Son of Bipolar Mom

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”

bullying classmates

Back to School, Back to Bullying

Bullying Is Not New.

“There’s so much complaining about bullying these days. Kids just need to toughen up.”

I’ve heard that numerous times. It’s not easy, though.  Being the target of relentless bullying wears you down. Yes, as a child, I was bullied. I believe it began with a girl named Betsy. She was such a cute little girl, with an almost angelic countenance, and she was my friend.  One day, maybe age ten, she was over at my house to play.  Of course, back then there was no internet…we actually interacted face to face. She was a fellow classmate and a member of my Girl Scouts troupe.  This particular day, though, her behavior transformed before my eyes.

What Did Betsy Do?

Continue reading “Back to School, Back to Bullying”

depression

Stuck In the Sludge of Depression

Mental Mud

Over the past week or so, I’ve struggled with a prolonged depressive state.

Not the deep, suicidal depressive state, but one where I feel like I’m stuck in mud up to my waist and trying to move while I slowly sink. It’s cumbersome and frustrating and not pretty.

I don’t know when I’m going to “snap out of it,” and I become frustrated. I wish to force an upturn. The longer it takes, though, the more frustrated and anxious I become. Agitated, I wonder when I can feel better again. The numbness to what’s going on around me is fine for a while, but eventually it turns into “what’s the point?” I slide further down into my depression.

Difficult Tasks

Sooner or later when I actually do something around the house, I receive praise for having done it.  Don’t get me wrong; it feels good to be appreciated.  However, acquiring a gold star for something so menial seems silly.  Internally, though, I recognize the accomplishment for what it actually was for me. A triumph. Continue reading “Stuck In the Sludge of Depression”

hands

Where Is Hope Hiding?

Painful Circumstances

My younger brother became gravely ill less than a year after the birth of his son (who had entered the world three months early).  It was an emotional time for all…first pulling for the little one and then pulling for his daddy.

Without going into details of my brother’s illness, he fought for his health and for his life over the next five years.  He had numerous transfusions, sat on a transplant list, and had complications with multiple organs.  His body seemed to be crumbling a bit at a time.  Each time I saw him, he was thinner, becoming skeletal.  Eventually, his appearance reminded me of the haunting images of Auschwitz’s prisoners.  Eyes sunken in, arms gangly.  Remaining properly nourished was a challenge when he couldn’t keep much down.  In August 2016, I traveled to Colorado to visit him in the hospital.  I didn’t realize these few days would be the last days of conversations between us. During that week, I spent every night in his hospital room.  We talked and talked and talked: about life, about memories, about hopes for the future, about marriage, children, and family.

sickness
His final month of life; still has an appetite!

Surgery was scheduled for that week.  Not only would this procedure improve current complications, it would also bump him up on the transplant list.  Before rolling away for surgery, I leaned over and kissed his forehead.  He gave me his quirky smile that said, “You’re my weird sister,” and I chuckled.  However, I became startled when my lips met his forehead.  He had no fat on his bones, I knew, but I wasn’t expecting the feeling that I was kissing his skull.  His skin was so dry and so thin and stretched tightly across his forehead.

Continue reading “Where Is Hope Hiding?”