The viral article below was written 6-months after quitting my job, teaching myself how to code, and successfully launching a web design business… all while completely manic. Most importantly, it clearly shows the stark contrast between how mania was handled before a problematic bipolar diagnosis versus after; and considers the tragedy of what may or may not have happened had mania been tamed entirely. Hint: Treatment made things worse and cost me major mojo.


Mental health crisis? Dial 988;
Medical emergency? Dial 911


The following article went viral pre-bipolar diagnosis:

A Love Letter to Bipolar” – Published 2016

I quit my job and risked going homeless to start a new business from scratch. This is my story and how you can do it too…

Like many teenagers, I plucked my first career from an interest-hat some umpteen years ago at the ripe age of almost-stupid. There was zero economic thinking involved.

“What do you like?”
“I like rocks”
“Geologist?”
“Ok sure”

Boom: $60,000 later I had myself an honorary geology degree… and a rock hammer to boot. For some reason, they also taught me badminton. Although, I’d personally like that $1,200 back.

The point here isn’t the job. The point is getting pigeon-holed into a career you never wanted to be in, and taking that seemingly impossible risk to break free. Stay with me here…

I never sat down and planned to quit that day. But like any bad relationship, I sensed it coming. There was no backup plan other than knowing I had the skills and confidence to pull off something better. Sometimes, you literally have to believe in the magic of yourself despite all odds, almost to the point of maniacal delusion. We are incredibly resourceful creatures, particularly when cornered. Just ask anyone who’s ever escaped from prison, if you can.

Do not underestimate our inherent ability to produce greatness in the face of fear and adversity.

At least 62% of success is having 112% confidence, the rest is just commitment sprinkled with a touch of mania. Luck is just the surface you grow on. Just ask Kanye West, he double-checked all my math.

So with $750 to my name and two weeks left before Christmas… I quit. No more income. No more company truck. No more health insurance. No more dinners out. No more security. Against all common-sense advice, I was bare naked to the wind like a chump without a clue.

Like a rolling stone, Bob.

What was I going to do?
Simple: Figure it out.

What does “figure it out” mean? Just ask Einstein: “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”

So, I figured it out… and started my own web design business. Was I afraid? Absolutely. But break fear down and funnel it like a laser beam: what you have is the strongest catalyst for ambition known to man. Rocket Ship fuel designed specifically to overcome the gravity that is failure. Believe in this.

Months of non-stop computer code later, I successfully taught myself how to build professional grade websites using nothing but my brain and a 10 year old Macbook. Two months later, I built an app and had the doors open to my very own web-design business.

So, despite all odds, quitting my job that day turned out to be exactly what I needed. In contrast to the rather reckless appearance of quitting spontaneously, there turned out to be some underlying strategy to this unconscious logic. Listening to my own heart and ambitions fueled not only a new career, but a renewed sense of passion.

I’m no Einstein… you can pull this off too. (end of 2016 article)

My response 5 years later (2023):

I often read this article nostalgic for the person I used to be pre-diagnosis. Before clinical doubt interjected. Indeed, the same manic energy causing all the problems, ironically created the necessary solutions (and more); a catch-22 almost ouroboros; like a serpent slithering just shy of devouring its own wild tail.

My mental health was in serious trouble.

Reading between the lines, this article painted a very textbook picture of a mixed-manic state.

Mania motivated positive change. Mountains were moved. Yet significant resources were “professionally” spent teaching to avoid, deter, reroute or otherwise dispose of mania entirely, through prevention or by squashing it post-fruition like some bottom-feeding stink bug.


Mental health crisis? Dial 988;
Medical emergency? Dial 911


Mania is not the enemy.

The pace of decision making is. For those of us wandering earth almost crazy, mania is our driving life-force. We need it to reach tomorrow, hastily or not. And it’s a wild fire haphazardly tamed. Leaving us to snarl sharp teeth at the clunky professionals in “back off” growls.

Mind you, mania isn’t delusion. Delusion is delusion; a different animal entirely. If you are seeing imaginary people, please address that directly and professionally, including medications.

Medication completely muzzled my inner oomph

As it turned out, medication completely muzzled my inner oomph; leaving me tired, insincere, problematically hopeless, and ineffectively useless.

It’s important mental health professionals consider the drastic repercussions undermining a patients mojo can cause. The life-force we tick with is fickle, fucking this risks permanently damaging the priceless human spirit.


Disclaimers:
Catching Karens (CK) does not provide professional or medical advice, only opinions and experiential patient insight. In a mental health crisis? Dial 988 (free 24/7) and visit Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. Medical emergencies Dial 911 (US & Canada)

If you are mentally ill or worried about the safety of you or anyone you know, please talk to a mental health professional about the available options. Delusions, suicidal thinking, unwanted thoughts, harmful thinking, or anything else threatening yourself or others is reason for serious concern and requires action, including potential pharmaceutical interventions.

CK is a strong supporter of modern western medicine, including effective pharmaceuticals. Raised by an MD to believe in Western medicine, I have witnessed its success and failures first hand. While in some cases, not taking medication is dangerous and irresponsible, it’s certainly not a positive solution for everyone, especially high functioning madness.

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