At my last appointment with my psychiatrist, she told me I have too much anxiety about having bipolar disorder. No kidding? I mean what's there to be anxious about? Being stuck in complete darkness with unspeakable pain that only those who have depression can understand? Or, flying so high you think you're invincible, have no rational thoughts in your head and are dangerously capable of almost anything? Or, being so paranoid you think you're being watched by aliens or believe that there are bugs living in computers and crawling through the power cords into the walls?
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Last year at this time, I was soaring high with my first full-blown manic episode. I was feeling better than I've felt in my entire life. Colors were brighter, music sounded better, and my talents came out like never before. I had recently taken up painting and my work was amazing. Music sounded incredible. I swear I could hear each and every note from every individual instrument that was playing. I'm not a singer, but I sang loudly with songs and I was on key for a change. I had superpowers and was invincible. At least I thought I was.
Paula Bostrom is a freelance media broadcaster and journalist. She lives in Colorado with her husband, two teenagers and her psychiatric service dog Cane, a rescue dog from Hurricane Katrina. Paula was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of 42.