I guess before I get into writing this story I should probably share a few details about myself and my situation in life…I was diagnosed with Bipolar 1 Disorder about 25 years ago and am still to this day struggling with that battle. A quick easy explanation of the difference between Bipolar 1 and Bipolar 2 would be that with Bipolar 1 you will experience full on manic episodes where with Bipolar 2 you may experience Hypomania but your issues lie more in your full on depressive episodes…So Bipolar 1 has more issues with Manic episodes, I do have some depression issues from time to time but my problems have always stemmed from my bad choices and nonstop battle of thoughts in my mind due to me being manic…because of my thoughts racing constantly I am unable to do a lot of things people take for granted such as drive a car because I can not stay focused long enough on one thing to do so…When I was about 22 or 23 I moved back home with my parents because I wasn’t handling my illness very well and that is where I’ve stayed to this day…So that’s where I’m at in my life right now 41 years old, can’t drive and living with my mother…it’s embarrassing to admit even knowing it isn’t my fault I’m in this boat.
You will see a lot of evidence of my illness in my writing, I may jump from subject to subject or add in things that have nothing to do with anything, when I write I don’t plan it out, it comes from my mind straight onto the keyboard and then onto the screen…this will most likely be much longer than I first expected and I’m sure it took me days to write it because there’s no way I just sit here and focus on writing for all that long.
I guess I’ll start back when I was around 17-18 years old my attendance at school suddenly became non existent, I started making really stupid choices and just not ever thinking of the consequences…it was also the age where I started feeling super awkward around people, at first it was just people I didn’t know well and it slowly over a few years turned into even feeling like a stranger around my own family…I went to a high school called Pinkerton Academy in NH and my grades were actually great, I never had an issue with school…it all came pretty naturally to me but I started to have a real issue with the socializing part of things in my senior year and instead of the school working with me and trying to help me get through my last year, the headmaster Mr .Bode called my parents and told them he thought it’d be better if I just dropped out…So that’s what I did, got a job at Wendy’s and started trying to live a normal life.
Keep in mind that I hadn’t been diagnosed with anything at this point so I had no clue why my life and my emotions were going off the rails…I just couldn’t understand why I was the way I was…it became harder and harder for me to be around people to the point where I could only tolerate it if I was drunk or high in some way and that’s where I leaned when I needed to stop feeling the way I was feeling…I was an alcoholic before I was even old enough to drink
So as I said I was trying to live a normal life, moved out of my parents house and got a place in Manchester NH with my GF at the time and a couple of my buddies and there was a short period of time where I even believed that I could pull it off, I could be a “normal” person but then the night came where I was robbed at knife point…in my own living room…that night broke me for good…shortly after that is when I moved up to northern Maine to get away from everything and try to get better and at first my GF moved up with me and things were good for a while but she didn’t understand the changes she was seeing in me…how could she? I didn’t even understand them…so she eventually left and went back home and then there I was 6 hours away from anyone I’d ever known with just my parents around but it was in that time that I was able to get properly diagnosed and start treatment to try and get better.
It might sound so easy…go to a doctor, get the meds you need and you’ll get better except with Bipolar Disorder that is the furthest thing from the truth of how it all goes down….it is a horribly difficult illness to medicate properly as it pretty much constantly changes and evolves…if you don’t need dosage increases you’ll need new different meds at some point….in 25 years the best they’ve been able to do for me is keep me from getting worse, all the problems I had in my 20s I still have today, I still can’t socialize and as you can probably tell from my writing it is still very difficult for me to focus on one thing at a time…I’m very responsible about my illness, i never miss a dose of my meds, I never miss an appointment with my doctors and yet still it is a battle I’m losing every day.
Around the age of 25 is when I met my son’s mother…oddly enough we met on Myspace and hit it off immediately…the first time I met her in person was a game changer for me…I didn’t feel awkward around her, I felt as if I’d known her my whole life, I hadn’t felt this way around someone in well over a decade…I quite literally fell in love with her at first sight…I know sounds corny but it is what it is….instead of feeling like I can’t wait to get away from people and hide out in my own space I actually missed her like crazy when she wasn’t here and looked so forward to seeing her again…We dated for 3 years or so and before I knew it she was pregnant and I was actually super excited rather than afraid or worried…this is exactly what I needed in my life, normalcy and someone who accepts me for me with no conditions put on their love…except the day my son was born something changed in her…I don’t know what happened but that day it was like a switch flipped inside her and from that day on she just always hated me with a passion…so when my son was around 9 months old I woke up in the morning to a cop standing over me telling me she was leaving me and taking my son…I still to this day do not understand what happened and it all crushed me in a way that I’ve still not come back from. I never cheated on her or abused her in any way, it’s just something I’ll never understand.
In the 10 year or so since she left me I’ve had an uphill battle with not only my illness but my self esteem…pretty much secluding myself from the entire world except for my son’s time here with me and my best friend coming up to visit once or twice a year for a weekend…besides that it’s just been me and my parents and my dad actually passed away a few years after she left me so it’s really just been me and my mom…my mom has always been my rock, the one person I can always count on and I guess that’s part of where this overwhelming feeling of dread is coming from lately…you see my mom was just recently diagnosed with Leukemia and was given about a year to live…besides all the normal reasons that kind of news will really mess someone up I also have these intense worries about my own future now that just won’t leave my mind alone.
People don’t understand mental illness typically, friends you’ve known since 5th grade will drop you like a bad habit….someone you love with every ounce of your being will leave you because you had 1 single bad manic episode in 4 years…As I said before I can’t drive, it just wouldn’t be safe and my mom has always been there to help me get around when I needed but now I’m looking at a future where I’m alone and a 6 hour drive from anyone that really cares if I live or die…I’m in a very rural area as well so getting around by foot isn’t possible…as it stands now my two choices for the future are stay put here and struggle to even get to the store for food on a regular basis or move back to NH where my sister and my close friend live and I’ll have people there for me but then I’ll live 7 hours away from my son and hardly ever get to see him…both those choices just fucking suck and I’m really in a place where I have no clue what to do…I’m just fucking lost these days.
So that’s where I’m at in my life…here helping my mom out repaying her for all her kindness throughout my life but knowing in the near future I may just be in a position that I literally can’t survive in…even in the progressive society we live in today there is so much stigma attached to mental illness and that stigma very often leaves people like me out in the cold on our own someday…I’ve come to the conclusion that no woman is going to want to stay with someone like me long term and I’ve accepted that I’ll be alone in those regards probably my whole life but man I gotta tell you…I envy happy couples when I see them together and it does make me miss those feelings sometimes.
I’m a weird person and that’s okay, I write my thoughts to a blog that hardly anyone reads…I haven’t been on a date in a decade…I only have one friend that I see pretty rarely…I guess I’m writing this to say please don’t judge people like me because we’re already judging ourselves so harshly…we’re not like this on purpose, it wasn’t a choice…please remember that in the future and show people more kindness…you’d be amazed what just one nice thing can do to change someone’s day or even life.
I know I rant a lot but hopefully this article is cohesive enough for people that do read it to get it, if even just a little bit.