I'm Bipolar - don't talk about it don

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(I have written this piece to help you understand Bipolar Disorder, (and my writing) a mental illness little understood by the general community. 1 in 50 Australians suffer from this illness. I am one of those 50.)


I'm bipolar. Some say keep it private. Go public ?

What ever are you thinking of !


My response? How can you be expected to understand

this mental illness if it's not raised and openly discussed ? You can't.


For too long people have not wanted to talk about it.

Sweep it under the carpet. Sorted.

We need acceptance, understanding and support.

Not be swept under the carpet.


What makes me different to you ?

Only one thing. My moods are more extreme than yours.


Imbalance of chemicals in the brain they say. Born with it. No cure.

Medications sort of keep me on track without stifling my creativity.


(they seem to think a link

exists between bipolar disorder and creativity

Stephen Fry, Robin Williams, Spike Milligan,

Vincent Van Gough – all bipolars)


At times my emotions rise suddenly.

Without warning. Intense.

Like when I'm writing. Or maybe reading your work.


I'm a strange mixture, unable at times to work myself out.

I have two sides. One flippant and playful. The other deadly serious.

They seem to play games with each other.

Both come out in my writing.

I hope my two sides will be at home at WOL


Bipolars need understanding and support.

We're human like you – our moods are just more extreme..


Please keep this in mind when reading my work.

And in communications between us.


I am here to learn, contribute. And have fun




Don Matthews June 2018



For some strange reason I don't suffer depression, only heightened moods (mania).

It can be a curse and a blessing. I wouldn't want it any other way.



There is a dead space between most people and those afflicted with Mental Illness and it's called Understanding” (Stanley Victor Paskavich, bipolar)




bipolar disordermental illness

◄ Hey Suki, You Out There ?

Brian's Got it In for Poor Tyson ►


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Don Matthews

Mon 11th Jun 2018 00:40

You're right Ray. I've discovered there is no set guideline here. No you must write this or that way. I'm so pleased as I can now give my 'mixed up mind' free reign. What you see on your screen is what comes out of the minds of the writers.

Yes Ray, we write here to express our feelings

Thanks for your support
Don ?

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Sun 10th Jun 2018 21:46

The good thing about WOL is that there is no actual standard expected in the work it presents - so you get dross next to inspired masterwork. The important thing is what we get out of it - a sort of body politic - a leveller. Many on here have found inspiration and recognition on a personal level and a sharing of feelings and ideas.
I guess this should hopefully be a good starting point to express our aspirations.

Go for it Don!


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Hannah Collins

Sun 10th Jun 2018 18:40

Hi Don,
A very important poem, very well explained about the condition but in a readable way that makes you want to know more.
I hope more awareness will develop about these health issues because they are often kept secret.
I look forward to reading more of your work.


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Don Matthews

Sun 10th Jun 2018 15:07

Thanks Martin. My career has been an educator. Through education you come out of the darkness of ignorance. Ignorance causes misunderstanding, don't want to know etc I wrote this for the specific purpose to educate. True, BD is becoming more talked about and understood but there is still a long way to go. Bipolars still hang back in the shadows. They have not yet felt free to 'come out'.


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Martin Elder

Sun 10th Jun 2018 14:37

A very fine poem Don. well done in writing this and being so honest. I believe that being bipolar is becoming more recognised amongst those who either don't have it or have never heard of it before . It is important that it is talked more so that society as a whole can move to a greater understanding and take away some of the stigma that is attached to such an illness. More power to you Don

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Don Matthews

Sun 10th Jun 2018 14:15

Anya and Hugh

My reason for posting this was to raise awareness and for whoever takes the time to read it to understand my poetry and where I'm coming from. As I have said people don't want to talk about mental illness. It seems to make them uneasy. Perhaps it's because it's not like a physical illness they can actually see.

Anya, I am in the second half of life. The advantage of being my age and retired is you're not afraid to say what you feel. I don't care what others think.. I just say it. Take it or leave it. I don't have job protection to worry about.

Damn it Anya why do we feel the need to build this false protective persona in our poetry, too afraid to reveal the real person inside us ? ( it's inappropriate don...ah hannah)

We understand each other. Yes?

Don ?

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Sun 10th Jun 2018 13:40

Great explanation,well done.

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Don Matthews

Sun 10th Jun 2018 12:49

Thankyou Anya

We write to express ourselves How we feel. To vent our emotions. I don't believe in hiding myself in the dark. How I write is the real me. I should not be afraid of 'coming out'. This 'affliction' drives me. I wouldn't want it any other way.


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Don Matthews

Sun 10th Jun 2018 09:44

Brian - good news !

I'll try my best to write good stuff
It's what I came here for
Disregard my definer
Gotta go write some more

By now you will have guessed full well
You provide good material
I've spoken to my manager and
We're planning a serial

Don ?

PS. I do not expect you to take personal situations into account when commenting on poems. I just wanted you to know where I'm coming from.

<Deleted User> (18980)

Sun 10th Jun 2018 08:02


Personally I judge the poems on their merits alone. I do not take personal circumstances into account because, let's face it, everyone could probably come up with something that defines them. Just write good stuff Don.

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