My Story Continued…
My name is Olivia Griffith, you probably recognize my name from my original 1N5 video I did less than a year ago. Trust me, I didn’t think I’d be writing another piece to share with the world another diagnosis and it’s not easy. I have written a piece for “Love Thy Enemy” on top of my video for 1N5. After sharing so much and using my own mental health history to help other people, I decided it wouldn’t be right to keep my most recent diagnosis to myself.
On June 13th, 2018, I was diagnosed bipolar. I was sitting in the doctor’s office with my mom when my doctor diagnosed me. When the words came out of his mouth, I felt numb. He told me I have very high highs and very low lows, which is dangerous. During my highs, I feel great; I work out, eat right, hangout with my friends, and overall enjoyable to be around. When I have my lows, I’m severely depressed. Suicidal thoughts rush into my head and I’m angry at the world, I’m not myself whatsoever, and if you’re a close friend of mine you can tell when I’m in a mood, because I’m not fun at all to be around.
Describing my highs is easy. In my head, I feel invincible and that nothing could possibly go wrong. I’m so happy, all I want to do is be on the go 24/7 and I always want to be out and about doing something. I guess this isn’t an awful thing to feel, except for when I never sleep. I remember one specific night I stayed up until 5 AM and had to force myself to try and fall asleep. The next morning, I had to wake up at 10AM, and I wasn’t even tired. I felt like I was on drugs or something that kept me going because as most teenagers know, it’s very hard to only get 5 hours of sleep and want to keep going the next day, for me it’s simple (sometimes). My behavior is unpredictable. One time I went up to a random waiter at a restaurant and gave him my number. Although it was funny for me and my friends, it wasn’t something I would normally do. When I think back to it now as I’m writing this I’m embarrassed because, like I said, I would have never of done that a year ago. Sometimes I wish my highs would last forever because it’s so much better experiencing that than the lows.
My lows are depressing, they’re angry, and they’re miserable. They’re not me. I could lay in bed for hours and never get up, which is what I usually do. I sit in the dark of my room either sleeping or watching Netflix, believe me I’d rather be at the pool or anywhere else than the darkness of my room consuming myself in my dark thoughts. When I’m going through a low, I’m a very mean and insensitive person. I say what I want and do what I want even if I know it might hurt someone else, which is not me at all. I consider myself selfless and considerate, but when I’m just so depressed I don’t care about other people or what they’re feeling. No, it’s not okay, but it’s something I mentally cannot control. I turn into the most sensitive person in the world. If two of my friends are hanging out and I’m not there I turn it into WWIII, which doesn’t make sense, right? Things that normally wouldn’t matter to me get to me so easily and I can’t help but cry in my bed or be rude to those I love the most. My lows are a constant battle of wanting to stay alive but not caring enough too. Which almost landed me in inpatient.
The same day of my diagnosis was also a time when I was not myself. After I got home from the doctor I got on my lap top and started researching inpatient programs my parents could afford. I knew if I didn’t get help I would kill myself. My mom and sister drove me to the hospital, but in the car ride there my attitude completely changed. I felt fine, I wanted to go home. During the hours of examination and assessments they released me, I promised them if I ever felt that way again I would admit myself. My family wasn’t happy, they wanted me to stay and get everything figured out. But I was high on life, I had plans that night, I wanted out of the hospital so I could continue living my life. Was it the best idea? Honestly, I’m not completely sure, all I know is in that moment I thought the whole thing was ridiculous because I was ‘fine”.
Being diagnosed bipolar did help me understand some reasoning behind my actions throughout my sophomore year at Ohio University. The alcohol, drugs, skipping class, sleeping too much, not sleeping enough, it all makes sense now. But all I can do now is take my new medicine and do everything I can to keep my moods under control. I wanted to write this article to show people that mental illnesses can snowball into something new. Most people with bipolar disorder don’t even show signs until their early-mid 20s. I’m only 19, I consider myself lucky signs appeared early on because it could have possibly gone unnoticed and in a couple years my whole world could have come crashing down right in front of me. I chose roughly two years ago to start sharing my story with the world in hopes of helping people that are going through the same thing but choose not to share. I didn’t think it was fair to keep people in the dark about my new diagnosis after I’ve already told so much. I’m now living with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and bulimia, anorexia, and self-harm tendencies. Life hasn’t gotten easier, but I’m still going. I’m more than my illness(es) and I will continue to fight the battle just like many other people.