The Big Diagnosis
As you read on, remember that as I write this, I’m one of the happiest people around. My outlook is overtly positive, im completely medication free and love getting out of bed every day.
I’ve talked a lot about being ‘mad’ on insta and never really gone into it. It’s not that I don’t want to ‘go there’ it’s because it’s a long story and I don’t really know where to start I think - so let’s call this part one.
Im actually not going to start at the beginning, I’m going to start at the end of the beginning (still with me? Good)
Long before it was popular (about 15 years ago to be precise) I found myself sat in a parochial doctors surgery, talking to the family quack and being told ‘I’m going to send you to a specialist to be tested for Bi-polar disorder’.
Pretty fucking wild for a from a small town in Dorset eh?
Until I sat down to write this I would have always said there was a year to 18 months that led up to this but the more I think about it, the more markers there where from an earlyish age.
I’d always been ‘a bit up and down’ - from about 13, I can remember my parents doing 2 things, one asking - ‘David, are you ok, we haven’t seen you this week except for meal times?’ Or two; standing me under a light, looking into my eyes and asking me when I’ve taken? Was it speed? (‘Taking things’ was still about 3 or 4 years away at this point)
…Things started to look a bit more extreme by the time I got to 19. I’d been partying super-hard for 2 years. A cycle of dink and drugs from Thursday to Sunday and trying to cope with work Monday to Friday. At the time I felt invincible but it certainly wasn’t to last.
The first memorable ‘episode’ (as the pros like to call it) came as I was just turning 20. One Monday morning was different. It’s always hard to get up and out on a Monday (and there were obviously plenty that I didn’t manage), but on this Monday I didn’t care! I was numb, didn’t call In sick, didn’t get up for breakfast, just turned my phone off and stayed in my room. The days rolled by without me really noticing - 1 day without speaking with anyone turned into 1 week and so it continued, things were dark and I was resigned to the fact that that’s just how it is now… I can’t remember exactly what snapped me out of it but eventually I found myself out and about again and memories of that month / 6 weeks waned almost from the day I first felt ‘normal’.
Fast forward 2 months, and im not just ‘normal’ I’m amazing. So amazing, in fact, that I decide to put my new-found invincibility to good use and head out on a shoplifting spree. Literally walking into shops, picking stuff up and walking out. No care, no attention, no paranoia. Mind whizzing at 1000 miles an hour but not about getting caught, oh no! But about the amazing ideas that were popping into my head, 1 after the other about what else I could ‘achieve’ and who I should tell first.
Needless to say; I wasn’t invincible, and that afternoon I got a tap on the shoulder from the police and ended up in custody. I was detained but let out with a caution and told not to do it again basically.
This didn’t actually burst my bubble at at the time. I carried on with the mad musings and erratic behaviour for another 2 weeks (or so im told, I don’t really remember it to tell you the truth) before, just like that, after a particularly hard weekend, I was back in my dark place.
The thing is, with this kind of pattern, when you’re in one, you forget the other, that’s what makes it so dangerous. The days were once again black, I had zero motivation for anything, spending 4 or 5 days at a time in isolation and becoming increasing sure that I wasn’t going to find a way out. anyways. To cut a long story a little shorter, after about 3 weeks my mum actually persuaded me to go and speak with the doctor - and we’re back to the beginning of the story.
I could probably write a book about the 10 years that followed but I’ll try to post up some bite size snippets on here. It was the start of a long and winding road of ups and downs, tests, medication trial and error, relationships, jobs, that eventually lead me to, firstly, function properly as a member of society and secondly become the happy and extremely blessed person that I am today.
To be continued.