The Upside of Bipolar Disorder

The Upside of Bipolar Disorder

When I’m having an extra rough day or so, like I am right now, I try to find the positive side of things. So I started thinking what (if any) is the upside of bipolar disorder? Productivity, creativity, hypomania (before it gets too far), and personal strength are all positive aspects of bipolar disorder. These are the first things that come to my mind, but I had to think hard to find them. For every one thing that is even slightly positive, there are several things that are difficult and unpleasant.

I’m more productive when I’m manic or hypomanic, but not at all when I’m depressed. I love the few days that I become hypomanic, but I know when to stop it so it doesn’t get too far into mania. My house gets a good deep cleaning when I become hypomanic. It’s the one time I don’t mind doing those annoying tasks.

Of course, it’s always said that there’s a huge connection between individuals diagnosed with bipolar disorder and individuals who are extremely creative. My bachelors’ degree is in graphic design. I love decorating and organizing things. I’ve also been told that writing is creative. It’s important to remember that creativity comes in many forms.

Personal strength is hard to see, but I know it’s there. I’ve been told that I’m¬†courageous, knowledgeable, compliant, and willing to help others. These characteristics have taken years to grow to what they are, and I still don’t see all of them. I do try to keep growing in any way I can. I also try to do it with as little complaining as possible, but that’s probably not going so well.

Even though it’s hard to see, there are some positives to being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. One other thing I know is that if I wasn’t diagnosed with bipolar, I wouldn’t have some of the friends I have today. I have made several friends that I met in bipolar support groups, and I’m very grateful to them in my life.

After ECT

After ECT

ECT went well today. I’ve done it more than 30 times; it’s become normal for me. When I woke up from anesthesia, I felt fine, no pain. By the time I got home, the pain set it, so I had to take a Percocet. I have a pounding headache and my jaw hurts terribly. I’m just waiting for the pain meds to kick in.¬† I wish I could go to sleep, but for some reason, I can’t, I’m just not tired. If I could sleep, it would probably make me feel even a little bit better.

My memory is back to being crappy. I can’t remember where my husband is, although I know I knew his plans before the ECT treatment today. I looked in my calendar and saw that I recently went to visit my family in Connecticut, but I don’t remember any of it. I can’t remember my wedding, that one really bothers me. I went through my wedding album; it brought back some of the memories. That was helpful, but still not enough. I’ll probably watch my wedding video later today. I hate the memory loss. Every time it finally starts to improve, it’s time for another treatment that causes memory loss again. It’s a vicious cycle.

I don’t want to continue (I think I’ve mentioned that many times), but I just do what I’m told to do. One of these days, I’m going to stop being so compliant. I know that my being compliant regarding my psychiatric treatment is extremely helpful, but it’s also exhausting. I’m afraid that one day I’m just going to do what I want to do instead of what I’m told to do. Following my bipolar treatments is overwhelming. I’m going to rest today, or I’m going to clean the house and go play cards with my family. I know I should rest, but I doubt that will happen.