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I Wish I'd Sought Help for My Bipolar Disorder Sooner

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Have you ever woken up feeling really great, motivated and driven to achieve almost un-achievable things in a single day? Only to then burst into tears for no apparent reason after finishing your morning coffee?

• What is Bipolar disorder?

That’s what having bipolar disorder is like almost every day. For those who are wondering, I have type 1.

I’m now hitting my mid 20s, and only just starting to understand who I am. As a kid, I was a typical “naughty, restless” kind of kid. Always staying up after bed, stealing food restricted for special occasions, even my parents’ money at a young age. I always felt I’d never get caught, as if there was no consequence to anything in life. Then a few weeks of school go by, and I’m in my bedroom on my bunk crying my heart out. Thinking everyone hates me, that the teachers hate me, realizing that I hate me.

When I was that age my dear mother tried endlessly for years to help me to me seek support for my mental health and I always pushed it off, never took it seriously. I attacked her and others when they said they were concerned. I lost friends, girlfriends and almost everyone due to my own actions. I’m extremely grateful that my family and now lifelong friends have stuck by me during all of these episodes as I’ve learned to identify them as.

In my early 20s I was in a pretty busy and successful band, touring Australia and signing to a record label, all that cool stuff. Now looking back, I can see that for almost the entire time I was in a mental state what my doctor has taught me as mania. I was overworking myself everyday, working a full time job, managing the band, always putting everything into it. While also trying to maintain what was then a serious relationship.

That person put a lot of patience, care and love into me, but always encouraged me to seek help with my mental health. As before, I pushed that advice away. And there went four of the best years of my life. Not seeking help then is something I regret to this day, and to her I apologize for everything I put her through.

Now I’ve just turned 25, and yes I’m starting to feel better, but it’s still a long, long road ahead. If it wasn’t for my medication, therapy and support network (especially my best friend, a young Whippet) I don’t know where I would be, or if I would be here at all.

I guess the message I’m trying to get across is, seek help as soon as someone tells you to. Don’t fight it. I put people through hell due to my own ignorance, nothing more and nothing less.

I have bipolar disorder, and I’m not scared of my black dog anymore.

Getty image by francescoch

Originally published: February 18, 2021
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