Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Sometimes I sit and wonder if I really have Bi-Polar disorder. I think most people that have Bi-Polar disorder or other mental illness wonder this from time to time. I know I haven't talked about it much on here yet , even though its a part of my everyday life and I want to bring awareness to it. Its hard to talk about actually, because it is really hard to describe.
Being a partner and a parent with it is even harder
For years I had no idea what was going on except that I just did not feel "right". I felt off, and overly emotional. My extremes were what I called at the time "utter hysteria". One minute I felt like I could take on the world ,I was giddy. Literally a day later I would feel like my world was falling apart and I couldn't handle any of it.
It started when I was ten years old. At least that is my first memory of having a strange feeling and not being able to pin point it. It was so significant that I have never forgotten it.
I was in the bath tub.
It was a summer day and my brothers and I had been outside all day playing and I was filthy. My mom told me to go and take a bath. I was in my parents bathroom, the tub was enclosed by glass doors,the kind you cant see through cause that have that weird smokiness to them. I used to like to pretend I was in a shampoo commercial when I was in the shower, so I would lather up my hair and read the back of the shampoo bottle with as much enthusiasm as the actors in the Pert commercials.
I remember feeling like all of the air went out of the room right in the middle of my five minutes of fame. I felt dizzy almost, and I could not move, I just sat there with soap running out of my hair and down the sides of my face. I remember feeling a sense like there were a lot of voice's around me and they were all telling me to do something at the same time and i was trying to focus on each thing but i couldn't.. I couldn't make out what they were saying or if i was really hearing anything at all, but it was more of just a feeling. I felt my heart racing. I felt like I was suddenly in a hurry.
Then it was over, I took a deep breath and I started crying. I wanted so badly to tell my mom but I couldn't tell her. I didn't know what had happened or for that matter how to explain it at 10 years old.
I truly believe that its a chemical imbalance that can be exacerbated by ones environment if not treated. The thing you need the most is understanding, love , support, someone there to tell you its gonna be alright and they WANT to help you.
For 13 very long years I had ups and downs so severe I thought at one point , that I just wanted to die. That everyone was better off without me. I was crazy. I could not handle stress. Especially the kind of stress I was under. My husband was drinking, and cheating and I was alone.
My girls were what kept me going. Every time that I thought about leaving them I would straighten my shoulders and push forward no matter how horrible I felt. I could not and I would not leave them.
However all I wanted to do was stay in bed one minute or run screaming down the street the next, but I got up every single day with heavy shoulders and leaden feet and did what needed to be done.
I was a mother after all and my kids were the most important and most wonderful thing i felt had ever come from me.
Now here i am at 38 years old and i have been in the best mental shape of my life. I finally after years of being on the wrong medications am now on the correct ones for me. I have been in and out of counseling with a psychiatrist who specializes in Bi-polar disorder and i feel like a new person. I have a supportive partner who doesn't always understand but is there and ask me "What do you need" "What can i do to help ease your pain"
Bi-polar is painful. You can physically hurt and be physically sick from the overwhelming emotions that run like rushing water through your mind. You are helpless to stop it. My coping mechanism used to be crying , ranting , raving, breaking , sobbing hysteria. Now I sleep. I know what my triggers are, i know when i can not deal with certain things and instead of causing my family pain with an outburst, i sleep. I take a nap. I let it pass. I hope it passes.
I know that a I am strong.
I know that I am Rebecca, not Bi-polar Rebecca
I know that I am loved and that i can love.
So i just take a nap.
I will always be battling this, for the rest of my life, but i want so very much for others to know that it is an illness. I am not crazy. I am not making this up to get attention. I am a good mom. I am a writer. I am just Rebecca.
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