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It Started With A Text

Monday, December 26, 2011


For years on Christmas Eve all of my kids, with their kids and spouses, have gathered at my house for a night of gift exchanges, games, food, and laughter. While I was in the midst of last minute preparations for this year's party the kids began to arrive. I had no idea how drastically the night would change, or how fast.

The Bipolar Princess was the first to arrive with her family in tow. She looked good, the kids and her husband were happy and I took in a long, deep breath of relief in light of how difficult the past week had been with her spiraling behavior.

While we were sitting around the living room talking I got a text that read:

 "I feel like I'm losing my mind mom. All I can focus on are the frogs jumping all over everyone. I'm not going to let it ruin my night though. I'm just praying."



Things quickly spiraled out of control. The frogs became too much for her, the disassociation too great. She jumped at every sound, she heard ghostly voices calling her name. Tears begin to fill her eyes before spilling over her lashes and rolling down her beautiful face giving away her torment.

It was time to get her out of the chaos of children, laughter and frogs. Back in the familiar comfort of my bedroom she told her father she only wanted the pain and confusion to end. She wanted out of life and the hell that she had been thrust into by no fault of her own.

An emergency call was made to her doctor. She talked about checking herself into the hospital. We were resolved to keep her home and stand watch twenty four hours a day until the psychotic break eased if that was what was needed.

The doctor called back quickly. He called her pharmacy and ordered a massive dose of an anti psychotic and increased her mood stabilizer. I went through my pharmaceutical collection in search of something to calm her, to sedate her and to take away the suicidal thoughts, until someone could get to the pharmacy. I had a strong sedative that she had been on before. I filled a glass with cold water and handed it to her along with the mind quietening drug.

We waited until she calmed. We told her she couldn't leave us. We told her we needed her. We tried to change her thinking.

Trying to change the thought pattern of someone having a bout of psychosis it difficult at best, but we tried. Gradually it seemed to work.

After the medication began it's magic she was able to re-join the family for a bit. We finished the night early so her husband could get to the pharmacy to retrieve the medication called in by the doctor.

About an hour after she left I received another text that read:

"Just so you are aware, I made my husband let me go to the pharmacy alone to get my meds with the intention of buying a knife to end my life. I kept seeing the kids and hearing their laughs. I couldn't do it. NO way would I intentionally take my kids' mom from them. They NEED a mom. Anyway, I'm going to make a contract with you, my husband and my sister. I want everyone to know when someone needs to come pick up the kids. There are behavioral changes I have that need to be addressed immedieately, etc. I'm going to wait until after Christmas but it's something I feel needs to be done. Thank you so much for your support tonight. I love you. I'm so sorry for ruining the night and making it all about me."

Then another text:

"I'm feeling a lot better now, suicidal wise at least. I could NEVER EVER take the kids' mom away. It would ruin their lives. But that doesn't mean that those thoughts aren't frequent and intrusive."

I spoke with her several times today. She has a contract made for her closest family members to sign, so we know the signs to watch for that mean a break is imminent, so we'll support her and so we'll be able to get her help.

Hopefully it will never come to that. Her new psychiatrist is one of the best in the area and is diligently working to identify the correct cocktail to stabilize her. 

She's signed releases with him so he can talk to us if an emergency arises. She's making progress. She'll slip from time to time, as we all do in so many areas of our lives, but she's on the right track. This Christmas the greatest gift received was the awareness she gained during some of the darkest days of her life. 



32 comments:

Dazee Dreamer December 26, 2011 at 6:52 PM  

I am so sorry for her and you both. I really hope the doctor can get her stabalized.

Mad Mind December 26, 2011 at 6:52 PM  

The worst part is the worry you have to go through, but I'm encouraged that she is consciously making the decision to think about her kids first. That is a major step forward in her road to stabilization. You know that from personal experience.

I'm proud of you for being so strong and supportive of her. You are a great mom.

