This is the post I’ve been dreading. I have to write it though. If others are to understand mental illness, I think they need to hear this.
I’m bipolar. When I got diagnosed, I was ok. It seemed comparable to Clinical Depression. So, there is medicine and I have to take it. I absolutely did not truly believe it was going to affect my life the way it has.
So, I don’t know why these events happened. My guess is that my Lithium levels were too low. You have to get regular blood tests because it can be toxic.
I’ll be brief, but honest. It was a sudden switch of my brain to some otherworld. I was delusional. The things around me seemed as though God was showing me who He really is It felt like all the puzzle pieces came together at once, opening my eyes. Everything seemed sharper and kind of ethereal. It was as if I was experiencing a new reality…God’s reality. I can’t remember much. I remember maybe being outside, but not for sure. I remember my mom being there, the ambulance, the ER. The IV, the cat scan, and then nothing, nothing at all. I came back down to reality slowly, but I couldn’t explain at all what had happened. The thought I was suicidal because I kept saying ‘I want to go to heaven.’
Finally, I was to be moved from the hospital to the psych. ward. I had to go in a paddy wagon…I was the only one, but I was terrified.
I stayed 2 days in the worst part of the ward. Then I was moved to a more ‘normal’ ward. I can’t remember the timing, but we planned to go to Michigan to see my former husband’s family. On Saturday, but I wasn’t let out until Monday I think….at my former husband’s insistence, against advice of the doctors. Fortunately I was ok.
You can imagine being married to someone like me. Who would want that?
We saw my psychiatrist together who said it was a hyper-manic episode brought on by low lithium levels. I have never ever missed a dose of that ever again.
As usual AA people went nuts trying to find out where I was, trying to call, sending cards. I don’t know if anybody in the church knew. My sisters were silent on the matter, but I don’t blame anybody for keeping their distance. What did I expect? A ‘get well’ card?
I literally have just shared more than I ever had on the topic, including my family.
I’m a broken person, that’s for sure. I think expecting things from other people is a form of being judgmental. I take a step back, put myself in their shoes and move on.
That said, I hope to help people to become more comfortable with mentally ill people. I don’t think I have ever gotten angry when someone reached out to me during times like the above.
So, bless you!