Hi guys!!! Welcome to everyone new, and hello to all of my readers. I decided to repost this introduction to really re-explain why I have this blog and what I’m here to do.
On January 26th–12 therapists, 5 psychiatrists and 2 hospitalizations later–I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I cannot adequately describe the whirlpool of disorienting fear and terrifying relief I endured as my doctor delivered this information to me. I stared at him. He smiled at me. He told me I’d (probably) be okay, that a life full to the brim with handfuls of pills and stringent routines and constant therapy would (hopefully) manage my “mental illness.” And as utterly overwhelmed as I felt, I also felt the immense calm after the storm, in my pit of my stomach, telling me that it was okay to be crazy. It is okay. Four months ago I was misdiagnosed with depression. And the only thing crazier than a bipolar person is a bipolar person on antidepressants. Antidepressants keep serotonin in your brain longer, which often helps people with depression. But for a person with bipolar, like me (still weird to admit), the happy brain chemicals can force her into a manic state. And manic was I. This one was not what I call my “good” manias: rapid speech, shopping sprees, overdrinking, undereating, not sleeping, and lots of exhilerating disasters. This was one of my “bad” manias, my worst one to date. 16 weeks in my personal hell. I had daily panic attacks so severe that I felt I was dying, my heart beating so fast that I knew it would soon give out. My eyes were permanently bloodshot from tears. I couldn’t breathe. This drug-induced “bad” mania got me institutionalized. Twice. The nurses took away my shoelaces, my underwire, even my deodorant, and absolutely all of my dignity. I glared at the white, bleached walls of my jail cell and believed that was where I belonged forever. But, thanks to psychiatrist #5, my hell is gone, at least for now. I am beginning to hone in my crazy for the first time in my life. I am learning who I am when I’m not knee-deep in my mood swings. Most importantly, I am reminded every single day that I am so loved, by so many people, so much more than I deserve. You give me the strength to accept my diagnosis, to even get a tattoo to forever represent it. A bright pink arrow up for mania, and a dark blue arrow down for depression. Thank you.