My BiPolar Life
Chad Hubbard
To Sinjin, Pongo, Slinky, Tigger, Sampson, Shiloh, Tally and Jasper
This blog of my daily struggle with Bipolar is dedicated to all of those who have loved me unconditionally through it all.  You know who you are.
Thank you.

Hello. I am Bipolar

October 27, 2016

I can honestly say that I don’t think I have ever posted anything on Facebook.  I am not exactly sure why I chose today, but here goes.  I don’t think anyone will actually read this so I guess I don’t really have anything to lose.
The world can be a cruel place.  God, if you believe in God, can play devastating tricks on people.  There are many debilitating diseases out there that affect millions of people everyday.  People suffer endlessly, people die painfully, and all the while their loved ones suffer as they watch the inevitable happen.  They watch as cruel fate destroys life.  They watch as love and happiness crumble into darkness and death.
The ultimate cruelty however lies in the silent suffering.  The disease you can’t see.  The disease that creeps in without warning and slowly, methodically and inevitably kills you from the inside, deep within the depths of your brain.  Without explanation, without prejudice and without mercy it consumes you, paralyzing you, forever changing you.  Your mind becomes a dictator and you are powerless to stop it.
My name is Chad and I am Bipolar.  I have been for most of my life.  I knew at a very young age that there was something very wrong with me.  I had wild mood swings that left me sobbing uncontrollably one minute, then to uncontrollable rage the next.  Alcohol and a litany of drugs were a constant in my life from the time I was fourteen.  “Self medication” was all that I knew.  I couldn’t control my mind or my thoughts by myself, but when you are a teenager, what else can you do?  I wanted to die, but I couldn’t bring myself to suicide at that young age so I did incredibly stupid things to hopefully do it for me.  That is for another story.  It didn’t work.
I am 43 years old now.  I have been to dozens of doctors, therapists and psychiatrists.  I have been on just about every medication there is.  I have experienced every up, every down, and every gut wrenching side affect imaginable.  I have been hospitalized, poked, prodded, tested and humiliated.  I even got so desperate last year I agreed to ECT.  If you don’t know what that is, it’s Electroshock Therapy, and yes, it is as bad as it sounds.  And yet, after all that, here I still am, hopelessly broken, sad, exhausted, alone in my struggle, still wanting to die everyday, just like when I was a teenager, just to get some peace.  It’s never ending.  It’s relentless.
So what is this all about you ask?  This is not a cry for help.  I am way beyond that.  This is to let you know that each and every one of you, whether you know it or not, has a friend, has a family member, has someone out there that is struggling and they desperately need someone to reach out to them.  It doesn’t take much, only a few seconds, just to say, “Are you ok?”  Three simple words can make all the difference.
Lately, it seems to be a fashionable thing for celebrities to come forward and talk about their private struggles with mental illness.  I think that is great.  Breaking down the stigma and shame of mental illness should be on the forefront of the American conversation.
I am not a celebrity.  I am a regular person who has a voice and I have something very important to say.  A desperate plea for everyone reading this to share this with anyone who will listen.  If you are struggling, you are not alone.  Reach out to someone, anyone, just do it.  If you know someone who is struggling or you think might be, reach out to him or her today, you just might save a life.
Suicide is devastating, there is no question.  For those left behind there are only unanswered questions and hurt feelings.  So often we hear “I had no idea.”  Take it from someone who has made the conscious decision to take their own life, only to be brought back and given a second chance.  In that desperate moment, when all is lost, we are not ending it all to spite the people who will be left behind, we make that decision because we no longer want to hurt the people who are watching us suffer the most.  We want to give them a reprieve from the pain and anguish that lingers day after day in the depths of despair and depression.  It’s the only way.  It is an awful choice.  Just imagine thinking that death is a better option than life.  True suffering it seems, only has one answer.
I would like to thank anyone who is still reading this.  If you take only one thing from this, remember just because someone has a mental illness they are not any less of a human being.  You don’t have to be ashamed or embarrassed.  You don’t have to suffer alone, you don’t need to be afraid, and you don’t have to be silent anymore. 
Life is filled with endless possibilities.  We all have our own path.  Take the time to make a difference in someone’s life if you have the chance.  There is truly nothing that is more rewarding.
Since this is social media, go ahead and share this, get the word out there, this story is not over by any means, it has only just begun.
My name is Chad.  I am Bipolar.  I am no longer ashamed.  For many years I have not been afraid to die.  I can now honestly say that I am no longer afraid to live.
Thank you..

