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I still have bipolar.
But it’s nothing to be scared of!
They label you and tell you you need to be medicated forever—forever?
That takes a lot of getting used to, believe me, and I did, I believed them.
After falling for it for nine years, I realised "they" were wrong.
Medication helps, I will not deny that, and, sometimes it is necessary, but it does not necessarily need to be for the rest of your life.
After nine years, I approached a period of my life when I felt strong enough and brave enough because seriously it couldn’t get much worse – I didn’t care if I lived or died. Had nothing to lose—absolutely nothing. I was stagnant, I was middle-aged, I was alone and desperately unfulfilled—the total opposite of fulfilled—EMPTY!
As I came off the medication, I went through a roller-coaster ride, I felt like I was surfing the wave of life—from deep deep sadness, loss, grief, and distress to total and utter elation! It was fleeting at times and others lasted for days, I was reckless and scared and totally out of control at times, but I rode that fucking wave until I conquered it and am now enjoying the ride of what I call life, a happy life!
I feel things again, I go up and I go down, but it is worth it. Living in a drug-infused world was killing me. I was numb; I drank alcohol and took drugs just to cover the pain and I put on over 30 kg. It was literally killing me physically, mentally, and emotionally.
If I died and looked back at my life (back then) I would have been so disappointed with what I was doing and where I was. I would have felt cheated and asked God for a refund!
The thing about feeling is that most times the good defeats the bad, the more good I had the more I hung onto that feeling and the more I reached out and opened up to it. I had woken up to the fact that it was there—I had felt like a zombie for such a long time—I realised I could make more of the good happen!
I made little changes; I stuck to a routine and monitored my moods. I began to be able to control the downward spiral and also the upward buzz and make ‘good’ choices. Every day I became more in control and I knew I could do anything I put my mind to.
Every day I congratulated myself for the small wins and it made me want to accomplish more. For me, having a shower every day is in itself a win; it’s good. I feel enough self-worth to clean myself, and the running water invigorates my body, and I no longer see it as a hard thing to do—once upon a time, I just couldn’t do it—the will wasn’t there, I didn’t even see the point, I was just too tired and defeated. I didn't care how I looked or smelt!
I no longer want to die. I have plans and dreams and am excited for the first time in a long long time. I now feel like there isn’t enough time left to do all the things I want to do! I only regret I didn’t realise it sooner. I literally wasted nine years of my life, nine years I will never get back, and I mourn those years—more than anything I mourn the loss of not having a child, when all my friends were having families I just wasn’t capable; I wasn’t capable of looking after myself let alone a child. That makes me sad.
I know one day I might fall off the surfboard or it will at times get rocky, but I am fit and strong mentally and will deal with that when it comes.
I never say never to any outcome or possibility and that prepares me for the unknown—I try to live day by day, making every moment count and counting my blessings. I may have lost nine years of living but am making up for the lost time and hope my story will help someone else not to fall into the trap.