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Day 3: Life Outside The Walls

Day 3

People here like consitency.

It’s very evident at meal times.

Like Pavlov’s dog, they all storm to the glass doors of the dinning area at the exact time that the meal is to be served.

I don’t blame them.

I crave consistency too.

The nurses changed my medication times and that has me frazzled. I worry that it’s going to affect my mind even more. I don’t like that I have to remind them to give me my lithium. I know that they’re just trying to test me; to see if I’m being a responsible and compliant patient. I already know that they are questioning my low lithium level. No matter how much I tell them that I am indeed taking it, they won’t believe me. Bipolar patients are notorious for discontinuing medications.

I also don’t like how inconsitent the moods are around here…..

I’ll leave it at that


I can see the worry in Shawn’s face no matter how much he hides it behind a Tim Horton’s cup. He’s trying so hard to make things feel normal.

Today he snuck in my iPod.

He asked me to look into the photo album and there I found what I’ve been fighting for.

Life, a beautiful one, outside these walls and outside of my head.

When he left, I begrungedly slid the iPod back into his pocket.

I want to go home.

*For those of you who are just visiting here is Day 1 and Day 2


  1. How hard is it to be a patient when you are also a trained nurse? I can just imagine me questioning everything they are doing. And worse – understanding all the whats and whys.

    SO glad you took this step, and even happier you are home now.


    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @Deborah / Mom2Michael, It was quite werid. I’ve been on the other side of the fence for a long time, however not in a clinical setting.

  2. I remember the want of leaving those psych ward walls. I can also remember being thrown back into life, the life that didn’t change on the outside just because I was on the inside. Then, suddenly, I wanted to go back. Even if for just one more day.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @Pamela Gold, The outside was scary. I almost wanted to run back in too. It was too busy outside.

  3. Kimberly, what can I say? Hang in there. Sending hugs!

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @Susi, I’ll take all the hugs you’re dealing out 🙂

  4. Hugs. So many hugs. So proud of you for going through this and sharing your story. You are so strong.

  5. You are incredible and powerful and strong. Thank you for opening up raw and sharing this way. Also? I send you loads of xoxo-s.

  6. It takes a lot of courage to share your story; the fact that you are strong enough to do that tells me you are strong enough to make your way back. Love and hugs to you and your family.

  7. jen jen

    It must have been an incredibly difficult being “there” with the boys visiting. It’s no wonder a small thing like the timing of your meds made you feel frazzled. Lov and hugs xoxo

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @jen, It was awful. I cried every time he left. I didn’t see Chunky for 5 whole days. It was painful…but I needed to be in there.

  8. I’m so glad you’re home and that you had the courage to go and share your story. xoxo.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @angie, Thank you so much. I’m glad to be home too…

  9. Life is not fair …
    Bipolar is not fair …
    You deserve to feel “normal” too (whatever normal is).

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @Karyn Climans, You’re so right. It isn’t fair. Not one bit. xo

  10. I’m full of ache for you.
    I know this struggle and I know those faces.
    I love those two.
    They make my heart full.
    I know what it felt like to see them in the pictures and to see that little man.
    I’m reaching out for you right now.
    I love you so very much and am so SO proud of you for fighting.

  11. I remember that so well. I get it. So glad you made it home and I hope you are continuing to feel better. xoxo

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @Tina, I am. I really needed to be pulled out of my home life. I had no responsibilites aside from eating, sleeping, and taking care of my personal hygiene 🙂

  12. kim kim

    The storming of the cafeteria! That and the mad rush to line up for meds.Ugh. Watching that happen the first time was a major indicator that I was not ‘outside’ anymore.Even more of a sign? Beating feet to be first in that line on day 2. 🙂 Praying for you!

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @kim, Oh man…meal times where so chaotic sometimes.

  13. I’m glad you’re home. You are so very brave for sharing this. I want to hug you.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @angela, Come to Canada xo

  14. Sue Sue

    Big hugs. HUGE.

  15. Love those pictures. You are so strong and brave, and so is Shawn. Seriously, you two could take over the world, I’m sure of it.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @Greta, HAHAH…we aren’t Oprah and Gayle. LOL

  16. Sending you so much love and, as always, I’m so glad you have those two guys to keep you going. I’m here for you whenever you need me, truly.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @Jessica, Thank you so much Jessica. Really xoxo

  17. Janet Janet

    I’m glad Shawn brought in those IPod photos to remind you what you were fighting for. But it must have been bittersweet. since you missed your family and home so much.

