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By Lenora Altom

By Lindsey AltomPublished about a month ago 3 min read
Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Well, here we are...I'll be thirty-seven in about a month, and as I sit here thinking of my life and my recent diagnosis I realize my whole life has been leading up to this point. A handful of pills, perhaps more to come, a lifetime of therapy in my future which I had succumbed to already, tracking my moods, learning my triggers, and watching my sleeping and eating patterns to be sure that I take care of myself properly. Some days I have to force myself to get out of bed because I simply want to melt into the bed and disappear. However, when you're a mother you don't get that option. I also know that I must force myself to get up, keep moving, make plans, and set goals or I will fall into that inevitable dark hole again. The dark hole I have clawed my way out of countless times, the hole that seems so comforting in ways but I also have the sense to know that it would end me. I know that as easy as it sounds to give in and give up; that darkness is not my friend and it will tear me apart limb by limb and piece by piece if I allow it to. My mental health is something I have struggled with since adolescence. You could blame it on childhood trauma, family history, or just a bad draw of the cards but it is something I live with every day. I've always felt that my brain was out to get me; perhaps, even trying to kill me. It has always felt like my brain is in a hurricane and the rest of my body is this crazy weatherman thinking she can somehow tame the storm like Jesus and that's what I've been trying to do my entire life, tame the storm. I beg, I cry, I pled, I pray, I hit my knees in desperation and sometimes yes, there is a relief but it is usually temporary. The storm always comes back. There are glimpses in my life where I am happy. There are things and people in my life that make me happy. There are things I'm passionate about such as writing for example and spreading awareness. Sometimes I get excited almost giddy about life and I make all these plans that I think will improve my life or make me happy. I try to cling to these plans when the darkness comes back. I cling to them as if they are my only lifeline. My only rope as I hang off the cliff of life. One day, I'll buy an RV and a Jeep, live in the mountains, or maybe travel all over the U.S.. I think a hot tub will make me happier so I might buy that, I think getting back with my ex will make me happy so I pursue him even though that is not a good idea, I think I need something and why should I deny myself of this happiness so I buy it or pursue it. I'll be fine for a little while, months even and then I get restless. I can't explain it other than to say that it's like an itch deep inside and suddenly I'm not fully happy and content with life and I need something to change. I need a change of scenery, an adventure, something...anything. The thing is though that nothing I do ever lasts to satisfy that itch. So yes, my moods are up and down and to be honest, I never know what I'm going to feel when I wake up. It's a surprise every day even for me. Why does having mental illness have such a stigma? I can't help this; can't control it. I didn't ask for it. I certainly don't want this storm in my mind but I'm learning more and more about myself every year. This year, just a couple of days ago, a psychiatrist told me that she thought I may have bipolar disorder type II. She told me to research it and form my own opinion and the more testimonials I look up the more the piece seems to fit into this complicated puzzle that is my brain. So, there it is. I have bipolar type II. Maybe now I can get some answers to how my brain truly functions and why it does what it does. That's truly all I've ever wanted... answers.


About the Creator

Lindsey Altom

For me, writing runs in the blood. I've written songs, poems and short stories ever since I was a little girl. I mostly like to write about my life experiences mixed with a little fiction or just things that come off the top of my head!

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    Lindsey AltomWritten by Lindsey Altom

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