I thought that I would start this off with a post about me so that you know who you’re hearing from. I’m going to try and keep this part as short as I can and add details through later posts.
I grew up in a small-ish town in Ontario, Canada. I had two loving parents and two younger brothers. My parents weren’t perfect and there was some dysfunction in the family (including mental illness) but they tried. My immediate family was also close with my uncles/aunts, cousins, and grandparents.
I was fortunate enough to take competitive dance lessons and spent the majority of my childhood and teenage years at the dance studio. I took my dancing very seriously. I can remember being in classes where all of the girls were laughing and having a good time while I focused on the steps we were learning and I was annoyed by their behaviour. While I didn’t have a diagnosis at this time, looking back, I can notice the start of symptoms from an early age.
I was bullied in elementary school and hated going to school. I had a few friends during this time but they never lasted.
High school was a miserable time in my life. I was trying to find myself, and through that process I made some bad choices that I still agonize over to this day. I knew for sure that I had anxiety and depression, but that was all that I knew at the time. Looking back, I can see that my symptoms of bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder started getting worse during these years. This is also when my paranoid delusions began. When I was 14 I officially started seeing doctors to deal with depression and anorexia. The anorexia didn’t last long – it was just a coping strategy for me. My mom found out what I was doing and got extremely angry with me so I moved to other coping strategies that were less noticeable to her. But the depression persisted.
I started University in 2006. I kept to myself and just worried about my studies. School was difficult with progressing mental illnesses. I ended up having to take time off from school and withdraw from classes because my symptoms worsened significantly and I just couldn’t deal with that along with school. I lost the honours part of my degree because of this so I cannot get my masters in Psychology unless I start a new BA. This is something that I really struggle with.
I got married in 2010. I was pretty happy during this time. I was on only one medication but it seemed to be helping.
In 2012, on our 2 year wedding anniversary I had a miscarriage. This was one of the most horrific things I’ve ever experienced. It put me into a deep depression and I was angry at the world for a long time afterwards.
I got pregnant again in 2013 and gave birth to my beautiful daughter Evelyn in January of 2014. There was some birth trauma that I still think about, but baby was healthy and that was my main concern. I also went back to school just before giving birth and finished my BA in October of 2014.
I was content with my new little family, but the anxiety and depression slowly started creeping back in. I didn’t have a regular psychiatrist at this time, so I went to my GP and got prescribed Cipralex. I had been off of all psychiatric medications while pregnant and breastfeeding. It took months, but it finally did start to help with my anxiety.
When my daughter was 2 years old, I experienced my first real manic episode. It lasted for weeks. I have a hard time admitting it, but in the end, this is what finished my marriage.
Over the following 3 years, I dated a bunch of losers trying to not be alone with myself. I experienced worsening symptoms of all of my illnesses. I got official psychiatrist diagnoses of Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, and Borderline Personality Disorder. I was hospitalized 3 times in 18 months. And I had constant changes made to my multiple psychiatric medications.
This brings us to today. I just got out of a 10 day inpatient hospital stay. I’m on several psychiatric medications. I have poor coping strategies that include self-harm. But the most important thing here is that I am trying to get better. I’m not letting these diagnoses get me down. I am working with a team that consists of doctors, a naturopathic doctor, psychiatrists, a life plan specialist, a peer mentor, outpatient groups at local hospitals, and I’m reading as much as I can to try and dig my way out of this hole.
Why am I sharing all of this with you? This is my purpose. My life design states that I am on this earth to experience trauma because I am strong and I can get through it, and then help others to do the same. I’m not all of the way there yet myself, but my ultimate goal is to help people. If I can help one person, my purpose will be fulfilled. How exactly I am going to help people is still to be determined, but I’m hoping that writing is a start.