It’s hard to fill the shoes of Mrs. Micah. I don’t know her personally; I’ve never even had contact with her. But through reading her blog posts and the numerous comments she inspired while blogging about her life, it’s obvious she made many friends and helped many people and I’m sure you all miss her. Although incognito, she was true blue and never glossed over the hard parts of life or the slights she caused to others or herself.
There is something very raw and scary about bearing your soul for an audience of possibly millions and even more intimidating is the fact that after you share, your words hang around and are archived for posterity for years. It’s like someone broke in and stole your diary and now you have no idea who could be reading your deepest thoughts and dirtiest deeds.
I wrote about my divorce the first post here and that was pretty darn tough, and of course I held back and didn’t let loose completely. But I’ve made myself a promise and I’ll make it to you too. I am going to put it all out there from now on, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Every good deed and mean thought, I’ll own up to it. So from now on, my posts are going to show the very essence of what it means to be human and live in an unforgiving, yet beautiful world—with myself, a lot of kind-hearted people and even more tortured souls that’ll kick you when you’re down just to make themselves feel a bit “better.”
I was just reading Mrs. Micah’s post “Why I’m Glad I Didn’t Kill Myself” earlier and God did it hit home. The guts it took for her to go online and risk condemnation, loss of readership, or possible loss of income shows her true grit. I should know. I’m a rapid cycling bipolar. I know what it is like to be looked at and treated like you are crazy. Bipolar is part depression, part mania. It’s a disease of the brain, a chemical imbalance. Not insanity—just a mental illness that makes you act insane at times.
With bipolar disorder, when manic, sometimes sleep doesn’t come for days and you think you can do anything and most of the time you can. Then comes the downward spiral into guilt, self loathing, and utter despair—that’s the depression part of it. My own illness ruined relationships, jobs, and almost took my life.
I struggled with a constant rapid cycle of ups and downs the majority of my life without medication. Then, after several years of trying literally hundreds of combinations of drugs, the perfect combination was discovered. I am fortunate to say the bouts have stopped and I am leading a “normal” (what’s that?) life. With one exception, those that knew me before I was on medication still treat me as if I were contagious—some of them family members, some previous friends, and some acquaintances. When I run across one of these “before” people, I always remember…
Some of the greatest geniuses in history were thought to have been bipolar; some of the most well known and lauded authors and artists suffered from manic depression. From modern Nobel Prize winners to the greatest of the Renaissance men, they found having a mental illness actually enhanced their talent and genius. Your brain works in a way and your mind is open on certain levels that couldn’t be accessed by a “normal” brain. In no way am I saying I could ever compare to great thinkers and doers mentioned above, but I can see the bright side to my illness. So while, it can be an inconvenience of the biggest kind and do great damage to myself and those around me, the flip side is I have accomplished some incredible things in my personal life and especially in my career that I may not have been able to do had I been born with a normal brain. The doctors have told me that I should be thankful, as I am an equally right brain and left brain thinker. Does that mean I can think like a man and a woman at the same time? I’ve been told so, but who knows. I’m just very grateful for my mind just the way it is.
Ok, I told you I was going to lay it all out there and I lived up to it. Even though hesitant, I am going to trust my readers to go ahead and post this (after much hesitation).
Do you or someone you know struggle with depression or bipolar disorder? How do you find it has helped you and hindered you in your life? Have you lost jobs and overspent? Have you accomplished incredible feats as well? I would love to hear your experiences.