Second Chance

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I always craved the nightlife. However being a bigger girl the majority of my life I was never very good at being a part of it. As I now know, the bipolar was bad at allowing this aspect of my life to happen. The bipolar delusions were strong and I was struggling very hard internally with the paranoid thoughts that flooded my mind day in and day out. The thought of being talked about behind my back, and people not liking me, was never far from my mind. I never felt like I fit in wherever I was. I never stayed at a job for much longer than six months because I would get overwhelmed with the feelings that my coworkers were out to get me. The struggle had me in full force by 2008 when I had lost all the weight after my gastric bypass surgery.

I always wanted to do something I thought only the pretty girls could do!

            I always wanted to do something that I thought only the pretty girls could do. When you are bipolar you can be hypersexual. I married young but I loved to flirt. The type of innocent flirting that didn’t mean anything other than the fact that a guy found me attractive. I wasn’t going to let it go anywhere and my husband wasn’t the jealous type. I knew I couldn’t be a stripper; one, I have no rhythm, so dancing was out. Two, since I did have gastric bypass and couldn’t afford the skin removal surgery, I had a ton of extra skin. However with a sweater, corset, skirt and pantyhose, I could hide that skin, so I waited tables. The money was awesome, and for a while, I was having the time of my life. 

I had hoped that the thoughts would go away because I was finally pretty. After all the years of being 355 lbs, I was finally a size small, and 142 lbs. A feat I thought I would never achieve. I was sadly mistaken. By this time I realized that the nightlife, no matter how much I enjoyed the flirting, was not where I needed to be. It could really make me feel pretty downright lousy about myself and the person I was trying to be.

I decided then, that I was going to end my life.

              One night I came home and I had had enough. I decided I didn’t want to deal with the self-hatred I felt any longer. That the pain I felt, the overwhelming feeling of just wanting all the pain and all the distress I was causing my family – to be over. I decided then, when I got home as I was lying in bed – and as my husband got up to start his day, that I was going to end my life.

            I was working crazy hours though, 13 to 14 hours a day. My boys were playing football every night. If I wasn’t working, I was sleeping at practice in the car, which I am sure didn’t look good to the other parents. I slept all day. I missed most of their life for about 6 to 8 months while I was doing this job. I worked most nights from 3 pm till 6 am. The drive was 40 minutes from my house. I was having fun though. I saw my doctor. I was taking Ambien to sleep. I was on ADHD meds during the day. As well as anxiety meds. I thought I was doing okay. Then slowly the thoughts started to creep in.

            I couldn’t just say goodbye to my boys though. I climbed the stairs where my boys were awake and getting ready for school. I went to my oldest and I said to him, “Colton, remember you can do anything you want to do. Don’t let anyone ever tell you differently. You’re smarter than people believe, and always know you can do whatever you put your mind to.” I went in to see my twins, and I said to them that I loved them, and to never forget mommy (at the time they were only about 6 years old). Then I grabbed my son Justin who I am known for having a very close relationship with. He and I have always had a very special bond. I said, “come lay down and say goodbye to mommy”.

 Little did I know that those were the words that would save my life. Justin and I went down the stairs and laid in my bed. My husband came in from his shower. I had taken every pill I had and I had a lot because my scripts had just been refilled. He asked me what we were doing. I said “we’re saying good-bye” and I must have already been distant because Chris didn’t hesitate a second, he knew I was serious. He grabbed the phone and dialed 911. He told them what I had done. Moments later I sat down on the gurney. I remember going out the door but not being put in the ambulance. I remember none of the drives. How would I? I died on the way to the hospital.  They brought me back. I woke up at the hospital a day later on a vent. The damage I had caused my body was unknown. I asked, “why didn’t you just let me go”. Chris said, “No way!”  I got lucky, and there was no damage to my body from all the different medications. After 4 days of court-ordered admission to the hospital. I was released.

I am thankful every day my husband didn’t just “let me go”. I have gotten to see my boys grow up. I’ve seen Colton graduate High School. I’ve seen Justin get into U-High. I have seen Cory give the speech at his 8th-grade graduation, and I have seen Cale grow into a kid with one of the biggest hearts of anyone I have ever met. They are all so great!  I would never trade any of it for anything in the world. Teenagers are a pain, but I am loving every minute of it. Mostly because I almost wasn’t here for it.

I got a second chance at life;

I got a second chance at life and I am going to make sure that I take care of that life. I hope that my strength can encourage others to be aware of the changes within themselves and when to ask for help. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength. Life can be a battle and when you have a mental illness, everything is more intense. The normal life circumstances that happen to people for those of us that suffer can throw us for a loop, which is why at the end of each day we are so tired. A battle of the mind can be so much more exhausting than any other physical challenge ever dreamt of being. It takes strength and courage to face each day. Do it bravely knowing that you are worth living for! That your breath is worth just as much as everyone else’s. Face each day with “Amazing Strength

It’s hard to swallow for me that I put my family through such a traumatic experience. They know that life can throw you curves. That you’re not always going to feel 100%, but tomorrow will come, and you are probably going to feel better eventually. That there are people that can help, and medications to help as well. They know what I have been through, and I hope they don’t ever feel helpless, but if they do – they know they can always ask for help. I am so glad I got a second chance at life.

With bipolar, every day can be a challenge and most days is a challenge, but I know that if I get helpless again, I have the strength to overcome it. My husband and my boys give me the strength I need to get through each and every day. They give me the courage to continue life even in the darkest of times. I am confident that I will be okay eventually I just have to keep going one more day.

 When dealing with suicidal thoughts I know how quickly I can feel alone and as if the pain will never end but now that I have gone through what has been the darkest days of my life so far, I can see where eventually the clouds will lift and I will smile again.

Sometimes the courage comes with knowing your limits. Recently I again had a manic episode which also produced psychosis. I do believe I was close to a psychotic break which again would have resulted in a trip to the hospital. Since I practice mindfulness and constantly do self-checks on myself to make sure I stay healthy, I knew I was manic and I had to take some drastic steps to get back on my management plan. I am fortunate enough to have a loving family who supported me and helped me quickly get into the doctor and seek treatment. I was able to stay out of the hospital and regain my recovery.

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