IT’S OK NOT TO BE OK BUT IT’S NOT OK TO HAVE TO STAY THAT WAY!
I have bipolar disorder. I suffered with it for over 15 years before I got a diagnosis at age 35. In those 15 years I had some very very low, dark times. I used to self harm. I even attempted suicide.
I had had some counselling at the age of 17 and that counsellor was very empathetic and told me it was ok to not be ok and to feel sad sometimes. I knew that it was understandable and that I wasn’t alone. I was told it would pass. It didn’t pass. At 18 I was put on antidepressants. At 19 my dose was increased. I still attempted to take an overdose which led to me taking time out of university. At 20 they changed my antidepressant to a different kind and put me on a different contraceptive pill. At 21 I was sent to see a psychiatrist who said, keep taking the pills. At 22 I stopped going to the doctors when I felt bad because I was someone with depression. That was my lot in life.
I was Broken. Defective. Faulty.
That is what I BELIEVED!
I was broken and that’s just how it was so i’d better get on with it.
The media told me more and more people were being put on medication for depression and anxiety and that mental health problems were increasing. I guessed I was just one of those statistics.
Then in 2014 I hit yet another down period and my life seemed to be crumbling around me. I just wasn’t able to deal with my emotions. It was affecting my home life (my marriage was suffering due to my inability to deal with conflict), my work was suffering and physically i was on my knees after years of inactivity due to lack of motivation to care for myself. Looking broken seemed to suit the feeling broken vibe. I’d even had to start wearing wigs everyday because I was tearing my hair out. I was a mess.
It was in one of my moments of strength and clarity that I realised I needed to go to the doctors and fight for some sort of a plan going forward because the future was starting to look very bleak. I knew I was likely to just burst into tears and play down how I felt so I took my mum with me. I told him that I didn’t want to be broken anymore and that antidepressants were not helping, and that I had had no psychological support and that I wanted answers. My mum backed me up and could help explain how I might have looked functional but I was falling apart behind the scenes. I was given a psych referral and that led to me having a 1 hour consultation which ended in a diagnosis of bipolar disorder and a prescription for another drug, but this time it was one which was life changing for me. I had no clue I was bipolar and that diagnosis made me see my life for the last 12 years in a very different light. Things made sense finally.
MY REASON FOR THIS POST IS TO SAY:
IT IS OK TO ADMIT YOU ARE NOT OK!
BUT it is NOT OK to have to settle for that for the rest of your life!
1- You might feel broken right now, but YOU DON’T HAVE TO STAY BROKEN!
2 - Depression and anxiety are emotional states that we CAN shift with the right help, be that medical or psychological.
3 - There are dozens of different approaches to dealing with these things and if you’ve tried one and it didn’t work TRY ANOTHER, AND ANOTHER. AND ANOTHER until you find what works for you. One size does not fit all.
4- You have to fight for that appointment with a specialist, or that counselling session or that medication review if things aren’t moving. If you don’t have the strength to fight, TAKE SOMEONE WITH YOU WHO HAS!
5 - YOU CAN GET BETTER. You deserve help. You deserve support. You have to believe that.
After I got what I needed my life turned a corner. I realised I could overcome my problems.
I have learnt to control my depression and moods through behaviour and habit change.
I have bipolar disorder but i not longer SUFFER from it.
I have learnt that these things can be managed, you just need to get the right help.
PLEASE GET THE HELP YOU DESERVE!