I try to be open about my diagnosis, but I find it difficult to share with most people I know from college. I went to a pretty 'elite' school, and my symptoms actually started to manifest (at least so that I could not suppress them) mid-way through.  Being a poor girl in a rich kids' world was hard enough on my social life; and besides, I'm not sure they'd want to know.

So when people ask what I'm doing, it's really hard to know what to say.  Because my family didn't have money to help me after I finished school, I had to take the first job I could get -- as a barista.  And then things were pretty bad for me: I stayed in town to be with the first man who ever seemed to want me, but who became emotionally abusive.  But even as I unraveled during this relationship, I was receiving treatment for 'simple' depression until my second (third?) suicide attempt alerted me to the fact that we needed to revisit our approach to my illness.  Like treating me for the right one.  I am doing so much better now, but I still have a lot of work to do in terms of finding the confidence and self-esteem to take some of the bigger risks...

People I know from college are getting married, starting careers, writing dissertations, traveling...so many things.  Yet here am I, flat broke and taking each day as it comes while trying to envision a future, not knowing if I'll wake up too depressed to get out of bed. 

But when I run into old friends and they ask what I've been up to, I can't exactly tell them that I've been learning to deal with bipolar without much of a support system and no money, that I tried to kill myself.  It's the truth, but who wants to hear that?  How much time is considered reasonable before one is expected to have 'recovered' from being in such a dark place? I see people who are somehow disadvantaged do amazing things with their lives, so I'm not trying to make excuses for myself or elicit pity.  Pity is the last thing I want.  I think I'm doing the best I can...I don't know?  I've worked hard at staying positive and optimistic in spite of so many reasons not to be, but I'm afraid of being judged and misunderstood as I have been too many times.
bisectionalthespian bisectionalthespian
2 Responses Aug 9, 2010

Thank you, Earlinator.

one foot in front of the other. day by day. Try to stay close to your friends that accept you.