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!
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.”
Christmas morning, I unwrapped the skates and couldn’t wait to put them on. I sat down at the kitchen table, strapped them on, and tied them tightly as tennis shoes. I stood up with one hand on the wall and the other on the table. My husband looked at the skates and said, “Cool.” I took very tentative steps towards the kitchen island—the skates felt good on my feet but I was very glad to have my hands back on something solid once I got there. I took a slow turn around the island, remembering bow my daddy had taught me to move my feet. I made it back to the chair without falling and not-quite collapsed into it. I thought, “What have I gotten myself into?” My husband and daughters were amazed as was I. I’m really going to do this, I thought. I’m crazier than I realized.
About March, I had been rollerskating in my kitchen for about two months. I felt like I had improved a great deal: I didn’t have a death grip on the edges of the island any more, and I was skating faster as I went along. SO I decided it was about time to take this show on the road. I laced up my skates as usual and started slowly for the front door. I was planning to test myself out on our driveway parking pad, just outside the garage. I was taking baby steps but still doing it under my own power. I got to the door, opened it, stepped over the doorjamb, and started moving around my car to get to the driveway. I was doing pretty well, until I hit the area where the garage slopes up just a little bit. One foot slipped on the concrete, then both my feet went up in the air, and I hit the concrete of the garage flat on my back. Since I WAS NOT old and don’t carry a medical alert, I was going to have to get up and get back inside by myself. A feat to remember when I felt like I just couldn’t get through the days anymore.
Even as I was recovering, for months my pastor preached about people professing God but living however they wanted to, and he started pointing out that even if what you wanted wasn’t morally wrong, if it wasn’t what God wanted, you were still in rebellion. So one Sunday in May, I just asked Jesus to come into my heart and clean it all out and take it for himself. I told him my life was a mess, and I couldn’t fix it. I said I needed him to come in and take over. If he wanted me to be bipolar, so be it. I went home that day a free woman. Bob hadn’t been able to come to church that day, and when I got home, I went to where he was sitting at the computer and whispered into his ear, “You know, I think I finally got saved today.” He turned and looked at me. I don’t know what kind of look I had on my face, but whatever it was, the truth was evident. “Oh, my precious,” he said. “I’m so glad.”
So I started on this story and the blog, praying and hoping I could possibly reach an audience somehow, somewhere that needed to hear a message of hope. Be sure to leave a comment below if this story helped you!
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.