I feel like being bipolar has given me a higher capacity for good and bad. I can feel more than most people. I can be more excited and feel more love than most. I can also feel darkness far more than most. I know we all have varying degrees of this and there are times I wish to take it all away and it isn’t worth the pain. There are fleeting moments that I feel like I can see beauty in everything that does make it feel worth it all. I notice small things others may find insigfigant that make me so happy and peaceful. I try to enjoy it as much as I can. I know I deserve to because when I’m low I count the days to feel that way again. Today is one of those fleeting days. Life is such a mess for me right now but I find peace in the chaos and strength in my perseverance. I know those with other mental health issues would not feel the same as it is always dark or normal for them. I do feel lucky regardless that I get my highs as long as they don’t go too far. Summer is always my best time. I long for it in the dark seasons. Today I will give myself permission to feel the happiness and not over think it. Easier said than done but sometimes you have to let yourself off the hook to be free even with the waves.
What a war we fight
constantly defending ourselves from our thoughts
constantly trying to remind ourselves what is real
what a war we fight
trying to explain why we cannot go
trying to be casual and normal for everyone’s sake
What wars we fight
what strength we have.
what compassion we have.
what endurance we have.
What bravery and spirit we have.
What an adventure we share.
The agreement was if I were to be released I would find a psychiatrist and be monitored 24/7 until they deemed me stable. I also had a therapist. The psychiatrist was cold, thin, and condescending to how I was feeling. I was officially diagnosed with Bipolar 1. I remember my grandparents having to come from hours away to stay with me while my parents worked. I remember my grandpa saying to me, and I will never forget it, like a secret between just me and him that the world would never know. “We have seen things that no one else will understand and no one else will get to see.” I believed it and I still do.
I was given so many meds I can’t even remember all of them. Changing them all within weeks to new ones. My first few days out of the hospital I tried to see my boyfriend but he was different toward me. He ended it saying that I ended it first. It hurt a lot at the time. I tried going to school but everything felt gray. Before everything was so light and easy. I felt like I had to drag a dead body everywhere I went of the person I was before and could only be the person I was now. I was depressed. The medication added to my depression making me feel dull and like a zombie. I wasn’t coherent. I’d be with friends at school and just sit not even hearing a word they were saying, not responsive. I would go to therapy and not talk at all. I couldn’t. I could cry from time to time but that faded into the drugs as well. I never left my room, I dropped out of school for my Junior year.
Kayla was my last life line. She would stay home with me, she was the only person who could make me smile or feel alive even if only for minutes of the day. We started smoking weed, I still felt nothing. I started hooking up with people, nothing. Everything was nothing anymore. We bought an ouija board and tarot cards for things to do as we stayed in my room or her house most days. I remember having the Ouija board by myself and asking it to kill me, it declined. I didn’t want to kill myself. I just wanted the rest of me to fade away as it felt like most of me already had. One night a family member who is no longer in my life came into my room and told me if I was going to keep crying to just kill myself. That was it, a sign for me at least.
That night I was alone for 30 minutes. Enough time. All of my psychiatric medication was locked in a lock box. There were other over the counter medications about I grabbed all of them and swallowed as many as I could. Tylenol PM, Mucinex, and pills I didn’t even know what they were. I took all the Tylenol we had but it wasn’t much just one pill pack, and 20 Mucinex, and 10 other pills. I was on myspace at the time as I was doing it. It was hard to swallow that many pills but I perpetuated the reason why by looking at all the life others had and how dead I had become in comparison. I motivation to push through the instinct to stay alive. I hid the evidence in the trash under other trash and laid on the living room couch.
I cried for a moment then it all it me and I became very drowsy. I remember my mother and younger brother coming home from a basketball game. She asked if I was going to sleep on the couch, I said yes, and fell asleep. I woke up but felt as if I was in a dream. I couldn’t move but some other force seemed to push me and I crawled to the bathroom it was dark and I began vomiting. My older brother came in and turned on the light, everything is so hazy to me. He called my mother and she said something about pills in the vomit. I can’t remember even seeing them just hearing them. My older brother carried me to the kitchen and asked me what I took as he started pointing at different boxes. I pointed them out to him. He carried me to the car and my mother drove me to the emergency room I could only hear the sound and feel things but I couldn’t see.
