Thank you Dr.M.

Aucune catégorie Add comments

(Chers lecteurs, aujourd’hui, je participe au concours d’écriture  “Writing Contest: You Are a Writer” lancé par l’écrivain Bryan Hutchinson sur son blog Positive Writer. J’ai accepté de relever le défi d’écrire mon texte en anglais.)


I was sitting on a straight-backed chair in a hospital room, staring at Dr. M., a young doctor who was quietly reading a manuscript I had just written. I was desperately awaiting his reaction, trying to infer what I could from his silent, diligent reading, his scratching of the back of his head, and the fact that he did not look at me once… I thought that perhaps he felt uncomfortable, realizing the mistake he had made in misdiagnosing my condition. Maybe I was right, but I was surely not expecting to hear what he had to tell me once he was done reading…

*          *          *

Just a few days before, I had been lying in an emergency room bed, holding my one-month-old baby, experiencing inexplicable delusions and hallucinations. I was a long way from knowing that I was in the midst of my first manic and psychotic episode. In fact, even the doctors I was seeing could not really figure out what was wrong with me. It wasn’t until Dr Sayeed, a sensitive psychiatrist, interviewed my husband and me that he made the unexpected diagnosis: the postpartum onset of a bipolar disorder with psychotic features (a mental illness also known as manic-depressive disorder, classified by psychiatrists as a mood disorder. At the most severe level, individuals can experience very distorted beliefs about the world known as psychosis.)

That information, although serious, did not resonate with my ill brain at the time. It wasn’t until the next morning, when my first dose of medication from the night before had taken effect, that I broke down in tears a few seconds after I opening my eyes. With my delusions gone, I suddenly realized the gravity of my medical condition. Alone in my hospital room, feeling lonely and totally misunderstood by the nurses who tried to cheer me up, I did what has been coming naturally to me for years: I put down on paper what I was experiencing. I wrote about my deepest feelings and all the thoughts that were crossing my freshly-medicated mind. Maybe, I thought, the doctors would understand me better if they could read about my unstable way of thinking instead of hearing about it.

For as long as I can remember, writing has always brought me satisfaction and joy, especially when I could share my work with an audience — which I did for the first time when I was seven years old.  All throughout my elementary, high school and college years, I derived real pleasure from writing, especially short stories of different kinds. My teachers thought I was talented. But when I started dreaming of pursuing a career in French literature, a guidance counsellor put an end to my hopes. “What kind of future would a degree in that field provide you?” she asked. “You would have better chances of success by getting an education degree.” Putting all my confidence in her “professional advice”, I set aside the idea of a degree in literature and started pursuing a career in elementary teaching, which had been my second choice. But deep down inside I knew that I was capable of using my writing skill to accomplish something that I could be proud of.  A dream made its way into my soul about writing a book and publishing it. I was convinced that I could do it. I just did not have a clue about a topic I could write about!

The university years passed and I had successfully started my profession as a teacher. I also fell in love with children’s literature. I began envisioning myself writing children’s books. I did start a few short stories but I’d never had the perseverance to finish even one of them. I guess I was lacking confidence in myself. The resistance from my “reptilian brain” was at work and I was plagued with self-doubt.  Was I really talented enough to write a book that would capture the attention and the imagination of a young audience? Was I dreaming too big in hoping to be published? Feeling a bit disillusioned, the only thing I had kept doing on a more regular basis was journaling — until that memorable day at the hospital.

*          *          *

When Dr. M. finally lifted his eyes from my manuscript to meet mine, I expected to hear him acknowledge the severity of my mental state. But instead, he uttered two sentences that totally resonated with my then-shattered soul: “You are very talented. You should consider writing a book about this.” I was speechless. It was the feedback I needed to finally accomplish my dream.

In the following months, I put his words to action: I started writing a memoir about my postpartum experience. I could clearly picture myself sharing my story with other women going through a similar experience, letting them know that they were not alone.

Two years later, I started a blog, sharing my journey through bipolar disorder and offering information about different postpartum mood and anxiety disorders. I also decided to post each chapter of my memoir as I completed it.

Will I finish writing my memoir? Yes I will.  Will I ever get it published? I don’t know yet.  That’s no longer my primary concern, since my blog is already reaching an audience and having an impact. What I do know now is that I have bipolar disorder. I have a voice. I have a dream. I AM a writer!



Facebook Twitter Digg Delicious Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Designed by NattyWP Wordpress Themes.
Images by desEXign.