Now in my experience,anyone that doesn’t have experience with mental illness think of psychiatric hospitals like one flew over the cookoo’s nest.All stark white with bars and people running around shrieking scaring the living daylights out of anyone with their wits about them (or not) The sad thing is,they are still not like regular hospitals that you are admitted to until you recover. Your worried family and friends visit,sit by your bedside holding your hand,bringing you flowers or grapes and telling you funny stories.No,sadly,it’s not like that at all. Where I went for all of my stays was pleasant,the beds were comfy,the people that worked there, nice (well,most of them)you had groups to go to and activities to go to BUT you were locked in and if you went near that door a nurse that was built like a brick shit house would start to walk towards you and you would run!!(or you wouldn’t,hilarious story to come!!)
I felt safe there but I didn’t want to be there and I wasn’t easy to deal with.They said I was having a mixed episode I believe( i’ll have to double check) I was sad,wanted to hurt myself but I was having racing thoughts and was very angry,nothing was right and nothing was the way I wanted it. I was worried because all of a sudden I had disappeared from my children’s lives.poof,there one minute,in the ER the next. what would they think,what did anyone think.Everyone would think I was crazy and stay away from me.It was a very sad time. I was there two weeks when I had finally had enough.I convinced my doctor that I felt fine,everything was great,yes I would go to outpatient and yet less than a week later I was back,again! Funny thing is,a lll of this happened around two years ago to this day.They say that its seasonal.When I saw my doctor the other day,he told me that the hospital was full of people with bipolar. Also the weird thing is,i’ve been feeling pretty darn good yet I wake up this morning feeling off,sensing the darkness creeping in around the edges of my brain.Today is a bloody horrible day,overcast,windy and cold. I busied myself up to now but I still feel off.
This post was supposed to be about a girl I met. A girl with obvious illness,but man was she funny. She took a liking to me,well up until the day I said “for god’s sake” and she took great offense.I should have guessed by the loud singing of the hail Mary that filled the corridors at night time!! She forgave me in the end when I realized and apologized! She did some funny assed things and I’ll tell you more another day.
I have been having a good two weeks.How about you? It has taken my doctor TWO years to find the right combination of meds that work for me.I remember taking that new pill that night and pleading to anyone up there,out there,to please give me back my life.Let me enjoy things again.Let me experience pleasure.Well someone was listening because when I woke up the next day I could tell something was different.Firstly,I got out of bed without spending twenty minutes willing myself to move my body and just get through the day. I have a high schooler and middle schooler among my brood so I have to be up early anyway which is not too pleasing in itself but at least my limbs were cooperating and moving. Then I realized that I wasn’t pissed off about nothing in particular,hmmmm something was going on here.Then I didn’t place my forehead down on the cold kitchen counter and tell myself “you can do this,you can do this,go get the kids up,you can do this”
I looked in the mirror,no sign of tears behind my eyes.I looked again.I wasn’t a slumped over mess of a mom that I had become used to being.I wanted to run around and shout “its working,it’s working” but I didn’t want to jinx myself. Give it a few more days I told myself as I hummed along whilst making packed lunches. Well its been over two weeks of that same morning.Granted,a few days I just couldn’t be arsed to get up but I didn’t feel as though something was pinning me down. I’ve laughed, experienced joy at things my kids have shown me.Got on better with my husband. I know that I’m not cured. there are 5.7 million adult Americans with bipolar and there is not a cure.I can only imagine if there was…….. The thing is,if you are reading this and you feel as though there isn’t hope.Don’t give up. I gave up once,another story for another time,but I’m so glad I’m here to say there is hope.
And tomorrow,I share some of the gory details and funny stories from my stay(s) in the psych ward. Until then,keep pushing your doctor,keep trying,keep going. You to can experience happiness again.I know you can.
Just dropping in to say that I try my hardest to spend the weekends with my family.This will be a blog that is updated in the week.However,if you have any questions,give me a shout on Natasha@bipolarmomliving.com and I’ll do my best to respond promptly.
So here I was,strapped to a gurney on the fun bus to the psych ward. Well,it wasn’t really a bus,it was an ambulance, and it wasn’t fun!!A $300 dollar ambulance ride!! can you believe it? I could have gone out on the town and took a limo back for a cheaper and more thrilling ride than that!
But something had to be done as I had lost all faith in myself. I didn’t mention before but along with the drinking,I was cutting myself. People look at you like you’ve got three heads when you tell them.I get it,its hard to wrap your head around but its also hard to explain.It lessened the pain that was running through my veins , making my chest feel as though it was full of tar and I couldn’t breathe.This let me breathe. I started to panic in the ambulance,I wouldn’t be able to use my vices in the hospital,what was I going to do?my coping was being interrupted,thrown off balance.I was going to die of the pain and sadness that filled my body.Every inch of it.I don’t remember if my husband came in the ambulance with me,I’ll have to ask him.I just remember the people being very kind and caring. As we pulled up to the door I started to cry,I just wanted to go home but yet I didn’t,I wanted help.I didn’t know what I wanted.My head was spinning.I decided that I wasn’t staying.I would talk to a doctor and then they would let me come home.Little did I know,it didn’t work like that. They lifted me out of the ambulance and the doors opened. I was about to start a chapter of my life that would change it forever and I wasn’t going to make it easy on myself.
They say that anything can trigger an episode but especially something traumatic. I’d say having two major surgeries for tumors that were unknown if they were cancer or not,was traumatic. Apparently I started to act strange,get very down or really get into something and be super passionate about it.I remember that episode and cringe at just how passionate I got. It went on for months.My husband thought that I just wasn’t handling the surgeries well.I started drinking.I had never been a big drinker.Maybe half a glass of wine at thanksgiving,if that.This was a beer on the porch which turned into two and then three.Every other night quickly turned into every night.The thing is,I didn’t see a problem.we don’t.As far as I was concerned I was just enjoying a couple of cold beers on a summers evening.I was waking feeling down,not myself,lacking motivation.Generally being a Debbie downer,and I had four kids that needed me.Lord only knows how they managed and what they think of it all.
I was seeing a psychiatrist at the time.I’d been on and off anti depression meds since my first was born and I suffered terrible post partum. She put me on an anti depressant,then an anti anxiety med and before I knew it,I was on lithium.I wasn’t told I was bipolar then.I thought she was just trying to help me.Summer came and went and we entered fall,a well known fact that fall is one of the worst times for people with Bipolar. I was starting to feel desperate. I remember driving to a parking lot,my head on the steering wheel,thinking to myself “this is never going to get better,I’m never going to get better” I called my therapist who told me to go to the emergency room.I didn’t want to,I didn’t want to go to a
psych ward.All those movies that I had seen.I was deathly afraid to go yet deathly afraid of what I might do to take away the pain.So I called my husband,he came home and took me to the emergency room. They were very kind there,although I didn’t like having someone watch me constantly.I begged to pee alone and they eventually agreed if I left the door ajar.I started to wonder what I had done.Begged my husband to take me home but it was too late.The ball was rolling and I couldn’t stop it.