This is a blog about my journey with bipolar disorder. I was diagnosed spring of 2011 and was admitted into a mental health hospital a month before my wedding. I struggled greatly for the next year and a half going on and off meds, experimenting with different forms of therapy and was readmitted to the hospital at the end of 2012. Since then I have been learning how to re-live my life. Seeing a wise, supportive, kind therapist once a week and emerging myself into Dialectical Behavioural Therapy are 2 of many ways that are helping me recover. I have found deep comfort and much strength in mindfulness practices, taught to me from DBT.

This blog is my way of allowing you to see into the life of someone who suffers from bipolar, depression and extreme anxiety. I want to own my story, and help defeat the stigma. I hope you find some comfort in knowing you are not alone, or learn more about mental illness through the writings of my blog.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

An explanation

As most of you know, I already have a blog. Why would I start a second one do you ask?
Well, I often struggle as to how honest I should be about my personal life on maehandmade, as it is my artistic business, I feel strange sharing personal tidbits on the blog, and yet I yearn to be open and vulnerable. In attempt to keep maehandmade my creative outlet and my job, I have created a second blog only for those whom I am close with, where I can share about my honest struggles and be transparent.
I invite you to walk with me in the day to day struggles I am facing. I will warn you though, this may be a depressing blog to read, if you are entering into my life. There is no obligation to read it. It seems I never know how to answer people questions when they are asked in person because they have no background into my day to day life, so I hope this helps.

These past 2 weeks have been absolutely insane filled with crazy depressive/insane episodes. During the day I am usually okay, dealing with anxiety and mild depression, but I can get back as long as I don't overload my scheduale and take time to relax. But as soon as it gets dark outside I feel my insides changing. I completely change. My depression gets so bad I cant stop crying. And I don't mean "sitting on a chair wiping my eyes with a kleenex crying" I mean "frantic rolling around on the carpet sobbing, howling, crying" 
It's like I am going "crazy" or "mad" or "insane". I lose control over my mind and it is SCARY. Ryan will ask me questions "do you want to eat this?" "do you want to watch this?" and I get overwhelmed, I'm not able to answer. I can't make decisions. I overreact to things. I am extremely sensitive. I am mad, confused and resentful as to why this has to happen to me. It's like I am taken over by something so strong, I'm not able to recognize truth or rationality. Thoughts tell me to end my life because I feel it's too painful. I yell at Ryan and my mom and my dad. 
The doctors call these "episodes".
As the episdoes calms down, and I am able to become calmer, I realize what I all just did. And I am covered in guilt and shame. I dont want the people I love most to have to see me like this. It's not fair to Ryan to have to have a crazy wife.  

I need prayer. I need support. I need a support group. But I don't know how. It's easy to ask for prayer and recieve prayer support. My cell prayed for me this week and I FELT their prayers and actually had a GOOD day with NO episodes. But what does it mean for me to recieve support? I don't want to let people see me like this, it's ugly, it's repulsive, it's shameful. So how do I get support?
It's hard to talk to other people openly and honestly because everyone is dealing with their own crap, or joys, or life events, and I dont want to rain on their parade. 
These are just questions and things I am trying to figure out right now.
I have a lot on my mind, but maybe I'll try to save some for tomorrow. 


  1. Richelle,
    Your transparency is beautiful. Thank you. I am praying for you ... for rest, grace, healing and peace. For God's presence in recognizable ways - both during and after an "episode".
    <3 Candice

  2. I've already texted you about this, but I feel like I need to repeat it over and over and over again.
    I know what you're going through. I know the frustration of feeling incapable of stopping the tears, that frustration really only causes more tears. I know that horrible feeling after realizing what you put everyone through. I know the "Just relax" and "it's not that big of a deal" responses. Worst of all, I know the feeling that the only way to stop the pain that you feel, and the hurt that you cause others is by ending it all together.
    But, since getting a proper diagnosis I've grasped a hold of a little bit of control over the condition. I see that my family and friends that I hurt through the entire thing wanted to see me get better, not disappear. That every episode ends at some point, and a good day eventually comes. I had two suicide attempts this spring/summer that landed me in the hospital, and had I succeeded I never would have found out who I was without this thing controlling my life.
    When my new doctor diagnosed me properly he was surprised to see that I was still alive and somewhat a functioning human being despite the misdiagnosis and wrong medication combination. I think I did because I had the support and help of people like you.
    I love you very very much, and will be there for you whenever you need me.
    I don't really pray, or know how, but I will pray for you.
    Call me. Whenever.