be one of those people who was strapped to a bed and force fed medications.

So my illness went untreated.  I had failed marriages and job loss. When I finally accepted my diagnosis and began treatment all of my creativity was zapped away by those damned medications.  I was sick and suicidal.  I knew that I really was headed down a dark path.  See, I was trying to fit my brain, my way of thinking into what the world called normal.  I was trying to watch one TV show when really I needed to watch two or three.  I was trying to work one job, when I needed two jobs and book.  I need to keep my mind busy.  I needed projects and note pads and more more more, but society told me this was wrong.

Society told me that I needed to slow down.  I needed to have one job.  I needed to do one thing.  It didn't understand that my head; my mind had a different way of thinking.  Today we take people and we try to stuff them into little holes.  We don't allow the creative freedom.  We don't allow our kids to play.  Just play.

My friend Jen shared an article with me this morning called What a Shaman Sees in a Mental Hospital.  This was a fantastic find.  You see, we take those minds, those creative minds of the artist and healer and we put them in tight binds.  We order them to fit in or we dose them with medications so they only sit in their own piss and drool because we cannot accept they have a different way of thinking.   This is so very sad.

You see, I'm not sick.  I'm not broken.  I don't need fixing.  I just need to be able to be me.  I often worry that I might end up like Robin Williams.  What happened at the end that made him finally say, I'm done? Today's the last day.  We will never know the answer to that.  I've been in the extremely low and I've been in the extremely high.  I'm lucky in that I'm a rapid cycler, that means that I don't stay in any one mood for a long period of time.  I also have the benefit of an amazing support system.  I have friends and family of choice who let me be me.  They let me sparkle.  They embrace my sparkle.

The Bipolar Mind isn't a mystery, it is just a different way of thinking.  For someone with depression or in a depressive state of Bipolar, remember there are people out there who love you.  Ask for help.

I use the following mantra (chant).

Right now I am feeling (insert feeling here).  (Insert Feeling) is just a feeling.  It will not last forever.  I will not always feel (insert feeling here).  Soon I will feel differently.  I am not (insert feeling).  I am me.

Resources for Living with and understanding Bipolar

How a Person with Bipolar Thinks.
Bipolar Help & Support
Rapid Cycling Bipolar
What is Bipolar Disorder
National Suicide Hotline

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