“Inside myself, I dwell alone and in hell. A prison not of my choosing, locked in a battle that I am losing. So tired I’ve become of the fight, as I struggle to see the light. There is a monster I cannot see, which dwells inside of me. And never alone shall it leave me, until I lay dying and bleeding. Forever I shall be sleeping, as the darkness puts out the light. And my soul gives up its fight.”
My name is Nichole, and I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder in 1996 at the age of 24. I am now 44. I wish I could say that I sought help as soon as I started showing symptoms of any kind but that just wasn’t the case. All through my teens, I went through bouts of mania followed by deep depressive episodes. When manic, I was super happy, nothing could bring me down, my mind was always racing, I was full of ideas of things I was going to do, I did not seem to need much sleep, sometimes going 24 hours or more without sleep. I found that I talked nonstop to anyone who would listen and if no one was around I wrote nonstop because I felt like I had to get it out of my head or it was going to explode. I also found myself thinking I was better than others, I would constantly have bitter angry things to say to people about things. I would be agitated to the point that I would have to physically be doing something which meant pacing the floor or bouncing my knee when sitting even rocking back and forth trying to expel what I called nervous energy. I partied a lot and was sexually promiscuous something I am ashamed of to this day. And then in the blink of an eye, something would happen that sent me spiraling into depression.