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Movement

It’s been a hell of a week. I don’t want to say ‘Hell Week 2022’ because that’s like a challenge to the universe and it’s only February! I’ve been through the ringer this week, between hiding the hospitalization of #3, fighting through those feelings and dealing with the domino effect this trauma talk triggers in all of my threefold and I, my vehicle breaking down, working to distract myself, and my court chaos with the ex, I felt like I wasn’t going to make it through this week.

I felt on the verge of a mental breakdown last week when I admitted my daughter, #3, the youngest of my threefold. I am hiding that from my workplace not because I don’t feel like they would be supportive or understanding, but because I am up for this promotion and I don’t want to get the label of ‘single mom who has too much on her plate to be as committed as this position requires.’ I know I would get that label for sure. I’m more qualified and capable than even the last manager was, I know that I can excel and don’t need more stigma standing in my way. I am ready to move up, and I know my worth. Time to add the tax to that and take my place. I earned it.

I love my day job. Don’t confuse that with the fact that I would not leave in a heartbeat if I could support my family on writing and content creation, but right now that’s not feasible. The starving artist isn’t a good path when the ones starving would be my threefold. They’re growing girls and they have a grocery bill that’s higher than a car payment each week! I’ve used work as a distraction. I’m good at my job and it’s busy so I can easily get lost in it. I love that I leave it all at the door at work and escape to a place where I shine just being me. That’s true for writing and for my day job.

I got my truck out of the shop {1k later and a new fuel pump later} I realized a few years ago not having my own ride would have not bothered me at all. Now I’m so much more independent and I love it. I drive everywhere. Ruby and I are going to stick it out longer. She is bipolar too so it’s important she take her meds and I need to be more mindful of her needs so she doesn’t have a breakdown again soon.

I’ve been really hard on myself this past week in more ways than one. My self talk has been negative. I haven’t been meditating or manifesting much. My goal getter book has been empty when usually I would’ve had my goals laid out for the week. My sleep has been sporadic. My mood has shifted more often. My self care went to nonexistent. I’ve been isolating and not really in the mood to do much of anything. I tried to keep it together. It’s been really freaking rough though. This depressive episode is not near as intense as the last one but when you’ve been in a good place for a while the down feels deeper. You just want to snap out of it. Unfortunately bipolar doesn’t work like that. Instead it means med adjustments and pushing yourself to keep going. I can’t give up or give into the darkness of it. My threefold needs me to be their strength and their rock. Not a mom in bed or hiding away so they don’t see it. They know what’s going on, because unfortunately it’s like a domino effect. They can mirror my mood as I mirror theirs and those of others. I need to move myself out of this darkness.

This domino effect as I call it has resulted in depression symptoms and anxiety for everyone else. It’s also not good because no one wants to be the cause of any additional chaos. Especially when it’s obvious I’m in stressed out anxiety mode right now. This makes my threefold feel like they can’t ask for support or talk about their own feelings because they don’t want to worry or upset me more. One thing I had hoped we learned was that shoving it down and hoping the feelings subside on their own rarely works. Especially when the feelings and thoughts are intense. This led to issues across the board this week. we’ve got to move away from triggering these episodes in one another. It’s gonna start with my personal movement.

#1 of my threefold {the oldest} expressed she felt like I was too busy with everything going on with #2 and #3 that I wasn’t giving her the proper attention or focus that I should. She expressed her feelings and I was grateful she did. It is difficult to split focus when you have three and give them each what they need. Especially when they each have varying needs and those needs can change in a matter of minutes it seems like. I want to give her that security, but I also know that she will be making her own big moves soon. With her 18th birthday fast approaching I know that her independence is also going to be tested and she needs to show she can make some moves solo.

