Hello again fellow bloggers,
I am currently trying to be “tired” if that is possible when I feel like I have non-stop energy. Now wouldn’t that be ‘Great’ anyone who has never experienced a “high” which can last 2 days-2months or more (in my personal experiences). Now I am not a doctor I am talking strictly from personal experience and my thoughts entirely on this subject. I have been diagnosed “depressed” “seasonal effective” “manic depressive” “mood problems” “OCD” and last of all “bipolar two or rapid cycles bipolar”! Which I am now sure, I most definitely have “Bipolar 2!” Let me start off with why I believe this is my condition which I have kind of been diagnosed but not really. I have come up with this diagnosis through reading, learning, and writing on my own/ with help from family and friends. So here we go, I will tell you a brief story of my past 8 years having a mental illness:
I was diagnosed my first year out of high school while I was enrolled in my first semester at a University in the City I am from, before this diagnosis I excelled in all classes, sports, socially, physically etc.. Anything I could be good at I tried and worked to be even better. There was nothing I couldn’t do if I set my mind to it. For example in grade twelve I wanted to go from my starting body fat of 15% to under 10 % in half a semester. With a strict diet, strenuous training and weight lifting, and running, I got down to 7%, and under 110 pounds. I had exceeded my own expectations. Due to this I got on a “kick” or “high” (we now call it), ( at the time I had no idea what any of this meant), I just knew I felt really proud and happy with everything I was doing in my life. I was starting university, I was the fittest I had ever been, I was planning on playing university soccer etc. I had so many goals and aspirations for myself as well as for my friends and family, who I am very close with. Okay so here comes the bad with the good:
I began my first semester in a program I thought I would love, as I was a people person, and loved meeting and learning about new people, places ect. I started taking sports event management (tourism), as I had been in serving for about a year. I started off loving the program, learning and excelling , making friends andgetting A’s. All the good stuff you would expect if you had always excelled in school and sports. I had been taking 7 classes and working 2 jobs to start my first year of university and, “OF COURSE” I could do this , I could do anything. So my brain told me. Ergo, this was not the case, half way through my first semester I started to get really bad anxiety, I thought I wasn’t doing good enough at school, I then began to feel low and depressed at work, I didn’t want to talk to people anymore, I just wanted to run and do my homework and be alone. This wasn’t like me, I liked to socialize, and hang out with all the new friends I had made through my program . Why was my brain doing this? Why couldn’t I think clearly? I had to seek help. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t eat. I was so anxious. All I could do was cry because I did not know what was happening to me. I was “star stunned” if I can use that expression in the right context. I first went to my parents to see if they could help me. My mom immediately tried to research what was happening to me. I had to go to a doctor, where I was diagnosed depressed. I tried dropping 3 classes and working less. That still didn’t help, I got worse and worse, until finally, all I could do was drop all my classes and leave University. This was devastating to me! I had an older sister and a twin sister excelling in there first and second years at university. I thought for sure I would do the same. I thought for sure I could do this just as I always had. I continued to work as I felt like I needed to do something or else I would be a complete failure, and I would never forgive myself. I worked 5 days a week however, I became lower and lower and more depressed each day. Eventually, I had to work less and less until I finally had to take some time off. This was my first “HIGH to LOW” Bipolar 2 episode.
I was, if to say the least, “dumbfounded,” and completely depressed with no confidence or any energy or power to do anything. I didn’t talk to friends, I stayed in my room.I watched movies . The only people I still communicated with were close friends and family. I became a “hermit” for a month or so. Until I eventually stared getting “It” my “high” back!!!
As the years continued I just go into a routine of expecting to get sick every winter, this went out for 5 to 6 years. Each year I got help from my family and loved ones. My mom worked every year to try and change things. Change my situation, my circumstances, make things easier, whatever she could she did. She read and took me to doctors, looked after me, did everything in her power to make me better. We didn’t understand this, why was I getting worse each year. And each year I tried the “newest” “greatest” drug or mix of drugs. I felt like a rag dog, like the doctors were using me as an expirment to see what concossion of drugs would work for my brain. What I didn’t realize is doctors don’t know any better. They are only taught the drugs out there on the market for antidepressants, antsicotics ect. They tell you the side effects of all these and they are all horrible as you need to take toxic levels of all these drugs for them to have any affect on your brain. I also didn’t know how harmful these drugs really were to me as I listened to whatever anyone had to tell me. I just wanted help. I just wanted out of this state of mind out of this body out of how I was feeling. I couldn’t take it anymore. After about 5 or 6 years we met a new psychiatrist and I loved her:
My new psychiatrist seemed to know everything. She seemed to get it. My mom and I were relieved. Could this really be the doctor for me? I was so happy. I was diagnosed “Manic Depressive” rather then seasonal effective. Wow- I couldn’t believe it! Someone actually understood how bad I really got. We started a medication regime as well as regular sessions. I was doing much better and feeling good about the upcoming winter. I was going to be better. I was sure of it. However winter came again in 2012 and I wasn’t better. I was worse. I was sad, depressed, suicidal. I upped all the antidepressants I was on. I added Ativan to relax. It wasn’t helping! WHY? I just wanted to feel good like I do in the summer. What was wrong with me> y brain must be fed-up. Why wont these drugs work for me? These questions ran through my head on a daily basis continuing to destroy me and bring me to the end. I couldn’t take it. Finally I decided I had enough! We needed to do more or something different.
