I’m bipolar. I live in Paris.

As this blog will be non-linear, it might be helpful to give you a timeline here.

I’m currently (almost) 45.

I was diagnosed as bipolar 2 in September 2014, when I was 42.

But now am discovering I’m probably bipolar 2.5 or cyclothymic.

I took meds: Zyprexa for three or four months, then Xeroquel for over two years.

I am currently off my meds (1 month and counting).

I may need to go back on them again, as I’m told my condition, left untreated, will fry my neurons.  This time, however, I feel like I’m being given a choice.

I think I can trace my symptoms back to when I was a teenager, but I’m only now re-evaluating my past through the lens of my diagnosis.

I couldn’t manage to do this while I was on the meds, hence the sudden need to write this blog now.

I’m writing this for a few reasons, most of which are selfish.

As therapy, because my new psychologist said that writing can be hugely beneficial because it links up the left and right brain and helps join the dots.

Because I love to write, even though I haven’t put hands to keyboard in 8 years or more. I used to write, elsewhere on the internet, and I’m a published author.

And last but not least, I hope to shine a light on my “disorder”, which is usually portrayed in the media in an extreme light, as though every bipolar person is a Carrie Mathison (Homeland) or an Ian Gallagher (Shameless US). These examples are bipolar 1, which is not the same diagnosis but makes for more dramatic TV.

Then we all get lumped together, and this is misleading and wrong.

The image of me with four arms, crazy eyes, minor injuries and smiling through gritted teeth was drawn by my daughter, as a Mother’s Day present.

It depicts me on quite a pronounced manic high.

She draws first by hand, then with a graphics tablet.

I hope she will contribute images regularly to this blog because her pictures are amazing and my efforts are crap, even if they do manage to get a point across.


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