A hefty price to pay

It all began innocently enough. Insomnia. One long night with no sleep, turned into two and then three. What followed was a three week sojourn of sporadic sleep. Two hours one night, four hours the next. But never more than that. By the end of those three weeks I was sleep deprived and falling apart.

I phoned Dr S who faxed me a script. But to no avail, I still could not sleep. And then the depression showed its face. I could feel it wrapped around my ankles, crawling up my spine and pressing down on my shoulders. Trying to drown me silently. So I went to see Dr S.

It’s hospital for you, she said in her beautiful french accent. Noooooooooooooooooooooooo, I screamed in my head. Hospital will perpetuate the stigma at work that I already have. I will be judged an inconvenience, a hypochondriac, an incapable drama queen, that crazy girl. They’ll whisper “But wasn’t she in hospital four years ago? Why wasn’t she cured then?”

So we compromised and she booked me off for a few days. And here I sit at home. Alone. Meds increased. Lots of sedatives. I’m asleep longer than I’m awake. And I’m starting to feel better. Less like a shard of shrapnel and more like an undulating body of water. The edges of my mind jagged no more. At peace.

But this remedy comes at a, uhmmmm, hefty price. I’ve put on weight. I have expanded 3kgs in 3 days with no change in my daily diet. Everything about my body is swollen. I look like an unfriendly blow-fish.

Stop laughing……don’t play koi with me, have a little sole for goodness sake. I’m barely keeping my head above water. Did you catch that? I’m being punny.

At least my sense of humour has survived, if not my waistline.



  1. I remember my first manic episode. I was put in a hospital, which is where I needed to be to be safe, no driving, no spending. Someone said to me, “if you broke your arm, you would want to go to the hospital.” This is no different. Yes, there is a stigma. But the worse one you have is towards yourself. You may have bi-polar disorder, and you can heal from it. It takes time and a lot of work. It will be the best gift you ever give to yourself…. you.

    I had 3 hospitalizations in the 1990’s.

    I wish you well in your journey.



    1. Thank you so much for your kindness. And you’re right about the broken bone – sometimes I feel like I have a shattered mind or broken psyche. And bone or psyche, either deserves time to heal. As for the stigma, that is the sole reason I am doing this blog. The more we talk honestly and with integrity about bipolar, the more we all help to erode the stigma.

      Here’s wishing you a wonderful week 8)


  2. Hospitalized twice – once, not by choice – second time, my choice.

    I’m glad your therapist heard you out – mine is not a fan of hospitalizations if it can be avoided … not just because of stigma because it exasperates some symptoms and it really doesn’t “heal” you. It’s kind of like jail for your brain – preventing you from harming yourself, a good place to gain weight as they like to feed you and give you snacks (at least the place where I went did) and then charge you an arm and a leg for their services.

    I hope you start feeling better.


    1. You are spot on about the hospitalization. My doctor is divine and so compassionate. I’m very lucky to have her. I am feeling a great deal better. Today was the first day back at work which can be a little tense, but it all went well. Thank you for sharing with me 🙂


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