My whole life I have been different. In early elementary school I physically attacked my teacher because I “didn’t want to play.” They expelled me and had my mother take me for testing. I was labeled ADHD and medicated with Ritalin. Upon returning to school I was bullied without mercy. My mother stopped the Ritalin and we moved to a new home. I was different.
I had trouble trusting the friends I had. I had already seen much trauma, more than most adults will see in a life time, and I was in the fourth grade. As I grew older friendships were harder. At the age of nine I started wishing for death and shortly after lost my faith in an invisible God.
The teenage years were especially difficult. I pushed anyone close away. I was “weird” because I would have endless energy and abnormaly happy then I would start crying if the wrong thing was said. My home life a mess, the thoughts of suicide so intense that I hated myself for not “just doing it” because I worried I would fail at the one thing I wanted most of all-silence/death. No one knew my true feelings, I was ashamed.
At the age of 19 I started therapy, with many therapists, many styles, and many dx’s. I married a man who battered me and stayed for my children despite daily fights. At 27 I had a nervous breakdown, was hospitalized, and finally told I had Bipolar disorder. Yet, none of the medicines work long term. I have spent years in therapy and several outpatient and inpatient hospitalizations since. No matter how hard I try the medicines stop doing their magic and the suicidal thoughts come back. I have learned resentment for my family because it is for them I stayed alive.
I have worked as a Certified Peer Support Specialist because I put on the facade that I was doing well. I worked with others giving them hope for recovery, unable to support myself. The job reinforced what ailed me as I would share my story, my illness. I feel. I crashed. I was hospitalized and for the first time in over 20 years I am working on living for me. My life is upside down. I have no money because of medicines and lack of stability has led me to decide to file for SSDI without shame.
Slowly, I am beginning to see I have to make the choice to live, to be healthy for me. I have to be proactive in my health care. I’m taking “Baby steps” but I still have so far to go. The difference now is I am accepting my loved ones and trying not to push them all away because of an intense fear of acceptance and love. I realize after three years it’s time for a change of treatments, extremely hard because I have trouble with change and trust. But, it’s time.
If I could tell anyone anything it would be to not fear your worse feelings. Get help as soon as possible. And that you have more people that love you than you know. It’s okay to need help and it takes great strength. Even if you feel weak. Get the help you need because you WANT it. That’s when the healing truly starts. Lastly, be patient.