Six months ago, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I was devastated by the idea. Not that one…. Surely not that one.
The stigma was palpable. I, myself held some beliefs that were questionable.
We see celebrities stand up on national television, coming out for those with mental illness…. And say, “oh wow… So brave”.
Which is funny because a lot of people have implied to me that perhaps writing about my experience with mental health is ill advised. “What if you never get hired again because of this?”
I suppose it’s a valid concern, in some ways… But it feels a lot like being told to stay in the bipolar closet and….. Basically live a lie. And I won’t do it.
I started out terrified. Relieved as well because knowing what was wrong meant knowing the steps to take to get here. To a healthier place every day. I’ve begun to understand the disorder as well as how it specifically affects myself and my family.
There’s a huge learning curve, but my quest for knowledge means that I’ve been pretty good at reading, attending classes…. Just being generally proactive.
I’ve learned in 6 months that I can be level. I can be the girl I used to be. I can regulate my emotions better than I have been.
There is hope.
When we talk about suicide, we always plead with anyone struggling to please reach out. Tall to someone. Seek help.
But when I was stuck 6 weeks ago, everyone has the same thing to say. “Oh Lindsay,” I heard over and over… “Don’t talk like that.”
That’s confusing for someone on the edge.
Suicidal brains are not wise. They’re chaotic. Unpredictable. They’re hurting. They don’t have a great deal of wiggle room once they start seeking help. It’s like an addict who wants to detox; they’re giving you a window of opportunity.
My advice is to always take it seriously.
I’m amazed that I’ve changed so much on Abilify. I’m not suicidal. I’m not in a downward spiral. I’m starting to understand that a fair amount of the struggle is the disease, and not me.
It’s not my fault.
Yesterday is gone.
As for tomorrow, there is hope.
For the first time in a long time, there is hope.