I was always different. I knew I was destined for something great as I struggled to keep from drowning in my every day. I was an addict, I was a thief and a liar. I took ownership of all the ugly I did and decided it was who I was. And then I was diagnosed. Not just like that, I had to reach a place of indescribable pain and isolation and have someone come help pull me out just long enough to go to the doctor. When I heard “Bi-Polar,” I thought my world would end. I wished I were dead harder than I ever had before. All I knew about it was what you saw in movies and read in books and I was NOT a crazy person; I wanted to know what was wrong with me but I was really in the market for something much more manageable and much less socially stigmatized. But in that moment of sheer panic I made my choice to get better. I thought, “You finally know what it is that has been helping to hold you back, you are so lucky, let’s fix this.” 
With the support of an extremely loving and communicative family I dove right into treatment. I entered an outpatient program on scholarship, I began to attend weekly therapy sessions (again), I attended weekly DBSA (Depression Bi-Polar Support Alliance) meetings, I read many books, I journaled, and it was so hard. Harder than anything I had ever even imagined doing. And it felt like it was taking SO LONG for me to see any real changes. But then the changes would sneak up on me and I’d wake up one morning and the thing I was working on the day before was suddenly that much easier, that much clearer, that much more manageable. And so it went. It has now been over two and a half years since I was diagnosed. I am a bright and shiny person that people love to be around. I have gotten clean, sober, quit smoking, and even ditched caffeine (ok, well I had to drop that one because of my medication.) I live a happy and productive life and am back  school to learn more about starting my own business. I have a wonderful life, and I love myself.

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