What do I mean when I say “D-Day”?? I mean the day you first landed your “all out of sorts” butt in the hospital or even the psych wing. The result may or may not have been an initial diagnosis of bipolar disorder, but D-Day day sure got you closer to one. You may have been tricked into going, you may have been taken willingly, you may have been forcibly taken, or may have even decided to drive yourself there after waking up that morning and thinking to yourself that jumping off the balcony on the fourth floor of your house was a better idea than going to work. Somehow we got there though and sat in the room with all of our possessions confiscated and a security guard right there waiting to pounce if necessary, as we waited for them to bring us to our final destination. The destination that welcomed you in with a great big smile, but as soon as they wheeled you in, the doors closed behind you with a big heavy thud and the locks all clicked into place, and you were theirs until THEY said you could go. There was no walking out when you wanted to and they definitely did take into consideration that you might have made a mistake coming to the hospital, even though you cried and sobbed and yelled at the top of your lungs and kicked the sofa cushions in a tantrum that rivaled a child in their terrible 2’s. Those doors were not opening to let you out until they were able to give you a diagnosis and were able to get you under control. So you inevitably make the best of your stay and they mess with the meds, you see various doctors, partake in various forms of therapy and then they send you on your way. At the time of discharge, a wave of freedom and the breaths of fresh air overwhelm you.
Now, here it is, 5 years later. Its been 5 years since my first visit to the psych ward. Am I supposed to be happy and celebrate it? I mean, it is an anniversary and aren’t anniversaries good? But wait, this is the anniversary of when I went into this horrible place that took away my freedom, filled me up with meds, gave me bad food, checked on me every 15 minutes as if I could escape through the bars on the windows (a 5lb weight loss could have made that happen! JUST KIDDING! No one is THAT skinny), and made me talk and talk with all these doctors and be surrounded by all these other people who clearly needed to be there, and I surely didn’t. I can’t be happy about that can I? *Note to self – cancel cake*
Maybe I can be happy about this though. Without making that trip, I never would have been introduced to the medications that I am still currently taking, I would not have been involved in the outpatient therapy where I met some really awesome people that I still keep in touch with today, and I CERTAINLY wouldn’t be sitting here, in front of this computer, typing up a post that will be published on a website that will be viewed by hundreds of people, with and without bipolar, and wouldn’t be able to talk about the experience so freely without being ashamed. All because of that one day that I decided to drive myself to the hospital.
That day was one of the hardest days of my life. I had to acknowledge that something wasn’t right, I had to put aside the words of others saying I acted that way for attention, I had to put aside my own pride and decided that maybe I did need help and I couldn’t fix it on my own. The path that was started by that initial decision was not a pretty little yellow brick road that you just followed with all sorts of fun and helpful people along the way. The path was brutal at time, there were hurricanes and tornadoes that tore through the path and those are the things that really do make me sad. I remember all the people I hurt, all the people who were worried and concerned about me, and all the people who’s lives my illness impacted, and I feel truly bad and horrible about it. I try to think to myself and tell myself that it could have been worse if I hadn’t gotten help when I did, but it still somehow doesn’t take the sadness away……YET.
While I believe that D-Day was one of the best decisions of my life, and I should be happy and proud of myself for where I am now and what I have accomplished since then, I still feel the immense sadness. I don’t know when that will go away. Do you?
How does D-Day affect you guys? Is it bitter-sweet? More bitter? More sweet? Do you even think about it anymore? Does the sadness or the bitter go away?