#2 of my threefold relapsed. I cried until I could no longer feel it. I’ve been so watchful and mindful ever since the beginning of her journey. She had eight months free of self harm. She was in an amazing place in her recovery for so long. She worked so hard for those eight months. Then within moments it was gone and that made both her and I feel like we were f’ing it all up. She was triggered by the increased trauma talk, the self harm discussions, mentions of suicide, and being on this side of the hospitalization equation. The guilt she felt for being hospitalized for 17 weeks last year was overwhelming. She saw me at my low, and when you’re inpatient you don’t see what is happening to your family. You don’t see the stress, the tears, the anxiety and the hurt. She saw me and realized how awful it must’ve been for me. Instead of that fueling her motivation, she allowed that guilt and remorse to eat away at her. That same guilt that my behaviors and my inability to keep it all together for my threefold is heavy on me right now. I’m trying. Everyday. This trauma drama bipolar momma bear life is hard on me too! I’m not cured of mental illness, therefore I can’t expect them to be either. we will move past this hiccup. It doesn’t negate her work over the past eight months. Im still proud of her and this time I was able to better handle my reaction and response.

I’m crossing my fingers and my toes, {and my legs because I’m a damn lady,} that Tuesday #3 of my three will be discharged. I miss her with everything in me. It’s too quiet. I’m used to her loud ass tv, the TikTok dances, jump roping, karate practice and the echoes of her laughter {or arguing} from the kitchen. I miss her fighting me to go to bed and to wake up. I miss her silly stories about school and seeing her light up as she tells me about her positives for the day. I am ready to see her face and hug her. 10 days inpatient for a 10 year old. She has never been away from me this long. Having five minutes each night to recap the day is not near enough for a mother with her child. I want her home so I can have every minute I want. Im ready for her and I to move into a direction where she knows that she is loved, supported and that she is an important part of the lives around her.

Court is finally over. I hope. A settlement is on the horizon. I refused to backdown and allow him to make decisions for my threefold. That’s a decision I will stand behind. Supposedly he has accepted that and I have agreed that settlement is going to be a much better route if possible. Now I wait for the final signatures and the freedom that those papers will give me. A chapter my threefold and I have been unable to move on from for two years. It’s well overdue. This is our chance to move on from the past and move into the future…stronger…together…in hope.

Thank you for reading my current state of the union address for my threefold and I. I’ve received many messages requesting an update with shows of support and love. Thank you so much! You will never know how much those little messages make my day.

I’m glad to be starting off a new week. I’m hoping this one has more ups than downs and more happy than sad. I’m hoping we have less trauma drama and more trauma talk. I’m hopeful, which is something I couldn’t say this time last week. I’m hoping that some relief from the stress and the strain will mean that I am able to lift some of this heaviness off me and focus on the future for my threefold and I. Move on, move up, and move into the next chapter of our lives. Stay positive! We’ve got this! ☮️❤️😊~M

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Forced Silence & Seeking Support

This will read like a rant from the pity party parade. It’s written with frustration for those like me who suffer from and/or care for those suffering from mental illnesses. I’m in tears right now as I write this. I’m spiraling into the anxiety of the situation I am currently in. The truth is most people will never understand. This won’t be a plea for support and understanding. This will be another issue that is swept under the rug by the society who forces us to stay silent. It won’t be shared across the world or spark the social change that needs to happen or stomp out the stigma surrounding seeking help for mental illness. I will be labeled, criticized, judged, and scrutinized for how I choose to raise my threefold and for how I mom mental illness while managing my own from those that have no clue how real the struggles are. Yet still, I feel like I am obligated to speak up. If not for myself, then for my threefold, because at the end of the day I’m the one left advocating and fighting for them. Even when no one else will.

