Three days before my high school graduation, I attempted suicide. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, PTSD, and depression. I was hospitalized for a month before I lied to be discharged. I was in and out of the behavioral science center numerous times. The suicide attempt before my last one, I had a seizure, and I was in a coma-like state for three days.
After that, I was admitted to the behavioral science center for three months and was sent to a state hospital afterwards. I labeled myself as a patient because, for two years (at that point), I didn’t really know anything else. I created drama and problems, I lied mostly for negative attention, I created diversions, I kept secrets, I got close to people (becoming more of a therapist than a patient—-some people thought I was trying to become a mental health worker without being obligated to go to college). I was hospitalized for one year, one month and eight days with the only breaks being the “therapeutic leaves” (a pass to leave the campus). There were times that I felt over-medicated, but (1)in a state hospital, you have no choice in the matter of taking your medications because, if you don’t they just give you an intramuscular shot, and (2)when I stopped those medications after discharge, I felt that they were actually better than a lot of medications I tried (before and after).
People may think I’m crazy, but I’m not. I’m human. I’ve made my mistakes: my suicide attempts, my lies, my manipulation. My last attempt, I made a bigger mistake than just doing that: I blamed someone else for it when they weren’t even the reason. After that, I learned how I’ve been some of the cause of my toxic relationships, and I have been trying to change. Now, I use the term “mental illness” in the loosest sense. I’m not my diagnosis, I am simply me.
I know how difficult it is to change, but it is making me a better person. Now, I live in my own apartment, I eat healthier than most (hormone-free, organic, whole wheat, etc.), I am financially independent, I am looking for a job (in mental health because I want to help those like me). Do I still have problems? Yes, it’s a part of life. My main problem at this point is the diagnosis of bipolar disorder, but even though I suffer from the symptoms, I don’t use it to create a definition of “patient.” Instead, I manage the symptoms, and I’m trying to get back on my medications because, even though I am against medication, I know I need it because, like now, I suffer from mania (mostly racing thoughts and insomnia). And, I am actually trying to live my life outside of the hospital because I have A LOT going for me (new place, job-hunting, my sister’s two children and the rest of my family).