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I'm giving my history here for a few reasons. I'm hoping that others will recognize themselves in some of my experiences and be able to relate and not feel so alone. Also, I think it really helps to see my ups and downs so those who don't know what it's like to be bipolar can understand a bit more. Finally, having a little bit of my background might help you understand my blog posts.

When I was in 5th grade I started to have my first symptoms of depression. I told my friends all the time that I wanted to die. Eventually I actually made a plan to kill myself and they told my parents. I was signed up for counseling and written a prescription for Paxil, but I was never allowed to take it.

In May of 2001, at the age of 11, I attempted suicide by taking my bottle of Paxil (how's that for irony?). After throwing up on the floor and generally feeling miserable for about four hours without dying, I told my parents what I had done and they took me to the ER. The doctors made me drink a black chunky charcoal shake which tasted more vile than anything I've experienced since and made me puke everywhere. After spending the night in the hospital feeling miserable and watching my mom cry, I was transferred to Loma Linda Behavioral Medical Center. There they gave me Prozac (see medications) and kept me for about a week.

Over the next few months, I did outpatient therapy, group sessions with other depressed kids and met with a psychiatrist. At this time I was only diagnosed with depression. However, my poor reaction to my medication lead my psychiatrist to believe I was in fact bipolar, and that's really where this history begins.

After my medications failed, I dropped all forms of treatment except for therapy. It was a miserable time for me. I was depressed a lot and resentful toward my parents for not continuing to try to find a medication that worked. After only a few months of therapy, I stopped doing that as well. It would be about 6 years before I began any more treatment for my bipolar disorder.

I started college in 2004, at the age of 14. It was hard to focus on classes at times when I was depressed, but when manic it was amazing how quickly I could catch up on homework. I would spend days on end staying up at night writing papers and reading textbooks.

In March of 2007, just three months before graduating with my A.A. and A.S., I ran away from home with my first boyfriend while having a mixed mood episode (both manic and depressed). I spent three days away and during that time I smoked my first cigarette, had my first drink, lost my virginity and smoked pot for the first time. I had grown up in a very controlled and protected home, so my mania had never really had the opportunity to run rampant before and I was shocked at home much craziness I was able to accomplish in just three days.

In June 2007 I graduated with and A.A. in Liberal Arts and an A.S. in Math/Science. Though my parents were worried about letting me go after my recent escape, they let me go about three hours north of home to start working on my pre-med program. I was a little bad about taking my medication daily when I first got there and as a result was often manic.

Unlike when I was in community college and closely watched by my parents, I didn't use this time do homework. I would go out with friends and spend hundred of dollars I didn't really have. I got a credit card when I turned 18 that quickly went from a zero balance to $2500. I had sex with people who didn't matter to me and would beat myself up for it later. I didn't really drink a lot, but I do remember one time where my friend and I snuck drinks into the dorms in Starbucks cups.

My GPA that had been a 3.9 up until this point was now severely wounded. I decided to lick my wounds, drop out of the university and go back to community college. I didn't go back to the school I graduated from however, instead I moved in with a friend and went to school by the university. That summer I worked up at a boyscout camp with my friend. I was taking my medication, but I had accidentally started doubling up on it. I had originally been taking my pills two at night and one in the morning, but my doctor said I could take them all at once if it made it easier to remember. Since these pills made me very forgetful, I ended up taking three pills twice a day. I don't know why it had this effect, but it made me very manic. I made out with so many guys and had sex with two and again I felt guilty. Eventually I figured out I was doubling when I began to take my birth control twice a day too (good thing they put the days of the week on those things) and I went to the ER to flush the excess Lithium out of my system.

After that experience, I stopped taking my medication for a bit. At the end of the summer I started dating my supervisor (after camp ended of course) who insisted I get back on my medication. It was kind of a crazy relationship. My medication numbed me out a lot and I would try to start fights just to feel something. He was kind of a control freak, which made it really easy to argue with him. Of course, eventually the relationship ended and a period of depression followed.

I finally decided it was time to get back to a university. I started in Fall of 2009. I had fallen in love with psychology, not just because I was bipolar, but because I really wanted to understand normal people. I got people with mental health issues. They made perfect sense to me. I wanted to understand what it would be like if I had never been sick. If I had never been cursed with this disease.

