It Started with a Pen

by Katie Bindel about a year ago in bipolar

Finding Out I’m Bipolar

It Started with a Pen

It was brilliant. Easily one of the best quotes I had ever heard (or had I read it?). It had been stuck on repeat, in my head all day. (Was it lyrics from a song I'd heard?) The arrangement of words flowed together so effortlessly in my mind. (But WHERE had it come from?) I was lying in bed and the words were keeping me awake. Then a lightbulb went off.


I would write it down and then it would be on paper and out of my head and I could just look at it whenever I wanted! But the words were so beautiful that I couldn't write them down with just any ordinary pen; it had to be my favorite pen. I remembered that I had seen the one on the floor earlier and I couldn't find it in the dark.

It was nearly five in the morning when I turned the bedroom light on, blinding my then-boyfriend's eyes. He mumbled some half-conscious words, pulled the blanket over his head and tried to ignore me.

"Have you seen my blue pen?" No answer. So I shook him awake. "Where's my blue pen?" He looked at me like he had no idea what I was talking about (because he didn't) and I cursed him up and down for not helping me.

The next thing I knew it was nearly one in the afternoon. (Yes, that's eight hours. Eight. Hours.) Snapping into consciousness I realized that I had torn apart every inch of our apartment, that then-boyfriend wasn't home anymore and I still hadn't found my blue pen. Drawers were pulled out and their contents spread about the floor. The couch cushions had been pulled from their places. The king-sized bed had been moved across the room.

Had I done this? Was that possible? I had. And it was. My apartment was torn to bits. I had zero recollection of the last eight hours. And I couldn't, for the life of me, remember the quote I had set out to write.

I called work and let them know I wasn't coming in because I was "sick." I made an emergency appointment to a psychiatrist's office that my dear friend had recommended. I explained to them what had happened and they said I could be seen the next morning. I didn't sleep. Again.

Nine in the morning. Roughly 28 hours since I had set out to find my beloved blue pen. I gave myself a quick glance-over in the mirror as I grabbed my keys and I couldn't recognize the woman in my reflection. Tears started pouring out of my eyes as I headed to my car. I opened the car door and was instantly hysterical. There it was. In the cup holder. The little blue demon that had consumed me.

It only took an hour for my psychiatrist to assess me. I had bipolar disorder.

And it all started with a pen.

Katie Bindel
Katie Bindel
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Katie Bindel
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