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Dear Future Self,
Don’t give up on your dreams. This will be the most difficult time in your life. You have worked hard to be successful, but you feel cheated as you are locked in a psychiatric ward with bars on the windows and a stainless steel bathroom. But everything will work out.
You will have to go through a few doctors and side effects, but a medication cocktail will be found for you. The suicidal ideation will go away.
In the early 1990’s, we were such good friends. Outside of my family, I have never cherished anyone more. You supported me through a chilling hypomania and a catastrophic mania. You watched me deteriorate during medication trials and supported me. When I was alienated by many, you remained by my side. You assisted me in coping with a huge loss – the robbing of my youth to mental illness.
Writing a book has been one of my bucket list goals. However an autobiography about my life may not be of interest to many readers.
I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder twenty four years ago. I consider myself to be a walking wealth of knowledge on the subject, and am confident that I can contribute in regard to the topic. I want to give back. This is why I write for IBPF.
Dear Mrs. Martin:
I was insecure when entering your College Prep English class in the year of 1989. I worked really hard and earned an “A” each quarter. You fostered my love of writing, one that I never had nurtured.
We had a huge research paper due the final quarter, the one where I analyzed Anne Frank’s work. During that time, I became angry, argumentative, and eventually manic.
I have been on medications for bipolar disorder my entire adult life. The prescriptions and I have an avid love/hate relationship.
I need medications to function with the most amount of mental clarity. I resent my medications and am treatment resistant. Medication has allowed me to live a fulfilling life. Psychiatric drugs are slowly killing me in other ways.
When I experienced my first manic episode at eighteen, my family was oblivious to my struggle. My mother stated that I had done something to bring the illness onto myself. She expressed that she believed that the trigger was that I had previously drank alcohol as a minor. She even sought out a minister to see if I had become possessed.
After a serious depression, I was declared to be legally disabled and experienced extreme social phobia. I was rarely able to go in public, except in the middle of the night. I was afraid that I would be seen by people that I had known in my career and I was immobilized by fear in the thought of seeing them. The chances of running into those people that worked the day shift was unlikely. However, the sense of community that I developed through a local church helped me overcome many of my fears.
In my experience, I have found there to be a direct correlation between food and bipolar disorder.