I’ve been hiding something from you all…

I’ve been home for about a month now.

My new normal consists of Dr’s appointments, psychiatrist appointments, therapy, rest and caring for my family.

It’s quite a bit of an adjustment.

I had to order my entire mental health file from the V.A.. it huge! It looked like the rough draft of a Harry Potter book.

I didn’t want to read it but I couldn’t help myself. I started reading and I saw the diagnosis I’ve hated the most.

Bipolar.

I also saw panic disorder non agoraphobia, ocd and generalized anxiety disorder.

I can cope with every diagnosis but I really hate that “Bipolar” diagnosis.

I’ve denied that diagnosis for many years.

I’ve been to multiple psychiatrist some think I’m bipolar, some don’t.

I tend to side with the ones that don’t but the fact is.. it’s there that diagnosis is there.

I’ve had a manic episode, I’ve been hospitalized for my mental health issues.

Not because I was harming myself.

I had become so depressed about my panic episode that I drove my daughter to my Nana and I drove myself to the hospital to learn about my diagnosis and how to manage it.

When I was reading my file I became overwhelmed with so many emotions. I was embarrassed that I had mental illness. 

My progress notes mentioned my ex husband belittling me about being “manic” he told my psychiatrist he didn’t want to be with someone “manic” and “erratic”

I felt like a monster.

This thing I had was running people away and it was just because I didn’t want anyone to know my secret.

How long have I been Bipolar?

I was diagnosed bipolar at 19.

I hid my diagnosis from everyone, not just my ex. I was under a tremendous amount of stress to perfect so my ex would “love” me or at least see me not a diagnosis.

I knew if I revealed the truth my ex would leave me be a I wasn’t “perfect” so I hid it.

I know it was immature but I was immature and wanted “love” more than I wanted anything else.

When it did come out after my breakdown that man made me feel like a 3 headed monster for something I couldn’t control.

I already felt awful for the experience of the breakdown but I felt like I was never going to find anyone to love me and understand my diagnosis.

The way bipolar disorder is portrayed in the media it’s SCARY! The actors always so wild, violent, crazed.

It’s really not like that. 

I mean some cases maybe that extreme but I wasn’t those cases and it’s really hard to say “He I’m bipolar not like the movies” when you’re on a date. 

I saw what happened when you hide your mental health from your partner and I didn’t want that to happen to me anymore so I decided to be very upfront with my diagnosis.

My nana and I sat Chris down and explained what my diagnosis meant.

I told him about my past. He didn’t make me feel any differently. He treated me the same. In fact, Chris when to therapy with me and he learned what it means to be in a relationship with someone with a mental illness.

Once I knew I had someone that wasn’t afraid of me or didn’t make me feel like some kind of a freak. I was ol letting more people in.

I’m open with my close family and friends but not so much online because I’m afraid. I was treated so badly in the past when I came forward that I’m really afraid of what people will be “thinking of me” in the past, if I even raised my voice my diagnosis was thrown into my face.

It was triggering and hurtful to be “bipolar” or “manic” just because I didn’t agree with what was being said to me or how I was being treated.

That kind of treatment can leave a lasting effect on a person.

I’ve felt so ashamed of myself. Being labeled “Crazy” hurts. I was shamed for having to take meds. It was really hard for me to accept that right now I need medication.

It was really hard to accept that this  Mental breakdown was apart of my diagnosis.

I’m not “crazy” I’ve never been violent to others only myself.

I hate the way people with bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses are viewed in the media. We’re not wild, deranged, unkempt psychopaths. I’m so tired of wondering “What’s this person going to think when they find out I’m bipolar?”

“What movie have they seen? What character are they going to tie me to?”

 I just couldn’t go into the new year hiding this diagnosis.

I’m tired of hiding. 

People with other illnesses don’t hide.

People that require treatment for other organs aren’t ashamed of needing medication and I’m tired of being ashamed.

My brain is apart of my body. 

My brain has imbalances that make it different from the “normal” brain. 

That doesn’t make me not “normal

When I’m too stressed or I don’t sleep.. my brain can not function and it triggers the diagnoses that I have.

That doesn’t make me a monster.

Sometimes my motherboard gets fired and I need a little help to get back on track.

Just like any other human that is on medication sometime you need to get things calibrated and there’s absolutely no shame in that.

I’m living with Bipolar Disorder, Panic Disorder, Generalized Anxiety disorder, ocd and severe insomnia. 

Those are just diagnoses and have no effect on who I am as a person. The don’t change who I am or what I represent to you online and in person.

Those diagnoses explain why I need meds but those words are no longer limiting me from expressing who I am.

Those diagnoses are no longer holding me in a box. I felt like I needed to come clean this year, the year is ending and that was one thing that was holding onto out of fear.

