“I wish the rheumatologist would tell us what the future holds for someone with an autoimmune disease. Sigh!” These are the words I said to my husband after leaving yet another doctor’s appointment. My spirit was down, and I felt as if I was on a boat which was eternally hitting rapids. I was tired of the journey that is having an autoimmune disease, and I could not bring myself to accept my new diagnosis. I had just been diagnosed with bipolar 2. Before that day, bipolar disease was something that I had read about is support forums like The Mighty, but I had never met a person with bipolar disease, or at least, someone who had accepted mental illness enough to be open about discussing their life with the disease.
My road of mental illness began with a diagnosis of depression, then anxiety and functional neurological disorder, and now, bipolar 2. I had just had the best months of my life and to me, it felt like I was finally on the glorious road of healing. To my surprise, as the psychiatrist went through a list of things I had been experiencing, he told me that I had been suffering from hypomania and agitation. Even as I sat right next to him, I could not believe what he was saying. I left the office in complete denial and headed to the pharmacy to get anti-psychotics which I was to start on. I kept wondering, “what is wrong with feeling happy and energetic? Who am I now if all I thought I was, was simply a symptom of an illness? What is wrong with feeling energetic and alive?” I still do not have the answers to these questions. I feel lost, exasperated and at a complete loss on how to go on.
It has been barely a week since we buried my husband’s father, and he too is feeling depressed, tired, and a loss for words about our life. It saddens me to watch him go through grief while having to deal with a everything else. Life feels unfair. But then again, I remember that our situation is not unique and there must be many others going through similar or worse challenges. But still, that thought gives me no relief.
For now, I will try my best to lose myself in depression, or hypomania. But it’s like a wave that steals me away and I can’t fight it. I will try and read about it, try to understand how best to go by. Then maybe, this too will eventually pass. And my story will bring someone somewhere, some strength to go on, in their lowest moment.