Sunday, 25 September 2016

Why I've Been M.I.A. // Just a Random Update #11

I just realised that I haven't blogged in a very long time. Three months, to be exact. I think that's the longest hiatus I've ever taken. But it's a hiatus I had to take, because a lot has happened in these three months, both good and bad.

Let's talk the good first, because, well, it's good stuff. My freelance editing business is doing spectacularly well, and although the income isn't regular each month - for obvious reasons, it's freelancing - it's enough for me to be able to afford my rent, and then some. No more relying on my folks, people. Although my Dad does still pay most of my bills... but hey, I'm only twenty.

I've also FINALLY decided what to do with my life after I graduate from college. And maybe doing BBA wasn't the wrong decision after all, because I'm going to turn my freelancing career into a full-fledged business. Say hello to Geek Editing, Geeks! It's going to be an epic business that caters to all your editing and beta reading needs - and someday, even your publishing needs. My plan is to buy a domain name and set up a website, get more clients, make more money, hire some interns, and expand my business. I've already got my roommate into the beta reading biz as well, and hopefully she'll agree to join Geek Editing in due time.

In other news, I've made new friends in college. I now have people to eat lunch with and people to talk to when the professor isn't looking in my direction. And if you Geeks know me at all, you'd know that this is a very, very big deal for me.

My new apartment is great. I have a room all to myself, with a bed, a couch, a study area AND a bathroom. There are glow-in-the-dark stars, yellow curtains, tons of posters, my vision board and a bookshelf that will is already book-ended with books. What more could I want from a house, after all?

I'm also working on my fourth novel, Love Thy Neighbour, which revolves around love, friendship, YouTube and mental illness. It's still a work-in-progress, and I'm going to take at least another three or four months to finish it, but... stay tuned?

So those are all the positive reasons why I've been too busy to blog. Work is incredible. Super exhausting, but incredible. I'm so proud to call myself a workaholic. My idea of a good weekend? Working on multiple projects at once in the comfort of my beautiful home while texting my closest friends - and owning that shit, yo.

Now moving on to the one not-so-surprising negative change in my life.

I've spoken to you previously about my bipolar depression - a concept relatively unheard of, because most people either have depression or bipolar disorder, not some crazy combination of the two. But I did have rapid cycling depression, and my psychologist and psychiatrist were just as stumped as I was. But it was getting worse and worse no matter what cocktail of meds I was on. I went from being on anti-depressants and anti-psychotics to more anti-depressants to mood stabilisers and anti-depressants and anti-psychotics. And that was one too many, Geeks.

The prolonged use of anti-depressants finally brought on a manic episode that would have been impossible to control had my doctors not put me on mood stabilisers 'just in case'.

So to cut a long story short, I have officially been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Whether it's BP I or II is still a matter of discussion, because my latter episodes have all been hypomanic, but I don't know if that's because I stopped my Cipralex immediately following the mania or because I really do just have BP II disorder, and the mania was a one-off incident.

The mood stabiliser dosage I was on wasn't enough, though, because my rapid cycling depression turned into rapid cycling hypomania, with a new episode every week, and they were only getting worse. So my dosage was upped further, and now I'm happy to say that I'm finally, finally stable. I haven't had any episodes in over two months save for a one-off incident that happened because of some personal reasons, and my therapist even said that I could be off meds in about three years if I keep this up.


I'm still doing everything I can to fight bipolar disorder on my own: working out, colouring, keeping myself busy, working on my self-esteem and confidence... everything. But I would be lying if I said that I'm completely okay. I'm not. I still curse myself for having this mental illness in the first place. Even though I'm on the relatively mild end of the bipolar spectrum, I still wish, with all my heart, that I wasn't on said spectrum in the first place. But what's done is done, and there's nothing I can do about it except keep hoping that I'll overcome this sooner or later.

I'm also finding it pretty difficult to focus in college and complete my assignments on time. I don't know if it's because I've just given up on being a nerd-slash-perfectionist or because of some weird meds side effect (it's probably the former), but I don't even care. Bare minimum is all I'm aiming for. My mental health matters more than my marks. I've finally understood that.

Wow, this has been a pretty long blog post. Guess this makes up for all the long months that I was missing in action.

I think I'll be posting some more about bipolar disorder and mental health, because at least where I come from, people have absolutely NO IDEA what it's all about. I've seen people using the terms 'depressed', 'OCD' and 'bipolar' so loosely that it makes me want to rip their heads off. And no, I'm not exaggerating. I'm very passionate about psychology and mental illness, and you bet I'm going to spread more awareness about this topic.

I'm very open about my bipolar disorder in college. Most people in my class know, although they don't quite know what it's all about. I'm hoping that'll change soon. One of my professors found out recently, and I was surprised to know that she was actually quite knowledgeable on the subject. She was the first - okay, second - person I've met in my entire life, not counting my doctors, who actually knew what mania and depression truly mean without my having to explain it to them.

Anyway, I've been rambling for far too long. If you've stuck with me until the end, you get a slice of pizza.
I hope to see you soon, Geeks, whenever my schedule permits it. Maybe once a week? Maybe once a month? I don't know, but I can guarantee that I'll be back. Au revoir!