Navigating life with a teenager….who happens to have bipolar disorder

The Worst Day Ever

Today’s Daily Post Challenge

We all seem to insist on how busy, busy, busy we constantly are. Let’s put things in perspective: tell us about the craziest, busiest, most hectic day you’ve had in the past decade.


It was 2 years ago…..exactly, 2 years ago today.  I woke up to smiling faces and breakfast in bed.  I had just enough time to eat and get myself and the kiddo dressed and out the door.  CJ had just started at a new school the day before, it was across town, so I had to drive him.  He wrapped himself up in a blanket and said he didn’t want to go. I had asked if there had been a problem on his first day.  He said it was fine, but that would change if people got to know him.  I somehow convinced him to get into the car.  Still wrapped up in his blanket, he got into the far backseat of my van.

We made it to the school and I pulled up to the curb.  He refused to get out.  I was holding up other parents, so I moved into a parking spot.  I tried to reason with him and convince him that today would be fine. He still refused to get out.  I decided I needed back up.  I went into the school to see if a counselor was available.  Sometimes if it is an adult other than me, he listens to reason.  The principal happened to be in the front office and came out with the counselor.  At this point, CJ was standing outside the van.  As soon as he saw the counselor, he bolted.  He ran across the parking lot and into the woods surrounding the school.  Someone went inside to get the officer that was on duty.  He got into his patrol car and drove down the long drive along the woods. The principal suggested I bring my car back up to the curb so CJ would have a reason to walk toward the school. About 10 minutes later I saw CJ, walking back across the parking lot in only his socks. The officer pulled around and got out of his car to hand me CJ’s shoes…..he had run into a red ant pile and panicked, took off his shoes and continued to run through the woods until the pain in his feet made him stop.

CJ got back to the school and immediately climbed into my van and wrapped himself up in the blanket once again. Somehow, the counselor convinced him to come out and talk to us.  He sat on the curb and asked them if he could talk to me alone.  He started melting down, telling me I don’t understand and that it didn’t matter if he went to school.  The only thing he wanted to do was kill himself, that was the only thing that would make his sadness go away.

The instant he said this, the officer went into action.  He really couldn’t do anything previously, but a child stating they wanted to commit suicide while sitting on school grounds allowed him take matters into his own hands.  He told me that CJ would be taken to the hospital. He attempted to get him into his patrol car, but CJ struggled and ended up falling and hitting his head on the pavement.  Now with a large scraped, bruised forehead and handcuffs on his wrists, my 12-year-old was sitting in the back of a police car.

I followed behind on the way to the hospital.  When the officer opened the door to the back of the car we found CJ knotted up into a ball.  If it wasn’t so devastating a situation, what we saw would have been amusing.  Along the ride, CJ thought he could get the handcuffs around to the front of his body and attempted to pull his arms under his body.  This resulted in him with his arms locked around his legs between his behind and his knees and he was flopped sideways on the car seat.

By this time, the meltdown was over and he was back to being happy CJ. He cooperated with the intake nurse and was put into a room with a guarded door.  It was now about 10am and my phone started to ring. A flurry of calls were coming through and I was taking the ones from family that needed to know what was going on.  Service in the hospital wasn’t great so I kept having to walk to a different spot on the floor where I could use my phone.  It was hours of walking back and forth across the hospital, talking to doctors, and holding CJ’s hand through evaluations and blood work. Finally at 4pm, CJ and I breathed for a little bit while we watched Ellen… of his favorite ways to relax.

We were instructed that they wanted to admit CJ into a psychiatric hospital for extended evaluation. They instructed us to go home and pack a bag for him, then they put him in an ambulance and drove him to a hospital an hour away.

My husband and I rushed home and packed things as fast as we could and then headed toward Atlanta. CJ was in the intake office when we got there and asking to see me. He begged me to not leave him there.  He said he promised he wouldn’t kill himself.  I told him it was out of my hands, the doctors made this decision and it was where he needed to be. Leaving him there was one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make.  The last words from him that night were ‘I hate you’.  That week he was formally diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

My husband and I drove home at about 10pm.  It had been the longest, most hectic, most stressful day of my life…….and my worst birthday ever.

It is 2 years later.  I woke up this morning to smiling faces.  My husband and son were downstairs, putting my birthday present together….a gas fire pit.  CJ got dressed and into the car.  I drove him to school early because he had a make-up test.  He gave me a kiss goodbye and got out of the car. Tonight we will sit around the fire pit, roast marshmallows………. and celebrate life.



Comments on: "The Worst Day Ever" (3)

  1. Blimey missus, that was one traumatic day! But Happy Birthday for today-I didn’t realise we had the same birthday SC 🙂 but now I know, I’ll definitely remember for next time xx


  2. Wow ! What a day !


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