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A Hug and a Whisper

By: Laura Sanscartier

In the battle against Bipolar Disorder, one often feels alone. This is nothing new. The disease is such that we are left feeling powerless. No one will ever feel the way that we feel, will never know the highs and lows, will never know the agony of suicidal ideation when things get so bad it seems there is no other way out. I have felt this way most of my life.
Do not misunderstand: I have a loving family and a vast arsenal of friends who would all do whatever it takes to help me. The problem often is one of feeling separated, even from those we love the most.
I was having one of these such episodes: I was desperately suicidal, my depression was at an all time high, and I felt that the only way to help those around me was to kill myself. I had a number of plans in play, but at the time my husband was still in the house. I was hell-bent on committing suicide. He wouldn't leave. He knew I was depressed, and he didn't feel comfortable leaving me alone. I tried to explain some of my feelings, something that I believe all bipolar patients almost laugh at. We are at such odds with ourselves and the rest of the world; how could anyone ever truly understand? At one moment, sitting next to each other on the couch, my husband (who is not always a physical person), pulled me to his chest lovingly and said "My poor babygirl. I hate to see you in such pain."
This made all the difference in the world. It changed me.
My husband had never had a girlfriend or wife before he met me. He was not from an affectionate family. But the moment he cradled me in his arms and said those words, I felt the will to live. He cared for me. He did not understand, but he grieved for my pain. He held me close and told me in those sentences that he loved me, in his way. My plans seemed to fly out the window. We went to the hospital that evening, and I found my way toward treatment and recovery once again.
Suicidal ideation can be nearly constant for someone with bipolar disorder, as it is for me. But it is also something that can be assuaged, and even curtailed, with the right remedy. Even something as simple as a hug and a whisper from someone we love.

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