Lights, candy canes, Christmas trees, Santa, nutcrackers, snowmen, gingerbread men, cookies, cakes, pies, ham, turkey, wine, sparkling wine, stockings, gift boxes, Christmas carols, and garland…this list goes on. This brings “happy” times…right? Not for me.
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A month ago it was just another Tuesday morning: wake up, shower and dress, drink some coffee, then leave my husband and puppy at home to drive 45min to my doctor’s appointment. It felt like the same as before: go in for 45 min, talk, get refill prescriptions if I need to, and then go home, but – not this time. I walked into my doctor’s feeling okay. I knew I needed to talk about the arguments between my husband and myself, but I knew it was all my fault. See, I was ready to admit all my faults, but I knew something was wrong and was scared of what would happen.
I was in the tenth grade at the age of 14. I was never popular. I stayed in the background and kept to myself or at least attempted to. My peers bullied me and I gave up on fighting back. I took it, internalized it, and never spoke of it when I got home. What was the point? To add fuel to the fire I was not an “A” student and I did not make the varsity team in basketball. Instead, I suffered through school, came home, did my homework, and repeated the days. My parents were divorced when I was two. The deal was I had to see my biological dad every other weekend.
I sometimes wonder how and why many people who have bipolar disorder feel and become creative. I know, for example, when I am in mania I become far more into writing, descriptions, and reading book after book. I crave to live outside my life most of the time, but especially in mania. Let me back up a notch and define what exactly I mean by creativity.
This past month I have been trying to hone in on my emotions as there is much going on in my life-two part time jobs, part time student, moving, and my upcoming wedding in May. I filled out my mood chart indicating I am between feeling “normal” (or what I call mainstream) and mildly depressed. I know there is a lot of “good” going on, but for some reason I cannot help but feel a sense of depression. I will no longer have a place all to myself to retrieve to. I like having my space. It’s just a simple fact. I have the notion that my significant other wants to be near
How far can my loved ones understand me when it comes to my disorder? Sometimes I think they get it, other times…not so much. When I am manic, for example, no one takes my credit card and tells me to stay in the house and not do “outrageous things” like spending sprees. However, if I get depressed and have one sliding thought of death, people are quick to take my medications away. Both things, in my opinion, are equally dangerous, so why be “picky” of one thing over another?
Lauren Calabrese (soon to be Lauren Meredith) was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder in November of 2010 when she was 24. She has a dual BA in Psychology and English Literature. She is now working on her MA in English and Creative Writing with a concentration in non-fiction writing through Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) where she is also part of the National Society of Leadership and Success as well as Sigma Tau Delta (International English Honor Society).