Why prozac in my cornflakes?

For several years now, I’ve tossed around the idea of writing a book about living with bipolar disorder.  I have kept journals since I was young, and they provide very interesting insight into a young mind struggling with a difficult illness.  I wanted to take those old journal entries, as well as the ones I’ve written more recently in my LiveJournal, and use them to show other people what it’s like to live with this illness, what it’s like to be inside my head.  Of course, I have seventeen thousand other projects going on, and haven’t done more than go rooting around for those old journals and dust them off a bit.  Then the other night, it hit me.  I read dozens of blogs, and I’m reasonably faithful with keeping up with my LiveJournal.  Why not start my own blog?  It took me a couple days, but here I am.

It took a long time for me to finally admit to my mother that I was struggling with an illness, and that I thought I was depressed.  From what I can tell, I have been symptomatic since I was a very young child, perhaps seven or eight.  It wasn’t until I was in middle school that I finally told my mom, and her initial response was to say, “Aww, do you need Prozac in your corn flakes?”  Those words have echoed and resonated for years. I finally was put on an antidepressant, Zoloft, when I managed to work up the courage to insist on seeing a doctor.  Of course, Zoloft is an antidepressant, and it did little to help with my depression, and only led to wilder stages of hypomania.  By my junior year of college I had a breakdown, and it took everything I had to get well again and manage to graduate.  I am still amazed that I was able to do so with a 3.44, which felt like a failure at the time, but considering?  It was quite the accomplishment that I graduated at all and didn’t just give up.

I know mom was just trying to understand it herself.  My father had bipolar disorder.  Mom had divorced him only two short years before and thought she had put the illness behind her, only for me to be diagnosed, as well.  She had been in denial about the symptoms I had been showing for a long time.  My therapist also muses that due to my taking charge of my younger siblings, I sublimated my symptoms as much as possible because I was trying to protect my mother.  I still do, to an extent.  My mother is one of my staunchest supporters, but I am afraid to talk to her about my problems because I am afraid to show weakness and imperfections.  I want to protect her.  I worry that the title of my blog will hurt her, but it is something that resonates whenever I speak with a client who has been through the same thing, where a beloved family member was in denial and said something hurtful that just won’t go away.  Perhaps if I use it to bring some good to the world, it will no longer carry the sting of denial and rejection.

My hopes for this project is that others can gain understanding of a painful illness that can so easily ruin lives, and that it might provide some comfort for those who are continuing to survive- and thrive- with bipolar disorder.  It is not an easy road, my friends, but everybody’s road is a hard one, for myriad reasons.  I only hope that my road can give others hope.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Why prozac in my cornflakes?

  1. Kyra

    Hello! You’re a lot less lazy (more motivated? braver?) than I am, re:blogging.

    Major ouch on the mother thing . . . support is important, and things suck monumentally worse when you’re not getting it.

    Happy first post!

    • Well, considering when I was looking up my old LJ posts about my illness to bookmark, I realized I started talking about this project in 2007… I don’t think ‘less lazy’ applies to me whatsoever. XD I figured blogging was more visible than LJ but less so than Facebook, so why not?

      Support is vital. Pretty much every time I’ve had a serious relapse it’s been due to a lack thereof, either through an actual lack or a perceived one.

      Thank you! Hope to make many, many more!

  2. I’m glad you started this blog, I shall be checking it regularly. I also suffer from bipolar disorder and have thought about writing a book about my bipolar adventures. Did you know that “feeling as though you could write a book” is one of the many symptoms of bipolar disorder? One of my therapists used that analogy when describing bipolar disorder to my parents. A lot of good that did! Anywho, I know what you’re feeling and I completely empathize with having to live with this thing. I look forward to reading more!

    • Yeah, I think the sentiment of writing a book is a pretty common one, I’ve heard it from a lot of people. I just want people to understand what it’s like to live with a mental illness, and hopefully combat some of the stigma against mental illness. I count myself fortunate that I haven’t run aground of too much stigma in my life, but I’ve suffered a few losses to it all the while. Many of the people I work with in my career are not so lucky, and so I do this for those who have no voice to tell their stories.

      I’m looking forward to having an audience! ^_^ I hope you enjoy, and feel free to chime in!

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