The Misery and The Romance

If you Google “Bipolar Disorder,”you will find the majority of material has to do with what I call The Misery. That is, complaints (justified and humane) about the difficulties stemming from the condition (broken relationships, hampered careers) and the struggle to get treatment (at all, or to get it right). This website is not about that, in part because that is so well covered and in part (and more importantly) because that is not the “place” that I have chosen to be in, over time or now, and I believe that choice has been a key ingredient to managing the condition and creating a successful and happy life. The other material you will find with the above search terms is what I call The Romance. The Romance in some ways is more dangerous; it’s about how BP folks are, in short, special (and better than the population at large) – more creative, more intelligent. My own research, including knowing dozens of people with this condition, doesn’t support this. I believe that while there are creative people in the population, they are, once they get their health in a good place, still able to access their creativity.

What I believe, and what has freed me to focus on attaining great health, is what I’ll call the “Is-ness” of the condition, just like the Is-ness of many things in life that we have to accept and make the best of  (you could call this Buddhist, or consistent with the teaching of Byron Katie, or others). With BP, there is a big genetic component, that is, most if not all of us inherited it, and that has changed my approach to it – I didn’t do something to “deserve” it any more than I “deserve” being tall, or forgive me, good looking! It’s just a situation that I have to manage and then focus on creating a good life.