Growing up I was bubbly and outgoing. I grew up in a wonderful family. In high school I got good grades and was active in sports. I went on to college, joined a sorority, and had a big group of friends. Despite all that, my time at college was a tough time for me. Anxiety consumed me. I was nervous all the time in classes that a professor would call on me. If I was late to class, I would not go because everyone would stare at me. I also had very bad tremors and sometimes would have friends to write checks for me. Throughout all that I did manage to graduate with a bachelor’s degree.
After graduation I moved out on my own. I was an independent woman with a full time job, a big social life, and lots of friends. I was doing great but after about 2 years my life started to fall apart. I was crying and sad all the time. I lost interest in a lot of the things I used to enjoy. I was losing hope. I started drinking almost every day to cope. I can remember as far back as junior high that I had bouts of depression but I always got over it. This time was different. I could not get over it. After an attempted suicide I started seeing a psychiatrist and diagnosed with major depression and anxiety and put on medication and started seeing a therapist. It was not helping and I was not getting better. I reached one of my lowest points when I ended up in the hospital after my sister found me unconscious in her garage from an overdose and carbon monoxide poisoning.
I went on to move in with my wonderful parents. I still could not get better. I was in and out of hospitals. I remember I would just lay on the couch all day and do nothing not even watch tv. I had no desire to see or talk to family or friends. I remember at one point thinking how nice it would be to have a vacation from myself because sometimes my mind was just going a mile a minute. All I wanted to do was go to sleep and never wake up!!!
It was during one of my many hospital stays. I got an accurate diagnosis of Bipolar 2 disorder. I went on a mood stabilizer and got better. It has been six years now since being diagnosed. I finally feel stable enough to go out and look for a full time job again in the mental health field. I want to help others like me reach the recovery stage. I now serve on a mental health board for my area, am a co-facilitator for a woman’s support group, and volunteer at my local NAMI. It has been a very long hard battle. I now know that this will be an ongoing battle but it certainly helps to know I AM NOT ALONE IN THIS FIGHT.