I didn’t want to share this. I wanted to stick my head in the sand and pretend its not a thing. But then I realized something. If I share this, maybe, just maybe, it will make it a little less isolating for someone else. Even though it feels like it, I can’t be the only one to go through this.
Shit just got real.
Friday night the metaphorical bomb was dropped. I was sitting in the psychiatrist’s office and was asked for the 23425 time if I experienced delusions.
“No, I don’t.” It’s only people who can’t get their act together that have those, right?
Near the end of my appointment, I remember something Sara wanted me to tell the Psych.
“Oh yeah, something Sara wanted me to tell you again. A lot of the time I think I’m making this up.”
“That’s what I’m talking about when I talk about delusions,” she replied.
Oh. Oh. Shit.
I’ve thought I was making crap way back in 1999.
Cue med change #20345.
There have been very few things in my life that I can outright not handle, where its so big I can’t even let myself think about it. This was one of them. Hence why I spent a good 7 hours or so yesterday knitting. I wish I was kidding. But I’m not.
As the freakout subsided, I googled bipolar and delusions and psychotic symptoms, and then did a quick inventory of my memories, going back to around middle school.
Everything fit neatly so neatly into categories. Hypomania, mild mania, “regular” depressive thoughts, times when I think I can do anything, thoughts where I know I’m making shit up. Thoughts where I don’t know I’m making shit up.
I’ve always chalked it up to depression or anxiety or….I don’t even know what, because it clearly doesn’t fit in those categories.
So many things have flown through my head as I try to process this.
Why? What does this mean to me? How much of what I’ve done and thought is me and how much do I blame on bipolar? Can I blame it on bipolar? How may people are running around remembering me as the weird girl? I want to tell my parents, I need to tell my parents. But how do you tell your parents your crazy? How many friends have I lost because of this? For the first time I’m actually scared to have kids one day. I know what can happen. How bad is this going to get? What else is going on that I don’t know about?
You get the picture. I’m terrified. I’m still holding much of it at bay. I’ve had two distinct moments in the past month alone where I almost lost the voice of reason that challenges the part of me that makes shit up.
So just so I don’t forget who I am ….
I am a young woman, a few years shy of 30, who loves dogs and art and history and music and helping people. I went through high school, undergrad, and graduate school with ease and have earned a reputation for being a hard worker and passionate about what I do. I’m a teacher and a leader and I find purpose in providing a place for people to be.
I am not my illness.