• advertisement

Our Mental Health Blogs

You Think There’s Only Darkness, Hopelessness: You Are Wrong

Severe illness episodes can last for years in mental illness. People give up after so many failed treatments. No matter what, there is still hope.

I get all manner of comments here and many of them scrape against my bones. Because I know these people. Because I know their brains. Because I am these people.

Sometimes people think because I write or advocate or win awards I am not them, but it is precisely because I am them that I can do these things. It is precisely because I feel their desperation that I can truly write about it. One does write what they know, after all.

On November 7th, I received this comment:

…these messages… show(s) how many people can interact with other people and lead a normal life for the most part… I’ve always either been alone or only had one friend. I have family, but I keep them at arm’s length. Even as I sit here and write this, there is no one near enough to me that if I shot myself it’d be noticed. It really makes me wonder how disturbed I’ve become after all this time… As a child, I was heavily medicated for a series of issues including manic depressive bipolar, and what was described to me as a “slight case of psychotia.” Then, at the start of my high school years, I quit my medication because… I felt wrong on what ever cocktail I tried. Now, I’m 23. I live locked away in a small room, away from the world. You keep saying there’s a light, but I’ve been here in this hole in excess for 4 years now with no light. Where’s mine?
Exx. The Forever Lost

Exx. The Forever Lost, This is For You

A Horrific History

I, too, don’t have a stellar history from a young age up until, well, now. But I didn’t start really getting treatment until 21. Granted, no one ever mentioned a slight case of “psychotia”, but one wonders how accurate that is in any case.

Since I was twelve, I have had off and on (mostly on) periods of:

  • Suicidal ideation
  • Suicidal gestures
  • Self-harm
  • Self-hatred
  • Depression
  • Hypomania
  • Anxiety
  • Mixed mood episodes

And since I was twelve I have had

  • Psychotherapy
  • CBT
  • Group therapy
  • 40 + medications
  • ECT
  • VNS

And probably stuff I have forgotten.

I’m not suggesting we’re the same, but I’m suggesting you’re not alone. Some of us get dealt very nasty, gritty, horrific hands.

Loved-Ones Leave

I, too, have never had one consistent person in my love that has loved me and stuck around. People have loved and left. A lot.

No One Would Know if I Died

And just like you, I live alone, in a tiny room, and if I died right now it would take weeks for anyone to notice. (Although to be fair, I have a new therapist and she might do something if I didn’t show up for an appointment.)

You’re 23

yes, really me, paragliding

Yes, really me, paragliding.

I know your life has felt interminably long. Mine too. But I’m 32. I made it here. I waded through the muck and made it here. And between 23 and 32, I:

  • Did 150 skydives
  • Became a licensed SCUBA diver
  • Became a paraglider pilot
  • Paraglided in Venezuela
  • Fell in love (and had my heart broken)
  • Did a bunch of things that aren’t appropriate for a family-friendly site

Life is long. Things happen. When you’re not paying attention. Change is.

Change Is

I didn’t do these things because of magic or miracle; I did these things because during the short periods of normalcy I’ve experienced, I’ve grabbed life and swung it by the tail. I did these things because whether you know it today or not, there will be periods that will be better. Better than today.

There is Darkness for Me Too

And let me let you in on a little secret – I don’t believe it’s going to get any better for me either. I feel like it’s all over. I feel no hope at all. I sat in my therapist’s office yesterday talking about suicide.

But you see, I’m wrong. I’m wrong, I’m wrong, I’m wrong. I know that whether I can see it or not, there is a tiny light hidden away safe from even the gigantic insanity of me.

You Have the Light Too

So you see, you’re not alone. You’re just like me. You’re just like other people out there. You think there is nothing for you. You think there is only darkness. But you are wrong. Just like I am wrong.

Keep breathing, keep blinking, keep learning and keep getting help. And something will change. I can’t promise anything, except that I can promise change.

It gets better.

You can find Natasha Tracy on Facebook or @Natasha_Tracy on Twitter.

Author: Natasha Tracy

Natasha Tracy is a renowned speaker, award-winning advocate and author of Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression & Bipolar.

Find Natasha Tracy on her blog, Bipolar Burble, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.

27 thoughts on “You Think There’s Only Darkness, Hopelessness: You Are Wrong”

  1. I’ve had the worst 3 years ever and was losing hope and desire to carry on now finally the tides have changed. Whew! Thank God I hung in there. I’m actually exited (not manic) now about life. Been looking for something to fill my time volunteering at and came across a Wild West Can Can Dancers position. They perform at various parades, venues, etc. My co-worker and I used to joke that if we ever lost our jobs we could become Can Can dancers. Now here’s my chance LOL!

  2. I know this is an old post, but I came online to look at some supportive articles before I terrorized my life again. I have a good job, a beautiful girlfriend, and an instinctive need to destroy it all because my mind is trying to convince me it’s all for nothing. The fear that I have that all of this will amount to only exhaustion and misery is really bogging me down today… And I have been doing so well, too. I haven’t missed a day of work, I’ve been managing relationships and I’m social again.

    It’s just so difficult. All I need is a little boost, and seeing others struggle as much as I do is really comforting. I’m so happy to know I’m not alone, and that these things do amount to something versus nothing.

