My Journey with Bipolar

My earliest memory of bipolar symptoms happened when I was three years old.  I remember playing in my room and hearing voices in my head.  Like any parent my Mom told me it was my subconscious (or self talk).  I mean who would have thought at three that it was the early signs of a disorder.  Most symptoms don't show up until puberty, and back then not a lot was know about bipolar, especially in children.

Me at age 3, with my Mom, Dad, and Granny at a family reunion
In November 2011 my  My next encounter with this double headed beast was around the age of 12 - 13.  I remember becoming severally depressed.  So much so that I could not get out of bed.  I would lay in bed or on the floor curled up in the fetal position just rocking back and forth trying to sooth myself.  It was so bad I couldn't even go to school.  My parents pulled me out of school to do homeschooling, which was still a challenge.  My Mom would drag me out of bed and make me go to breakfast with her.  Grandy's sausage and biscuits!  It was a small treat that eased my mind if only for a moment.  To this day I do not know what brought on this depression.  There were no extenuating circumstances.  Nothing traumatic occurred.  I just woke up one day so depressed I could not get out of bed.  A visit to my doctor resulted in him telling us that it was my womanly cycle.  When my Mom asked him, somewhat sarcastically  "So this is going to happen every month"? He replied yes.  How little they knew back then.

Me around age 11 with my dance troop preforming on the town square
After that horrible battle with depression broke I was free again until I turned 15.  It was then that I went on my first date ever (with the boy that would become my husband).  My date with Josh went wonderfully, but to my surprise, the next day my closest friends called me a slut for nothing more than the fact that we had kissed.  That was all it took, that one word and I was back in the dark abyss.  This time I moved my mattress on the floor right in front of the TV.  This is where I stayed for months.  I told Josh that I couldn't see him.  This was hard because I didn't want to talk to anyone, but my Mom made me be mature about it and at least talk to him.  School was even harder because not only was Josh there, but so were the girls that called me names.  It was dark and lonely.  It should have been a wonderful happy time in my life, but in one instance with one word my brain turned on me and became my enemy once more.  Despite all this our one date relationship still had supporters, his friends and my Mom.  They never gave up and that summer following our first date we started hanging out again and the rest is history.  Most girls can look back and romanticize their first kiss mine just takes me back to that dark sad place, but that's part of our love story.  Yes it's a sad part, but don't all love stories have a sad part?

Age 15 just a few months before my first date with Josh
There were some small battles with the beast but nothing major until I turned 19.  That year I started working with the police department in our hometown.  Following a dream I had of becoming a police officer.  It seemed farfetched but I actually fit in with the people and the situations.  I secured a job there as a police/fire dispatcher and 911 operator.  It was a fun yet stressful job.  I was working the night shift which at 19 and wanting to be in the middle of everything it seemed like a dream come true.  However, being a young woman with bipolar and having not been diagnosed this was a recipe for disaster.  About three to five months in I started to change.  Only those closest to me were able to see how drastic a change it was.  To all the people that I worked with I just seemed really happy and energetic.  About six months in I separated from my husband (another sad part to our love story) and distanced myself from my family.  I spent the next six months working and becoming more and more manic.  On December 18, 2000, mine and Josh's second wedding anniversary, I hit rock bottom.  I was sitting alone in my apartment, sliding into the all to familiar depression.  I found myself contemplating suicide, something I had never done before.  I made it thru the night and the next day my parents finally convinced me to confide in a therapist.  When I told him my experiences he said that he believed that I may be bipolar, but that I needed to make an appointment to see the psychiatrist to be sure.  However, when I went on to reveal to him that I heard voices when ever I was depressed or manic and that I had been thinking of suicide he made sure that I went to the hospital right away!
Age 19 on mine and Josh's first anniversary.  Only a few months before my breakdown
The hospital, really? Me?  I hated the thought, I didn't want to go, but with his advise and wanting to ease the fears of my parents I agreed to go.  I was evaluated and admitted immediately.  I remained there for 1 week as an inpatient and 1 week as an outpatient.  I was officially diagnosed as having bipolar 1 and placed on medication.  I returned to my old self again and with help from the Lord and some crazy unbelievable love Josh took me back!

I have been on meds ever since and gone to therapy when ever it is necessary.  Meds work for me.  They saved my life and my marriage.  They are a tool, one among many that I have to stay stable and safe.  Yoga being another tool, but I will get into that and the many other tools at a later time.
Me now practicing one of my favorite poses (crow)

Blessings to you all,


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