Keeping Your Emotions in Check

There is strength in understanding your emotions.

I haven’t always been able to trust my own thoughts and feelings.

I’ve had staunch thoughts and feelings on a particular matter, and a week later they’d already be irrelevant because my thoughts and feelings have done a 180 flip (or flop). Confounding. How can my perception completely shift? Bipolar has this capability. Continue reading “Keeping Your Emotions in Check”

Mental Health Day = Medical Leave

When I Just Can’t Cope

I’m currently on a brief medical leave from my day job because I just can’t cope. I’m trying to avoid a complete breakdown. Having bipolar affects multiple aspects of life, and maintaining a job is one of them. I just can’t seem to complete all the necessary tasks…at work or at home. My energy and mental capacity dwindles throughout day. I’ve received emails at work telling me where I’m slipping; however, I’m slipping more than they realize. I awaken at 4:45am and leave by 6:10 to avoid monstrous traffic, and I’m home again before 5:00. Then, I have more work to do, of course, because a teacher’s job isn’t just during school hours. School hours are for teaching and meetings, yet by noon I begin to struggle. After typical work hours, it’s time for more parent contact, lesson plans, grading, and ancillary paperwork. And, lesson plans are not just a lesson plan a day… it’s four lesson plans per day due to the types of classes I teach; that’s twenty lesson plans per week. Continue reading “Mental Health Day = Medical Leave”

I Swear I’m Not Crazy

Stigma suggests otherwise.

Bit by bit, I’ve become more comfortable speaking up about my own mental illness. People hear that term, and they immediately think, “Oh no! What should I expect?” and they take a step back. Then they hear “bipolar 2” and they seem to turn and scurry away from the scary unknown.

I swear I’m not crazy.  I’m educating. I’m advocating for others who struggle. I’m attempting to stamp out stigma. I aspire to prevent others from giving in to suicidal tendencies.

Recently, I’ve reconnected with old friends via social media.  They knew me once upon a time when I was just me…quiet, happy, had close friends, living life as a teenager in high school.  What will they think when they realize I have anxiety and bipolar 2? It scares me to my core that it’ll be another nice-knowing-you-but-see-ya moment. Continue reading “I Swear I’m Not Crazy”

4 Ways Bipolar Disorder Hinders Motherhood

Being a mom is what I always desired. To love and raise a child, mold him and impress upon him the love of life.  I was eager to provide basic needs to the more complex needs (such as discipline and instilling values).  Unfortunately, my son got the short end of the stick with me.

I suffer from bipolar 2.

Bipolar transformed motherhood into a monumental challenge.  Not only do I suffer, but my son has suffered as a result.  This causes me immense guilt.

As psychotherapist Diana Barnes says, “Depression is just wicked. It takes away the enthusiasm and energy you need to be a good parent. And on top of that, it distorts your thinking.”  Continue reading “4 Ways Bipolar Disorder Hinders Motherhood”

Do Not Keep Silent

It has begun.

The pushback from family and friends who do not appreciate that I’ve chosen to write about mental health. That is why I will continue. People battling through each day need to know they are not alone, that others do understand and will listen without immediately trying to “fix” them. Healing is a multifarious process and is gradual. The average time bipolar 2 can go undiagnosed is six years. For me, it was ten. Following diagnosis, the process of pursuing the best path for healing begins.

The road to healing is different for everyone. Trial and error occurs with medication; treatment that works for one, may not work for another. Therapy and other lifestyle changes are slow. I can only share my personal experiences and observations. I can only share someone else’s story if we’ve come to an understanding. Don’t be so quick to silence someone because you disagree with his/her viewpoint. Don’t discredit feelings. Feelings just..are, they are not right or wrong.

Continue reading “Do Not Keep Silent”