I’m in tears, not because I feel sorry for myself and feel the need to place blame. I’m crying because I know how hard this road is. It’s not a road I would wish on anyone. Yet, it’s my reality and the reality of my threefold. I have just admitted my youngest daughter to an inpatient acute psychiatric facility. We walk down this road of life with mental illness weighing us down. I am too familiar with the inpatient stays, the safety plans, the medication management, the highs and the lows of bipolar. This isn’t my first rodeo with admitting a child or myself to a psychiatric facility. We’ve been here before. We’ve battled the suicidal ideation and self harm demons before. It wasn’t that long ago. It’s not a fun ride on the bipolar express. I’m not going to sugarcoat the truth and paint pretty, positivity filled pictures with sunshine and rainbows about overcoming the obstacles. The obstacles we face are ominous, over whelming and either over criticized or completely overlooked by the society that surrounds us. Ignoring and judging is not helping anyone, it is silencing our voices, while the screams inside our head are so deafening. The stigma is real. It’s a social injustice. I don’t say that lightly.

I am a single mom. I have three girls that I lovingly and sarcastically refer to as my threefold. They are me, and then some. They were cursed by my genetics and an illness that was passed down to us from the generations before us. It is what it is. The cards have been dealt and we are forced to play this hand or fold. Folding for my family is not an option. I will fight for us to survive. Even still I would be lying if I didn’t state that my own inner demons are begging to run rampant and it’s taking everything I have to hold it together.

I could sit and pretend that I have it all under control. I could act like I’m the picture of mental health leading my threefold on a ‘live laugh love’ journey through their mental illness struggles. I’m barely holding on right now. My grip is slowly slipping and I’m on the tipping point of an episode. I’m not sure if I’m cut out for this. I feel like I’m failing. I feel like I have very little support to make it through this day, week, month year. I’m silenced, because no one needs my sob story about how hard my struggles are. People have their own problems. I’m just a drop in the bucket of like. No one is going to save us, that’s all on me.

Seeking support seems like a great concept in theory. no one is jumping up and down to be friends with someone who has children in tow 24/7. I can’t go out, mom nights are nonexistent, and my threefold is more important than those things. Yet it’s lonely. When there is no family support nearby, it’s all left to you. You are responsible for every therapy appointment, psychiatric consult, evaluation, treatment team meeting, and every single hospitalization. You don’t get the break from school IEP meetings, teacher conferences, and the carline. Days off surround seeing how many appointments you can squeeze into a single day.

It’s not easy Mommin’ mental illness when everything costs money, especially the treatments required and the medications needed. Therefore I work, hard. Every phone call from schools or hospitals and every appointment means I lose money. When a child goes inpatient it only increases your mental stress because now you’re overloaded and overthinking every path forward. There is no rest. Even when you try it’s futile. You are left tossing and turning with anxiety as you worry about how you are going to do everything. Alone.

My relationships suffer, because not only am I completely wrapped up in my own children’s life, but now I am not a nice nor fun person. I’m angry and I’m emotionally drained. I’m overwhelmed with anxiety and I want to be alone. Until I don’t. Then I am needy. To top it off I don’t want to share my spiral with my family. I don’t want them to see me fall apart. I don’t want the ‘everything will be ok’. I want it to be ok now.

We hide these struggles from outsiders because we are already being ripped apart as if I am being pulled in a million different directions at all times, but right now the last thing I need is society’s stigma ripping me apart too. People don’t see the bravery and strength it takes to seek help. The balancing act required to keep it all from crashing down on you. They instead want to pick apart your past, your flaws, your parenting and your children until they can find a reason to blame for the mess you are in. I know my guide to Mommin’ mental illness why managing my own was just right here…oh wait I didn’t get my copy. Can I borrow yours, judge Judy? That’s what I thought. We don’t need more judgment.

That’s not even close to support that’s shoving the stigma in our face. So we swallow that stigma and suck it up. After all, we can beat ourselves up without having others do it for us. We are black belts when it comes to beating up on ourselves and we can kick ourselves when we are down. No extra help is needed in that department. If you think I don’t cry alone as I try to figure out how I messed up this bad. Then you are mistaken, I’ve been blaming myself relentlessly. Even when I can rationalize the why and the purpose for the pain my guilt still follows me. Pretend I’m the bad guy, it’s ok I play that part of the villain of this story in my own mind over and over. It’s not going to be the first time I’ve been validated by society that my self deprecating thoughts are true.

