Today is a new day… As I sit here writing this post, wondering how many people I can help by sharing my story, I am reminded that it is one day at a time. I am reminded that I should be kind and gentle to myself, as I find this very hard to do. Recently I as diagnosed again with Bipolar 1. I say this because I believe that sharing my story, as others have done for me will be good for myself and others to know you are not alone. I am a mom of two wonderful children who are six and four, and I have a wonderful husband. Yet, I find myself struggling to be kind to myself.
I’m sitting at a new psychiatrist office shaking and in tears. I have finally realized that the diagnosis of Bipolar 1 that I have had previously is probably very accurate. Two days prior I had a manic break. I got very concerned and paranoid and I locked my husband in our room, I would not allow him to leave. As he was begging me to please calm down and to let him get some air outside, I stood in front of our door completely driven by fear and delusion. I was unable to see in that moment how bad things were, yet I knew that it wasn’t normal and that I did not want to be doing what I was doing. I knew that my husband was terrified and scared for me. At some point my husband gave up and I waited at the door until he was in bed and asleep, scared and so incredibly anxious I then laid awake in our bed until about 4:00 a.m. thinking about what just happened and some of the things my husband had said to me. He told me that he was very worried about me, that he has been for some time as he as stated to me before, he begged me to get help. He had wanted to call 911 that evening, but I wouldn’t allow him to, I took his phone and continued to beg him not to do that, as I knew that I would have to be hospitalized. I couldn’t help but to feel this deep sense of he is right, as are the other doctors. When he woke the next morning I was already awake. I apologized deeply, still frantic and thinking about all the things I needed to do that day, and in that moment something hit me. It was like a wave crashing down on me… I knew that I needed to see my therapist as soon as possible. I see my therapist weekly, due to child hood experiences. I called my therapist and requested that I see her immediately. She got me in that Monday, three weeks ago. She had been requesting to me for quite some time to see a psychiatrist as I was having suicidal thoughts frequently and manic episodes. However, I refused to thinking that I had this covered. This time was different, when I saw her that Monday she told me that I was surrounded by people who loved me and that it was time for me to get extra help, that I had to or she would have to have committed to the hospital for a few days so that I could get the help I needed. As she said this to me, I said yes, I would go see someone that I wanted to, I didn’t want to live this way anymore. I also just had these feelings of how can this happen to me, to me, to a mom of to wonderful children, as a wife married to such a great man, to a friend of many friends. My husband and I just bought a new single family home and we are going to Disney World in June. I couldn’t understand how this could happen to me? How could I have acted this way? What I soon came to realize was that this had been happening for quite some time. My husband had been telling me consistently for about a year, that he was concerned about me and begging me to get help, as had my therapist. The sad truth is that I thought I had this thing beat. I had been diagnosed three times prior to this with Bipolar 1, but each time was at a point in my life where many things were going wrong and caused many problems. This time I know, I know that I suffer from Bipolar 1. I am here to say, that Bipolar 1 or other mental illness does not exclude anyone. Just as cancer does not exclude anyone. I am here to say, that this is something people suffer from and that there is help if you are willing to get it.
After seeing the psychiatrist she decided that I should start medications, which I had a hard time hearing. Still, after knowing that I need this, it is still no easy pill to swallow. I am still early in my treatment and I know that there is a long way to go. Today I have to remind myself that it is one day at a time. Sometimes even on hour or one minute at a time. I must remind myself that this is to help me to be the mom I know I am and can be, Be the wife I know I can be, The friend I can be, The daughter I can be, The sister I can be. I am grateful to my therapist and her help and the psychiatrist. I am grateful for my family, although I haven’t told everyone in my family yet, and I am so grateful for my husband. Right now is a very hard time, it is a time of intense sensitivity and change. It is a time of learning to love myself and accept myself. I have Bipolar 1, but it does not mean that I have to let it define me. It’s another piece of the intricate puzzle of who I am.