We received a submission from someone who wishes to remain anonymous. This person is currently battling bipolar disorder and bravely shared what it’s like to live with a mental illness. This is an honest inside look on what it’s like to live with bi-polar disorder .
We know that what you’re going through is incredibly difficult. We also want you to know that you don’t have to go through this alone. We know there are so many people out there who can relate to your story. We are so proud that you were able to #findyourvoice
“I have a mental illness. It makes me selfish. Regardless of my best intentions, I have been a selfish sister, partner, employee, friend, daughter, and addition to the planet. I get suicidal. I say I’m going to do things, but I don’t. I’m inconsistent. I’m unpredictable. When I’m sad, it’s over powering. I cannot control it. No amount of positive thinking or trying to control it can control it. I usually just need to cry it out, and let it pass. During those times, I’m perceived as selfish. I see that. I know it’s not true, though, because it’s not my heart. My heart wants to love and give.
What happens is, the chemicals in my brain go haywire. I don’t think straight, sadness comes over me, or irritability or anger. It makes me hate myself. It makes me hate others. I usually want to be alone during those times because when I’m with others, I feel judged. I also hurt them. I am judged for being weak, inconsiderate, an attention hog, an actress, a “drama queen”. I hurt others when I pull away, say things I don’t mean, fail to show up, or show up and create a scene . It isn’t because I don’t love others. It isn’t because I don’t love myself. It’s because the chemicals in my brain go crazy.
If I drink or do drugs, the chemicals become crazier. It is suggested to get therapy, so I have. Lots and lots and lots. Yes, it is expensive, and no, a waitress with a mental illness who was self medicating all throughout college cannot afford it. yes, because my mom and dad love me, they paid for it. If I hadn’t had gone, I would have killed myself.
You think I’m happy, but I’m not. I have a mental illness. I am dying, every day. I have a hard time getting out of bed. Nothing makes me happy, not even meeting an amazing man or getting everything handed to me. I don’t want to be this way. I am not ok. Maybe you think I’m selfish and I’m honestly fine with that. I know that I am fighting for my life. How selfish would you have thought I was if I kept going drugs and killed my self? Without therapy, and moving home to break down at my parents time and time again, I would have. That’s a promise.
I am deathly afraid to get married. Imagine the toll on the other person. Imagine how it feels to be with a good human and know that I am ill. I have a mental illness that makes me terrible to be around sometimes. I have to live with the fact that my erratic behavior hurts that person. I have no one to talk to about it, unless I pay them. I can’t talk to my parents, my mom runs and tells everyone. I can’t talk to my siblings, they are over hearing about my woes. I can’t talk to my spouse because it scares him. I definitely can’t talk to my friends because they mostly have no idea.
I can’t afford therapy. I’m 30 years old and refuse to ask mom and dad to pay for it. I have done everything I can to help myself. Going to therapy and getting sober is work. If you think I’m selfish and you hate me, fine. There really isn’t anything I can do about it. I am trying to enjoy the happiness of being engaged because I have never been happy. Also, I know it won’t last. You have every right to feel the way you do about me. If we have kids, they will have to deal with me, too. Even worse, my greatest fear, they will have a mental illness, too. I’m afraid. I’m trying to enjoy being engaged, but I’m not. No amount of reassurance will make me feel like my partner won’t hate me. He will, and when that day comes I’ll be alone.
Then there’s the medicine. The nausea, insomnia, numbness, weight gain, loss of sex drive, memory loss. I go off of it and feel fine for a few days then have a break down. I don’t trust the doctors. I don’t trust anyone. I find myself isolating more and more. I am terrified.”