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More than a diagnosis!

I have been trying to wrap my head on this for a couple of years now and haven’t even told many people. I only “admitted “ it to my PCP a few months ago.
I have struggled with my mental health since puberty. Depression, anxiety, ‘mania’, etc. and I was diagnosed with bipolar 1 at the age of 23. It felt horrible and amazing to know there was this name for the stuff I had struggled with. I was given several medications and told to go on my merry way.
I will not get too far into the details of my ups and downs but the next several years were additional diagnoses including fibromyalgia. I spent the next 20 years on (and off of my own doing) on an SSRI, bupropion, and lithium. All the standard treatments for my diagnosis.
The years added more issues and diagnosis, chronic pain and fatigue, Hashimoto’s, and other autoimmune disorders. I refused to let these hold me back and as is my way….which is more clearly understood now…I researched and decided others should know they are not alone. I was very vocal and open about my Bipolar and the struggles of living with it. I told my story to people, wrote several thesis papers in college, and I have been told my work helped people.
Forward 20 years later and I found an amazing psychiatrist who listened and changed medications to some terrific new treatments and for the first time I was so much more than the barely making it above being depressed to feeling like a “normal” person. Then one day after having finally being stabilized and my mental health so much better she says to me, “So what have they given you for your ADHD?”

“What ADHD?”

After this discovery and managing it well my entire outlook changed. As usual (seems it is because of my neurospicy self) I researched everything I could on my ADHD diagnosis. I discovered how so much of my life, habits, behaviors, etc. were now clear.

I had spent years thinking I was broken and couldn’t understand so much of my behaviors and why I couldn’t control certain things I did (or didn’t do). The shift in my understanding of the world brought me to tears and I started to give myself the forgiveness I needed.

I was doing really well and working on the tools I needed to be the best me and loving all the parts of me. THEN my doctor pulled out the rug.

She told me , “You don’t have bipolar disorder. Your undiagnosed ADHD, anxiety, and atypical depression look very much like it. You were misdiagnosed.”

I spent so much time thinking the Bipolar was a part of me, and spoke openly about it. Educated people on what it is to live with it. Worked to help remove the stigma of Bipolar……. So now what was I? A liar, a fake, spreading misinformation to people? I felt horrible and wanted to go back through the last 20+ years and apologize for everything I had spoken about, every paper I wrote, every time I told someone I had BPD but was successful in spite of the struggle. I was at a loss now of how to handle this new definition of myself.

After time and therapy and working through these issues I have finally reached a place of clarity and understanding. I am more than a diagnosis, I still did good in the world by talking about my mental health, I spoke from a place of integrity and the things I spoke about were still my experiences regardless of my diagnosis, and I did make a difference.

I am enough, YOU are enough….regardless of the diagnoses…..regardless of good times or bad…..regardless of your prescriptions…… we are enough! #Bipolar1 #neurospicy #ADHD

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The Holidays For Me As A Black Autistic Woman

The Holidays For me As A Black Autistic Woman

We all love the holidays don’t we? Family, food, festive gatherings, gifts etc… well me personally I hate them! Here’s why. We come together and bond over food with our family we bond over gift exchanging we bond over catching up with what those we haven seen in awhile are doing, its all love languages its all love, so how could you Hate, Love? Love can be triggering too, as a late diagnosed autistic I was and still am looked at as rude and stand offish meanwhile I’m just trying not to faint from sensory overload , yes it’s great to see family you haven’t seen in a while its beautiful they all came together, cooking for each other is a act of love but for me… seeing too many people at once especially those I’m not really used to, gives me anxiety, being forced to eat different foods made by different people ( because turning down food at a black gathering is a crime) with different taste, textures, smells, the mixture of all the different smells and seasonings because you know seasoning is important, the overload of the different range of and tones of voices all running together etc is adding to the sensory overload you are already having from the overstimulation from everyone wanting to and proceeding to hug you because there haven’t seen you in awhile, its A LOT and while it may seem harmless those that don’t understand autism and doing harm by not even attempting to learn about it I don’t fault my family or black community because a black face has never been the face of autism and a black women has definitely never been the face of autism, luckily at black family gatherings there’s a coat room you know the designated room where all the coats are in a room on someones bed ( which by the way bothers me because that’s outside clothes on a bed) but that’s besides the point, there’s a always a room with coats and occasionally a sleeping baby, but my point is its quite there and I can escape and hide there until I’m physically and mentally able to somewhat function around everyone again, to avoid being called rude or being in a bad mood or being disrespectful , black grandmothers and elders do not tolerate disrespect and what black grandmothers do you that are familiar with autism and autistic traits? Not many if their not doctors, teachers, or some other type of expert etc. so while the holidays are great for some and I love my family and relatives The Holidays for me as a Black Autistic Woman are something that I celebrate being over #Autism #Autistic #AutismAcceptance #actuallyautistic #autizzy #SensoryProcessingDisorder #SensoryOverload #Neurodiversity #neurospicy #neurodivergent

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