This I Believe

Meghan - Houston, Texas
Entered on March 20, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

Title: Young and Bipolar

This I Believe: That the cliché that all things happen for a reason is, in fact, not a cliche at all.

As a 22 year old female resident of Houston, Texas, my life has been filled with love from family and friends, access to higher institutions of learning, opportunities to live abroad, and the list goes on and on. Most people would say I am “one lucky girl”, and I would quickly agree, but for reasons most people may not understand.

My junior year of college at Saint Louis University started off with a bang. Flourishing in the nursing program, highly involved in my sorority, and about to turn 21, I was living the good life, or so I thought. Around Christmas time I began to experience a deep depression, one that I tried to ignore. As my spring semester began, things took a turn for the worse. My self esteem, which has always been a struggle for me, hit rock bottom, and I no longer cared about anything, most of all myself. When thoughts of suicide surfaced in early February I reached out for help, and found it in the loving arms of my mother and father. I left Saint Louis and headed back to good ole’ Texas, hoping to crawl out of the black hole I had somehow fallen in.

Unknown to me at the time, this depressive episode was in fact the beginning of my lifelong journey with bipolar disorder. Back in Houston things did not get much better. Relying on medication to pull me out of everything was definitely not the solution. I had issues (and yes, I still do). Self esteem, dependency, addiction; I am pretty sure I covered about half the diagnoses in the DSM. One night, a night that brings me to tears every time I recall it, I decided that life was no longer worth living, that there would be no end, no cure, for my suffering. I felt alone. I felt helpless. Depressed is an understatement in my opinion. My “brilliant” mind decided that the best way to cure this suffering was to die…by laying myself on the train tracks behind my family home. As I lay face down in between the rails, I felt nothing. NOTHING. The lights of the train that night will never escape my memory, nor will the fact that the train went over me. Yes, this is a true story. As the train conductor attempted to slam on the brakes the train hurled forward, passing over my helpless body. The train finally came to a stop about halfway thru this traumatic experience. And then, a funny thing happened…I wanted to live.

No words can describe what that night has meant, and will forever, mean to me. Life after the train was no cake walk. Manic episodes surfaced once I began rigorous treatment with antidepressants. I have been arrested as a result of a manic episode, as well as convinced I would be president of the United States (I will refrain from making any sort of political commentary here). But at the young age of 22 I have learned more about life, and myself, then most people will learn in a lifetime

Things do happen for a reason, this I believe. Whether it is the death of a loved one, getting fired from work, or in my case, a failed suicide attempt, there is a plan. I don’t care if you believe in God, Allah, Budha, or just yourself, life has a way of working things out if we listen to the signs. I went to drastic measures before I finally realized there was a purpose for Meghan in this world; it does not have to be that way for everyone. Listen. Learn. Love. And most importantly, believe in yourself, because at the end of the day you are all you got.