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How I Finally Accepted I Have Bipolar Disorder

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When I was around 12 years old, I was taken to a psychiatrist and a therapist for the first time. Back then I didn’t know what it was all about and why I was there. I never noticed the signs my mother and others around me saw because I thought I was just a growing kid. I didn’t know I had different mood patterns that switched quite frequently — going from being content and happy listening to music in my room to suddenly arguing with my mother and saying and doing some very hurtful things without a reason to it. I didn’t know my random outbursts of crying and rocking back and forth alone wanting to die was not a “normal” feeling. And that’s just the thing, it was happening enough that it became normal to me.

• What is Bipolar disorder?

No one ever told me about mental health as I was growing up. I wish I knew about the conditions that are out there, but probably no one ever thought I would be one of the people who would be affected by mental illness.

As a kid, I thought I was just a burden to everyone and that they just wanted to “drug” me to help them be able to handle me and live with me. The constant changing and testing of meds and the horrible side effects I got made me hate myself and everyone around me, but I mostly hated myself for having this thing called bipolar disorder.

I wondered why couldn’t I be “normal” like everyone else around me. I though to myself, Why do I have to take pills every morning and every night just to function at school and at home? Why did I have to get stuck with this never-ending battle of constant emotions and fighting with myself?

It felt like talking to a therapist and the never-ending medication changes were making this worse for me. It had felt like I had become a burden to myself now. I started to believe I didn’t need the medicine to control my anger, to control my suicidal thoughts, to stop the self-harm and the constant beating myself up. I actually thought the medicine was making it and me worse.

And now, about to turn 25 years old tomorrow, I’m starting to accept the fact I have bipolar and everything else it brought with it. I’m starting to accept I do need the medicine to help me fight these battles I encounter.

I didn’t realize this overnight, though. It took me not taking my prescribed medication for three years and hitting my lowest point in my life (with me medicating myself in extremely unhealthy ways) to realize and accept the fact I have this condition and I need to take care of it.

I have started back up on seeing a therapist and taking medicine again and I feel like it’s just as hard as the first time, but this time I know I need the help.

I can’t fight myself anymore and act like I don’t have it, because I do. It’s not going anywhere, so I am trying to embrace it and heal all the wounds it has caused me at times. I know it’s going to be an everyday thing I have to watch and take care of, and I accept that.

And now just saying that helps me and reminds me how far I have come and how much stronger a person I am for finally accepting my life with bipolar.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

Thinkstock photo via Transfuchsian.

Originally published: August 7, 2017
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