Tag Archives: bipolar parenting

Algebra and Parenting

I’m feeling a little better today, aside from a pounding headache brought on by trying to take a practice algebra test.  My first test (the class is online) is due this weekend, so I was trying to study with the practice exam.  Both the test and the practice are 40 question.  I got through 20 before my head started to kill me and I haven’t been able to get it to stop so I can finish.  Not sure what I’m going to do when I have to take the real test with a time limit.

I played with my son for a while today.  I don’t get to do that much since I’m usually low on energy levels.  Even when I have the energy, I usually don’t know what exactly to do with him.  I’ve been through so much junk in my life that’s it has made me this overly serious person and I don’t interact on that fun, creative, playful level that I used to be able to anymore.  I can be sarcastic and witty, but sitting around playing with toy cars drives me nuts after about thirty minutes.  I feel really bad about it because I feel like I should be doing those things even if I don’t like them because, you know, that’s what moms do.  I’m no good at doing stuff I don’t like to do though.  It’s like my body won’t let me.  If I don’t like something my eyes start to get heavy and I end up passing out.  It’s really frustrating.

As usual, this leaves me feeling like Worst Mom Ever.  I don’t ever feel like a decent mom.  People tell me I am, but they don’t know that I don’t know how to play with my son.  I read to him.  I know how to do that.  I can teach him right from wrong and I’m good with time outs.  I have a short fuse though and I fuss a lot more than I should and I feel bad about that too.  I feel bad about a lot of things I do to my son.  I feel bad that he has to grow up with a crazy mom.

I think that’s all I have to say right now.  Short post for once.  Way to go, me.

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The Circle Never Breaks…

So Sallie Mae declined my student loan application based on the fact that I’ve only been at my current job position for 8 months, even though I’ve been with the company for four years.  That and the fact that I work on commission.  Now I’m in the fun position of having literally no money to go to school next semester.  FML.

I mean, really?  They said I need a cosigner.  I can’t get a cosigner.  My husband has shit for credit from a car repo before we got married.  My mom refuses to cosign because she said she tried to help me go to college when I was 18 and I dropped out.

Yeah, I dropped out because I had no goals at the time and had a bit of a nervous breakdown.  I told her I wasn’t on meds at the time and this time was different, even my therapist says so.  She says I did it for the first two years okay, why did I have issues the last two?  Hell if I know.  Why does my brain ever do anything?  Why did I get depressed or manic or whatever the hell I was that I can’t even remember?  I’m pretty sure I was depressed because I recall sleeping a lot and not being able to get up to go to class.  Most of it is a blur at this point.  I’m sure there was a manic episode or two that cause some of those A semesters.  Lots of energy to burn?  Try college!  But the F semesters were more likely depression.  When I got my transcript I could actually see the mood swings in my grades.  Semester one – A, B, A, A.  Semester Two – A, B, C, A.  Semester Three – C, D, F, F.  Semester Four – F, D, W, W.  Not exactly like that, but you get the idea.

She says me going back to school isn’t her problem.  I get it.  It’s not.  But since I got free tuition when I went the first time and she just paid for books I don’t see why she can’t at least cosign for me.  She then went on to say she might be willing to give me some money.  She confuses me so much.  You’ll give me money but won’t sign your name so that I’ll pay it myself?  No, she says, because if I can’t pay it her name will be on it.  Yes, I say, but whenever I don’t have money you help me out anyway so what difference does it make?  Apparently not the right thing to say.  What do I know?

So now I wonder what the fuck is the point of me continuing this semester if I just have to drop after it?  If I don’t have the money to keep on going, why waste all this time now?  I’m giving up time with my family, time sleeping, time relaxing, time working, time doing any number of things that would likely be more enjoyable than studying.  If I’m not going to get a degree out of said time, then why the hell should I be wasting it on school?  Yes, I like to learn, but at my own pace and about things I’m interested in not things that the deities of the school system think I should know.

But alas, the degree is important for my job.  My job was actually supposed to help pay half, but the declined me too.  They couldn’t even be bothered to tell me why.  I wasn’t special enough or something.  I really don’t know what to do at this point.  I need to go, but funds are limited and I’ve spent us in a total hole the last eight months.

