This edition of “Breaking Expectations” is guest writer Shelby Bodine’s firsthand experience living with mental illness.
Having Bipolar Disorder means there are characteristics that come hand-in-hand with negative assumptions. I can be oversensitive, I over think things to the point of anxiety attacks, I’m prone to migraines and I can exhibit Obsessive-Compulsive traits at times.
While others view these as negatives, I’d like to take a second to clarify.
Oversensitivity couples with compassion for anything or anyone who needs it. A vastly diverse sense of understanding and sympathy that’s usually overlooked is a second language to me. Over-thinking things forces me to be aware of myself. I make incredibly powerful connections to photographs, music, and interactions, which then harnesses my creativity.
Hypersensitivity in my senses allows me to find something moving about anything. I find beauty in everything I come into contact with. I am prone to migraines because mood disorders take harsh physiological tolls on the human body.
I am meticulous because routine and organization are critical for me. When you spend your life on a constant roller coaster ride, you can’t see what twist or drop is coming next so you have to be meticulous. If not, you become the walking definition of ‘unstable.’
To cut a long story short, my name is Shelby Bodine and I am a full-time student majoring in psychology and minoring in biology. I will go on to obtain both my masters and Ph.D. in neuropsychology. I have a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder II- Rapid Cycling/Mixed State, Anxiety and ADHD. This is not a bad thing. I find my sense of compassion and understanding to be creative genius.
I allow that creative genius to come out in photography, writing and being true to myself. I never really knew who I was until I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder.