Daily Archives: May 5, 2013

Bipolar Motherhood?

I don’t consider myself a “bipolar mother”.

I have bipolar disorder. I am a mother.

I have three kids to love, protect, teach, discipline and care for. I would do it bipolar or not. Because I don’t let bipolar disorder define me in general, I’m certainly not going to let it define my own motherhood. God gave me three precious and rambunctious boys, including twins. So if he’s not going to give me more than I can handle (which I believe he won’t) then I know I can handle motherhood and bipolar disorder.

Raising kids is hard. I’m not going to lie. But it’s also rewarding and unlike anything else I’ve experienced. But it’s hard and rewarding for non-bipolar mothers too! Motherhood is why I work so hard at my stability. For my kids. But I also work at it equally for my husband. And I work at it for myself. For my own peace, happiness and well-being. My kids need me, and they’re a top priority. I know stability is not as simple as just wanting it and working at it but those are important aspects. For me, I have to be constantly on top of my health (medical and mental). I need to take care of myself, so I can really take care of them. Again, this is also true for non-bipolar mothers!

Me and my boys

Me and my sweet boys

I see my psychiatrist routinely on a six-monthly basis for about fifteen minutes (I call it maintenance), but if I have a need or concern, I call him during the in-between times. It never fails that I will go to my appointment and have nothing of note to report to him and with in a couple of days something comes up. Ha, just the way it is sometimes I guess. That’s not a rule, or advice I’m giving you regarding appointments. It’s just something kind of dumb that happens to me, all the time!

And, yes, to tackle a tough issue and a question everyone has in their mind, I have thought about the genetics, about passing bipolar disorder on to my children. Don’t think for a second I haven’t thought about it, worried about it and prayed about it. Do you think that I shouldn’t have had children on the chance that I would have passed it on to them? My babies will always be my babies and they are perfect and precious gifts from the Lord. I hope you can understand why I think it’s absurd for people to generalize and say bipolar people shouldn’t have children. (It’s a more common thought than you might think).

The thought of my own children having bipolar disorder makes me want to vomit. I can barely talk about it. It is hard to think about it. Rationally, it could be argued that I’d be the perfect person to parent a child with this disorder, because I know how to deal with it first hand.  But I also know the depths of the darkness and wouldn’t wish that on an enemy…let alone my precious children. And, if I can be at peace and have contentment with my disorder, then it’s maybe hypocritical to say I don’t want my kids to have this. But that’s how I feel about it, and I think anyone in my shoes would feel the same.

Statistically it is possible and one day I might have to face their own bipolarity…typing that out just hurts. But I pray God doesn’t do that or allow it. But we also have bipolar disorder elsewhere in the family. It is in the boys’ genes.

God is bigger than all that and the fact of the matter is this: (and it’s been my point all along) bipolar disorder can really suck, but I’m here to show that you can live a successful, stable life. And, learning to be content goes a long way, with or without bipolar disorder.

Proud Mom,

Mrs Bipolarity

Dear Bipolar Disorder and Panic Disorder: I hate you

Dear Bipolar Disorder:

You are a beast of burden. You have wreaked havoc on every aspect of my life for as long as I can remember. You have caused me to be saddled with a reputation as being “moody”, as if this is my personality, not your nifty little machinations yanking me this way and that way. Your presence nullifies in the eyes of others any good that might be within me because they simply cannot handle the roller coaster ride that comes with you. I can barely handle it myself and I wish I could have the part of my brain where you reside yanked out, doused in gasoline, burned in a fire, and have the ashes exorcised and buried. You are vile, you are evil, and you can be crippling. You are a sadist disguised as a mild mood imbalance, the depths of your cruelty most will never know. YOU are the one who has caused me to laugh at the funeral of a loved one, yet cry when my life was going perfectly well. You distort my thinking, taint my perception, and make me exist in a constant state of uncertainty and insecurity. You fill me with self doubt to the point I don’t trust myself most of the time.

You are always there when I meet new people, inspiring me to be manic and high and happy. By the time they get to know me, you throw me a curve ball and send me cascading down the waterfall of the mood spectrum into the black murky abyss of depression. At which point the people who found me so attractive and a pleasure to be around run for the hills, claiming I somehow mislead them or was simply too much of a downer to be around. You allow me stability long enough to pursue relationships…Only to reemerge and rear your ugly head once things are under way and once again, I am on the side of being accused of presenting one face yet having another. No matter how honest I am with people about my condition, you always manage to amp your game up even more to the point that stability is a joke and the roller coaster ride from hell with the joker at the helm is underway.

