Its been years of highs, lows, impulsive decisions, sleepless nights, crippling depression, and various addictions. I generally thought it was just the weird little life I was living and having to roll with the punches – no one I knew was like me or would ever understand. This was until, around two years ago, I had burned all my bridges in the UK from my erratic behavior and jumped on a plane to move to the other side of the world, knowing no one. I landed a job teaching English somewhere in Ho Chi Minh City and refused to know anything other than that.
This is when I met my best pal, Eve. She was also from the UK and had the revelation to move away a lot earlier than I had. Our behaviors mirrored exactly, we got ourselves into the same kind of ruts and our moods went up and down like yo-yos. She was the first person who could fully relate to who I was, and she also knew we had some kind of mental disorder. Getting to the end of her tether she booked herself into see the doctor and was diagnosed with type 2 bipolar, she gently nudged me to do the same. No surprises, I came out with the same diagnosis.
It was scary but also offered some explanation. It made me ponder my past unexplainable decisions – putting myself into dangerous/life-threatening situations, going on 4-day benders, getting ridiculous tattoos. All these decisions were stemmed from a complete disregard of my life because I felt untouchable at that moment – I didn’t care for the consequences. After these manic episodes would come the feeling of hopelessness and dread, unable to leave the shelter of my room. To sum this up perfectly, I was once fired from my job because ‘I wasn’t the happy girl they once interviewed.’
Then there is my inability to stick to more than one thing at a time. I want to be in PR! No, I want to be a make-up artist! Ohhhh this super expensive course to be a psychotherapist is definitely my path! Ill manically buy all courses and go on splurges to make sure I have all the right kit, then drop the idea a few days later. I have so many projects on the go I cant count. I’ll lay awake at night buzzing for my future, all the ideas whirling around my brain uncontrollably to the point of little or no sleep for them to lead to nothing.
My opinion of myself changes immensely. One day ill think I’m the most brilliant, funny person to ever walk the planet. Then my world will come crashing down, provoked by something small or by nothing at all, and ill wonder if anyone actually cared if I died. It’s very much moods of the extreme – no middle ground or grey area can be found. It’s the darkest black or purest white.
Anger is prevalent in my life. I’ll be irritable over the tiniest of things and snap, saying uncouth, cutting remarks to people who are only trying to help me. My hot head has got me into uncountable arguments and lost me a lot of friends, but I just can’t seem to contain it. 99% of the time, I wish I could swallow the words I’ve said back up.
I have been offered medication for bipolar, which I took for only a short time. There were about 5 pills (can’t exactly remember) I had to take a day, 2 of which were quite heavy sedatives. I stopped taking them after a week, but want to get re-diagnosed in the UK.