The Other Side

I hate them. I hate those articles named “How to live with Depression” or “6 Tips to Live with Depression” because no one LIVES while being depressed, they merely survive.

I have had fits of depression throughout my life, which happens to be relatively short. I am 25 years old and most people would say my life starts now, but I would beg to differ. I left my job, I put a hold on my Master’s Degree and my marriage life is on the rocks. So how did it all start and what happened? I wish I can tell you but I don’t know.

I look in the mirror and all I think about is how much of a failure I am. Am I broken? Is this my fate? Do I have some miswired fuse in my head that makes me this way? I have suffered from depression through different phases in my life, but the latest one was the most dysfunctional. It all started a month into my marriage. I have lived as a virgin all my life and I have an eating disorder. Adding the factors together, I thought that sharing my body with a man is making me feel that way. But now, like bricks being overloaded with more bricks, I felt worse every passing day. Let me rewind a bit. I come from a broken home, where my dad hit my mom constantly despite them being very well educated. I am the eldest child and I carried the weight of the world on my shoulders trying to patch up this broken house. I have beautiful siblings and I considered myself their guardian angel. One would think that getting out of this toxic environment to live with a loving husband would cause me the opposite of depression. But guess what? It did not.

My state started deteriorating, I starved myself even more and I got panic attacks at work. My anxiety blocked my mind from working on assignments and my social fear made me hate group work in university. I kept telling myself “You are a master’s student and you need to get a grip.” I could not. I thought maybe working 10+ hours every day is the reason why I cannot balance work+studies+husband. Then again I thought, wait a minute, I have done it before, why can’t I now? Is it marriage? Is it my husband?

Short after I quit my masters, my husband and I found out he is diabetic and has severely high cholesterol levels. This plus my mental state has put a lot of strain on our relationship. I found myself contemplating divorce but I always reminded myself that I never want to be a copy of my parents so I stuck by my husband’s side despite everything. 

My mental state got worse and worse and I would lock myself up in the meeting room at work and the toilet and cry. I would talk to my peers then run to the toilet to throw up because I was overwhelmed and anxious. For all the reasons, whether right or wrong, I chose to quit my job and fix myself.

I tried therapy but realized I need a psychiatrist, someone who can say how I am biologically reacting to a negative state of mind. I saw a psychiatrist and we talked about everything and hour can allow us to talk about. A week later and after being on an anti-depressant and mood stabilizer, she came to the conclusion that I am bipolar or I am suffering from Bipolar Disorder II.

Now you wonder what does it feel. It feels like you are two people in one body. One who is extremely happy, almost ecstatic and another who is sadder than Frankenstein. They try to push each other to take the spotlight and be in control and I am torn in the middle. Who am I? Am I the cheerful, bubbly, sweet girl who loves people? Or am I the depressed, ignorant, lethargic girl who refuses to live or even get out of bed. In order to cope, I came to the conclusion that I am both and the only way through this is to embrace both states of mind. Anyone with bipolar should know that an extreme high means a very steep low, dangerously sleep. I have thought about taking my life and this is when a very close person to me noticed my demeanour and called a professional for help. Was this really help? To know that I have a disorder? That I am broken? That I am living in a constant war that feels like it will never end.

I am taking baby steps towards embracing my flaw and think of it as a sparkle. A sparkle that will never fade away as long as I am alive. I am an overly sensitive person with heightened emotions. I feel sadness more than anyone and happiness more than anyone. Yes. This is my disorder. When the sadness and happiness mix is when I am most stable but not when I am most content. Before understanding what I am suffering off, I wanted to kill my personality. Kill that broken girl who is inside and won’t come out. Go to a zone of nothingness. Someone who has nothing to lose and is not afraid to lose anything anymore. I call this The Other Side. This is the side that I had to reside in for a while before knowing that feeling melancholy is beautiful and being manic is magical and we should always embrace who we are no matter what. Everything passes at the end of the day. Everything. Even a trip to The Other Side.

Note: The writer chose to remain anonymous.

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