MY MENTAL ILLNESS HISTORY
The cliffs notes: I've been quite a few different kinds of batshit. Feeling relevant today because this grey weather has me feeling gross and I'm tryna remind myself how far I've come.
- •When I was in elementary and middle school, I started having feelings that seemed a bit like "sad" but also different.They were also similar to angry, in that I was mad at myself and the things I used to love that I didn't like anymore.
- •I remember being 12 or 13 and crying on the kitchen floor, dramatically yelling at my mom, "I'm not HAPPY anymore!"I tried to convince her to send me to a therapist but she didn't believe in therapy (still doesn't).
- •It ebbed and flowed and I missed a bunch of high school and just had it chalked up to me being sensitive.I'd already self-diagnosed it as depression but didn't have any professional input so even though I was a great student, I spent all of high school acting out my malaise to a ridiculous extent.
- •My sophomore year of college, I stopped going to most of my classes, and would wander around Berkeley with a blanket, calling my mom at 3am to try to get her to fly me home to New Jersey.She almost did but ultimately didn't, which was a blessing. I'm all for taking time off as a restorative/necessary measure but I know that in my case, I never would have graduated if I went back at that point. I was too far gone and going back to the suburbs would've cemented it.
- •I finally started seeing a therapist my junior year of college when I almost didn't pass a few classes.She was an elderly Jewish woman and I spent most of the sessions trying to get her to repeat dumb phrases. I think I hit my peak when I got this sweet grandma type to say, "going hogwild." Overall I think that bout of therapy did me well. I passed the classes.
- •I then fell in love with someone and decided I didn't need therapy anymore.HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA
- •I got dumped the week before I graduated from college and had my 22nd birthday, got blacked out every day for 2 months straight, lost 20 lbs, and fell off a roof on the Fourth of July.I have the infuriating (to my friends) habit of using humor to mask how bad things can get, so when I woke up on July 5 I sent everyone a bunch of selfies captioned, "I broke my face for America." I was actively detoxing at the time and couldn't move.
- •I found a new therapist (who I still see today) and quit drinking for a few months.I chose this one because after our initial phone session, she texted me pictures of her dog.
- •I was tentatively diagnosed as bipolar II but refused to try medication.Honestly I just didn't want to gain weight.
- •I got referred to a psychiatrist who immediately threw me on SSRIs and I spent a week hiding in my bed and crying.After doing more research, I keep thinking about how ridiculous it is that someone who was working off a bipolar diagnosis would put me on SSRIs????
- •I then stopped all medication for a year, until a few months ago I was referred to a different psychiatrist I trusted more. After a bunch of pointed questions, she let me know she didn't think I was bipolar. She thought I had ADHD.There goes like, half of my standup set! I felt relieved but also really confused, identity-wise. I thought I was bipolar and acted accordingly and that just got pulled away from me without any warning.
- •Now I'm on amphetamines and doing comparatively gr8.I'm still an anxious weirdo, but it's like that thing where someone who doesn't know they need glasses gets glasses and starts crying because they can see individual leaves. Amphetamines are like glasses for my head. It turns out you're a lot less depressed when you're not frustrated that you can't control your focus even when you try really really hard.
- •I still go to therapy and I still watch my drinking but I feel so much better now.Only took me a million years.