Welcome to my brain.

I wrote about how April 1 is a special day for me in that its the anniversary of my decision to be sober. This April 1, I added another reason to love that day. I was diagnosed with bipolar II disease.

And, for the first time ever, I knew this was the correct diagnosis. I mean, I have been diagnosed as ADD, as “too smart for my own good,” as “easily bored,” or “under stimulated.” I have been put in special classes, advanced classes, detention, throw out of places. I quit two masters programs 1/2 through, I have never held a job longer than 2 years (except my own company), moved every couple of years (because I knew that the next move would make my life better) and kept away from most people, because most people made my head hurt.

Sure, I had some success. Of course I have friends. But, I have always known that there was something wrong with my physically. I just knew it.

So now I know. I have a brain defect. More specifically, bipolar II, which is a psychological disorder that involves mood swings from depressed to hypomanic states.

Here is the basic idea: I have an enormous amount of thoughts running through my brain all the time. My brain never shuts off. This hyper-stimulated state creates in me talkativeness, short sleep cycles, “over-thinking,” unpredictable reactions, lack of focus, often a rapid cycling of happy/depression, and an intense need to be by myself to reduce stimulation.

Attention DEFICIT Disorder is having too few thoughts. Not paying attention to things because you have the inability to focus. I am the opposite. I am focusing on so many things, that stuff slips through regardless of how much I want to remember to do it.

Here is an example. For the past year every morning when I leave the house, I say to myself, “Dont forget to mail a check to the IRS,” and every night before I go to sleep, I say to myself “Fuck! I forgot to wwrite that check to the IRS.” For a year.

What my shrink told me, which makes perfect sense now, is that I spend the majority of my energy on “keeping myself together.” Which doesnt leave a lot of time for other things. Make sense to me.

And its all because of my brain defect. Something I have had since birth, and something that I have spent a lot of time on creating work arounds for. Those work arounds have lead me to where I am today, but have been ineffective at allowing me to accomplish everything I could.

This week I get blood drawn, and on Monday will go back to the shrink to start treatment (the nice way of saying drug trials). I cant wait. I do think its funny that to be normal, a drug addict will have to take drugs for the rest of his life.

My good friend, Meg Fowler, who is an amazing writer, told me that my writing is structurally sound (most of the time), but it always comes with a conclusion. She suggested that I try to write about process, and allow others to help lead me to the conclusion. I told her then, I was relatively uncomfortable doing that. Now I understand why. Its because I have to always be in control, and process is not about control – conclusions are. So, lets see what happens. I will try and consistently write about the process of bringing this issue under control. Bare with me, it might not be clear, clean or linear.

Hello brain. Its time to take control away from you, and provide you a strict set of rules with which to live.