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!
Look at me—glasses too large for my face, hair uncombed, and a frown etched across my mouth. I have mercifully forgotten almost everything about this particular Walt Disney World vacation. I walked around in a daze, slow-moving and tired all the time. Not even the Magic Kingdom, with its fanciful rides and supremely all-American Main Street, could lift my spirits in this time. I can only wonder what the bystander who took this picture thought as I stared back at him, eyes vacant and uncaring. If I want to know what depression feels like, all I have to do is search my memory for this trip and understand.
One morning I went and topped off my tank in my van, then came back to the house, closing the garage door behind me. I went inside, picked out an ocean-waves CD, grabbed my favorite quilt and a pillow, went out to the van, turned on the ignition, put in the CD, laid down in the back seat, and covered myself with the quilt. I was used to going to sleep in the mornings after everyone left. But I didn’t feel the least bit sleepy—I kept trying to concentrate on the sound of the ocean waves, but they were hard to hear over the motor running. I tossed and turned to get comfortable lying on the cold car seats. By the time the CD finished playing, I was frustrated with my attempt to end it all. I stumbled to the front of the van and turned the ignition off. I climbed out the driver’s door and hit the button to raise the garage door, letting fresh air rush into the garage. I was vaguely aware that my unsteadiness was a sign of how close I had come to the edge. I still listen my ocean-waves CD to remind me of the deep depths from which I have come and the mountains to which I aspire.
Two months later, better I was but better at hiding how I was I was also. So one day I said out of the blue. “Do you know what I really want for Christmas?” “What?” Bob said. “A pair of rollerskates.” Stunned silence from the other end of the room. Then a tentative “Okay.”
That was all that was said about that until my daughter came up to me and said, “Why do you want rollerskates for Christmas?” “Because I want to learn how to skate again,” I said. “Oh,” she answered. I can imagine what was going through her mind; Mom’s obviously lost her mind and wants rollerskates for Christmas. .That was the last I heard of the matter until three weeks before Christmas. My husband came to me, a little flustered. “Terrie says you really do want rollerskates for Christmas.” I thought a minute and said. “Yes, I do.” So he handed me an envelope of cash. “Go and try you some on and pick out some you like and can wear. Then you can wrap them up for Christmas morning.” “Sure,” I said, marveling at how smart he was to listen to what I said for once. “I can do that.”
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.