There is a longer and more “vanilla” bio of me on the Circling Guide. This is my bipolar story, at least the 30,000 foot view.
I am 60 years old and a fairly high-functioning, self-diagnosed Bipolar II with mixed episodes. This means that I am, most of the time, either in between, or else simultaneously, somewhat manic or somewhat depressed, or both. I have a desperate hope to “heal” this condition before I die; but for now, what you see is what you get. Psychiatry and psycho-pharmacology have failed me, so I am reduced to writing about my feelings, stoned on coffee, horny as all-get-out and dreaming of finding the woman who will save me from myself. Which is unlikely to happen because I am too broke, crazy, and ugly to attract any self-respecting woman. Or so I say to myself. But it’s not awful (I guess I got lucky, compared to some of my peers). “Better than a stick in the eye”.
To say more about bipolar: they call it manic. For many many years, I just called it “being happy“. That is true (being happy — at my best, I do have a gift for happiness), and there is nothing wrong with that state, per se; but I have finally come to realize, after a lifetime of this way of being which I call “the 40 year war against myself and against the world, trying to make a buck and get a little love, and mostly unsuccessfully” — I have finally realized that the mania is actually a compensation for an underlying feeling of depression, lack of fulfillment and sense of purpose, and loneliness. The “mixed episode” diagnosis is relatively recent, but it was an eye-opener. The problem is that I am simply not aware of the underlying depression in my usual manic states, which causes me to have atrocious judgment. I also have a hard time sustaining the kind of consistent effort that is necessary to succeed in business and in life, and I can be a bit of an asshole. My plans and ideas tend to run a little ahead of relational and business reality. The day after the brilliant idea and perfect plan that will irrevocably change my life and catapult me into success and happiness (or maybe the week or month after), I start to wonder “WTF was I thinking???“; and then feel very embarrassed and an awful failure — yet again. On the upside, I am rarely depressed for long these days. “Get up off the floor and try again” — that’s the story of my life, and it’s getting a little old. I just want some success.
I created this blog in December 2020, from the desire to carve out a semi-private space on the internet for me to write about and think-through these issues. A space that would be hidden from Google searches under my name: I have a budding writing career, and a startup Authentic Relating business, and I prefer to not be overly identified with any diagnosis as there is still social stigma around mental-health conditions. I wanted this as a place for me and my bipolar friends, or otherwise mental-health challenged people, to hang out and discuss the challenges and gifts of our lives. We are neither heroes nor total losers. We are something in-between. Just like everybody else.
I also wanted a place where I could write more unedited stuff, as I have to discipline myself in my other writing because.. well most people don’t care about my thoughts and feelings, except in very specific circumstances (i.e. they are already engaged with the topic). I wanted a place to write, for the only purpose of pleasing and satisfying me, and not having to worry about what people will think, or how they will judge me. Many of my friends and family already think I am crazy. I don’t want to give them any more evidence. Guilty as charged.
So, to set expectations: this is a blog about mental health, bipolar entrepreneurs, and writers in general — which, according to my theory, requires at least a little bit of narcissism, or maybe what I call “a higher opinion of oneself than is entirely justified by the evidence”. If this is not your game, you will surely be bored.