Hey kids, this is the second part of a three part series by my lovely and amazing friend, Linds B.
Every second of my existence was plagued with thoughts of her.
“Why wasn’t I good enough?”
“Am I really that unlovable?”
“What did I do wrong?”
“It was all my fault.”
Relentless self-blame. All I could think about was how my life would never be complete again without her. I was so sure I would never get out of this rut until I had her back in my life. I would try everything to get her back. With what little energy I could muster up, I would spend it all on efforts to reclaim her; which of course only made things worse. My breakdowns and anxiety attacks were more severe, more constant, to the point where I was always in pain, almost always in tears, vomiting on a daily basis. I had reached my breaking point. My old coping methods began to surface, I cut myself, many times. When I looked at my reckless decision, I cried, I watched my tears mix with my blood. It got so tricky to not explain the inner workings of my mind at the time to my parents, as I had never been one to share anything with my parents in spite of the fact I love them dearly. I tried talking to my mom about something so small and broke down, a panic attack quickly followed, I had never had one in front of either of my parents before. Through my tears I told my own mother I had lost the will to live.
There’s not a single doubt in my mind it’s the most difficult thing for any parent to hear that your child wants to die. In that moment, I could see how hard she tried to keep it together, but she didn’t lose her mind, she didn’t break down, she hugged me tight and told me that everything would end up okay in the end. In perhaps one of the strangest ways, that breakdown brought us closer than ever before in my life. Later that evening, as I sat alone in my bed, to my surprise, my mother came knocking on my door with two cups of coffee. She sat on the bed with me, and just talked to me about, well, everything. She broke her habitual evening ritual with my father; having coffee and watching Jeopardy and whatever else may come on TV until they both fall asleep, just to be with me. The most beautiful part about it all was that she didn’t fill my head with sweet delusions of perfect scenarios. It was in this moment I decided I was going to do something, I didn’t want to feel sad anymore, I didn’t just want to exist, I wanted to live, and I wanted to live my best life!
While coming to that conclusion is a step, nothing will ever prepare you for what you must put up with in order to make it through all the things life will inevitably throw at you. At this time, I knew nothing of self-care, to be what always cured my moody-blues was surrounding myself with others. So, what do you do when there aren’t any “others”, I would think to myself. My brain wasted no time swiftly reminding me how lonely I was, and then, you guessed it, breakdown.
That repetitive cycle of lifting myself up and getting knocked back down progressed on for what felt like a lifetime. After another talk with my mother, I had come to the decision I was going to look into some therapy. I knew I was in far too deep to take all of this on by myself, which before I knew it was progress in itself to have a thought like that. Luckily, I had a connection through a work friend to a solid therapist. I wasted no time getting everything set up and before I knew it I was in for an appointment. No lie, I was skeptical of the whole thing for a moment, knowing perfectly well I have gone through plenty of therapists in my past and have gotten nothing from it; After my first appointment I was already feeling the progress, as small as it was. The second session rolled around, I spilled my guts about everything and anything I could think of that could contribute to my struggles. I also learned and accepted that there’s never a day in life where you stop learning about yourself; it was that day I was diagnosed with bipolar, on top of everything else that was going on in my brain. It was weirdly freeing to hear, as crazy as that may come off to others, to me it was an opportunity to further getting to know myself.