The Road to Biploar Diagnosis / by McKenzie Roers

The reality tends to ground you. Wrapping my thoughts around it. Am I angered? Hurt? Mislead? How long.......

It makes more sense the longer it lingers, yet it silences me with embarrassment, the answers that I've been looking for without searching. 

First it was behaviors: first grade. Sitting in the school nurse's office, my mother beside me in a separate chair, my hands out in front of me on the desk. We were analyzing the bleeding and pussing sides of my fingernails, a habit that no one was proving successful in breaking me of. Try Tabasco sauce? She doesn't bite them though, just picks at them. Nervous habits aka the first sign of how severe my anxiety was. 

Then it was depression: middle school. Marking my skin with a blade and watching the color seep from its protection. Sometimes that's the only reason why I did it, to watch my pain instead of feel it. My parents hid everything, but they didn't know about the cheap metal bracelets that I had received for Christmas one year, how easily they snapped in half and created a jagged blade made for carving. They found those too eventually. 

The rape didn't help: junior year, age sixteen. 

What I thought was the final diagnosis: my anxiety. Two ER admittance in under two months, unexplained pain throughout my body and physically feeling like I was getting sicker...I found myself sitting in a tiny doctor's office. She was holding my test results, all of them. The blood work, the ultrasounds, the EKGs. Her face was almost sadder than mine, for a minute. I was not ready to accept it. Your tests came back normal McKenzie...your brain is a very powerful tool, and it is making you sick. I wanted so badly to be told it was different, something fixable, something that could be removed. I walked out with three pages of therapists' contact information and a note about this being my final warning to seek help. They were demanding it of me now. 

The roller-coaster to now: bipolar diagnosis and treatment. My parents have reserved the comment of my unpredictability since I was a child; my moods were dangerous. A childhood friend of ten years, commenting the same aspect about me: always having to tip toe around what mood I might be in. Then it came from the lips of my ex partner. Fine. FINE. Maybe it's time....

Where to go from here: I am not surprised. It makes more sense the longer that I reflect on my years. Am I going to lose my creative process? Will I stop chasing such highs and stabilize? Will the lows finally not feel like the depths? Why now. Maybe there are answers still coming, of course there has to be. Why does fear rippled through me now? Maybe now I won't get as mad and shut down over a missed turn on the way home from a new place...