Relief & Denial – My First Two Steps

At the age of 16, I was in a serious car accident and suffered a concussion. Within two weeks after the accident, something about me was different.

Step 1: Relief
At the age of 27, during my first psychiatric hospitalization, I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder.  I remember feeling the biggest sense of relief and thinking to myself, “Finally! Now there’s an answer to that question I have asked myself over and over for the last 10 years–WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH ME?”

What a great feeling it was to know that my “personality” didn’t cause my irrational behavior.  Instead, it was a “very serious illness” that caused my irrational behavior. I immediately told myself, “You are a good person with a not-so-good disorder.”

The relief lasted for a short time, maybe six weeks or so. Next I faced something that was so far from that good feeling of relief!

Step 2:  Denial
I was now at a point of despair.  The thought of being labeled was too hard to accept. I felt ashamed, embarrassed, and scared. So if I pretended it didn’t exist, all of those feelings would go away.  I soon came to realize that was NOT going to happen. I needed help, so I went to see a counselor.  He helped me to understand that acknowledging that I had Bipolar Disorder was the only way to move on with my “new life.”

Yes, I had a “new life” to start living. I was now a woman living with Bipolar Disorder.  That “new life” began over 22 years ago.

I have taken many steps during this twenty-two-year journey. You’ve just read about my first two.  I have so many more to write about.

Thank you for reading my stories. Without you all, my pages would be blank.  Hugs!!

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