    Always thinking about and praying for you,


    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @Janet, Oh it was. xo

  18. I love that you’re filling us in on how things went, day by day. Really. I do. But can you skip ahead a bit and let us know how you’re doing NOW? Then you can go back to day by day. 😉

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @Laura Wright @ The ODD Mom, I know that I’m confusing a lot of people by this. I was released from the hospital and was placed in an outpatient program 🙂

  19. i’m so glad you’re home kim, i’ve been to those places and they can be evil, a necessary evil, sure, but that doesn’t make you feel any better when you’re there.

    the last boyfriend i had before i met my husband was severely bipolar 1. he was also a drug addict as many people with this condition are (so, give yourself a pat on the back for not succumbing to drug addiction, seriously, that deserves some recognition). he also had some obsessive tendencies, and for years, i was one of his obsessions. even after we broke up, he obsessed about me, but i still loved him so i handled it well. after the break up, he would call me twenty, sometimes thirty times a day. he wasn’t trying to be a creeper, he just believed that he needed me and i knew that. anyway, there was one particular week where he would call and tell me that he couldn’t do it anymore, once he said he made a noose and was going to hang himself off the back deck, but he couldn’t bear the potential damage it would do to any of his roommates/friends if and when they found him. during this time, he had gotten a job at walmart, i know, doesn’t sound like a huge accomplishment, but for someone who had been living on disability for years due to the fact that his condition made it nearly impossible to secure and hold a job, it was. on his first day during his break, he called me and told me he wasn’t going to go back, he was going to go to the sporting department, buy a shotgun and kill himself. this made it three suicide threats in one weeks time, and i decided it was time for intervention. i called the mental health clinic he attended, no one would listen to me, they wouldn’t even let me talk to his doctors who i KNEW would listen. out of sheer desperation, i drove to the clinic. i was a wreck. i was sobbing, that’s right, i was UGLY CRYING. the receptionist told me to have a seat and that she would let me talk to his doctor as soon as possible. i waited and waited and waited… and waited and waited and waited. each second that ticked by, i knew we were running out of time. finally, i got into see the doctor and told him what was going on. i had to fight to get him to listen and really take me seriously, but finally, he did. we agreed that i would call ben, tell him to stay put and that i would be there to get him soon, and then, i would bring him to the clinic. when i got there, he was hesitant to get in the car, i’m sure in his mind, he KNEW there was nothing i could do to make it better. sure, i could relieve the pain briefly, i could hug him and tell him i loved him, but we both knew that wouldn’t fix anything. after he got in the car, i was afraid he would jump out whether the car was moving or not, but miraculously, he didn’t, we made it to the clinic. we went inside and had an intense session with his therapist, he talked to ben alone, he talked to me alone and he talked to us together. he asked me if i thought ben needed to be committed against his will, i mean he knew he needed to go, but who wants to voluntarily subject themselves to something like that? the answer was yes, i fully believed the papers needed to be signed so we could get him the treatment he desperately needed. the therapist showed me a little mercy and agreed to sign the orders so i wouldn’t have to do it myself, and after everything we’d already been through that day it had been enough. the orders were signed and we sat together crying until the sheriff arrived. they cuffed him and put him in the backseat of the car to transport him to the hospital, where they could make sure he was stable before the trip to the institution, which was over an hour away from where we lived. i followed them in my car and i sat with him in the hospital until they were ready to leave, and when they drove away i stood in the parking lot watching the car disappear. i stood there long after i could no longer see it. what had i done? had i done the right thing? did he understand? would he forgive me? i didn’t know. it was the hardest day of my life.

    he was in the institution for three months and i visited him regularly. i always knew i never wanted to end up in a place like that, but after visiting, i was never more sure of anything in my life. the people there were so lost. he finally got out, coincidentally, just a few weeks before i moved away from the town we lived in, so i spent a lot of time with him until then. he was on his meds and he was clean, he wasn’t using any drugs. it lasted for a while and during that time, he got to do things he never dreamed of, his band got signed to a label and he worked with a legendary producer who he idolized. he even came and played in the town i was living in when his band was on tour. it was a good time for him, but i knew it wouldn’t last and it didn’t. in the early hours of a june morning, i received a phone call that he had overdosed. so many people do it, they stay clean for a while and then they decide to use but don’t take into consideration that they have no tolerance and that’s what happened to ben.

    what’s the morale of the story, shit, i don’t know, i don’t even think there is one. i just want you to know you’re not alone. when you take your meds, don’t think of it as they are affecting your mind negatively, think of it as you have a chemical imbalance in your brain and those meds are correcting that chemical imbalance, they’re making your brain function normally. if you have a headache, you take an aspirin, if you have a heart problem, you take a beta blocker, if you’ve had an organ transplant, you take immune suppressing drugs. mental illness is no different, it’s a disease like any other that often needs to be phlegmatically treated so you don’t die, not at your own hands, but at the hands of your illness.

    i know you can beat this kim, you can get through it, you can have a happy normal life, keep fighting, i have faith in you and the times when you lose faith in yourself, lean on us, we’ll give you our faith.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @katery, You are so awesome. Thank you so so SO much for sharing this with me. I would never turn to drugs of any sort to control my mental illness or my physical pain.
      I’ll keep on fighting. xoxo

      • @Kimberly,
        *i meant PHARMACEUTICALLY treated, not phlegmatically treated. i don’t even know what phlegmatically means.

  20. What a gorgeous boy – so much to fight for!

    (PS Glad you’re home).

  21. Thinking of you every day and wishing you well and back home with your boys. You are such a bright light to even people like me, and I’ve never met you. You express yourself “on paper” in an amazing way and it touches people beyond words. Keep writing. And take care. Know that I adore you, as do so many others. Much love, Kimberly! XOXOs

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @Terri Sonoda, I love you so much Terri. Your hilarious posts make me smile every day you know…xoxoxo

  22. Your husband is the best!

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @Ally, i am so very lucky to have him…forever muhahah.

  23. I am rapt by your story. It is brave and honest and beautifully wrought.

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