  3. Am so sorry your in so much pain..
    I can say w 100% honesty I’ve been in the velvet underground of darkness..
    It’s true hell on earth.

    Then the sun shines too bright,everything looks particularly colourful,I’ve energy I don’t sleep lose weight though eat lots,doing ten things at once writing can’t type fast enough
    The world moves too damn slow…..
    Well,it USED to be that intense,now it’s way better…but it took med combos,
    Patience ( which I’ve little) hard hard word DBT..therapy..
    No,I’m not cured.
    I’m sick,rapid cycling bipolar.
    But I’m alive…I struggle…but know my triggers/ limitations so vital for RECOVERY.
    Believe in yourself…it will happen for you as well.
    Fight if you feel your treated unjustly or speak up if u feel your meds are wrong…
    Nothing will change unless we each use our voice however small and fragile it
    May seem at the moment.
    Stay well… 🙂

  4. Hi Millie,

    You’re in a really tough spot, no doubt. Have you read this? It’s about convincing a friend to get help, which is similar to dealing with a family member: http://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/breakingbipolar/2010/09/how-do-i-convince-my-friend-to-get-help-for-bipolar-disorder/

    In the end, what it comes down to, is what you, personally, can live with. Can you live with your son untreated? Can you deal with that? If you can’t, what are you prepared to do about it?

    There is only so much you can do to encourage a person to get help because in the end it’s their decision and they may not make the one you want.

    – Natasha

  5. Hello Natasha, I love your writings, I myself have a son that is bipolar/shizoeffect disorder, I have been stuggling to get him to take meds. He recently lost his ssa retirement/disability check, He is coming to stay with me,I could not turn away and say no, leave him homeless, I am not that type of mother. I’ve never given up on him, he was hospitalized 3 times the third time he was so angry with me that he moved, and now he is back.. I need for him to get medications, but he does not believe he needs them, He tells me he is only going to stay a few weeks til he finds a job, But I am afriad he will not be able to keep a job. I want to believe in him, but because of the past its difficult. I would like to hear from you if possible, what do you suggest. I know it must be very difficult for people who hurt inside, :/ thanks, mil from florida

  6. Hello Natasha, I love your writings, I myself have a son that is bipolar/shizoeffect disorder, I have been stuggling to get him to take meds. He recently lost his ssa retirement/disability check, He is coming to stay with me,I could not turn away and say no, leave him homeless, I am not that type of mother. I’ve never given up on him, he was hospitalized 3 times the third time he was so angry with me that he moved, and now he is back.. I need for him to get medications, but he does not believe he needs them, He tells me he is only going to stay a few weeks til he finds a job, But I am afriad he will not be able to keep a job. I want to believe in him, but because of the past its difficult. I would like to hear from you if possible, what do you suggest. I know it must be very difficult for people who hurt inside, :/ thanks, mil form florida

  7. I have dealt with mood swings every since I was a teenager….now I am in my late 40’s……it’s a challenge and there have been times when I didn’t want to deal with any of the symptoms I was having.
    There is one thing I can guarantee anyone who is reading this….if one survives the day–doing the best they can, and is alive the next morning …they can start all over again. Never too late!!!
    I have been all over the place when it comes to the mood stuff. High as high can get–even into psychosis several times (don’t remember lots of that time frame–probably don’t wanna)….and so so low that I prayed to God just to let me die. So, yes while bipolar disorder can be crippling and sometimes life threatening–there is always HOPE for all of us who suffer from this never ending dis-order in our lives.
    Yes, I worked for 20 years and now that I am disabled, I can guarantee one thing—I wouldn’t be as compassionate if it had not been for all the ‘experiences’ along life’s trailway….
    I’ve had to resign the best nursing job I’ve ever had….went completely financially broke to the point where I didn’t know how I was gonna keep my mortgage payments, food, medicine, etc….but somehow I managed!
    My mother came out of retirement and went to work as a cook at a fast food place so she could help me keep my independence while waiting on SSA to decide if I was eligible for disability.
    My friends and family kept me from losing my house, kept me in clothes, kept me from starving. Meanwhile, my job was to keep myself from committing suicide. NOT EASY!!!
    Eventually after three years of being ‘dependent’ on people, I was awarded 100% disability. I had to grief for the loss of employment, etc….but eventually I came to the conclusion that I was the one that was either gonna have to “allow” the bipolar disorder RULE my life OR me gain control over things that I could have control over and put my life back together.
    I chose the latter one…..and I am so much happier that I did. Not to say, that there are times I would love to go back there and let my illness take over. It takes me many times of ‘revisiting’ that to realize that I don’t like it very very well…..so, I have to each episode ‘climb out’ and forgive myself and learn from it…..
    It’s a difficult road but well worth it. I value my independence (living in my own home), my ability to do things for myself….so I strive to live a low level of stress filled life.
    Good luck….one has to make up their own mind to the degree they want to/can be better. YOU ARE NOT the illness. The illness is just a part of you!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Follow Us

Subscribe to Blog

  • advertisement

in Breaking Bipolar Comments

Mental Health Newsletter

Sign up for the HealthyPlace mental health newsletter for latest news, articles, events.

Mental Health
Newsletter Subscribe Now!

Mental Health Newsletter

Sign up for the HealthyPlace mental health newsletter for latest news, articles, events.

Log in

Login to your account

Username *
Password *
Remember Me