Chaos.That is what being bipolar and having a mental illness can bring. I was no different. Even from the very start of life, I would stay awake for days on end and cry, my parents had no idea why or how to stop their baby from crying. As I grew into my childhood, my moods were all over the place. I would run around my kindergarten class kissing every girl over and over again. I once was suspended in second grade for two weeks because I threw a tantrum after loosing a kickball game and ran away from school. On the other side, I was a bright and determined student. Everything was a competition and when I did poorly, I hated myself. My mother died when I was ten years old, she finally succumbed to untreated mental illness and she reached a breaking point and then she was gone.
Soon after I was diagnosed as manic depressive. I was put on zoloft, but soon faked my way into getting by without medication. I began faking my whole life, all my moods and ideas, etc. During my teen years, I excelled at school, yet hated myself and constantly wanted to die. I felt ugly, awful and wrong. I felt wrong.
I just kept faking it and faking it until I couldn’t anymore. I took everything to excess and used everything I could to stabilize myself; including alcohol, relationships, money, etc. It became a game of hide the real me and put on a face of confidence. In the middle of graduate school, I broke and finally had enough. I went to a counselor on my campus and was diagnosed bipolar. From there, in the last three years, I have seen over 17 psychiatrists, 40 counselors, taken over 30 different medications, and went to suicidal lows and extreme manic highs. Life became miserable. And then it all changed. Or actually I changed. I stopped fighting. I stopped trying to beat my illness. I gave in to knowing I am mental ill, but didn’t give up on myself.
These days I have a masters degree, I am stable on medications, I see a therapist as often as I need, I have a strong support system in place, I have a great job and my friends and family support me. I am a strong advocate for mental health and I volunteer often. I was a broken soul. I had no direction and no hope. Now, I am being made whole. It all started with me giving in and taking ownership of who I am and the illness that I have. My life is a blessing these days yours can be too!