When I was DX’d with MI back in 2005, I never knew what it was, how it would impact me, but it has. To gloss over some details, I’m a self harmer, addict, in abusive relationships and my official DX that is current is Bipolar Disorder NOS, Borderline Personality Disorder, anxiety, I have major depressive disorder and PTSD. I have OCD tendencies as well. Before I knew it, my life did a 180, and then the pieces fit. I felt different, I realized that the destruction I caused to myself and others was because I wasn’t in therapy, no medications for stability, and that I was in sheer denial. Almost ten years later, I have a daughter, I am finally getting my degree, I’ve apologized to all those who I wronged because of the mental illness (except for those who were abusive to me because I’m still working on that side of forgiving), recovering from self harm and addiction, but there still is the stigma. I’ve lost employment because of the medication schedule that I am on. I have heard being called ‘crazy’ and ‘nuts’ so many times, it still hurts, but it doesn’t affect me like it did ten years ago because I know what I have, I know what is wrong with me, and I know how to fix me. It’s everyone else who is ignorant to what mental illness is and how to interact and react to those with it. I am glad my college does understand and working with me. We need a system that works, because so many are falling through the cracks, like I did for along time. It’s why I go out there, I share my story when my anxiety doesn’t flare up. We need more voices than we need those who hide.
R. from Indiana