November 19th, 2001


I'm four today.

Well...not really. I'm 22, and my birthday's a couple days off. But in one very real sense, I am four today. As it was a fateful Wednesday, the 19th of November in my sophomore year of college That day, we started a regime of medication that's taken four years and four different stabilizers to figure out.

Having a mental illness is a lot like being gay. No offense meant by that comment. I simply mean that the decision to come out of the closet in ordinary society or not has to be made by both. I've chosen to be out in society, but it comes with its own attendent problems. Because I have to constantly balance the situations I'm in.

And there has been a hell of a lot of situations in the third year beyond. Hopefully, flipping to four (and having a pill that finally seems to work!) will make it a slighly better year.

Four years ago today, I was in a doctor's office, hearing the words that split my life in twain. They call it bipolar now, the nice way to hide the fact you're crazy, none of that manic-depression shit...but I prefer the old term. Everybody understands that one.

And I've managed to do some amazing things despite it. Despite not being on a stable medication, I managed to graduate from Cal. I even managed once to hold a steady summer job, without my boss knowing about the illness (although I'm not sure I want to go through another summer like that one). I passed my CCNA, I've blown my GREs away...I'm doing well.

The thing I never expected to see four years down the road in the doctor's office on a chilly November morning in Berkeley.
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