It's been a good ten years now since I started hormones and began transition, and for the most part it's been a good experience. It certainly helped pull me out of the deepest depths of depression I would fall into, and it gave me the willpower and incentive to break free of self injury as well. I thought I had everything under control, but I was wrong. I decided over the summer to put my insurance to good use, while I’ve still got it, and get back into therapy again. I did a diagnostic interview with a psychiatrist also, and based on my answers to her questions, I was diagnosed with bipolar 2 disorder back in July. I've known for quite some time that I probably had this, but I guess I was in a bit of denial about it, and was afraid of the types of medication for it. I guess over all I was afraid to admit that transition hadn't solved all my mental health problems, and that doing so would potentially make them pull me off the hormones.
I got to the point where I felt like all I was doing was existing and going through the motions every day. I was letting housework slide, just generally letting anything and everything slide, even some basic hygiene. What really woke me up was the coming full circle of my decision when I was 18 to stop seeing a dentist, which in hindsight was the worst decision of my life. It finally caught up to me this year. I figured back then that as long as I took really good care of them, I wouldn’t need to waste my time on the dentist. I then proceeded to more or less do the exact opposite for 12 years and ended up with a mouth full of cavities and broken teeth. This year the pain finally got so bad I had to get something done about it. I found out that I had five teeth that needed to come out, and they didn’t even tell me the exact number of cavities, just that it was a lot. Not being able to eat solid food for a while, spending thousands on my teeth, and some observations from the girlfriend made me realize that I badly needed help.
It’s been a real awakening for me to get this diagnosis, or should I say confirmation of my own diagnosis. I’ve known for a long time that I had periods of highs and lows, and I did my best to manage it all this time, but it just wasn’t cutting it. Now I’m seeing a counselor once a week and my psychiatrist put me on abilify to help level out my moods more. I was in the middle of a high when I did the interview, so that was really to help bring me back down. I’ve still had some issues with depression, so it’s yet to be determined if any other meds are needed. I’ve already had the abilify increased after a depressive episode a month into treatment, and so far so good on that dosage. I’m making progress and I guess I can say that my moods have leveled out for the time being.
I can say now that I’m no longer ashamed, or afraid to admit that I have bipolar disorder. If anything I’m relieved to know that I was right. I’m ready to get my life under control and to get my moods under control. It’s going to be a life long thing that I have to deal with, and to treat. It’s going to be an uphill battle, but for my own sake, I have to move forward with treatment. I’ve spent too many years of my life being sick and tired, and I’ve had enough of the up and down lifestyle I lived for so long. I’m happy with myself, and I mean truly happy, for the first time in so long. I didn’t ask for this any more than I did being trans, but like it or not, it’s a part of me. It does not define me, and it will not rule me any longer. I’m owning it, and I’m going to do my best to overcome it.