I know this is long, but I think I need help. Someone please read
Hi, so um, not exactly sure what I'm expecting from this but here we go lol. So ever since I was about 14 (I'm 18 now), I've struggled with my headspace being a mess. All over the place, I mean. From age 13 to about 15, I struggled on and off with a certain addiction I don't want to get into, and I've always been an extremely disorganized person. Well around late 14, I was trying hard to quit my addiction and even got to the point that I considered myself worthless, and tried (though I will say extremely half-heartedly) suicide. I don't know what caused it. I have a great life. Parents that love each other, and two sisters who are great. We live in the suburbs and have never been at any kind of disadvantage besides the fact that we're Black (and even then it's not like everyone is out to send us back into slavery lol). I just felt worthless. Well, I didn't go through with it and continued to struggle. I finally beat my addiction about midway through being 15 (thank God), but by 16 I noticed a pattern. I would have moments of feeling like things were gonna work out and that everything was fine, but those moments rarely lasted long and were often overshadowed by feelings of highs and lows. At around that same time, I first heard of Bipolar disorder, but immediately shrugged it off because the internet said that if I had it, I would be a lot more manic or depressed, and I didn't want to claim a mental disorder if I didn't have one. So I buried it. But the mood swings continued. Midway through being 17, those swings worsened. I would be happy for a week at a time feel like I could do anything! I was efficient in school, I had fallen in love with a girl (who is currently my girlfriend, and things are going great, thanks for asking), and I was finally doing great in football. But then like being hit by a semi-truck carrying a ton of bricks, I would be sad. Like really sad. I felt like nothing was going right and nothing could help. Those stability moments were getting shorter and shorter. Then 2020 hit. I'm not going to go into detail because I could honestly write a whole book on that. But by May, I had gone through more mood swings than I could remember. I cried more last year than I probably had the last 5 years combined. I didn't see my friends or my girlfriend (who at the time was just my crush) for about 3 months and I felt hopeless with all the death. Then, out of nowhere, I felt stable again. And then, once again out of nowhere, I felt a little bit of a high, but then George Floyd died. And then when all the division started, and I sided with the side that fought for racial equality, I saw that not everyone I once called a friend, was really a friend. Then June hit, and football started summer workouts and I was killing it in my summer class and things were going well with my crush. I felt great and on a high for a couple of weeks, and then came down to what was my longest period of feeling stable I've had in the last calendar year. Then more division and dissension occurred, and I was back down. By the time my senior football season had started (early September), I had gone back stable. School hit, and we started losing, and I started to feel anxiety about any and everything, including pressure to make things official with my crush (I'm a Christian so there's a process for us lol). But then I did it. I made things official, we started winning games, I was getting college interest, grades were good. I can go on and on about all the different swings (sorry that I have up to this point), but imma stop. Now it's Feb, and I don't know where I'm at. Sometimes I feel great and like things are amazing, but at other times I feel hopeless. Sometimes I'm irritable and rude to my family for no reason at all, and even when they're asking me why I'm so rude, I outwardly shrug it off, but inwardly wonder why I am. When I'm on a high, I can go 2 weeks straight with only 4 hours of sleep a night, but when I'm on a low (which I have been for the last 2 weeks), I can't sleep right. At all. The insomnia is INSANE and I haven't had a good sleep in a while. And now I have the ACT tomorrow and a ton of work due and I'm stressing out and feel like breaking down. I haven't had what I considered a mental breakdown since November. It was terrible and I was crying and felt like I was going insane. I need to get better because it's affecting my work and relationships, and I can come off as rude to people who don't deserve it, and that I love very much. I'm scared to talk to my parents about this cause they're very practical and will think I'm being dramatic. They'll tell me to pray and move on, WHICH BY THE WAY I'M NOT KNOCKING, BECAUSE I'M A CHRISTIAN AND TRULY BELIEVE IN GOD AND WHAT HE CAN DO AND I DO PRAY ALL THE TIME AND WILL CONTINUE TO DO (sorry for all of that just had to make sure that point got across lol). I believe that God provides peace, but I also believe that He knows that people have mental disorders and has given man the knowledge on how to help them. I haven't told anybody about this ever. Not about the mood swings, about the suicidal thoughts years ago, the breakdowns, or my suspicions. Speaking of my suspicions, I don't actually think I'm bipolar. I don't really have extreme manic episodes and I don't think my symptoms are as extreme. I think I have cyclothymia, which, believe it or not, I just found out about today. I'm concerned though, because this could turn to Bipolar according to the Mayo Clinic (I think is who said it), and could continue to cause harm to my life. I match up with most symptoms listed on about every site I could find (though my highs and lows seem to be a bit shorter than the ones I've seen talked about), and I really think I have it. Or that I'm going crazy and that I shouldn't self-diagnose.
All that to ask: what the heck am I supposed to do. I need help. I need guidance. Someone who won't shrug it off. Should I talk with my parents? My sisters? My friends? My girlfriend? A therapist? If I'm going to go see someone about this, then I'd have to talk to my parents, which I'm scared to do. Is this something that gets helped through therapy? Time? Medication? A mix of all 3? I just need answers because I'm tired of having questions. Also I'm just tired. Someone please help me. God bless.