So why should we even speak up? Why seek support? Why shouldn’t we just fight our invisible enemies solo? This fight, the one that is life or death, needs support to be victorious. this isn’t a singular battle we are fighting. This is a war. Sometimes we are our own worst enemy and we need the support of others to fight for us when we begin fighting against ourselves. It’s not fair. How childish of me to say. It’s not something everyone can handle. It’s not easy to understand. It is a real fight everyday to not give in.

If the options are to lose everything to save one of my threefold or lose one to hold everything together then I know what I’ll choose. I’ll lose everything before I let this invisible enemy win. Even if it means I go down with the darkness myself. I’m not afraid to fight. I’m afraid to fight this in silence alone and fail. I’m not sure what enemies are lurking in the shadows that will darken my doorstep. I refuse to let those enemies take my threefold captive without seeking support and rounding my troops. Until I can find our path forward again, I’ll be here fighting. Fighting for all of us. I will continue to speak up and stomp the stigma surrounding mental illnesses. Failure is not an option.

☮️❤️😊~M

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A Little Christmas Magic

Happy Christmas Eve! Hope everyone is having an amazing Christmas so far and that you didn’t just get fuzzy socks and a coffee mug with a sarcastic saying on it! Even if you did though, it was well meaning I’m sure {even if not well executed} You might be the parent that sent $20 to school so that little Suzy could buy you something from the Christmas Shop Supporting Vegan Lunch Options. Come Christmas morning you unwrapped a plaque covered in gold foil printed with #1 mom or Best Dad Ever! You’re loved, and you really are #1! Even so maybe that $20 plaque money could’ve been better spent on a Target gift card or anything else. Yet this is when that old saying comes to mind ‘it’s the thought that counts!’ With kids, sometimes, it really is the thought that counts!

My defcon four did pretty damn good this year for mom! With a 17, 15, 13, and 10 year old things get a bit more interesting come Christmas. The handmade coupon books that were never redeemed {actually I think they each owe me a good bit of whine free chores!} The homemade Christmas ornaments that are in a box in the closet. The sweet letters about you being their hero. Those precious keepsakes are replaced with material things. Sometimes the material things are coffee cups {even when you don’t drink coffee} or fuzzy socks. Sometimes they are regifted decor from around the house, like what I received for the youngest of the defcon four crew tonight. Still I said thank you and gave her the beaming smile of approval for the thoughtfulness. She tried, and for me that’s what counts! The thought.

I’ve been a wreck for weeks as I scurried through trying to budget for Christmas without a mound of debt I couldn’t pay back and without phoning a family member for a loan. Somehow we managed to manifest some Christmas magic. We didn’t even procrastinate {as much} as we have in the past. The obstacles that were put in front of us were obliterated by our optimism and knowledge that it would work out. I still am sporting my fancy Christmas anxiety that’s reserved only for this time of year. Honestly though, I’ve never been more excited for Christmas as I am this year. I know that everyone got what was on their list, plus a few things.

I kept ‘Anxious Annie’ at bay for the most part {there were a few days where I took the bipolar express straight to mood swing station} and replaced her with inner ‘Resourceful Rhonda’ as I like to call her. Rhonda can scout out a deal like no other! Me and full price, we aren’t friends! If I’m going to buy my daughter half a shirt then so help me I’m paying half price for it! The big things this year which are on trend with every adolescent Christmas list-electronics. My #3 wants a tablet, 2 oldest want new iPads, one fancy laptop and the kitties sleeping in a cat tree! {I had to, sorry not sorry} Being a parent with four kids to appease with over $1000 Christmas wish lists each is a bit of a headache to say the least. I don’t know how we managed to accomplish such a financial hit but somehow it’s happening!

If ‘E’ wasn’t helping me, we wouldn’t have everything we have this year, but between his conjoined financial backing pooled with my own money, my resourcefulness, his good credit, and a bit of Christmas magic we are making this Christmas one for the record books! ‘E’ and I really stepped up this year to give defcon four the Christmas they deserve after this crazy chaotic year!

