Sorry, this isn’t a post about religion. It is a post about faith, or rather my lack of it in myself.
Almost ten years ago to the day, I received my bipolar diagnosis. At the time I had gone into the doctor convinced it was true, and set about convincing her of the same thing. I did my research and it made sense.
I wanted there to be an explanation for why I had blown so much money in such a short period of time a couple of years before. Mania seemed to make sense. (I’ve since figured out that it’s a depression comfort coping mechanism gone out of control).
I wanted to explain why I was so depressed and dysregulated. (I do have depression and anxiety, but I also had zero coping skills at the time).
I thought it was figured out. I was put on very high doses of medication and nothing seemed to work.
I still struggled.
I had such a hard time with figuring things out, i admitted myself to the psychiatric unit 14 or 15 times (I lose count). Each of those times my medications were adjusted, and each of those times nothing helped.
Eventually however, I was plugged in with the right people who saw me and what I needed and were able to help me to see that I did have a future.
It took a lot of convincing.
Two years ago, my case manager had to put an alternative treatment order on me to convince me to go into therapy again.
18 months ago, I was begging my case manager and therapist just to put me into an adult foster care and give up on me.
So it’s been a bumpy ride.
I am not saying I’m cured. I’m not saying I don’t have a mental illness. I’m not saying I won’t need medication for the rest of my life.
I’m just… better than I was. Much better.
It’s amazing what happens when people finally believe in you and show you what it means to support someone unconditionally. It’s amazing what happens when you finally get into evidence based therapy and learn skills- albeit begrudgingly- that help you to navigate situations and emotions.
It literally brings tears to my eyes to know where I was two years ago. I wasn’t excited for life; I was resigned to it. I was pretty much constantly suicidal, although not usually actively, and never really had much hope for the future.
Now I have plans and dreams and hopes.
There is life after diagnosis. There’s life after the worst parts of mental illness.
I found it.
Image from Pexels.