The Creative and Spiritual Experience of Bipolar Disorder
In 2013 I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder - a version of the disease without the lows of depression, that for me expressed itself in energetic creative peaks and steady spiritual climbs and deep connections.
Note: I leave out some details but I’m happy to talk about it in person.
When I was diagnosed, I denied it.
After all, I was in the best shape of my life — I finished the SF Marathon in less then 4 hours.
I was standing on the moon.
But emotionally, I was a wreck.
I had lost my company, my girlfriend and had two elephants of stress standing on each shoulder trying to figure out what happened and how to recreate another company quickly.
For further context, check out my StoryShape.
When I received a second diagnosis, I accepted it.
That’s when the work to try and understand not only my life and who I was now as a man with Bipolar Disorder, but also what the hell it was.
Most people I have met or have read about experience Bipolar differently than me.
But we all experience the same stigma caused by misunderstanding.
My first experience with stigma was with my own family.
I don’t blame them for not understanding - but the shame was lasting.
We destroyed all the audio recordings and writings I had done in a manic state; I had to make up a story about why I left San Francisco; this part of my life was erased.
The reality of what I experienced was just that - my reality in an experience that was happening to me. I didn’t ask for it or welcome it, but still it found me.
I am open with my story.
I do so for myself — to let it go and just be with what is.
I have found that telling stories surfacing the imperfect pieces of my life shows others my humanity and courage..
There are many people who can’t tell their story or don’t have a platform to do so. If they can relate and find some relief or even courage of their own, that’s great.
The first time I publicly told my story was unprepared.
It was at an event I created in 2016 in front of 700 people.