I haven’t been honest with my readers. Not as honest as I told myself I would be when I started this blog. The last few months of 2016 were not my best. My mental health wasn’t at it’s best. I haven’t talked or told many people about this but I feel that it’s time.
In the past week I have scrolled down my Facebook timeline and have seen that two people that are connected with those on my friend list have committed suicide. I didn’t know either of these people personally, these weren’t people I have ever said hello to, but they were friends/family of those I do know. I have read countless posts captioned “he/she was so happy and full of life, I never would have known.. he/she has so much going for themselves.” etc..
Can I just continue by saying this – Mental illness does not discriminate. You know why you hear of so many well-known people taking their lives? So many wealthy people being admitted to a behavioral hospital? It’s because when it comes to mental illness, none of that matters. Mental disorders don’t care if you’re famous, loved, rich. They do not care if you have the life that those around you can only dream of. Take a look around you. Someone you know is struggling, suffering in silence.
At the age of 12 I was self-harming. At the age of 12 I was contemplating suicide. At the age of 12 I was diagnosed with major depression. I still remember crying myself to sleep every night. As a child I had a lot of pent up anger. When I was 16 I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder (I’ve talked about this in other posts). This is something that I am becoming more open about as time goes by. I understand it is not all of me but I am accepting that it will always be here. I mentioned the last few months of 2016 being tough.. on November 20th I attempted suicide, this resulted in me spending some time in the hospital. Up until now.. aside from the nurses, doctors, a few friends and family members I haven’t shared this with anyone. Part of me is ashamed, part of me wants to act like it never happened. I want to act like I didn’t reach that low again.. a low that I have been working so hard to make sure I never go back to. Reality is I did, reality is that I have a mood disorder, I take medication daily, I’m in therapy and I see a psychiatrist. The medication does not make it go away but it helps me find balance in my life. My chances of having an episode while on the right medication are seldom.. but the possibility is still there. Without medication is a whole different story..and I know this because I’ve had to live it. Accepting that I have bipolar disorder means accepting that there are certain things that I have to do that I may not always want to in order to keep myself going. It means that I have to accept that even if my treatment is going well.. and I haven’t had an episode in months, there’s always a chance of me being triggered.
I have bipolar disorder. I have an anxiety disorder. Yes I have extreme mood swings. Yes my anxiety is easily triggered. It’s something I no longer wish to hide out of fear of judgement. I’ve come across people who have attempted to make me feel like I am less than because of this. I can’t sit here and say it’s never bothered me but I can say that I will never let these type of people stop me. The stigma attached to mental disorders is why so many people never seek help. The misconception of what they are is why I will continue to be open. Open with those around me, on my social media. Open to learning because there is still so much that I do not know. I feel like if me sharing my personal experiences helps even just one person in some way, then it’s worth it. It’s worth the judgement I have faced and will continue to face. The purpose of this post was to put my story out there for others to know that they are not alone. For anyone reading this to know that there is help out there and that it’s ok to ask for and receive it.
I have another post where I talk about preventing suicide. I will link it below.
My email firstname.lastname@example.org is ALWAYS open if anyone ever wants/needs to talk about anything.
I hope that all of you have a great week!