Growing up I had some difficulties with my emotions and coping in general. Around middle school those emotions evolved into something more dark and harmful. While I don’t discredit my dysfunctional up bringing, I do believe I’m just wired differently.
At first I was diagnosed with depression then that diagnosis changed to bipolar. I also have trichotillomania, which is a hair pulling disorder. I’ve been on countless medications and have seen numerous doctors since the age of 5. At my current age of 22, I can say it gets better. As with many, I’ve struggled to stay on medication. But the biggest problem I faced was my idea of happiness. My goal was to be normal and happy, but the truth is happiness is a temporary feeling even for the “normal”. I’ve learned to focus more on being stable and content (which happen to rely on my medication and therapy) . Happiness follows suite, as with other emotions. When those normal bad human emotions come, it’s easier to cope with while being stable.
We all have that one significant moment that sticks out as a bottom point. My lowest point was the day I tried to end my life. The scariest part was, I was calm. I wasn’t thinking sane or at all rational. I had attempted in the past but this time was different. I had been thinking about it for weeks and waited for that breaking point to “give me the go ahead”. My brother found me saved me with the help of a hospital medical team. I was embarrassed for a long time knowing that most people, neighbors included, knew what happened. I felt the sympathy and it really made me embarrassed.
In treatment, they teach you to not say, for example, I’m bipolar. Instead they tell you to say you have bipolar. You are not defined by your mental illness. Sometimes those simple rephrases can change your perspective on the person you are.
I enjoy educating the public on mental illness, and have learned to be more open about my experiences so that others could possibly take something and learn. I tend to grab onto others stories to gain knowledge and grow, myself.
I will always be in recovery. I have bad days and I have good days. Sometimes my thoughts get the best of me. But that’s when I can remember coping skills to persevere.
I am currently in school to become a nurse, but I have this personal goal of speaking to others about my experiences and things that have/do help me to possibly help and give to others. So many people have inspired me, maybe one day I could be of the same use to just one other person.