My psychological well being journey started once I was eleven years previous. It was 1991, and Kurt Cobain hadn’t stepped as much as the mic to sing “All Apologies” but. He hadn’t smashed one guitar out of rage in public. Hadn’t but dyed his hair purple in a match of mania for all to see.

At eleven years previous I used to be alleged to be all bubblegum and board video games. Driving my bike and laughing with mates.

As a substitute, I spent most of my days caught in some purgatory—caught between the frenzy of tween hormones and one thing that felt extra sinister broiling beneath the floor.

When a psychiatrist lastly mentioned the phrase “bipolar” to my mom and urged a dose of lithium, she was terrified. Psychological well being was not a buzzword. There was a stigma hooked up to the prognosis and an implication that my mom had performed one thing mistaken.

So we moved on.

We might preserve transferring on to new therapists all through my teen years. Making makes an attempt at discuss remedy—solely to find that there have been some secrets and techniques that my mom did not wish to be disclosed. Attempting totally different cocktails of medicines. Perhaps Zoloft. Perhaps Ritalin. Perhaps the brand new marvel drug on the time, Prozac.

None of those labored. The whole lot simply made my world extra foggy and complicated.

By the point I hit my “rebellious” teenage years, I used to be crawling out of my pores and skin. I couldn’t escape myself, so I began self-medicating. Weed and booze have been my medicine of selection, and I spent lots of time experimenting with totally different mixtures to see which one may take me the farthest outdoors of myself. In fact, this simply made my temper swings extra erratic and extreme, and I pushed down my actual feelings till I used to be a shell of myself.

I rock-bottomed in my 20s. I vacillated between sorority president and black-out drunk. Throughout my upswings, I used to be an A scholar, making the dean’s listing and planning meals drives for battered girls’s shelters. In my downswings, I’d binge drink and get up on the ground of a frat home, questioning the place my mates had gone and what I had performed to make them go away me.