This Diary Belongs To: Gabrielle Beverly (or Gabby)
Reason for “Diary”: to share with others my story of coping w/ a mental illness, as well as sharing my journey on self love, self care, & living a healthier lifestyle in all aspects of life
It all started back in 2008, I was halfway into my senior year in high school, and was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder & Depression. Only thought at the time in my head was OMG, I’m a crazy person. I fell into a dark depression, didn’t eat, couldn’t sleep, was walking around like a zombie because the medication was messing with my body…it was A LOT going on and a lot to take in! But from diagnosis to now, the world of Mental Health and Mental Health Awareness was new to me. I didn’t know that there were others out there like myself dealing with either the same mental illness, or another form of mental health. It was a rocky start for me at first, especially for my parents. Never in a million years would they have thought their child developed some form of mental illness. But thanks to my doctor, we caught the symptoms early. I got the help needed, the CORRECT medication, and a huge support group to help me get through my bad days.
Growing up, I’ve always kept a journal. Whether it was a regular notebook or a composition book, I made sure to write in it whenever I had the time. If I had a great day or memory, I wrote it down. If it was a bad one, I wrote it down. If I had a crush on a boy and was too scared to tell him, I wrote it down. But during my depression, and after being diagnosed, it was hard for me to write…ANYTHING because of the combination of medicine prescribed to me. I started taking it, and the next thing I knew, I couldn’t pick up my pencil, I try to write my name, only for it to look like chicken-scratch, and my hands stayed in fists every car ride home that my mom would force my hands to lay flat in my lap. I would fall asleep in ALL of my classes in school that one of my teachers thought that I was sick or something. It was a tough period in my life, but once I got the correct help I needed, and the right medication, I was able to retrain myself to write again. Over my senior year, I kept 3 boxes, filled with nothing but journals, all of them with filled with the bad memories to remind myself over and over.
Fast forward to Mar. 4, 2016, Mom and I took all three boxes and shredded them into six gallon trash bags. It was a therapeutic experience for me, because it felt like I was breaking down those walls that I built up around myself for the past few years. People bullied me viciously, telling me that I wasn’t going to be capable of doing anything. Now, I am a Geo-Spatial Artist by day, and blogger, writer, and night-thinker by night. And I’m still managing my Bipolar very well, I am taking my medication, and talking to a professional about my health. I’m doing better than I was from 2006.
So before we start on this journey together, pull out your pen and journal, pour yourself a cup of coffee or tea, play some cafe music, and let’s get to know each other and start the learning process.