I can’t tell my mom this of course.  She knows.  She tells me I spend too much.  Now that I’m mildly depressed I spend in budget, but coming off the high of a manic phase I just couldn’t curb it.  It wasn’t the panicked spending in the thousands of dollars a day I was doing in the manic phase, but it was $50 here, $20 there, $100 there and it all added up.  I just kept needing things.  Don’t know why.  Just had to have them.  Would die without them.  Skincare first.  Then makeup.  Then skincare agin.  Then purses and wallets.  All always one thing I would obsess over and spend on that one thing.  When I’m manic I do that, but also buy loads of other random crap just to spend money.  Coming off the mania, it was like obsessions with categories.  I must have every eyeshadow color this brand has ever made.  I must have every Coach Poppy bag.  My wallets must all mach and I need three.  Does this sound like some type of OCD?  Hoarding?  Something.  It’s not manic spending.  It feels different.  But it’s bad.  Maybe just a shopping addiction.  I always have to be addicted to something.  Better than the drugs, I suppose.  More expensive though.

I saw my pDoc today.  She upped my Lamictal to 300mg to help the mild depression.  We also switched from 30mg XR Adderall am and 15mg regular Adderall pm to 15mg regular Adderall 3/day.  That was my suggestion because I find that the XR lasts less time than the regular.  I take the XR around 6am and by noon I can’t even focus long enough to read a book or listen to a phone call with a client.  When I take my regular dose at 5pm I can focus until around 1am if I really needed to.  So about the same amount of time actually.  But with the current setup I can’t focus from 12pm-5pm.  That’s five hours of me being totally unproductive and generally surfing the internet because I can change the page every five seconds when I get distracted or bored.  Or napping.  Whatever.

I hate these long posts.  I’m sure no one reads them.  They look too long and formidable to get through.  Ultimately I post to vent to myself, but my vanity wants to think that someone somewhere gives a shit about my crazy.  My family can’t stand my crazy though, so why would anyone else voluntarily subject themselves to it?

My husband says he hates himself all the time.  I dislike me a lot right now and I hate my life.  I love my son though and my husband, so I plow on for them.  If not for them, I’d curl up in a ball and wallow.  If it gets bad enough I still might.  I wonder if other people hate themselves often.  I wonder if other people wake up and go “what happened to me” or “what happened to my life.”  I must think that 100 times a day.

I used to be so fun, such a party girl.  I had gotten out of a deep depression and was self medicating, so of course I was fun.  Everyone loved me.  Or hated me.  Not a lot of grey area.  Most people loved me though.  I lit up a room.  I was out ’till four in the morning and staggering into work the next day with stories about having sex in front of four people or dancing on table tops or whatever other crazy shit I had come up with.  The reality check is that I was in a very unhealthy place.  The ideal version I have in my head is that people actually liked me for once.  Plus I was having fun.  I liked me.  I liked my life like that.  I liked numbing the crazy and self medicating.  It’s much more fun than the real medication.

I look back…and part of me really misses that time in my life.  As absolutely fucked up as my life was then, I kinda liked it.  I had no money.  I was destroying my future.  I was destroying relationships with my family.  I was making reckless decisions left and right.  I was filled with wild abandon.  I was let loose and crazy and manic but not in the hallucinogenic type of way.  In the fun way where you destroy your life and think it’s awesome.

Then I realized what I was doing and I got really depressed.  Like, tried to kill myself depressed.  Tried to go to a doctor who turned me away.  Got worse.  Cried all day for months.  I tried to pick up the pieces of my life and I did.  I got a good job, I got married, I had a kid.  All things I had decided to do while manic and messed up, but I held through with my crazy promises to myself.

I stabilized after a while.  Had some episodes here and there.  Had one long episode of depression the whole time I was pregnant and about three months after.  I try to forget how bad I was then because I know I made my husband miserable.  The fact that he didn’t leave still surprises me.

Stabilized for a while again, and had another break about nine months ago.  Screwed more stuff up.  Got to a good doctor.  Got on the right meds.

And now, here I am left with this normal, ordinary life.  And it’s just not enough for crazy, extreme me.  My life is filled with the highest highs and the lowest lows and middle periods?  They get kinda boring after a while.  Right now I’m holding on to “right below the middle” for dear life though.  Not the biggest fan of the depressive side of the illness.

