I wish I could say that as I grew up, I knew something was wrong. I wish I knew during the months of depression that this wasn’t how people are supposed to feel. I wish someone had been able to see inside my mind to tell me that this wasn’t “normal”.
But I didn’t know this. I didn’t know there was something ‘wrong’ because that’s just how I felt most of the time. I wasn’t a sad kid growing up. I was pretty happy and go lucky. But somewhere along the way, I developed this depression and anxiety that seemed to take over my life.
I do remember the first time I realized something was wrong…
It was summer time and I was probably grade four or five. It had been a few weeks since school ended and one of the girls at school was having a birthday party. Not just any party – a bowling party. I was so excited. I remember counting the days as they led up to it.
The day of the party I woke up miserable. Not sad or upset. Just grouchy and miserable. We were all cleaning the house and I remember throwing a fit about having to help. My mom corrected me but I just wouldn’t stop.
She warned me that if I didn’t settle down and behave, then the party would be off the table.
I kept at it. Screaming, crying, throwing myself around, stomping and slamming things.
She warned me a second time.
And then a third. She told me that was my last chance.
I remember standing in our upstairs bathroom, staring at my red, angry, tearful face in the mirror.
I remember thinking to myself. “You’ve got to stop. She’s not going to let you go to that party.”
I remember practically begging myself to settle down.
And then I completely lost it. I screamed. I slammed things, stomped my feet and pretty much threw a temper tantrum.
My mom told me I wasn’t going to that party.
I didn’t even care at that point. I was upset sure…. But I was more upset because it was in that moment that I realized… I had no control over my actions in that moment.
I hadn’t wanted to act that way. But it was like something took over my brain and my body.
That something was Bipolar Disorder.
Maybe my life could have been different had we known. But there’s one thing I’m sure of. If I hadn’t gone through the things I did, I wouldn’t be who I am today. I wouldn’t be as strong as I am now. I wouldn’t have developed the skills to become so self-aware and determined to stay mentally healthy as I am today. I wouldn’t be me without it.
When was the first time you realized, something was wrong… What made you realize you might have a mental health concern?
Nichole is a Social Media Marketing Manager, business owner, daughter and friend. She has a Marketing Diploma and a Certificate of Christian Theology. She is an avid coffee lover who enjoys a good movie or book. She takes great joy in organizing, scheduling, and volunteering. Her passion for volunteerism extends specifically to those who are hurting, whether it is emotionally, physically, or mentally.
Nichole is certified to provide Mental Health First Aid, which means she can provide immediate support and guidance in a safe environment, comfortably have a conversation about mental health related issues and offer professional and other supports. This does NOT make Nichole a psychologist, or a counselor. It simply gives her the tools to direct people to the help they need.