We love this essay that Annemarie Dooling wrote about her bipolar disorder and depression for Quartz called “What It’s Like To Fight Your Own Brain.”
She writes about how her mental illness accelerated after her mother died, which resulted in a suicide attempt. Since then her bipolar disorder has at times provided her with useful energy to get a lot of things done but also pulled her down into despair.
In the piece she talks about how mental illness doesn’t discriminate when it comes to how things are going in her life. She writes, “I’ve built a fantastic life, filled with wonderful people and experiences, and yet through it all, the loop plays. That thing you didn’t finish. That person who didn’t love you back. That place you never got to see. It’s always back there like a dangerous friend, waiting for those moments of beautiful bliss, to take complete advantage and kidnap me to my bed for days at a time.”Her path to healing includes acknowledging the terrifying thoughts when they come, and getting life.
To this day she lives her life going between terribly dark days filled with anxiety and positive, and often manic, days. As she says, it isn’t good and it isn’t bad. It just is. She’s on medication and in therapy and that’s just the way it is and she’s grateful.It’s a really amazing piece. Read it here.