But this normal life, it’s making me itch.  Normal job.  Normal family.  Normal employee.  Normal wife.  Normal mother.  Who is this person?  I don’t like her.  She’s too vanilla.  I want that fun, crazy, party girl back.  But to get that back, I’d have to give up my son and husband.  My son I tried so hard to have.  My husband I’ve worked so hard to keep.  I wouldn’t give them up for anything – not all the parties and self medication in the world.  So why do I still feel like I miss that life?  If I wouldn’t change what I have, why do I ache for what I don’t?  I guess somehow I think I could have both.  I can be nomal!Kira until 8pm and party!Kira when the sun goes down.  History tells me normal and manic don’t go well together, but I sure wish I could have the good things that come with mania normally.  The energy.  The lively personality.  The lack of fear.

Now I’m just here, with my vanilla life, hating myself for wanting something different than my wonderful family.  Well, I don’t but I do.  I don’t know.  I know I hate thinking I might want something different.  I know I hate missing the party life.  Then my paranoia kicks in and I think, what if I can think these things into reality?  What if by the mere passing thought of wanting to be that girl again that somehow my son and husband will be taken from me by some greater act of nature.  A car wreck or a fire or something that takes what’s most important to me away because I wasn’t grateful enough for what I had.  Then I’d forever be missing what I have right this second and I’m here too stupid to enjoy it.  That’s my greatest fear of all – losing them because I didn’t love them well enough.

I’m such a shit wife and mother.

And now I’m officially wallowing.


Shopping, Sex, and Sadness

I’m so exhausted lately.  My classes this semester go until 9:45 at night which means I don’t get home until 10:30.  I have a hard time getting to sleep plus I have a long night time routine so that means I’m asleep around midnight.  Then I wake up  at 5:30am and do it all over again.  Luckily I only have physical classes two nights a week.  My other classes are online.  Still, a 45+ hour work week plus 12 course hours of school is starting to get to me.  Top it off with a mild depression and I’m passing out at my desk.

Last semester even though I was tired I still wasn’t falling asleep at work, so I’m chalking this up to the combo of work, school, and depression.  I’d take my Adderall around 3:00 (when I start to pass out) but then it wouldn’t last me until 10:30 and I wouldn’t be able to pay attention in class or pay attention to drive home.

I still find myself feeling like a bad wife and mother.  I feel like I’m a burden on everyone all the time.  I’ve gotten a lot better at doing things on my own lately, but I still can’t help but feel that all I do is inconvenience my loved ones.  I feel like one day my son will say I didn’t love him or something.  Just the depression talking, but I feel like everyone dislikes me.

On the flip side, I’ve been crazy horny lately.  TMI, I know, but I felt it was worth mentioning because never have sex and depression gone hand in hand for me.  Is this what a mixed episode feels like?  I haven’t had those since I was a kid and used to rapid cycle so much that it was one constant mixed episode.  I forget what it feels like to have both sides of my personality in my brain at once.

I don’t really think it’s a mixed episode though because in the last month my spending has gone down a good bit.  After my last manic episode I couldn’t quite get the spending part under control.  It was like my brain was saying “you spent all that money and didn’t go bankrupt so you didn’t really finish the job.”  I self sabotage too much.  My brain wants me to be dead broke and I don’t know why.  I’ve worked for years savings my money and within a few months of overspending almost all of it is gone.  Granted, I could have blown it all in a day or two plus some.  Not like that hasn’t been done before…but still, I was really proud of saving all that money.  All just to blow it.  So now I’m on a cash and debit only budget and I keep all my emergency credit cards at home so I can’t take an “emergency” lunch break to the mall or Ebay and drop a few hundred dollars in thirty minutes.

Migraines are steady getting worse.  My doctor finally called in my Topamax so hopefully in a week or so they’ll stop.

Is anything in life good?  My son.  I’m happy I have him in my life.  Despite my husband’s inability to stay out of trouble online, I love him.  Like my therapist says…even though we make mistakes we are still lovable.  I don’t feel very lovable.  At her suggestion, I tell myself I am a few times a day.  Not working yet.  Some of my affirmations that I keep on my iPhone app do help, but the lovable one hasn’t sunk in just yet.  Maybe soon.


Boring day, boring night, boring me

I have absolutely nothing interesting to say today.  My son is at my mom’s house and my husband and I have no work tomorrow.  We planned to go out and have some fun…but instead I’m blogging.

Why you ask?  Because we are boring, unsociable people once we leave work.  My husband and I are both the type that sit in corners and look miserable at a party if we go by ourselves.  If we go with someone social, I tend to pick up on their vibe and then my husband follows suit and we have a good time (mostly).  If we go with just us, we both sourpuss the whole time.

We tried to get some people together, but to no avail.  So, like so many toddler free nights, we are sitting at home drinking by ourselves being bored.

Back when we were younger we preferred this.  Going out with others meant less time together.  Less time for substance abuse, talking, and sex.  Now, five years later, we want to spend time with people other than just us.  We see each other every day and we talk every day about work, life, and what’s going on with our son.  There’s no updates to give if we go out together.  We just talk about the same stuff we did when we got home.  Unless new things have happened, we’ve kinda said it all.

Don’t read that the wrong way.  I’m happy we know each other so well that the only things we don’t know are the things that happened in the last 24 hours.  Any story I tell is a repeat.  So are his.  It’s a safe place to be, knowing each other.  We know each other’s issues and faults.  There’s no surprises when my mood swings or he acts emotionless.  We’re both hard to deal with to other people, but not as much to each other.  It’s nice, really.

It’s just also boring when we go places.  So we sit at home.  Going places just isn’t fun without a group.  Too bad we ran that group away that first year or two when we didn’t want anything to do with anyone that wasn’t us or didn’t supply drinks or pills.

In other news, I’m trying to make a Caramel Frappe and failing miserably.

My son also is unofficially kicked out of the speech therapy.  He had his annual test today and is no longer speech delayed, so no more speech therapy for him.  It’s good and bad.  I’m thrilled that he’s come so far and is doing so well.  On the other side of the coin, I’m worried without the speech therapy that he might backslide.  His therapy was done from the state (federal?) sponsored program that pays for all kids (under 5 I think) that have a physical or speaking delay.  No income maximum or anything.  Just to make sure kids get the help they need.  It’s a good program so long as you get one of the good therapists.

I guess my concern is that I’m not a speech therapist so I don’t know the best way to help him learn.  I tell him what things are and try to get him to say it back to me, but beyond that I’m clueless.  The ever present mommy worry – somehow, I’ll screw him up.

He’s not officially kicked out yet because they haven’t scored his test, but the lady that did it pretty much told me not to hold my breath.

Time to get speech therapy books I guess.


On trying to be crunchy

I guess my placebo effect is starting to wear off.  Yesterday I almost had a panic attack while driving because my husband didn’t answer his phone.  I spent thirty minutes just sure that he was dead.  I also almost bought a brand new car, though I still might because others tell me it’s a good idea.  That’s the only way for me to tell if I’m just being crazy.

Today, I couldn’t seem to stop talking.  I kept telling myself to shut up, but my mouth didn’t listen.  My thoughts are still streamlined and not intrusive, but I can’t seem to shut up.  I woke up full of energy.  I cleaned baseboards.  I didn’t nap all weekend.

I also decided to try juicing.  Ever since my son was born, I’ve been heavy on the organic food train.  When I was pregnant, I bought books on how to make baby food.  Everyone said I wouldn’t do it, which made me want to do it more.  It lasted about a week, as these things do, before I was exhausted and overwhelmed and pissed that I couldn’t even food process.  My son is also the Pickiest Eater Ever, as confirmed by daycare.  My mom makes most of his meals and freezes them so he can eat healthy organic versions of whatever I can convince him to eat.  When I try to cook for him, he gets two amazing meals and then sandwiches.  I just can’t manage 40+ hours at work, parenting, and master chef.  Some days I’m impressed I have the energy to make a sandwich.

At one point, we were buying a lot of fresh produce and organics from one of the healthy food stores.  This was before I started using budget software.  We were always broke and I couldn’t figure out why.  Turns out for me and my son to eat the kind of healthy I’d prefer we needed to spend upwards of $2000/m.  I’m sure people manage all organic cheaper, but I don’t know how.  So now I get what I can organic and fret about the rest, but suck it up so we can afford to send him to school.

