I have added a foreword to my story. It will hopefully make reading the story easier for the non-bipolar who has little or no previous knowledge. Please feel ok to feedback by any means.
The following is a true account of my life, mostly as it relates to Bipolar Disorder, an illness that I have lived with for 27 years or longer. Sometimes life imitates the illness and it can be destructive. There is not a clear line between life’s problems and the illness.
Please do not judge my behaviour on the evidence of this story. I made some bad decisions regardless of my illness. That’s not the point. Decisions made in a full-blown manic state are not based on insight. It mostly based on what seems right at the time. The thing that is right one minute can be discarded and replaced without regrets. The bipolar in a mania just thinks of things and then does them, sometimes repeatedly changing tracks. They have lost touch with reality and they have no interest in how it affects other people. This includes family, friends and doctors. The bipolar person talks incessantly and quickly, sometimes incoherently. In the worse cases, they can become psychotic, delusional and think they are superhuman.
Hypomania is the first stage of an episode but it doesn’t have to escalate. Good self management can keep it in check. It is a mild mania in which the person can be highly creative, surviving on little sleep. This is where I have been for many weeks while writing this story. The style may be a little odd but I think it is readable. I have never used my hypomania deliberately before and I have had a great time. I doubted the thinking of Tom Wootton in “The Bipolar Advantage”. I think he may be over the top but I take my hat off to him. I only recently gained the insight and control to ride the waves of hypomania. It is like automatic writing sometimes and I feel someone else is typing.
I am just trying to clarify the context. I don’t mind if you judge the work or even me. I am not after a Pulitzer Prize. I just want to inform in as clear a way as possible. I did some weird stuff under the influence of the manias. Things I would not do normally or even consider. On the other hand it was mostly fun and intoxicating. It can be hard to give up the highs, especially when the meds leave you zombie-like. Please try to read it and understand me a little more. More important, please try to understand the illness. It is only an illness like cancer but it is a life setence. I have done my share of apologising and I regret the loss of friends. I regret the effect on continuing relationships which are jaded. Mostly, try to enjoy and understand more about Bipolar illness. However the way it presents is different in all people. There is a common thread.