Tag Archives: personal

I’m bipolar. So What?

 

Around 5 months ago, I was on the phone with mom and she told me that my brother and her were having a conversation about me and think I should check to see if I was bipolar.  This caught me by surprise.  They had met someone who was recently diagnosed and their symptoms were similar to mine she said. I shut the phone and got online to start reading about bipolarity.  I did seem to have the symptoms but some seemed too excessive.  The thought of being bipolar freaked me out because it made me reevaluate my entire life, every decision I made, every relationship I had, and every work experience I had. It even made me reevaluate every piece I wrote and the thought process behind it. Did I do everything I did because I am bipolar?! These thoughts freaked me out.

I did not rush to a psychiatrist. I ignored the discussion and decided to move on but I could not get it out of my mind. After a couple of more discussions, my brother convinced me to see a doctor. I booked an appointment and went in. During my session with the psychiatrist, I did most of the talking giving him a quick glimpse of my life. In his opinion, I had already been ‘shrinking’ myself for a few years which was good and I did seem to have some symptoms but I should see a psychologist regularly to get diagnosed.  He referred me to a psychologist who I did start seeing a couple times a week.

When I started seeing my psychologist, I went in feeling defeated and accepting of whatever the diagnosis would be however, when it was pretty clear that I am bipolar I started fighting off the idea and not accepting of it.  It was a stigma I could not accept.

There are several levels of bipolarity and I am in the soft level so my symptoms/ mood swings are not extreme. I also had a discussion with my doctors during the early stages that I would rather avoid going on medication.  We spent 3 months of intensive therapy during which I learnt more about bipolarity and through experiences I learnt what would trigger my mood swings.  I also learnt that I am also both ADD and OCD which is an interesting and unusual mix.  Together, we made some lifestyle modifications to ensure better mood stability.

Since I was questioning every move I made in my life wondering if it was due to bipolarity, we dissected every relationship I had, every job I held, every big decision I made and came to the conclusion that they weren’t due to bipolarity.  I was relieved. This often is not the case with people who have bipolar, but since I was self-aware of my mood swings, I always had made a point that they do not affect my relationships or major life decisions.

In reality, being both bipolar and OCD helped me achieve so much in my life. During my mania stages, which I seem to have a lot more than depressive states, I tend to be creative and ideas just pop out all over the place. My OCD forces me to complete those ideas with perfection.  I don’t look at my bipolarity as a disorder but more as a secret super power especially now that I am aware of it and have it controlled.  With my lifestyle modifications and a structured life, I now know when to throw on my bipolarity cape when I am at work and have the creative juices come out.

The reason I am writing this post, is that during the past few months I have had several discussions on the topic and the reactions I have been getting have been shocking.  There obviously isn’t much understanding of bipolarity in our society and I can’t blame anyone since 6 months ago, I did not know much about it either.  I even was hesitant to write about it because of the stigma around it and was worried about how I would be perceived.

Being bipolar does not change who I am.  My bipolarity does not even affect most people, it’s major effect is on myself.  I am the person who has the brain that is on constant over drive with emotions constantly pouring out.  I can go on and link to a list of some of the world’s most successful and most creative people who are bipolar but really though, what would the point of that be?

If you are bipolar, I want you to know that you are not alone and I am around if you would like to discuss it.

 

Fear has taken over my life

It suddenly felt like someone threw a bucket of freezing water on my head.

There I was, drinking and smoking in front of one of the drinking holes in Beirut, whilst chatting with a young lady whom I had just met 10 minutes earlier. I don’t even remember her name. This complete stranger said something so profound that it resonated in me and is the trigger to many of the adventures I’m about to partake in.

I’ve always taken pride in myself for being a risk taker, but it’s suddenly become apparent that I really have never taken a genuine risk in my life. I’m so filled with fear that I’ve never really attempted to do anything I’ve dreamed of achieving.

Continue reading Fear has taken over my life

Why I Thanked my Guardian Angel

I was driving home, smile plastered on my face, open windows, enjoying the feeling of fresh wind on my face and the wind blowing through my hair. I just had had a good day.

Suddenly, my car started to twirl across the highway.

“No one crash into me, please no one crash into me” is all I remember thinking.

My car stopped right before it hit the concrete on the other side. I was in a daze. I didn’t know what hit me.

Continue reading Why I Thanked my Guardian Angel

Elie Tahari and Dior meet the Lebanese bus system

There I was waiting for a cab, wearing one my favorite Elie Tahari dresses and one my treasured Dior heels, when a bus came to a halt in front of me. The driver signaled me to hop on. I smiled as I considered it but as I looked inside it seemed like the seats were full. I signaled the driver that it was full. He asked the passenger sitting next to him to move to a different spot.  I hesitated for a second but told myself to stop acting like a diva and get on the freaking bus. I got on and surprisingly good old soul and blues music was playing.

It may not have been the cleanest bus in the world and I may have stuck out like a sore thumb, but I did get to my destination with rhythm and I don’t think I’d hesitate to take the bus again.

 

 

How I Became Happy

On a warm summer day last year, my mother and I were sitting on our balcony enjoying the cool breeze while sipping on coffee and catching up.  I told her I was the happiest I have been in a long time and that  I could not remember the last time I was as happy as I was then. Mom looked at me quizzically and asked how it was possible that I, a person who had just resigned from my job with no back up plan, no savings, and single at the age of 32, be happier than I ever was. That pretty much was the same reaction I got from everyone else.

Some people wondered if I was in love.  I did feel like I was  in love but not with someone; I was in love with life and all that it holds. I was falling in love with life again. That’s when my friends nodded and smiled but looked like they were worried for me.

I started thinking if I was being delusional.  Was I truly happy or was it a crazy phase I was going through? Was it some sort of masked depression? Would this feeling of being high in life sustain?

A year has passed and I can now confirm that I truly did find happiness. It was real. I’m not just talking about the haha short term kind of happiness, but true happiness. The feeling where you feel like nothing may affect you. Now don’t get me wrong, there were days when I felt down but that’s only natural as long as you are happy the majority of the time, and I am capable of counting the number of times I felt down this past year on one hand.

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What happened that made me happy? It was quite simple really. Read on to find out my 12 steps!

Continue reading How I Became Happy