Now I have to go wrap this shit up! Literally! I have procrastinated this part long enough! I’m truly grateful for the many blessings we have and that we will all be together tomorrow! I hope you all having a very Merry Christmas! Stay Positive! You’ve Got This! ☮️❤️😊🎄~M

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Truth Be Told…

⚠️⚠️⚠️Trigger Warning!!!⚠️⚠️⚠️

I’m going to tell you a true story that I have not told many people. It’s the truth that I’ve hidden from everyone, even those closest to me for as long as I can remember. I’m telling this story because my threefold is celebrating huge milestones in their recovery and people don’t seem to understand why I celebrate these milestones instead of just saying ‘I’m proud of you.’

Celebrating the milestone of three, six, and twelve months being free of self harm behaviors is a BIG freaking deal for my threefold. It’s a big deal because we’ve been through hell trying to reach these milestones and we have taken the path to healing. After numerous hospitalizations, thousands of hours of therapy, a lot of self reflection, and deciding to fight for the future we have reached these milestones. It’s been a hard and scary journey, but the end result is so worth the celebration.

So that big truth and that scary secret I’ve hidden from even those closest to me is that I was the 14 year old girl that took a blade to her body trying to escape the pain. I was the 16 year old girl who starved herself for days at a time and purged everything she did eat to fit the stereotype that the world told me I needed to be in order to be beautiful. I’ve been the 25 year old who held a gun to her own temple and fought back pulling the trigger to escape the pain. I’ve also been the 35 year old who sat on a bathroom floor with a bottle of pills that could only find three reasons to hold me back from swallowing the whole bottle and chasing it down with the alcohol in my other hand. That’s the ugly journey of self harm, suicidal ideation, undiagnosed, and unmedicated mental illness.

I’ve also been the person who thought so little of herself that she allowed others to inflict that same pain onto me. I’ve worn the bruises and still bare the scars of the many times I’ve allowed people to use me as their own way to feel better. I’ve allowed my body to be torn apart by the men I chose over my own self respect. From cigarette burns, to being pushed down steps, to being clocked and choked. It’s a reality I’ve lived in for far too long. It’s a part of me now that I can’t erase. The hate filled words and the demeaning labels I’ve been told are burned into my brain. The many times I was told what I was and wasn’t became the only words I could hear. Those negative identifiers became the voices in my own head long after the people were gone.

I’ve been accused of attention seeking, it being a phase, and that I was just being too much. I didn’t get the help I needed at 14, 16, 17, 25, or 35 because I was told it was a me problem not an illness in need of treatment. My mother didn’t acknowledge it. My father didn’t see it. My ex-husband told me the medications made me worse and the ‘head doctors didn’t know me well enough to know what they were talking about. I’ve allowed everyone in my life around me convince me I wasn’t bipolar, even when the symptoms were obvious. Even after being hospitalized for 6 weeks to treat the symptoms I allowed someone to tell me the medication made me worse and it belonged in the garbage. So that’s where that medication went. I waited over 20 years to seek help for my mental illness. It’s not a life I can stand by and watch my threefold suffer through for themselves.

I refuse to allow me to be the barrier that stops my threefold from getting help when I know the dire consequences of that choice. I won’t be the voice in their head that tells them that they are the problem. I refuse to stand by and watch my threefold struggle like I did and live a life they don’t have to before they find a better way. Not when I have the power to help them find that life now. Not when the help is available and they show me they need it. I can see it, because I too have been that young girl struggling to find a person who would help me. I didn’t get that, but I will make damn sure they do.

I’m not glorifying this behavior by celebrating my children fighting for their future. I’m celebrating because there is cause for celebration when you overcome the bad and the ugly of mental illness. It took me too long to share my journey. I don’t want them to feel like they should hide theirs. It took me far too long to find the help I needed and if I can prevent them from taking the path I did, I will.

