Partially thanks to the wonderful world of Tracy Turnblad, I am over-hauling and completely reorganizing my life. One of the steps in my process was arranging pictures on Facebook. While I was working, I noticed something that shouldn't shock me but that I found disconcerting all the same. A year of my life is missing. I make a lot of jokes about my junior year of college and most people know a little about what happened there, but it wasn't until I was looking through old photos that it really hit me what a mess I'm capable of making.
For those of you who don't know, don't remember, or don't completely understand, I fell into a deep hole of uncertainty during my third year in college. It started some when I was a sophomore but didn't hit hard until October 2007. I still deal with the consequences of my behavior to this day. I would be remiss if I didn't mention that this is one of those instances that I know for certain our Heavenly Father put dear Rushing in my heart for a reason. If not for him, I may not be here to share this with you right now. Now I know that it was BiPolar Disorder that controlled my life.
I felt like a victim everywhere I went. A dark depression caused me to spend almost every evening spiraling into a place that looked so tragic to me, I couldn't come out of it if I wanted - and I didn't want to. Of course I experienced the exhilarating mountains that can be mania, but mine often manifested itself in extreme irritation, even anger. I was positive that everyone despised me and chose to make sure they thought I hated them too. God led me to a school and department with truly loving, charitable people. I lost a lot, but I know many forgave me for much more than I could ever deserve.
This is not to say that all is better. I see these patterns in my relationships even now. Medication helps some, but honestly it's more the knowledge of what's happening and the belief that Jesus can conquer it. This is the reason for my first tattoo: a green ribbon which stands for mental health awareness. I was scared to talk to anyone and even more embarrassed by the fact that I couldn't get a grip on myself. Whether you're depressed, manic, or just confused, please ask for help. I'm lucky that all I lost was one year.