Living with bipolar, even in a mostly-stable state like me, with a job, takes a Great Deal of Work! Wasn’t expecting this book to have a person with bipolar as a main character, but he has outlined life with bipolar quite well!
From The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides
(p. 269) His main goal in the lab was to conceal his disease…He always had to wait until Jaitly and Benner had their backs turned before he tried to pull the well combs out of the agarose, because he never knew, from moment to moment, how bad his tremor might be. After he managed to load the gels and to run them for an hour or so, he then had to stain the samples with ethidium bromide and visualize the DNA under ultraviolet. And when he was done with all that, he had to start over with the next sample.
That was the hardest task of all: keeping the samples straight. Preparing strand after strand of DNA , and sorting, labeling, and storing each one, despite his flickering attention and mental brownouts.
He counted the minutes until he could leave each day.
… But every night, Madeleine made him get dressed, and they went to the dining hall, where Leonard tried not to betray his nausea or to knock over his water glass.
(p. 271) … Leonard tried, as best he could, to take things one day at a time. He did his work at the lab and soldiered through the evenings. He tried to keep his stress levels to a minimum.
(p. 287) …Being alone increased the volume of information bombarding him. There was no one around to distract him from it. As Leonard strode along, thoughts stacked up in his head like air traffic over Logan Airport to the northwest. There were one or two jumbo jets full of Big Ideas, a fleet of 707’s laden with the cargo of sensual impressions (the color of the sky, the smell of the sea), as well as Learjets carrying rich solitary impulses that wished to travel incognito. All these planes requested permission to land simultaneously. From the control tower in his head, Leonard radioed the aircraft, telling some to keep circling while ordering others to divert to another location entirely. The stream of traffic was never-ending: the task of coordinating their arrivals constant from the minute Leonard woke up to the minute he went to sleep.
[There’s more, but I’ll refrain from updating for now.