Bipolar Disorder is a very complicated mental illness that I knew nothing about as a young girl. I knew all about depression and feeling sad, as I experienced this a lot growing up. However, I knew nothing about manic depression. I was often happy, sometimes sad, but nothing out of control. Bipolar disorder, as I learnt later in life, is a mental illness that is often hereditary and carried in the genes. However, it can lay dormant… and it cannot.
What I Did to Bring Bipolar Disorder to the Surface
As a teenager, in the city of Los Angeles, I mixed with the wrong crowd and started smoking marijuana, which made me completely paranoid and psychotic. I would lose control over my thoughts and once its effect passed over, I started getting curious about using other drugs. In my last year of school, I met a guy who I totally fell in love with and he was heavy into drugs. He wasn’t scummy or poor, but a really wealthy guy that dabbled with cocaine and ecstasy.
When he became my boyfriend he told me he didn’t want me doing marijuana anymore because it’s a trashy drug, and I told him not to do cocaine anymore as it was too hectic a drug. And so my party life began. My life was basically partying, eating very little, drinking a ton of coffee, smoking cigarettes, having no sleep, losing a lot of weight and taking ecstasy in the masses. Of course, it wasn’t just ecstasy. It was ecstasy, LSD, poppers, MDNA, and whatever I could get my hands on while I was partying.
Taking Me to the Depths of Hell
Eventually, I knew I had to leave my boyfriend – he had brought too many drugs and toxicity in my life and I had a very traumatic breakup, actually on 9/11, about 2 hours before the planes hit the two towers. That day was exceptionally traumatic for me, not as much, obviously for the people who suffered in that terrorist attack, but traumatic on my soul personally.
After breaking up with my boyfriend I stayed away from drugs – luckily I never got addicted, but because I was so addicted to him, my heart fell through the floor without him. Also all my friends were connected to him (as he had made me phone all my male friends in the beginning of the relationship and tell them I can’t be friends with them anymore (as he was extremely jealous)) and I lost absolutely everyone.
From having a life of partying and friendship and liveliness and love and sex and drugs and too much coffee and no sleep, something happened to my mind. It felt like I had a psychological breakdown, which I did, stopped eating and lost 40 pounds, making me anorexic looking, and felt like I had a spiritual awakening. I was hallucinating, I remember astral traveling where I saw my body sleeping in bed and started screaming for help. Colors around me started becoming more clear and I felt like I was hearing voices in my head.
It’s important to note I wasn’t sleeping or eating at this time, and walking the streets at night because I was driven by an impulse of nothingness. I had become extremely manic during this period writing crazy notes all over my notepad, was feeling channeled by spirits and my mind was connected, or felt connected to something else that was not on this physical plane.
Eventually the cops were called in to grab me from home. When they barged into my house I was in my underwear as they started grabbing me and three men in an ambulance took me and put me on a stretcher. I was screaming for water and help. They took me to the hospital.
When I got to the hospital, the Romanian psychiatrist evaluated me and told my parents I had Bipolar Disorder 1 – a severe form of Bipolar Disorder. I had no idea that that was the last day of my freedom for a year. Immediately I was ushered upstairs into the psychiatric ward and put into a bed. I was screaming and crying, experiencing a prison nightmare that I couldn’t get out of.
The Year of Healing
During that year, I slowly healed. It took a year to find the right medication to stabilize me. Once they found the correct medication there were always side effects, like my hands shaking so I was used like a guinea pig with hundreds of pills until after a year, a combination worked and I was allowed to leave the hospital.
What I Learned from Bipolar Disorder
If I could take it back, I never would have done the drugs – the drugs, the caffeine and not sleeping. I truly believe had I not treated myself so poorly by partying so hard, my bipolar disorder, which is hereditary, would have laid dormant. You see, I always had bipolar disorder – in school I was extremely creative, always thinking out of the box and getting the highest marks in my class. I was a brilliant child. My brain was brilliant and the bipolar part of it made me obsess over my work, it made me a perfectionist and it made me succeed. But at the end of my teenage years I abused my brain and hurt it and unleashed a dragon and it pulled me down.
My Life Now
Today I live a peaceful life with my dogs. After my boyfriend that got me into drugs I stopped dating men seriously – although there were a few along the way. I just didn’t trust men anymore. I am an artist and sell my paintings at certain museums and flea markets. I keep quiet and to myself these days and nobody looks at me thinking that woman had been abused mentally by drugs and is now classified as “mentally ill.”
My Hope for Bipolar Disorder Sufferers
All I wish is that people would stop making fun of bipolar disorder sufferers and thinking there is something wrong with them. Some of the most creative geniuses in life, Britney Spears, the late Robin Williams, Kurt Cobain and Vincent Van Gogh, Selena Gomez, Russell Brand, Mariah Carey and many more have this very misunderstood mental illness. It doesn’t mean we are unlovable. It doesn’t mean that we are going to hurt others. ALL it means is literally that “Our brains are different from yours,” so please, stop judging us.