I drew this picture in July of 2018, in between episodes of postpartum psychosis. This drawing depicts my husband’s efforts to lead me out of my psychosis and other symptoms of bipolar disorder and my reluctance to leave.
It isn’t that I wanted to be consumed by the flames or the monsters hiding under my bed (these parts of the drawing represent the destruction caused by my illness and the symptoms, respectively). The problem is that I was largely in denial about the severity of my illness, and thought I could manage it. I was especially afraid of the hospital, and wanted desperately to stay at home. It also felt really good to be manic. Even though they had the best intentions, there were times I found it hard to trust my support team.
On the flip side, I also believe there is healing in the practice of accepting or befriending the monsters. That is, being okay with the reality that I have bipolar disorder and that I suffered much loss as a result of postpartum psychosis. Doing so allows me to hope when despair and fear creep in. My goal becomes to live a life worth living, no matter what pain is there. I can be at peace with my illness.