Thursday, March 29, 2018

I lost my mind but found myself

A short update on me; I'm doing good. Really good. My mood has been stable for a couple of months now and the medication adjustments have been minimal. I've been in this limbo stage of life, trying to figure out next steps but still scared of a relapse. Not quite ready to commit to anything, yet craving something to do. I've had plenty of time to think and reflect on my life as it is now, as it was before the symptoms and how they correlate. The problem is...they don't. Who I am now is not who I was then. The scary thing is - I don't know who I am now.

When I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder I was told that I could never go back to my old life exactly how it was. Things would be different now. I'd have to follow different rules in order to live a productive life, I'd have to make changes. It took me a long time to come to terms with that and if I'm being honest there are days that I still don't fully accept it. But I charged on. I went to treatment and took it very seriously, I wanted all the information and tools that I could get. I was thriving in that environment, but then I left. Life back in the real world was scary, I had left the bubble of treatment. I don't know that there really is anything that can fully prepare you for leaving treatment after having been there so long. But I pushed on.

I was still having major mood swings and was depressed like no other. So being out of treatment didn't mean anything to me. If anything it made it easier to stay in bed all day and try to fight through the demons. Then my medications started working, ahh the magic combination was finally found. As I got better I realized that I had no sense of self. I had lost my identity, my friends, my family, my religion. All the things that used to make me 'me' were gone. I spent the last couple years of my life fighting for my life and in it all I lost who I was. I mean, how could you not? One day you're someone and the next you have people telling you that you can never go back to that person again. Thrown into the unknown I could only focus on what was absolutely necessary - survival.

And now I've survived, so what comes next? The fight is far from over but I've reached some semblance of normalcy again. So what do I do now? It's a question I've been pondering for awhile now. I think I've finally figured out an answer - I have to figure out who I am again. What makes me 'me' now. I have to spend some time alone and rebuild my identity. It's not going to be easy, but I have to do it. I've let this disorder take a lot of things from me, but I'm determined to get them all back.

I'm not giving up.