I have always known there was something going on with me. Even at the ages of five and six, I had panic attacks and suicidal ideations. I did not know it then, but these feelings were the beginning of where I am now.
In October of 2016, I felt worse than I ever had. I did not want to get out of bed. This often manifested itself by repeatedly hitting snooze until I decided I could not give myself any less time to get ready. I went to work and everything made me cry, whether it was happy, sad, or some mixture of the two.
Only two months prior I had been having the time of my life. I would go out with my boyfriend and our friends every weekend. I had so much energy; I often went to bed at a decent time and woke up before my alarm at 5:21 AM. I had so many ideas! Ideas to help students and peers at work, ideas for helping myself cope with my Generalized Anxiety Disorder, ideas for rearranging the house, ideas that just went on and on. These feelings of extreme happiness were only muted by occasional violent outbursts that occurred after I had been drinking. Fighting with my poor boyfriend, sometimes becoming physically abusive; sometimes becoming destructive. Though it was to my own property, it was destructive nonetheless.
So in October, when I was feeling worse than I ever had, I wondered what had happened. Who was I? Where did this darkness come from? As I lay there, snoozing the alarm for the fourth time and wondering how many Lexapro it would take to put me out of my misery, I decided it was time to do something.
I returned to my doctor and reported these incidents. Upon hearing I was feeling suicidal, her first instinct was to offer a voluntary trip to the hospital. I declined. I knew I did not, do not, want to die. I had seen that these thoughts could be side effects from my Lexapro and thought it was time to change meds. It was then the doctor told me that she thinks I am bipolar. She apologized for giving me the wrong meds and explained how an SSRI such as Lexapro can often have negative effects on someone with Bipolar Disorder (hence my feelings of mixed euphoria and anger in the months prior). She gave me a prescription for Seroquel and a recommendation to seek psychiatric care.
That is where my journey truly begins.