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The “L” Word

The ends of my skirt flitted in the steady stream of wind coming from the fan. I couldn’t tell how long it had been running in hopes of staving off the heat, but it felt as though all it was doing was circulating uncomfortable air.

It was hard to breathe.

I scratched at my arms nervously as Dr. B stared at my electronic medical record; plotting a new course of action.

He lifted his feet off of the desktop and turned his chair towards me.

He didn’t have to say anything.

I just knew.

The “L” word.


David and I were throwing chunks of erasers at each other when Mrs. C approached our desks with our French Language quizzes in her hand.

“Kim, I didn’t see you at the cross country try outs yesterday. Were you sick?”

“Mrs. C, I don’t know if I want to run.”

“Well that is silly! You need to run. You’re good at it. You have a lot of endurance in all the other sports. Of course you’re running.”

“I don’t think that I can do long distances though. Besides, it sounds boring.”

“Hmph,” she grumbled as she snapped the quiz in my face,  “You are the ‘L’ word.”

“I’m what?”

The ‘L’ word.”

David laughed into his elbow.

When he regained his composure he said, “She means you’re lazy!”

My eyes widened in disbelief.

Mrs. C’s chest puffed arrogantly as she smirked, turned her heels and then walked away.

At recess, I signed up for the cross country team, grinding the letters of my name deeply into the sheet.

“You never know if you’re going to like it if you don’t try it Kimberly,” Mrs. C shouted down the corridor.

That season I placed 2nd and 4th.

Surprisingly, I loved it.


“Lithium,” he said.

The “L” word rolled in my stomach.

I wiped my sweaty palms down my skirt and had wished that the air conditioning worked.

What do I remember about Lithium in nursing school?





Bloating up like a dead raccoon on the side of the road.

” Very crazy”

The last drug I had made Dr.B promise that we would try.

My last hope.

I held my breathe and vehemently shook my head no.

“It puts a ceiling on your moods,” he said as we both look upwards.

I wanted to stand up and see how far I had to reach my arms before my fingers grazed the ceiling.

“I…I don’t know. I mean, this is the last drug I wanted to try.”

“I know. That’s why I haven’t put you on it. You can think about it.”

He began to discuss Lithium at length as  I eyed the ceiling and my feet planted firmly on the ground.

Sitting on his tacky couch, I suddenly had hope of my moods being sandwiched between two level planes.


“Dr. B I feel like I’m on a fence asking myself if I want to jump over. I keep thinking that the grass can be greener on the other side and I’ll never know if I don’t try.”

“That’s exactly right.”

“This is such a hard decision for me Dr.B. I just wish that someone would come up behind me and push me over. That someone would just say, ‘Kim, just take the Lithium’.”

“Kim,” Dr. B smiled, “just take the Lithium.”


On July 10th, 2012, I jumped over the fence with both feet.

And I’m running until I find the greenest fucking grass I have ever seen.

*Note: Dr. B did not force me into taking Lithium. I am thankful that he always gives me complete control of my care.


  1. Keeping everything crossed that this works. xo

  2. Welcome to my L Posse. As you know, I am doing so much better on the Lithium. I have not been suicidal since June 14. And my recent high was very manageable. I am a Lithium convert. Oh, and your teacher calling you lazy–bites.

  3. It’s the greenest grass I’ve ever had my feet on. 🙂

    I hope it’s exactly what you need. For me, once I found the perfect dose (which took awhile), it was exactly what I needed to feel like my old self again. The old me, before I “got sick”. At first I was on too high a dose, and I felt numb. But once we were able to find the magic number, all was well in my world. I know it’s not going to be the answer forever, but I’ll take it as long as it works. And if I have to switch meds in the future, I will. I was just as scared of the “L” word as you were, but it was the best decision I ever made about my illness; I just wish I would have made it sooner.

    You’re doing the right thing. I’m so proud of you and hope it works as well for you as it does for me. xoxo

  4. Despite the bad rep Lithium gets, it is actually still widely used to treat Bipolar Disorder. Many people respond well to it. I was not one of them but I hope you are, Kim. I truly hope you are.

  5. This could be the start of your recovery … Lithium isn’t experimental. It is the #1 med for treating Bipolar. Praying for you!

  6. Thinking of you. Hope it works for you 🙂 Can I tell you how AMAZING a writer you are? This post just draws readers into your world like you would not believe. I love your writing style.

  7. I always thought the “L” word was Lesbian.
    Is this a criptic post?

    You know how I feel about those!

    Glad you jumped over to “the other side”
    Whatever that means (wink)

  8. Sending positive thoughts that this is the one that works for you Kim.

  9. Wow, a whole new thinking about “The L Word.” Kimberly, I’m glad you are on a new treatment, and I am wishing and hoping things go well for you. New meds are scary, for whatever reasons. Just continue taking care of you. We love you!

