The Mayo Clinic classifies Bipolar Disorder as a mental disorder that 'causes extreme mood swings that include emotional highs (mania) and lows (depression). Bipolar disorder often starts in the late teens or early adulthood, but sometimes begins in childhood. It involves an imbalance of the chemicals and brain function that regulate emotion, likely caused by a complex set of genetic and environmental factors.'
"Did you ever think while you were growing that up you had something as severe as 'bipolar disorder' lurking in the dark, waiting to be diagnosed?"
"Honestly, no." I ran my hands through my hair before I finished answering his question. "I knew I was different and that there was possibly something wrong with me, but never once did I think that I would have to struggle with it."
"What happened after you were diagnosed with it?"
"I cried. For a couple of days. I wouldn't leave my bed and I wouldn't answer calls, emails, texts, you name it."
Remembering those days are hard for me both mentally and physically.
"What finally got you out of bed?"
"I don't really remember. I know that whenever I have an episode, as sterile as that sounds, my bandmates and Kristy normally help to pull me out of that place and get me semi-stable."
I use the term episode. I can't stand it. Yes, the swings are sporadic and vary in duration, but I still hate it.
"Now, I've met Kristy and I know who she is, why don't you explain to your fans and viewers who don't know, who she is?"
"Kristy is my fiancee. She has got to be the nicest person on the planet and the most patient."
"How is she patient?"
"Like I said earlier, she's been the fueling force behind this band and this career. I didn't make this career for myself. She did. She is the one that gives me confidence enough in myself and in my condition to be able to go on worldwide tours and sometimes I do slip up. I have had to be hospitalized multiple times in the past and I have tried killing myself too many times and every time she's there to pull me off the ledge."
"Has there ever been a point in your relationship where she wasn't there for you?"
"No. There have been times where she shouldn't have been standing behind me and times where I wanted her to leave and never come back, but she's never listened to me when I've said those things to her."
"There are only a few more questions before you and the guys play us some of your stuff."
"Alright." I clutch my head again for what seems like the thirtieth time.
After more than just a few more questions, I'm standing off to the side of the stage and Nate is saying something to me.
"You were really open man."
"Was it a mistake?"
"No, of course not, I just don't want you to have to deal with stupid people."
"There are people that will have a problem with me being bipolar?"
"There are people who will have a problem with you for being you, yeah."
I don't reply and instead walk out onto the stage.