Follow my blog with Bloglovin Rita Wanderlust: Coming Out

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Coming Out

I'm coming out of the proverbial mental health closet:

Last year I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.  I was briefly hospitalized and it was one of the most traumatic events of a life filled with traumatic events.  I've been struggling with depression and anxiety for the majority of my life.  At least as far back as I remember.  It may sound dramatic to say that I was depressed as a seven year old but I was.  I just moved to a new country, I didn't know the language, I had no friends, my father was handicapped, and my mother had to be the sole provider.  So, I might have been depressed at a very young age.

Being diagnosed with bipolar was kind of a relief because at least now I knew why standard antidepressants weren't working for me.  But slowly I found that medicating for bipolar is just as complicated.  I was on a medication for PTSD, a mood stabilizer, three medications for sleep/anxiety, and an antidepressant...and I still felt like shit.  I also gained more than 40 pounds in just a few months.  Sadly, we still haven't found a treatment that works for me.  It probably doesn't help that I refuse to be on any medication with even the slightest chance of weight gain.  I figure my psychiatrist could use the challenge...I don't think she agrees.

Regardless...I'm trying to make the best of things and live a fruitful life.  The problem is that what I consider fruitful is probably unrealistic.  I'm almost 30 years old and I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. I'm terrified of the future.  When everyone else will be retiring with their spouses and nice 401k, I'll still be working because I wasn't lucky or motivated enough to find a path I wanted to take.  And that's the problem with mental health issues.  They make you feel like a failure because they take away your focus and drive.

There are days when I feel fantastic, days where I feel like I'm on the verge of becoming manic, and days where I feel like I'm at the bottom of a pit and will never claw my way out.  The past couple of days have been like that so I figured I'd share my struggle for the few that read this that might be going through the same thing or know someone who is.

One of my favorite TV shows is Supernatural and one of the lead actors, Jared Padalecki, has a campaign to support the fight against depression.  This only makes me love the show and cast even more.  I was happy to support the cause and I will proudly rock my new hoodie when it arrives.

It especially hits home because "I am enough" has been my mantra for a while.  Every time I start to think I am not worth it, I am too weak, I am a burden, I try to remind myself that it is all a lie my bipolar is telling me.

I know, it leaves very little time, but there is still a day left to support the I Am Enough Campaign, and get a cool shirt out of it.

This has been an incredibly personal post and if you are reading it, thank you.  You just being here is helping more than you know.