Even when the dark clouds are overhead and nothing seems right a hug from your kids makes it better. I never underestimate the difference Jill and the kids have on my life and how I live with mental illness. Today I put Jenna’s Frozen stickers up in her room, nailed a couple of pictures to the wall and put Elsa, Olaf and Anna on her bed. Her reaction reminded me just how lucky I am.
Living with Bi-polar disorder is not easy. When you’re down you wonder if you will ever make it back up to “normal” and when you’re hyper you never want to come down because then you’ll have to deal with the stupid things you might say or do. People don’t seem to understand the illness properly – the depression is easier to grasp because we all suffer from dips in our mood, but the highs are tough too.
It sounds great that you are full of energy and ideas and you feel like there are no obstacles in your way, but what usually happens is you are unaware of the consequences of your words and actions at the time. It’s like being on a very drunken night out for a week or two at a time then once you “sober up” everyone wants to tell you all the stupid things you have done. The stories are told but you have no memory of most of these things happening. That’s a scary thing to live with no matter how “fun” it sounds. I was once treated by a doctor who lived with depression and she said she envied my “ups” – I told her she shouldn’t.
The smiles, hugs and love you get from your family is the thing that keeps you strong when life is kicking your chemicals around in your head. I genuinely don’t know – or want to think about – where I would be right now without Jill, Jake and Jenna (and JD.5 due in just nine weeks time!). I know I wouldn’t have the strength to get out of bed in the morning. That security system of family and friends keeps you going. Never underestimate a kind word or text or message you write because it’s a wee slap that reminds you how lucky you are in many ways.
This blog was always meant as an outlet for my thoughts and feelings – to get things off my chest and free myself of some of the more difficult ideas that I live with. Sometimes they are very dark, some are angry and others are just nonsense about something in the news, but all allow me to function – and if you take anything from them then that’s a bonus.
To those who send me messages, thank you. To those who read and take comfort that they aren’t alone in their own illnesses, I’m thinking of you. To Jill, Jake, Jenna & JD.5 thank you for constantly reminding me there is something to get up for in the morning. I love you.