The day I was diagnosed with Manic Depression/Bipolar Disorder was one of the best of my life. It was such a relief to know that there was something physically wrong with me. I wasn’t just weak or crazy. I finally had hope for my future that wouldn’t be tarnished by manic episodes or plagued by crippling bouts of depression
If only treatment was that simple.
It took about 10 years of different doctors and medications to find
something that worked. The problem was that to prevent me from going
into a manic episode my medication had to keep me slightly depressed.
I still considered this helping.
However about 6 months ago I decided I had to change something. I couldn’t go on just
existing. Where just getting through a day was an effort. I know it seems
crazy to think that I let it go that long, but the idea of asking for help or trying something else seemed
overwhelming. But I was luckily in a
good enough place in my life to
think that I could take on a change, and what
a blessing it has been.
I started taking a medicine called Latuda. I’m not recommending this
for others because I know that medicine works
different for different
people. But for me it was a miracle. I was able to
deal with so much
more. Even just normal stuff that people take for granted
like “Wow, I can do laundry and make dinner today.”
Or taking my kids to school and realizing that I hadn’t stayed in bed for months.
To me examples like this are life changing.
I really wanted to be able to
track my experience, to see if the
medicine really was working but how do
you track emotions. There are
no blood tests or ultrasounds to tell you that
your depression levels have dropped.
So I decided I would track my progress with art.
I had always been artistic and loved art. But I realized a
long time ago that doing art was dangerous for me.
Art projects often led to full blown manic episodes. This would be my test.
I started keeping
all my paintings in one book so I could measure how
much I could do before I
had problems. That worked for a while but I
wasn’t satisfied with just
painting. I needed more. Usually more for a
manic person is dangerous, but I
have been able to do many artistic
projects without them taking over my
That brings me to this site. The Manic Artist is my new way
of tracking progress. Hopefully I can fill this with many pictures
and tutorials to prove my success. I welcome you to enjoy the site. Try
a new project or just check back every once in a while to see if I’m
still going or if I crashed into a fiery ball of paint, gesso,
glitter and beads.