Wal-Mart sells one organic juice.  I’m not too big on juices in general, but I figured once and while was okay.  Fresh juice got in my head this weekend because I’m forever lamenting the lack of nutrients in store juice and since my son is such a picky eater, I have to sneak what I can in what he will eat or drink.

Turns out, my mom had a juicer.  Good thing, cause I can test if he likes it, if I’ll stick with it, and if it’s worth the money before blowing $100.  Since it was an old juicer, it was without an instruction booklet.  I thought the container area was where the juice went.  It’s not.  There’s a hidden spout you’re supposed to put a cup under.  I didn’t, and made a mess.  Once that issue was fixed, I made foamy apple juice.  It kinda looked gross, but I don’t like store apple juice, so I don’t know how much my opinion counts.  My husband did agree though.

At first, my son would have none of it because I was diluting it.  Once I gave it to him just plain, he loved it!  I’m thrilled!  Something good for him that he likes!

There’s always a “but.”  It was pretty labor intensive to do, which could be helped by a newer juicer, but I’m not sure how much.  When the hypomanic high finally wears down and it’s 9pm after a long day at work and a long night at home, will I still be juicing?  I’d like to say yes, but my husband tells me I better not spend any money until I have some solid time behind me.  He cited the twice used food processor I insisted on last cooking attempt.

We’ll see how it goes I guess.


And I started wondering who he was going to be…and I thought heaven help us if he’s anything like me

Yeah, I stole lyrics from a country song.  How lame.  I am without my Sirius radio and the country station is the only one that plays music in the morning.  Normally hate country, but I liked the lyrics and they fit where the post is going to end up, so oh well.

Today my brain was quiet (or as quiet as mine ever gets) but things were shiny and had auras.  I don’t know how to classify that.  Normal-ish?  Hypomanic-ish?  I’ve been hypomanic/manic for around three or four months.  My brain having normal levels of thought actually had me bored.  I didn’t know what to do with myself without ten internal dialogues going on at once.  It felt abnormal to have normal thoughts because my brain has been going and going for so long now.

I spent some time on some message boards and found that a common topic amongst the bipolar sect is “will you have kids” and if you do “will you worry that you might pass the crazy on.”  It’s something I think a lot about, so I figured I’d post about it.

When I was young, I swore I’d never have children.  I was in the height of my illness and in such misery that the thought of dooming someone else to a living hell was unbearable.  Plus how could I be pregnant without medication?  How could I handle a child when there are so many days I can’t take care of myself?  I forget to feed my dog constantly.  I can’t even grow a plant.  I thought I’d be a terrible mother and the weight of passing on my illness was too hard on me.

I held these thoughts even into my early 20’s.  Then people around me stared having kids.  Notably, though it’s something I don’t wish to discuss on here, my husband had a child from a previous relationship who was still a baby when we got together.  We don’t see the child anymore and there’s an adoption process pending, but needless to say for a while I was around a lot of babies, one of which I cared a good bit for.  It was a hard time in my life, but I really loved caring for babies.  They brought out a compassion in me that I didn’t know existed.  I babysat sometimes for my friends’ children, ranging from 1-4, and I magically became a different person.

Something clicked in my head, and I felt a void that had never been there.  I felt like I was meant to be a mom.  I couldn’t wrap my head around the idea.  I was the girl that never wanted kids.  My illness hadn’t changed, I was actually cycling all over the place at the time.  Months of depressions, months of mania.  I just knew though, I was supposed to have a child.

I didn’t plan well, though my pregnancy was very much planned.  I was on medication and just figured I’d stop taking it when I got pregnant and things would work themselves out.  It took me nine months to get pregnant, and each month that passed with no positive test sunk me into a deeper and deeper depression.  I felt incomplete.  I felt like I would never get pregnant because someone like me shouldn’t have kids.  I had no plan for my swings when I was pregnant.  I had no plan on how to manage myself after he got here.  I was underserving and the great universe knew it and made me barren.

My reasons were selfish.  I know that now.  Then, I don’t know what I thought.  I knew what I wanted and knew I’d do whatever needed to be done to make it happen.  I spent hundreds of dollars on fertility calculators.  I was still worried about passing things on.  I didn’t know how I’d manage through the pregnancy or motherhood.  I just somehow had a feeling things would be okay, which is so rare for me, that I just trusted it.

