During my appointment with the psychiatrist, I was nervous and on guard. I knew that I was definitely not crazy. I had lived up to this point and nothing too terrible had happened to me, so I must not be crazy, right? Of course, I was discounting the cutting, the rage episodes, the fists through walls, the sobbing in my car, and, of course, that time I had to pull over to keep myself from driving off a bridge. But hey, SO normal.

After a few visits, I came away with a diagnosis: Bipolar II and Borderline Personality Disorder. She gave me a list of prescriptions and sent me on my way. Part of me was incredibly irritated. I’d taken pills before, and nothing had helped me. The doctor had explained that this was because anti-depressants don’t fully help people who have BPD. They may help relieve some of the symptoms, but they just can’t help with the severe shifts in mood. So, I filled the prescriptions, walked around Target for a while, and went home.

The next few weeks I weaned myself onto the drugs. A few more milligrams every week. I could feel myself calming down. Things like a diaper blowout no longer made me want to lock myself in a closet. I could handle rude people at work without slamming my fist on the counter top. Things were going well. It was the first time in my life that I felt any semblance of normalcy. After a few months, I figured I was fine; had gotten a handle on myself; moved on. Then, like so many others, I quit taking my chemical cocktail.