There’s more to me than bipolar disorder. I’m a wife, a stepmother, a dog mom, and a cat person. I love to write, read, and learn new things. I’m also a gamer – right now, I’m part of an epic Dungeons and Dragons campaign which is being run by my loving and ever-patient husband, Slye. After those things – and only after them – I have bipolar disorder. At 24, I was diagnosed with Bipolar 2 and Borderline Personality Disorder. That was 20 years ago, and the journey continues. I still battle. Some days I feel like I am falling off a cliff. Still, I win because I’m still standing. Life can be worth living.
I am a software engineer turned teacher who moonlights as a very amateur artist. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder during my last year of grad school in a pretty public and traumatizing way. I went full manic in the middle of the Computer Science department common area, as well as on their Facebook page. Since then I decided I wanted to be anonymous about my journey on the internet. Not because I’m necessarily embarrassed but because it’s easier to be brutally honest when it’s not directly linked back to me and my real life. I think of it as shouting into a void that occasionally whispers back. I hope by sharing what I’ve been through others will feel less alone, less like the freak I feel like some days.
I find it painful to talk about myself. I’m just beginning to accept who I am. Somehow letting go of expectations, washing away all that caked on dirt…just…hurts. I know one day this will pass. Let me explain: I have bipolar disorder. I am bipolar. I am…bipolar disorder? This illness has become so ingrained in my identity. I first got ill at 14 back in 1999, and I can’t quite separate myself from being bipolar. It’s been over half my life now. I have a degree in classical voice performance, I’m a poet, a pianist, a composer, an artist…but first I am a person with bipolar disorder. I wanted to be the other things first. I wanted to be…I didn’t want to be this way. But that’s part of this project: to be bipolar and to be proud. To tell the world that I’m enough, that I’m fabulous, that I’m not afraid, that I can do anything, and that I don’t have to hide. Welcome to our club. It’s about all of us, and we’re ready to show you who we are. I will soon talk about myself, my whole self, without pain. I will talk about myself with pride.
Born in a small town in the Hoosier State, I grew up knowing I wasn’t like most of my friends. And my friends were well aware that I wasn’t like most of them too! I spent my youth as a vocalist, choir kid, cross country and track runner, achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, performed in over 30 musicals and plays, was both a journalist and editor for my high school newspaper and two local newspapers, was the Fine Arts Academic Team Captain, became President of my graduating class, and I always saved room for general mischief.
April 2016: A big part of graduating from my Alma mater, the University of Southern Indiana, required (finally) formally diagnosing and treating the ADHD-Inattentive Type that had plagued me since pre-school (it was just ADD back in the day.) Once diagnosed and treated there was no stopping the trail to graduation with a Bachelor of Science of Food and Nutrition: Health & Wellness.
Summer 2016: Troubling behaviours started to become glaringly more obvious: Anger, rage, depression with no bottom, and suicidal ideations that gained strength seemingly by the hour. I had to seek help, admit that I didn’t have all of the answers, or all of the strength to hold myself together. I was broken. I was brought back from the brink when I was diagnosed as Bipolar Type II comorbid with ADHD-Inattentive Type. I didn’t have any Bipolar friends, family to relate to, and I desperately needed someone whom I could share experiences with — someone who knew what being a known, treated Bipolar is like while I was just beginning to relearn and address my own emotions. So I turned to the world of podcasts, and I could not find a podcast that came close to fitting that bill for a freshly diagnosed Bipolar like me. Last year, 2020, I started that podcast for myself, and for the benefit(s) of young Bipolars, the Bipolar community, ADHD’ers, and the mental health community at-large. I always want y’all to know that you truly are not alone. I AM BIPOLAR. I AM ADHD. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
After decades denying my mental illness I finally went to the doctor. It was that or suicide. I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. Six years later the diagnosis changed to Cyclothymia – a form of Bipolar Disorder.
I resisted seeking help because of fears of what a diagnosis might do to my career, status and reputation. I was right to be wary. I’ve seen numerous colleagues fired because of their mental health. I’ve had job offers withdrawn following my medical. I’ve turned this pain into my passion as a mental health advocate.
I m a writer, photographer, and artist. Since well before my bipolar I disorder diagnosis at fifteen, I’ve channeled my experiences into art. After the manic episode that initiated me into the bipolar club, I spent high school in a depression haze. I eventually achieved stability which lasted through college. My senior year, I stopped taking my meds because “I didn’t need them anymore.” In 2014, this decision propelled me into a manic episode that reached psychotic levels. Nurses were fairies. Cops were fairies. I was a fairy. Everything was fairies. Oh, and I was also Queen Elizabeth the First. Since that episode, I have worked to maintain stability. In 2015, I started writing a memoir about my 2014 experiences called Episode: A Bipolar Journey, which I completed in January 2021. Ever since coming “out of the cabinet” on social media while manic in 2014, I’ve seen no point in trying to get back in. I am passionate about promoting healthy dialogue around bipolar disorder and mental health issues in general. I believe open communication and complete transparency are the only way we’ll break stigma down. I hope to reassure other bipolar bears that they have no reason to be ashamed and that they are capable of managing this disorder.
Hello I’m Loure. I am bipolar and involved with the amazing bipolar club which is the best club I ever joined. I hate writing about myself but I do like writing in general. I hope and aim to stay with and to contribute to this amazing community for as long as I exist.