I didn’t know that this is what Bi-polar looks like.

16350_103875232964498_4973275_nIt was just over 3 years ago when things really started to change.  Her mind seemed to race and her words were hard to understand.  Her behavior made us all wonder what was going on but none of us could put our finger on it.   She was angry, then sweet. My best friend, then my worst enemy.  It was so confusing and frustrating at the same time.  It felt like a whirlwind.  What on earth was going on?

My baby sister just 22 months younger than me was struggling with making sense of what was going on in her mind.  She didn’t know how to slow her mind down.  She couldn’t turn the switch off.  We didn’t know how to help her. I wanted to help her have it all just go away.

And then one day after six months of searching, she called to say that she was diagnosed ” manic bi-polar”.  I remember my first thought:  No, there’s just no way that what she has experienced over the last six months was bi-polar… that’s just a form of depression. She’s not depressed.

So then the journey to properly help her manage this new diagnosis began.  Never in a million years would I have thought that this would be as difficult as it has been for us all.   My heart hurts so deeply for her and her family.  As her older sister, I wish I could “fix it” for her.  Why was this happening?  Lord why?  I thought if I just pray the right prayer over her, maybe that could help.

8433_1054674227405_1417232_nThis past year was painful to watch.  She made a few trips to the hospital as her manic episodes got the best of her.  We went to go visit her and being there was bitter sweet.  Here she was, partly the sister I knew:  happy and being best friends with all of her new friends, but manic and unaware of what was really going on.

She’s doing better now, she is starting to learn how to manage her illness…  She’s a fighter.  I am SO proud of her.  I love her more now than I ever have.  She inspires me more than she’ll ever know.

She wants us to share her story.  She wants others to know that they are not alone.  She has found a lot of healing in just writing when she begins to feel manic.  She called me a few weeks ago and asked if she could just come over to journal on my counter.  And that’s just what she did.  I sipped on my coffee and she sat down and wrote out her thoughts.

I cherished it.

I have found that writing brings healing to me too.

1064253_544584112273279_1200905730_oIf your family has suffered with this illness, please know that you are not alone.  In spite of the hurt and confusion, He does still have a plan.  He alone is the one who can bring the healing that you are searching for.  Look to Him.


14 thoughts on “I didn’t know that this is what Bi-polar looks like.

  1. Imagine when the bi-polar person is your husband. Mine was diagnosed about 3 years ago as well. It is heartbreaking when in his mind I have become his enemy. He has recently decided to go off his medicine and things got really bad. I am thankful your sister is trying to control her condition. There is hope when the person accepts their illness and does the hard work required to control it.

  2. So love the way you and your family pour out your love by sharing your own stories. Your prayers are always heard. It is our privilege to seek His wisdom in dealing with circumstances beyond our control and Proclaiming His Good Name in adversity.

  3. Thank you for sharing this story Jennifer. I was diagnosed 5 years ago with this very challenging disease called Bi-Polar – Severe Depression. It has a very cunning way of making you feel very alienated. It is comforting to hear others stories just to confirm that I am not alone. Your sister is very lucky to have you! A loving support system is very important for us to have!

  4. I am so proud of Janelle and you for fighting the stigmatization of this disease. I have several friends with bi-polar. Recognizing it and getting treatment are the first steps toward healing. My prayers are with her and all those touched by her life.

  5. You know how close to home this is for me as I too am Bi-Polar-depressive. I love you and your family. Thank you for sharing her story, it makes me feel less alone with the idea of sharing my thoughts so that others can find healing in our Lord and know they don’t have to walk this road alone. xo

    1. Thank you Jennifer. I am in tears of joy for such a suportive family. I will gladly take my meds forever. Thank you for always praying. I am glad I didn’t burn all my bridges with my whole family like most bipolar people do. Love you more than you will ever know.

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