My Suicide

January 19, 2017

Hello again,

This is a companion to a piece that I penned on October 27, 2016.  I would like to thank The Mighty for publishing my original post.  The editors give a much-needed voice to the voiceless.  The publishers at The Mighty have given a lost soul like myself a forum to tell my own private horror story.  Thank you to all who read this.  Remember, you just never know what is spiraling around in a person’s head,

I swore to myself that I would never share this with another living soul.  Honestly, I still feel like I am right there, right where I was.  It is a place that I never want to see again, but the sad reality is that it is just a matter of time before the demons return.  I am definitely not a clairvoyant, but I am fairly certain of my own fate.  Someday.  It is coming.  I hope that sharing this with all of you somehow sheds a thin ray of light onto an otherwise taboo subject.  Suicide.

As I write, the tears are streaming down my face.  I think about this everyday.  It is maddening.  It is heartbreaking.  It is true pain.  True suffering.  Undeniable sadness.  Writing this is going to be incredibly difficult.  Reading this won’t be easy.  Some of you may look at me differently when this story is over.  I am okay with that.

My name is Chad and I am Bipolar.  This is the story of my suicide.

My life had totally spiraled out of control.  I was in the hospital where a doctor recommended Electroshock Therapy.  Medication was no longer effective.  I was at rock bottom.  Or so I thought.  I agreed to the fourteen treatments.  The ECT had a profound effect on me.  I was no longer able to continue with my medications.  Whether it was real or somewhere hidden deep in my subconscious the medication began to make my skin crawl.  I couldn’t sleep.  I couldn’t eat.  I was barely alive.  I can honestly look anyone in the eye and tell him or her that I literally have no memory of the months of May through October.  I went places, did things, had conversations, lived life but I wasn’t actually inside me.  I was gone and nobody knew it.  Not my family, not my coworkers, not my closest friends.  I was a ghost who was slowly dying an incredibly painful death.

As the pain and suffering consumed my brain, I slept less and less.  I quit eating.  I lost forty pounds in three months.  I was empty and after years of suffering I decided that I had been through enough.  My brain was telling me how much I despised myself, my very being, my soul was gone.  I looked in the mirror and hated who was looking back at me.  I still do.  “You are a disappointment to everyone.”  “You are ugly.”  “You are a failure.”  “You are nothing.”  “You are worthless.”   “You are all alone.”  These are the words that bombard my brain when I look at myself in the mirror.  Everyday I go through this.  Sadly, I know there are others out there who say the same thing each morning and night, just like I do.  It is living in hell inside your own mind.  It is devastating.  It is never ending pain.

I had decided that I couldn’t do it anymore.  It was time.  I tried before with booze and pills.  It almost worked, yet all that I saw was just another failure.  When I was in the hospital in Arizona I decided right then and there, next time I am going to use a gun.  Next time I wouldn’t fail.  I knew then there would be a next time.  I just didn’t know when.
I started writing my goodbye letters.  My sisters, my mom, my friends.  One by one I wrote to them.  Everyone’s goodbye was different.  I said different things to everyone.  I unearthed different stories and happy memories.  I made each one special.  It took days.  There was however one person that got a video goodbye.  She was my love, my light, and my life.  She deserved more than a note.  I tried not to cry, but I couldn’t hold back the tears.  I was saying goodbye to her all over again.  It was excruciating.  I was relieved when it was over.  I was totally exhausted.  In many ways I was already dead, I just hadn’t pulled the trigger yet.

