Bipolar Specifiers! Finally I Fit

Worse than being bipolar is not knowing what is wrong. For so long I was misdiagnosed and every time a new dose of skepticism arose. I take some of the blame as I read the books but still couldn’t explain what was wrong. It’s not this diagnosis because I cycle too fast. It’s not that diagnosis because the delusions don’t last. Perhaps it’s anxiety but why did it suddenly flash away. Maybe it’s rapid cycling ocd with paranoid delusional disorder that doesn’t fit any criteria whatsoever. Imagine sitting in a car pressing the gas but the car is in neutral. Energized but immobile. Mind racing but body lethargic. All of this sometimes all at once. Nothing in those professional books were correct. Worse than the issue (for me) was not knowing the issues.
Then, finally, she read to me about the specifiers of bipolar 1. At last, there is a class that I can sit in. Finally what I go through on a regular basis is in print. Finally it can be explained so I don’t feel like I have to compromise reality to be seen. Almost 30 years of almost fitting, and constant sitting in interviews. Even to the point of being accused of faking on an occasion, because if it is serious it should fit the criteria. However, this reflected my sentiments exactly. I didn’t fit. However, the pain was not worth faking. The shaking from anger, the making of manic driving on wrong sides of the road at night. The financial risks that seemed not too risky at all. The forgetting to show up at an appreciation dinner, thrown for me. The mood cycle. The unknown.
Finally, it fell in place. Grant that there are four specifiers that fit, and not just one, but it’s still a start. Here it is for the first time, I have Bipolar 1 with anxious distress, rapid cycling, mixed episodes, and often but not always psychotic features. This is the first time ever that I said that with confidence. This is the first time that I fit. My psychologist will be proud as accepting the diagnosis was part of the treatment plan. Now I can accept it. Now I can truly begin to win since I finally know the obstacles. Sure, I have reluctantly tried to accept this before. I even blogged and made music about it. Yet, I never felt satisfied. It was just close enough. Now it fits. Now I am in class. Now I can begin again with confidence. This is the first time. This is my confession. Almost 50 years old, with many ex friends in the wake of mood cycles. With new understanding of mixed moods. With full assurance that rapid cycling is real and I am not alone. With anxiety and paranoia knocking on the front door. With all of the aforementioned, I still feel good to know that I finally fit in.

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