Stuck In The Middle With Me: A Brief Introduction

“I grew up in this kind of fishbowl existence and I figured, if people were going to say it about me, then I was going to say it first and I was going to say it better. It’s my way of trying to own a situation.”

– Carrie Fisher

I couldn’t have said it better myself and I won’t sit here and try to pretend I can.

My personal battle with the big, bad bipolar disorder has been a long one. Seventeen years, in fact. I was 15 when I was first diagnosed. I was 17 when I was diagnosed for the second time. But it wasn’t until I was 24 that I first started to seek out treatment. And by then enough damage had been done.

I love the above quote because it was with a similar attitude that I initially approached my openness about my disorder. I didn’t care. Everyone else seemed to know I was bipolar before me and it didn’t appear to be bothering them too much. So why should I care now? Why should I try and change anything now?

I, to my sad misfortune would later learn, was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder as a teenager — a prime time for such a discovery to be made! And then, for some reason, I found myself content just sitting in the soup for the next ten years.

I was “diagnosed” for the first time at 15. My parents and the doctor were not in agreeance, however. So, at 17 my when my parents kicked me out, I was diagnosed again. Two years had passed, though, and I no longer cared how my behavior affected anyone else. Not even myself. It’s not that I was angry or acting out of defiance or anything. I truly didn’t care what people thought about me, which at the time seemed like a good thing.

Looking back now, not so much.

Someone once told me that not caring what people thought about me was one of my best, and worst, qualities. Once I became aware of that, however, it became a game to me. I went out of my way to make people feel uncomfortable when they were around me.

This went on for years with me thinking the feelings and behaviors I was exhibiting was just an inherent part of who I was.

Which, in a way, I guess ended up being somewhat true.

Carrie Fisher said it best, though: own your situation, don’t let it own you.

To be continued…

My personal battle with the big, bad bipolar disorder has been a long one. Seventeen years, in fact. I was 15 when I was first diagnosed. I was 17 when I was diagnosed for the second time. But it wasn’t until I was 24 that I first started to seek out treatment

2 Comments

  1. My attitude towards Tourette Syndrome, OCD and GAD has improved dramatically over the past few years, but it still owns me. I don’t like the otherness it generates and frankly, those conditions are painful at times. I care way too much what people think of me, and I’m constantly trying to read their minds. A work in process I suppose.

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