How do I manage?

I had a bad night last night. At least this time I know the triggers. To put you in theme, I am an architecture student, in my final year of study, I need a job, and I have bipolar disorder.

Yesterday I received my timetable for this academic year and as soon as I’ve seen that I am only going to have 2 days off my legs turned to jelly. How am I supposed to keep this strict routine I need in order to function? How am I supposed to combine work and study? How am I supposed to keep my balance on such a thin wire?

The good thing is that I have the mental health support team who can help me when it comes to deferrals and accommodations, even so, being given how unpredictable this illness can be, nobody can guarantee how I am going to feel tomorrow or in a couple of weeks. Am I going to have more depressive episodes? Am I at risk of going into full blown mania because of stress and pressure? Only time will tell.

Oh well, oh well, I am still hoping for the best!

 

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After a long break

I am back? I am never sure. My lack of activity on this blog means only one thing: depressive cycle, low cycle. As time goes by, I am becoming more aware and accepting of my Bipolar type 2 diagnosis.

This post is going to be boring. I’ve been struggling with medication, I had a scare about a possible Lamictal rash, I gained 4 kg and then lost them in less than 2 weeks. Continuous roller coaster. I am overwhelmed, I am trying to be mindful and live in the moment. I am getting there!

I hope all of you are doing well!

Overwhelmed?

It’s been a while, again. I wish I could have kept my schedule and post more often. I guess it’s okay like this too.

So, I am in my home country currently and I am trying to relax and breathe. I am focusing on getting better, eating better, sleeping better. At least this is the goal. Of course, I have to get outside, visit friends and relatives, and adapt to how things are working here once again.

Something is not quite right. Maybe it has to do with the rushed way of life we have, Maybe it has to do with the people being fed up with their miserable wages, or maybe it has to do with a lack of empathy everywhere.

Are you able to “feel” your environment? Because I can. I can and it’s making me irritable and agitated. It drains me. I’m not okay with staying inside and isolating myself, but I think that I need to take my time. It’s for the best. Let me give you an example of what one can experience while walking the city streets: sad and angry people, people rushing, honking cars, frustrated drivers, no space to walk normally, to enjoy, to unwind. Maybe I am too picky. Maybe I am complaining, but all this is crushing me slowly. That’s why I prefer retreating here, near the forest, in this modest, small house. I hope I can fully charge my batteries until I have to go and finish my last year of study…

How have you been?

BD and BPD

When was the last time I posted? Too long ago. My life got crazy busy. I am back home for one month before I have to return to studies and give my best. It’s my final year.

Health-wise, it’s been a bumpy ride. Mixed episodes and…something that is called “splitting” and is one of the Borderline Personality Disorder traits. Long story short, I lost friends. I’ve been mean, angry, finding every flaw. I was scared that I am going to be abandoned so I pushed them away, to spare some of the hurt.

I have so many questions about these two disorders. Is Borderline just another form of Bipolar? How do I recognize when my Borderline is showing up, because the irritability and lack of consideration for others can appear during hypomania as well. These comorbid disorders are confusing, draining, and making my head spin.

I read my medical file from my pdoc. There is no clear mention of Bipolar or Borderline. I’ve been told that doctors don’t mention it because they think it’s for the good of the patient. The terms he used to describe my history clearly show that I am struggling with this, though.No labels, just the indications, so my next doctor will be able to understand the diagnosis.

I am home now. I am a bit hyper, but peaceful? I am going to rest and maybe work on a small landscaping project for my flower garden.

I am hoping for the best!

The soul of the party…or not at the party

I haven’t been here for a while. In fact, I’ve been here reading your posts, but I did not feel like writing. I guess “riding the tiger” took all of my energy. I am constantly trying to find the “in between”, balance. The funny thing is, when I do find it (it doesn’t happen very often) I am not happy with it. I am intense. I will always be intense. Lack of intensity is terrifying me.

I guess I will continue to be the life and soul of the party and then disappear for a while. My friends will understand, I hope they will.

In other news, I am thinking to open an Etsy store and sell my paintings. I am also thinking to donate some of the money to research regarding mental disorders or different non profit organisations. And then this question comes to mind: “Is what I do good enough? Would anybody buy it?” I guess this is a common trait in creative people, always second guessing and judging their own work, being their harshest critic.

