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  • “I am excessively slothful, and wonderfully industrious–by fits. There are epochs when any kind of mental exercise is torture, and when nothing yields me pleasure but the solitary communion with the ‘mountains & the woods’–the ‘altars’ of Byron. I have thus rambled and dreamed away whole months, and awake, at last, to a sort of mania for composition. Then I scribble all day, and read all night, so long as the disease endures.”

    ~ Edgar Allen Poe

    This quote perfectly describes me and the way Bipolar Disorder affects my life. I stayed up all night last night sketching by hand and then in Adobe Illustrator and then in Corel Painter. I'm taking a watercolour painting class and I really love it. And so I've been doing what I always do when I find something I like doing ~ I get obsessively compulsive about it. As in, to the exclusion of almost everything else. It's like this hardwiring problem, I don't even realize I'm doing it and by the time I do, well, I can't seem to put the breaks on myself. I take the meds ~ they're blister packaged so I don't mix them up or forget to take them and I take them three times a day. So, you see, my bipolar disorder is never really that far away from me.

    So, yeah, to the exclusion of everything else. Like, I went to Deserres, the art store here in Vancouver, 3 times in the past 2 weeks! And, this afternoon I washed up my dishes for the first time in 2 and a half weeks (I don't cook or eat much here). It was getting desperate, with most of the cutlery in the sink, waiting to be washed up. And the garbages were overflowing yesterday so I emptied those on my way out to Deserrres. And I went days without making my bed. This is so out of character for me, a neat freak, who hates clutter and never likes to let garbage or recyclables accumulate.

    And, so, what does this feel like, this Bipolar thing? It's a desperate sort of restlessness, the type that makes a person listless, and also uber creative, trying to think and execute a gajillion ideas all at one. And there's no sadness, the meds mask the sadness part of depression. There's just ... meh.

    So, today, flying on the energy of having stayed up all night and done the thing that I love ~ illustrate and paint ~did those things that I'd left undone for far too long. And you know what? I felt proud of myself, that I'd done the thing(s) that seemed, to me, so daunting. And so, the small accomplishments add up. And I relish them.

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