The generic start-up title, but I like it. I’ve been working toward this for a long time.
I was sick, but had to figure it out. Then, I spent a lot of time hiding it, curling away. Got diagnosed incorrectly, dealt with that a bit, then decided to stop taking the meds. Was turned away from the ER because I was so polite. A polite person can take care of herself, she’s fine, just fine.
Then I got a friend to take me back to the ER, this time with a duffel bag. I answered the questions but nothing seemed bizarre -to me, isn’t that the way it always is?- and was diagnosed with bipolar somewhere between then and when my father flew in.
It started when I was 17. I figured it out pretty quickly. Incorrect diagnosis = 19. Hospitalization and correct medical diagnosis by medical professionals = 21.
I try to remember I’m an different age each time, set off by my own chemistry or an external situation. I call my siblings when I need to get a litmus test of what’s “us” and what’s “me.”
And I keep writing. Now it’s time to let someone read.