The world is filled with thrill seekers; I am not one of them, not by choice anyway. I prefer a quieter way of life, keeping my circle small.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy having a good time. But like those millions who stand in line each year, waiting for the thrill of the highs and the lows, the twists, and turns; I do not have to pay for my ticket.
I have struggled with anxiety and depression my entire life. I was only 7 years old and I already had a deep seeded hatred for myself. I knew it wasn’t normal but even as a child I knew how to hide these feelings. It was also then that I began hurting myself because the sweet release I got was more than I could have ever bargained for.
As I grew older, I gained a reputation for being the “wild one”.
Humor was a way to hide the pain and the loathing. The outrageous stunts always ensured a rise from the crowd. I remember when counselor number four mentioned bipolar disorder.
She told me a story about a student who ran up a flagpole while naked during a night of partying. I thought the story was hilarious, admitting it sounded like something I would do. Slowly, I connected the dots.
I have experienced my fair share of cycling, the manic frenzy, and the depressive state; more recently mixed mania.
Everything is generally fine until it isn’t.
Alcohol is a catalyst but I am like this on my sober days as well. I have a hard time stopping, anything, always pushing the limits. Addiction comes easily to me. Reckless behavior – skinny dipping in the ocean, having sex with random people, smoking, drugs, running across a highway naked – I’ve done all of it.
Most manic episodes’ end in a nose dive – sobbing, self-mutilation (burning my entire hand and then dunking it in bleach) and wanting to die. Not understanding in that moment how anyone in their right mind would want anything to do with me. That cycle continues on and on.
I’ll never forget one manic episode in my 20’s, it was the first time I had ever looked in a mirror and thought I was so amazing looking, complete model, celebrity status. I have never felt so incredibly attractive in my entire life. I spent money like I was a celebrity, money I didn’t have and spoke to everyone with such confidence.
I felt like I was on top of the world, but fell off just as quickly. There have been more depressive episodes as I have grown older leading me down a path closer to suicide.
I have experienced rapid cycling as well. Imagine within minutes feeling like a god only to follow up minutes later with feelings of wanting to bash your own face in because you think you are a despicable human being.
It is quite the ride but not the one people would want to experience.
For now, I struggle with trying to find the balance. Medication and therapy help but as of this past summer I made a conscious decision to stop medication and limit therapy.
I am trying alternatives. It has been challenging and I think about going back on medication just about every other day. I know I will eventually have to because that’s the life I live but for now I am relying on my own judgment and my family and friends as a support system to keep me in check.
Written by @toxicbulldog
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