I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder back in 2015 when I was 16 or 17. For years, I’d been told I had major depression, but I along with everyone in my household suspected something else was wrong. Trying to explain what was going on in my head to countless therapists and psychiatrists seemed impossible because both my concerns and my mom’s went unheard.
Back then, I didn’t really know how to advocate for myself which is something I still struggle with. The medical professionals I was seeing weren’t listening. I also knew that I was on the wrong medication regardless of what the psychiatrist I was seeing at the time said.
Something was terribly wrong.
Eventually, I couldn’t bear the pain any longer and I attempted suicide again. I always describe it as an explosion in my brain. This attempt led to me being hospitalized then placed in a youth day program. That’s where I met the psychiatrist who diagnosed me with bipolar disorder. I explained my symptoms to her and after answering her questions, she told me my fate.
I was overwhelmed with so many emotions. A part of me was relieved to finally have someone listen to me. Another part of me was angry because I tried to tell past therapists and psychiatrists that something wasn’t right. An even bigger part of me was terrified.
What does this mean? How will I live with this illness? Should I tell other people? Will I be ok?
I had numerous questions. After talking a little longer with my doctor, she prescribed me Seroquel which for years played a key role in my stability.
Seeing the Positive
While having bipolar disorder isn’t necessarily a positive thing, it has brought some sunshine into my life.
Opening up on my blog and social media about living with bipolar disorder has allowed me to connect with so many amazing souls. I had no idea the positive impact sharing my story would have on others. I’ve had numerous conversations with people who have reached out to me telling me how I’ve helped or inspired them.
Being this vulnerable with strangers on the internet isn’t easy. However, knowing that by sharing my story I’m making a difference in someone else’s life makes it all worth it.
I’ve always said having bipolar disorder is like being on a never-ending rollercoaster ride. Sometimes I’m up, sometimes I’m down, and sometimes I’m sitting at baseline.
In a way, being diagnosed was like a wake-up call. I got on the right medication, was in therapy, and was serious about my recovery.
I wasn’t ok for a long time before being diagnosed and even after. It’s taken years for me to reach a point where I’m mentally stable. A point where the good outweighs the bad. I’ve reached a point where I can function and do everyday things and honestly that’s all I’ve ever wanted.
Over the years, I’ve experienced multiple episodes that landed me in the hospital but I always pick myself back up and keep going.
I know that bipolar disorder does not define me. Yes, it’s a huge part of me but it’s not all of me.