I felt like I could leave at any moment but the adrenaline was too high. I felt scared not because of death I was scared to be put back into a hospital. They took me in and took tests and made me drink charcoal. They said had I taken much more Tylenol it could have been the end. I felt disappointed in myself for not succeeding and making everyone deal with me for longer. The doctors talked about taking me to a hospital again my parents refused. I was taken home and the next day I couldn’t even tell Kayla what had just happened the night before, she was the only good thing I had left and I didn’t want her to know I tried to leave her.
Eventually, it did come out and she was hurt. I decided to stop taking medication at this point. I blamed it for making me how I was or at least worse. My psychiatrist told me she was firing me as a patient and told me I would end up killing myself. Months went by and it became summer I started to feel better, therapy began to help because I was able to talk not just sit there. I went back to school in the Spring. Everything was going great, too great. Voices began after terms into school it felt like it was a repeat. I research medication on my own and discovered lithium. It interested me for a sort of petty reasons. I’ve always loved Kurt Cobain, it said he had taken it. I found a psychiatric nurse and told her what I wanted to take and I don’t want to take multiple medications or switch. She agreed that it was my health and my choice.
I got better what seemed overnight on a very low dose, the voices stopped and I could eat and sleep again. It did have side effects like pain in my stomach if I didn’t eat with it, I couldn’t take ibuprofen because it made me have headaches, I gained a little weight.
Overall I was surprised. I had written medicine off but it stopped me from going in a giant circle again. I graduated on time. Nothing in my life has ever felt better than going to hell and back and still succeeding. Graduating high school may be a low-level accomplishment to most people but it’s not about that, it is about the struggle and the hardship and the precerverance.
To this day I am still on low levels of lithium, I increase as needed and add other medications as needed. I have developed hypothyroidism from it’s use but lithium saved me. Lithium gets a bad rap because a lot of times it doesn’t work with someone’s chemsitry correctly or doctors overdose their patients. I always seek out nurse practitioners now as they seem to not want to overdose you. I’ve had struggles since this introduction but this was the start and now I will bee updating as much as possible on what my life/mood/feelings are now. Thank you for reading.
You put me at ease
like the sun
on a cold autumn day
You make me smile
like the wind
blowing through the trees
As the leaves fall
so do I
I laugh as my heart skips a beat
And then speeds up
A heavy sigh as I clear my mind
but the thoughts come rushing in
like a wave crashing in my heart
and running through my veins
I feel connected to your soul
And every the story we have untold
Someday I’ll find you
will flow through me like never before
I know because it’s all been a glimpse of everything….
The sun is shinning on me
I sense a slight relief
I take a drag and think
At least it’s not shinning in me
Things slow down
I feel more calm
The middle of mania
Is where I belong.
It was late when we had arrived. All the other patients were sleeping. The nurses took my vitals, height, weight, and checked me for any bruising and asked me about them. Even though I had no idea where the bruises on my hip and thighs were from, my whole life lead me up to being a proficient liar. I answered, “snowboarding.” They lead me to my room, I believe I had changed into a hospital top and bottoms to sleep in. The room had a window, two beds and an in room bathroom and sink. They told me to keep the door open for rounds. I am so foggy as to if I was given medicine or not and what days were what in there. I can only recall them based on being in that room and being in solitary confinement.
In the original room, I would brush my teeth and feel like they were all falling out into the sink. I remember lying awake thinking about how much I knew about the universe and could remember past lives. And talking with the voices in my head. I got up the next day with all the other kids and exclaimed, “Are we angels?!” Still believing I was dead. One boy mocked, “Maybe you are.” I would say outlandish things like this. I couldn’t contribute in group therapy or even one on one therapy. I couldn’t take showers because I thought the water was electricity. I then started getting worse I remember being in the dining hall, which was a walk through the courtyard away, and I was pouring chocolate milk when the voices told me to leave. I had to leave and go tell other people the things I was seeing. I felt as though I was a messiah and I needed to find another. I ran full speed at two double locked doors and fell to the ground. Mind you at this time I was only 98lbs when my usual weight is between 120-135.
remember seeing family members come and visit but it is hard to remember what they would talk about to me. I remember seeing my older brother and being able to see in his veins and asked him to please stop using drugs. He told me later he wasn’t even on drugs. I started having intense religious visions. I looked out my window and saw planes crashing, cars on fire, people screaming, and demons. I felt like I was seeing the future. (I am not religious but at this time I was afraid of hell) I started to believe anyone with blue eyes was a demon and anyone with brown eyes was an angel. I thought that I and the other kids were angels and we were on the other side and we had to take turns going to earth.
