Back in 2013 I was diagnosed with rapid cycling bipolar II disorder and mood congruence.
For the uninitiated, bipolar is where you are lucky enough to have bouts of both depression and mania; rapid cycling means that you get at least four episodes of said depression or mania per year; and mood congruence is where you sometimes have delusions based on your mood (my go-to flavour is paranoia when I’m depressed [yum!]).
Bipolar is a lifelong illness, it’s a part of you, there is no cure; but, as my (excellent) doctor said “…think of it like diabetes, it’s dangerous yes but with medication and careful management you can lead a long and relatively normal life…”.
“Hooray! I have brain diabetes!”– Nobody Ever
I have been trying to write about this for a while now and will admit to being a bit overwhelmed. My mental health has been (and continues to be) a long journey so I am going to split it into a series of more manageable bite-sized blog posts. I’ll try and pop out at least one post a week.
If you can’t wait for the thrilling conclusion to the series (spoiler alert!) – I am really good at the moment, I’m in a great place. Since my diagnosis in 2013 I have had two kids (I love being a dad), my wife remains my ever patient rock and best friend, I have held down a good job for over five years without committing career-seppuku for the umpteenth time and I am (hopefully) making a difference doing youth mentoring in my local community.
So it’s a happy story then? Well mostly, but buyer beware, a blog about bipolar wouldn’t be a blog about bipolar without a few dark episodes, however I will try to at least give you a laugh along the way.
OK, the scene is set – where to start?
I suppose at the beginning… [Next week – Ghost Grandma]