My Dream Reader

“I compare myself with my former self, not with others. Not only that, I tend to compare my current self with the best I have been, which is when I have been mildly manic. When I am my present “normal” self, I am far removed from when I have been my liveliest, most productive, most intense, most outgoing and effervescent. In sort, for myself, I am a hard act to follow.
Kay Redfield Jamison, An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness

I am currently participating in the Blogging101 course offered through WordPress.com.  We have been challenged with the assignment of writing a post to our dream reader and I must admit, I am having a bit of a difficult time.  However, I am going to try my best.

My dream reader would probably have to be Kay Redfield Jamison.  Her book, An Unquiet Mind, provided me with great solace when I was first diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder.  Her book spoke to me on so many different levels.  She is a true professional and has taken her diagnosis in stride, going on to serve as a professor of psychology at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

I don’t aspire to be her, given that I don’t have a PhD in psychology, however, I admire her for foraging on and not letting her diagnosis hamper her ability to live, work, and find success.  That is something with which I have been struggling–finding work and maintaining a professional career.

Perhaps my break was worse than hers, but I doubt it.  Everyone has his or her own struggles with this disorder.  I just happen to have a spotty resume, having been out of work for so long, only to have worked for a few months here and there.  I will have success eventually.  I believe this to be true.

If I can’t have Dr Jamison as my dream reader, I want my dream reader to be someone who finds solace in my words–to know that they are not alone with his or her experiences.  Someone has been there before, I have been there before.  Maybe not in the same capacity, but I know what it means to have a huge, life changing diagnosis fall into her lap.  I hope to help someone who struggles with life.

They don’t have to have Bipolar Disorder.  They don’t have to have a disorder at all.  Just someone, anyone, who can identify with my written word.  Starting a new blog has been a huge undertaking for me.  It is my platform for making sense of what actually happened to me.  Perhaps that is conceited and maybe I am writing for myself, but I am trying to keep others in mind as I write my story.  It feels good to put it out there…The response I have received in just the past week since I started Slippery Alligator Dream has been huge.

I’m glad you are here.  Whoever you are and from where ever you come.  Welcome.  And, if you are Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison, I am truly humbled that you have found this small blog.  You made an impact on my recovery.

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All About Moi

Hi.  My name is Kel and I have bipolar disorder (This is the part of the meeting where you  answer back, “Hi, Kel”.)  Anyway, I fell down the rabbit hole about 3 1/2 years ago, having been hospitalized from an extreme manic episode that turned into psychosis.  I had no idea that I had this condition.  I just thought I was Super Kel and I was the smartest, funniest, and most attractive person to ever have existed.  I loved that feeling – I could conquer the world with my energy and my wit.  Little did I know that I didn’t really make much sense.  I think I had really great ideas during that time, it was just the mechanics of bringing those ideas to fruition that didn’t work out so well. More on that in due time.

I’m starting this blog to talk about all things bipolar and work through some of the happenings of my break and my recovery after.  I want this blog to be about the reality of what it means to exist with this chemical imbalance and hopefully provide some inspiration for those who suffer from the condition, as well as loved ones of those suffering in addition to anyone who is interested in learning more about bipolar disorder and perhaps my personal journey with it.

I want to help be a voice that isn’t afraid of talking about what it means to live with a mental disorder. I believe that you must talk about these issues in order to bring them to light and start to heal. It shouldn’t be a dirty secret, but so often it is looked upon as such. It’s probably cliche to say this to those who suffer, but if you had cancer or diabetes, you wouldn’t be told to just get over it. To lighten up, put it out of your mind. You would arm yourself with the best doctors and treatment options and fight the good fight. That has been my approach since I was diagnosed, and while it has been an uphill battle, I can say I’m in a really good place. I still have my struggles, as anyone else (even those who don’t suffer with this condition), but I am proactive. I take my meds. I check in with my doctors. I fight for my sanity because I never want to be as frightened as I was when the psychosis set in 3 1/2 years ago.

Here’s to the good fight and being proactive about your health and mental well being. I hope you will continue on this blogging journey with me.

Cheers!