I went back to school in August 2015 to City College of San Francisco feeling confident that I would do well with my studies. It was like a breath of fresh air as I passed test after test and scored A’s on my psychology papers. Then my life seemed to go down a road that I had gone before, but this time I wanted to see where it went while trying to get on track again.
I started out with taking 12 credits, and then I realized I could not take one class because of my grades and the professor was not my favorite. After dropping that class I was left with a history class that I loved, a psychology class that I loved, and an English class that I loved. For weeks I prospered on this schedule. It was like my life was going well again, so I went to class, did all the work in each class, and went home a happy camper.
Then some things occurred in my life that made me not take my medication on a regular basis. We all know that is not a smart decision but life happens, and I began to fall apart. At the same time I met a guy online, and I decided to simply not go to my psychology class. That class was held on Tuesday and Thursdays, so I let myself skip that one if I did go to all of my classes on Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays. The feeling of having a day off in between classes felt good.
The state of mind I found myself in was a self-centered state of mind that I did not enjoy, but did not know how to get away from. I saw myself suddenly feeling like I was entitled to live a life I wanted to live (even though I was living that already). I felt like I could take time off and have sex with a guy I was seeing online but didn’t know very well. Or that I could take time off and just adventure around San Francisco and write about it. I felt like my battle with bipolar deserved another go around of having fun.
As I go back on medication, and face the unfortunate consequences of giving up on school for a couple of weeks, I see what bipolar does to you when you are not thinking about taking care of yourself. It sneaks into your life and finds the small things that could potentially blow up in your face in the long run.
I went to the University of California of San Francisco Medical School to share my experience with bipolar disorder, and one of the professors that interviewed me told me that there are things that we all signed up for when we were diagnosed. I learned this month that these steps backward happen and sometimes we cannot help them from happening, but we can get our life back. I know I am taking the necessary steps toward getting my life back together, even though I am terrified of facing my professors and looking at my grades.
I hope I learn from this experience, but at the end of the day I see a person in the mirror that I still love and that is still going on an adventure with my diagnosis. Life is not perfect, nor am I. I have simply encountered an imperfect series of events that I am dealing with and I will overcome.
Read the rest of Susan’s posts for IBPF here.