Once I Was Seven Years Old

When I was seven years old I got detention for laughing too much in class.
When I was nine years old my teacher pulled me aside at lunch to teach me the word “lethargic” and ask what was going on in my life.
When I was eleven years old my teacher would send me out of the classroom to do laps around the school and burn off energy.
When I was fourteen years old I slept with everyone I could get my hands on.
When I was fifteen years old I hated everyone and got migraines at school almost every day.
When I was sixteen years old I got suspended for two fights in school.
When I was seventeen I was graduated early, and I spent my summer as an exchange student in Spain.
When I was eigteen I went to college.
When I was nineteen I got my first apartment, and I got really into drugs.

When I was nineteen I became manic and was taken out of school and put into a psychiatric hospital.
I was diagnosed with Bipolar I.

When I was twenty I was hospitalized twice.
When I was twenty one I was hospitalized one more time.
When I was twenty two I was sent to a long term treatment center for three weeks.

When I was twenty two I found myself again.
When I was twenty two I took my recovery into my own hands.

Now I can look back on my life and understand the ups and downs.
I understand why I felt the way I felt.
The road ahead of me is long.
My struggle is not, may never be, over.
But for the first time I see a beacon of hope.

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