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Jeff Grace

Who Am I?

I sat in a chair at a psychiatrist’s office and am asked questions that provoke me to describe both my depressive and hypomanic states. 

It was painful yet enlightening. 

When I am depressed I am stupid, lazy and useless. 

When I am depressed I am weak, unlovable and a waste of skin.

When I am depressed I am paranoid, reactive and delusional. 

When I am depressed I am pitiful, annoying and ugly. 

When I am depressed I am melancholy, bitter and pessimistic.

When I am hypomanic I act confident, charming and charismatic.

To Loathe or To Love?

To Loathe 

Every time I looked in the mirror I hated what I saw. Self-loathing had been a big part of my identity. 

Why did I hate myself so much? Why did I look at my reflection with contempt and disgust? 

I am not sure how or when it started, but many of my earliest memories were of simply not wanting to be me. 

Since that was not possible every time I looked in the mirror I hated what I saw, hated who I was. As the years passed by stories accumulated that supported those thoughts. 

Losing My Best Friend

About a month ago we were at a party. It really wasn’t a special night, like every party I have been to in the last few years, milling around sipping pints of microbrew, looking at walls lined of prints of post modern art and pictures of different adventures that the owner had embarked on. 

There was an interesting mix of people some young, some old, some familiar faces, some not, some dressed in outfits that cost hundreds of dollars, some bought at Value Village. 

Jeff Grace

I was originally diagnosed with bipolar II when I was 23 years old. 

After being involved in a car accident in 2010 many of my symptoms became much more intense and frequent. Eventually I had to take a leave from work to deal with both a spinal injury and the bipolar illness. This gave me an incredible opportunity to reflect on my life and how I live it.