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.
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.