Thursday, July 2, 2015

I Am Blue Today

I Am Blue Today

Things aren’t always funny.  Sometimes we all forget that the ones who laugh the loudest and have the gift to make other’s laugh, those people are fighting a war that rages within their homes and families.  Whether its financial stress or anything else, it’s there, hidden behind a door with lots of locks and deadbolts to make it easier to be out of sight and out of mind.  We try to keep the world from seeing it or at best, having others finding out about it only to voice how they think we are handling it all wrong. 

Today is not a good day.  And maybe it’s a good time to come out of the closet because I know we aren’t the only ones who have to live with a ticking time bomb within our home. 

You see, I’ve always known there was something wrong.  I saw it when he was a baby.  Something just wasn’t “right”.  I chose to believe his pediatrician’s explanations because they were so much easier to swallow than the big bitter pill that has always been starring at us in the face.  I wanted to believe that I was the one who was crazy. 

Years go by, things escalate.  By the time he was 4yrs old, we had to hide all the knives and scissors.  By the time he was 9yrs old, we knew he needed help but no one would ever return my calls, and then he would be “better”, so we just let him be “better”.  Until, he wasn’t “better” anymore.  Then I’d call for an appointment again, and again, no one would call me back, and again, he’d be “better”.

This went on and on, year after year.  Until this past April, he started damaging things.  He scratched up my car with scissors.  He denied it, but we have security cameras that proved that he did it, and then he proudly admitted doing it with no remorse at all. We also couldn't trust him to be alone with our pets in fear that he would hurt them so he could never be left alone. 

2 days after he damaged my car, he threw a palm sized chunk of asphalt at me and left me bruised and bleeding.  I can still look down and see the scar on my forearm from it.  And that’s when things went into warp speed.  We had no other choice but to admit our still 12yr old son into a psychiatric hospital for 8 days. 

You can never know how that felt for us, to sit there, locked up in a room for hours with other people trying to be admitted, while we waited to hand our child over to strangers because he was a danger to me and possibly to himself. 

He was then diagnosed and my fears from when he was a baby all came crashing down on me at the words, “Bipolar 1 with Psychosis”.   

Our son has a mental illness.  Our son has a mental illness.  Our son has a mental illness.   Oh my God.  Our son has a mental illness.  Mentally ill.  Mentally ill.  No.  Anything but this.  No. No. No.

Why couldn’t it be cancer instead?  I mean, you can see cancer in x-rays and scans.  You can even name it Kanye or Marilyn, and visualize kicking its ass and brutally destroying it because you can SEE IT.  You can try to cut it out.  You can attack it with chemicals and radiation.  But this?  Mental illness?  You can’t see it.  You can’t cut it out.  You can’t go into remission with Bipolar 1.  It’s constantly changing, moving, adapting, hiding, then uncontrollable screaming at the top of its lungs .  Medication works, and then in a blink of an eye, it becomes ineffective and you have to change the medication again. 

The problem with medication is, you have to get in to see a psychiatrist to get prescribed the much needed medications.  It took us 3 months to get our son into a psychiatrist that would even see an adolescent.  
3 months.  
The hospital only gave us 30 days of medication with stern instructions that he cannot run out or stop taking these pills, or he’ll end up right back in the hospital. 

How exactly do you make 30 days of medication last 3 months???  

Well, you spend hours every morning before work on the phone, begging, pleading, crying with anyone who will listen, to write refills for his current prescription.  Thank God, his pediatrician has helped us with this.  Otherwise we would have been admitting him into the hospital every 30 days for refills.

Why am I telling this very personal and devastating story?  

Because today, I’ve got nothing funny to tell.  

Today I’m crying.  

Today he refused to take his pills to the point where I was afraid that I was going to have to admit him into the hospital again. 

Today I saw the face of the monster that lives inside of our son and because it scares me to my bones. 

Today, our son’s mental illness is scaring me.  

And he’s now bigger and stronger than I am.  And on days like this, when he’s crashing and not making sound decisions and being cruel.

I just feel, sad.  Sad for him.  Sad for us.  Sad for other parents who are also dealing with the same hell that we are. 

Just overwhelming sadness.


  1. Mental illness is the thing you hear whispers about, but no one sees it -- not until you live with it. I've had my medications changed 4 times in the course of the last 18 months. Finding the right cocktail of antidepressant -- mood stabilizers -- and lets not forget the "emergency" pill to pop when you are out of control to level you out again.

    It's discouraging. Debilitating. Terrifying. I have been different my entire life. I knew it, but i was just "sad" or "acting out" because mental illness isn't a real thing. It's a real thing. A REAL THING. It can be managed, sort of, it cannot be cured. I will be bipolar type 2 until the day I die. I will forever have to take medication or risk going manic or so deep into a depression there isn't a ladder deep enough to help me crawl back out of.

    Even once I found a doctor that would listen to me -- that saw more than just the girl with PTSD from trauma -- it is still a struggle. Daily. I miss a dose? I'm crazy for a week. No joke. One dose can make the difference between "normal" and out of control.

    Your son is luck that he has you. That someone saw that he had an issue. That you are brave enough to love him enough to fight for him. YOU are stronger than most parents. People stick their heads in the sand and think it's a phase -- hormones if you're a girl, PMS you know. You're sad today. I'm sure you're sad everyday. But YOU are amazing. You are doing everything you can do.

    On a side-note. If you still have issues finding a psychiatrist that can get him in, they have psychiatric nurse practitioners that can do scripts for this kind of thing. They are usually faster to get into especially when you've got a hospital referral. Probably not for a long term fix, but short term for sure.

    Many prayers and much love for your family. We may be pretend Facebook friends, but you're pretty darn real in my daily life. Your posts inspire me to smile even when I don't want to and today you've reminded me that I'm not alone. Thank you. xoxo

    1. Miranda, I love your comment so much and it helps me feel not so alone and isolated with this. Thank you for sharing and for surviving!! ๐Ÿ’‹

  2. My sweet Barbara Blue - I remember when my baby girl, my 6th grader, suffered with anxiety attacks so debilitating that if we tried to get her out of the house, my 250 lb, 6'4", husband could not pry her away from me. She lost weight, 12lbs in one week, and more. Couldn't sleep, cried, and was terrified. Anxiety and depression run in our family, so I knew what was happening. With God's help, we found the right doctor. I went through hell by her side until one day the meds kicked in and my little girl began to function and smile.
    I want to let you know that another mom is loving in you, and praying for you, your son, and the rest of your family.
    Stay strong. ❤️