Tammy O

Since I was little I knew I was different, I felt it. I just did not know why. It started when I was in high school and grew more when I got older. I would be up for 24 hours, cleaning, working on papers, trying to accomplish as much as I could. But, then all of a sudden after a few days of being up all the time, SNAP I would be driving home and hoping someone would come and hit me head on so I did not live any more. During my mania’s I have spent thousands of dollars in about a hour and then on the flip side I have attempted suicide once. My depression days, I would not get out of bed, shower, eat, or talk to anyone. I would find myself very irritable at the same time. I often felt like a yo-yo, with the mania and depression.

Moving forward several years later, finally an answer happened..I have Bipolar Disorder.I was diagnosed with this mental illness when I was hospitalized. I then a few years later was hospitalized again, both times as an adult. It all started to make sense now. At least, I had an answer for how I was feeling so “different”. Now, I had to so something about it. I have taken several different types of meds and often feel like a “Pez” dispenser. But, I know I am the one that is in charge of my treatment plan. I make sure I go to my psychiatrist and seek professional counseling. I also attend group meetings, which have become my second family. I can go on and on about my dark days, but I want to give people hope and courage so I will not.

I have taken this mental illness and I have not used it as a crutch, just the opposite, I have used it as an inspiration for others. I have become a co-facilitator for my support group and I go out and tell my story to other people in a program called In Your Own Voice, by NAMI. I have been working full time at my current job for 11 years now and I work part time as well. Having a mental illness does not bring me down. I want people to see I may live with Bipolar Disorder, but I am Tammy, it will never define who I am.

This is a short version of my story, but I appreciate you letting me talk about it. Go reach for your dreams and goals, you can do it.
Let’s stomp out the stigma together!

One response to “Tammy O”

  1. Amy says:

    Thank you for these words. I also struggle with Bipolar Disorder but I tell myself everyday that I am not “Bipolar Disorder” and this is not my own fault. I am Amy.

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