I started yelling again at the voices and eventually was taken to solitary. No one else was in solitary at the time. There were a large room and four smaller rooms I wouldn’t go into the smaller room so they left me in the larger room and left one room open to a bathroom.(I’ll draw a diagram below) I had a sleeping pad on the ground and there were windows to see the orderlies. There was also a skylight I would lay and stare up at. I would believe that it was my grave and I was looking up and out it. I looked in the mirror and my face would change to Egar Allen Poe’s. I yelled all night one night as I saw bodies all around my room and believed the smaller rooms were gas chambers and the orderlies were Nazis. Clearly, I was getting worse.
I started telling the nurses that my dad had tried to kill me when they asked me when or how, I would reply, “God just showed me.” At this time my mother agreed to stay with me for the remainder of the time there. My boyfriend at the time had visited one day. In my extreme delusion, I’m not sure what I did or said. I finally was able to go home earlier than they had wanted me to but my parents signed a waiver to watch me 24/7. It had been 11 days. My best friend was there to get me. I was still delusional I just tried to hide, which was progress in its own right.
Last chapter to come..
By this time I am full on hallucinating both visually and auditory. I see a white fog around my field of vision and everything turns black and white. I ask Kayla and my mother, “Am I dead?” I start thinking about all the ways I could have died up to that point and just didn’t know I was dead. Did I get into an accident with my boyfriend, did he murder me (he was not abusive in any way but this was where my mind went), was I drugged?
Everything began spinning I don’t remember much of that night at all but the next day my mother asked Kayla to stay home with me until I could get an appointment that day with the doctor so she could go to work. I believe both Kayla and my younger brother were there with me. She suggested a movie to calm me. I was tense and holding my knees to my chest on the couch. We put on Swing Kids since it was an extra credit assignment to watch. It seemed as though I was just watching the screen move but nothing was being stored into memory or cognitive thinking. Just images that were forgotten as soon as the next came up. My brother was making some mac and cheese for us and Kayla got up to use the bathroom. Her mother called while she was gone on the home phone. I answered and talked with her what seemed like a normal conversation. As soon as the phone hit the receiver the information was gone. Kayla comes into the room as I’m standing near the phone trying to remember. She asked me what was wrong. I cried. I said, “Your mom called.” She asked, “Okay, what did she say?” I start crying harder things start to black out as I exclaim, “I don’t know!” She tells me it’s okay and she will call her back. My brother brings the mac and cheese but I’m fading in and out.
I don’t remember anything again until my mother arrives home and she and my best friend are taking me to the doctor. We went to my Primary Care Doctor at the time. I’m not sure of my behavior at this point, I only remember feeling dead. I looked into the mirror in the exam room and began pulling at my face. It didn’t feel real. He told my mother that I needed to go to the emergency room and it was out of his expertise. On the drive from the office to the emergency room, something in me snapped. I began screaming at the top of my lungs to stop. I was talking to the auditory hallucinations. I began having a dialogue with them but I can’t remember it now. We arrived at the emergency room, as I am still screaming. They say we have to wait the room is full of people. I am still talking and screaming to myself. Kayla starts crying and tells me she has to go. I believe it was too painful for her to watch. I continued hearing things as people stared at me I could hear their thoughts but I only responded to the internal stimuli I was dealing with. We waited what felt like hours, but time gauging was not my strong suit at this particular moment.
