Usually when I ride the stationary bike, I like to watch something fairly mindless. My brother and I have gotten into the habit of watching Law and Order: Special Victims Unit
, which is definitely not mindless, but keeps me riding longer than American Pickers
. The other night, my brother wasn’t available to watch TV with me while I exercised, so my mom joined me. As I searched Netflix for something to watch Of Two Minds
caught my eye. Of Two Minds
is a documentary chronicling the stories of multiple individuals in the United States living with bipolar disorder.
What I love about this documentary is that it follows people of varying backgrounds and lifestyles who have dealt with the disorder in different ways. While they all share a diagnosis, ultimately the way it affects them is different depending on whether or not they take medication, whether or not they go to therapy, the quality of their support systems, etc. There are experiences that many of them have in common, such as hospitalizations, suicide attempts, and fractured romantic relationships.
Of Two Minds seems like it would be documenting tragedy, but I found it to have a resounding message of hope. There is no questioning that bipolar can be devastating, but this movie shows the resilience and power that people with a bipolar diagnosis also possess. Some interviewees go so far as to be thankful for the experience. (Personally, I’m not sure I’m quite there yet, but hopefully I’m on that track.)
Liz Spikol, a journalist who was interviewed for the film, left the biggest impression on me. She blogged about her illness for Philadelphia Weekly
and became a major advocate through her writing and vlogs. She has inspired me to start using the RECORD button on my camera more to capture some of my thoughts. If I like how it turns out, you might be seeing a vlog on The Awkward Indie Girl every once in a while!