I guess this is not a huge revelation. I’m pretty sure most if not all bipolar ‘diagnosees’ will tell you the same thing; after your diagnosis nothing is the same again. It might not be that your circumstances changed (although many times it should), but learning that certain thoughts and behaviours are due to a mental illness if very overwhelming at first. You struggle to figure out who you really are. You don’t know what is personality, and what is illness. You start taking all these pills that may or may not work, you see psychologists and psychiatrists. To me, it felt like I picked up this huge external weight that I have to carry around, but that was still part of me and something I wasn’t allowed to share with other people.
If you follow my blog you would know what a drastic turn my life took when I tried to commit suicide, because my bipolar disorder had me so convinced that it was my only option, with my obsessive thoughts and pain on the inside. People often thing it’s selfish, or a cry for help, or your life sucks or whatever. To me, it was simply losing the battle that has raged in my head every single day in a loop “kill yourself, kill yourself kill yourself”. I had no control. I tried for MONTHS to control it. I was so tired. And don’t think for a second that anyone is interested in the grimy details of why you wanted to die and how you didn’t. People are really not interested in hearing your story.
I don’t believe in regrets, but trying to commit suicide is the one thing that I would take back in a heartbeat. Because of it, because of my bipolar disorder, everything important was taken away from me. I spent six months in my home town not changing, rarely showering, barely leaving the house, not seeing or making any friends, because I was completely incapable. For a year, I didn’t have to worry about cash either, until I had to. Until I’ve reached a stage where I have to ask my mom to buy me toilet paper and food. Now I’m just stuck in a small town unable, with all my qualifications, to get a ‘real’ job, because there simply aren’t any. Oh and have I mentioned that I’m moving in with my parents at the end of the month? This is the most shameful of all, to me. I’ve been independent and looking after myself since 16.
I have an interview in the city next week; a job right up my ally. Pretty much my dream job that I gave up a long time ago because work is scarce. I have to admit, I am terrified. I don’t want to move back to the city, even though I have lots of friends there. Life here is just so much less complicated. But I am literally starving I’m so poor, and my life can’t go on like this.
For all of this; this whole story; I blame my bipolar disorder. And I can’t talk to people about it, because they don’t know that I am on close to 250 pills a month, and that my tremour is not blood sugar, but Lithium, that for most of the day if I stand up, I have vertigo, that sometimes I just stay in bed crying all day. That I feel useless and ashamed and sorry for myself often. I don’t have anyone to bear witness of this part of my life. And so it makes me more socially awkward, and even more scared of abandonment. Because I am either SUPER clingy or a closed book. And the new people I meet don’t understand the context and so they don’t understand why I am the way I am.
Because a Bipolar diagnoses changes EVERYTHING. Every single aspect of your life, from your physical health to your employment to your sleep, relationships (or lack thereof) with someone special, your friends or your family. And while you change, they don’t. Everyone else goes on with their merry lives. And no one really bares witness to yours. Once you have that diagnosis, you can try to ignore it, but there is no turning back. Not if you want history to keep repeating itself. So you try to get back on the horse of life, even when no one understands how hard it is. Even when no one understands that you’re absolutely terrified.