But I’m Not Really Sick Unless I’m Depressed!

I was trying to explain to my mom how confusing illness is when you’re bipolar. Last week I was diagnosed with bronchitis, and this week we’ve added reactive mono and mycoplasma pneumonia (a mild form of pneumonia). And all this time I really haven’t thought I’ve been that sick. Sure, I’ve been super-tired. Sure, I’m out of breath if I so much as walk from the bedroom to the den. And if somehow I venture to take a deep breath,Read more

No more BIG projects in 2015

Has a creative project ever mattered so much to you that you simply did…nothing? Or next to nothing in its pursuit? Has it ever mattered so much that what you did in every other creative area in your life—and maybe even every other area in your life in general—didn’t register as “counting” for anything at all? It’s the “I’m moving forward in my BIG project or I am a total nonproductive, lazy slob” mode of life. My life for theRead more

Stigma, Story, and Solidarity

Several years ago, when I was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I didn’t mind sharing my story with others. I was struggling with horrible symptoms, due in no small part to being prescribed the wrong meds, and I sought community–both for encouragement and to encourage others. I was a grad student in a department very tolerant of mental illness; indeed, some faculty and students still held a romantic notion of the link between genius and mental illness. But as IRead more