5 years ago tomorrow, July 24, I ended up in the ER during a severe manic episode I experienced while on our family vacation to Ocean City, MD.
For more details on the episode, you can read the full entry over at our other blog – The Marriage Fight .
Here’s an excerpt from that post:
We arrived at the beach and I was full of energy, talking almost incessantly. I was aggressive and hostile, to an extent, without any idea how it was affecting my family. I felt invincible. Apparently I also thought I was rich and extremely good looking. I was barely sleeping. Maybe getting two hours or so a night.
I even told Danielle she was released of her wedding vows. Now I don’t remember this at all, but Danielle assures me I did, several times. I told her it was OK for her to leave and that I would be fine. I would be fine never seeing her or the boys again. God told me. I mean, where does that come from? It’s amazing Danielle didn’t up and leave or at least smack me senseless right then and there.
I thought several times I was going to die. I mean seriously die. Like at any minute. It was scary and not, at the same time. My dad just held me the last time. I thought I was going “home” for sure at that point and it was wonderful just having dad there. Even though I hadn’t been treating him well either.
It all came to a head when I sat my family down in the middle of the courtyard at our condo and lectured them about how they needed to be on my side and support me. I feel awful for anyone who had to witness that train wreck. I gave my family an ultimatum. Either you’re on my side or you’re not. For some decisions that I explained were lifelong dreams for me. Things I felt God calling me to do. NOW. Things that they had never heard me talk about.
Thank God they all said “yes” or I wouldn’t be here right now.
I told Danielle I needed my phone for an hour so I could talk to my friend Dave. She had been begging me to get off my phone and spend some time with everyone. We talked for I don’t know how long about all sorts of things and then I went back to our room, handing over my phone.
That’s when it hit me. My body just couldn’t keep up with how fast my mind was moving anymore. I had a light lunch and then laid down for a nap.
That’s when things got really bizarre. When I woke up from my nap I had absolutely no idea what day or time of day it was. I barely knew where I was or who I was with. Little did I know Danielle had prayed this into being.
Okay, okay, a bit more than an excerpt, but there is much more to read over there.
Suffice it to say, it was a pretty horrible experience for our family. At the time it wasn’t so much for me, because I was in such a state of euphoria.
As I sit here 5 years later with 2 not so little boys next to me and Danielle to my right editing photos, I realize how truly blessed I am.
God has been so good to us. Often times when someone is diagnosed bipolar (I have been diagnosed Bipolar 1, mainly because I experienced at least one manic episode), it is a lifelong struggle of really high highs and really low lows. I have been quite fortunate to have been able to maintain a fairly stable mood, due to God’s grace, family support, and help in the forms of medical treatment as well as counseling.
I again want to say a big “thank you” too all the people that have supported Danielle, our family, and myself through the darkest of days.
Sometimes I can hardly believe it’s been 5 years since we went through this experience. It really feels like a lifetime ago.
Over the next couple days we will celebrate, like we do every year, not only how we survived, but how good God has been to us, and how far our marriage has come in these last 5 years.
I am truly blessed.