I remember the feeling like it was yesterday. Screaming, "Noooooo!!!" while banging on my bedroom door. Something was taking over me. A feeling of rage. I screamed. I began banging on the door and wall with my hand. As the rage grew, I started banging my head on the wall. I was crying uncontrollably. I was home alone, but it was time for me to head out the door before I missed the school bus. I wiped my face, put on a smile then headed for the bus. I was probably about 16 years old.
I woke up that morning feeling paralyzed. I was laying on my back on my half deflated air mattress looking through the small openings in the blinds. I could see that the sun was shining outside, but it was somehow still extremely dark in my apartment. Although I was always surrounded by friends and family who loved me, I still felt sad. Lonely. Defeated. Without purpose. I managed to reach for my journal that was always beside my bed and began writing a letter to my family apologizing for any decisions I made that day. As the day progressed, my sadness turned to rage, back to sadness. I took a couple of handfuls of pills every hour. Anything I could get my hands on. I even asked my neighbor for pain pills. It wasn't until after sunset that I started to feel the effects. I laid in the middle of my unfurnished living room floor and watched the ceiling spinning for a few minutes before I eventually got up to head towards the door to seek help. The next thing I remember is waking up in the back of an ambulance unable to move and barely able to open my eyes. Then I heard the words that to this day give me chills and make me want to cry "I found her phone. I'm about to call her mom". I landed myself in a behavioral health facility. I was probably about 22 years old.
Then there was the time, I was curled up on one sofa while he sat across from me on the other sofa. We laughed and stared into each other's eyes. We talked about our futures together. We talked about our unconditional love for one another. Smiling, "Babe I feel so safe & secure when I'm with you. I feel like I can finally be myself." For me it was euphoric. I was on a high. But later on that night, I was curled up on that same sofa again, but in tears. "I haven't accomplished anything with my life! Are you sure you want to be with me? Are you even attracted to me? You're not attracted to me. I know it! I've let myself go! What have I accomplished?" I cried. I screamed. I yelled. I accused. That was about a year ago.
I was diagnosed Bipolar about 12 years ago. I knew nothing about it other than it was the term that people tossed around whenever a woman had a mood swing. I didn't want medication. I didn't want to see a therapist. I just wanted the doctors to leave me alone. As time passed and things didn't change, I decided to see a different therapist who eventually gave me the same diagnosis. I started doing my research and it was like a weight lifted to see that there was a name for the things that I'd been experiencing for a large part of my life..as far back as high school. Depression. Mania. Rage. Sadness. Euphoria. Mental Paralysis. Bipolar Disorder has many different faces & it's much bigger than a mood swing. I eventually agreed to take medication & oh my goodness what a difference!! I was still ashamed and didn't really want people to know. I didn't want people to think I was "crazy." I didn't want my parents to feel like it was because of anything they did wrong. I didn't want it to be a reflection of my relationship with Christ. And while I'm being 100% transparent, I even thought that when I gave my life to Christ that it was going to be the end of my Bipolar days. If I just pray about it then God will take it away, right? Well I'm still trusting God that I will not have to take medication forever. But in the meantime, I will take medication. I will live an awesome life. I will continue to tell my story. I will not allow that diagnosis to determine my quality of life for the rest of my life. I am a wife, a mommy, a daughter, a sister, a friend...who has Bipolar. It does NOT have me!
And then there was that one time when I woke up and saw my supportive husband laying next to me, and my baby girl was sleeping peacefully in her bed, and my baby boy was standing in his crib smiling at me with drool running down his chin. I looked through the small openings on the blinds. I could see that the sun was shining...even inside my house. Then I said to myself, "Today is gonna be a great day." That was this morning...
"For His anger is but for a moment,His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night,But joy comes in the morning." Psalms 30:5
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6
"For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11