There was a time when I was normal. I remember it. I think it was high school, that would explain all the dreams I have of high school classmates. I hadn’t yet felt the true darkness of depression, though it whispered in the wind. And mania, well, I didn’t even know what that word meant.
I was a cheerleader, the JROTC commanding officer – maybe I was too busy to bother with noticing I was getting sick. College was much the same, president of this and that club, working 20 hours a week on top of schoolwork. I had depressive episodes but mania had yet to really show itself.
It was after college that I began to show signs of my illness. It was a late onset of bipolar disorder 1, usually it reveals itself in a person’s early twenties for me it was mid-to-late twenties.
So, I became the “crazy” member among the family. They say bipolar disorder runs in families, but no one has come forward to tell me that great Uncle Bubba suffered like I do. (Names have been changed 🙂 ). I am the first. I hope to be the last.
It doesn’t always feel good living with bipolar disorder – though, at moments, mania can be an indescribable high. I have made great friends who live with mental illness. So, there is that, and each and every day, they fight a battle against their mind – the one that tells them they are better off dead than to live in this world that doesn’t understand them.