*Trigger Warning- Suicide* The realization I describe in this post made me feel very suicidal when I had it several months ago (I am fine now), read at your own risk, and please be safe.
“It gets better.”
The most depressing realization I ever had about being bipolar was when I read a 17 year old girl’s account about her bipolar. She says she sat on the edge of her bed with pills in hand, ready to swallow them all. But instead of taking her life, she went to her mother’s room and sought comfort.
She ended it by saying, “It gets better.”
(I wasn’t very inspired.)
We’ve heard that a million times- “It gets better.”
And it does get better.
Before I read her post, I would say that too, “It gets better.”
But dear sweet little 17 year old girl, if the doctors say you’re bipolar. Then you’re sick for the rest of your life.
I was your age when I found myself holding a noose, what stopped me was that I couldn’t find a place to tie it up at. A month later, I was put on medication, and for what seemed like the first time in my life- I was happy. I was just like you, trying to tell everyone how things “can get better.”
And then two years later at the beginning of winter, I slit my wrist open and the consequences led to a hospitalization which led to me getting suspended and much more. Suddenly I realized how deep I’d fallen again. And then about a year later, I had a job and I was doing well in college and I was so very successful. And I was saying, “Things do get better.”
And then another year passed and I fell and broke my wrist. And with my wrist, my mind followed suit and I found myself more manic than I ever knew I could be. I made many plans to vandalize, let a man film me doing a sexual act, popped pills like candy, and more. That winter I spent my days half cracked open. Then school started again, and I was too far gone. I dropped all my classes, and took the time off to heal bone and brain.
When I broke my wrist I was told, even with the surgery, that it would “never be the same again.” But what’s scary is that that same phrase can be applied to my mental health. That manic episode changed me, I will “never be the same.” So when I read that 17 year old girl’s account of how everything gets better, I looked at my own life. At the cyclic nature of my disorder.
And I realized something terrifying.
It may get better.
But it can, and probably will, get worse again.
It’s a pattern, don’t you see?
Good to bad, bad to good, good to bad… and so on.
They say bipolar is a chronic, life-long illness.
And they say that for a reason.
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