I hope you don’t mind, but I wanted to take some time and tell you all a story. It’s about me and it might relate to some of you reading this. My journey with HeartSupport has helped me see that opening up about our issues doesnt make us weak, it allows us to grow stronger. I am really scared to post this because I’m not sure how people will react. But this is a part of my story and I won’t be able to fully conquer it until I face it. So sit back, relax, and let me take you back in time.
It’s spring of 2014 and I am a student at West Virginia University. For the past 4 years I’ve dealt with severe depression and never told anyone. Unfortunately, when my parents found my scars and my grades had shown I had failed my classes, I couldn’t keep it a secret anymore. I felt scared and alone. I went to some very dark places and I fought so hard just to survive. I decided to go see a therapist. After a few sessions they had me see a psychiatrist. I’ll never forget the drop in my stomach when I heard the doctor say “bipolar disorder”. I was so upset. NO! I have depresssion and and anxiety. I was told by people that people with bipolar disorder are crazy and can’t keep relationships. That didn’t fit me! My doctor tried to show me where my symptoms matched but I didn’t want to hear it. I remember driving home and setting my papers about the diagnosis and session on fire. (I actually set them on fire, please dont do that). I didn’t want anyone to know that I had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. What would they think of me? I also remember my mom telling me sometime after this that “at least I didn’t have bipolar disorder because those people are crazy!” I knew I could never tell her the truth. That has stopped me from being honest or open with anyone about my experiences.
A few years went by and I went to a different therapist and doctor. I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. But ive never been truly honest about the things in my life. Recently I have found myself struggling. I’ve taken a step back and tried to analyze my life. I’ve realized that there are symptoms that are common with hypomania in bipolar 2 (which I was diagnosed with) such as quitting my job on a whim, dropping hundreds of dollars on a concert, applying for two jobs at once, signing up for too many classes, writing 4 songs in one week and then crashing hard. But it’s not always a hard crash. It’s gradual. There are things in my life that just fit with that diagnosis.
Heartsupport has helped me see that if this is the right diagnosis I need to be honest about that. I can’t get the right help if I’m not telling the truth about my experiences. And who knows if that is my true diagnosis? Psychology is confusing and complex. But HeartSupport has given me the strength to go see a psychiatrist again and start going to therapy again. I’m really not nervous about going and I kind of want to skip it, but I think it’s for the best. I hope no one judges me or thinks less of me. We are not a stereotype of our disorders or struggles. We are not our disorders. We are all human beings with a purpose and a story. And if you are in a position that you are scared or worried about what others will think, remeber that it is your health and happiness that is most important. The people who are good for you will stay. Hold Fast, my friends. I love you all.