A promise

19 Apr

There have been many ups and downs in my life since being diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder six years ago. Thankfully, the past few years have included significantly more highs than lows, mainly because I’ve been stable and have made a commitment to myself and my family:

I promise to always take my medication, see my doctor and therapist, and get good sleep.

This promise stemmed from the fact that, at 5 weeks pregnant with my daughter, I spent almost a week in a psych ward to bring me down from the most extreme psychosis of my life. It came about because I was so incredibly happy – over the moon, really – that we were pregnant after trying month after month for almost a year that I didn’t make sure I was getting enough sleep. I remember the nights leading up to the hospitalization where I would just lie in bed wide awake, my mind racing with baby names while my husband was sleeping soundly beside me. You see, when I knew I was ready for another baby, I wanted it like, that second. To have to live my life in two week increments for so long, and to have waited almost a year to see those two pink lines, both of those realities had driven me mad. Quite literally.

I count my lucky stars that I was able to get help. I took the medication I needed with my doctor’s close supervision, in order to make it through the pregnancy. And my wonderful husband took over many a night feeding during the first month or two so that I could get the sleep I needed at night and the naps needed to catch up during the day.

In the waiting room before my trial to be released from the hospital {yes, there was a trial due to the fact I was involuntarily committed}, my husband and my dad sat with me. I was in handcuffs. Don’t ask – we have no idea why they would cuff an almost 6-week pregnant woman who wouldn’t hurt a fly – but we think it was because they had to treat all the patients the same. My hair was a disaster, I had on mismatched sweats and the sticky-bottom hospital socks and I was just dying to get out of there. I can’t remember why I didn’t have shoes on.

This is where the promise occurred. My dad took a picture on his phone of me sitting on the small sofa in that tiny room. With cuffs on.

So I would always make good on my promise to keep taking my medication.

That was two years ago. And I have no intention of ever breaking that promise.

My family means too much to me to ever put them through that again.

Thank you to my dad, for thinking to take that picture. Now, Dad, it may be on your old iphone which has a shattered screen, but maybe you could find a way to email it to me so that I can crop it and Instagram-it so that I could add it to this post?

{Don’t hold your breath since he’s not that great with computers and he’s presently on a golf trip in South Carolina. But I’ll try to add it. For posterity.}

Mama’s Losin’ It

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6 Responses to “A promise”

  1. Kimberly M (@momgosomething) April 21, 2012 at 7:18 pm #

    Yes. Yes. Yes.
    I promise that too.
    My last bout of hypomania lead to mixed episode and that is when I fully understood how bipolar patients would stop taking their medications.
    I know what happens when you do. I’ve seen it in our ER a million times. It’s frightening.
    Plus I have a responsibilty to not only myself, but to my boy, my husband and to all that love me.
    It’s not worth it.

    • BipolarMomLife April 21, 2012 at 8:06 pm #

      I agree with you 100% Kim! And I’m so glad we found each other because we can help support each other too. xoxo

  2. C J Vander Wielen April 19, 2012 at 3:32 pm #

    What an amazing, strong person you are to recognize what you need to do for yourself and your family!

    • BipolarMomLife April 20, 2012 at 1:27 pm #

      Thanks so much CJ! It’s definitely taken a good few years to get to where I am with it, but I’m glad I stuck it out because it’s been so worth it.

  3. acdaisy April 19, 2012 at 2:59 pm #

    What a wonderfully supportive family you have. So glad to hear you are doing well.

    • BipolarMomLife April 20, 2012 at 1:26 pm #

      Thanks so much Anna! I know, I definitely lucked out in the family department. :)

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