12.26.13 Wellness

Maybe It’s Not Okay

Maybe It’s Not Okay

BY Taylor Harrison

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.


Taylor Harrison is a Texan who now lives in Los Angeles. She has a blog with her best friend and business partner. She believes in telling people you love them when you love them, reciting TLC's "No Scrubs" lyrics to remind yourself never to settle and eating macaroni and cheese regularly. She talks about what it is like to be from a long line of gnome royalty among other important things here.


  • B.

    Thank you so much for sharing, Taylor. This was brave and beautiful. I hope you find answers and get the opportunity to be who you want to be.

  • Caitlin Smith

    Thank you so much for sharing this Taylor. I am twenty three and I experience everything you just discussed on a constant basis. From the anxiety, to the “tantrum-esq” fits, to the social anxiety and building up walls (I really could go on and on) and I’ve never been able to identify why or how this happens to me. So thank you again, thank you for opening up and making me feel like what I’m feeling still feels crazy at times, but that I am not alone (and neither are you)!

  • Vanessa White

    You need to see a psychiatrist. I was diagnosed – in my 30s – with agitated bi polar disorder. FINALLY! That explains EVERYTHING. They were able to put me on the correct medication that has helped significantly with my anxiety and mood swings. I am not saying I am “cured” but seeing the psychiatrist was the best decision I ever made. I also try to see my therapist twice a month.

  • Kelly

    I don’t even know how to express my gratitude for this. I’m a writer and I totally understand your need for pen to paper therapy. I am burdened with the label of “borderline personality disorder,” and can relate to the self-abuse, mood swings, general instability, and pushing others away that you love most. I think that perhaps you are not being a hypochondriac whatsoever and that you should seek help with a mental health professional, be it talk-therapy or medicine therapy. You don’t need a diagnosis to get help and be your best you. It’s alright to reach out when you need guidance and assurance. Remember your lows when your high, and watch for those signs of when you start to go back down so you can prepare yourself (and loved ones) if necessary. Stay beautiful and know that there is nothing wrong with your eccentricities whether you are “normal” or “disorder abled.”

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