Identity Crisis


Lately I’ve been feeling a little bit of an identity crisis. Mainly because I have two conditions (Aspergers and Bipolar Type 2) that color my world, outlook, and personality so much that it leaves me wondering what is left that is actually me if you took those two conditions away? Who actually is Maranda Russell without the neurological disorder and the mood disorder? I like to think that the heart of me is just me and not caused by some condition outside of my control, but I’m not sure if that is true. After all, the creativity, intelligence, thoughtfulness, child-like innocence, and sensitivity I am often known for and complimented on could all be well known traits from the Aspergers and Bipolar. So who am I beneath all that? I really don’t know.

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Hi! I am an artist, author, and blogger who also happens to have Asperger’s Syndrome. I have won several awards and honors for my writings and artwork. I suffer from a few severe mental illness and chronic pain conditions (Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, Fibromyalgia, CFS/ME, Ehlers Danlos, Degenerative Disc Disease, etc.), which greatly affects my life and makes me want to advocate for others going through similar things. Other interests of mine include reading, writing, drawing, watching cartoons and movies, collecting toys, hanging out with my family, and annoying my 3 cats.

12 thoughts on “Identity Crisis”

  1. I am on the Autism spectrum though I don’t have the bi polar disorder. The two I imagine can be more than a challenge. Do you keep a diary?

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  2. I definitely understand this feeling. When you think about it though, we could all ask similar things of ourselves. Not only conditions like Aspergers and bipolar, for which genetic factors most likely play a huge role, but even questions of environment, upbringing, education, relationships, etc. Who would any of us be if we’d had radically different experiences with these? They all can and do shape what is most central to each of us, yet we’re never reducible to them. And there are as many variations of Aspergers/autism and bipolar as there are people who have them — yes, medical science can establish categories like bipolar 1 vs. 2, but these will always remain generalities. All these labels weren’t even formulated a century ago, and a century from now, they’ll be tons more for things we haven’t even thought of yet. But even then they won’t come close to capturing how each of unique, because persons in their essence can never be reduced to objects to be classified. So I don’t in the least think any of these things that you “have” detracts from the unique (and amazing) person you “are.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw thanks so much Landon and you make some great points here! Especially about them just being labels and how in the future the labels will likely change and be vastly different and new stuff might be discovered we know nothing of now. I like that way of looking at it.


  3. Maranda, we are who we are. Your Aspergers and bipolar give you weaknesses and strengths, just like every other aspect of your personality. It’s a bit like asking ‘Who would I be if I was born to different parents?’ I think we need to claim ALL of ourselves as acceptable and worthwhile.

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