Of Two Minds

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I don’t normally over explain my work as I’m happy for people to find their own meaning. This is a pretty personal piece as it’s a self-portrait.

I’ve been diagnosed with bipolar disorder since ’09. Before that, they thought it was depression, and before that, schizophrenia. Since I was correctly diagnosed and got onto the right medication, things have been more manageable. I still have highs and lows, but I’m a bit more balanced.

My psychiatrist has been very supportive of my artwork as it has become a form of therapy for me. Combined with some lifestyle changes (no alcohol, no meat, no excuses), art has made a big difference in my day-to-day life.

“Of Two Minds” is the name of a really good documentary on BPD, and my piece is a nod to that as it helped me in my recovery, too. The piece itself is really a bipolar Venn diagram with the purple face representing mania, the blue face representing depression, and the space where they interlink is where that ever-elusive balance is hiding!

 

 

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The artist, Chris, with his piece

A huge shoutot to Chris Eaton, otherwise known as Stanley Sprays, for sharing his story and this phenomenal piece of art with us. For many, creativity and art can be essential in our recovery. We are so grateful to Chris for sharing that message and showing how art has helped him manage his own struggles.

If you want to see more art from Chris, you can find him on Instagram and his personal website. Chris also has a really fantastic clothing line; you can find that on both Instagram and their website.  Be sure to give lots of love to Chris in the comments!

Always remember you are not alone.

You are loved.

Sandra

Want to submit to this site and share your story, art, or article related to mental health? Email wemustbebroken@gmail.com

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Just Sit Back And Relapse Again

By: KaLeena Genette

Any form of depression is tricky to handle. My form happens to be Bipolar II Disorder, and I’ve been battling that demon for nearly 11 years. Last year I finally broke–really, seriously broke–to the point of being nearly catatonic for about two months. After ten years of “I’ll go see a shrink eventually,” I ended up with no choice if I wanted to keep my job and my sanity.

I’m one of the people who are lucky. I landed in the office of a psychiatrist who made the right call on medication. I wound up on the couch of a patient therapist who watched me lose my mind for weeks until the medication started kicking in and the anxiety and depression started to recede.

Now I’m here, and “here” is still a difficult place to be. Over the course of ten years, I developed unhealthy habits and unhealthy ways of thinking. Even though I have the medication and I’m at the right dose, I have ten years of bad habits to put to rest. This version of life isn’t the miracle I was looking for.

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Poetry: Unraveling The Stigma

this post might just hurt the most.
unraveling the truth from the perception
is causing me quite a bit of misconception
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i can no longer deny my dna,
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“Navigating The Fog, My Journey To Accepting My Depression” – Coping: This is Who We Are Entry 11

I don’t really know how or why it all started. I can barely remember when it even started. I was so confused as to why this was happening, but for some reason it did. And now, here I am.

I didn’t understand why I could possibly be feeling this way.

Nothing was wrong in my life, after all.

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Before, and even during my depressive episodes, I always thought that depression could only happen after some sort of serious traumatic event. But that’s not the case. I could go on and on about the stigma of mental illness, but that’s another story that could be discussed forever. The stigma, and the belief that depression isn’t something that just happens, prevented me from getting the help that I needed. For years, I beat myself up over feeling depressed and being suicidal. I told myself that I should just suck it up. After all, I had no reason to feel that way, right?. I lived in a stable household. I went on frequent trips to incredible places. I went to private school and had lots of friends. I had more than enough opportunities to do whatever I wanted. So why did I feel so hollow and numb, with my only desire being to kill myself?

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My Journey Accepting Bipolar Disorder: I Don’t Need to Be Medicated

This piece comes as a submission from an anonymous source who wishes to share their journey and experience with bipolar disorder. Find their touching path to acceptance below.


Around the time I was thirteen, I knew something was off.

I didn’t feel like myself; it felt like every problem in my family or my eighth grade friend group was weighing down on my shoulders. I felt the awful pain every time bad news came my way and I spent more time crying that I did laughing.

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Was it the fact that puberty was hitting and I was finally realizing that I wasn’t like the other kids from my small suburban town?

Was it the constant back and forth of my foster cousins living at my Aunt’s house?

Could it have been the teasing and mocking about my bushy eyebrows, stupid hair that never quite fell into place, or bad clothing style?

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An Emotional Letter From A Bipolar Mother To Her Children

To my children,

I know our lives haven’t gone as you wished. Early in your lives you found out your mother had BiPolar Disorder. A mental disorder that you were too young to understand at that time. I didn’t even understand it at first. I was just a young child when it surfaced.

I lived this way all my life and it was a lot milder so you weren’t subjected to a lot of craziness you didn’t understand. I thank God that he waited until you were old enough before things started getting really messy and your understanding and help was needed.

I know you needed a mom who was there for you through thick and thin and I did my best to be that person. It wasn’t easy. I had to put aside the feelings inside of me, my dear children, in order to help you grow up and into productive adults. Unlike your mother who suffers constantly from Bipolar Disorder.

I feel that I wasted my life because I couldn’t cope with a regular life. I didn’t go for my dreams, too scared. I didn’t make you my priorities like some moms because I was taking care of myself. I was falling apart little by little.

I do my best to attend family get togethers even if I am not feeling up to it and would rather isolate in my bedroom. I love that you guys try to get me out of the house and into doing something with you and my well-loved grandchildren. Believe me I love you all even if sometimes it doesn’t seem that way since I am nurturing myself.

I know some of you do not understand mental health, but I also know that you love me and wouldn’t leave me to struggle alone if I needed up. You guys are there for me when needed.

And I want to make you a promise. I promise to never, ever try to take my life again. I saw the terrible hurt and pain in your faces and the tears and I can’t do that to you. I promise to seek help if ever I feel that way again.

Thank you very much for being my beloved children, I love each and everyone of you.

Love,

Your Mom


This submission comes from Tessa who also runs an amazing blog on advocating for mental illnesses, be sure to check her out.

Always remember you are not alone.

You are loved.

PF

Want to submit to this site and share your story, art, or article related to mental health or mental illness? Email wemustbebroken@gmail.com

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