23 comments for “In Honour of #BipolarAwarenessDay : Revisiting the Grave Cave

  1. sandi caganoff savadier
    June 27, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    Brave. Recognizable. Frightening. And much more common than people think. I think it’s interesting that there are two things we don’t talk about openly – sex is one. depression the other.

  2. June 27, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    This is amazing to read. And incredibly brave to write. Thank you for sharing.

  3. June 27, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    I recognize much of myself in what you have written here. I even have two of the same major triggers, along with the addition of my diet. I need to be very careful about keeping the quality of my nutrition high. A few days of eating junk is as bad as not sleeping.

    While I have been very open on my anonymous blog about being bipolar, I am much more circumspect in my daily life, about who I share the fact of my disorder with. For the very same reason, my credibility seems to suffer.

    Thank you for sharing with us. It was a brave step to take, and I admire you for it.

  4. Goat-Willow
    June 27, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    Thank you for writing this.

  5. June 27, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    Bless you RG

  6. Graham Baxter
    June 28, 2012 at 3:42 am

    I think you have helped a lot of people with this courageous and moving glimpse of your life with bipolar. Thank you.

  7. June 28, 2012 at 6:18 am

    I thoroughly enjoyed this post, RG. I can’t recall how, but the bi-polar was one of the first things I knew about you. We may have had a mutual acquaintance, I think. Anyways, that’s how I realized that sometimes you’d write a lot and sometimes nothing.I’ve read your words over the years and just been amazed and quite enthralled by the progress; not just the writing but your life in general (or what I know of it through what you share). I think the Masters was fantastic for you just as it is fantastic for me. I don’t have bi-polar but I did suffer from depression which has now completely lifted. All that cultural theory does something, I guess… Anyways, keep on keeping on. You are my inspiration!

  8. Monsieur Jongleur
    June 28, 2012 at 8:51 am

    I, too, take very good care to maintain and monitor my body. It’s strange how little awareness we have, we ghosts in the machine.

    Thank you for your courage.

  9. Korhomme
    June 28, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    I think it takes a lot of courage to come out: even now, there are still people who seem to think that having a uni- or bipolar disorder is a “lifestyle” choice, something that you can just snap out of; and others who are so discomforted by the idea of mental illness that they quite literally cross to the other side of the street.

    Having had a major depressive episode a couple of years ago, I can now recognise that it had its roots in things long before, and that there were prodromal signs that I didn’t recognise. And, curiously, I’m not now the same person that I was: I’m much more liberal and tolerant, perhaps my conservatism was nothing more than a socially constructed carapace, my being what I “ought” to be rather than what I really was. And I don’t trust my judgement either; I’ve written comments on blogs that I wished later that I hadn’t, but there’s no ‘remove comment’ button. I’m sure I’ve done it here: I apologise, I just wasn’t myself.

    Well said, RG, well said!

    • June 28, 2012 at 8:42 pm

      Hmmm. Well, all the comments you’ve left on my blog have been pretty damn sensible. :p

  10. June 28, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    thank you, this is very brave and hopefully helpful for those who suffer from Bipolar.
    I have a cousin, a brilliant girl, I say girl she is in her 60’s.
    She started Bipolar around fifty years ago, I wish we knew then what we know now.
    We, her family rallied round, but lack of knowledge and also prejudice is always crippling.
    Warm hugs,

  11. June 29, 2012 at 7:54 am

    I’ve been following your blog with great interest for the better part of 2 years now and I can’t tell you how often and deeply your words have moved me. I’m not a writer but I am a passionate reader in search of something to connect me to … I don’t know … humanity?
    Of everything that has come from inside of you,every picture brought to light on the screen that plays in my head. This… this willingness to open , this revelation , this courageous exposure , well it leaves me speechless.
    I have shared a good portion of my life with a woman who was bipolar, and together we celebrated the manic and held on though the darkness.

    Understanding is the key.

    Think of yourself as a wave in the ocean driven to the shore , rising to a magnificent crest … then breaking and crashing on the beach.
    Any release of energy has a refraction period.
    Use it to get ready for the next wave.

    Thank you for sharing .

