Hi my name is Jodi. I was diagnosed with depression when I was 17 and Bipolar Type 2 disorder and generalized anxiety disorder when I was 26. I can remember being a child and always being very emotional and as a teen having extreme mood swings added into the mix.
I became severely depressed when I was 16 and managed to put on “my mask” as I like to call it and hide it for a year until I was 17 and tried to commit suicide. I was hospitalized twice while 17, I have lost count of how many hospitalizations I have had since then. I have tried to take my own life 6 times total from 17 until 32 ( I am 35 now); and now realize that being gone does not leave behind your problems it only leaves your friends and family feeling guilty and angry and a whole mess of other negative feelings.
I finally realized that I was supposed to be on this planet for a good while and accept that now, by trying to achieve my goals and dreams. I vowed to myself that I would not let this disease conquer me or my life. I have been with the same wonderful psychiatrist for 9 years and an absolute angel of a therapist for going on 2 and a half years. I have changed greatly with the help of my therapist. I am a MORE positive person, I take responsibility for my actions, I am even attending school now to become an Esthetician, and I have been dating the most wonderful, loving man for a year now who understands my illness and I no longer define myself by my disease.
I am not stating that while I am stable I don’t experience the ups and downs of Bipolar Disorder, but they don’t control me anymore and I do my very best try to take the bad and the good in stride, I will not let this disease win.
I recently dealt with a severe hypo manic episode followed by an even worse depressive episode, it was the first severe swing in over two years. I didn’t let it beat me, I was proactive and called my doctor and am now stable again on different med dosages and a new med. I am proud to shout it from the rooftops that I did not have a single suicidal ideation during the two weeks of my recent downswing, nor did I go out and try to “self medicate”.
Not a single soul on this planet with mental illness has to let it conquer them. You can climb out of the hole and into the light. I have.