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.