    • June 29, 2012 at 10:06 am

      I’m really touched by your comment regarding my writing. I think manic depressives (that’s what they called it when I was diagnosed) are pretty damn hard to live with. I’m very lucky. I’ve got a mild version of it. I don’t go through extremes of mania – I’ve never shopped myself into debt or had the overwhelming urge to fuck everyone in a room. The lows are, however, very black. But my cycles have gotten much milder with age, and I ride them out pretty easily. And when they scare me, I go back on the meds.

      But I think it has made me a lousy partner. Once someone knows you’re bipolar, they always put what you say or what you want through the filter of ‘is this the illness talking or her?’. It’s hard to negotiate this on both sides. Because it is and isn’t me.

  12. Shay
    June 29, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    This was a beautiful post. I’ve followed your blog for at least two years and left only one comment (coming up with something to say that hasn’t already been said has never been easy), but getting this insight to you as a person as well as a writer made me want to just let you know that there are a lot more of us out here than you probably know who respect and love what you do beyond words. During the long periods of silence, my daily check-in would become weekly, then bi-weekly, but the one check-in that yields something new is always a wonderful one.
    It’ll be a long time before I stop checking in.

  13. André
    June 30, 2012 at 2:06 am

    I’ve been reading you for, I don’t know how long. Quite a few years. You must have one of the minds I admire the most. Your writing has always resonated with me on a level that’s scary. But why do you necessarily consider yourself broken ? Or any other person that has to deal with his or her own challenge. What I’m trying to get at is : Why must we always consider / measure things in absolute terms ? Just because you, for instance, must live with this, why does it have to be a “problem” ? Coz all of us are taking something with us through life. Why does this have to be perceived in the negative ? Why does society’s norms dictate that we must measure up to, and match, a perfect 10 ? Why can’t we just “be” ? Why is just being no longer enough ? I for one, have actively opted out of trying to match that perfect 10 because it damn near killed me. Surely there is a better way ?

  14. June 30, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    Being bipolar is not a sin, so you should not be ashamed to admit that you are one. We all have our rough times and we are just human capable of shutting down once in a while. What is important is that you strive to live a normal life and that you are inspiring other people to do the same even having the same condition.

    • July 1, 2012 at 7:33 am

      Er.. I’m not ashamed. I’ve been cautious in the past. People make assumptions.

  15. TFP
    July 1, 2012 at 6:13 pm


    Thank you for sharing this very personal information, it shows your tremendous care and respect that you have for your readers. In turn your devoted readers, like myself, will appreciate your work in a deeper way.
    Its interesting to me that you actually recognized the situation and sought the assistance on your own. Usually there is a friend or family member who ‘suggests’ the help because the stigma of mental illness is very great to the vast majority, even to the one suffering may go through the internal ‘I’m not crazy’ struggle. Also, I’m very glad to see you recognize that the situation is not static, you must tailor the remedies to your state of being whether that be drug, diet, work load, and sleep. We humans need adequate sleep to function properly, that’s just a simple fact.


  16. Squeaky
    July 2, 2012 at 5:50 am

    Thank you for sharing, RG. This post was deeply touching, and the self-awareness in it is humbling. It’s rare to get such an articulate insight into such a shadowed and misunderstood condition. It’s a selfish thought, but i think i echo a lot of your readers when i say that I am So. Fucking. Glad. you went to that emergency room.
    Big love,
    P.S. Great art has never come from The Normal.

    • TFP
      July 2, 2012 at 6:40 pm

      …what is ‘normal’?

      • July 2, 2012 at 6:49 pm

        Well, agreed, normal is a relative term. But stark raving bonkers isn’t. And I’ve been there. This is way better.

  17. July 7, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    This is an amazingly brave thing to share. You and I have spoken in the past about this, mainly with you giving me a great deal of insight into the partner I had at the time. I, too, am glad you went to the ER. You’ve been an amazing friend to me over the years.
    Knowing the sine curve of my own creativity, when the ability to create seems immersed in cotton and completely out of reach, and living with someone who went through those highs and lows, I have always thought you an amazing, brave person.
    My opinion has only been solidified by this post.

  18. October 11, 2017 at 8:02 pm

    Hi RG, long time no comment 😛
    As a woman who has lived a bipolar man for 7 years who was only diagnosed a little under a year ago this post means a lot to me. Thank you for all your words and your wonderful twitter 🙂


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