My Daughter, the Lifesaver

Aaron “Scoob” Bruce

I’m a coach from Wisconsin. I made the mistake of agreeing to abort my first child, and I’ll forever regret that.

Five years ago, I was diagnosed with severe bipolar illness. I was a wreck all the time, just depressed for five years with little joy, except for my daughter. She has always brought me so much joy. 

One part of my bipolar is mania. Mania is basically like getting high on drugs, without the drugs. I’d wake up at 2 a.m. and just be up full of energy until I crashed. Throughout the five years when I was mainly depressed (not manic very often), I would wake up, and everyone would be sleeping. I wake up in the morning and get lonely sometimes. Then I told my daughter, Atara. She then decided to herself she wouldn’t let that happen anymore. The next time I woke up at 2 a.m., she got up with me. I told her she should be sleeping and she didn’t need to worry about me. She didn’t care.

We would cuddle on the bed and watch cartoons together. We have several favorite episodes that we watched together when my mental health was bad. I’m euthymic now (tranquil/stable). I don’t wake up at 2 a.m. very often. I don’t get depressed very often anymore. She’s always been so sweet about my “sick brain.”

She goes out of her way to make accommodations for me and my mental illness. She gives me her candy as happy vitamins. She rubs my head (she thinks that helps sick brains). Still to this day, if I wake up at 2 a.m. manic, she’s right by my side with hugs and kisses when I’m depressed. If it wasn’t for her, I probably would have taken my life. Kids are a blessing. My life is so much more full of love now that I’m a dad.