Normalizing the Stigma
When I was eleven I noticed it for the first time. For no real reason at all I became irrationally anxious and then I became mad. Not the mad that you would expect from a preteen girl longing for conformity and frustrated with the trivial day-to-days, but an inexplicable deep rage that fueled inside me like wind on embers. I was manic for the first time in my life.
The next ten years I cycled through phases of normality and hopeless irritability, self-prescribing coping mechanisms along the way. At the age of thirteen I found the silver lining in my own body, it was the ultimate sense of control for someone who felt a constant imbalance…I purged. And so began a long and unforgiving addiction that followed me into my mid-20s. Throughout this time I had a slew of different diagnoses from various practitioners all with different medications they saw fit in their expertise. In school I alternated from optimistic determination to insubordination at the expense of my loving parents. Their concern pushed me from school to school hoping my attitude problem would improve in a new environment. By the time I reached sophomore year of high school I was in a small, regimented private school that cost a small fortune to attend, however the nurturing climate was one they would make the sacrifice for…and for that I am forever grateful to them.
At fifteen I was diagnosed with Bulimia Nervosa and Attention Deficit Disorder. At nineteen I was diagnosed with Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder. At twenty-three I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. I’m now twenty-seven years old. Four years ago I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and I have never told a soul. I have never really told anyone at any time in my life about any of these diagnoses. I take my medication. I see my psychiatrist. I cope, (now with healthier alternatives than purging). But, I never speak of it to anyone. Now at twenty-seven I find myself asking why?
The purpose of From The Hive is to speak about it. Clear the haze surrounding mental health and give a voice to those who also find themselves silenced in the shadows. This site is a space to explore not only my stories, but also those of others who have been affected by mental illness. The illustration of the mind as a hive is more than just an analogy, for both have so many integral characters that are crucial to the functionality of the unit. To understand the hive we must know the bee.
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