Who am I? That’s a question with no good short answer. I could tell you that I’m a 43 old Norwegian male (or man) living in the tiny city of Verdal, Trøndelag, Norway, but that doesn’t tell you a whole lot about me. It only tells you that I’m one of 14,943 inhabitants living in a certain geographical rural area. I’m still married to my wife and best friends of 21 years. I don’t know how she’s been able to put up with me all these years with my many ups and downs, but that’s a subject more suitable for later posts.
I could also tell you I totally fit the worldwide stereotype of an introvert, which means I tend to appreciate my own company and thoughs to social gatherings with endless smalltalk. Attending parties and work events really drains my energy, so I’m really happy when I reach that time when it’s socially acceptable to leave without offending the host and the rest of the guests. It’s the same with family gatherings, even though I know them all pretty well.
I’ve also had mental health issues since my teenage years, even though I never thought of them as unusual. I simply thought it was the same deal with everyone else around me. It wasn’t until 2012, at the age of 36, that I got my first diagnosis. The doctors told me I have bipolar disorder type II. I hadn’t the slightest clue as to what that was and meant for me personally. It was later changed to bipolar disorder type I. Through the following years I’ve had so many experiences that have answered my questions regarding bipolar disorder and mental illnesses in general. Depressions, manias and psychosis have shaped me into a totally different person. At times I have questioned who I really am. Questions like “Where does my personality end and my mental disorders start?”, “Are my personality so interwoven with my mental disorders that I can never separate the two?” and eventually “Who am I really?”. There are no easy anwers to those questions, I guess. Still, partial answers should be out there. I only have to find them. To be able to find them, I have to dive deep into my own psyche in order to identify my own personal traits and separate them from the symptoms of mental illnesses.
So for the longest time I have contemplated starting a blog about my personal experiences with bipolar disorder and mental disorders in general. You might ask, “why another blog about mental illness?”. Well, as time moves forward, more and more people are diagnosed with various mental disorders, but still the number of websites about these disorders do not climb. Sure, the number of informative web sites is climbing, but not the number of sites dealing with the issue of mental health and illnesses on a more personal level.
That is my vision for this website; to create a site dealing with mental health in a general and informative way, interwoven with my personal experiences of mental disorders. They are:
- Bipolar Disorder Type 1 With Psychotic Features
- General Anxiety Disorder (self-diagnosed, but 90 % sure)
- Social Anxiety Disorder (self-diagnosed, but 90 % sure)
- ADD (still in the early stage of getting a diagnosis)
I look forward to starting out on this journey, and I hope you will join me on my quest for the answers I’ve mentioned earlier in this post. We will be much like Odysseus, returning home to Ithaca from Troy at the end of the Trojan wars.
So what do you say, will you be a part of this personal journey toward a home of peace and stability?