After searching for someone new for months, I eventually started talking to the boyfriend I had run away with, which of course was a terrible idea. His surname really should have been trouble and his middle name danger. He was as bipolar as I, if not worse, which made him exciting. He encouraged me to get off my medication, which put me through a whirlwind of emotions. He and I had a crazy relationship that no one really understood. We were devoted to each other, but I loved him and he didn't return the feelings. He would try to explain that I meant everything to him, more to him than anyone else, but he didn't love me. To me that was the definition of love, so it made no sense. I spiraled rapidly between depression and mania, taking cues from his own illness.

We would have crazy fights where we would both go for the jugular with insults. I would call him a bastard and tell him some day he was going to die alone. He would call me crazy and say some day I would be a terrible mother. Our fights were always followed by a period of depression for me, but we would always forgive each other and start talking again.

In June of 2010 he and I actually hooked up again. It was just one night. He told me to never tell anyone because he felt guilty that he was leading me on. He told me never to mention it and to try not to act weird around him, but I felt closer to him than ever before. That night we really connected. We talked about how we felt about each other and why we had hurt each other the way we had before and wondered together how things would have turned out if I hadn't been forced to go back home after running away. That night I KNEW he loved me, but I also knew we would probably never be together. He wanted to keep me close, but never be with me, which was something I would never understand or accept.

Life loves to show me just how ironic it can be. My ex didn't want me to ever speak of us having sex again, but I was staring at a positive pregnancy test. Two in fact. I was shocked when I told him that he was so calm, while I was shaking. He actually seemed excited I thought. One of my friends from college later told me that he had recently been talking about wanting to have kids of his own. Despite this, over the next few hours I waited and waited for him to call, but didn't hear from him. I called twice and both times he told me he was driving and couldn't talk. Since both calls were about two hours apart, and we hadn't really had a chance to discuss what we were going to do, I was angry and thought he was avoiding the situation.

Eventually this turned into a fight. Like our relationship had always been, the next week was up and down and we passed through periods of being excited about having a baby and being angry at one another. On July 6th, 2010, a day I will never forget, I woke up, walked to the bathroom and suddenly felt a sharp pain. I felt looked at my reflection as I felt a small trickle. It was like the movies. I reached down and felt the blood. I looked at the red on my fingers and started sobbing. I cried the whole way to the hospital while my mom tried to assure me some spotting was normal.

At the hospital I ran to the bathroom to see if in fact it had just been spotting. I'll never forget what I felt in the moment I saw all that blood. It felt like there was blood everywhere and I knew my baby was dead. I began screaming in horror. Nurses beat on the door, assuming I must be dying in there. I can't remember how they got in, but I backed away from them screaming and shaking. I remember hearing one of them say "How far along were you." Were. Past tense. Even these nurses knew what my heart had already told me.

I called my ex from the hospital. He sounded so sad. His grandpa had just died two days before and now he was losing what would have been his first born. Two generations died in one week. He wanted to get of the phone so again we fought.

Over the next month he tried so hard to hold himself together while trying to support me. I wanted more. I wanted him to cry and scream and fall on the floor like I had. I was so angry I couldn't see he was hurting just as much as I was. We had one last fight where I told him I was going to kill myself and he said he didn't care. Of course he called my roommate to make sure I was alright, but this would be the last day we would ever speak. After fighting and fighting we both agreed that we were no good even as friends and we decided to never speak to each other again. He contacted my roommate a few times to ask if it would be okay to talk to me, but she told him to leave me alone. It was for the best.

Depression hung on me for months. I tried to run and hide from it, but it's not easy to do. I contemplated suicide daily. I wanted to see my baby, but I couldn't stand to subject my mom to a pain that would be 20 times my own. I would dream that my baby was crying and I couldn't save him. I would dream I could see my son (as I was convinced my unborn was) with his daddy's big ears and my curly hair, but I couldn't reach him and he would just fade away.

In October 2010, I was on the brink of despair. My only friend, my roommate, who had been my friend for three years, was fed up with my depression. She was convinced I could be happy if I wanted to be. I thought she was a stupid, heartless hag. I finally got back on medication, which managed to stop me from crying in public. I would still often cry in my car as I drove home, but it wasn't every night anymore.

I decided to extend my graduation date to 2012 so that I could join the honors program at my school and better my chances of getting into graduate school. This pretty much brings us to date. I probably won't add anymore to this since anything that comes after this should be in my main blog.
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