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607502 tn?1288247540

A thought about bipolar...

I posted this in another friend here's notes but thought it might be worth sharing as it resonated with me when I read it.

I have been reading a book I bought the other day called mastering bipolar disorder - its an Australian book put together by a group here called "The Black Dog Institute' and uses excerpts and essays from their 2007 Essay Competition on Bipolar . One of the essays they quote at length is called "Halcyon Days" and its written by a bipolar who is a wine maker - and he is refuting the impression that all bipolars are brilliant, in fact railing against it and the impression of mania being creative. One passage stands out

"How many people, diagnosed or not, suffer from these highs? And how many great writers are there in the world? Or Accomplished artists, admired comedians and venerated politicians? Why this focus on the one-in-a-million achievement? You can't throw Picasso's name up there and expect the common bipolar sufferer to relate. Hundreds have sat in the House of Lords since Churchill. The average bipolar sufferer is getting off the train in front of you at Central Station. We are family members, we are friends and workmates, we tile floors, we drive taxis and we process insurance claims and some days we are in knock-down prize fights for out jobs, our partners, our families and our lives"

I think that sums it up. Don't think about Picasso or Hemmingway when you think about bipolar think about the girl next to you on the train.  Some days we are all just fighting for survival.  Remember when you are that you're not alone and there is someone fighting the same fight somewhere in the world and there are others who have fought and won who can help you, thats why communities like this exist.  Thank you for the help people have given to me in the last few weeks, Its kept me going at times.

Or if you put it another way - We are not one.  We are legion.
8 Responses
Avatar universal
You raise a very walid point we are a legion and should vow to leave none behind, I 'm sorry your going through ruff times now and that alone makes what you did for me the other nite all the more special , as much as i hate this curse we all have i am still proud to be a part of the legion we all are in.   thank u
Avatar universal
I agree.  We are all in this together, just regular men and women, boys and girls, people of all races and creeds.  
I am very thankful for this forum as a way to make new friends, the only friends who truly understand what it feels like to be bipolar.  Blessings to each and every one of you.
212753 tn?1275073111
I agree.

Vee
561706 tn?1333947274
That's great.  Thanks for sharing that.  I have felt a lot of pressure to be a genius artist.  Both my parents were BP and really creative, supersmart people. My dad was a professional artist.  I'm always asked if I have his talent.  I don't.
I like hearing someone adress this.
Avatar universal
Here here, I'm exhausted by having to justify my madness by being a  successful fashion designer or actress! It is crazy that the same family that spent my whole childhood despairing over how troubled I was and how badly I did at school struggling to achieve anything, also seem to have branded me some sort of superhuman that is destine for great things, adding the extra pressure of being more disappointed if I fail again!
607502 tn?1288247540
I will say Its interesting that so many of the bipolars I come into contact with are seen as the stong ones or the rocks of their families - they are so often the ones people turn to.  I dont know why that is, is it the manic energy that means we can do a lot sometimes?  Its just something I have noticed along with the corresponding fact that when everything falls apart those same families often run away.
212753 tn?1275073111
A very astute observation. I have seen that alot.
In my case my family has stood by me. I know how blessed I am to have a good family as mine.
In my opinion just because we are bi polar doesnt mean we arent empathic, good listeners, and trustworthy. At my job,  countless people have come to me  to talk about things they wouldnt normally talk about.  I keep those things in confidence. I think I give off that aura that others know that they can talk to me.
I also think bi polar has made me the good, caring, creative person I am today.
There is so much emphasis on what is wrong with being bi polar that the good stuff is overlooked. The media has certainly painted us as unreliable, shady characters.

I do think  the manic makes others think we are multi-taskers ( We are). I have also been accused of being a control freak ( I just like things nice and done right the first time.)
I know in my case I have had to educate my family about bi polar. My daughters always knew there was something wrong before I was diagnosed. After they left home is when I finally had my breakdown and my subsequent DX. Later when we talked about it my youngest said I had held on for years for them. ( I was a single parent for 8 years.) I had to admit to myself that that was what kept me going.

Just my 2 cents

Vee
Avatar universal
My husband I think he is paranoid.  He won't go to a doctor never.  It means he never will be better?  I am 48 and he is 44 years old.
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