Bipolar Story Shared November 24, 2014
“What is bipolar disorder?” “Why do I have it?” “What have I done wrong?” “What is happening to me?”… are the thoughts, I started to think, when I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
I couldn’t image having bipolar disorder… no one else in my family had ever suffered from bipolar, so why do I? That is the big question that still remains un answered. I could never image having such a diagnosis because to me, it felt stupid and showed weakness.
In 2005, I was diagnosed with Dyslexia. I was only six-years-old at the time, but my problems were only beginning. I didn’t learn how to read until I was in fourth grade, but I still struggled so much. I had to go to a special school just to learn how to read, it was horrible.
I was never good in math and I am still not good in math. Once fourth grade rolled around I went to a private, Catholic school. Gosh, were those the worst years of my life. I went there from fourth grade until the middle of seventh grade. I was always labeled for being different because of my social skills, anxiety and just being different all together. I was told many times that I wouldn’t make it to middle school, or high school. I was told that I would have a dead end job, or no job at all and I would need to go to a state hospital because I was “nuts” in their eyes and a worthless cause.
I went through tons of reading help and along with math, but they still said it wasn’t good enough and I had too many issues. In seventh grade my Catholic school asked me to leave because I had too many problems and they couldn’t help me. I then went to a psychologist to have testing done to find out what was really going on. The psychologist diagnosed me with Bipolar Disorder, ADHD, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
I then went to a public school and was put into special education, but I was again told that they really couldn’t help me and I was going to end up living in a state hospital. They told me I wouldn’t be able to become an actress, go to college, or anything like that.
Every day I was bullied, the pain I experienced was enough to make someone want to kill themselves, I felt like every day I wanted to kill myself, but, I am not sure what stopped me. Every day I only got up because I had hope that something good might happen, even if it was something small.
Students at my school would call me manic, animal, ugly, stupid, deranged, and tons of other names. They would do anything to hurt me and bring me down. They even told me I would be a “nothing in this world.” I wanted to stop going to school because I became so depressed and scared of what each day would bring.
I have to go through tons of therapy and I have been on so many medications it is not to be believed. My medications had so many side-effects, it would be horrible. I would either be really tired, not be hungry, have headaches, I would be dizzy, or become so hungry that all I wanted to do was eat.
Sometimes I do feel like I am nuts and I don’t have a purpose. It is the worst feeling in the world, a feeling that you don’t ever want to experience because it can drive you to do things that you cannot take back.
At my public school I was given an aide to “help” me. Well, little did I know that this aide would try to belittle me. She apparently had a son who was autistic and six-years-old, but apparently was so smart, according to her, but she used that to her “power” and attacked me every day. She tried to tell me how smart he was, he was better than me, he could read “To Kill a Mockingbird” at six-years-old and understands the whole book. Almost all of the time she would take about her son, herself, her family, or she would be on her phone and social media talking about me. I became known through the town as “the girl who had issues.”
I would tell my teachers what she would do, but I was told it was my perception and it was just a personal problem, that I needed to get work on, so for the longest time I went on thinking that it was just me and I needed to just get over it. As time went on I realized this wasn’t just my problem. When I told my mother what was going on, she finally went to meet with my teachers, she told them how she felt about the situation and she was told that they couldn’t fire her because she hadn’t done anything wrong. It took them over a year to realized that she was out of line and they fired her, but my troubles did not stop there.
My teachers started to look at me differently and say my issues out loud to everyone and other students started to look at me in the hallway and say, “Kooky bird is on the loose again.” I would run to the bathroom crying, trying to understand why this was happening to me. The mental damage that was done was unbelievable. My life became an everyday struggle and much of the time I felt like I couldn’t go on.
I was on a swim team and I did so well, but the anxiety that took over me stopped me from swimming. I knew when my teammates started making fun of me, I needed out. I was told by so many that I could go to the Olympics and be the next Olympic swimmer, but my anxiety got the best of me and I couldn’t go on with swimming.
When I got to high school, I couldn’t imagine how bad it would be for me and how much I would hate it. I already hated school as it was, but high school was a whole different game. I was made fun of so much, that mentally my image of myself was destroyed. I would look in mirrors and see myself as a helpless cause and a monster. I use to punch the mirrors, so I wouldn’t see myself. I would hide in my house and think to myself if I sleep it off, I would wake up and be in a different situation. I would live like a recluse and would do anything to avoid going to school, or any social functions, even seeing my family.
My mother has tried so hard and has always been on my side and tries to help. She works so hard. She had become the chief of nursing at a children’s hospital and had a lot on her plate. My father was a U.S. Navy SEAL and was deployed most of the time and wasn’t around, so my mother had to pick up most of the slack. She worked fourteen hour shifts and preferred to work at night, so she could see us during the day. She also was a U.S. Army nurse, so time to time, she would be deployed and taken out of the country, but mostly worked at Army base hospitals. Being bipolar, it was so hard to go from day to day without my parents. I didn’t want to make her feel bad, so my brother and I tried our hardest to show we could take care of ourselves. Until, we had a scare. Our mother was sick for over a year in the hospital. She was diagnosed with a rare viral illness… we were told she probably wouldn’t make it. That is when a social worker became involved with our lives and tried to find placement for us with our family, since our father was gone most of the time. She was on life support, until one day… she started to breathe on her own and act like life was back in her. It was a miracle from God. My mother went through months of rehab and therapy, but slowly became herself again… but my bipolar was “kicking in” and I almost went nuts, thinking she was actually dead. It was horrible.
The stress started to get to me and I couldn’t handle it anymore. I started to have freak outs, I would scream in malls, and I would think that people were plotting against me. It almost felt like I was in a dream, I wasn’t in a real world. I would pray it was a dream and I would just wake up from this dream that I was in, but I realized I wasn’t in a dream, it was my life, it was real.
I started to not be able to sleep at night, I would sleep during the day and have my “freak outs” during the night and my mother would put up with it, it was so bad, that I was screaming so loud that the state police came because I was so loud and the neighbors were worried and could hear me. I would listen to music all the time and just mentally checkout of life and I would never want to be bothered, but if I was, I would freak out and it would be hell for everyone.
I am living proof that life goes on, it gets better, you can be successful and you have so much to offer to this world. Don’t ever give up because you never know what could happen.