Ok, out I come . . . a 58-year-old bipolar-afflicted person. It has taken me so long to accept this condition as “real.” And even longer to realize that possibly the 2 poles are that bipolar disorder is an affliction and a gift at the same time. The increased sensitivity brings me hell or visions and creativity.
   What I don’t know is how the disorder is seen in relation to Tibetan Buddhism. Though, as I look at the patterns of this life, many people, monks, groups have cast me out, despite especially, a group I had contributed to and participated in for 11 years. I was one of the longest-lasting members of a local monastery, yet was rarely permitted to have any ongoing responsibility. The stigma of the disorder turned into gossip that “mickey is crazy.”
   Gosh, it’s hard to accept oneself when most people around me haven’t ever experienced the extreme anxiety and dark hell of the disorder. If something is not understood, it is dispensed with. Yet, in order to open and soften my heart, I intend to love and accept this unusual rebirth myself . . . as we all have to do. We are born alone and die alone. I want to be capable of relieving the suffering of beings of all kinds. Yet guidance within Tibetan Buddhism remains non-specific to this condition. Do any Dharma practitioners out there have some helpful advice or knowledge or experience to share concerning this issue?

   And like I’ve said before: Enlightenment or Bust!