Former professional baker specializing in vegan and gluten free recipe development. Current eater, baker and blogger in Calgary, AB.

Creative Mind vs Hypomania

Creative Mind vs Hypomania

I wanted my blog to be more personal so...

I have bipolar disorder and separately, I am creative.

I spent a lot of time wondering how to tell people "I don't have a rekindled passion - I'm actually just bipolar" but this isn't the case. I don't want to sell food, I've been there, I don't like. I want to share my recipes, my knowledge and my life because I like to and I want vegans to eat good food.

     Upon starting Paper Tiger, I was excited to have a rekindled passion and so were the people around me. When you do something you love, people get really excited. I had a coworker helping me pick out a name after I was bright eyed and gleaming at him. He even knocked on my door one afternoon with a small piece of paper with name ideas on it. I had another colleague draw me a logo - the Paper Tiger. Friends, family, and acquaintances were all over me giving advice, connections, ideas, inspiration, and offering support in any way they could. I'm lucky to know so many great people and my biggest support throughout this entire experience was my other half.

     Having a supportive partner is a blessing but when I'm ramping up to a manic episode and the love of my life tells me that he will help me do anything I want, there is no voice of reason:

"We can move across the country or go into horrible debt if it makes you happy!

     This support was incredible and, after 6 months of depression, we were both happy that I was doing what I love again. As well, he was inspired to begin pursuing goals of his own and we each did our own creative pursuits for awhile. Eventually though, his support turned into concern and I got a stern:

"How do you turn everything you love into something that you think about every second of every day?!"

     It's not normal for someone to drop out of school to impulsively start a business but I did this. Within a month, I had made costing spreadsheets, I had finalized recipes and got packaging, displays, ingredient labels, a food handling permit, trade name, a website and an up and coming Instagram page. Then one day I found myself leaning on the counter, surrounded by multiple unsuccessful rapid baking attempts and said, "Shit" and in that moment accepted I was in a manic state.

     My psychologist was completely supportive as well - seeing me for an hour once a week, I can't blame that she was under the impression I was just achieving my goals because I  was. I was in denial because being manic is baller, but when I walked in and admitted the state I was in, she sent me to urgent care immediately following our session. As I walked out, she said, "You have your whole life to achieve your goals."

     I had been stable for three years, and not surprisingly, was reassessed with bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder. THIS IS OK. I had medication changes and just as much support following my visit and have re-stabalized but have barely baked a thing. 

A problem with being medicated for bipolar disorder is the perceived loss of creativity.

     I always knew that being medicated "stifled my creative brain" and this is kind of true. My creative brain is there both ways, but medicated I don't have a new idea every 30 minutes and this is disappointing.

    Being medicated also means I don't have 50 tiny notes in my purse from writing down each idea multiple times. I don't bake non stop without regard to the quality of what I'm creating. Medicated, I don't crash my car, smoke a pack of cigarettes a day, pick at my skin, pace and hyper-organize, yell and cry and scream, and I can make it through work without snapping and then wanting to kill myself when I get home. Medicated, I am still creative.

Being stable and being creative are things that can live in harmony.

     There are trade offs that have to be made when treated for bipolar disorder and balance is key. I wanted to bake again because I wanted to share my passion. I want to showcase who I am and what I can do, which are two different things as well. Get ready for vegan baking, as well as pictures of my outfits, my cat, expansions on mental health, and my daily day-to-day. I don't want to start a business and my recipes will be up for grabs shortly.

I'm here for you and the moo. xoxo

 

 

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