Have you ever had trouble with the law because of your bipolar illness?
So it’s still undetermined what exactly is going on with me. I was *misdiagnosed* as bipolar for five long years, even to the point of taking an anti-psychotic throughout my entire pregnancy. Name a drug for depression or bipolar or anxiety, and they’ve probably put me on it. Except for lithium. For some reason, they stayed away from that…
Anyway, to the point here. Yes, I’ve had an encounter with the law because of bipolar.
As most people know, you’re not supposed to drink while on the wonderful cocktail of medicines the doctors give you. Well, I decided to ignore that rule for quite a while. In fact, and this will come later, but I believe it’s a big, huge part of why I was diagnosed as such.
Well, one night, I was driving home from a concert with my ex-husband (fun, abusive marriage), except on this particular night, we had gotten into such a huge fight where I had ended up being the aggressor. He made me so angry and I was so drunk (sort of — I think it was more the mixture of medicine than pure alcohol because I honestly didn’t drink that much..) and angry as could be. Even though he didn’t have a license, I was in no shape to drive, so he drove my car home.
Apparently, I began hitting him. I vaguely remember it. I think it was mostly in the shoulder, but I *may* have gotten a few face shots in there.
Well, this, of course, freaked him out and he didn’t know what to do, so instead of taking us back to our amazingly ghetto apartment, he took us to his mom’s place instead. I remember getting out of the car and just collapsing onto the lawn. He tried pulling me up and I screamed at him to leave me alone — this all way past midnight…waking up the neighbors.
I’m still not sure if he was trying to pick me up aggressively to get up the stairs to his mom’s or not. I wouldn’t be surprised considering it’d be the least of what he’d done, but that’s neither here nor there. This is about me and what I did to get in trouble.
Apparently, the neighbors believed him to be throwing me around or something of the sort, so a few people called the police. By the time the officers showed up, we had made it up to his mom’s apartment, where he had kicked dents in the door in order to wake her up, of course causing more people to wake up.
When the officers came and questioned what was going on, he immediately got in trouble because he had a warrant for something stupid from before I was even with him…
But me—smart me—decided to be all open, like I am when I’m drunk, and I babbled away about everything that had happened on the car ride home. So, in the great state of Colorado (where I lived at the time…and yes, this was pre-baby, just in case you were wondering), it’s not up to the couple to press charges. He didn’t want to, but they had no choice.
So, off to jail I went. I couldn’t find my flippies and was wearing a small tank top and a long skirt.
I got the full treatment. Handcuffs around the wrists, of course, but also around the ankles. I remember complaining over and over how much it hurt to walk because they cuffs kept digging into my ankles. The cops response was, “Well, they’re not made to feel good.” Gee, thanks.
Oh, I forgot the fun part. We didn’t go in a cop car. Nope. It was just the two of us, but since we were male and female, we couldn’t be in the same car….yeah, I don’t know why….so we got a paddy wagon! Good times lol.
I was able to talk to him through the wall…I think he had some guys with him, actually, the night was a *bit* fuzzy, but I was by myself in this big ol area in back and I do remember the driver was pretending we were on the windy street in San Francisco rather than in downtown Denver. Or maybe I was just that messed up. Who knows?!
Once I got inside, I had to wait in the little holding area to get my fingerprints and MUG SHOTS. Let me tell you…the fingerprint thing isn’t like what they show in the movies. No ink. It’s some red light that works after maybe four tries and they twist your fingers in the most painful way. And some advice — not that you’ll ever be getting arrested (please, please DON’T!) — but don’t give the woman in charge dirty looks just because you’re not pleased about what’s happening at the moment. She told me to turn one way and I turned the other (smart me :)) and I’m not one to enjoy condescension, considering myself to be *somewhat* intelligent, so I glared at her.
Her response — “I can send you back in the holding cell for a few more hours if you wanna give me that attitude.” So, safely, I smiled like a good girl and did what I was supposed to. And immediately was escorted off to my little *pod*
I wasn’t there long enough to be moved to a cell, which I suppose is a good thing. But I needed medicine. Badly. I needed my Klonopin and I was also taking heart medicine. I don’t think it was time for my Seroquel yet…or maybe I had already taken it earlier…who knows. Point is — those doctors or nurses or whomever they are…they don’t care. I left without getting my meds, making it an even worse experience.
Imagine being in jail, one, being in jail without your bipolar meds, two, being in jail without your anxiety meds, three, and being in jail without your medicine that slows down your heart because of a valve problem.
***Main point to take away from the previous paragraph, which I put in quote form just to make it stand out….
Seriously — imagine being in jail. These medicines are STRONG. If you’re not suppsed to drink…please don’t. It only makes symptoms worse and then there are added side effects on top of it.
Long story short (sorry, you’ll find soon I like to say a lot), my case was dismissed the next morning because what I did occurred where there were no witnesses so the state had nothing against me. No proof whatsoever except for me saying what I had done. And since my then-husband didn’t want to press charges, they simply let me go…
But it is something I will never forget and it happened almost a decade ago. The horrible ride, the cuffs, the steel toilet, heck…my roommate with a broken finger they wouldn’t even give Tylenol or Aspirin to, along with not giving me my medicine, the super uncomfortable green mats to sleep on — not quite sure what the material was, the horrendous food, the girls who stayed on the phone forever so during our phone time I wasn’t able to use my phone call, the open showers I didn’t dare go in, the slippers they gave me because I had no shoes…they were about five sizes too big and kind of pointless to wear but it was so cold I wore them anyway, the lack of pillows…..just all of it.
Bad, horrible experience. One I’d never wish on anyone and I know a lot of people go through it — especially those who don’t take their medicines regularly and *think* they’re okay without them.. And my little stint wasn’t that bad. It was short and simple. But still not good in any way possible.
All I’m saying is be careful, take your medicines, listen to your doctor, don’t drink on your medicines (not being preachy…if you’re going to, you’re going to, but at least stay home — although I have another story to prove that doesn’t help anything, either…).
Basically, if you have bipolar disorder, take care of yourself and keep yourself healthy, even if you don’t care and don’t want to, because, trust me, I know how that is…
But it’s our only option. So please, stay safe, stay out of trouble, and above all, stay out of jail!!