Kelly December 26, 2011 at 6:56 PM  

Oh Teri I'm so sorry. At least she was able to realize that suicide is not the way to go. Hopefully she can stay well enough to not have that thought again. I've never dealt with any mental illness in my family so I can't imagine what your going through. I'll just pray for you, her and the entire family. Hopefully the doc finds the right mix of meds soon.
Stay strong!!
XoXo

Carrie December 26, 2011 at 7:10 PM  

So glad she is ready to face the demons with a positive outlook on the ending! Praying that it continues to go smoothish for her, knowing there will be bumps! <3

Carol-Anne (Use the Good Dishes!) December 26, 2011 at 7:11 PM  

So sorry you are going through this. It's just horrible. Hope you all continue with the incredible strength and support you've all shown to your daughter. She's lucky to have you all. She is.

Karyn December 26, 2011 at 7:12 PM  

Oh Teri- I am sitting here crying for Karli, you, her kids , the whole family. I am proud of her for having the presence of mind to tell you everything that was going on and reaching out for help. I will keep all of you in my prayers- Hopefully there will be a resolution for her soon- You know I am always here if you all need anything-

Love you guys <3

Velvet_Heaven December 26, 2011 at 7:51 PM  

As always, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. The strength you need is found deep within your wonderful family filled with so much love. I'm very happy you have such a wonderful support system with each other. I sincerely hope for the best for your daughter

The Bipolar Diva December 26, 2011 at 7:58 PM  

you all are going to make me cry. we have such a wonderful support group here on the web and it amazes me. the last time I talked to her she was crying, but seems stable for now.

jojo December 26, 2011 at 8:50 PM  

with all of your help she will be able to face those demons and have a life worth living. You amaze me with your courage and strength in dealing with this monster. Prayers and hugs coming your way...jj

My Mercurial Nature December 26, 2011 at 8:59 PM  

Oh, my friend...I'm crying. I don't know if my words will be enough, and I really want them to be. You, and your daughter, are really doing well. Her presence of mind to INFORM you of what is happening, is a gift. Your ability to be her support, to grant her the gift of your own experiences, and your willingness to take on this emotionally charged and difficult situation, speaks volumes about you. You both are in my thoughts!!!

angel shrout December 26, 2011 at 10:16 PM  

Oh sweetie I have been on that edge with Doug. Though he does not hallucinate the depression and the pain seem overwhelming to him in that moment. I am so proud of baby girl for realizing her kids needed their momma. I am so grateful you were there for her in her hours of need. Sending you prayers for a quick resolution to her thoughts. I love ya'll hun.

MarkD60 December 27, 2011 at 4:28 AM  

Sounds like a rough time over the holidays.

Babes Mami December 27, 2011 at 5:35 AM  

I don't know what to say but wanted you to know I came and read.

Patty @ A Day in My NYC December 27, 2011 at 6:26 AM  

Keeping you all in my prayers and sending many good positive thoughts your way. Please tell her how brave I think she is.

You all are. {Hugs}

Just Two Chicks December 27, 2011 at 7:05 AM  

I hate that she's having to deal with that.At least she's aware of her hallucinations. Some people will never be aware, and will always think they are real.

It could have been the stress of the holidays that pushed her into this episode, so hopefully, as things calm down (at least as much as they can with small kids), she'll start to feel better.

I'm so glad she knows suicide isn't the answer, even if, for right now, it's only because of her kids.

the late phoenix December 27, 2011 at 8:21 AM  

that opening pic is hitting close to home, that's the whole reason i started my blog, i feel ya, believe me i do, i'm connected here with all this.

good luck with everything, peace in the new year

The Queen December 27, 2011 at 2:00 PM  

hang in there.. you are doing a great job with her. I believe your openness about this is what allows her to feel she can be so open about it. I'm so proud of you for being a good example. I love you very much.. always there for you.. take care of her until she is stronger..

The Bipolar Diva December 27, 2011 at 2:17 PM  

Thanks everyone. I think you're right Queen, the openness of sharing our stories help us heal as well as show others they're not alone. We will triumph. She will be stabilized, it's only a matter of time.

myinnerchick.com December 27, 2011 at 4:15 PM  

---I feel your pain.

Mental illness is real, alive, active, & living inside many of us.

Terri, keep moving forward. Keep praying. Keep loving. Keep screaming your stories...

