written November 3rd 2018.
This is not easy to share… but here it is anyway…
To say that I’ve just been on a life changing journey would be an extreme understatement. This year I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, a condition which many people are exceptionally uneducated on. There is no quick fix and no cure. It is not a mindset. It is a chemical imbalance in your body that unfortunately can only be controlled by certain medication.
There were days that turned into weeks where I couldn’t complete basic tasks like getting out of bed because I didn’t feel like life was worth living anymore. I allowed this disease to take control of my life. I allowed it to affect the people around me. I allowed it to hurt the people I love most. Never intentionally. But that’s what this disorder does, it swallows you up whole and only you can decide to pick yourself up and seek the help that you need.
I left Stellenbosch three weeks ago. I left my studies and the love of my life behind and that left me feeling worthless and broken. I drove myself to PE and honestly thought that I had reached the lowest point in my life. I came home in search for something I wasn’t sure I could ever find. Something so simple. Something to just make me laugh or smile. But it wasn’t something that was hiding under a rock for me to look for. It wasn’t hidden somewhere else. It was buried in me underneath a mountain of pain.
Under doctors’ orders I was sent to Hunters Craig Psychiatric Hospital. I remember walking through those gates with my bags packed and my hand tightly wrapped around my mother’s arm. All I could do was cry. I realized then that that was the lowest point in my life. Answering questions that I didn’t ever want to be asked.
‘do you want to die?’
I spent two weeks there, finding the right medication, following a daily schedule, doing exercises. Being forced to do the things that I had just stopped doing. Being allowed to talk about things that I never had verbalized. Meeting people who were feeling the exact same way. Learning about this disorder. Realizing that it wasn’t my fault. Understanding that I am enough. Seeing that I am worthy of everything that life has to offer. Its remarkable how fourteen days can change someone’s life so drastically. I genuinely thought that I was broken to the point of no repair. That the pieces of my puzzle could never be put back together. When you are in a situation like that it becomes clear who your true friends are and who actually wants to see you get better.
Friday the 2nd I was released from this safe haven and sent back into the real world. Fear filled my body but I knew that they do not send you out unless they are certain that you can cope on your own. I can! And I will! I am feeling so strong. So proud and so excited for what life has in store for me.
I have had to make some huge life changing decisions in this short period of time. Choices that will only help me get better and only further my progress. In December I will be moving to America to live with my father. I cannot say whether or not this is temporary. But I can say with one hundred percent certainty that it is the best thing for me right now. And I have to put myself first.
It has not been an easy journey. It has not been fun. It has been draining for me and the people around me. But it was a journey that I had to embark on to become the woman I am right now. How can a person completely change over such a short period of time? The answer is that they can’t. They can only try to get better and make the most of every challenge that is thrown their way. It takes time. But there is no obstacle that you cannot overcome.
Don’t let a disease define you. Seek help. You are loved by so many people and there is always someone who is willing to listen and confide in.
If you are struggling with either depression or bipolar disorder or any other challenges that you feel that you cannot handle, I promise you that you can.
Three weeks ago, I didn’t want to be here anymore and today I am looking at my future with the biggest smile on my face.
I can do anything. I am worthy. I am enough. I am beautiful. I am smart. I am unique. And so are you.
Thank you the constant love and support.