It all started when I was in Jr. High. Nobody could understand how a kid who was always happy, smiling and telling jokes, suddenly started being afraid of everything and depressed about “simple” things. My mom decided to take me to the psychologist and after some treatment; the psychologist thought it’d be a better idea to go with a psychiatrist who started giving me anti-depressants.
Things didn’t change much as I continued with suicidal thoughts and going from medicine to medicine, I felt like I was a guinea pig for the doctor. I started going out more but only so I can have an excuse to drink, it was a long-term suicide but as the drinks kept coming the mood swings got bigger and bigger until I started seeing other doctors who all agreed that I didn’t have depression but bipolar disorder type two.
My family supported me but somehow didn’t give my disorder as much attention as they would give to any other disease. I screamed quietly for help while drinking to hide from myself. I saw many other doctors but I kept bouncing from one to another because they all said that I should be in a mental hospital but my parents weren’t ok with this idea. This is where the stigma started to kick me hard and I couldn’t find a way out but only ending with my own life.
I remember that day when I had my first suicide attempt; I was at my brother’s house and I was feeling at peace with myself. My job in this life was done so after a talk with my brother, I took a bottle of rum and some anxiolytics I had hidden in my backpack. I took them and swallowed them with almost half the bottle, then I waited for everything to kick in. I woke up in a hospital with some tubes inside my nose and the image of my brother crying.
After that attempt my parents watched me closer but still refused to put me in a mental hospital. I kept dealing with alcohol and some drugs came to seduce me. From wine to wine, bed to bed, party to party I was lost inside my pain but the outside wasn’t a day in the park either. It was no one but me calling death, I took dangerous roads trying to find a feeling that would kill the one I was having. So one day, out of the blue, I took my car and drove while drinking a bottle of whiskey, I stopped at a strip club to watch a “friend” dance and also, of course, the rest of the girls. I got drunk and decided to hit back home but on my way out some guy started pushing me for no reason. He then took a small baseball bat and hit me with it… I don’t remember much but some pieces in my memory tell me that I woke up in some street, hurt and with my face all disfigured, I looked like a monster, now not only from the inside.
I had some brain damage and stayed in the hospital for one week and a half, my sense of smell and taste don’t work the way the used to and since then I became more aggressive and started hallucinating.
After trying different kinds of medicine and my parents still refusing to follow the doctor’s advice to put me in a mental hospital, I found on the Internet a 10k race. To be honest I still don’t know why I chose to do it, maybe it was the eco of my parents and ex-girlfriend saying that I was so unstable that I couldn’t finish anything. It wasn’t a big deal but I wanted to show them that I could finish a race. I prepared for it, ran it and finished it.
I noticed that running kept me motivated and away from alcohol, I followed racing plans to finish other races but in one of my trainings I broke my ligament. I had a surgery, an implant and terrible news; after my knee rehab I couldn’t run but only short distances… so my demons came back with bottles of wine.
A year after, I got tired of it all, tired of not being able to run, not being able to feel stable. I began to run again and thought that if I could handle inner pain, physical pain wouldn’t be a thing and if I could drink to death, I could run, either way I was harming my body.
I can say now that alcohol isn’t an issue now and I’ve ran 6 marathons, an ultra marathon and tons of half marathons without having to visit the doctor again. My knee is fine and I’m better, I still struggle with hallucinations, my bad temper and mood swings, but now I have a blessing that God gave me; running.