I grew up mostly in Alexandria, Minn., but moved to Ada in the 6th grade. When I was young I was a very emotional child. I was put into a special class, even thought I knew I wasn’t dumb. Just everyone else thought I was.

I don’t remember much about those days except for one day and that was the day the counselor (who was not a psychologist or psychiatrist) said I was bipolar. My mom did not believe him and neither did I. I was normal but no one believed me. I still remained in those classes till I was in 9th grade, being teased and taunted and called retarded. After a while I just learned to accept that maybe I was retarded, which i dont get. I took an IQ test, a real one where you are one on one with a certified trained psychologist and I was told by him that I was normal — but everyone kept treating me like a retard.

Well, that’s all in the past. Let’s zoom up to high school. I started cutting to cope with all the bullying. Not to mention I was sexually assaulted when i was 15. I started noticing my moods a little more and how they bounce up and down. Never thought I was bipolar. When I was 17 i started therapy. I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder and depression. Give me a pill and a little talk once every two weeks and I thought I was cured.

Nope.

The pill i got was Paxil and everything got worse. They gave me Paxil CR and still worse. Mood swings so bad I was in the principal’s office at least once a week, whether for spray-painting the dumpster, smoking on school premises, drinking, or just plain cutting class. Wasn’t I putting my brain to good use?!

Now this went on till I was 18. I was then prescribed Prozac. Now I started noticing the moods a little more. Started thinking about what was wrong. I’m a smart person, I should know what’s going on. Well, the cutting got worse and my English teacher saw my arms. I started going to her for help. She talked to me when I was going through depression and put up with me when I was manic. Then I did a report on self-injury for her and my psychology teacher got hold of it. So now he knows. He told the school psychologist, whom I trust, and I told her I’m getting help and I don’t need the school to get involved. She understood.

Then I was done with school. I went to graduation drugged up on Vicodin, took my diploma and went out into the world. I moved back to Alexandria and started therapy there. Then the diagnosis came up — bipolar I. The school was right. Now that I’m out of school I didn’t care. I can get the help I need and move on.

I developed an eating disorder over the summer. Bulimia nervosa. My psychiatrist prescribed me Lamictal. I developed an allergic reaction within a week on it. Then I was put on Trileptal, which helped a lot. I lost my insurance so then I went off Trileptal and my Prozac. Withdrawals and all. I was put on Abilify and then after a month of use I was taken off for gaining weight. Then I was put on lithium, which I am on today.

So far the cutting has decreased to once a week. My purging decreased from every day, twice a day, to once a day, once a week. Everything is going great now. I got a job that I love, a brand new cat that annoys the hell out of me, and a boyfriend who loves me for who I am and knows all about me. Also a therapist shaking his head at me for the dumb stuff I pull each week (drinking).

This is my story. Now excuse me, I’ve got to write some more in my book of life.

–blackdragon