30th March 2018
Today is World Bipolar Disorder Day.
We’d like to present you a model, a friend and the driving forces behind the One Model One Story initiative: Ugne Mikalajunaite
After studying and working in China for nearly two years, Ugne has now moved back to Lithuania. However, she continues to be involved in a variety of mental health initiatives in both Lithuania and China.
Ugne first joined CandleX as a model for the MoodLab project but quickly became a full-time volunteer and the coordinator of the project. She has also been living with bipolar disorder and anxiety for many years. These experiences not only taught her how to cope with her emotions and the world, but also inspired her to work in the field of mental health.
Name: Ugne Mikalajunaite
Country of Origin: Lithuania
Time in Beijing: 2015-2017
Occupation: Content Marketing
Going with My Mind
Ecstasy. Energy. Aggression. Paranoia.
Thoughts were speeding through my mind like cars on a highway. I thought I was on drugs. I could work at 200% without eating or sleeping for days. The rest of the world was too slow for me. It was too inefficient for my liking. It upset me that they cannot keep up. I would shout in rage; I would churn in such manic velocity; I felt like I could conquer the world.
But alike the way engines run out of steam, I eventually come down from the high. It is never too clear when the manic episode ends, but after some days, I can tell myself “I’m normal” again. Funnily enough, it’s slight disappointing sometimes because I become significantly less productive.
Then, I occasionally slip into a state of deep darkness. I do not want to talk to anyone, and my anxiety runs high. I break down. I panic. I have no energy left in me. I go into depressive thoughts and withdraw myself from the world.
Sometimes it’s a bundle of conflicting emotions, sometimes it’s confusion and other times are just moments of passivity.
I have learnt to be kind to myself to cope with these pendulum states.
I do not freak out when my moods shift radically, but rather see it as part of my mind: I go with it.
When the darkness fades, I try to eat more, setting alarms to remind myself. I may take a day off and go outside more. When the mania sets in again, I use the pulsating creativity to work.
There is always a way out of the confusion.
Another heart-touching story that accompanies a photograph as part of the “One Model One Story”. By sharing these brave experiences, we hope to encourage those struggling with mental health issues to become more open about their feelings and improve the community’s understanding of mental illnesses.
The fundraiser is going towards the photo-album, another major part of the Moodlab Project. This book will feature all the photos and stories of the models; it will also feature some facts and stats regarding bipolar disorder for educational purposes.