I have been a mental health freak who has failed epically to do any significant thing to improve themselves. I have watched millions of youtube videos, spent hours reading mental insights about the film or tv show characters I like, and I have gotten lost in millions of cry-for-help articles. They have gotten me a little far but I have not taken a step I believe was fundamentally altering.
It all changed at the beginning of summer where my heart was broken for the first time. The downwards spiral went getting worse and worse and ended with me sitting in a shrink’s office hysterically crying about how lost and hopeless I felt. This heightened feeling of desperation was of course strengthened by the unexpected break-up but it was obvious that it was not even close to being the reason. The hyper state came as a result of the duality of my character.
I have always been an extremely happy and joyful person with an extremely dark dementor within them. I would one day feel like the best person to be alive, capable of achieving anything; and later a lost cause with no direction to be headed or no purpose to be fought for. The tiring thing is, it is already pretty hard to manage one of these “personalities” and I have to feed both their needs simultaneously. I have to go through days where I feel like a million bucks and a piece of shit in a matter of seconds. The funny part is although this side of me cripples me with tearful nights and sing-and-cry sessions with Adele, I love it. It also blesses me with such moments of joy and pure happiness that I literally jump up and down or run around screaming at the top of my lungs. This duality builds me and breaks me. Or, so I thought.
As I mentioned earlier, I took a major step towards healing by starting to go to therapy. I would always mention that I have likened myself to a bipolar patient with never-ending mood cycles and extremely fragile ever-changing mindsets. The shrink would always dismiss this idea, not because he failed to see or understand but because he wanted me to break the habit of self-diagnosing and obsessing over my mental state. This week things have turned around when my shrink actually told there was a possibility that my self-diagnosis could be accurate. This was just a suggestion with no solid ground yet, but of course, even the suspicion was enough to drive me to long, long conversations with myself and a couple of close friends.
Now I stand hopelessly not knowing if I am a patient or not. Now I stand here having lost my sense of self. I do not know much about bipolar different than its textbook description because I have never met a person with bipolar diagnosis or have not gone through with my journey under the label. I stand questioning every decision and every choice I have ever made. I stand losing faith in my judgment, the thing I felt most proud of.
I have always thought my strong part was my real-self, and my darker times were the phase I had to go through. A friend of mine pointed out that this was a very BoJack way of thinking, dismissing the parts of my personality I did not internalize or fully accept. I get her and actually find her point pretty accurate but still, it falls short emotionally. I stand confused about who I really am and confused about how “true” my reactions or thoughts have been so far. Am I the glowingly happy kid? Am I the cynical, depressing and confused kid? Or am I neither and are both just projections of my disease-infused brain?
Whatever the diagnosis may be, or however my mental health journey shall continue, I know I am headed for a better direction. I know all this hardship I go through will pay off eventually as I learn to love myself entirely and embrace the life with the punches it throws. I am filled with fear and hope.