Just like my bipolar disorder, my eating disorder started in bits and pieces and later formed a cycle. Did you know that as many as 14% of people with bipolar disorder have a co-occurring eating disorder? And it’s not just women! There are male anorexics, bulimics and men with ‘Bigorexia,’ lifting and taking steroids to achieve the perfect male form.
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In high school I was often sad. I’m not a doctor, but have heard that depression can be an early indicator of bipolar disorder. I was also the dreamy-look-out-the-window type of ADD. Mom always says I lacked the inner knowledge of the social pecking order. My impulsivity didn’t help win people over. I went the loner-stoner phase. At least the potheads were nice to me.
Does anyone know where the kids are? Oh, they’re being watched while I see my family friend and doctor, as I always do when I’m having issues. Because my home is in escrow, I had to clear out for their final physical inspection. The contract is on the card table. The house is supposed to close in three days. My realtors are cheating me. I want to rip up the papers. They pretend like they are my best friends but they could care less. They just want this house to sell.
When I think about involuntary hospitalization, I feel vaguely violated. It was sudden, and it wasn’t my choice. I was deceived before the police showed up and slapped on the handcuffs. It was personal and not. It hurt, bewildered and shocked me. Terrifying? For sure. Transformative? You tell me.
Paradoxically, I’ve found newfound perspectives of patience, humor, and focus borne of depression itself that have strengthened my resolve to survive and recover. I’m hoping that through this blog, you can grab onto a positive idea to bridge whatever mental health gap you may be facing. I can’t speak for all of us, but like a line cook, I’m flipping the patty to show that it’s not all a raw deal. These are the ‘Upsides of Down.’
One of the reasons I am glad that I moved to Florida is that it led me to a peer run drop in center near my house called Rebel’s Drop In. In my small county, Broward, between Palm Beach and Miami-Dade, we have 5 of these centers. Peer run drop in centers average 5 per state, see the links below to find one near you.
('Changes' song lyric sample from David Bowie, album "Hunky Dory" 1971)
My name is Allison Strong and I was diagnosed with bipolar 2 in 1989. I'm from Southern California. Allow me to tell a story that has repeated itself my whole life. In High School I desperately wanted to play Volleyball, hoping it would end my sense of isolation. I was cut from the team, two years in a row, and as a junior, I sat the bench the entire year. As a senior, I accepted a scholarship to play for Stanford University. Go figure. A union role in an Olympic Athlete-themed TV commercial led to a decade as a working actor in Hollywood.