I celebrate the milestones because I know the struggle to reach the milestones too. I don’t talk about my struggle through self harm because it’s ugly and it’s the hard part that most don’t relate to. I haven’t shared it because everyone has told me that I’m the reason my threefold struggles. My threefold doesn’t even know most of my struggles and how bad it was. I never wanted them to see me as that person. It’s not a side I wanted to share and I don’t want them to believe self harm or suicidal ideation is normal. It’s not normal! It’s a sign of mental illness and the statistics that come with it are scary as hell.

You can judge me, but I am my own worst critic in the parenting department. I question if I am doing it right all the time. However, because I see their growth, their progress and their fight I know that I am doing exactly what I should to see them to a better life than what I had. I’m making that life for myself and for my threefold. We create our own path forward and the future is too bright to live in the darkness of the past. Don’t live your life waiting for the good, find the good in life. That’s the only way! Stay positive! ☮️❤️😊~M

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Emotional Rollercoaster

This weekend, I was all in my feelings {as my kids would’ve said probably years ago, but I’m always late.} I was emotional for reasons that made sense to me and to me alone and other reasons that made sense to those around me. I was riding my own crazy hot mess express freight train straight into bipolarville where manic episodes meet depressive ones and triggers meet emotional roller coaster rides. Then these rides travel down the roads of my feelings leading to pit stops along the way of irrational thought and anxiety, breakthroughs and breakdowns, scattered thoughts, and sanity that is single handedly fighting for the spotlight back from these conflicting mix of emotions. That’s my best description of triggered anxiety while fighting against the sleep deprivation that too much sleep from days prior brings. This complicated run-on sentence is also sponsored by mixed episodes of bipolar disorder.

People hear more often about the depressive episodes and the manic episodes that are famous for the original manic depression name of bipolar depression’s previous identifier. When a person says ‘mood disorder’ this is the usually what people think of. Most don’t know the different types of mood disorders nor the different types of Bipolar that a person can have. They don’t understand the nuances of the disease and they tend to mix up facts due to the stigma placed on bipolar disorder.

Episodic cycling is what makes Bipolar different from other mood disorders. Episodes often range in severity and length of time depending on treatment and type of bipolar disorder a person is diagnosed with. I experience mixed episodes with my bipolar which is characterized by having a more often cycling of symptoms that can overlap each other, have symptoms of both mania and depression simultaneously and a lack of recovery period before the opposite cycle begins. This type and cyclomathic bipolar are two types that are difficult to spot and diagnose due to the more rapid cycling process that characterizes each disorder. This is due to the length of episode which means that a person experiencing both mania and depression in rapid succession might have severe depressive symptoms that overshadow the manic symptoms that are more likely missed.

Bipolar I (which #2 of my threefold is suspected of having) is the more intense presence of mania symptoms than Bipolar II. Bipolar II (what #1 of my threefold has been diagnosed with), is considered less severe as type 1. Type 2 presents with less intense symptoms of manic involvement, their manic episodes are decreased and termed as hypo manic.

Most people, including myself, are quicker to dismiss mania symptoms because it’s almost like a reprieve from the depression that is all consuming. Mania doesn’t always seem as bad as it is. It seems like that is what people love to see. Mania makes you feel on top of the world, confident, brilliant and you have an energy that makes you so on the go. Manic symptoms seem harmless but that is untrue. It involves risky behavior, recklessness, and makes a person not care about the consequences of those actions. You may suddenly spend all your money on unnecessary items. Maybe it looks like sexual promiscuity or infidelity. It can show up as aggression and stealing. It is a myriad of bad behaviors that are almost like the person has no care on the world and is invincible. Mania is much less recognizable in the hypo manic episodes also. The depression is so much easier to pinpoint and the main reason why people find that depressive diagnosis easier than that of bipolar.

