Here goes nothing

There has been some stuff playing on my mind for a few weeks now that I have been too scared to share, but it’s just eating at me and has caused me to relapse in my self-harm twice in the last 2 weeks.

A little over a month ago I was diagnosed with Bipolar. Even though this diagnosis makes so much sense to me and I was somewhat expecting it, I’ve been too afraid to even use the name. The fear isn’t so much about how people are going to react, although there is an element of that due to the stigma around Bipolar… It’s mostly about what is going on in my head and the fear I’m putting on myself… So here we go…

I can’t remember the last time I felt like myself. I’m an upbeat, outgoing, and passionate person who loves people… Although I still have that love for people and the passion to help them, I don’t remember the last time I actually felt those other things. Instead of being able to talk to anyone and make them smile in minutes, I just avoid everyone and get anxious around other people. Here at HeartSupport is the only place I can be myself, and I guess there genuinely are times where I am having a good time, and when you see me having a good time, it’s REAL… Other than that, unless I’m having a manic episode, I’m generally just… existing. So to me… Is it even real if it’s a Bipolar manic episode? No.
I’m so tired of having to pretend I’m this person I’m not around people, just because that outgoing, upbeat person is who they know me as. It’s exhausting.

For a while, I had a little bit of myself back when I first started my medication for Bipolar. I have nothing against taking medication, I am a suicide risk without it, and so this isn’t me hating on my medication… I’m just ashamed and upset that it’s the medication that dictates whether I’m able to show people the real me or not.

I don’t understand what’s going on. Why can’t I be myself? When will I be myself? How can I stop thinking that my diagnosis is who I am?

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That’s hard. Having to be “on,” putting on a lively and charming front is draining. It’s easy enough to say be yourself, you’re good enough, but I do it too. Monotonic analytical robot me isn’t a good time, so I turn up the charm and the smile. They think I’m fun, they have a good time, I enjoy that people like being around me, everyone wins. And then I go into hibernation for 2 months because it’s exhausting. The thing is they know who I really am, they’re just happy to see me having a “good day,” and that feedback keeps me acting and draining myself. I don’t know what to tell you, other than I know what you’re saying.

Other than that, bipolar doesn’t define you. Who is Kayla? Kayla is not bipolar disorder, any more than Kayla might be diabetes or cancer. You are not your disorder. It may influence the way you act and feel, but it is not your personality or your character.