Issue Quote
Iíve got a bad disease. Out from my brain is where I bleed. Insanity it seems. Has got me by my soul to squeeze.

Anthony Kiedis

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ozzy osbourne - diary of a madman
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Issue 5: 2022.2.1
Bipolar Express

I mentioned my alcohol problem last issue. Thereís more. In 1996, shortly after having a stroke (from a head injury) I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder (manic depression). Thereís some debate as to whether the stroke brought it on or whether Iíve had it my whole life. I like to think the stroke exacerbated it. Made it more intense. Looking back, I can remember certain times where I felt different, but I started drinking and drugging at age 13 so Iím sure most of it was masked.

Since 1996, Iíve been on one combination of medications or another. In the beginning, I was drinking on the meds and getting no relief. I went through many combinations trying to find the right mix, but it took a while. Turns out I needed the right doctor. When I met Dr. P everything changed. She made gradual changes to my cocktail and before you know it, I was stable. I was also sober and have been ever since. It took the right meds to enable me to get the fruits of AA and maintain sobriety (more on the tension between AA and mental illness in the next issue).

I also mentioned my passion for music in the last issue and through music Iíve found a friend again. Everyone knows Manic Depression by Jimi Hendrix. I was young when I first heard that song and really had no idea what he was singing about. Now I do. Ozzy Osbourne has Diary of a Madman (the album and the song), Scott Weiland (Stone Temple Pilots) has Bipolar Bear. Kurt Cobain (Nirvana) and Amy Lee (Evanescence) both have a song called Lithium (which I take). And Iím sure there are many more. The point is Iím not alone and I can hear any of these on my iTunes any day.

This issue's quote is from Anthony Kiedis (Red Hot Chili Peppers): Iíve got a bad disease. Out from my brain is where I bleed. Insanity it seems. Has got me by my soul to squeeze. Itís talking more about addiction, but I think it fits.

Living with bipolar has its challenges but if youíve got the right doctor and the right meds, itís manageable. Todayís society is getting more open to the various types of mental illnesses that are out there, There is more acceptance. Weíre not all the way there yet, but itís getting better.

The next issue will talk a bit about having a mental illness while trying to get sober in AA. Unlike todayís society, there is not the same level of acceptance in Alcoholics Anonymous.


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