The boldness of this title frightens me. That someone I know could stumble across it and have it blaring in their face. But it’s true world, family, friends–whomever. I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder at age 16 and perhaps you’re expecting to hear that my world stopped. It didn’t. If anything it accelerated, spiraling out of control. I remember blurs of time in my life that race past my mind’s eye like traffic out of a car window. There’s a lot of the last 15 years that I just don’t remember. Pieces I’ve repressed, others…was I even present?
To be clear, I was only diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder after being misdiagnosed with depression. I was given Prozac and sent on my way. Well, the Prozac threw off my chemical balance even more and catapulted me into a manic episode that ended in near-death experience. I was hospitalized. It was then that I was given the diagnosis that I have battled with, ignored, cursed, and disassociated from my whole adult life.
I was prescribed one medication after another to try to calm my mind and nothing seemed to work. It didn’t help that I wasn’t taking it consistently. And oh, how I denied. And blamed, the medication made me sleepy, groggy, slow.
Two years ago, yes, just two. I finally came to terms with my diagnosis. I began taking my medication consistently.
Do I embrace my diagnosis? Mm, not yet. I have accepted that it is a part of me. Though how big of a part, I’m still trying to determine.