Sunday, November 22, 2015

MWB (Mothering while Bipolar): Episode 1

The Kids Are Alright

I miss the days when my mental breakdowns only affected one other person…my husband. When I get scary or freak out over something he can leave for while, go for a drive and come back with chocolate cake or a whopper from Burger King. Anything to keep me calm and my anxiety levels low.  
Now that I am a mother, I can no longer be selfish when depression and/or mania kicks in. There are tiny humans running around my house that need attention. They need to be fed and clothed and washed and fed and taken to the park and fed. It’s a wonder how any mother could put up with it let alone a mother with a serious mental illness.
That’s right. I have a mental illness and it makes me cringe just to say it. The words give me anxiety, which is ironic because my mental illness…no you get the point. I try very hard not to say “mental illness” around my kids. I tell myself they don’t truly understand what that means and it’s a burden that they are too young to handle. I come up with all kinds of excuses just to get to the real reason I won’t say that to them.
I’m ashamed. I feel guilty and ashamed. It’s my problem not theirs. I know they are good kids and despite having a wacko mom like me they are very good decent human beings. They love me even when I am clad only in pajamas depressed and unable to make it off the couch and shower that day. You know what they do? They make me sandwiches and watch TV all day with me. My youngest who is only 4 years old just sits on top of me and eats snacks while watching her favorite Disney channel show. Every commercial she checks to make sure I’m ok and continues with her snacks.
They especially love it when I am manic because I make up for all the time on the couch by taking them shopping and sewing them nice new pajamas. I sit and binge watch TV shows with my oldest daughter or watch D-rated scary movies on Netflix and laugh at the typical white blonde chick that always manages to trip and fall.

Yes, sometimes I miss the days when I just had my husband around and I didn’t have to burden my children with my overwhelming depression or my out of control hypomanic episodes. Then again, having them around makes the depression much more bearable and when hypomania kicks in well a 4 year old and a 7 year old can be the best company. 

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