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What It Means to Get Up and See Each Day Through With Bipolar Disorder

Mine isn’t a tale of a miracle cure or a magical self-help story. I don’t do yoga and I’m terrible at meditating. I’m an average guy with a family and a job.

Every morning I get up about at six for work, a little later on the weekends. I walk the dog and take the kids to the bus stop during the week. On the weekends I do the laundry, take the kids to soccer, invite the neighbors over for dinner. I don’t exactly project complicated.

But every morning I also take two pills, small round tablets. Early afternoon, I take one of those again. Before bed I take five more, this time a mix of tablets and capsules. They’re almost all pastel, and usually pink. In fact, most of the pills over the last nearly 20 years have been pink.

I go to therapy at least once every month, sometimes less often, sometimes more. I see my psychiatrist every couple of months. I’m on my fourth therapist and third psychiatrist, not counting the ones I saw in the hospital, which I think is pretty good, all things considered.

I used to hear things that weren’t there, usually music, and sometimes garbled, unrecognizable voices. For a brief time I thought my brain was melting, which it luckily wasn’t, but I was pretty convinced. During a couple unfortunate months I also strongly considered throwing myself in the harbor, but didn’t.

So maybe it’s a little complicated. Yet, through all the pills and the side effects, through the psychoses and depressions, through the anger and fits, I’m still a regular guy. I have to be. There is no cure for my illness. I take my medicine and put my faith in science. I get up each day and see it through.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.

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