STEREO TYPE

LIFE AS A POET WITH BIPOLAR DISORDER

April is Poetry Month. Okay, so this isn’t a self-paced poetry writing class, but it’s an online version of what I teach in beginning creative writing classes for my local community, which I’ve been doing for over a decade (14 years to be exact).

This jumpstarts the month, but starting next week, I’ll post a new class every Wednesday in April. So don’t forget to follow the blog!

Lastly, this might not be for everyone. I’m a little weird; after all, I did go to a Buddhist-inspired university in which the writing school was called The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Writing. So take what you want and leave the rest! If you’d like feedback, I offer feedback via email; check the bottom of this post for details.

Alright, let’s get on with it!

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In honor of my first #worldbipolarday, or rather, the first one in which I know I have it, let’s talk about what it is.

I’m not a doctor or a therapist, so I can’t diagnose anyone, but I can give a broad overview.

Basically, bipolar disorder is recognized more and more as being on a spectrum. There are five types.

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One thing that my doctor recommended was to keep track of my moods, especially when figuring out new medications.

Basically, I borrowed the format from Rachel and Anna over at Buzzfeed. They wrote an article titled, “Here’s How to Use a Bullet Journal for Mental Health.” I decided it was perfect for keeping track of my physical health, since that is a huge trigger for my mental health, and therefore, a good indicator of whether I’ve got bipolar in check.

Pssst! If you just want the goods, scroll down to the bottom of the post for a FREE downloadable version that you can print. 🙂

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Today I lost my iPhone.

After several minutes of searching, my mom suggested I use my Apple Watch to ping the phone. What a great idea! I pinged the phone and immediately realized that it was using sound only. Because I am hard-of-hearing, my mom had to find it for me.

I reached out to Apple in hopes of learning how to set up the phone so that it flashed the light instead; however, they let me know that it wasn’t a feature and redirected me to their website to “request” it. A request is not a guarantee.

As Hamlet said, “Ay, there’s the rub!”

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Almost three weeks ago, I was officially diagnosed with bipolar 1 disorder, (a serious mental illness I’ve suspected I have). Other than that, I don’t really remember the session. I decided to see a psychiatrist because my anxiety was through the roof (chalk it up to being a full-time doctoral student) and I was drinking to take the edge off.

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