I have always struggled with balance. I had an especially difficult time in high school with severe mood swings. I got pregnant at the age of seventeen, and left home to live in a group home. During this time I found my birth son a loving home. After his birth and adoption I returned home. Shortly after returning home I was hospitalized for postpartum depression.
After I got out of the hospital I still felt emotionally out of control. I spent the next two years self-medicating with alcohol, and struggling to hold down steady employment. Then I met Justin. He not only became my very best friend, but also my husband. Justin was my lifeline to normal. Even though I continued to struggle with months of mania or depression, Justin stood by me. We welcomed our son Tyler just over nine months after we were married. I suffered from another bout of postpartum depression after Tyler was born.
It has been nine months since I was diagnosed, and though there have been bumps in the road, I feel better than I ever remember feeling.
When Tyler was six months old we moved, and the change pulled me out of my depression and threw me into a full blown manic episode. Being a stay at home mom allowed me to hide my symptoms. When Tyler was almost two, I decided to go back to college. I made it through one quarter, but by the start of the next quarter, I was so manic I felt completely disconnected from the world. My mania came to a head and I soon crashed down in to the worst depression I had ever experienced.
I told Justin I needed help. We found my psychiatrist, with the help of my primary care doctor, and I received my diagnosis of bipolar disorder. It has been nine months since I was diagnosed, and though there have been bumps in the road, I feel better than I ever remember feeling.
I am grateful for the support of my family and friends. I am especially grateful for Justin and Tyler; they inspire me every day to fight for balance and maintain a positive outlook as I face the ups and downs.
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