Thinking of you today. Xx

middle child December 27, 2011 at 6:01 PM  

Teri, I literally have tears in my eyes. Once I read that 1st text, my heart started beating faster. It was as though I had recieved some devastating news about one of my own kids. That feeling of fullness in one's throat....
I have never experienced this before in regard to someone I don't really know. I can't explain it. I am no one special but for some reason, I have a real love for you and your daughter. I will pray.

Snowbrush December 27, 2011 at 8:34 PM  

Diva/Teri, I'm so sad to read this.

Look, you need to get over the Living in Pleasantville because she wrote a post to you personally in the spirit with which you sometimes write.

Bohemian December 28, 2011 at 2:29 AM  

I'm so glad I discovered your Blog tonight. Your Family History isn't too different from ours... and in part the reason we're raising two of our G-Kids since Mommy was not well enough to. I can relate to the sometimes Guilt of passing along genetics that have this particular flaw in them... but had I known, would I have done anything differently... probably not only because I couldn't imagine life without our Children {even those with the illness} and our G-Children {even those with the illness}... some things are beyond our understanding and I Pray one day that a cure would be found to ease the pain and torment. I'm glad you were able to navigate through the crisis during the Holidays... we have found that the additional stresses {good or bad} that Holidays can present quite often trigger episodes. Our humor and tenacity coupled with unconditional Love have gotten us through many dark periods... God Bless you.

Dawn... The Bohemian

Maasiyat December 28, 2011 at 6:54 AM  

Diva, being someone who lives with my own version of "frogs", the day my life changed was the day I learned to accept the frogs as part of who I am. while the things I see are different, I've learned to accept them as "normal" .. the best way I can describe it is if you've never seen the movie "A Beautiful Mind", I highly highly suggest you do and if you've seen it but forgotten watch it again. My "frogs" are always there, but I've learned to realize I'm the puppet master not them. They'll probably always be with me, but at least I'm learning to live with them. I wish you and your family the best and I hope your daughter finds the peace she seems deseparately searching to find.

Tami December 28, 2011 at 9:01 AM  

Teri, I feel so bad for your daughters pain. It's so true, that people want to end their pain. I believe mental pain is the worst kind anyone can endure. I am proud of your daughter for reaching out to you. You are an amazing mom! Truly she believes it too because she trusted you enough to send you those messages.
I will be thinking of you both!
xoxo

W.C.Camp December 28, 2011 at 9:23 AM  

Powerfully written but very scary! Hang in there, our thoughts are with you! W.C.C.

Kelley December 28, 2011 at 2:56 PM  

Oh, my goodness. This is so heavy. I'm so glad you all are so supportive of her. She needs you all so much. How awful if she had to walk through it alone. How scary. Thank you for sharing your life with us!

Might as well, can't dance... December 28, 2011 at 7:03 PM  

"This Christmas the greatest gift received was the awareness she gained during some of the darkest days of her life." What a profound observation... I will pray for your family as I am often crippled with depression and anxiety - I see a Psych - I tale meds - always hoping this next new med will be THE ONE... I am a nurse and I still can't talk myself down when I start to panic or hyperventilate... God Bless and Keep you ALL...

Furry Bottoms December 29, 2011 at 12:32 PM  

I've been reading your daughter's blog. She is so so so beautiful inside and out. IT is so hard to see that about yourself when you're in the eye of the tornado.

Rachel Cotterill December 31, 2011 at 1:55 AM  

I'm so sorry you're (all) having to go through this, it must be very tough on the whole family. But it sounds like she understands what's happening, and really wants to work through it, which is positive. Here's hoping 2012 will bring some relief.

MissCrystal Nelson January 3, 2012 at 7:40 PM  

I wish I could say that I didn't know exactly how she feels. But I do. I hope my dr will prescribe me something stronger soon. She is really lucky to have family who cares so much. I can't tell you how hard it is to battle those feelings and the only one nearby is 6 years old.

The Host January 8, 2012 at 5:39 AM  

I wish I didn't know what it was like to be a child left behind when a suicidal parent loses the battle AND the war, but I do.

Thank you for sharing this story, and for living out loud. For bringing that which usually stays in the shadows out into the light.

I truly hope the next cocktail is the magic one.

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