Well, it's always been hard to talk about how Bipolar Disorder has shaped my life. First off, what is Bipolar Disorder? Mayo Clinic defines it as "a disorder associated with episodes of mood swings ranging from depressive lows to manic highs." To dissect this definition, Bipolar Disorder is where one has extreme mood swings, one being highly depressed, and the other being overly happy (hence two polars). I wouldn't really say overly happy, because that isn't necessarily the best way to describe it. Rather just the feeling that you are truly invincible. Going into even more detail about what Bipolar Disorder really is, there are two major types (a total of four): Bipolar I Disorder and Bipolar II Disorder. The difference is Bipolar I Disorder is described as having manic episodes, whereas Bipolar II Disorder only has hypomanic episodes. (Look at image below for better explanation).
Lucky for me, I have Bipolar II Disorder, which is considered the milder form of Bipolar Disorder compared to Bipolar I Disorder. Either way, having Bipolar Disorder (abbreviated as BP of BPD) has been a challenge for me. BPD has affected since I was in middle school. People aren't diagnosed until in their teenage years, and I can say that was the same for me. Despite not having been diagnosed in middle school, I suffered episodes (depressive states and hypomanic states). I was diagnosed in high school, and that was a game changer for me. Either way, that doesn't mean my disorder has had little impact on me due to having been unmedicated for a short period of time (3 years).
During this period of time when I was unmedicated and undiagnosed, I made terrible decisions that will stick with me forever. These decisions are the things that got me diagnosed. In all honesty, it's hard for me to share them with people, especially because I may or may not get hate for them. Impactful incidents and issues included:
1. I lost my virginity to someone I barely knew during a hypomanic episode. Looking back, I don't even know why I did that. I just wanted to know what it would feel like I guess. That was one of the less critical concrete incidents I had.
2. I slept with a boy who I met online during another hypomanic episode. I have told this story to a few on GAG, but I guess I could retell it again. I met this guy on an app that marketed itself for being a friend-making app. I met this guy called Wes, who I thought was nice and quite cute at the time. I was 14 at this point in time, and he claimed to be 17. We realized we lived in the same city and went to schools that were closely affiliated, so we decided it was safe to meet up, so we did. Long story short, we hooked up in his car at a park not too far from my house. It was his idea to meet up and his idea to hook up, so keep that in mind. At this point in time, Instagram just came out like a year or so before, so I wasn't sure if he had it our not; I was trying to look him up to follow him. Low and behold, I find this account with the person's name being (Random first name) Wesley (random last name). It was a public account, so I scrolled and looked at the pictures he posted. Some of the pictures he posted matched the ones he posted on the app I met him on, so I knew it was him. I looked at another picture, and that was when I knew I f*cked up. It was Wes, his dad, and his brother. The catch was that I went to school with his brother. I didn't really know who this Wes person was, so I didn't know he was the brother of this boy I went to school with. Growing up, I went to a small private school where everyone kinda knew of/heard of/was connected with everyone. Kinda like a Kevin Bacon sort of thing (everyone has been in a movie with him or with someone that has been in a movie with him or with someone that has been in a movie with someone that has been in a movie with him). It's like a web of connections. Moving on, I knew Wes' little brother. I liked his little brother; he was nice and shy. I ruined the relationship between a classmate by sleeping with his older brother. Hahaha funny thing was his older brother was also 18 and had graduated high school (my high school). He lied about his age, the school he went to, and his relationships. That was a time when my BPD really hurt me.
3. During depressive episodes, I found no joy in anything. I would be so sad, and it all was about how lonely I was. I would cry and cry about how I wanted to be in a relationship with someone who truly loved me. My father had a drinking problem, and my mom was always in distress about it. I never felt like anyone had time for me. I was always contemplating why I wouldn't just end my misery.
During my episodes, it always seemed to be centered about how lonely and single I was. During hypomanic episodes, I would try to solve my problem. During depressive episodes, I would just sob over the loneliness and despair I felt. I listed a few incidents and circumstances up above, but definitely not all. I just wanted love and affection, anyway I could get it. That's why I slept with Wes. He was sweet when I did what he asked. He would kiss on me and tell me he loved me and how he thought I was beautiful. He made me happy for a fleeting period of time. That's how most of my hypomanic episodes would result; me trying (and sometimes finding) to find something or someone that would make me happy, even if I knew it wouldn't last. It was just sad. I felt lost in the depths of the ocean with no one to help me get to the surface for air. I felt like I was going to die, alone and miserable. I would do whatever I could to receive some form of praise. I would always earn all A's to please my father. I was two years ahead in math, and taking AP sciences junior and senior year. I advanced years of language. and made sure to take the hardest courses I could, whether it was AP Calculus BC junior year or Physics and Quantitative Chemistry both in my sophomore year. I wanted attention and love! I had no one I could really relate to in terms of someone I knew also having BPD.
When I was in high school, my mom would always try to relate to me. But her doing so made me feel worse. It was almost like she was trying to compare my chronic, neverending condition inflicted struggles to an average person's experiences. Well, that was exactly what she was doing. It made me feel like I was just being over dramatic or that I was surrounded by people who had it much easier than me. Whether it was me giving up my teenage year to do school work only to impress my father or me feeling like a used human sex doll, she always made me feel that my problems didn't matter.
My older sister had (and still has) Borderline Personality Disorder, so I wasn't completely alone in terms of having mental disorders that affect one's life. Unmedicated, she always had a negative outlook on everything, which was different from me. Whether I was glass half empty or full would change on where I was on my "mood cycle". I was always somewhat upset, though. When I was at my highs, the thought that I would be depressed in the not to distant future crushed me. I always thought about whether I was a nuisance to those around me. Whether anyone wanted to be with the Bipolar Girl, or rather the girl who needed to be on meds to behave "normally".
The thought that I needed to be on medication to behave and feel in a "normal" manner brought some distress, as well. What if I don't have access to these meds in the future? What if there's a period of time where I have to go without? What will happen to me? Why can't I just me like everyone else? These questions would never stop pouring through my head. I was always decaying inside.
The incidents where I behaved impulsively define who I am today. I have been to scared to be in a relationship with a man, or with anyone for that matter. The idea that if I get into a relationship with someone who I love and they find out about my disorder, resulting in them breaking up with me, has haunted me. I mean, who could blame them? 1) Their partner depends on medication to be stable and 2) Their children have an increased chance of having a mental illness. These things always bother me, and I would whether anyone will ever want me. I know I am young and I still have a lot of time, but I don't even have a girlfriend or boyfriend or theyfriend yet. I haven't even met anyone I think is up for the task. In fact, I haven't been in a relationship in over 8 years! I forgot how to be a girlfriend. Am I supposed to make the first move? I don't even have anyone to make a move on. This past Valentine's Day, I cried in my room eating chocolate I bought for myself while watching "Crazy Rich Asians". Jeez, I don't know what to do with myself these days. Despite my lack of romance, I have a cute corgi that makes me happy. She snuggles with me every night. Who needs a lover when they have a corgi? Well, thanks for reading my long, probably boring and sad myTake!
Not everyone goes through the same experiences if the are Bipolar or if the have a mental illness. Please keep this in mind! Also, this was not intended to insult anyone with mental illnesses, rather just to express my feelings about mine.