As I sit down to write this second post and try to open up to the complete strangers that may read this eventually and even scarier for me, the friends and family, that will read this probably sooner I wonder how much to open up. This sickly sweet wine is telling me to spill my guts, but my other brain, the introvert/anxiety ridden part of me is telling me to close the computer and watch a movie. I’ll do my best to be open and honest without sounding insane.
I haven’t read a whole lot of blogs so I could be terribly misinformed but I have never ever come across one that talks about what it is like being a mother and wife with mental illness. It is definitely, most likely, the stigma because I have, however, come across (many times in many forums) comments about how people with mental illness shouldn’t be allowed to have children, among many other ignorant and awful statements. Most people don’t really understand what the word Bi-polar means or what any of the other disorders really are beyond what Hollywood likes to portray them as and definitely not what living with them everyday is like. I have been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder and possible schizoaffective disorder, along with generalized anxiety and I count things in fives over and over when I am stressed or uncomfortable to help keep me calm and my thought process linear. The counting doesn’t negatively affect my life so it is not something that is addressed much, it is just a fact that i live with. Mental illnesses are so complicated and present differently in different people and that is why many people get a wrong diagnosis over and over or don’t ever get a definitive diagnosis (hence the “possible” schizoaffective.) I cycle quickly, therefore am considered Bi-polar II. I can cycle between hypo-mania to deep depression within hours or days. Bi-polar I is characterized by the episodes lasting significantly longer, weeks or months and full blown Manic episodes. The Schizoaffective presents itself in me when my depression gets too deep or my mania gets too high and believe it or not it can even be worsened by hormones before my period. Schizoaffective is characterized by psychotic symptoms and mood disruptions. I, for example, hear voices from time to time, and can have severe delusions.
Now, take a deep breathe, don’t call social services, I am okay, I promise. I love my children, I am a good mom and my disorders are pretty well controlled by medication and a lot of hard work I have do every single day. That doesn’t mean I haven’t thought “am I the right person to be a mom? am I just going to mess them up beyond repair?” but I’m pretty sure every mom has thought the same thing, I just happen to have some paperwork that doesn’t look so great constantly reminding me of what I have to beat. Anyways, hope you will follow along!
love. love. love.
” You are the poem I never knew how to write and this life is the story I have always wanted to tell.”
-Tyler Knott Gregson-