When I was taken back I begged the doctors to drug test me. I had to have been drugged. I must have. There was no other way. They gave me every drug test. They were all negative. I was placed in a solitary room and the nurse was with me. I was waiting for a car to arrive to take myself and another patient to Roseburg where they had an under 18 ward for mentally ill inpatients. The nurse allowed me lay on her lap as she stroked my hair. I asked her, “Have you seen the movie, Sybil?” She replied, “No.” I looked off into the distance of the room and whispered, “That’s who I feel like.” My mother returned to the room and my father. They had something they were eating. The car did not arrive until it was pitch black outside. It had no way to exit from the back seats. It looked like a cop car and they restrained me and another girl into the seats. The whole ride I was thinking about jumping from the car. Still hallucinating I did not say a thing the entire ride, and neither did anyone else. Until we had almost arrived, I turned to the girl and asked intensely, “Did you see that?” I don’t even remember what I had seen but I wanted so desperately for her to validate me but she looked at me the way everyone had been at that point. Sad and scared. We had arrived. To be continued
Take your pills
Drink your water
Dream of Sleep
Here I lay
Between Wake and Sleep
About to crash
But there we are again
Eyes wide shut
I find myself gasping
As I stay in the void
of My SleepWakeCycle
The dimly lit room
being illuminated by direct sunlight
bursting through the cracks in the walls
You can’t sleep
in lack of, you can’t think
Tired and awake, the entire room explodes
You stand to your feet
You feel the sun’s energy burning inside you
You blink and your vision has changed
And the onset of endless days begin
I am not, by any means a great writer, but I have written privately my whole life. Mostly journaling my days, emotions, and life. Which is why I felt the best step is to just make it public. I have lofty dreams of being a writer someday but for now, this is my dream, to openly and unapologetically put myself out there. I am 27 and child-free by choice. My hobbies vary as I don’t tend to be the same person or mood for long. I do love yoga, hiking, being in nature, being alone, cooking (sometimes), and just being a human being having a human being experience. I’ve more recently been interested in chakras, magick, and pagan beliefs.
Regarding my disorder (I hate that word) I was diagnosed at 16 after going a month without sleep or at very least micro-sleep, which is when you just nod off for a bit. I was never aware that Bipolar ran in my family, as no one talked about it. I began acting oddly. My memories go in and out for that time period but I remember going to a horror film with friends, 30 Days of Night, and I was laughing hysterically. I had to leave the theater and when I did I went into a different theater room and sat down for 15 minutes got up and walked back into the original theater and continued to laugh. I laughed quite a bit during this time, not a cute laugh either, I’m talking full on Joker maniacal laughter. It was as if I had a secret I was keeping from the whole world. I also at this time lost my virginity due to hypersexuality, which is not something talked much about with bipolar disorder. It’s usually only brought up in scenarios when said person with it has cheated. I have not but I can tell you that hypersexuality is its own personal hell. I began stealing from clothing stores. I went to the mall on Black Friday and amidst all the people shopping I was able to steal 4 large bags of clothes. I felt invincible like no one could catch me. I grabbed a scarf put it on in plain sight and left the store. I would tell strangers my name was Jamie. My name is Alicia. It then became even more strange.
I started to feel like I could see the future as if it was being projected to me, mostly garbled though it was. The boy I had dated always drove me to school and back but I got the urge to tell him I would take the bus instead. He didn’t understand and I must have said something (blackout) because he told me we had to leave school right now. We still had 3 hours left to go so I was confused. He drove me to a near by neighborhood and asked me what was happening that’s when the voices started. I could no longer distinguish between his words and theirs. I also began hallucinating so it actually looked like he was saying the words from my mind. I remember feeling like “God” was talking to me and telling me to break up with my boyfriend. I even saw the boy say it (he didn’t really but that’s what I saw) He drove me to my neighborhood we were talking for over 3 and half hours but due to my time lapses, it felt like 10 minutes. Before I got out of the car I told him we needed to break up, he said we will talk later as he had to go to work. I burst into my house my best friend, Kayla, was there waiting; worried. My mother was talking with her as they both turn to me with concern in their eyes. I fell to the ground everything around my sight went into a white fog. I exclaimed, “I just broke up with Jesus!” (It’s okay to laugh a little I still do) I will continue this story on my next post as it does get deeper down the rabbit hole.