My name is TJ and I am Bipolar 1 or 2 – whichever has manic episodes. I found this out when I was 19 at the very end of my freshman year I was taking finals and then going to head back home to St. Louis for summer break. A lot of weird things went on during that week. One of the first nights of finals I got food poisoning and had to go to the hospital at 3 in the morning and stayed there till like 11, missed my final that morning and had to make that up so I was feeling a lot of stress with getting sick and school and being down because I was fitting in socially down at the school I was at. So the next night or the night after I got back from the hospital I will never forget this. I was watching a show on discovery channel it was “Stephen Hawkings Into the Universe”, and I’m a big fan of that stuff like space and God, so when I was watching this show I asked my self, “Why can’t God just be the original Scientist?” And then it was like a flood of thoughts about God and life in ways that I had never thought like or about before.
This was the start of my first manic episode. So all these thoughts I was having I was writing down, just writing anything I thought. And I still believe that I was thinking about some pretty cool stuff but I was just acting way out of control I was weirding people out, writing crazy things on Facebook and just clearly not acting normal. So when I was heading home for the summer I took an exit to get gas because I was really low on fuel but there was no gas so I just kept driving and my phone died on the way so I couldn’t tell my parents where I was at. Long story short it took me 8 hours to get home which is usually a 5 hour drive so my parents were freaking out when I got home and then I terrified them just saying and doing weird things. The next day they took me to the hospital and I was there for a week.
That was in 2010. So after that I worked in the summer and ended up at a community college in St. Louis for the semester and got things back to normal. The next semester I was going to transfer to Mizzou. When I started at Mizzou I joined a fraternity that some of my high school friends had joined. I was having a really good time but I wasn’t on any medication at the time because a previous doctor had taken me off of it. So about halfway through the semester I started to lose control. I was having problems with my roommate and my mind started to think about those old thoughts. So one night I was watching one of Kevin Hart’s stand ups and in one of his jokes he says something like ‘go or leave or something’ and I thought he was talking to me and I grabbed my keys and jumped in my car and just started driving. This was at like 11 o’clock on a school night. This was the start of my second episode. I ended up driving through the night and ended up in Marshall Missouri. I wandered around the town left my truck behind and ended up getting picked up and taken to the hospital. I was there for about a week.
Once I got out of Marshall I tried to go back to Mizzou. When I got back my mind was still not right, so one night I went over to the fraternity house and I drank way to much and I blacked out. I don’t remember a thing I did that night but whatever I did scared a lot of people and I got taken back to my apartment and threatened my roommate and clearly scared him too. That night haunts me to this day and I wish I could apologize to everyone who witnessed me that night. When I finally became conscious again and sobered up I was in the back of a van and I went to jail for awhile. They transferred me to the hospital by the school where I was at for about a week.
I got out finally straightened up and got control of my mind. I ended up going back to Mizzou, no fraternity this time lol, and I finished school and graduated last June 2014. I’m working full time now live on my own with a buddy and have an established group of friends again and I’m back on track, very happy and very blessed to be where I am at today.
After the last episode, and I was back home from Mizzou, I only had my family. I had no friends, no girls to talk to and I was completely all alone. I was so depressed and so down because I always thought, “There’s no one like me. No one knows what I went through. No one’s gunna want to hang out with me. No girl’s gunna want to date me”. Whenever I thought about my disease and how I would have this the rest of my life I just felt hopeless. But now I view it as my strength because it didn’t kill me, I learned from it, I thought about some really cool stuff, and I just realized how unique I am compared to everyone else because not a lot of people experienced what I did. I just hope that my story and my strength can help other people. God Bless.