Finally one month, I knew I was pregnant.  Before the positive test result came back, I knew.  I could feel it.  I felt suddenly complete and could feel warmth from within me and I just knew.  A few days later, a positive test result.  I was ecstatic.  I stopped taking my medications.  Everything would be okay.

I was wrong.  I lost in about three weeks in.  I made an emergency appointment with the doctor I recently quit going to.  We tried all sorts of pregnancy safe medications that I approved.  Some anti-histamines and Busapr.  Anything for bipolar I wouldn’t take.  I didn’t want the medication to hurt him.  I could go crazy for nine months, but nothing was going to touch my baby.  I refused any medication that didn’t have years of study in pregnant women.  I was physically and emotionally in agony.  My marriage collapsed around me because I was so unstable.

Reality sunk in.  Would I be a single mother suffering with bipolar with no support system?  How high were the odds that my son would be bipolar or mentally ill in some other way?  How could I parent like this?  My journal from when I was pregnant has so many entries that say “Son – I’m sorry.”  I talked to a few doctors who confirmed his odds were high since I have bipolar and technically my husband has a bipolar diagnoses, though as stated in a previous post, that’s my fault and not accurate.  He does have personality disorders of some type.  Combine the two and the odds are stacked against my son.

I hated myself.  I hated what I had done.  But I loved my son more than anything.  I would have died for him even before he was born.  I did everything I could to eat right and stay off any dangerous medication, my own problems be damned.  I had a scheduled C-section because the idea of not knowing was a big issue for me.  I needed some plan.  Medications prescribed and in bottles waiting to go to the hospital with me so I could start back up on them the day he was born.

After I had him, my moods were still bad but not as bad.  My husband stayed with me through it all, though not without issue.  But holding that little boy in my arms, I had clarity that I should have had before I made the choice to have him.

One of the unique things about bipolar is intensity.  Most bipolars are intense people in almost every way.  We feel the same emotions, but at higher levels.  I have the ability to love intensely. I might be one of the few people that can say “no one will love you like I do” and it would be true.  I love my son with fire-like intensity.  I’m sure all moms do.  When he hurts, I feel it ten fold.  When he’s happy, it brings me joy.  I would sacrifice my life a thousand times over for him.  I look at him and I fight back tears of joy.  No words that I can write will ever be able to explain my feelings correctly.

So here’s how I feel now.  I worry every day that I might have passed on some illness to him.  Not just bipolar, but any mental illness.  I hope every time I look at his big smile that he’s always happy, though I know that’s impossible.  But if it doesn’t work out, if he is bipolar – well, who better to help him?  My mom is an amazing woman and I would not be here today without her constant support, but I know she’ll never really get my illness.  She can support me, but she can’t understand.  I can do both for my son if I have to.  I can spot the manias and depressions and I know how to talk to people going through them.  I can hold him and tell him I love him, but I can also make sure he gets the right help.  I can be an ear to listen when everyone else doesn’t get it.  I can handle the rages and the tears because I’ve been there.  I can understand like no one else because of my experiences.

At the end of the day, I do hate my illness, but it’s made me who I am.  I’m someone people don’t forget.  I’m not replaceable.  I’m a better listener, a better understander, a better person because of what I’ve endured.  I’m stronger than people twice my age because I’ve been through twenty times as much.

That person that I am?  Has the ability to be an amazing mom to a son who turns our to be normal or a son who is just like me.  Maybe being raised by someone with a misunderstood illness, even if he is normal, will teach him compassion and empathy for others.  Teach him to be able to support and understand.

There are, of course, some downsides.  I’m not always stable.  When I’m not, I make sure to get away or to enlist help from my husband or my mom.  I try to keep my swings away from him as much as possible.  I’m more committed now to my health.  I’m trying to be more med compliant.  I’m considering therapy and support groups again.  I have the ability to be a great mom, but my illness can take that from me quickly.  I can’t help him through any troubles he has if I’m off hallucinating or crying all day.

My son gives me a reason to manage myself.  Before him, I didn’t care.  I could cycle like crazy and everyone could just deal or leave.  I didn’t care.  I could be in agony and I’d take meds just long enough to bear myself and then get right back off.  I won’t let myself do that anymore.

