As far back as I can remember, I was never "normal."  I started self harming when I was 4. My mother would see the blood and tell me I was going to give myself cancer - her way of trying to make me stop...all it did was make me become a hypochondriac. I also had horrible anxiety...was very intense and clingy.
When I was in 5th grade, I developed Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I washed my hands until they bled, I had to count to a certain number before I could concentrate...and a lot of other things. My mother took me to see my pediatrician, who said, "She'll grow out of it," and sent me home.
In 9th grade, I had my first episode of depression, followed by a manic episode in 10th grade...and on and on it went. In 11th grade, I started starving myself to lose weight. Everyone thought that was wonderful...."Oh, you look so great." No one seemed to care that I was eating 700 calories a day.
All through college and law school I was up and down...but mostly down. I would sit in class and cry. I would study and cry. I would lie in bed and cry, and cry, and cry. I would be convinced I was dying of this or that for months at a time.
Finally, I started throwing up to lose weight, scared myself to death, and went to see a psychiatrist.  Finally being able to talk to someone about how I've felt virtually all my life...and getting an explanation for it...was unbelievable. My family never wanted to acknowledge I had a problem and they still don't - so I had always been left to deal
with what was going on myself.
At first, my psychiatrist diagnosed major depression, because that is where I was when I first saw her. Then, about a year and a half ago, I had three months of mania...I was sleeping a few hours every other day. I was working 48 hours a week at a psychiatric
hospital (I know, ironic), I was working 10 hours a week as a lawyer, volunteering 10 hours a week at legal aid, taking 3 classes at university, and doing 10 hours a week of research on borderline personality disorder.
Finally, after that, I started taking a mood stabilizer along with my other meds...and I haven't had a real episode of either depression or mania since. I sometimes get depressed or manic...but it lasts for a week or two now...instead of months or years like it used to. I have been inpatient three times, go to therapy 3 times a week, and see my psychiatrist once every 2-3 weeks. So...I put a lot of energy into getting better...but my life is soooo
much fuller than it has ever been.

 I have my own law practice, a sweetheart of a boyfriend (finally quit choosing abusive ones),  great friends and a wonderful church. I am so glad I didn't give up...!
 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined      to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn, among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified...For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:28-39.



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