Through the Fire
The flaming started with my husband’s suicide. His father had been bipolar and we knew it was a possibility for John. But we never expected to be diagnosed simultaneously. We had the same doctors, but I was hospitalized for what was supposed to be one year.
I was drugged almost to death. I’m very sensitive to medication. My mother and husband waited two weeks for me to recognize and speak to them. My thoughts kept flying away, but I managed to say “Hi.” Mom got me out AMA (against medical advice).
At this point John wanted a divorce. I dove into fear mode. We had three kids to raise and I only had one semester of college. What kind of job could I get? At this point, I could barely go to the grocery store. By then, I was in and out of three hospitals. Medications ruled again.
John racked up $122,000 in debts in two months. The judge did not grant him custody of one of the boys. His lawyers were exasperated with him. He quit his job. He had essentially no friends. The kids and I got the house. Thus, the suicide. Ironically, he received a job offer that same afternoon.
I went to support groups and endeavored to stay out of hospitals. I never went to a grief support group, but we all should have. I was off medication and did alright for one year. I met Chris in that time frame through a computer dating service. I told him I was bipolar and had three children, none of which seemed to bother him. We married six weeks later.
Unbelievably, Chris was diagnosed with bipolar several years later. He forged through his job until he was 59, then went on disability. We graciously allowed for each other’s shortcomings. We didn’t worry so much about money as much as we demonstrated our love for each other. It wasn’t all roses, but the love grew and grew. We have been married for twenty-seven years.
I painted, wrote, crocheted and did needlepoint through the mood swings. I adore colors and am fascinated by words. When I painted, I focused on colors, shapes, shadows and light. Words were invisible to me. One night, I was painting a piano and flowers when a big storm stirred up. I paused. Then I decided if it were my time to go, I would go with a smile. I kept on painting with a quiet joy.
Whenever I was writing my book, all worries and concerns were gone. In a way it was traumatic, yet in another way it was cathartic and left me drained. I was still happy to finish it twenty years later.
Two years after meeting Chris, I found my guru. Jesus had been my first teacher, but I wanted a physically embodied teacher. Baba’s teachings were a lot like Jesus’ only phrased differently. Instead of the Golden Rule, Baba said, “Help ever, hurt never.” I was so happy that I trucked off to India to see him. I spent two months there. It was heaven. I saw Baba in darshan (the seeing of an avatar) over 100 times. He didn’t speak to me there, but he did later in Canada.
When He saw my finished book, He said there were a lot of Vedic truths in that, and how could I sell the truth? So, I promised to only gift them in the future. It was a big test. I always wanted to be an author and sell my books to raise my level of living. I guess God decided differently. So, I accepted that with just a whimper.
Around the same time I met Baba, I also lucked out with a great psychiatrist. His vote was out on the God issue, but he was so caring, I knew God loved him. After several medication cocktails, he hit on the right one. He was surprised how the low dosages were so effective for me. Gratefully, the sparks went out and I stabilized. I haven’t been hospitalized in eight consecutive years. Thank God.
One morning, Dr. T leaned forward and said, “I learned something.” I was all ears. “I learned that you don’t need so much medicine.”
“I told you so…”
“No, I learned that all my patients can have less medication.”
Now, one son has bipolarity, and the beat goes on.