I figured myself out today. Well, actually, it's more like I fnally discovered the reason for my extreme personality change. I've always known, but I just needed the logic explained to me in such a way that I could back up my thinking. Lately, I've realized I really have very few interests and things I actually enjoy doing. I am completely in love with my boyfriend and I enjoy my time spent with him doing whatever activities he's interested in for the most part.. not because I'm a pushover, it's just that I've become overly passive. I do like video games, and bowling, etc. so I don't tend to complain about it because I enjoy being with him so it doesn't matter. It just sucks because I can name so many things he enjoys, and some he has a passion for, and when try to determine what I LOVE to do.. I just can't come up with anything. So, that being said, looking at the past I used to really love art and being creative, and I also enjoyed writing. Today in abnormal psychology class my teacher happened to be talking about bipolar disorder and manic depression, which I was diagnosed with years ago, and she made the comment that many artists realize that they are afflicted by the disorder, but they don't pursue treatment because they create some of their most amazing works during manic episodes. For some reason, this statement just hit so close to home because I remember many times being in the manic state and those were the times that I had the most free flowing creativity and enjoyed my artistic endeavors the most. I'm not trying to say that the mania was completely a positive thing though, because the other times I remember being in a manic phase were when I was out having "fun"--which meant I was doing anything and everything I felt like doing at the moment. I was impulsive and carefree, I didn't care about the consequences of my actions, and I always felt like I was special and amazing. I still think I'm amazing, but if you look at the things I have to back it up and actually agree with me than either you really like me or you're just being polite to avoid my wrath. Anyway, I've realized over time that there is a HUGE difference in my self esteem level in and out of manic episodes; it's one thing to love yourself, but it is completely another to truly believe you are the most unique person to have ever walked the earth..and act like it too. So, today, while I was thinking about why I don't seem to have any interests anymore, I realized that ever since I've been feeling emotionally and mentally stable I've stopped trying new things as much and haven't pursued things I used to enjoy either. It's almost like I've become completely paranoid because I can finally look at the events that unfolded in the past few years and see them for what they actually are--which is pretty scary all in itself. The things I used to "enjoy" doing were almost always reckless and spontaneous. Spontaneity was a key feature of my personality back then, mainly because it sounds a lot better than calling me an impulsive risk taker, but also because I was capable of dropping everything to do pretty much anything I was asked to do because in my mind it was always an adventure. When I look back now I just think I was being stupid, wild, crazy, etc. Anyway, ever since I've evolved into this new person, I am extremely cautious of everything and afraid of change. I used to thrive on change and now I'm too paranoid to leave my stable life or alter my routines. Maybe I'm overcompensating for all the bad decisions and lack of judgment in the past by overthinking the consequences of every little thing, but as much as I miss the "way things used to be", I don't think I could ever go back to that life and be happy. There are so many reasons why I am afraid of a lot of things, and I think they're good ones, but I can't let the past hold me back from having a life in the present and the future. I've decided that since I am officially happy with the way my life is right now in most aspects I should try to expand my horizons without going overboard like I used to. It's just scary how much the description of mania characterizes me, and even scarier that I knew it all before but my mind interpreted it completely differently. A few examples would be the fact that people in a manic state tend to over indulge in things like spending huge amounts of money and being promiscuous--I think it may even explain a lot of the reason why I went through an eating disorder and the extremes I went to because in my own mind, during the euphoria of mania, I felt like I was capable of anything I put my mind to. Realistically, I'm sure it's possible to have the same feelings outside of mania, but without it, I doubt many people really feel utterly invincible. For a couple years, while I was taking medications for depression I noticed I was slowly changing and becoming less aggressive. It went from a phase where I felt passive but still did crazy things because I just didn't care, to the way I am now, which is overly paranoid, but, the difference is I actually care now, and that means a lot. I care about myself, my health and my well being, and I can see clearly now that in the past I was being completely self destructive. It took the downward spiral and finally hitting rock bottom to realize I had no future living that way. I feel a lot better now, I've been off medication for a long time, well besides adderall--which is another story in itself because it's the only drug I've ever found myself addicted to, and I think it's because it gives me the euphoric feeling that closely resembles mania at times-- and I'm trying to get my life back still. I'm no longer depressed, and I feel like I've made a lot of big steps towards improvement lately that should leave me no reason to be sad anymore, even though it's true that the most accomplished and admired people in the world still get depressed at some point, but as for me, I think my current life is not too far off from perfection. For one thing, I'm in college and I actually have an idea of what I want my major to be. Secondly, I just got a great new job and actually impressed them at the interview. Finally, I just feel like a lot of things are coming together and even though I can still improve, I'm happy where I'm at for now. As cheesy as it sounds, I'm hopelessly in love with my boyfriend, Corey, and I just feel amazing and happy in a way I've never felt before in my entire life and I couldn't ask for anything else. =)
p.s. Yes, I still hate paragraphs and suck at organization. lol.