Did You Take Your Pills?

When I got diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, the world I knew caved underneath my feet. I’ve said it before, and I will say it again…I was terrified. As soon as my doctor said those two magic words, I tuned her right out. Before I knew it, she was listing me numerous types of medications. She sent me on my way with a prescription for Lithium. Everything was going so fast and I couldn’t hold onto anything.

The pills worked. They gave me a much needed break from riding the roller coaster ride of hell. I have never felt so calm in my entire life, I felt like a brand new person. Is this what it feels like to be “normal”? If so, then I envy you. Unfortunately, it got to the point where I felt like I didn’t need them anymore. Everybody around me kept telling me “NO! You need to stay on them! They are there to help you!” But I didn’t listen. It didn’t matter what anybody told me. All I knew is that I didn’t want to be on them anymore, and I wasn’t about to let anybody tell me what to do anymore.

Looking back, I think I just needed time to process everything. Everything had happened so fast, I wasn’t given the chance to take a minute and breathe. I snapped. I lost my job and a month later, my apartment. I didn’t tell anyone what was going on with me except for the friend I moved in with. Because of that stunt, my counselor filed a missing person report on me. When I found that out, I was so angry. All I wanted was time to be left alone and this is what I got? My thinking was so irrational at the time, all I could think was how angry and betrayed I felt.

Eventually I was able to fix things with my support team, but things weren’t going so well at home. I was constantly feeling so high and so low. I couldn’t find a level ground. I guess it didn’t help that I was using quite a bit then. Things at home went from bad to worse in the blink of an eye. I was relying so much on my friend to help hold me up, that we eventually both crashed to the ground. In other words, I destroyed the friendship I had with her because of how weak I was.

After that, I made a drunken decision to move about six hours away. To this day, I am really happy I made that drunken decision. Living in a town where nobody knew me, I was able to figure things out. I got myself a job and quit doing drugs. Unfortunately, I was still drinking. Self medication, anyone? Friends and family still don’t know the reason why I moved, but now the internet knows the truth.

I am so thankful I spent last Christmas with my extended family because they played a huge role in my acceptance of having Bipolar Disorder. Without realizing it, they truly did help me. In a world full of judgmental people, it dawned on me that I’m not alone. There are other people out there going through the same thing as me. That it’s completely okay to take medication, because it’s not my fault I have a mood disorder. I didn’t ask for this. With the right tools and a healthy support system, I know I can manage this. I know that one day, I will be okay.

I just needed to figure it out on my own.

Much Love,
C

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Dear Ten Year Old Me

Dear Ten Year Old Me;

You don’t have to be scared anymore. You are finally in a safe and loving home. Nobody will ever hurt you again. Every day when you come home from school, there will be a meal on the table for you. You won’t ever have to worry about going hungry again. You finally have a Mom and Dad who would do anything to protect you and give you a good life. It’s ten years too late, but you finally have a home. You’re going to be okay.

Things are going to be a little different now. There will be rules to be followed and chores to be done. Doctor and counselling visits will be required. Don’t hold anything back, it’s okay to tell your story. You are safe now. School is mandatory, do your homework and study for your tests. Mom will be giving you extra lessons, please don’t get mad. She only wants the best for you. Lastly, your brother and sister won’t be there with you. Don’t be sad. You will get to visit them. You are allowed to write letters to them and talk to them on the phone. Mom and Dad know how important your brother is to you. It will be okay.

School will be very hard for you. Classmates will make fun of you because you aren’t stick skinny and you have a speech impediment. Don’t listen to them. Focus on your grades and don’t be afraid to join different school activities. It’s okay if you aren’t a star athlete, just have fun. Try making friends. Not everybody is out to hurt you.

I want you to promise me something. When you get older, don’t take your eyes off the prize. School won’t get any easier for you, but don’t let that stop you. You’ve gotten this far. Prove your past wrong. You can achieve anything your little heart desires. Work hard, and study harder. Listen to Dad when he tells you to “Focus”. Don’t ignore him. He only wants the best for his baby girl. He knows you deserve the world. Go home and thank Mom for helping you with school. She worked hard to get you where you are.

Obstacles are going to come and go in your life, but I know that you are strong enough to handle anything. God has a plan for you. There may be days where you feel like giving up, but please don’t let the darkness win. You have a purpose, you just need to find it. Don’t let temptations win you over. You don’t need anything or anybody to make you happy. Look deep inside of you and find the light. It will help guide you when you start losing your way. Follow that light and you will be okay.

