Yesterday I received a comment from KJ whose husband suffers from bipolar disorder. She felt that my answer to Gianna provided her with hope, something she is truly needing at the moment. Since I have been well for some time, it brought back difficult memories of how different my life (and that of my family's) was for so many years.
I vividly remember how terrible I felt when I was so depressed I could barely function. Each morning I would awaken and hope that the new day would bring some sort of relief. I would wonder what I possibly could have done to have been punished so severely that I was in such terrible psychic pain. I prayed that I could survive that day and the ones to come.
I remember how hard I tried to create "normalcy" so that my son wouldn't feel he was part of an "ill" family. I tried so hard to attend school events even when I didn't feel well, and to drive on field trips so that my son would know I cared and wanted to participate as fully in his life as was humanly possible.
I worked hard to try and maintain my self-esteem even when I had gained so much weight on medication that I was embarrassed, or suffered such terrible hand tremors that I couldn't write a check, or had such awful head sweats that my hair was drenched and I looked unkempt.
I tried hard to continue my freelance grant writing career even though I was suffering cognitive memory loss and it took me twice as long to write grants and they weren't up to par, or I was so hypomanic that my behavior offended my clients. I forced myself to continue writing books even when I was unable to publicize them because I was depressed for a full year after they had been published.
I remember how disappointed I was when my doctors prescribed medication after medication that made me worse, and never were honest about their lack of knowledge regarding bipolar depression. And the sicker I got, the more they tried to make me feel like it was my fault rather than their incompetence.
So, KJ, I just want you to know that you and Joe aren't alone. Now that I'm well, I have no idea why I had to suffer for so many years. But I can only think it was because I can now provide some solace to others. And I hope that my success in achieving wellness will allow others to realize that wellness truly is possible.