I don’t know what anyone is going to think of me after this post and part of me doesn’t care.. (part of me does because well HELLLO generalized anxiety disorder) but I had to say something.

It’s been really difficult for me to come to terms with the diagnosis of Bipolar 1. 

It’s been 15 years of hiding and enough is enough.

Those who know and love me know.. I’m me regardless of a diagnosis.. sometimes there’s just too much of “me” and sometimes I hide “me” from everyone and everything.

The essence of who I am is always there. I’m

Shayla, I’m turning 35 this year. I have two beautiful biological daughters and 3 bonus babies. I have a wonderful husband who I just adore. I thrift, I’m vegan and I love to get dressed up and watch trash TV with my friends. I’m a cannabis advocate, I’m a writer, content creator and I hope you continue to follow my blog into 2020.

Be gentle with yourself, be excellent to each other it’s ok to be who you are.. there’s no shame in it.

16 comments

  1. This was so beautiful Shayla. You are just you, the diagnosis are just a label to help you understand yourself a little better,m provide a guideline as to how to manage your conditions. You are inspiring, strong, styling and loved. (I cried reading this by the way). 💜😊💛

    Liked by 2 people

    • It was so hard write took me days because I didn’t want anyone to think of me differently you know. I’m still me..
      Now everyone just knows the truth and I feel so much better. I’m not scared like “what if they find out” welp now they know!

      Liked by 2 people

      • There is a very powerful moment in Battlestar Galactica (the ReImagined series) when Gaius Baltar says to his followers when they are all at their lowest “You are perfect just the way you are.” I always think of that for the person we are inside ourselves. I feel that so much of our personal journeys is about accepting who we truly are and becoming the most refined version of ourselves.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Shayla, I love reading your blogs, you’re a talented writer. As I’m reading I can hear and feel the emotion in your words. You are so brave for sharing your story. I have two aunts who have mental diagnosis. One was diagnosed with schizophrenia and the other with bipolar disorder. It took a long time for them to get those diagnosis but it helped our family better understand what they were going through. As a child I watched my aunts go through these periods of ups and downs and I didn’t understand as a kid. As an adult I started educating my self during one of my aunts manic episodes which was really bad. She doesn’t have kids so we were the closest thing to her. Once she accepted help and her diagnosis, she started taking meds and it made a world of a difference. She’s doing very well these days. Don’t ever feel ashamed of what you can’t control. The beautiful thing is you have a voice and you are using it to reach all your readers❤️.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This made me cry. I totally understand and I was just talking to Chris because I worry what they will remember I tend to isolate and then one day I’m just a puddle of tears and I didn’t want that to their memory of me. I get it. It’s hard to accept diagnosis that are so stigmatized and that’s what I wanted to do.
      Use to my voice to maybe help someone else come to terms and see it’s ok.. you can have a family. You can do many things you just have to be honest and get help. Thank you for reading you made my day

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey lady!! You are a strong woman with an illness. Your illness does not define you as a whole, it’s just a part of you. We: family, friends and your online community have gotten to know you through your admission of it and we’re still here. Keep moving ahead girl, we ain’t going nowhere! 💛

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Wow, reading your blog actually brought me to tears. It takes courage to write an emotional, but true blog post related to mental illness. Never feel ashamed of who you are. Never allow others to make you feel like you’re not enough. I am so glad your family love you, support you, and care about your well-being. I don’t have any biological children, but I do have 2 adopted sons. One of my sons seems to be going through some mental trauma so I will be getting him tested in January. I just want to make sure he gets all of the support he needs. From one mother and blogger to another, I love you and will be praying for you! Peace and blessings!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you so much I really appreciate it. Honestly you can get through anything if you have support. I’ll be praying for you family. I know living with mental illness is tough on a family. You’re such a good Mom your sons are so lucky to have you going to bat for them.

      Like

  5. Thanks for sharing, Shayla. I don’t have experience with bipolar disorder but I can understand about feeling “labelled” and limited because of diagnoses. I have depression, OCD and anxiety and also have been diagnosed with “phobia anxiety”, I think because of having health anxiety. It can make you feel like you’re “defective” or less than, so I think it’s important to see people sharing their stories.

    Hope you’re doing ok and hope you and your family have had a good start to 2020! ❤

    Zania

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I can relate to what you’re going through. You’re not defective. In fact it’s just the opposite. You’re a fighter. You try so hard sometimes that it makes you feel anxious. The issue is we can’t solve problems with our minds, but we try to “think” our way out of problems and that causes us to spiral down even more. Our brains are just another organ. Just as we get hungry or an upset stomach, so too our brain needs a little something sometimes to feel right. I find that meditation and mindfulness help me the most. Hang in there! You’ve got this!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.