You may have noticed the picture I’ve recently added to the banner of my Facebook page and also scattered here and there throughout this blog and our Facebook group support page. It is a photo of an abstract painting I did years ago on a plate (shown to the left). The painting represents the mosaic, fragmented pattern of a Bipolar mind. The plate has decorated my living room since I made it, and it fits perfectly with my artistic and eclectic style.
More than that, it illustrates my reality to a T.
There are times chaos takes over my mind. There is NO—and I do mean NO—peace for me. Sleep is my only source of relief. During my years of many hospitalizations, I needed to go to a certain room. My face resembled the dish I painted. Eyes with no feeling … staring blankly ahead … no nothing.
Frightening, to say the least.
Rewinding back: My husband Ken researched and found Dr. Charles Herlihy. This brilliant psychiatrist didn’t take anything other than the most challenging cases. He treated very sick people, even the criminally insane, and was president of the Psychiatric Association in the Southeast. But I think it was his appointment as the chairman of the Jefferson County Medical Society that he was most proud of.
No psychiatrist had ever held that position.
Immediately following my examination, Dr. Herlihy eagerly took me on. He arranged for me to have a bed at the Psychiatric Unit at Montclair Hospital.
My mind was in abstract going in many directions at once, all at rapid speeds.
Do you remember I have ALWAYS said God held my hand and I gripped His? Like a person falling off a cliff, with someone pulling them with such tenacity and strength. That’s how God pulled me. Little by little, I was lifted out of the “The Hole” by my Heavenly Father. Hurt, pain, my mind talking to me, playing tricks on me, lying to me at every moment.
With Him, I weathered the storm.
Dr. Herlihy once told Ken something that has stuck with me throughout the years. He said, “Ken, you can leave the hospital, go to work, go to lunch … be free … LeeAnn doesn’t have that option. Her mind goes with her wherever she goes.”
Dr. Barrier said my mind still talks to me …
And I’m a good listener.
But I weathered the storm.
Within my family’s love.
And then came a beautiful rainbow.