Commentator Aubrey Ralph is bipolar, and says he has been living in a storm for most of his life. In this audio essay, he takes us down below the clouds, and into the darkness of his own mind.
this was amazing...it made me cry the whole way through...I have been struggling w/bipolar illness for 27 years, and have experienced some of the highest of highs, and lowest of lows...no one will ever truly know what it feels like -- until you experience it for yourself!
it is an interesting and sometimes shattering journey to move through life in relationship to one's own and one's family-members' mental-health . i look back on my own behaviour over my 53 years and wonder-- was i manic? depressed? "normal"? was it me, or those crazy people all around me?!? now my son moves through sometimes extreme ends of the spectrum (?) and i am learning that the thing that helps us all the most is to address and learn to manage/contain/diminish ANXIETY--that emotional/behavioural tangle that short-circuits us on so many levels. our nervous-systems really do become so frayed. we really haven't learned to nourish and sustain our health and well-being-- and therefore must find our way with this most fundamental aspect of existence as best we can, day to day.
I just caught this on KQED (San Francisco) tonight. As someone who has lost a spouse to bipolar and also has a sister struggling with the disorder I was gut punched when I heard this.
It was very well written / produced and the message was well articulated. Great job Aubrey. The more people know about this disorder the better it will be for everyone.
I am also Bipolar. I just cycled thru this past Month. Your account of what it's like is remarkable to say the least. Good to know that I'm not alone. All though I've known that all along. When I'm cycling thru, my mind doesn't know that. Thank you for illustrating so well what it feels like. Coping skills, honesty with loved ones, and meds. have been my source of obtaining happiness in my relationships. God Bless you Aubrey. God Bless all of us! You helped two people that I know of this very moment. Peace and Blessings to all***
Thank you Aubrey for your share and experience. I have been with the help of psychiatrists managing bipolar disorder. It's taken a long time to help improve my moods and check in with my doctor once a week discussing my sleep patterns, moods and behavior. I am also a recovering Alcoholic which a lot of people with bipolar have. THe 12 steps, exercise, limiting caffeine intake, and a strong faith of god really help me. Life isn't easy, i experience mixed episodes with panic, mainly when my anti D. is just a bit off, and seasonal depression. Life is painful more often then not, yet have the support and getting into action with the program i am in for my addiction really helps. I am exhausted and feel depressed, yet i try to stay willing and open each day to get out of bed and to live ONE DAY AT A TIME!!!!! Spirituality has saved me, and i turn my own will over to my higher power each day....and often times throughout. Be kind to you! And thanks for your courage and creative mind to elaborate on your examples. I will say that i have a difficult time with my short term memory. It's frutrating, and i accept it, i have to. i have to see if there are ways to improve it. Not sure at this moment if i feel like doing that for myself, yet i am worth it to continue to grow and make the most of this life. Bipolar isn't all bad, It's our minds we have to understand and let go of.....i wish more people would share about it....THank you!!! You Rock!!! Honesty with oneself and others is the most important thing i have found and witnessed. Be well Aubrey. Thank you, Andrea M.
I've only been diagnosed for about a year, but I've known it all my life. And today is one of those days where I am struggling. My heart is so heavy and confused right now. I hate having this disorder and it is consuming me. It's a constant struggle with my thoughts. I feel like I'm at war with this disorder and I am losing...there is a small level of comfort to discover that someone can articulate exactly what it's like. I'm so disgusted right now...
Sadly, screening, evaluation, and treatment seem to lead people to being drugged. I urge everyone to research information regarding orthomolecular interventions. First, diet is very important, at work, school and at home. Just as you can't run a car on water, you can't run a brain on pizza, cokes, hot dogs, french fries, etc., all dead food with no living enzymes required for living cells. Raw vegan food is best, with fresh veggie juicing. Orthomolecular psychiatrists determine via testing what is going on with metals and other toxins, IgG delayed reaction food allergies (most people are allergic to milk and don't know it), vitamin/nutrient deficiencies, etc. Many people are deficient in D3 and the Omega3s. Others people may be B12 or mineral deficient. Start reading about Dr. Hoffer and others who treated "mental" illness with natural treatments and you will be amazed at their ability to CURE even though challenged with very debilitating illnesses like schizophrenia. I hope Aubrey, you will look into getting tested and cut out sugar, milk, and salt, etc. and drink good quality water. So much more can be done. People like Aubrey deserve HEALING, not DRUGGING!
This is an exceptionally well-written, well-produced, and well-delivered account of one person's experience of bipolar illness. It is not, however, everyone's experience of the illness. While some aspects of the piece resonate with me, I strongly disagree with the implication that a person with this illness is fated to repeat any particular pattern, and dependent on others to "keep you around." This is not my experience. My life since being hospitalized (and starting Lithium) at 26 has not had a constant upward slope; but the extent to which I have been able to achieve emotional balance and understand the vicissitudes of my emotions sufficiently well enough to put them into perspective has grown constantly in those 23 years.
Bipolar Illness is not a sentence. It is, like anything else in life, an opportunity. It is what you make it. I'm not saying that you have to or should do it alone; we are all connected and we need each other. But you are not a diagnosis. You are a person.
I have spent my life in and out of psych hospitals, rehabs, and hospitals. The psych hospitals could never quite diagnose me correctly, the rehabs were for self medicating with alcohol, and the hospitals were for 3 suicide attempts. I have been in such high highs that it was like being in an extreme anxiety attack. I literally can not function in those type of highs. I have been given several psych medications throughout the years. I have destroyed several relationships with family, friends, spouses, etc. I have gone through many jobs even though I am an excellent accountant. I have moved several times in my life. I looked at each move as a new adventure and a new beginning only to eventually move on again after I repeated the same cycle that I always repeat. I feel like I have already lived several lifetimes.
Thankfully, I now have a husband who is determined not to give up on me and who stands by my side through each cycle. I now have an excellent psychologist and psychiatrist. I was finally correctly diagnosed a year ago by one of the leading psychiatrists on bipolarism. I am now on a bipolar medication that seems to help, but as Aubrey said, medications can only help so much. I do consider my bipolarism as inescapable prison, but I now accept it and I try to live my life as normal as possible. I will admit that I am somewhat of a hermit these days. My husband, my doctors, and I now try to recognize when I am starting to show signs of jumping into an extreme high, which is usually followed by a low. I have also discovered that certain things can also trigger some of my highs and lows, and I try to recognize those triggers.
Thank you Aubrey for the excellent description of what it is like living with bipolarism.
I'm the recreate myself artist. Thank you, Aubrey Ralph. Yearning for the comfort of continuity... it gets harder with age. Can I handle another rise and crash? We'll see.
More information about text formats