I opened up this blog back in 2012 during a time in my life when things were chaotic emotionally, mentally and physically. I didn’t know at the time but the extreme ups and downs that I was experiencing with mood and energy had a name even if I could not quite articulate what I was feeling or thinking more than half of the time. Psychiatrists who use the DSM-V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) like to call the extreme fluctuations in moods and energy that I experience Bipolar Disorder but for me it was simply just my life and the way I was. Bipolar disorder is still simply just a part of my life and I still experience those ups and downs and have those moments when I have no words to articulate how I feel because I am feeling everything (rage, sadness, confusion, excitement, etc) all at once and so intensely.
Three years have gone by since I started this blog and I have yet to post anything about my thoughts and experiences as a person living with bipolar disorder or even just to post anything for the sake of posting something. I always wanted to post something and felt that I had to plan it all out extemsively when really all I had to do was just do it and stop planning. We can plan all we want but if we don’t do anything then all the planning and list making is futile. It’s not until now, three years later, that I understand the importance of just starting or doing something without extensively planning it out. I am not sure if what I am saying makes sense but I feel deep down that a switch has flipped and that something fundamental has changed about the way I view things. I understand the importance of just doing it which is something that I think a lot of us try to avoid when a certain task or goal is particularly challenging.
So where am I now in life? Well, I am trying to complete my undergraduate degree at Lakehead University with my final research paper about Victorian orchid hunters. I might write a post about this research paper so that I can explain what it’s all about. I have been struggling to complete this paper since the first time I took Interdisciplinary Studies because I was suffering from severe depression and then experienced mania. I am now re-taking the course and recently had a relapse in manic symptoms so I needed to go back on medication (I was off of medication for six months). My diagnosis of bipolar disorder is now a final one rather than just a speculation. I am struggling through this essay partly because writing and research is hard and partly because I am tired and discouraged that I am still working on my degree and other people have graduated and are moving on. In some ways I feel as though I am back to where I started back in 2012/13 when I first took the course but, despite how I feel, I know logically that I am in a very different place. I am in a good place and a place of transformation and I need to embrace this fact and move forward with what I am doing without beating myself up for taking the extra time that I need to complete my degree. Once I am done this paper I will be graduating with my undergraduate degree and I will be applying to graduate school for either a Masters in Arts of Education or a Masters in Social Work.
I would like to post some more information about my paper in another blog post and maybe post how the paper is going mostly for my own therapeutic purposes but you are welcome to read the posts if they help you through your own writing and research issues as well.
Thanks for reading,