Writing is an outlet, it keeps me healthy, it gives me power, but if I had to choose between illness and outlet…I wish I had nothing to write about! I’m just kidding, I know I’d still write about other things. My Bipolar Disorder doesn’t make me a better writer, I just write about it because it’s a part of my life that I need to process. Being a writer is part of my identity, having Bipolar is not.
Here’s the thing, the reality is that my Bipolar is not going away. I’m completely aware that it’s a chronic illness that I’ll always have to live with and manage. It’s a perpetual up and down, side to side, too high or too low. It’s all about pushing past the rough times and dedicating my life to the pursuit of balance. I’ve had to learn how to take care of myself which means understanding my illness, finding the language to talk about it, and figuring out how to achieve my goals despite my shitty brain chemistry.
That’s been a significant part of my journey and I’ll always have these challenges. I cope by doing everything in my power to de-glamorize my illness, to take it out of the spotlight, to value myself by focusing on my accomplishments not as someone with Bipolar but as the kick ass dude that I am. Mental Illness takes a back seat.