I’ve put together a new gallery page called Crucible which highlights the new body of work I’ve created regarding mental illness and bipolar disorder.
I’ve had bipolar disorder since my teen years and remained undiagnosed until shortly after I graduated college in 1994. In 2006 I had a major bipolar episode. My doctor at the time had changed my prescriptions and it was disastrous. I had a huge manic episode, staying up until all hours of the night, spending money profusely and having unhealthy relationships.
Then came the depression. I had never wanted to die so much as I did then. The only thing that kept me going through with it was the terrible thought of my husband having to go through all my things after my death.
I begged my doctor to put me back on the antidepressants I had been taking but he refused, saying they might induce another manic state. Finally he relented and gave me just a little something, which was completely ineffective. So I found a new doctor, who asked me which drugs had worked previously and put me back on them, and slowly but surely I stabilized.
But I had been broken down to the point of nothingness; I had no idea who I was anymore or what I was about, what I should be doing, how to go about living again. Suddenly it occurred to me that I could build myself back up in any way I wanted. I could make the “me” I always wanted to be if I did it right.
And so nearly ten years later I have become an artist, expressing the depression and euphoria that I’m so familiar with, hoping that it touches others and furthers understanding of mental illness on a personal level.