I’m formulating the plans now I should have had before I considered getting pregnant.  I didn’t, and perhaps the chaos that he lived in for the first six months of his life will leave an effect, but I hope not.  I hope he doesn’t remember a mom who cried a lot or yelled at daddy and flew off the handle.  I hope he remembers the mom I’m trying to be now.  I hope that through the break through cycles, he’ll remember he has a mom that loves him with every fiber of her being and is doing everything she can to be there for him.

I still worry about his mental health.  He has panic attacks and it scares me.  I hope they’re fleeting.  He’s only two, clearly too young to formulate opinions.  I keep a watchful eye, but try not to obsess over everything he does.  If he ends up like me, I’m sure I’ll never forgive myself.  With every depression or mania he might have, I know I’ll feel them a thousand times over all laced with guilt.  I stand by my pregnancy journals – for any sadness he may have because of my genes – I am truly sorry.

But I do not regret my choice, not for one second.  He’s already an amazing kid.  He’s charismatic.  He lights up a room when he enters.  He’s everyone’s favorite.  He makes this world a better place just by existing.  He makes my life full of hope where once there was only despair.  I cannot imagine a world without him.

I know that many bipolar people choose not to have kids.  I thought I would always be one of them.  Everyone has to make a decision that’s best for them.  Mine wasn’t thought out, but it was the right one for me.

So for my son, my reason for being, I will take better care of myself.  That way, if my worst fears come true and he is mentally ill, he has a strong mommy to support him and understand him.  Someone to cry to if he’s depressed, someone to speed talk to if he’s manic, someone to tell the scary thoughts he might have without worrying that I won’t understand or that I’ll think he’s not right.  No matter who he is, no matter what illness he may have, he is my world.

And one day everyone will know:  the world is a better place to have us in it.  My illness allows me to offer things and do things others can’t.  That part, at least, I do hope to pass on.

I love you, my little man.  You are the best thing I’ve done with my crazy life.  No matter who you turn out to be, no matter what problems may or may not come, you are perfect.


Xanex is not a mood stabilizer & why a completed to do list spells bad things

Not one, but two doctors told me I should take my Xanex to slow down my hypomania. Both of these doctors were wrong. It is a sugar pill to mania. It’s a miracle for my anxiety issues. There are days I wouldn’t have gotten through without it because of that. But for hypomania/mania, I might as well take Advil or something. Advil might be better, because it might not make things worse, and I’m starting to wonder if the Xanex might.

According to my app, at 11am, I was sleepy but light hypomanic. By 12pm, I was exhausted. At 1pm, my son would not nap, I lost it completely, called my mom in for backup, and generally freaked out for thirty minutes. At 1:30pm, I took a Xanex. My mom stayed from 2:30-4:00-ish and the whole time I talked a mile a minute and never got to take the nap I wanted so badly. The napped I lost my mind over not getting because my son wouldn’t take his. My mom told me she could only understand half of what I was saying because of how fast I was talking and had to tell me many time to slow down or stop talking altogether. WTH???

Xanex needs to stay in my back pocket for bedtime and anxiety, but in terms of a primary med for bipolar/mania/general crazy, it’s pretty freaking useless. It’s either not doing anything or making me worse. I’m kinda betting “doing nothing.”

I feel like I am exactly where I would be without the meds minus hallucinations. So yay to my antipsychotic arch nemesis Risperdal for that I guess. But otherwise, I’m still all messed up.

My husband was happy cause I cleaned. He still does’t get how a clean house can ever be a bad thing, even though it almost always is for me. I tried to explain how I felt, but I was probably talking to fast for him to even comprehend. I try to explain sometimes, but it feels like wasted air a lot.

He said he could understand some of it, because he does have streaks of hypomania in his everyday personality. He spends a lot, he’s reckless, he usually has a lot of energy. But thoughts so fast you can’t keep up, so fast it makes your head hurt…that’s a foreign concept. Grandiose schemes and plans that I fight not to start because when I ultimately never finish it’s just one more thing to hate myself for on the down swing, that idea got a side head tilt he was so confused. I said “I have all these great ideas! But I can’t do them, because I know it’ll be bad if I do later.” He said “just do them.” I said “I won’t finish them. The ideas are big and expensive and time consuming. I won’t be able to follow them through like my head tries to tell me I can, and when I don’t do finish them, I’ll feel like a failure.”