Much Love,
25 Year Old Me

Bid Adieu

2017-image

 

This year started off with a big bang and ended on the same note. I entered the year by packing my suitcase and waving goodbye as I flew off to Mexico. January was literally filled with anticipation as I envisioned myself dining on platters filled with Mexican cuisine sipping on Margarita’s. Ever since my teen years, I have been fascinated by the Mexican culture. You can bet that this was a trip of a life time for me. I treated it as a “welcome back” gift to myself. I had hit rock bottom so hard the previous year that the only way left for me to go was up. When I moved away from the city to start my new life, all I did was break sweat and climb my way back to the top. I didn’t look back once, there was nothing left for me back there. Mexico was a trip that was well deserved and well needed.

When I came back home, I went back to hustling. As rejuvenated as I felt, I paid no mind to working towards my dreams. I threw on my uniform everyday, and exhausted myself in a work environment that was no good for me. Shortly after, I decided to make a run for it (again) by purchasing a plane ticket to Portland, Oregon. If you haven’t noticed by now, I have the tendency to run from my problems – whether it is moving or simply traveling. Even as I sit here typing out this post…I’m already planning my next move. I may have been going through a small manic episode when I bought my ticket to Portland, but it was most definitely worth it. I reunited with old friends, and met new friends. I fell in love with a city that reminded me so much of home. It was a break my soul really needed. Portland also gave me that push I so desperately needed in the right direction.

I continued working at my job for a few more weeks, while looking for a new job. Sadly, with the amount of hours I was given – I couldn’t handle the stress between work and my home life. I became very aware that I was headed for another episode, so I went to the doctors and got a note to give me two weeks of absence. Instead of giving myself that two weeks to heal, I ended up getting another job. I was so excited about this job, it was in the industry I have been trying so hard to get myself into. I felt like it was something I could do, and that it would open so many doors for me. Unfortunately, it didn’t. That job lasted a mere three months before I realized it was completely unhealthy for me. At this point, I started seeing a counselor. I knew that if I chose to go down the route of not taking any medications for my illness, I had no choice but to see a counselor. I couldn’t go through this alone. Once my counselor was aware that I was working an overnight job, she never gave up on telling me how bad of an idea it was. Me being me, I was too stubborn to listen to her. This was my dream job! How dare she tell me to give up on my dreams! Further down the road, I realized how right she was. I was even more exhausted than I was with my last job. I couldn’t adjust my sleeping schedule no matter what I did.

Most people would quit their job by handing in a two weeks notice. I didn’t. I was at a ‘friends’ house, decided to drink instead of showing up for my shift. When my boss called, I answered completely intoxicated. I couldn’t hold myself together, and ended up breaking down. Truthfully…I can hardly remember what I told her. All I know is that I quit my job through alcohol.

That was a fairly low point of 2017 for me, but at the same time, I had just signed a lease to my very own apartment. I felt like a bouncy ball. I hit the pavement and soared right back up. I was a total mess. A few weeks later, I moved into my apartment with the bare essentials, my cat and working at my old job. I hated it, but felt like it was something I had to do. How could I survive without having a job? I was already on disability, but society told me the only way to survive is to get a job. Even if I wasn’t mentally ready.

Possibly one of my worst decisions I made in 2017. I wish I was strong enough to stand up and say that I’m not ready. I need to give myself time. I need to work on myself before I put myself in a chaotic environment. This time around, I opened up about my disorder and made an agreement that I only work part time. That agreement only lasted for about a month before they threw me back to full time again. Sure, I missed working…but I didn’t miss putting myself at risk for another episode again. I did everything I could to hold down a job and quiet my mind down without being on medication. Who was I kidding? I just wasn’t strong enough.

Before my most recent episode, I bought (another) plane ticket to Portland…this time to go to a concert I have been so anxious to attend. Like Mexico, this was a huge highlight of my year. I have been a huge fan of this artist for roughly seven years. Finally being able to see him perform live meant the world to me. His songs have always reached out to me and helped me believe in myself. He fought for his dream despite society, and I knew that was what I had to do. This was when I created my Twitter account and shortly after my blog.

In a very short period of time, I have gained almost 300 followers on my Twitter account. I am so proud for what I have accomplished, and know that this is only the beginning. I worked hard for this, I created myself a name. I have so many plans for next year. I want to share my story with the world. Let others know that they are not alone. If I can get through my bad days, then so can you.

I may have ended 2017 with a fairly rough episode that costed me my job, but I am grateful for what this year ended with. All in all, it wasn’t a bad year. I had some mishaps, but ended them with a positive note.

I am going to end this post with one of my favourite quotes.

“The best revenge is bettering yourself.”

Bring it on, 2018!

Much Love,

C

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