In October of 2009 I was enrolled full time in college and was on the high honor roll. I worked thirty hours a week and loved my job. People that knew me often referred to me as “level-headed” with “a good head on my shoulders.” I had a lot of amazing friends and believed that life was beautiful.

In November I started falling down a slippery slope. I stopped going to classes, stopped eating and sleeping, started pushing away most of my friends and family, and started doing things I wouldn’t have considered before. All of these things I did with no apparent trigger.

In December things kept getting worse.

By the end of January I was extremely depressed and experienced two turning points:

1.) One night I reached a low and decided I wanted to get better. Up until that point, the pain I had been feeling had enough pleasure in it that I didn’t want to get better. That night I drove two hours to my home town. My mom told me I should go to the hospital. Instead, I drove to the UP and spent a few days snowshowing, reading, and writing.

2.) A couple weeks later school started. The first day back I could barely function. I managed to make it to work and to the one class I had that day. Later that night I hit bottom. I felt that nothing was real and I was all alone. I had been depressed before, but I honestly felt that I had nothing left. I wished with all of my heart that I hadn’t been born. The next day I checked myself into the hospital for a few days and was diagnosed with a form if bipolar disorder. I decided to drop out of school, quit my job, and move home.

I’m twenty-two years old, I feel like all my presuppositions, my worldview, my outlook on life, my foundation has crumbled in a matter of three months.

The only thing that got me through the night that I hit bottom was that I kept telling myself that I still believe in love. I told myself that I have to let my family love me even though most of my issues stem from things that happened either to us or within our home.

And now?

I feel that I have to start all over again… to build a new foundation. I feel that I lost my identity in a few short months. I don’t remember what it feels like to be my old self, nor do I really want to be that person again.

I’m starting all over.

I’m learning to live again.

And I want to write about it. I want to share my story.

And I want to hear yours too.