Almost Happy To Be Bipolar

Two faces - smiling and serious

Like any other bipolar person, my story is an ongoing, mercurial one.  I grew up in a so-called “normal” family that hid its problems and I had no reason to believe I would live anything other than a regular, successful life.  I was an intense and often sad person in high school but it never hurt my functioning until college when it began to overwhelm me completely.   I became so anxiety riddled that I couldn’t raise a glass to my lips successfully.

I was alone and so depressed that I began taking Prozac.   I went to my families general practitioner so I wasn’t really properly diagnosed and I didn’t want to be.  My focus was on getting through.  I was in college!  It was go time!  I just wanted to function and be happy.  I didn’t want to leave the perception of the world I had grown to love, namely one where several illusions still remained and I was still “normal.”   Sadly, I was till feeling horrible.

Prozac wasn’t the “magic bullet” so many ignorant people (including me) thought it was and I ended up taking drug after drug, looking for the one that somehow make me all better.  My anxiety was also so enormous that I was on an enormous dose of benzodiazepines.   I threw everything I knew at a problem I didn’t understand but my condition worsened.

I was first diagnosed bipolar when I was 22.   The diagnosis hit me like a sledgehammer.   I was at the point in my life when I needed to be taking off.  Instead, I was being buried in the ground and my shrink was shoveling the dirt on my coffin.   I couldn’t handle the disappointment.   Sadly, my parents were as poorly educated on the matter as I was and my father thought I was lazy and not trying as my grades fell off the face of the Earth.   He got angrier at my failing production as I got sicker.  I became resistant to medications in my desire to be “like I used to be.”  That has led to several clinic stays and a massive psychotic episode I had in public that will always be hard for me to live down.

My last clinic stay was in 2006 and I’m a lot better and a lot wiser now.  I’m writing a book partially based on my experiences in clinics and I’ve grown into a much better person that I was when I was growing up.  My pain has led to greater enlightenment.  In that way, I’m almost (almost!) happy I’m bipolar.

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