I created this website in the hopes of helping others similarly afflicted find a relatable place where they could see themselves through my words and pictures, so that other people with Bipolar Disorder could find solace, kinship, understanding, hope and positive tools, as well as a good laugh or two at my expense.
I was diagnosed with Bipolar I twenty years ago. Since then, I have taken every mathematical permutation of medications possible, done ECT (Electro-Convulsive Shock Therapy) and TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) on both sides of my brain, had loads of individual and group therapy, been an inpatient over 25 times…And yet, I have still tried to seriously take my life 7 times.
I finally realized after my latest and last attempt two years ago, thankfully, that all the hard work and effort I kept putting into killing myself was not going to be successful–and that I must simply learn to live with my illness.
After all I’ve been through, I have personally found the most valuable therapy in writing and creating visual art—but I see a renowned neuropsychiatrist, as well. I write novels, short stories, poetry, blogs, and non-fiction articles. I paint in acrylics and watercolor, sew, decoupage, make collages and create murals. I find a contentment and solace in doing these activities, especially when I am symptomatic, that gives me the inner strength to continue living when everything seems too painful, so that I can continue to be a wife, mother, person and artist.
I am a married 40 year old with a 7 year old daughter named Chloe Marie. We live in a little arty town just northwest of Houston, TX in a house big enough for an art room. I recognize I am incredibly lucky to be alive and free of permanent deficits or damage–free to continue to be able to revel in the love of my family and pursue my creative writing and visual art goals.
I hope that by baring my soul, in this journal that I have sometimes obsessively kept in my darkest and most confusing hours throughout my latest and longest nervous breakdown, it will help you on your own journey towards healing and wholeness. I believe these are lifelong journeys–mine begin again every morning when I open my eyes, never knowing how this illness could affect my day and the days of those I love–when each morning, I again make the choice to persevere no matter what will unfold in my day.
So, to those of you currently suffering with Bipolar Disorder (and to the ones who love you and are trying to support you), I offer you a glimpse into the world I have experienced and created while experiencing this challenging condition.
❤️❤️❤️, Marie K Johnston