I’m a poet.  Well, I am many things, but a poet is one of them.  Below is an excerpt of a poem I wrote a few years before I officially was diagnosed with bipolar:

have you ever lost yourself, in yourself?
as if your soul was imploding and yet exploding?
where the world seemed strange, and you couldn’t remember where you are, or that you are.
are you?
I lose myself sometimes. when I sit at night in this strange state of
not exactly sure what.  something.

My brother was diagnosed with bipolar over 10 years before I was. He was in 7th grade. I was diagnosed last year, during what was to be my senior year of college. I had a full blown manic episode with psychotic features. Even after treatment I was manic for a while. I wrote this poem about mania:

Sometimes I feel like it’s where I’m supposed to be.
Where I’m not sure what is past, what is present, and what is future.
Where the music comes alive and the trees start to whisper,
Where I swim in imaginary waters and speak an unknown language
And I become her.  Or she becomes me: this powerful princess to whom the whole universe belongs.
I love so much I’m bursting.  I’m loving the grass, the sky, the birds, the guy in the bright green shirt mowing his lawn.  I just want to give myself to them, to all of them, to the whole world. 

Mania was an incredible experience to a large extent. But in mania there’s a lot of negatives too…paranoia, confusion, racing thoughts, inability to focus, recklessness. I was so blessed to have a support system that helped me to get the treatment that I needed. They were also there for me when the depression set in and when I realized that I had been delusional and I really did have bipolar. That’s a hard thing to wrestle with. The thing that helped me the most, though, deal with everything was relying on my faith. It got really confused when I was manic, and when I was depressed I just wanted to go to heaven. But now that I’m better I realize that God loves me and has a purpose for me and that just because I have bipolar doesn’t mean I’m a mistake. I want to use my experiences to help other people with mental illnesses.

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