In my past I have struggled with the inner workings of my mind. Time and again I was diagnosed with depression – bouncing between psychologists, doctors and counsellors. Each time I was frustrated by them wanting to find the point of origin – the singular event that made me the way I am. No matter how hard I tried to explain they were wrong, there wasn’t a place in time that “changed me”, they were convinced some terrible childhood or adolescent trauma had caused this trouble.
For years I floundered, no treatments were working. When it got really bad I would fall into self harm, and locking myself in the cupboard when I couldn’t cope with life. I took too many of my pills on several occasions and basically gave up on life.
But it wasn’t like that all of the time.
Sometimes I felt so good I didn’t need help, I was invincible, confident, ecstatic to the point of delirium. I’d make plans, huge life changing plans, act on a whim, spend money like I had an endless supply. I was reckless and would suddenly stop my medication because I felt so good I no longer needed it.
And then it would all come crashing down, starting the cycle all over again.
Finally I found a psychiatrist who recognised me for what I am. I live with bipolar disorder, and with a strict regime of medication, and psychotherapy I have better control. I have gotten to the point where I can usually identify triggers and predict when the pendulum of my mood will swing. I can function almost normally now, or at least give the illusion of functioning normally.
I’m still messed up, for many reasons, and not all caused by my mercurial mood. But at least I haven’t locked myself up in a cupboard for some time.