Growing up is not a simple process. Whether you are aware of it or not, as you age you are accumulating both positive and negative experiences that make you who you are. When someone gets sick during their developmental ages, it can make life pretty complicated.
Breaking Free from the Chains of Bipolar Disorder
I was born with bipolar disorder which affects the chemical balance of my brain. My bipolar disorder became my identity. At the young age of twelve, I began experiencing high highs and low lows. This was very confusing to me, and I started to feel different than others.
Because of my moodiness and erratic behavior, I became a very lonely person. I was a walking set of symptoms. This made it difficult to live and I watched everyone around me live happy lives while I hated mine. As I grew older, my symptoms became stronger.
I was engulfed by a dark depression, and because of what I was experiencing, I tried to take my own life. I had an amazing life but the constant changing moods did not allow me to experience it. Through my adolescent and adult ages, I spent a large amount of time in and out of hospitals. I had tried inpatient care, residential and PHP, all of which didn’t help me. We had tried everything, but nothing was working.
Empowered by Lifeskills: A Journey to Recovery and Purpose
At age 21, I was hospitalized once again and transferred from a different facility to Lifeskills. I was defiant and angry when I arrived as I had received nearly every treatment in the book, and I truly believed there was no hope. That is when I met Dr. Bober, the psychiatrist, and Dr. Kristen, my therapist. Both were so incredible that I still see them now to this day.
I underwent a psychiatric evaluation upon my arrival, and receiving clear diagnoses helped me better understand my condition. Their therapy was amazing and we had so many groups that were beneficial, especially the female trauma groups which were great for processing my childhood trauma. At Lifeskills, I learned ways to best handle my symptoms and the flashbacks of my PTSD that were affecting me even in my sleep.
I came in to Lifeskills with lithium toxicity, so for my lithium levels to be fixed here was a miracle. All my symptoms of my bipolar subsided – thank you, Dr. Bober. The team here really helped me. I made sure to surrender and accept the help. I was done with feeling so bad as I had felt so bad for so long. The medication changes and the therapy gave me what I needed to have a future ahead of me.
A Beacon of Hope: Living Fully Beyond Mental Illness
Since completing treatment at Lifeskills, I started working as a behavioral health technician at a detox unit, helping others who are in crisis. I love the work as it allows me to help people and give back to others. I’m also going back to school to study criminal psychology, as I want to continue to work with people with behavioral issues.
I make sure I take my medication every day, I talk to my doctors and my therapist, and I do my best with managing my intrusive thoughts. Without Lifeskills, I would have not been able to be the person I am today.
I am able to live by myself, have meaningful relationships, and hold a steady job. I’m able to separate myself from the bipolar – I understand it is my diagnosis but it is not who I am. My suicidal thoughts have become manageable. I am thankful for this facility and for the care I received. If I had not gotten treated at Lifeskills, I truly believe that I would not have a future in front of me, and for that, I’m forever grateful to Lifeskills. Special thank you to Dr. Kristen and Dr. Bober.
I can’t go back and change the past, but I can decide how it’s going to affect my life today. I’ve learned how to better control my emotions and my symptoms and now, I try to move on. Living with mental illness takes constant work but it is possible to live a normal life.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health challenges, don’t hesitate to seek help. Reach out to Lifeskills at 954-953-1742 or fill out our contact form to embark on a path towards recovery and rediscover a life filled with purpose and hope. Your journey to healing begins now.