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IMG_2307_Fotorjournallll3Before I was diagnosed bipolar my therapist and my psychiatrist were not getting the full picture of what was going on with me. This is what was happening:

I would get really really depressed. Then I would come out of the depression and know that I was depressed but forget how bad it was or what it really felt like. Then I would go into my appointments and say: “yeah, I’m low sometimes but it’s not that bad.” Then I would get really really happy sometimes, hyper happy, also known as hypomanic and by the time I was depressed again I would never really think the happiness ever actually happened.

I would sit in my providers’ offices trying to remember how I felt over the past month; knowing I was doing a pretty bad job saying “I think it’s been okay but this is how I am feeling now…..”

Thankfully I was a compulsive journaler. One day I started brining in my journals to my appointments and they started understanding the extent and depth of my mood swings. My words painted a picture for them of the darkness that I dwelled in and then the euphoria I flew to. They finally understood my hell.

It was a hell that at that moment in my life I could not vocalize. I could hardly stand to be in my own skin most of the time much less spend time trying to understand or comprehend what was happening to me. My life at that time didn’t feel like my own; as if I were a passenger sitting in a car driven by my disorder up and down mountain after mountain. All  I could do was hang on.

On one page I wrote: “I’m so alone and I cannot do this anymore I’m never getting out of bed again.” 

Four entries later I wrote: “The world is filled with so many endless opportunities; I do not know which one to choose.”

I still have every single one of those journals. I generally don’t read them; it’s not often to I look to so intimately visit that part of my life. But I’m so thankful for those books filled with my disease. They spoke for me when I couldn’t speak for myself.

My name is Erin and This is Where I Stand.