Bipolar Living

My whole life things were fine, the next day I was crazy. The thoughts racing through my head at a hundred miles an hour. Suicidal thoughts that would not seem to leave me alone. This was not me. I grew up in a good family, I’m in a band, I’ve got a wonderful girlfriend. Why am I suddenly depressed every day and having these suicidal tendancies? I decided to run away from all of it. I packed my backpack with a few things and hit the road. I didn’t have a destination. I didn’t even have a clear thought in my head about my friends, or family, or what was going to happen to me. Thoughts were fuzzy and scattered. One minute I was thinking about jumping off a cliff, the next minute I would laugh at myself for having such a thought.

After the next few days on the road, I woke up one morning very affected by my surroundings. I was cold, hungry, alone in the street. My mind felt like scrambled eggs and I decided it was time to connect with someone. I showed up at my cousin’s house and explained to him that I had found God. His face told me that he thought I was joking. But the more I said, the more concerned he got, and the next thing I knew my dad was there to pick me up. After many frantic hugs and shoulder shakes, I was taken to the hospital and diagnosed with manic depression.

Manic depression is no joke. I’m on a ton of medications that make me feel fuzzy and tired even though my thoughts have cleaned up for the most part and I sort of feel like me again. I’m still in a band, but my fellow members are always concerned about how I’m doing or whether or not I’m going to disappear again. My grandparents aren’t quite sure how to deal with bipolar living either. The medicine is costing them money, and they keep searching for an end all to this mess. If I don’t take my medication, I start to say things about the world in my mind and people around me get a little scared because I become unpredictable. I’ve started going to church every week because I want to ask God for a solution. I wish living bipolar didn’t entail a bunch of pills that take me out of myself. But then again I’m not myself when I don’t take the pills either. It’s quite ridiculous!

I just have to get through it one day at a time. My family and I have dinner together every evening and talk about normal family things. Like how our day was. How class was. How is the band doing? Do we have a new song yet or any gigs coming up? But in the back of my mind there is a constant voice telling me that everyone is judging me for being a freak. I think they’re scared of me. They think I could crack at any moment. And the sad thing is that I could.

Adjusting to bipolar living is a difficult thing to do after leading a semi-normal life for eighteen years. But like Father Welsh tells me, “A life of struggle should teach compassion.” So I try to be understanding and compassionate. I work real hard every day to overcome my sour feelings of not fitting in. My music is getting better and my drive is getting stronger. With the help of my friends and family, I will turn this bipolar disorder around and use it to fuel me on the path to a successful life.

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