For The Voices Project
My Journey Into an Unknown World
During my high school years, events began to transpire. I used drugs, alcohol, seeked love & affection from boys that liked me, skipped classes and hung out with the wrong crowd which got me in a lot of trouble. I had my car taken away from me and I was placed once in indoor suspension. When my parents found out about the drugs, my mother took me to get evaluated at a place where I would have to stay for a certain period of time. That didn’t happen because the counselor felt all I needed was to see a therapist for my anger and temperament.
My mother took me to one, it helped calm me down for the moment. I changed, became more mature, met a guy which my father had hired at our family-owned photography business at that time when I was seventeen. Three years later we got married. I had my two children 3 and 4 years after that and separated 4 years later. I wasn’t really in love. I was unhappy. Five months later I met my current husband. He witnessed my anger issues throughout. Then came the jealousy and insecurities. I still managed to hold a full-time job and finish my Bachelor’s degree. Then came the depression, to the point where I realized I couldn’t fight this on my own anymore. I sought help on my own accord. This was in 2012. I was a Case Manager for a non-profit organization helping teens and their families cope with similar situations. It was obviously affecting my job (which I was considering as my career) because I wasn’t meeting my quota. I didn’t want to leave my house and visit my clients, I wasn’t working enough hours and my boss even noticed that since I joined the team, I always looked depressed and anxious…how embarrassing. That’s when I put in my letter of resignation and have not been working since. I’m waiting for my disability hearing next month.
I was initially diagnosed with Bipolar II having characteristics or symptoms of “a pattern of depressive episodes and hypomanic episodes, but no full-blown manic or mixed episodes.”, according to NIMH. I remember that day sitting in the psychiatrists office crying my eyes out, telling her everything I was feeling. I went home with my first cocktail of medications. I’ve never been the same again. I kept going to this community center (because I didn’t have insurance) for at least a year. I saw 4 psychiatrists there and a counselor, which Baker Acted me for the first time due to self harming. It was horrible and scary. I was admitted for 3 days. The Baker Act is the Florida Mental Health Act. It does not substitute for any other law that may permit the provision of medical or substance abuse care to persons who lack the capacity to request such care (2014 Baker Act: The Florida Mental Health Act User Reference Guide).
Since then I was baker acted 3 more times. One more involuntary and 2 voluntary. I’ve been through a myriad of medications. Some did worse, some were okay. I’m still on antidepressants, anxiety and mood stabilizers. I’m still “labeled” as Bipolar with severe depression, severe GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) but all my symptoms actually fit the criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). My emotions are always all over the place, I still self-harmed, my insecurities haunt me, my depression and anxiety take the best of me and it’s even more difficult when you have a family.
As of today, it all makes sense as to why this all came about. I never felt validated growing up, my mother didn’t listen to me as much as I needed her to. When I did something wrong, her reactions were always negative. It was okay then to discipline your child(ren) in another fashion and that’s what I received, until I fought back. I wasn’t able to voice my opinions or thoughts because to her I was always trying to go against her or trying to win…that wasn’t it at all. I needed support, trust and understanding, someone I could talk to besides my friends. I had to find that on my own. Apparently it caught up to me. Now I’m seeing a therapist who is working with me using DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) skills to improve the way I handle my situations and learn how to cope with everything life has thrown at me. My medications keep me somewhat stable, since there is no cure for BPD. Only the symptoms can be helped. With DBT, the rest is up to me.
Every day I live with this monster inside me trying to scratch its way out but it’s something I have to accept through Radical Acceptance and Emotion Regulation. Those are my 2 main concerns. There are still many changes that need to occur in my life to help me along my journey but in the meantime I’ll KEEP SWIMMING and not let my BPD take me down with it.
For The Voices Project