The doctors call you “mild”, Bipolar Disorder 2. Oh how wrong they are. You are the Marquis de Dade of mental illness, so twisted, so cruel, so hell bent on my destruction for your own personal satisfaction. You respond to medications for brief periods of time, giving the illusion of being stabilized, like I might finally be able to get on with my life…And like clockwork, you just quit responding to the meds and the medi go round starts up all over again. Doctors think I am some sort of pill seeking hound. But what I am is desperate, desperate to beat you into submission with the right drug cocktail. I want my life back. But thanks to you, it’s never really been my life. It’s been the bits of life I can manage to built around your temperamental stable periods.

I will own my idiotic choices. I will own my bad behaviors. But I will steadfastedly til my death maintain that much of it came from your influence, always sending the wrong impulses at the wrong times. Otherwise, I would be an erratic jerk ALL the time rather than just when you pop up and yell BOO at random intervals like some demented Stephen King-esque jack in the box from hell. YOU, bipolar disorder, are the bane of my existence.

And not to forget you, Panic Disorder, my constant companion since I was 8 years old. I still remember the summer I spent believing I had a bee living in my brain and having heart palpitations and panic attacks in spite of all the assurance from adults and doctors that there was no bee in my head. You alert me to danger when there is none. You paint a landscape of terror and fear when there is only everyday normal life and situations faced by every other person on the planet. They recognize the banality of the situations. Not me. Thanks to you, panic disorder, I see every little thing as a threat and my body goes into fight or flight mode. Heavy traffic? Heart rate must sky rocket, head must spin, palms must sweat, extremities must tremble….Same for first dates. To the point of puking over the side of a boat on one such stellar outing. You make me afraid to go to malls, to sit down and eat in restaurants. People surprise me and I jump ten feet in the error as if they are wearing hockey masks and armed with machetes. You tell me I have a timebomb of diseases ticking away inside of me when I do not. You tell me the new neighbors are the disciples of satan when they are not. You alert me to every possible landmine without even adding they’ve been disarmed or are no threat.

You, my dear panic disorder, are an asshole.

Yet…it is said that we are all created from that which we have experienced. And I suppose you, my mental disorders, are largely responsible for me being kind to people who are misunderstood or have other disabilities. You are why I have empathy and you are why I have learned to be cautious and to be self aware and know that I am not my disorders and I am not entirely without worth. You make me question these things I know, but ultimately, it is your very presence that convinces me that the compassionate understanding side of me is the real deal.

You make my life miserable.

Yet I am not without gratitude.

For a short time last night, you granted me a respite.

I sat here on my couch, watching a show, with five adorable kittens purring 0n my lap and my sleeping daughter curled up on my side…And if only for those brief moments…I knew what true happiness and contentment were. For this I am thankful.

But I still hate both of you and hope you die in a fire.


A Sort of Crochet Pattern

Hello from the Land of Exhaustion. I feel really drained and beat up today. Like, the back of my legs? Are stiff in the weirdest spot; I’ve been using a heating pad to try and work the kink out where no kink should be. Thankfully (sort of), it is cool enough that using a heating pad isn’t causing me to swelter to death.

Think what you will of crochet, but everyone love bobbles!

Think what you will of crochet, but everyone love bobbles!

While my mind and body continue to be pretty pummeled and unwilling to deal with anything outside of my bubble, I am, at least, trying to innovate slightly. Of my best friends, there’s one who isn’t yarn-crafty, and she wanted me to make her something. I don’t know exactly what she wants yet, but it’s served to encourage me to pitter around experimenting and whatnot.

I’m pretty sure that this piece at eight inches wide is too big for her intended want, but that’s okay. Perhaps I can scale it down if I like it for a purse/phone case more to her specs, though I’ve not thought that far yet. I’m just happily working the pattern onward, and will turn it into a little purse for my kiddo. She doesn’t own any yet and has no real desire to (I carry a small messenger-bag style construct myself), but it’s yanno… me making her a toy or something. And it should be good practice for me in trying to come up with a pattern, implementing it, and plotting many a button. I’ll have to take pictures when it’s all said and done. Now, there’s just the drama of trying to find a place online in the UK that sells small pieces of fabric for not that much…

I also need to find where I’d scribbled out a cross-stitch pattern a few years back. I’d made a pretty little thing for a friend’s child, and I wanted to do the same sort of thing for her second child’s first birthday. I’ve not had any desire whatsoever to do cross-stitch, but I’ve had in mind to do this child’s name since I first heard of her conception. I might have procrastinated a bit, considering I’ve had all that time and that child turns one this month. Oh well. We’ll see if I manage it. That will also be a from-scratch patterning, especially the small image I wish to use.

What crafts/hobbies/etc are you guys up to this weekend?


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