I believed the earth was shaking, when I was first in the psych ward, an actual snow blower came up against the window causing my adrenaline levels to rise in terror. Another patient ran to my side assuring me that I was okay but I was not convinced. I hid in the pitch-black laundry room thinking it was the only safe place in the hospital, but in the next heartbeat I thought I would be crushed to death by a pending earthquake. I had to keep moving, even if it was in circles, around and around the ward. Amusingly, it now reminds me of being on a racetrack. I walked the hallways, unable to sleep for days, ingesting pill after pill, trying to close my eyes, which felt spry and stapled open. When I observed my reflection in the mirror I saw something divine. I believed my body was a holy temple for souls to rest in. But despite my intense spiritual experiences, I just continued walking the hallways, unable to sleep. I was only twenty-six years old and I was being hospitalized for the second time. I will never forget my new psychiatrist first approaching me and asking if I was okay. Earlier that day I felt like I had been beaten to a pulp, but when he spoke I was listening to the gentlest and kindest voice I had heard in years. My last doctor, at the other end of the country in Ottawa was also magnificent—a kind French man. But his office was bright yellow and I believed the colour stimulated my hunger (perhaps explaining my 35-pound weight gain). But this new doctor, Dr. J, seemed to care even more if I was okay. He told me I should take a shower, something I had not done for days and I was motivated to do it. Dr. J reminded me of how special and successful I was. After having only been out of the hospital for a couple of weeks, I was determined to go to Korea to teach English. He prescribed me six months of medication, even though I had met him because of a suicide attempt. He never questioned me. He trusted and respected me. This was amazing because I never even respected myself. When I rambled on about creating an organization about Bipolar Disorder, he never seemed to doubt me and now I am learning not to doubt myself. I cannot just throw a cast on my brain and head back to work thinking I am 'okay', so instead of being hard on myself and justifying my absence to others and myself, simply okay saying I am in recovery and doing better thank I was. There are times when I do feel pretty good but with the nature of bipolar disorder it seems it is difficult to find a stable long lasting balance in my mood, sleep and way of being. This time has been humbling and I am grateful for the things I have been able to accomplish, but I have found peace now in knowing that recovery is where I am at and that is good enough for me. I have chats with my psych nurse to thank for this. I actually want to head off to boot camp to do something to ease the depression and restlessness. It is only by sheer will-power will this happen so I need to throw myself into a structured routine that will push and motivate me. Alter Ego Fitness…hmmm…I think this is what I need to do this awesome boot camp program! I am scared, but excited! Talk soon and thanks for reading. xo ~Andrea
https://stigmafreesociety.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/earthquake.jpg 166 304 Andrea Paquette https://stigmafreesociety.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/STIGMA-FREE-SOCIETY-2018-01-2-300x283.png Andrea Paquette2010-03-13 00:00:002017-09-14 08:37:24Why don't you just throw a cast on your brain?