One day things were fine, the next day I was out of my mind. The thoughts racing through my head at a hundred miles an hour. Suicidal thoughts that would not seem to leave me alone. This was not me. I grew up in a loving family, I’m in a band, I’ve got a great girlfriend. Why am I suddenly depressed all day and having these suicidal tendancies? I decided to run away from all of it. I packed my bag with a few things and hit the road. I didn’t have a destination. I didn’t even have a good taste in my mouth about my friends, or family, or what was going to happen to me. Thoughts were fuzzy and scattered. One minute I was thinking about jumping in front of a train, the next minute I would laugh at myself for having such a thought.
After about a week on the road, I woke up one morning very affected by my surroundings. I was cold, hungry, alone in the street. My mind felt like scrambled eggs and I decided it was time to connect with someone. I showed up at my cousin’s house and explained to him that I had found God. His face told me that he thought I was joking. But the more I said, the more concerned he got, and the next thing I knew my dad was there to pick me up. After many worried hugs and shoulder shakes, I was taken to the hospital and diagnosed with manic depression.
Bipolar living is no joke. I’m on a ton of pills that make me feel fuzzy and tired even though my thoughts have cleaned up for the most part and I sort of feel like me again. I’m still in a band, but my friends are always concerned about how I’m feeling or whether or not I’m going to disappear again. My grandparents aren’t quite sure how to deal with my manic depression either. The medication is costing them money, and they keep searching for a permanent cure. If I don’t take my medication, I start to say things about the world in my mind and people around me get a little scared because I become unpredictable. I’ve started going to church every week because I want to ask God for a cure. I wish living bipolar didn’t entail a bunch of pills that take me out of myself. But then again I’m not myself when I don’t take the medicine either. It’s tough!
I just have to get through it one day at a time. My family and I have family time together every evening and talk about normal family things. Like how our day was. How class was. How is the band doing? Do we have a new drummer yet or any gigs coming up? But in the back of my mind there is a constant nagging, telling me that everyone is judging me for being a freak. I feel like they’re scared of me. They think I could break at any moment. And the sad thing is that I could.
Adjusting to living with bipolar disorder is a difficult thing to do after leading a semi-normal life for eighteen years. But like Father Walsh tells me, “Life is a struggle only to teach.” So I try to be understanding and compassionate. I work real hard every day to override my sour feelings of not fitting in. My music is getting better and my drive is getting stronger. With the help of my friends and family, I will use my feelings about this bipolar madness to fuel me on the path to greatness.