  10. Maybe this will be it, maybe this will really be an effective medication for you. I sure hope so. I’m cheering for you every day, you know that, right? xoxoxo

  11. I have two bits of advice…Drink water until you’re so sick of peeing that you consider adult diapers and if it makes your stomach do flips, take it right before bed so you can sleep that shit off. Lithium worked for me, for a time. I had to come off because I already had thyroid issues (but I came off before then to give my body a much needed break). Get your blood work checked regularly to make sure you’re in the therapeutic range of things and see what happens. It’s amazing and scary shit all at once. When I heard “Lithium” I immediately thought, am I that fucked up? Yes, yes I was. Good luck to you and let me know how you’re doing on the down low, yo!

  12. Janet Janet

    Hoping and praying that this helps you,


  13. Jen Jen

    I have a bipolar cuz, she was bipolar with psychotic episodes. After taking Lithium she never (fingers and everything else crossed) had another episode.

    She takes her pills twice daily and when she’s feeling stressed she goes for a bit of talk therapy. Poof! She has a hubby, child and like you educated and successful professional woman. Lets hope it’s the thing that works for you too! She thank goodness never had a single side effect, just went off the pills once for pregnancy then right back on the minute she pushed that child out her bod.

  14. Damn it! I thought this was about LESBIANS!


    Love yooooooooooooooou, K.

    btw, you are in my blog today. <3

  15. I hope and pray it works. Like whoa.

  16. Robin | Farewell Stranger Robin | Farewell Stranger

    Hoping with everything I’ve got that it works.

  17. Dawana Dawana

    How long does it take before you can tell me if you feel any positive effects? (Cause that’s what I’m willing… good stuff) I know you’ll keep us posted on how you’re feeling. **Happy Thoughts**

  18. Hoping and praying that the lithium works. I am a firm believer in doing whatever works…whatever allows us to be stable and the mother we want to be. Hoping this is it for you. Love how you tied in the running as something you didn’t know you wanted to do until you tried it. Great writing!

  19. It did wonders for my son’s sister-in-law. I hope it does the same for you!

  20. I hope you find that green grass soon Kim!! Sending lots of love, positive thoughts & healing your way.

    By the way, if you write a book I am so buying it 🙂

  21. I am hoping and praying this new drug works out for you. I hate that you have to keep starting new over and over again, but hopefully this start will be one that will go the distance. Wishing you well, dear friend. xo.

  22. Prayers that this works–go you for jumping over the fence!

  23. Good luck! I’m glad you made the choice to jump. Sending healthy thoughts!

  24. I don’t know anything about Lithium, but I do know some of the greatest American authors and poets of all time were on it, so in my mind, you are now destined for literary greatness.

    Also Lithium is the name of a satellite radio station I listen to that is all 90’s rock and grunge. Also cool.

    So by deduction? You are cool.

  25. Thinking of you, mama.

    I want to shout, Run like the wind, Bullseye!!! But that’s a bit childish of me.

    I am glad you jumped over and I am hoping beyond all hope that it works for you. Hugs.

  26. First, I just want to say, I just loved the way you wrote this. So great.
    I really don’t know anything about lithium so I will google it now…that said, if it is what will help you, I am so glad you are trying this course of meds. Good luck sweet friend!

  27. I was just given the “L” word talk yesterday at my appointment. I have been diagnosed with bipolar II since about 6 months ago and it has radically changed my life. I still have a lot of bipolar issues, including recently running up around $20K in credit card debt, lying about it until I was blue in the face….I am hoping that the L word will help me. Starting it tonight.

  28. Big hugs to you… hope it works for you! And drink green tea. Or go straight to the regular tea and chase it down with a buttertart. Or two… 😉

    Every little thing gonna be alright, now.

    Just breathe.


  29. Sending you my love and hugs. Hoping that the grass is greener and that this will be the medication that you need.

  30. Hoping with everything that I have this works for you. You deserve to find that green grass. xo

  31. Best of luck! I hope it works exactly how you need it to.

  32. Best of luck to you on this new journey. xo

  33. I’m wishing you much happiness. Send some of that green grass this way too. 🙂

  34. Lithium did wonders for my mom. *hugs* I’m rooting for you! 🙂

  35. Sending big hugs to you and hoping this works for you!

  36. I am aaaaaall about doing what works for you. You’re trying, that’s all anyone expects. Please know I said a lil prayer that this works for you. Also know I’m pissed you didn’t add a story about a Lazy Lesbian. You know, the kind who just lays there & allows the other chick to do all the work. Yah. Pissed!

  37. Fingers crossed! Hugs!

  38. Hugs to you – I am rooting for you and proud of you for taking a step that was scary for you!

  39. I hope with everything in me that this is your answer! xoxo

  40. I really hope this is the one that takes for you, momma. You look so beautiful and happy in this photograph. I’m thinking about you.

    A friend was over yesterday and asked me about my medication and whether I thought it was working. “I guess,” I said, afraid that it wasn’t and scared I would feel panic for the rest of my life. She then asked me if I take vitamins. “Yes,” I said, my voice trailing.

    “Think of this as taking vitamins. You are doing what you need now to make yourself feel better. Nothing else matters.”

    How very right she is.


  41. Aaaaw friend. I love this. So glad you took the plunge. What a great combination of 2 stories – you never know until you try.

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