My son is bipolar.
My son, my precious little boy, who is now almost 13, has always had severe ADHD but over the years we have also noticed other “odd” behaviors that we could not categorize but since nothing was extremely serious, we just kept going as normal, thinking he was just a little “different” and teaching him to celebrate his differences. But all of that changed very quickly this past Christmas and sparked a new course in our lives that has left me feeling like all I am doing sometimes is simply treading water.
In December of last year my son and I went on a camping trip for Christmas. The plan was that we would be there all Christmas week, come home for Christmas with the family on Christmas night, get him to his dad’s the next day for his Christmas there and I would head back out for 4 days of peace and quiet at the beach where we had our camper. The trip didn’t go as planned…
On Christmas Eve my son and I went to walk The Strand in Galveston and just spend the day relaxing. When we got there, he was acting very moody, “down” and upset. Determined to find out what was going on with him, we sat in the parking lot until he talked. He began to become very agitated and really did not want to talk, but being the stubborn mom that I am, I kept pushing. Finally, he told me that he wanted to die. He did not feel like he deserved to live, that he was worthless and nothing and didn’t belong here anymore. A mom’s worst nightmare. It took all I had to hold it together while he finished talking, I was quickly losing it inside. He said that he was hearing voices that were telling him to do things, bad things. He was seeing a “monster” several different times a day a day as well that, as he described it, wanted to take his soul. I was terrified. It was honestly the grace of God that I was able to even have a conversation with him at this point. Somehow, again, the grace of God, I was able to kind of turn it around some and calm him down, but I knew that our trip was over. I just knew that this would change things. Not wanting him to be further upset or agitated, we decided to go eat some lunch. At lunch, he was a little more talkative and hyper, a little more “normal”. It was all so confusing for me. One minute he was a basket case ready to end his life if he thought of a way how and the next he was laughing and joking around and talking 90 miles and hour. I didn’t really know what to do except to keep going. I texted my mom and told her that we needed to talk but that I couldn’t for a while because I was with my son. After we had lunch we went Christmas shopping for a few more people and then headed back to the campsite. I spent the whole time with my stomach in knots, worry and fear eating me alive. I kept trying to rest in God’s promises, rely on the peace He gives, but I’ll be honest, there was absolutely no peace for me that day.
-End of Part 1
My hope is that, as I continue to share my story, maybe just one of you can find some kind of peace knowing that you are not alone.
Come back on Monday for Part 2.