It's been over a year and a half since my diagnose with manic-bipolar depression. A year ago today, I would have been spending most of my time laying on the couch. I would be binge eating to sweets and junk food and watching Netflix. And I would be feeling like shit.
It took me until about February of last year, to finally stop playing the victim. Yes, I lost my dream job out in California. Yes, I had to leave everything behind. My car, my new apartment and most of my belongings.
But so what? Life goes on. I had to move on. So I did.
I put on my big girl shoes again and started going to the gym. I stopped binge eating. And started working on myself again. Then of course, once spring rolled around, I entered my manic stage, where I felt like a super woman. I was always hyperactive and felt like I should always be doing something. I was able to lose the 50lbs that I gained. However, because this time around I now know what I have. I always made sure to be cautious of my actions and make sure that my productivity doesn't turn into a blown on mania.
I picked up my favorite hobbies again like journaling, belly dancing, swimming and meditating.
Another thing that I fell in love with was painting. Once school started, I met my art teacher. Her name is Leah and she's a life saver. Meeting Leah was probably one of the best thing that has happened since I've been back home. Not only was she so kind to me, she also taught me her amazing art techniques. She also let me create the things that I had visualize in my mind, instead of pushing me to just pain realism like some teachers may have.
Making art allows me to cope with pain in a non harmful way. And because bipolar comes with ADHD, often times, I would get images in my mind and ideas are constantly flowing into my head. I know that I need to learn to focus when the time is needed, but when it's time for me to be creative, that's when my brain functions at it's best.
That's why, not only did I decided to go back to school and study psychology. I eventually would like to become an art therapist and own my own private practice, including offering massages as one of the service. Because I believe that our mind and body are connected, ( I would blog another day about my massaging journey.) Anyways, art has allowed me to express my feelings in ways that I can't find the words to say.
And because of how much I love working with my hands, plastering and working with textures is one of my favorites. I always lose a track of time when I'm doing those. Each pieces has a meaning behind them and I am sharing with you today what I've created so far ( also one is not finishes yet).
Since, I chose not to to take medication for my condition. I have to be very discipline about my self care routine. Which means waking up early every day to hit the gym before school. Making time for meditation, eating healthy and making sure I get enough sleep. I also try to limit my time on social media because I notice it gives me a lot of anxiety if I go on too long. If I don't continue to maintain those things, then it throws me off and I can have extremely low energy, high anxiety and unexplained sadness.
And now that the cold weather has arrived, it is a lot harder to maintain those productive schedule that I have started, but I must maintain it.
I'm aware that this is something that I have to deal with for the rest of my life. But I refuse to let it define me. In fact, I am going to embrace it. Being bipolar means that I when I'm happy, I'm elated. Almost, like a euphoric experience . And when sadness seeps in, I sink real low. But that's okay. Because no matter the chemical imbalance in my brain, I know who I am. And my spirit is strong. Besides, having gratitude always lifts me up.
I no longer despise and in denial about what I have. I also wish people would stop labeling bipolar disorder as a mental "illness". I like to suggest a new term, mental "differences".
Just because our brains are wired differently does make us sick. It makes us unique.
Artwork by: Suree Sompamitwong