In the interests of being a good girl, I decided to post a series of notes that I had done about having bipolar disorder on Facebook. Enjoy!
1. The disability I live with is: Bipolar Disorder
2. I was diagnosed with it in the year:2001, age 22
3. But I had symptoms since: 17
4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: Losing a lot of my carefree youth to bipolar disorder....no partying, being a young working girl, etc.......either fighting my way back or now on the hustle to make a career for myself
5. Most people assume: That I do not have a disability...much less one described as mental illness. I don't know if that is a credit or a disadvantage.....
6. The hardest part about mornings are: Waking up. I hate early mornings. Especially if the insomnia that comes with bipolar has occurred the night before.
7. My favorite medical TV show is: I don't watch them.Get my bipolar info from the Net.
8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: My baby, my computer....it functions as my music source, reading source when I have no books, educational and plain amusment when I am bored, link to friends etc
9. The hardest part about nights are: If I can't sleep. Bipolar brings sleep distubrances unfortunately.
10. Each day I take __ pills & vitamins. (No comments, please) 9, 3 of them actually for the bipolar though....rest are vitamins
11. Regarding alternative treatments I: Would like to implement some, just that they so damn expensive!!!And no, for me NOT taking meds is NOT an option...please respect that
12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: Neither, each can be crappy in it own way at times.
13. Regarding working and career: My position as a person with a disability is if you can, do it. If you can't, I repsect you and live your best life!
14. People would be surprised to know: That I am very good at masking when my mood is down.
15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: The fact that there is a developmental lag......I am a full-time undergrad at 30 and will really be kicking off my career after.....something most people do in their 20's
16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: Hmm, before UWI ( University of the West Indies), attend university. Now I am in UWI, I still wonder if marriage and babies are in the cards for me....
17. The commercials about my illness: Are Sucky. full stop.
18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: Not having to take pills everyday. I hate it but I suck it up and do it anyway.
19. It was really hard to have to give up: Losing my career as a teacher to this illness.
20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: Oh gorm! Any body who knows me KNOWS that I am on the Net a lot!!
21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: Hm...dunno....I think I have accepted this as it is...just determined to live my best life.
22. My illness has taught me: To accept that I am not a superwoman and that I don't have to overcompensate and be better than everybody else to prove a point.....just have to be the best me I can be whether I having a good day or not.
23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: When upon disclosure of my diagnosis, religious people feel that it is only a matter of lack of faith/prayer that I have not been healed yet.....Hell, the fact that I am living with this is miracle enough for me some days and trust me from where I came from when I was first diagnosed, I had to have faith in my God!
24. But I love it when people: Just see Nicole first and not the illness. The people who truly love me do that everyday and yet will still be supportive when I am fighting a depressive episode.
25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: When I stress out I often mock-threaten " I'ma kill somebody but it ain't gon be me cuz I am too cute too kill myself!"
26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: That you can still live your best life, but it takes work and taking responsibility for managing your own care.And that your best life may NOT necessarily be the one you had before.
27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: Both how compassionate people can be and how utterly stupid and insensitve a dumb minority can be. Ignorance I don't mind but rudness and nastiness about mental illness AFTER some education...ARRRGH!!!
28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: Last year when I was fighting off a depressive episode and reached out on Facebook and a chick who didn't like me in high school was so supportive. Other than that my mom's support through this whole damn adventure!!
29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because; People need to know that we exist, you don't necessarily have to be blind, in a wheelchair or deaf to have a disability.(Nuff respect to those folks! Boop! Boop!)
30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: Happy that you took a little time to read the 5 a.m. ramblings of a bipolar undergrad.