My 7-Day, Mexican, All-Inclusive, 5-day Vacation

How much I love to fly

My entire family just returned from a fantastic trip to a 5* resort in Mexico, where our every whim was catered to, no request was too outrageous, and no buffet was shown a shred of mercy. Twenty of any family would be loud and boisterous. This twenty of my family knows a lot about decibels and how to raise them, uncontrollable belly laughs and how to solicit them, and what it feels like to be part of a clan.

Being around them in large doses has always triggered my anxiety. So does flying. I’ve spent the last month working with the doctor and therapist on coping skills, including carrying around a bottle of sedatives to be taken four times a day. Or sometimes, four times an hour. Whatever gets ya through, right? Continue reading “My 7-Day, Mexican, All-Inclusive, 5-day Vacation”

AJ Lee: Bullshit is your Superpower

AJ Lee means nothing to me. I’m not a fan of melodramatic violence as entertainment, so I’ve never encountered her image or name before. But she does have a book coming out (Crazy is my Superpower, coincidentally). It is the story of her life from her perspective: she is bipolar. Not has, is.

These are words from her blog post announcing the arrival of her sure fire bestseller:

By Flickr user Starship PaintOne day I made the choice to stop throwing myself a pity party. I chose to stand up and fight… Continue reading “AJ Lee: Bullshit is your Superpower”

Yes, Bipolar is my Superpower

One recent afternoon, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed when a headline caught my eye. The summary indicated that the TV show Homeland should stop romanticizing the main character’s bipolar disorder, or treating it like some kind of superpower.

(There will more on Homeland, bipolar disorder and finding ignorance everywhere in my upcoming first podcast!)

I’d like to respectfully disagree with that opinion. I don’t watch the show, but I’ve read about its depiction of bipolar disorder. The fact is, I don’t know what defines the bipolar experience.

I know what defines MY bipolar experience.

And yes, #bipolarismysuperpower. It’s how I’m going to change the world. Continue reading “Yes, Bipolar is my Superpower”

Firecrackers and Accidental Overdoses

I used to believe that the phrase “accidental overdose” was used to protect families when someone commits suicide. Turns out, it’s really pretty easy. I’ve done it. Twice. It’s why I decided to approach my illness as a scientist, not a victim.

***

I could not sleep.

It had been days.

In the four years since my depression diagnosis, I’d been on dozens of medications. And still I was spiralling out of control. I had no idea that my affliction was actually bipolar disorder, and that most of the drugs I’d been taking were making things worse. Much, much worse.

I sat on the sofa in the front room, typing frantically to my online support group. The doctor had told me that the new medication would help me sleep. So, after three days without sleep, I took an extra dose. Two hours later, I took another dose. I became more and more wired. I took another dose, and waited to be knocked into oblivion.  Continue reading “Firecrackers and Accidental Overdoses”

A Story of Depression and Drowning

Sadness. Depression.

You’ve had one, ergo you can empathize with the other. Let me explain how that works…

Being very sad is like falling into the shallow end of the pool. It sucks. It’s cold, it’s wet, it’s squishy, and you’re going to be bitchy about it for a while. You may have to toss your new shoes, and that will leave you frustrated and disappointed. Your phone is probably screwed, and it’s going to be pretty damn inconvenient until you can afford to replace it. But things will dry, you’ll get new shoes, and you’ll carry on.

Being depressed is like being locked in steerage on the Titanic. Continue reading “A Story of Depression and Drowning”

A Fresh Start

When I decided to start my own business, I took my personal blog down.

I’d written deeply personal posts about my experiences with mental illness and was afraid that if a potential client saw them, they wouldn’t want to work with me.

More recently, I decided that I’d use whichever medium I could to become an advocate for the very thing I was so ashamed of.  Continue reading “A Fresh Start”