Sunday, October 3, 2010

Just Between Us...from My Heart

I just want to talk to you just a little while...


Not long ago I saw a commercial on TV and they were advertising an antidepressant. The ad said "yes, you can lead a normal life:"


It reminded me of about a year ago I was sitting in my doctors office. I was sitting in a nice high back chair and she had the second or third of my files on her lap and it was over two inches thick from about 7 years of treatment. I said "Doc" (by now we are informal) "Will I ever be normal?" She laid the file on her desk and faced me directly and said "-----" (my name) it depends on what you call normal." I walked to the window and looked up toward the clouds.


"I just want to be like everyone else." I continued to tell her I want my short term memory back, I don't want to have to take notes on everything because I will forget; I want to be able to join in conversations with acquaintances and coworkers but I cannot come up with anything to say; just to go week or two without being depressed; to go a long time without having a manic depression that would force me to go into my dark bedroom, turn the sad music on and pull the covers over my head and cry; to go even one single day without one single symptom of the many that reminds me of my problem; to not have my wife shield many things from me for fear I would worry and cause me to go into depression; I want to be like it used to where I would be able to excel at my job instead being demoted; I want to be able to handle any task I attempt like anyone else without having to work ten times harder and still mess it up; I want to not daydream most of the time, because when I daydream about anything it takes my mind off of what I am thinking and gives me a break; to be able not to take the strong sleeping pill because I cannot sleep more than two hours without it and more importantly, at times I cannot wait to take it because for 8 hours I am almost in such a deep sleep my mind actually shuts down ans it's the only time it gets rest. On and on I went.


She walked over to me and said "-----" Do you remember the terrible state you was in when you first came in? Now even with the above, look where you are in comparison to that! Yes we have made great progress and are continuing making strides, and yes I know we will be able to help with a lot of the above, but no, you will not ever be completely normal." She continued "if your were say, Bipolar III or even a low II, then yes your life would be almost normal... most of the times. Just keep in mind where you were. She continued "It was a very hard decision for me because I felt duty bound to have you committed because of the state of mind you were in.. But something I saw inside of you crying for help."


Oh, how I remember too well where I was. The days before I walked into her office I was living in a black hole that very few people make it out of. I was inches away from leaving this world forever. So very hard to admit, and I have never told anyone other that my doctor, but there was a possibility that someone I did not know life could end also, before mine. Plans were made, carefully thought out. This was where I was. I wanted to end the nightmares in my mind that was with me every second. 


The doctor told me if I suddenly quit treatment and stopped taking the medication I would be worse than ever and will not be able to stop myself. She said i would be even to the point of schizophrenia. My mom had this and it was not pleasant. I may go into it more later but picture a 68 year old lady with a nice home suddenly walking dawn a not so nice of neighborhood dragging two suitcases behind her not having a clue where she was going. People that did not exist were following her. 


They thinking of what my doctor told me, I remember that I failed to refill a medicine on Friday. I was told I had no refills left. I had to wait until Monday when the office opened. Going to the hospital was out of the question. By Sunday I was screaming at the office answering service. I yelled at the pharmacy. I threatened to take the entire bottle of the other medicine I had that would surely kill me and it would be on their heads. I went home and kept looking out the blinds thinking they were coming after me. Everywhere I went, I thought they were following me to commit me to a home.
  Please listen to me carefully... there were two reasons why I did not carry out my plans and I gave one try to get help. My faith in God, and the love for my family. Oh, yes, like some of you, I continued from time to time to think their life would be better with out me. But somehow, even in the state of mind I was, I remembered how my wife stayed by my side for 27 years with a husband of bipolar and living with this gradually and watching it continue to get worse. I thought of my daughters that also put up with me even though at times I hurt them so much. Also think of this, it is hard for someone to loose a loved one, but much harder for them to  bear the pain of suicide. It will haunt forever. Even in this dark daze I was in, I could picture this. 

Friends...if you are even close to the stage i was at, please, I ask you to please stop and think of the above. I promise you, someone will miss you. Someone, a loved one or friend will shed tears and will never forget you, but also never forget how it ended. As bad as I still have it, I now can look into my wife and enjoy so much to see her laugh. I love the way she looks at me. I love her so much for still putting up with my episodes and give me my space. I cherish the moments where I can be "normal" around my daughters. 

Please, think about it. Just give yourself a chance and seek help. I am not "normal" by any means, but I am so glad to be alive and share life with those I love so very much!!! What have you got to loose at this point? Sometimes I pull into my driveway and my little girl comes out and hugs my neck...it was worth it for me...it will be for you also...I promise! 

You don't know what this one I just wrote has done to me. I don't know if I will be able to write for awhile, or even at all. Bless you, keep the faith, keep trying and remember what I said.

Your Friend,

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