Since I was eight years old, I’ve suffered from depression. Stemming from the abuse and negativity in my household since my dad remarried, my depression only grew more and more as the years passed. When my dad finally divorced my step-mom, I thought things would get better. My abuser was out of the house, I was going to therapy — real therapy, rather than the crazy women my step-mom took me too — and I was going to be free.
One year later, when I was fifteen, I was hospitalized for attempted suicide.
Things have gotten better in the seven years since then. When I was eighteen, I was diagnosed with rapid-cycling bi-polar disorder and put on medication. I dropped to a part-time high school student and graduated with at least some dignity. I got into college, moved away from my hometown, and started to move on with my life.
Unfortunately, life isn’t that easy. There is no magic fix for bi-polar disorder. Even medicated, there are times when my depression and mania come out, particularly when I’m stressed.
Right now, I’m very stressed.
I’m currently living in Chengdu, China, the capitol of the Sichuan province and home of the Panda Research Institute. I’ve been studying Mandarin Chinese here since August, and will continue to be here until early May. When I move home, I’m beginning my final year in my undergraduate degree, moving in with my boyfriend, and need to find a job. After that? Who knows! I might go directly to grad school, I might take a year off and work, I might move to Japan through the JET program and teach for a year or two. Along with all this, I’m trying very hard to get published while still keeping up with my reading and working on my other books, as well as struggling through my first relationship.
All of that, mixed with my favorite relative dying, my father selling my childhood home while I was in China, my lack of money, and my inability to stay healthy for more than a week at a time has left me a mess of stress and depression.
Normally when I’m depressed, I write. But for some reason, I can’t bring myself to do it. I stare at the page and hate everything. Not the normal, “I hate my writing” thoughts, but the story, the characters. I hate myself for being a writer and getting into the world of publishing. I think about posting in my blog and I feel sick to my stomach. I haven’t had a new story idea in months — which is beyond weird for me — and I have no motivation.
So what have I been doing?
Well, sleeping. Recently my boyfriend convinced me to play some video games (and I have been for a few days). It’s helping, as Pokemon and I have been friends since I was 3-years-old, but it’s not enough. I still get moments where I want to lay in my bed and never move again. I feel empty. Soulless.
The reason I’m writing this is partly because I feel like I need to say something, and partly because I need to write it down for myself. This is my blog. It’s for my writing, and it’s for my soul. It’s taken me many years to accept the fact that my bi-polar is part of who I am, and therefore a part I can’t hide from. So I’m facing it head on. It’s taken me a bit, as the depression has been very nasty this time, but I’m doing it.
I will get back to writing again. Maybe even tonight. I will smile every day again.
I will not hide from my depression. I will not be ashamed of who I am, whether that be because of my writing ability, my Chinese ability, my personality, or my bi-polar.
Because to be ashamed of myself is admitting that society is right about those with mental illness.
I will write again.