The following summer I got better again an was happy as ever, still on a small regime of antidepressants and anti-psyichotics, while I was off Ativan( since I was not having anxiety attacks on a daily basis as I was when I was depressed.) I decided if I kept taking these drugs through the summer my next winter would be way better, it had to be right? I was doing all the right things. I was taking my medication as told, I was seeing a doctor every few weeks. I was getting regular blood test and physicals to make sure all my physical symptoms were fine. This had to be the right plan? What else more could I possibly do to get myself better? I was WRONG, very wrong! However through this last journey I met the most amazing man ever. And we are still together today.He has been there for me through my last depression as well as my “”upswing” which I am in now. Now for my last bit I advice you not to read this if you get sad easily. This is the “NOT SO NICE” part of having a mental illness. The:Dark-side” to being sick.:
I was going to try something new this winter once again. I was going to move to Florida with the love of my life. I was going to be in the sun all year round. No winter for me. Yippeeee. How wonderful would that be? I didn’t have to work. I got to live on the ocean. I got to run, swim, play tennis; Pretty much have the best winter ever. Or so I thought. And it all started out amazing. Our condo on the beach was perfect, our view was amazing, the pool was the perfect size. I loved having his two beautiful daughters staying with us( who I became close with). It was all great, I loved it. Until, I didn’t love it. If that makes sense. I started to feel a little down as it usually starts, then ALOT down. and then ALL the way down. And this year it happened within a week. I couldn’t stop it. I was falling from a cliff and couldn’t slow down the fall or break the landing. I was gone.
These horrible, horrendous, dangerous, scary thoughts and whatever other scary word you can think of were so frequent now. They bombarded my everyday mind. They wouldn’t leave. They consumed me to the point that, I couldn’t take it anymore. I couldn’t continue on like this. It was to hard. I was scared for my life. “Literally.” I knew I needed help, but I was so far from home. I had no one to get me there. I was to scared to tell my boyfriend that I need that much help. I didn’t know what he would think of me. I don’t think he knew How Bad I really felt. He tried everyday to cheer me up. He would bring me flowers, and stone crab, he would take me for walks on the beach, try and take me for dinner anything in his “powe,r” he did for me. But it wasn’t enough. I couldn’t do any of this without feeling completely nervous and “ship wrecked” and out of my element. It was the worst i’ve ever felt in my ENTIRE life. I Couldn’t not take it. This was the end. I was writing myself off. And so one day when I couldn’t take my life, my brain, my mind, my useless, my constant worrying, my burden on everyone I cared about. I thought the only way to loose all this, the only way out for me was to be “out.” To be in a better, happier place. A place that only entered my mind when I thought about going to this place. This place in heaven, where all my troubles would be gone. Where I wouldn’t have to be anyone else’s problem anymore. Where I could be free. Where I wouldn’t constantly be bombarded with negative thoughts. With thoughts of how fat or ugly or how bad my skin was. Or how poorly everyone thought of me. How people constantly judged how I looked and or anything else they could judge about me. I couldn’t see anyone. I couldn’t go out in public. I was done. And then it happened. New years eve.
Beep, Beep, Beep, I awoke to this sound. Where was I? What was in my arm? Who was this lady holding my hand? Praying to me? Why was I all alone except for this women I didn’t know? And then it all started coming back to me. I knew why I was here. I knew why I was alone. I knew why I felt so groggy and tired.
I was in the emergency. How did I get here? Who called them? Did my mom know? Where was my boyfriend? All these questions instantly flooded my brain. I was panicked once more. And then I wasn’t. I fell back asleep and when I awoke who knows how long later, I was being excorted to a new hospital, by a police officer. She was very friendly however, I didn’t like riding in the back of a police car. That was a tramatic experience in itself!
I was taken to a mental hospital In Florida. Where I Spent the next 3 days. And that was an experience let me tell you. If you have every seen those movies where they are on lock down in the metal institutes. Well it was just like that. It was truly horrible. We only got to go outside for 40 minutes a day. We weren’t allowed sugar, caffeine, salts, or basically anything that tasted good. Visiting hours were only for an hour each day and you had to be in a secured locked room. It felt like I was in prison. And for what? Omg, I will never do that again. I fortunately got a room by myself which was my saving grace there. For I would have been way worse if I hadn’t. I cried most of the day and called and talked to my mom and my boyfriend as much as I could. I was so scared. I wanted to go home. I wanted to see my mom. and She flew in the next day.. I finally got to go home on the 3rd day.
The next month went on as a blur to me. And my mom and I decided finally, I wasn’t going to get better and it was time I go home and get medical help in Canada as I did not have a doctor in the states. So at the end of January we flew home.
Now I’d like to say I got better right away. But, that was not the case. I did however have my family to support me. I missed my boyfriend so much but I knew I needed to be home for so many reasons. And while it was really hard for me to leave I knew it was the right choice for the time. I had to get better before anything. I had to do something. I couldn’t go on like this. However, I spent most of the next months weening myself off all the drugs I was on and watching Netflix. Doing little things as I felt I could. Some days were better then others. And before I knew it, it was April and he was coming home to me. I was nervous but very excited.
After this I slowly but surely got better and better each day. Even though it didn’t feel like it at times I knew I would recover. But I had a lot of things to over come from this. I had a lot of things my brain and mind and body needed to repair. It would be a long road to recovery. And I promised myself I would try each day to help myself and let others try and help me to. And eventually I came out of this deep, dark, daunting, depression. The light was back. The noise was gone. I was free once again.
I am thankful to all my friends, family and loved ones for all the support you have given my through these past 8 years and through all my good and bad times. I am forever grateful to have such a great support system and it is probably the reason I am here today writing this blog.
Here are a few pictures of the people who have been there and cared for me throughout my journey:
Until next time,