The depressive symptoms of each are similar in severity and the lengths of time vary from person to person. The manic episodes are the determining factor of defining bipolar instead of major depression which is unipolar with or without mania involvement. Depression presents in the classic ways with one major distinction that is more likely to point to bipolar. This major differentiation is in that episodic nature of bipolar. No manic symptoms would lead to a diagnosis of depression. You only need to have had one manic episode to have a diagnosis of bipolar. If it’s missed or mistaken as something else then you leave likelihood of reporting those symptoms is likely to be the key that changes the treatment plan from one that isn’t working to one that will work.

There is so much stigma surrounding bipolar which is why those who suffer tend to hide their illness from the people around them. It’s why people don’t accept the diagnose easily or seek treatment for themselves. It’s also tricky to diagnose and most doctors aren’t quick to do so. It’s genetic with a high probability of family links. This is why it’s not unheard of or unusual to have bipolar diagnoses in multiple generations of a family tree. If an adult has an established diagnosis in a family then it is much easier to begin seeing signs and symptoms at an earlier age and begin treatment earlier than it is to diagnose in an adult who has never expressed the symptoms they displayed in an accurate way or suffered from the more severe complications or consequences that this disorder brings on.

My emotional state was brought on more from lack of sleep after having too much sleep this past week, an increase in anxiety and a lot of nostalgia as #1 of my threefold prepares for high school graduation, college, and turning 18. However due to our struggles, my threefold is hyper aware of the slight changes of behavioral patterns and moods than the average teenagers. It also has come from some process work I have been doing on that little {enter sarcasm} goal of moving on from my mom guilt from the past and from the person I was when my bipolar was left untreated for years on end. I have also been working on this small issue I’ve had with holding grudges, resentment, and forgiveness. {Actually I’m the worst about if you hurt me I will remember forever.}

Thankfully I’m not actually in an episode of mania or depression currently and am on a regimen of medication that helps to prevent that cycling of intense episodes. I know my triggers, how to care for myself, my symptoms and my plan of action in the event of severe episodes. It’s very {knock on wood and glass!} calm in the unpredictable waters of bipolar at my house right now. It’s been a breath of fresh air after the year of drowning in crisis after crisis that in the present moment storms aren’t raging through the waters and everyone is safely wading in the shallow end. In less metaphorical terms for the first time in years no one is amidst an episode at the current moment and no one is in crisis. That is a beautiful thing in a life of a mom with bipolar with kids with bipolar that is hard for people to understand. Why would I celebrate us just being okayish?

Being ok for us, all at the same time, means medication changes and adjustments have ceased because we have a regimen that is working for us and consists of tweaks not new meds to find the combination that works. It is a celebration of a taste of stability not normalcy. It is a celebration of growth and progress. It’s being excited to track your mood because you have seen marked improvement. It’s a time where we can accomplish goals and we can be proud of ourselves. It also means we are in self harm recovery {another thing people don’t understand why we celebrate.}

Recovery from self harm is like that of addiction and just like you would celebrate milestones of someone who hasn’t had a drink in six weeks we celebrate the same milestones for self harm. It’s been over a year since #1 self harmed, nearly 6 months for #2, and for me {yep I’ve been there too} it’s been multiple years. These milestones mean that medications {and awareness of the consequences} therapy, and our own ability to safely communicate our feelings have come to a healthy meeting place. That is something worth celebrating at my house.

Thanks for attending my ted talk on bipolar disorder and it’s presentation. It’s a hot topic discussion that no one seems to want to talk about. For those unaffected it seems to have the lack of education almost like why learn about something that you have no use for? Like learning to do wood working when you have no interest in craftsmanship and no plans to ever use the skills. I find it important for even those unaffected because the informative awareness can help assist a friend or a family member distinguish symptoms and marked changes in behavior. If you know someone who needs help or is in crisis please seek help. You could be the difference between someone seeking help or risking their life. Be positive! You’ve got this! ☮️❤️😊 -M Ps. If you have another three minutes for personal research I have created this anonymous survey https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/66K3QSL on mental illness. I would love for you to participate! Thanks in advance!