I thought I could get through this with just prayer, but it doesn’t seem that way. I’m on medication and it seems to be helping. I know I go through bouts of hard times and everything, but I’m much better than where I was when I lost everything a year ago.
There. It’s out there. To explain, I have bipolar disorder. It’s not something that is easy to live with, for me or for anyone around me. I have periods of stability, for which I am very grateful for, but other times, I am higher than a kite. Superhuman abilities, that’s what I think of myself.
Let me be more specific. When I was 19, I had an episode. I’m inclined to label it a “nervous breakdown” because identifying with my mental illness is hard. (Look – I’ve been blogging for 5 years now and never even admitted to it once.) Either way, I lost it. Leading up to the breakdown I was under a severe amount of stress in college. It all came to a head when I came down with a terrible cold and wasn’t sleeping. Eventually, my mania rose and rose until I was flying high. Everything seemed possible. Everything was better than fantastic, it was outrageously fantastic. You couldn’t shut me up. I just kept talking and talking and talking and writing and writing and writing. The world seemed glorious at that point.
Then it started to get scary. I was panicking. I couldn’t drive, I got out of the car and ran to a stranger’s house and begged her to let me in. Said I didn’t know where I was or how to get home. The cops came and picked me up. Later on, my parents drove me to the hospital. They were scared to have me committed, so they kept me at home.
The second episode I had was fairly recent. I just had a newborn baby and was not taking the right medications since I was breastfeeding. I wasn’t being monitored on these meds as I stopped seeing my therapist, and this was the perfect combo for me to run face-first into another episode. This time I was ranting and raving like a lunatic. I crushed my own glasses, trashed my car, threw my keys in the river and went racing down the road, running from my paranoid thoughts.
Eventually my husband found me in the middle of the road and picked me up to take me home. The cops came and I said nothing. Later on, I thought I was possessed and started having a full-on exorcism on myself. The paramedics came at that point, and I was able to get the help I needed by going to the hospital and then later to a psychiatric ward for a two-week stint.
So where do I go from here? I know I have this illness and it really affects the family. Right now I’m recovering from a depressive episode that has lasted for a little under a year. I’m on 150 mg of Zoloft, 100 mg of Lamectal and a Klonopin now and then.
There. I said it. The dreaded word: Medication. As if I am a zoned-out zombie shoveling purple-colored pills down my throat. No, it’s not like that. They help me stay stable so I don’t go berserk and go running down the street like a maniac.
It’s just hard to confess all of this. That’s why I am looking for your support. If there are other blogs about living with mental illness, please direct me to them. I need to know I’m not the only one with this up and down roller coaster of a life.