- Kathryn Patterson
Confession Time: I just learned that I have Bipolar Disorder
And yes, it still hasn't sunk in. I mean, I'm bipolar?!?!???
Why is this so hard to acknowledge? Because I am human, and whatever I feel, feels normal.
Only needing 4-5 hours of sleep sometimes? Normal.
So tired I can't get out of bed until noon, other times? Normal.
Speaking too fast? Thoughts racing between ideas? Unable to fall asleep or wake up at the same time?
Normal. Normal. Normal.
To have a psychiatrist tell me, well, your normal is actually a series of bipolar mood episodes. That blows my mind.
I started an antipsychotic medication - Seroquel - which turned me into a sleep zombie for a few days. Luckily, I'm adjusting to the side effect and staying awake for more than 30 minutes at a time. But the new changes in my sleep needs is only the most obvious effect to other people.
Internally, I can focus now on one thing at a time. I don't have to corral my thoughts every few minutes, as I also feel calm inside (though to be honest, "calm" isn't the correct word, just the closet to how I feel). I have a clarity to my thoughts that I did not have before. To be honest, I did not realize I needed the clarity until I had it.
I guess the strangest thing is that I now feel more like "me" than I have before. It's wonderful and scary to feel as though I am more a whole person now than I was last week. In turn, I wonder what I will feel next week, next month, even next year?