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Are There Any Benefits In Having Bipolar?

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*TRIGGER* 

Can bipolar be positive?

The title of a blog grabbed my attention awhile ago. It discussed the benefits, and the lack of benefits, of having bipolar disorder. Link to original article at end of post.
 
The blogger explained how his relationship with his dying grandfather grew while cancer took over. It seems that this was a positive thing. This made me think if there were any positive aspects to having bipolar in my own life. To be able to discuss this I need to be honest and frank about my own experiences.

My bipolar story

I am a 40-year-old male in a long-term relationship, in which I have no idea why my fiance has stayed with me for this long. I have always been a “little crazy” and often estranged myself from family and friends. With having no self-belief most of the time, and having too much at others, I have had various jobs. My mood swings made it difficult to become friends with coworkers and so hard to work with. The current job of self-employment is the longest job I have ever had, and that’s because I’m my own boss!

The diagnosis

I received a diagnosis four years ago of rapid cycling bipolar. I have most probably had this disease (I detest the term disorder) since my teens. My teenage years were horrendous, that is until I found alcohol. Since then I have self-medicated with alcohol until I got prescribed appropriate medications. According to the medical definition I was not an alcoholic. Although I did abuse alcohol regularly. My doctors explained if I carried on with that life I would be dead by my 56th birthday.

Bipolar medications

I have been off work for almost 4 years now. My job involved working with the general public. Although I am medicated now, many other symptoms keep rearing their ugly head. Such as, insomnia, mania, depression, and suicidal thought.
 
I now take antipsychotics to kill mania and help me sleep during these episodes. Due to the ever-increasing cocktail of drugs, I now have one of those plastic pill dispensers.

Self harm

I have physical scars, some very old. The newest are length ways down my left arm and horizontally across my chest, abdomen, and thigh. I only half heartedly slashed at my forehead, cheeks, nose, chin, and neck, so the scars are very faint now. The latter happened last year in a manic phase. It happened just before the Police turned up and pepper sprayed me in the face and slung me in a cell for a night. No charges were brought against me.

Don’t care in the community

I live on an estate of 60 properties in a village renowned for its community spirit. I’ve lived here for around twenty years and know 75% of the inhabitants. A lot of these people have been my customers since 2007 and drinking buddies too. In the past year, only one person visits. My phone stays dead. Facebook messages and texts silenced.
 
Due to being off work for so long, regular clients have sought more reliable tradespeople. So now I either have to start again or try something different.

Having bipolar disorder does not sound too good so far does it?

And the best thing is………………

And the best thing about being bipolar? It’s that I am now so strong I can do whatever I want. I should be scared of the future, but why should I be? I have an empty flat desert ahead where I can build gigantic sand dunes. And yes I see the sandstorm ahead trying to ruin my work, but I’m finally well equipped for anything.
 
Let me know what YOU think in the comments below.
 
In response to http://www.elephantjournal.com/2015/02/the-benefits-of-bipolar-disorder/
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Summary
Are There Any Benefits In Having Bipolar?
Article Name
Are There Any Benefits In Having Bipolar?
Description
And the best thing about being bipolar? It’s that I am now so strong I can do whatever I want. I should be scared of the future, but why should I be?
Author
Publisher Name
Mental Health News
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About Alan

Alan is a mental health service user in Cornwall, UK. Although generally the NHS has been very good with his care, their are some weak links. Thats why he started this blog, to share experiences and resources on various mental health illnesses. Also, to bring the headlines about mental health to the foreground. Alan enjoys walking his dogs, taking photos, watching movies and playing the PS4 :-)

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