"I constantly feel like I’m going insane."

When I look back, I’ve been like this since I was very very young. The first time I remember it manifesting was when I was 7 and couldn’t do the things my friends all did without panicking and making myself ill, things like sleepovers or knocking on their door asking to play out. One day when I was in year 11, I walked out of school early and went home and cried in my bed. That’s the first day I realised I wasn’t experiencing emotions that were normal to every 15 year old and I wasn’t just hormonal or sad.

I began sleeping for hours and hours. Hiding away in my room with my childhood sweetheart, my parents convinced we were just inseparable and in love when in reality I was tired, upset, angry - every emotion under the sun in one day and he was trying his best to fix me. We spent every day together for 80 days straight. And then it all got too much and he left me. For another girl. This all continued for so long.

It wasn’t until I was 17 my then best friend eventually dragged me to a GP. Over the years I’ve been on and off medication, on and off medication. She eventually disappeared too. But I never really found anything that worked. I would be the happiest and bubbliest and two minutes later the lowest. I would splurge and spend all the money I had, and the next day I wouldn’t be okay with spending a penny. I was wreckless with things like drugs and have unprotected sex and cheating on boyfriends... and the next day I wouldn’t even ask a shop assistant for help in a store.

Right now I have no help. No support. People think I’m that crazy cookie friend... that I’m lairy and fiercely protective and loveable at the same time. When in reality I’m just bipolar. Maybe one day I’ll get help with the mood swings, and the over sleeping and the self-medicating with alcohol and drugs... but until I’m ready to do that I’ll just try my best (and fail) to act “normal” and not draw attention to myself.

Right now I feel like it lives with me in my bones, I wonder why I’m like this and why I can’t just function normally like so many others... but for now. This is me I guess. And I’ll continue to play my part of the crazy friend until I’m ready to do something else about it. I don’t manage to maintain close friendships for long so no one really notices thaaaat much I guess. As much as I try that’s something my mental health has prohibited since I was around 16 years old.

I constantly feel like I’m going insane, but I also feel like it lives comfortably inside me. A control freak and anxious and crazy and sad and happy and extroverted all in one (it’s very confusing and impossible to write in something like this!) But maybe one day I won’t be like this and I’ll feel like the person I want to feel like. Maybe one day I’ll be mentally well.

Anonymous, United Kingdom