I would like to introduce to you a new column that we will be sharing each week. It is called The Bipolar Diary and will be place where we can share our stories of Bipolar Disorder, ways to handle this disorder and different posts that will educate you on what Bipolar Disorder is.
For the next few weeks, Julie will be sharing her Bipolar Story. Enjoy!
My first attempt to run away from home and kill myself was a bust. I drove around town for three hours, on the phone to a friend trying to decide where I was going to go and whether or not I was going to commit suicide when I got there. I had my husband’s .38 pistol and my clothes packed; I was planning to check into a hotel and be done with it. “You can’t just run off and kill yourself,” Jesse said. “It’s better than doing it at home,” I said. “You don’t need to kill yourself,” he said again. “You don’t understand,” I said. “I can’t live like this anymore.”
“But trying to kill yourself won’t solve your problems,” Jesse said. “You need to stop thinking like that.” “I can’t stand it anymore, Jesse,” I said again. “I just need to know where to go.” “Go to Starkville if you want,” he said. “Look up some of your old professors and wander around and see how it’s changed if that’s what you want. But come back to Bob and your kids when you’re done. They need you.” “No, they don’t,” I said. “They’ve suffered enough. Bob can find someone who can be better to him and the kids can have a mom who’s not sick in the head.” “Will you listen to yourself? That’s not true,” Jesse said. “Go on up there and clear your head but come back afterwards. Promise me you will.” I promised. I even got to Highway 25 going north before deciding instead that what I wanted to do was go home and go to sleep.
My second time to run away from home was much more successful—depending on how you look at it. I had it all planned out—go north or south on I-55 and stop in Grenada or New Orleans, whichever direction I picked on my way. No matter that I had never driven that kind of distance to anywhere by myself in my entire life. I was now fully manic and without caution. I sped my way down I-20 to the I-55 exit to New Orleans and turned south. I listened to my CD’s and drove practically alone on the road except for the ever-present long-haul truckers. Every once in a while I‘d wonder if Bob was out looking for me, and I would check my rearview mirror. But New Orleans wouldn’t have been on his radar at all—I had only been there twice in my life, and he certainly wouldn’t think of me attempting to get there by myself. I arrived in the Covington, Louisiana area around six a.m.
In my hotel room, I reached down into my purse for my cell phone but encountered my gun instead. I pulled it out and looked at it. .38 caliber, six-shot cylinder, thumb-cock mechanism and fully loaded like Bob always kept it. I sat and stared at it in my hand for a long while, fighting the urge to go ahead and get it all over with. I put the gun back and got out my phone instead. I called someone to come get my gun away from me. Instead, the police came to my door, and I spent three days in a mental hospital in Louisiana before Bob could get me and take me home.
To Be Continued…
Julie Whitehead currently writes and blogs from Mississippi at her personal blog. She has been a university lecturer, a disability examiner, and a freelance writer. She carries a diagnosis of bipolar disorder and blogs to create awareness and help others understand the disease and its effects.