I've thought about how to write this since my diagnosis. I've thought about what kind of feelings it might bring up from my mom, former friends, and even myself. I've rewritten it a thousand times in my head, but never could quite get the words onto my notepad, but tonight I'm going to sit down and write it.
I know some people will read this and think that it's pathetic or not good enough, but I want to tell my story.
I'm gonna tell you what it's like to be misdiagnosed as a kid with "depression and anxiety." At 13 or 14 the doctor told me that I was depressed, then later when my moods were more anxious, it was anxiety. So, I went on medication for both. I lived with both. It was a constant back and forth between the two and my therapist never caught it. My doctors never could give me the right medication or put their finger on "what was wrong with me," but my mom could. She recognized my toxic behavior on accident.
She jokingly said one day, maybe it's bipolar. Little did we know that it was. Her diagnosis would be right.
I remember sitting up so late at night, countless nights, and wondering what was wrong with me. Wondering why I was so angry at the world when nothing was really wrong. I remember crying myself to sleep at night or sitting in the bathroom, bleeding. I used to self-harm because the world seemed so unfair. I just remember thinking so many times that my head was too messed up to fix. Then after five years of living with endless nights of wondering why I was so sad one minute and so angry the next, the doctor diagnosed me with bipolar. This is a recent diagnosis, so I am still learning to live with it each day at a time.
In addition to my diagnosis, I also started talking to God more, something I hadn't done in a long time. It's important to my story because nobody ever really asked me what made me so angry. Many nights I was angry at God for taking my grandmother away from me. Many nights I was angry at my mom for almost dying and continuing to smoke cigarettes. Many nights I was angry for no reason at all.
I think most of all though, I was just angry that I was angry.
It's not a switch that I can flip on and off, even as I write this I feel the dreaded blues hover over me, but I took my medication today, Aripiprazole.
It's the best thing that has happened for my mental health in a long time.
Sure, sometimes I'm really tired. Too tired to stay up and play cards with my parents. Sometimes I'm too tired to hang out with my friends, but every single day I feel alive again. I feel like I can make it through the day and that's an accomplishment in my book.
To anyone who has seen the way I talked to my mother in the past, I'm working on it. To all my former friends who recognized my rollercoaster of emotions before I did, I'm sorry. And to everyone who has helped me on my journey — thank you. To God, I'm glad you're back with me and I'll be there for you from this point forward.
I'm living with bipolar disorder and I'm working on being the best me.