How My Bipolar Breakdown Helped Me Prepare for the Future
Tuesday, October 24 2017 Hannah Blum
It was spring semester of my sophomore year of college when my bipolar breakdown occurred. The symptoms of bipolar 2 disorder had been present since my junior year of high school. However, I felt the best way to get rid of them was to ignore them; a decision that only added to the already existing problem.
If you're new to my blog, I'll give you a brief synopsis of what my bipolar breakdown looked like and then share how I prepare for this type of life disruption in the future.
My Bipolar Breakdown in College
As much as I want to give you a detailed description of my bipolar breakdown, the majority of it is a blur. There are even moments that I do not remember at all.
This past summer, I reunited with some of my best friends from college. These were people who were present for my breakdown seven years prior. When I had my bipolar breakdown and withdrew from school (Could My Bipolar Breakdown Been Prevented?), I passively made it clear that the events that occurred were not on the table for discussion. At the time I felt it was the best for all of us, and maybe it was, but as we got older and more distant from it, I realized that it was selfish of me not to confront the situation.
I wanted to know how my breakdown affected them and hear their side of the story. When the time came, there were many tears shed, questions answered and, most importantly, I could finally apologize for ignoring the situation for so many years. However, one part of our discussion I did not expect was learning about incidents during my breakdown that I was totally unaware of.
One of my closest friends revealed to me that while she was on her way to class, a random stranger ran up to her telling her to go to the counseling center as soon as possible. When she asked what for, the individual said, "Your roommate, Hannah, is on the ground having an emotional outburst."
Supposedly, I was on the ground outside of the school's counseling center crying in front of security officers, repeating one sentence, "I don't know what's happening to me!" I have no recall of this whatsoever. It was as if, in the blink of an eye, things came crashing down with lightning speed.
Now I can define my bipolar breakdown as collective moments, wherein the symptoms of bipolar disorder consumed me both mentally and physically.
Living with Bipolar 2 Disorder and Preparing for the Future
What I learned from my bipolar breakdown is that preparation is key to preventing an absolute collapse of body and mind. Not only did I ignore the signs of bipolar disorder, but I exhausted myself by continually trying to portray the opposite image of my reality. Smiling in front of everyone, when privately I was withering away.
In the future, I will inevitably go through some mental declines. This is a part of bipolar disorder I have accepted. Instead of fearing a future bipolar breakdown, I spend my time slowly preparing for that situation.
The biggest problem with the breakdown I had in college was that I disregarded my emotions and was utterly unprepared. I look at preparation for future disruptions as building my dream home. Every day, I add bricks, one on top of the other, that represent things like strength, positivity, and self-love. There are some days where no bricks get placed and other days where more bricks are placed. I am continually strengthening my foundation. When the inevitable storm comes again, I may lose some bricks, but when it passes, I will still be standing.