I certainly did.
In 2015 i was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder with psychotic features. I had a taser gun used on me and was locked in a police cell too. Furthermore, I spent three weeks in an intensive care psychiatric unit and was pumped full of all manner of medications.
The diagnosis stung and immediately when they told me that I would be on medication, my first thought was for how long.
Six months minimum, they said.
A lifetime is a long time depending on your perspective and I was not comfortable being diagnosed with something that would last that long. I must be able to cure this illness was my thought. If i could identify what caused it and treat that, then surely I would be healed.
The manic experience was one of the best times of my life and I spent months trying to get back to that place. Being a service user showed me the true nature of the UK’s mental health system, especially as a black man who is 17 times more likely to be sectioned than my white counterparts.
I went through phases of depression and elation and frustration and confusion trying to get to find the root cause. I battled substance abuse and put on 17Kg (37lbs) in the process.
(Check out my weight loss transformation below)
Things culminated with me truly hitting rock bottom and contemplating suicide. It was at this moment that I made a decision that would put my faith to the test. I went cold turkey and it was at this point that my recovery began. I am in a better place than I was last year. More creative, more in control and more organised. I understand the relationship between mental, physical and spiritual health now more than ever. I am drug-free and symptom-free, to the bemusement of my doctors.
I am glad that I went through what I did. I wouldn't trade it in for the world. It has helped make me the man I am today.
I have been so productive in these last few months that I have written a book about my whole journey. Section 2 (How I beat Bipolar)
The book comes out on October 27th 2016, be sure to book tickets for the book launch.