about two months ago i was diagnosed with cyclothymia. i wrote all about it and explained how i was feeling to you guys, but i don’t think that that post did justice to how much this has changed my life. now that some time has passed and i’ve done my share of research, i feel like my knowledge and scope is so much better than it was when i first shared my exciting news.
first i want to clarify that i downplayed how happy and excited i was to learn my diagnosis – by a lot. i felt like i needed to be more reserved about it, but now that some time has passed i feel really passionate about sharing the extreme joy i gained from learning this about myself. when i was younger, i spent a lot of time looking for someone who could understand me. whenever i’d blow on dandelions, wish on a shooting star, or any type of superstitious wish-making behavior, i’d wish for someone who could truly understand me. i fell easily and often for boys who made me feel like they could “see right through me” and i always wanted that best friend from the movies who got me the way no one else did. i never ever felt complete because i wanted to be understood. after i got my diagnosis, i realized that my entire life, i’d been projecting. what i wanted wasn’t someone to understand me, but for me to finally understand myself.
i felt really frustrated for years, i realized, that i couldn’t really get myself. no matter what i did, my emotions always got the better of me. i felt so alone and isolated and ran from that for years by constantly being in another person’s company. i never really felt okay with myself because i couldn’t understand myself. i wanted so much to know exactly who i was and exactly what was “wrong” with me. so when i was told i have cyclothymia and found that all the symptoms fit me to a tee, i felt recognized. i felt like i wasn’t just this strange person who never felt quite right. i was just suffering from something that has already been identified. it was so empowering and made me feel like there was hope for me.
as i read more and more articles and literature about cyclothymia, i started to feel like i was understood. and even more so, i started to really understand myself. i could identify certain periods in my life where i was experiencing these different stages of cyclothymia. i could see where these things that normally wouldn’t bother a person had such an effect on me. i was able to start seeing signs and i could really know what was wrong. i felt sure, for the first time and even on my bad days i still feel sure. what a difference that has made.
i’ve started some new habits that have been pivotal in my growth. i started following a very strict sleep schedule, made sure to exercise at least 5 days a week, and have concrete signs that warn me when i’m about to dip – and even then, the dips aren’t as low as they used to be. not only with myself, but those close to me now know when i’m starting to move into a new cycle and have gotten really good at supporting me through it. it’s strengthened my bonds, helped me form healthier habits, and made me feel more at peace with myself.
there’s still a lot more work for me to do, but now i’d say my life is actually manageable. i really wanted to share how much just one word has made me change for the better.