Summing Up

Obviously, I’m currently functioning on a pretty even keel.  I’m able to hold down a part-time job and manage the family matters within certain boundaries.  I have stayed out of the hospital for three years now—I used to go once a year at various points between Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.  But I am on constant guard against any breakthrough symptoms, seeing my counselor once a month and my psychiatrist every three months.  I know when I’ve taken on too much—my nerves start to fray and I am not a good person to be around.

We don’t talk much about those times—the irritation, the lack of motivation, the inertia, the anger, the feeling of something not-quite-right. Rachel knows next to nothing about bipolar disorder; I have told her that Mommy has good days and bad days more than other people and that’s why she takes so much medicine.  The older two are much more aware of what can happen with my condition—especially since they are old enough to remember what I was like before I was diagnosed.  I hurt for them on all the years I missed out on since I was so busy trying to find stability for myself that I was often unable to meet all of their needs.

But improvement is definitely coming, sometimes in increments, other times in larger chunks.  I wouldn’t wish a bipolar life on my worst enemy—but if I have to have one, I think I’m making the best of it right now and winning more victory over it every day—day by day.

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3 thoughts on “Summing Up

  1. Well said. I agree about not wishing this torment on anyone else.

    I didn’t tell my children about the bipolar until they were about 10. We talked more about the upcoming puberty years and what to expect. Especially about their feelings and perceptions. I believe my first episodes occured at the onset of puberty. My teen years were very emotional, and it didn’t help that my Mom was also bipolar AND going through menopause. She was never diagnosed, but when I was going through the process of diagnosis I recognized the symptoms.

    Even now, I feel pretty stupid about the whole thing. I went to college, got my degree in Special Ed. And psychology and even then didn’t realize what her problem was (my brother and I always agreed that there was a problem) until years later when I was diagnosed myself. There was a lot of denial in my family. My other siblings never believed me when I told them she had bipolar. The stigma is still a strong factor in our family.

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  2. Mine couldn’t help knowing something was up because I went into the hospital so much. We’ve talked to them about it as much as we felt necessary for them to understand. More information as they grew older.

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