24. How much of your life has been stable/euthymic, depressed and hypo/manic?
My family first noticed changes in me when I was very young. I remember having a hard time in third grade, specifically. It was my first manic episode. My “imaginary friends” kind of took over that part of my childhood. My memory fails me through the majority of that time. After my pediatric hospitalization, the dark cloak that would become my closest frenemy enveloped me.
Depression has been the ruler of me since 2003.
When I was 14, I survived my first attempt. The months following shortly after have blurred together. I really just remember enduring a long, never ending cycle and pre-occupation with self-destruction. I can vividly recall the Thanksgiving after this episode. I was lying in bed, black sheets over the windows, clutching my teddy bear, staring at the wall ahead of me. I listened to my family laughing and hollering, spending time with each other. Even moving my joints was unbearable due to confining myself in bed for so long. I could hear my aunt asking what was wrong with me, and why I wouldn’t come out to spend time with them. Even now, some of my family refers to that time as a ploy for attention. I don’t think they will ever fully understand the amount of pain I suffered.
2008 and 2009 were my best years as far as teenage life goes. I had a wonderful boyfriend, I was starring in all of my high school’s plays and musicals, I ran varsity cross country, enjoyed ballet classes, got into AP Art, traveled, went to museums, met intoxicating people, and loved life with all I had. Sure, I had some rough patches, but I was able to move past those with more ease. I was happy.
2010. I cringe at it. 2010 was my worst year. Heroin addiction, heightened schizophrenia, acute psychosis, alcoholism, the death of my grandfather, gang rape, and another failed attempt. To be honest, I’m surprised I survived it.
Early 2011 was devoted to rehab facilities, group therapy, relapses, and recovery. Mania hit me hard for the first time in my adult life. I had moved a total of 18 times during 2011. I sold my possessions for a plane ticket to India (which I never used, mind you), I got into prostitution, nearly got arrested, dealed opiates, cut my hair and dyed it pink….
Towards the last part of the year, the hallucinations really set in. I had never experienced them like this, not even in my current state. I remember one day it was so bad, I called my friend at the time to come save me; I was on top of the building of my counselor’s office, overwhelmed by the voices.
It wasn’t until 2012 that I had stabled out. For almost 2 years, I was alright, coasting along with little issues. I was neither manic nor depressed.
I’ve been falling into another depressive episode. Sometimes I feel that the crescendo is coming. Though, I’ll stably sad- if that makes any sense at all.