As the day got closer I became more at ease with what was about to happen. My only real concern was for my kids, but I outlined my desires in the goodbye messages to family and friends.  The people that know me the best know that my kids mean everything to me.  I knew that the people that loved me would make sure that my kids would know nothing but love from them forever.  It was very hard knowing that the day that I was going to say goodbye to all of them was coming.  I cried every time I saw them.  I truly believe that they knew something was happening.

The day finally arrived.  This was going to be my last on earth.  I was so far gone that I honestly did not even care.  I woke up, watched some television, then music, then silence.  I brought the kids to the park one last time.  We played like we had never played before.  I played like I was never going to play again.  When we were all worn out we walked home.  I jumped in the shower, got ready and then it dawned on me.  What do I want to be found in?  Crazy, right?  Not at all.  After much deliberation I decided that my most comfortable pair of ripped jeans and my white Under Armor sweatshirt with my Cheech and Chong T underneath would be the perfect outfit to die in.  There I was, hating myself, waiting to kill myself, but at least I looked half way decent.

The moments that I feared the most were here, right now.  It was time to say goodbye to the kids.  This was real.  This was happening.  Right now.  I went to Slinky first.  He was lying peacefully on the bed.  I scratched his head and kissed his nose.  He purred and stretched out a leg to let me know he was enjoying it.  Tigger was next.  After a kiss and a quick scratch I moved on to Shiloh.  My baby girl.  I was sobbing uncontrollably at this point.  She was smiling at me, wagging her tail.  I placed her on her side and rubbed her tummy.  I kissed her nose and said goodbye.  The pain was unbearable but I had one more.  Sampson was sitting in his chair watching me.  I walked over and knelt down in front of him and put my hands behind his ears and scratched.  I kissed his nose and he licked my face one last time.

That was it.  The time had come to end all the pain and suffering.  It was my time.  My death was finally going to bring much needed peace and calm to my embattled brain.  The peace was my reward.  It was my Medal of Honor.  I had been fighting a war within my own mind for my entire life.  It was finally over.  I was going home.  The war was finally over.

I walked to my father’s old library table and opened the drawer.  There it was, just waiting for me to pick it up.  Black matte, nothing shiny, nothing fancy.  It was an instrument that I had never played, and would only play once.  I held it in my hands, it was cold, and it was heavy.  It didn’t scare me.  I welcomed the weight.

CLICK – CLICK.  The sound of the hammer cocking back readying the bullet pierced through the silence.  It startled me.  My kids were all looking at me.  I wiped the tears from my eyes and then took a deep breath.  My final breathe.  I shut my eyes and raised the gun to my head.  I slowly opened my mouth and rested the barrel on my lower jaw.  I had done my research.  I knew the angle that the barrel needed to be at to create maximum devastation.  I was not going to fail again. 

My finger caressed the trigger and I tensed up to pull it and end it all when I suddenly felt something touch my leg.  I quickly opened my eyes and looked down and it was Sampson, sitting at my feet, looking up at me, his left paw resting on my leg.  You may not believe this but he had a look in his eyes that I had never seen.  I would have never imagined, I would have never thought possible, I will never forget it as long as I live.

I instantly burst into tears and collapsed to the ground.  As I hugged him and sobbed the others joined him.  After that I couldn’t do it.  I was exhausted.  Done.  Every ounce of energy was drained from me.  I just layed there for the rest of the day, in and out of consciousness.  They never left my side.

I would like to introduce you all to Sampson.  He is my Pitbull.  He is my baby boy.  I love to tell the story about the day I saved Sampson’s life.  Today I am telling you the story about the day he saved my life.  Who really saved whom?

Thank you for reading this.  Share this.  People are suffering.  We all can do better.  Help someone in need.  It will change your life.

My name is Chad and I am Bipolar