You can't help but go among mad people. We're all mad here. I'm mad, you're mad. You must be mad, or you wouldn't have come here.
~Cheshire Cat

Explain Yourself ~The Caterpillar

"Who are YOU?" said the Caterpillar.
      This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied, rather shyly, "I--I hardly know, sir, just at present-- at least I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then."
     "What do you mean by that?" said the Caterpillar sternly. "Explain yourself!"
       "I can't explain MYSELF, I'm afraid, sir" said Alice, "because I'm not myself, you see."
        "I don't see," said the Caterpillar.
        "I'm afraid I can't put it more clearly, Alice replied very politely, for I can't understand it myself to begin with; and being so many different sizes in a day is very confusing."
       "It isn't," said the Caterpillar.
       "Well, perhaps you haven't found it so yet," said Alice; "but when you have to turn into a chrysalis--you will some day, you know--and then after that into a butterfly, I should think you'll feel it a little queer, won't you?"
        "Not a bit," said the Caterpillar.
           "Well, perhaps your feelings may be different, said Alice; all I know is, it would feel very queer to ME."
            "You!" said the Caterpillar contemptuously. "Who are YOU?"

Female. College graduate. Introvert. Knowledge junkie. Analyst. Bone collector. Multifaceted. Introspective. Sedated. And maybe a little lost…

I'm a late twenty-something still finding my bearings. I have a fancy education and a job that uses none of it. I find myself relating a little too closely with the Alice characters, and I hope to someday become a grown-up.

I somehow got a BA in Anthropology, with minors in Spanish Language and Religious Studies.
Within Anthropology, I am concentrating on archaeology and specializing in bioarchaeology, or the study of  human bones and skeletal remains, to help us understand the course of human behavior.
Within the Spanish Language, I am concentrating on Central American (mainly Mayan) populations and their use of Spanish alongside their traditional languages.
I hadn't planned on having a minor in Religious Studies, but once I realized that I had completed all of the required courses and racked up enough credits, I figured a signature from the chair of the department would be the easy part. I mainly focus on Jewish Studies, however it is not my concentration (because there really isn't one at the college level).

My blog:

My illness:
While still in high school in 2004, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I was immediately placed on anti-psychotics and began what will eventually be my life-long pill-popping ritual.

I started college in 2005 when I was 18, just like everyone else. But in 2007, something strange began to happen.

I was a sophomore in college. I lived with one of my best friends. Everything seemed great: I was doing well in my classes (and enjoying them), had a bustling social life, and a lot of friends. I felt good, I looked good, and despite my bipolar disorder, I was happy. I was not just existing; I was living.
Until everything came crashing down.
I took a semester off from school in what would have been my junior year (after failing the semester prior) and tried to go back, only to fail again.
Had I not registered with disability services, I would have been kicked out. Thankfully, a newly-approved policy saved me from total failure.
Each semester I tried to go back, and each time I had to withdraw.
It ended up being 3 years before I decided that I could handle going back.
Thanks to new therapies and better medications, I was able to get a 3.3 and a 3.45 GPA this past year. My GPA was still too low to graduate thanks to my bipolar episodes, but I had one semester left to get my GPA up to a 2.75 so that I could finally graduate, and against all odds, I did it.

Why I am writing this blog:
I am writing this blog to open the window to allow readers to peek into the life of someone who lives with bipolar disorder. I want to be clear that this is something that I live with, that I experience daily, and that I learn from. Bipolar disorder is something that I have; it is not who I am.

I am writing this blog because I feel that my experiences might be helpful for others, especially those who do not live with a mental illness. I have been keeping journals and recording my experiences almost my entire life, and I figured I might as well publish them.

Since 2007 I have been working toward self-acceptance and living with a stigmatized illness. To help me accomplish this, I have been journaling, reading, and researching. I finally think it is time that I publish what I have experienced and come out against the stigma that mental illness is incomprehensible, untreatable, dangerous, and that society is unable to accommodate those who are afflicted.

To understand the progress of my illness, refer to my post, "Beginnings"

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