At one point in time I felt the stigma of mental and emotional disorders. I've met people who are OCD, Bipolar (like myself) Borderline (like myself), Schizophrenics, Sociopaths, Masochists, Sadists, and a handful of others. Many of these individuals are close friends of mine and because I realize how off I am upstairs sometimes I can relate more to people who have emotional disorders. I try to put myself in their positions a lot and show empathy and patience with them. Like you, i wasn't diagnosed with Bipolar until I got older and was already out of high school starting college. I had suffered a great deal through my teenage years and reading back upon my journals I'm actually surprised how i had survived those years. My therapy was always writing about it. It seemed cleansing and enabled me to move forward with a clear head. Sometimes it wouldn't last long and I would either become so manic or so depressive that I'd simply write constantly. Sadly I have slacked off in this department as I've gotten older and really ought to indulge a bit more.
It is quite trying facing those feelings, how awkward and difficult it must be for you, but I admire your bravery. In all honesty I'm both introverted and extroverted, i seem like a walking contradiction at times and so extreme that if you and I were to meet in real life I'm not sure if you'd have the patience for me. I also have a bit of an inferiority complex, quiet people have always made me nervous because i always assume they're judging me or don't like me, or perhaps they're angry with me for some reason. Its quirky, weird, trying, and sometimes people have to have a lot of patience in dealing with me because I can be so scattered and chaotic. Most of the time I have it under wraps-but I often get paranoid that when people meet me, they judge me for my own set of issues. I realize that a lot of my issues are simply something to do with how my brain operates and all those lovely chemical imbalances, and often times when I feel my extreme emotions hit head-on I'm apologetic because I have a hard time dealing with myself sometimes that its hard for me to guage whether or not I'm hard to deal with for other people. this of course stresses me out, bringing out the manic side...just a never ending cycle. The bad part is that I'm never on any insurance long enough to maintain medication regime, so I'm pretty much well...stuck.
You have some good advice in here, on so many levels. Thank you for this.