I am Happy

Worth Living Ambassador Thomas Morgan

My name is Thomas Morgan. I am a 22 year-old Sociology student at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. I am a suicide survivor. I also have Bipolar Disorder, but I am so much more than either of those things.

I am Happy

Hey Worth Living community. It’s been a while. The last time I wrote for this blog was back in the early summer of last year. A lot has happened, but I will give you a streamlined version before getting into the actual post itself.

Since my last post I went off my medication (with the assistance of my psychiatrist), removed myself from unhealthy relationships with both my mother and father, began experiencing frequent panic attacks, gotten a new tattoo and grown a beard (neither are big events, I am just incredibly pleased with both), focused on losing weight, and began actively writing and sharing my poetry.

During my first semester this year, I was focused on not allowing the negative issues in my life effect any of my grades. Speaking candidly, I found this easy at first. I was forced to establish new patterns and a new schedule, which was very different to how I spent my summer. My brain does not work well without stability and a proper schedule (throwback to the last post) and I found myself focusing on adapting and maintaining these new patterns for the first two weeks.

Afterwards, however, I found myself feeling like I was under attack in terms of my mental health. Without my mood stabilizers, which I have come off due to feeling like I was often a zombie (even when I was perfectly stable), I found myself more prone to negative emotions and episodes. Partnered with large life changes that happened recently and these constantly became an issue. If I wasn’t having negative thoughts then I was getting into fist fights due to my problems controlling my anger.

I noticed this was a problem when there seemed to be a pattern to the madness and I considered ways to deal with these issues. I began going to the gym again, having stopped over the summer, and decided shortly after that I wanted to actively attempt to lose about twenty pounds. My physical health has a huge impact on how I feel mentally and I found that my perception of that health is just as important. This gave me a place to constructively use that anger, who would have thought?

While I used the gym to deal with my anger, I wanted to express myself in a way like how I did back when I was writing about my mental health for Worth Living in the first half of 2017. This was to give myself a creative outlet to address other things going on with me mentally that the gym just wasn’t doing for me. However, after writing an incredibly emotional post previously on Facebook, I found myself unable to write anything that expressed myself so directly. Instead, I turned to writing my poetry much more often. At first, these were anonymous contributions, but in November I made the decision to publish a particularly personal piece under my name. Haven’t regretted it since.

Despite now feeling better in terms of my general mental health, I found myself experiencing panic attacks in October. These often revolved around the next school year. Most of my friends will be gone, what if I don’t get high enough grades to apply to an Education program, what if I don’t get accepted anywhere if I can apply, etc. I found myself plagued by these at least once a week, often happening during class forcing me to step out and go into a bathroom to hyperventilate. Stupidly, I didn’t mention them to my therapist until late last month. Thankfully, after talking over these thoughts quite a bit and acknowledging them, the panic attacks have appeared to not happen nearly as often.
Throughout all of this, I attempted to put my grades above everything else. Looking at my final GPA for those courses as I write this reassures me that I succeeded in that regard.

When the New Year’s countdown hit zero and it was officially 2018, I was in a bar with my friends. All I could think while everyone was screaming “Happy New Year” was that I am loved, healthy, I have an amazing support network (most of which was right beside me).

And I am happy.

You don’t know how long it’s been since I started off a year like that.

I decided to write this post because 2017 was a big year for me. I came to terms with my Bipolar Disorder diagnosis, made that information public, and received nothing but love and support. I began writing for Worth Living. I was open about writing poetry, and while there were some shitty poems created the first few months, I eventually found my voice in that aspect. I published and even performed some pieces. I went to Cuba with my friends. I lost the twenty pounds I had set out to drop within half of the time I had expected. I developed a much closer relationship with both my brother and my little sister, even if I am not the best at communicating often (Sorry guys!). I even found out I have a big sister we didn’t know about!

There were a lot of hard times, no doubt. There will be more in the future.

I made it my goal this past year to do what’s best for my mental health, something I neglected for a long time. All my choices revolved around that. Not all of them were easy to make. However, I believe my first memory of 2018 speaks volumes for how I have done in that regard.

I am happy.

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