I am a Living Testament to Rising Up Again
From Bentz Deyo
Something wasn’t right. Things started to look more beautiful. It was almost euphoric. I thought everyone was in on it. I just wanted to run. I thought there were signs-- so, I’d be in the library looking for clues, symbols, getting to a desk and scratching things down.
After the mania comes depression. I don’t think you can explain it to someone who doesn't have a mental illness or who hasn’t experienced it. You’re as low as you can go. It’s a very dark place.
It’s suffocating, because there’s no break from it-- not even for like 5 minutes. I think the deeper you fall into depression, the more hopeless you get. So it’s a dangerous thing, because suicide enters your mind.
I had my first manic episode when I was 16. I had a few more years later, and it culminated in me going to a rehab facility. And it was the best thing that ever happened to me. I made a vow to take my meds which I never broke. I got my life back together. I met a girl, got married, had a kid, and it was great. It was nine years of peace. When I’m healthy-- meaning not in a mania or a depression-- I’m completely functional. You sort of put your bipolar coat into the closet. It’s not affecting you in any way. That’s why it was so surprising when it came back.
My mind tricked me into thinking I was OK. What was happening felt right. I was doing creative things that I did not want to end. It kept climbing and I reached a point of psychosis. I lost grip with reality, and it was terrifying. What I learned was that I’m not in control of it. I have to surrender that it might happen again. I feel like I can help people struggling with BPD now. I am a living testament to rising up again.