the author of this essay has asked to remain anonymous
For years, I’ve dealt with many mental health issues, I’ve been told its depression, severe panic disorder or something to do with me being lazy. I believed it was just how I was supposed to feel. For nineteen years having the constant need to bite my nails till the most painful point. When my heart would race for hours on end and I couldn’t breathe with sweat dripping down my face from how nervous I was. I would sit in bed not being able to enjoy a single moment of my life without feeling guilty or sitting in bed wishing I could do something but not having the motivation to do anything but wallow in self-pity.
I’d dealt with emotional issues due to the fact of having a toxic relationship with my father as a child. I still to this day make excuses for him. He was going through a hard time. He struggled with his own issues, but I was only three or four and I was terrified to go home and face him. I was terrified I’d do something to upset him and I’d ruin his day. I had to grow up and learn that being a child wasn’t an option. Then I move on to high school and meet a boy who I thought truly loved me for me. I thought that finally I had reached the peak of love fairytales. Then I was used and thrown out like a used tissue and when I told my mom I was told that what I did only prostitutes* did back in her time. It was a moment where I felt that what I did with that boy wasn’t what I had wanted, but I was told by my mom that I was something she deemed as a lowlife. I felt useless and empty for years. I couldn’t really talk to anyone about it. I had one person that listened to me and honestly that person is the only reason I’m alive right now.
I had to convince myself that I was worth something again. I had to tell myself that these people don’t mean anything. Their comments don’t mean anything. I am more than these comments. I didn’t handle it the best way with getting into fights with my mom and ignoring my dad. I would skip school not wanting to show up and see anyone. I’d ignore my friends and shut them all out. I was becoming someone I didn’t recognize. A girl that use to be happy and bright. Someone who always had a smile on their face and was laughing as if there was no tomorrow. To this day I don’t fully recognize the person I’ve become. I’m happy with who I am, but it’s not who I was.
The point of this article is that for years I had no idea what was wrong with me. Why did my mood change so much? Why was life so hard when I was at my lowest? Why do I constantly have these feelings of insecurity and pain when I come into contact with men? Why did no anti-depressant or anxiety medication ever work for me? Over spring break, I got only part of the answer, but it was a step to something I knew that would begin to help me more than anything had in my past. I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder II, which is a less severe BPD than I, but it still affects the daily life of someone severely if not controlled. The idea of telling someone frightened me because people have predetermined stereotypes of people with Bipolar Disorder. Would people turn on me? Would people think I was unstable? I know I’m not. I know I’m strong, because I’ve been dealing with this for most of my life without any medication or true help and in my personal opinion I’ve done it beautifully.
I have convinced myself now that I deserve to be self-absorbed. I deserve to love myself and compliment myself relentlessly. I deserve to appreciate myself. Now there is more to deal with. I know I still have relationship issues that I need to deal with. I have more psychological issues to work through, but for once in my life I’m at peace with myself. I’m finally ready to begin self-help. For anyone who is dealing with things they don’t understand or with pent up emotions that they feel like they can’t let out. It will get better, but you have to work towards it. You have to open yourself up to it. It will get there. You will get there.
*I in no way believe prostitutes are lower or lesser than me or anyone else. They are working women/men that deserve respect.