Hey guys! Bel here. Hope you all are well!
It’s 8:30pm right now as I sit on the floor of my friends’ apartment, writing this post. Life has been quite blissful lately, save for the ridiculous amount of philosophy reading I have to do. I’ve been staying over at my friends’ place nearly every night. We study together, eat dinner together, have singing and dancing parties in the bare living room space, watch scary movies, and talk. A lot. It’s like a slumber party every night! Very different from the kind of life I used to live. Back in high school, my life was a lot more strict and focused. I’d go to school, then head to dance practice, then go home and do homework, then eat dinner, then sleep. I had very little time for a social life. Now in college, for the first time in my life, I have really good friends whom I spend most my time with. I love them with all my heart– they’ve filled my life with such joy and laughter.
13 hours later…
Hey guys! I’m back! I never got around to finishing last night’s post, so here I am, completing what I started. It’s currently 1:25pm as I sit here in Powell library. I’m feeling quite overwhelmed, to be honest. I just had philosophy lecture and, as per usual, I didn’t understand what was going on. We discussed type vs token identity, identity theory, and objections to this theory– all of which went over my head. I still don’t fully understand the difference between type and token identity. Some of the people in the class are so smart– not only did they fully grasp the concept, they were also able to generate thoughtful questions about the material, while I sat there, massaging my head and tugging on my hair in a vain attempt to understand what the heck was going on. Philosophy is hard! That’s why I’m going to email my TA to schedule an emergency office hour, so I can hopefully better understand some of these insanely abstract concepts.
So, yeah, I came to Powell to study philosophy, but, unable to bring myself to begin a 17-page reading, I decided to write this post instead. I suppose there are worse ways to procrastinate, though.
Onto the topic of today– a deep dive into my personal experience with bipolar. So, I’ve been reflecting a lot on what it felt like when I used to spend most my days in the mania phase of bipolar. There was one particular instance that stood out to me.
It was spring quarter of freshman year, when, for a period of a couple weeks, I decided to adopt a British accent. I know, crazy, right? I’d go around everywhere, speaking to everyone in what I presume to be a terrible British accent. Even in lecture, I’d continue to carry out this accent. Once we had a guest speaker– a dentist– come to class. I remember raising my hand to ask a question. I spoke in my terrible British accent, and everyone around me stared at me in disbelief. I soaked up the attention. Soon, my friends in lecture were texting me, asking me what the heck I thought I was doing. There was fits of laughter all around the auditorium, which further encouraged me. The next day in discussion, my TA told me that I was famous– no one, including the three professors who taught the class, would stop talking about the little stunt I had pulled in class. Thank goodness I wasn’t reprimanded– but in retrospect, I think I should have been, for creating a such a distraction, in front of a guest speaker, no less!
Now I understand that my British accent phase was really a manifestation of mania. Zero social inhibition. With the help of mood stabilizers, I am now, thankfully, stable. In my current state of normalcy, I am in utter disbelief that, a little over a year ago, I did what I did. It’s like I was a totally different person! Good grief. You can see now, how bipolar disorder, when left unchecked, can be a huge problem for both the afflicted and those around them. The most important thing now is that I’m stable, with my mood and better judgment intact.
Alright, folks. I’d better grind through my philosophy readings now. It’s gonna go something like this: I’ll have a pretty good understanding of the first three pages; then the author will introduce this crazy abstract concept and I’ll lose their train of thought; my eyes will start glazing over the page; by page 10, I will be thoroughly confused; by the end of the reading, my head will be pounding, eyes burning, and I will have retained nothing.
So yeah. There’s no avoiding what’s to come, though. So let’s do this.