The Mighty Logo

What I Wish I Could Say to My Young, Undiagnosed Bipolar Self

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

Editor's Note

If you experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.

To my younger, undiagnosed bipolar disorder self:

I know it hurts. I understand it hurts so bad. Right now, you feel isolated and confused and you have absolutely no idea what is going on. Your mind is absolute chaos, and your world is slowly turning into ruins. You are walking in the dark for what seems like forever, but I want to tell you that you will end up finding the light — just hold on.

• What is Bipolar disorder?

I know you no longer feel like yourself. Things have changed and you don’t recognize the person you have become. You become aggravated at the little things, and a lot of your thoughts don’t make sense anymore. You do things impulsively, and you are so lost. You cannot sleep, and you really don’t know why. You were always a good sleeper, so why are you staying awake for days on end now? Sometimes, life is the absolute opposite and you cannot wake up. Leaving bed is hard — it is so hard. And, quite possibly the worst part of all, nobody knows how sick you are. You are so good at pretending to be OK.

I want to tell you that everything is going to change. Soon, you will find the courage to sit down with your mom and you will tell her something is in fact very wrong. You will tell your mom you think you are “going crazy,” and she will tell you that you are not. You will have enough courage to confront yourself, and you will be strong enough to confess everything. Your life will no longer be a pile of secrets, and you will feel like you can breathe again.

You are going to see many doctors and have many appointments. Many days, you will feel like giving up because it will take a long time before someone gives you a definite answer. But I promise, one day, a doctor will sit in front of you and say “Megan, you are bipolar; you are not crazy. We have a treatment, and you are going to get better. You will be OK.”

You will begin to take medication, and these small pills will give you your life back. You will be free of the racing thoughts and dark ideations. You will no longer want to die, and you will find a purpose again. You will be at peace and you will accept your diagnosis. You will no longer spend your nights in hysterics, crying to God and asking what is wrong.

You will live to be 21 and you will be thriving. You will have the greatest group of people surrounding you and rooting for you. You will have turned your bipolar diagnosis into a positive outlet for change. You will laugh often, and you will have experienced love; I am talking real love, not just the love you felt when you were in mania. You will be successful and perfectly capable of caring for yourself. Others will look up to you, and you will truly be making a change. Life will be so beautiful, and you will be so happy. You, my dear, are going to be a survivor, and you will be so very happy you chose life when everything in the universe was telling you to choose death.

Follow this journey on the author’s blog.

Photo by Paula May on Unsplash

Originally published: March 14, 2019
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home