A Look at World Bipolar Awareness Day…. Bipolar Lives

By: Jessica Azar
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This year the world observed World Bipolar Awareness Day on March 30th. The celebratory day was selected to coincide with the birthday of famous artist Vincent Van Gogh, who was posthumously diagnosed with having lived with Bipolar Disorder. He was subject to intense periods of creativity (I can associate… I’ve written 10 lengthy blogposts in the past 3 days… Just haven’t published all of them) and also endured the horrible bouts of depression where creativity dries up (I, too, endure this… It’s crippling). As you may know, Van Gogh committed suicide, as so many Bipolars have and do… Here is Don McLean’s famous song “Vincent” about his life and struggle . I’ve always loved it, and now it carries even more meaning for me. And I believe that through recognition and support, the number of suicides can drop over time. I’m very vocal about my experiences of living as a Mom with Bipolar Disorder, and I will be asking other bloggers and those that I know who suffer from Bipolar Disorder to write a post that I will publish here, on Herd management…. Hopefully every other week, to aid in this movement. I will also be periodically writing posts on famous individuals throughout history that lived with Bipolar.
In the spirit of honoring World Bipolar Awareness Day, and to create awareness through honesty, I feel compelled to discuss what’s going on with me mentally at the moment.It’s been nearly two months since my last Doctor’s appointment with my Psychiatrist… And I’m dreading going in, although the last few days are telling me that I need to do so. I had an appointment on March 10th that I cancelled (I was feeling great mentally and was recovering from the Breast Augmentation surgery that I’d had three days before)and even though I should’ve rescheduled it, I didn’t. Shame on me. I’m not a Bipolar patient that will just quit taking meds because I feel better, because I know how it feels to be OFF of the meds… And no one needs to see that… But I will for sure let a doctor’s appointment slide, even though it’s crucial to my disorder maintenance…like going in for a car’s oil change, and I’m bad about that as well. It’s not lost on me that not being able to run/do yoga/exercise for the past month, following my surgery, is having a big effect on me, and that’s one reason I’m putting off calling the doctor…. I’m hoping and praying that the first run back will be magical… One that erases my stress and the tearfulness I’m currently dealing with…. But that’s a lot of pressure to put on myself and high expectations.
For the past couple of days I have been able to feel the tears on the very edge of my eyes, ready to well up…. Over nothing… And at the same time, I can feel myself holding my breath and anxiety setting in… And nothing is going wrong at the moment, or particularly stressful. I can feel the mood rollercoaster going up, up, up… By where I get excited, full of energy, ready to go something fabulously fun with my kids…. Then zooming down into me feeling lethargic and seriously unmotivated… Sad even… Over a span of three hours. It really seems unfair that I’m dealing with this…. Unfair to me, unfair to my kids, unfair to my husband…. But at times like these I try to hold on to the knowledge that being Bipolar has given me certain perks as well…. Like my creativity. I’m trying to grab up every shred of motivation in my body to force myself to go for a run/walk this afternoon when my husband comes home from work. You see, the lack of motivation and energy perpetuates the cycle of feeling down, and if I don’t do something to break out of the cycle, I will stay trapped in it or spiral further downward into the pit. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

To ease myself back into the swing of things, exercise-wise, I am going to take advantage of the beautiful sunny day and take LLL for a walk. The sun will boost my mood and I’m betting the exercise will perk me up as well. I will let you know how it goes!

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