Today is Bipolar Awareness Day, a day just for raising awareness of this pesky illness I spend a lot of time yapping about on this blog! This year Bipolar UK have asked people to submit their stories on the subject #BipolarAndMe.
As I write this I’m conscious I’m in the depressive end of my cycle at the moment, this makes it hard for me to be anything but pessimistic, that said when I stop and give myself a telling off, oh yes I do this regularly, I can be a little more objective and see a bigger picture.
I often write publically about the more negative aspects of having Bipolar, it’s a great way to sort through coping mechanisms, difficult situations, and things I find hard to live with. But I don’t often talk about the side of having Bipolar I see as a positive.
I’m probably getting some funny looks now so I will explain. When I was first diagnosed in 2005, I did what many people do and purchased some self-help books to help me wrap my head around the concept of having Bipolar Disorder.
One of them was, Finding Your Bipolar Muse by Lana Castle. This book talks about the links between Bipolar Disorder and creativity and how to harness your mood swings to access that creativity.
When I was a teenager I put all of my feelings and emotion into music, playing, writing, studying. Multiple instruments, multiple styles, I had wanted to study music, be a composer, to write soundtrack music. But fear and anxiety fuelled by a pushy teacher saw me give it up.
A few years before my diagnosis I had started blogging, I had always written but hadn’t done much with it, I had always journaled, and then blogging had introduced a new outlet for my writing. Using this book I learned how to harness my moods to get the most from my writing and I started writing for different publications as a music and book critic.
This blog is about the 5th incarnation of my many blogs over the years, I’ve evolved, learned, and developed my style and voice. My background in online marketing helps me with promoting the blog and building relationships with other bloggers.
I don’t write regularly for other publications now, but my book reviews continue on this blog and I’ve learned they are great for my creative outlet for writing but also as a way to manage my health. Reading and writing are tWo of my top self care tools, working with publishers means I always have a big pile of books ready to be read.
I’ve created Mental Health Voices with another mental health advocate and with this Twitter account am able to give others an outlet for their voice, and they can use writing as an outlet on the blog if they wish.
I occasionally guest blog elsewhere and last week was featured on the Rethink Mental Illness site.
Living with Bipolar isn’t always fun, sometimes it’s hell, but each and every moment is a creative inspiration.