My whole life things were fine, the next day I was out of my mind. The thoughts racing through my head at a hundred miles an hour. Depressing 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 sleeping every day and having these suicidal thoughts? I decided to run away from all of it. I packed my bag with my last meaningful belongings 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 off a cliff, the next minute I would laugh at myself for having such a thought.
After the next few days on the road, I woke up one morning very affected by my surroundings. I was cold, hungry, alone by the river. My mind felt like jelly 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 spoke with him, the more concerned he got, and the next thing I knew my mom was there to pick me up. After many worried hugs and shoulder shakes, I was taken to the hospital and diagnosed with manic depression.
Manic depression is no joke. I’m on a ton of medicines 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 doing or whether or not I’m going to take off again. My parents aren’t quite sure how to deal with my manic depression either. The pills are costing them money, and they keep searching for miracle cure. If I don’t take my medication, my mind starts to form crazy loops and people around me get a little scared because I become unpredictable. I’ve begun going to church twice a week because I want to ask God for a cure. I wish living with bipolar disorder 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 take it one day at a time. My family and I have supper together every evening and talk about normal family things. Like how our day was. How school was. How is the band doing? Do we have a new song yet or any shows coming up? But in the back of my mind there is a constant nagging, telling me that everyone is judging me for being bipolar. I think they’re scared of me. They think I could crack at any moment. And the sad thing is that I could.
Adjusting to living with manic depression is a hard 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 overcome 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 turn this bipolar disorder around and use it to fuel me on the path to greatness.