Please take this story seriously even though I’m writing with a light touch.
I am diagnosed bipolar.
Please, before you run to your DSM-V catalog of so-called mental disorders in order to figure out how to judge me without knowing me, I’d like to say that I mean I’m “bipolar” in the way an artist might use the word before I was born in 1952 and the first DSM came out (also in 1952).
What I mean is that I fluctuate between many states across many dimensions, often in response to external stimuli. People who don’t like to take responsibility for their actions insist on calling these things “triggers.” Because I don’t like to take responsibility for my actions any more than the next person, I’ll call them triggers too.
The book Living with a Creative Mind is the best (and probably only) book that talks about this in the way that I do. This survival guide for creative artists everywhere is co-authored by psychotherapist, Julie Crabtree, and her husband, Jeff Crabtree. As best as I can tell, while the DSM-V would have allowed her to diagnose him as bipolar, she decided that instead perhaps he is just a creative dude who sees things differently. They even created a collective for artists and therapists who have decided to stop judging each other and start loving each other.