I still remember how I felt when on June 1, 2010 on an emergency visit to a psychologist for depression the doctors told me I had to be partially hospitalized for 3 days. Who knew it would turn into 22 days and that was only the first of many hospitalizations. But today I will tell you about that first partial hospitalization. I remember that June 1, 2010, while signing the agreement for treatment, I was shaking so much that I told the secretary: would you allow me to sign again? Because it was ugly. (That was me, always trying to correct myself for everything). All of this was new to me, it was intense, stressful and especially worrisome. What was wrong with me that they wanted to leave me there?
There, that June 1, 2010 began my journey to understand this roller coaster that was, is and will be my life. That day I could not speak, when therapists met me I almost did not talk to them, I just cried. I think it was a cry of desperation, asking for help. I remember the 4 therapists who saw me, they did not question the reason for my state, they only asked me about my personal information to begin filling a record that I never thought it would become so heavy and yet make me feel so light.
After meeting with the four therapists, I walked into a large room, cold, clean and full of windows with a great view, which had approximately 15 people seated with blank stares on their faces, some with their eyes swollen from all the crying, some did not even look up and there were a few others who spoke more than the doctor who ran the therapy (they were very fast) those looked so happy, so euphoric and I said to myself “I hope to get that happy.” At that point I did not even understand the danger posed by such happiness.
In those group therapies each day we would receive very useful tools through those wonderful talks, which at first I found boring. How strange life is, now I miss those talks. Anyway, between group and individual therapy I began to let go of a past that haunted me and hurt me even after all these years. I learned that there was only one to blame for my misfortune and it was not me. Ahhh finally this woman admitted that she had no blame for the sickness, hatred, lack of love, disrespect, impudence, abuse, selfishness and simple indecency certain person close to me had and whom took advantage of me since I was 4 years old and disgraced my life. Finally, I was able to release certain things that caused me pain, today I barely remember them, I thank God for it.
I really thought I was in that hospitalization to help me see and accept my past with less fear and without guilt. But to my surprise when that 3rd day came and I was ready to leave the hospital, the Dr said to me: “It is with sadness and also gratefulness that I have to tell you this…we have the approval from your insurance company to extend your days here at the clinic, there’s something very wrong with you that we need to check and is really necessary that you stay”. I can imagine that you’re asking: But what was wrong? Besides everything…Well on that day June 4, 2010 I received my diagnosis of Bipolar disorder, sounds complicated right? But that wasn’t all. They also informed me that I was suffering of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) among other things. Let me tell you, this disorder manifest itself in many ways so do not rush to think of an specific one as I have a few…Lol. Perhaps someone you know could be suffering from this disorder and some people may say: That guy is insane!!!!
Anyway, back to my wonderful news on June 4, 2010. You can imagine my face? For me in that 3rd day, I felt great as those patients I had seen my first day at the clinic. What a confusion I felt when the doctors began to explain the medications I was supposed to take and therapies that I had to follow. While 2 doctors gave me the news and talked, I just thought, what do I do now? What do I tell my husband? My little girl, my mom … I really could not understand anything they recommended me that day, I remember the doctor wrote on paper what I should tell my husband, so it would not be as difficult. Believe me, that paper weighed a ton to me.
I remember making a call, it was my husband, I never forget what I said to him,
“JoeI have to tell you something”
he calmly said: “I hear you”
I said: “They did not gave me discharge from the hospital, instead they added more days and I have no exact date to go home”
He told me: “What happened then?”
With a trembling voice and with huge pressure in my throat I said: “I was diagnosed with something”
There was absolute silence on the line…
Then Joel said to me: “Let me guess, you have bipolar disorder”.
Wow, I was so afraid to tell, but ultimately it was not necessary as he suspected all these years what was happening to me. Phew what a relief, at least telling him was not difficult at all. I remember Joel said: “We have spent 8 years together, I have always loved you and now I will love you even more, because at least I will not think that you do certain things on purpose he he, but do not think you can take advantage of me now”… he said with a laugh. He always finds something funny in everything, that’s why I love him so much.
I think of all I have lived since and before learning about my disease, now that I know about my condition I can take a lot of positives, my marriage has improved 100 % since I learned that I have to undergo treatment, although sometimes mania appears and makes me believe that I can control everything, but the case is the opposite. My relationship with my daughter is much better, she is my interim psychologist, my joy, my engine. Also my relationship with my mom improved substantially. I am very grateful to all those special people that even without the knowledge that this woman out of control suffered from a complicated illness, they kept tolerating me without asking or demanding anything in return. Often enduring to see me fly through the skies with the ego through the roof and with that I mean nothing good, trust me, because I do not listen to anyone and I had thought that I’m better than everyone or so they say. Also they have picked me up when I had fallen so deep as a sea anchor, but they have brought me out of that deep, dark sadness that sometimes comes over me and crushes me.
This illness sometimes makes me weak, but also makes me strong because I had to be brave and face a world that is full of stigma about mental illnesses. I have decided to be brave, be bold and tell my story to everyone that wanted to hear it, that way those around me can learn that this disease can touch anyone and does not discriminate. At the end of the day, a lot of people struggle with this and other diseases and we still alive , we have families, we love and we are loved by others and most importantly, we can learn to live together with this disease. My intention is not to make you feel obligated to understand, the only thing I ask is that if you know I suffer from this condition you continue treating me like a normal person, that helps a lot.
To all who have decided to read my blog thanks for being part of my therapy!