It seems strange, as I look back, it has taken me 24 years to admit something might be wrong. I have been categorized as crazy, overly emotional, bitchy, cold, rude, too much, not enough. I think I accepted these labels because I am a woman. I’d think, “women are always super emotional” or “everybody is probably like me, I shouldn’t complain about having highs and lows because some people have it much worse than me.” The things is, I have permanently and momentarily ruined relationships because of the decisions I have made. I have mood changes frequently and to the utmost extreme all of my family, friends and former boyfriends have been perplexed by my actions at some point. I have been perplexed by my own actions. I plan to be social and have a deep desire for connection, but on innumerable occasions, I find myself within hours of said plans petrified to leave my house and can’t bring myself to even be around people I love. I wish I could explain the cycle better. The only way I know how to describe the battle within myself is it is exhausting desperately wanting to be around people, then suddenly not wanting to be around people, followed by being heartbroken when you find yourself alone.
I have fits of rage primarily directed at myself without much warning. When I make a mistake, even mistakes easily repairable, I sob or in an embarrassing yet alarming habit I’ve had for the last 10 years, I pinch or punch myself on my arms, legs and head. Writing this, I feel ashamed to admit I am an adult doing this. It seems like something toddlers would do to themselves. This is difficult to admit, but at the same time it feels likes some of the weight being lifted off of me because I can see it isn’t normal; it isn’t healthy. I cannot spend the rest of my life hiding or writing this behavior off as commonplace.
I need help. I need change. I hate change though. I am afraid of change. I am paralyzed by change. I feel I should have things under control. This is probably what often triggers these episodes. When things around me change, whether minor or major, I cannot properly deal or adjust to them. I become overwhelmed and lose my ability to process things. I blame myself for everything going wrong around me. I think I will accomplish nothing in any area of my life if one thing goes awry. I block out those close to me. I feel I am being whiney and over exaggerating expressing myself to them so I build walls and get lost in my own head. I realize this makes me feel worse, but over and over and over again, I go through this same sequence. I am on top of the world, being the loudest and silliest person in a room, to not wanting to be in a room full of people at all. I have been this way for as long as I can remember and felt it was a regular ordeal to have good days and bad days. I thought these drastic changes were part of who I am. “That’s Taylor just being Taylor.” I, along with everyone else, deserve better than this. It never has been and never will be satisfying or comforting having these extremes be an integral part of my life. It has come to my attention, others don’t deal with extremes this intense and neither should I.
I found myself reading about bipolar disorder and relating to all of the symptoms and sending my parents links asking what they they thought. A part of me still feels I am being hypochondriacal and there is nothing actually wrong with me. I assume I’ll see a doctor and they will shake their head and respond with a simple, “you are fine.” I think another part of me knows there is something wrong and the hell I put myself through repeatedly will destroy me if I don’t take steps towards getting better.
Writing always makes things real for me. I write because everything jumbled in my head comes out clearer. I am writing because it will hold me accountable. It will remind me sharing is always better than suppressing. This is a letter to myself. I owe it to myself to figure out how to be the best version of myself rather than the worst version of myself. If that means seeking help, as terrifying as it is, it is more than worth it, it is crucial.
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