Knowing We're Not Alone

Lynne Taetzsch Health Guide
  • I’ve been bipolar since I was a teenager, but didn’t know what to call it. I always identified with manic-depressives, but didn’t think I could use that excuse for why my life was so messed up. Out of six children, I was the one who drove my parents crazy with rebellious disobedience. I had chronic insomnia and got so bored with high school that I left after three years.

    I did finally get my high school equivalency diploma and went to college, but I changed majors and institutions so much that it took me twelve years to finally get a B.A. In the middle of all this I married my drug-addicted boyfriend, John, who almost missed the wedding because he was out shooting up heroin.
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    I wore all black at that wedding, which might have been a sign, but we did love each other. Later after kicking his heroin habit, John complained that my moods were “so changeable.” Yes, of course they were changeable! I’m bipolar.

    I zig-zagged back and forth from the east to the west coast with John, got pregnant, had the baby, and then really got depressed. I found a job within a week in LA, but John never did. Nine months after Blixy was born, I came back home to my family in New Jersey with just my baby and the clothes on my back. I had had one suitcase with me, but it was stolen at the airport.

    Well, my life continued on its up-and-down course, mellowing out a bit as I got older. Two things that helped me through it all were my love for art and writing. I’ve been fortunate these last few years to be able to do them full-time. I have a studio now in Ithaca, New York, where I live with my current husband, Adrian. We’ll be married 25 years come this Fourth of July, so he’s a keeper.

    I was finally diagnosed as bipolar when I was in my forties. It sure did explain a lot of things. I am active now in a local bipolar support group and I’ll be writing regularly in this blog. I’m looking forward to hearing from you and sharing experiences. I think it helps a lot to know we’re not alone in this.

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Published On: June 19, 2006