Today is the day I begin sharing the when and how Bi-Polar entered my life in a noticeable life altering way. By the age of 24 I had 2 children, no husband or boyfriend, and was fighting my daughters father for child support. At the time it felt like I just woke up one day and something inside me said “I can’t do this anymore and here’s some sadness to prove it”.
I had always been particular about how my home looked. Often times friends or family would comment on how I could have young kids, lots of pet birds and still the house was spotless almost all the time. Something had changed in me and for several weeks I had been hiding the fact that I could not seem to find the energy to clean or really do much of anything. It took all I had just to get out of bed and make sure the kids were fed. I bought boxed cereal to save myself from having to cook breakfast. More and more convenience foods began to show themselves in my cupboards as I lost my usual desire to cook and experiment with new foods. I started to think I was lazy, crazy or both. I remember vividly the day my best friend came to my house, looked around and said “What is going on with you!” All I could say was “I don’t know. I’m tired all the time, house chores overwhelm me and I constantly want to cry.” She told me she thought I had depression and needed to see a doctor. Hmmm interesting… I didn’t know what depression was but she seemed fairly certain so I booked the appointment. The doctor spent all of about 10 mins with me and sent me home with medication for depression. It seemed to me that ten mins was not really enough but hey I was no doctor and at that time I believed doctors always knew what they were doing. So I filled the prescription and began what would become a long and stressful journey into figuring out what was truly wrong with me.
Neither me or my family had ever dealt with this before, so the understanding and support for my decision to take medication wasn’t there at first and that made it easy for me to justify taking myself off meds as soon as I would start to feel better. I went up and down over and over again as I tried to get comfortable with needing meds. Did I ever get comfortable? No not really, but, I learned to live with the fact that I needed them. Often I felt like I was less of a person for not being able to force myself out of the nasty slump I was in. Soon the meds caused side effects. My stomach was always upset so I was put on more meds to counter that. I started waking in the middle of the night with sudden artistic inspirations. I had strings of nights where I would sleep little or not at all. I’d do jumping jacks and run up and down the stairs to my house hoping to wear myself out. Nothing worked. New meds were added to help me sleep. This cycle of meds, side effects, new meds… etc… went on for nearly ten years.
“Maybe you have to know the darkness before you can appreciate the light.” — Madeleine L’Engle
I have light in my life now and I could not be more grateful for that. It is what motivated me to share my story. I want my story to help others get back their dim or vanished “life light” Often I struggle with how much to share with the world but I’m opting for the share more vs share too little. To me not sharing enough would limit the impact my story would eventually have BUT I am open to constructive criticism. If you have ideas feel free to email me or add a comment. Have a fantastic day!