Posted by: Heather Coleman | April 29, 2013

#HAWMC Day 26: My Pain-Free Pass

Pain FreeWhat’s a day that you wish you could have used a pain-free pass (either in the future or the past)? How would being pain or worry-free impact that day?

If I had a pain-free pass to use, I would give it away to my parents and my husband for Friday, October 3, 2008, the day that I experienced my postpartum psychotic episode. If they could have had a pain-free pass that day, they would have been spared a lot of worry and sadness over my actions. Although it took some time for me to recover and the aftermath of that episode was painful, the day itself was far more painful for my loved ones.

There was a lot of confusion at first, during phone calls with me, when each of them realized that something was not right and that I was not talking like my “normal” self. Confusion quickly turned into fear when they realized that I was not well and I was still driving, but not headed home. Instead I headed towards water, believing because of my end of the word delusions that I had to be baptized. I was also playing a game of cat and mouse with my husband over the phone. Believing him to be the devil, I would not answer his questions honestly, especially about where I was going.

At one point during a conversation with my parents, I begged for their forgiveness and then abruptly hung up on them. That was the last time they heard from me that day and the next time they called my cell phone, a police officer answered. I can only imagine the absolute terror they felt for those few minutes when they did not know if I was OK or not.

Their fear and concern has lingered since that day. I can tell each time I share something emotional with them that they are thinking about that day and worrying that it will happen again. At times it is frustrating, but I do understand. Luckily, I have received the help and support that I needed and am doing very well, going on five years since that day. But, if I could have erased the pain that I caused my loved ones, I would do so in an instant.

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