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.

3 responses to “TJ”

  1. Meggan says:

    very brave of you to share and it seems as though you have a healthy perspective regarding your diagnosis
    how excellent that you refer to your illness as “my disease” because it’s no different that any other affliction, whether it be medical or mental health
    best of luck to you

  2. Leigh M says:

    You are a gem! Thank you for sharing your story.
    I am so sorry that you had to go through so many heartbreaking things in your young life but I, like you, think these things make us stronger.
    I firmly believe that from bad, good always follows. I also believe that this is from God’s grace. I pray for God’s blessing for you young man. And isn’t it cool to be soooo unique?! lol!

  3. Laura says:

    You rock, Mister! Thank you for sharing your story with us. We all have to keep the faith. God will help us get through this stuff that only we understand. Hugs

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