Hello, my name is Mark.       

As long as I can remember I’ve been moody. Especially during my teen years. I was angry at the world. I had extreme aggressiveness and extreme low moods and didn’t seek help for it until I physically hurt someone very special and close to me.

I then knew something was up, and I sought out help from my family doctor and a Psychiatrist. It turns out that I am bi-polar. 

Running, yoga and working out used to help me deal with changes in my moods and mental health. I used to run for hours on end and I was obsessive about my diet. After I was diagnosed, I started medications and lost my motivation to use physical fitness as a coping mechanism. I find that the medication makes me unmotivated and zombie-like – that’s when I started the use of non-prescription drugs. I also sometimes use getting tattoos and piercings as a way to ground myself – but that’s not always a decision I’m happy with later.

My mental health issues have hugely affected my family, friendships, and relationships. All the unmedicated mood fluctuations were hard to explain. I do not understand why I’m so angry or depressed, so it becomes pretty difficult to explain it to anyone else. I rarely feel happy.

To this day, I no longer run or workout. I am more stable because of the medication and when I can’t sleep, or I feel anxious, I use Marijuana or another natural drug. It works for me for now and that’s why I continue to use it along with my medication.

I am stable enough for now. Being bi-polar makes it really hard to understand your own reactions – so if you suspect that someone you love is suffering and you approach them about it, be prepared for them to be defensive and deny it. It might be helpful to try and think of some examples for them, instead of accusations or pointing out their flaws.

I will be on the medication for the rest of my life, which is unfortunate, but I realize just how much it does help me and how much I need it. I am not currently capable of regulating my own emotions.

Each day is a new struggle, but I’m here, trying. That is my past and this is my present.