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The person featured in this video is sharing her individual experiences living with bipolar I disorder. She has been compensated for her time. Individual experiences with the condition and treatment will vary.
This resource is brought to you by AbbVie.
Hi, I’m Dailyn. I’m from New York and I’ve been living with bipolar I disorder for 11 years. When I was diagnosed, I was in a state of shock. I felt such an overwhelming sense of shame and guilt. Growing up in a Latino family, we did not speak about mental health even though mental illness is something that definitely runs in my family.
There is a saying in Spanish that says, “la ropa sucia se lava en casa,” meaning your dirty laundry is something that you wash and air at home. You do not talk about your problems anywhere else. Crying or showing emotions can be a sign of weakness and it took me a very long time to realize that asking for help is a sign of strength.
Mania, it is dangerous. What I did when I was manic is some it’s it’s, it just feels like it’s not me almost. But it feels wonderful. It feels like you are God, it feels like you can do anything and everything. For me, I experienced more of the depressive side of bipolar disorder. Feels like no matter how much light you let in the room, the darkness inside of you overpowers it. No matter how hard I try, there’s that force, there’s that black shadow that is just like, pushing me down.
My self-esteem and self-worth plummeted. And I felt like if I had this illness, like, what could I possibly bring to the world, like, I’m not sure I’m worth anything. I carried that mindset with me everywhere.
Today, I’m in a much better place than I was. Having the support of family, friends, people in groups is so massively important. I had to educate my friends and family. I had to let them know what my signs and symptoms were and how they can help me and how they can help me help myself.
My hope is that more people speak up, that I’m not the only one that I don’t receive more, most of my messages via like email or DMs because they’re afraid to speak up. I hope that those people use their voices too.
In the beginning, my voice was shaking. And you know, every time I tell my story, it does get a little easier. This is, this is, this is real. This is real, what we go through is real.
I’m Dailyn. I’m a poet, stepmom, friend, and I’ve been living with bipolar I disorder.
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“To Do List”
So this poem is the first poem that I wrote after 8 years and it’s called “To Do List”. I had to write about what a to do list is like, for a person that lives with bipolar I disorder. And at the end, I kind of just wanted to call on people who just didn’t believe that they had a purpose because they have a mental illness.
“My to do list is longer than I’d like to admit. It is a step-by-step process of all the things I like to call small accomplishments. Because that’s what they are to me. Everything is a daunting task. I’m an elephant when I wake up. I weigh six tons, I cannot crawl, I am weak. Do I really need to shower? No, I’m okay for today. But brushing my teeth, doing my hair, putting mascara on my thank God naturally long lashes so it looks like I actually tried is a huge achievement. I barely do what I need to do.
“Do you know I haven’t used shaving cream in years? I don’t remember the last time I did. I don’t know the last time I was kind enough to my body to rub my legs in a circular motion and suddenly I’m in my mid 20s and this is what suppressing crisis at 26 looks like and now it’s either this life forever or asking for help.
“Well, asking for help is all of these hands waiting to hold you, reaching out towards you together in prayer for you, preaching out for you, ready to save you. But you? You can’t.
“They’ll never be able to be of service. At first you don’t believe you deserve it. You’re not the only one, the first or last. No one is perfect. Haven’t you heard this? Now stop thinking of your diagnosis as a confinement. We’re all just people that need to be reminded when you can’t get out of bed in the morning because of fear, trauma, shame, guilt, endless racing thoughts, you need those people to remind you who the hell you are.
“And if you still haven’t found it yet, ask yourself how you can be of service. This isn’t taboo, I refuse to believe it anymore. If we are the mad ones, then let us laugh the loudest. But in this journey in our terrifying self discovery, know that you can stand in a room and you be the proudest.”
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*This content does not constitute medical advice or establish a patient-physician relationship. Please talk to your healthcare provider about your specific treatment needs.