I hope to find my courage and just do it. I will leave here a detail of an untitled painting, acrylic on canvass. I think it suits my actual mood. Blue, green and “in between”. DSC_0284-edit-blog

Where is the Art?

I have been asked many times why my blog URL is “theproblemwithart”, but I never post any of my drawings, doodles, paintings or creative work here. It’s a good question. I created the blog when I was in a deep, debilitating depressive mood, as a coping mechanism, as an outlet for my racing thoughts, gloomy thoughts, things that speak to me. It got in  the direction of a blog that is about my experiences with mental illness while being a creative individual.

Under those circumstances, with depression eating at me, my creativity had to suffer. This, and the thought of my work not being good enough, made it impossible for me to post anything here.

As you might know, I have Bipolar type 2. It happens that right now I am in what I call it my “up cycle” and I can be creative. In fact, I have a lot of energy and ideas. Fortunately, the medication helps me not to get too high and makes it a bit easier to concentrate. I am not going into details about how I experience hypomania. Maybe I will in the future, when I will dedicate a post to it.

This is about me and what I do. I call it “my work”, but this too, is a coping mechanism. Expression is liberating. It soothes my soul when I am depressed, it makes my heart smile when I am happy. This is a big step for me. I am going to face my fears and post one of my paintings here.

I find this painting appropriate for my mood right now. Vibrant, warm, energetic, bold. I call it “Fire”. It’s a small, 20x20cm (8×8 inch) acrylics on canvas. All rights reserved, all wrongs reserved, you know.

I would like to hear your thoughts, feelings, interpretations of this painting. How does it make you feel? What does it say to you?de-pus-pe-blog-fire--retouched

Depth

If my soul would be the ocean, my feelings would come from the unexplored depths, and they would be as powerful as the waves during a storm. Deep, intense, overwhelming, sinking my heart. How can one feel so deeply  and manage to keep their heart afloat? How can I stay afloat when I am engulfed in my feelings?

My heart sinks sometimes…and I need another heart to help me come back from the depths of my soul. But I am a heavy heart to carry. Are you strong enough?

Climbing

I’m in here. I am struggling to climb the high walls Depression puts around me. She puts walls around me and around my soul. Thick, masonry and concrete walls. No windows. No sunshine coming in. Just me and the beat of my heart.

The fire in my soul is still burning, still alive. I am not completely in the dark. Sometimes the 1000 abusive voices want to tell me that my soul has died, thus I have died, or I should die, but I can feel that fire, that warmth, that rhythm. I am alive. I am still alive.

I am touching the surface of the walls in the dark. Some of bricks are chipped. Maybe the prisoner before tried to smash the walls, the same way I tried so many times. But wait…this is my cell, I think Depression puts each one of her prisoners in different cells. Yes! This is how I remember it is, she keeps us isolated so she can control us better.

Does that mean that the chipped and crumbled bricks are the fruit of my struggle to demolish this prison? I think that’s the only explanation.

I can use them! As a “ladder”. A climbing wall. I can get out of this. I’m going to grip the little niches in the bricks. I am going to dig my fingernails into them and make an effort to drag myself out of this hole. I am going to do it until my fingers and hands get bloody. I am going to make it, I am going to make it!

Coming out of the closet

I did it. I wrote about my fight with bipolar disorder and my experience on my social media. The kindness of people overwhelmed the few mean and ignorant messages. I’ve been feeling lighter and free ever since.

I am back in my depressive mood, but it’s not so bad. The dark thoughts are not here. They left me since I started the mood stabilizer medication. I am grateful for that.

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you, for keeping me going!

Talking about Bipolar

I am having this question on my mind: would it be okay to talk openly about my diagnosis and advocate for mental illness, break the stigma around it, make my contribution, or should I just not talk about it for now…

I said that I am fully accepting it. Why am so scared of how my friends are going to react? I am torn between talking about it and wanting to hide it. The thing is, I am not the person who doesn’t speak her mind. I am the person who always stands up for others, the advocate.

I guess I am going to risk it…hiding this is a great burden. I’d rather lose some of my friends and connections than keep it a secret. If they run, they were not good friends in the first place. What do you think? Which were the reactions you got? Are you able to talk openly about it?