My very first love (Part 1 of 3)

Love in chinese
This is a first draft of a section of a possible memoir chapter

Falling in love has never been as easy as making scrambled eggs for me. Not to say I didn’t have my fair share of crushes over my earliest years, but somehow I knew the difference between the two. Continue reading

Long-term uniform mild mood disruption is not good enough. Or is it?

moodchart

People who experience mood disorders, like unipolar depression and bipolar disorder, are most intensely monitored when severe mood disruptions are occurring, such as moderate-severe depression, moderate to severe mania, or episodes with mixed features. Also of deep concern are labile moods where the afflicted quickly cycle between various mood states. In the case of bipolar disorder, this would mean mood fluctuations between depression, hypomania/mania or mixed states within short periods of time (i.e. hours, days or weeks). But what happens in many of these peoples’ treatments when the mood state is uniform/level, but not severe, and yet not completely considered stable either? Continue reading

Pursuit of pleasure to lonely walk down a pictureless hallway

heartbeat-163709__340

A story about minor mood lability. Many of us have it on occasion. People with bipolar disorder even more often, usually.

I remember one day maybe five years ago sitting in my therapist’s office feeling like I was on the edge of my seat. I had been feeling a bit depressed for a while prior to that day, but my mood was improving very rapidly. I told her, “Renee, I’m going to set out on a pursuit of pleasure. I’m ready.” To that I believe she asked me what exactly I meant. In response, I told her I was going to trip the light fantastic and paint the town blue. She grimaced, but said nothing. Continue reading

Mental chaos half across the world (Part 2 of 3)

Hong Kong skyscrapers mountain
Hong Kong

Please first read part 1 of 3 set in Taichung, Taiwan

When I made the decision to up and leave everything in Taiwan I must have been approaching a moderate to high level of hypomania. I was impulsive, but with still some ability to put on the brakes. But, once hypomania is triggered, it can grow to a full blown mania in people with bipolar disorder. The following part of my Asian adventure shows one such a transition. Continue reading

Beethoven’s musical flight of ideas

Beethoven collage

Several months ago my husband and I received the annual music program from the local university in my town. We are very lucky that we live in a town with a university that attracts some of the best classical musicians and other artists in the world. This year the main focus was on Beethoven String Quartets, played by the Takács Quartet. The last of the performances focused on his later string quartets including the well-known Grosse Fuge Op. 133. Just imagine Beethoven at this time in 1825, already deaf, but music playing on and on in his genius head. Imagine him walking down the streets of Vienna talking to himself and humming the music, even conducting as he went along. Continue reading