Living with Bipolar

I got diagnosed with Bipolar disorder a week back. It was basically a confirmation of a diagnosis of a month ago.

Today I got blood tests done for my liver and kidney to check for toxicity. The medicine for bipolar is Lithium, but the dosage is just below toxicity. To make me live I have to take a toxic metal just below levels of toxicity. To do that I also have to make sure salt and water intake are stable.

All my life ( or say atleast since 20 years) I had been treated for clinical depression . They had been giving me the wrong medicines.

It all started when I chose to join the Indian Military as a cadet instead of joining Architecture. A year later I was  given a 10% disability cheque of Rs 20000 (it was 1996) and told to be a civilian. I still suffer from those 1 year of training but I guess the concept of honor in India means they have paid me off and done justice.  The great memories I have- my next door neighbor won a Param Vir Chakra (Manoj Pandey) and my batchmate ( Sandeep Unnikrishnan) helped Mumbai Siege in 26/11 . Compared to them, I guess I was all right so far.

The poetic words the doctor wrote on my discharge medical card was “Fit to be invalidated from the armed forces of India. Category E E E.” Those words were burnt in my memory. So are the songs from Dilwale Dulhania Ley Jayengey when I was 19. Sweet to celebrate it in CMH, Pune.

After all, I was a volunteer, no one asks you to join the military anymore. So it was my fault. Except my father was in the Indian FBI and hunting terrorists so he wanted me to join the military since he got rejected when he was 19. But Oedipus was not Indian and I do not blame my dad now (only after a lot of therapy has been done).

I was cast out at 19. Now I am bipolar at 39. I wrote two books of data mining and four books of poetry. Two blogs, one on poetry with two hundred thousand views and one on technology with eight hundred thousand views. I was almost going to immigrate to United States but my health caused me to return and my diagnosis makes it impossible to return as an immigrant as bipolar disorder is a disability. I got two degrees, five jobs  in five years, one startup for ten years, bought and sold a house and I had a son and got divorced.

I had fun too. I wrote one of the books in Goa. I met many strangers in Starbucks in three countries ( India, USA, Canada) and I had lovely conversations, memories and pictures. After I die, the Internet shall make sure some of my soul remains.

In the meantime Jesus and Krishna are debating on my soul. I turned Christian this year. The best thing about being Christian. You are never reincarnated. You die you go to heaven or you go to hell.  The Hindus make sure you keep coming back again and again.  Grace is nice. Karma is just cause and effect. But for a bipolar mind, Jesus is a simple Jewish teacher. Simplicity is what made me a Christian when my brain folded over.

After the blood tests in the morning, I took a nap. My days of meeting strangers in Starbucks are over. I have two books to write, and I have articles to finish.

We have a job to do, before the Lithium kills the Liverium, and that is get the story out.

As for you, there is only one moral to the story.  Life is  beautiful. Live it

Author: Ajay Ohri

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