Mania and the Muse

Bipolar disorder defined my life as much as a wheelchair.

Seven million Americans suffer from bipolar disorder, a.k.a. manic depression. An estimated three million cases are severe. In severe cases bipolar disorder can fragment one’s life and destroy any hope of doing useful work or having a meaningful relationship.

Prescription drugs did help, but left me afflicted with a feeling there was something wrong with me, like my mind had been hijacked. The writing program I completed revealed a unique benefit of being bipolar. It was a practical tool that  brought understanding, acceptance and finally a published novel. A partial list of bipolar authors and creative individuals includes: Ted Turner, Virginia Woolf, Ludwig van Beethoven, Winston Churchill, Jimmy Piersall and Ernest Hemingway.

My author’s journey was filled with practical examples of how a disciplined approach to writing can change some of the curses of being bipolar into blessings. Writing and symptoms combined for positive results. Those positives were a less manic means of communication, a much-needed routine, a sense of purpose and creative release.

The writing program I followed included a daily word count, techniques to focus the mind and methods of emotional release. Those components fostered mental discipline and emotional stamina. The simple act of daily writing brought continuity and a sense of purpose to my life. A life troubled by this misunderstood disorder. The beliefs I expressed and emotions experienced captured the elusive core of my  bipolar existence revealing a hidden pattern in a manic world.

Mania, when suppressed, is a denial of self. When unleashed it is a powerhouse of creation.