I fight these ideas every day, because my head is a good sales person and wants me to think I CAN do them. When manic, all things are possible. But I’m realistic and know (or at least hope…) that mania is not forever and “sad I never started” depression is better than “I can’t ever do anything” depression. My head asks “what if you dismiss a good idea as a manic one and miss it?” I don’t have an answer. This is how some tasks get started anyhow. Some of them just get sold better to the bit of my brain I can control. At a level 10 mania, there’s not a lot of the part left, so I hold on to the bits I can control pretty tight so long as I have them.

Rational brain says Big Ideas are all Bad Ideas in current state, even if perhaps some of them aren’t. But “quest for perfect skin!” managed to sell it’s way through somehow. Maybe it didn’t seem big enough. I think I’m up to $400 in skincare in two weeks. I don’t know how that number didn’t fall into “Big Idea.” Generally anything over $100 I classify as “Big” in manic states, because above $100 and five minutes later it’s $1000. That’s not including lots of other dumb ass things I’ve bought. I hate my spending issues when manic. They cause depression, too, when I have to try to fix them all later. Red on my budget software makes me sad, but apparently not sad enough to kick me into depression.

Not that depression would be better, but I’m nearing three or four months of this manic nonsense and I just can’t deal.

I think I posted ramblings last night, though I only vaguely remember doing so and haven’t gone back to read it because it’s probably scary to look at. At least it is if you’re the person that wrote it and doesn’t recall much of it.

These meds better work, because this is the longest spell of “up” I’ve had in a long time, and usually the ups are shorter than the downs. The down on this one is gonna be bad if the meds don’t work. Bad, bad, bad.

Hypomania can be fun. For a day or maybe a week. When it’s “light day” hypomania and I’m not creating problems. After that, it’s pretty awful. Self – read this next time you’re depressed and wishing for mania. It sucks on this end, too, you just forget.

Hope the doctor calls me Monday. I need a Xanex for bipolar. Something that does what Xanex does for panic attacks, but for mania. That’s what I said at my last appointment. I was told Xanex should do it. Well, it’s not. So let’s try again. Bring on the Seroquel or something. Inject me with Abilify. Just make this nonsense stop. The only thing keeping me from classifying myself “hospital level manic” is lack of hallucinations.

I have some grip left on reality, but it’s not a lot. I’m fighting for that little bit every second of every day, even if it doesn’t look like it. If you see me sitting, reading a book at work, inside my mind I’m at war. It’s a war I fight every day, but right now I’m in the heat of battle and I’m losing ground. Me versus bipolar. Every day of my life. Until the day I die. A war I can never really “win.”

This is an awful way to live. Fighting ideas like they’re demons. For most people, a Big Idea is a good thing. A new task, a new hobby, something to accomplish. For me, it’s just another thing to be depressed about later and spend money on now. For most people, a complete to do list, a clean house, and a list of extra things accomplished is a productive day. For me, it’s symptoms of a bigger problem.

It’s funny how if I sniffle, everyone asks if I’m depressed and have I been taking my meds, but when extra stuff gets done no one sees a problem until it’s full swing mania. I get a cold and people worry about depression because they hear me blow my nose and think I’ve been crying. A clean house at midnight and no one asks questions. Mild depression has a negative impact on others and they certainly don’t want the risk of major depression. Mild hypomania makes everyone else’s life easier and they can just cross their fingers and hope it doesn’t escalate and negatively impact them. It’s selfish, but I can see why they’d do it. I don’t get much accomplished outside work hours anytime other than hypomanic or greater. People end up having to pick up household slack for me a lot. I’ll give them the happiness over my cleaning and organizing.

Other than losing it this afternoon, my son and I had a great morning. We played with just about every toy in the house. I wore him out for once. He was giggling and happy and super lovey-dovey all day. I called my mom as soon as I got irritable with him because he didn’t deserve it and I didn’t want to yell at him. It’s not his fault I have issues and I don’t want him to pay for them. Once I knew she was on her way, I could bite my tongue easier on the things he was doing that annoyed me. I hate feeling annoyed by him. It gives me a major case of mommy guilt. It’s not like he can understand “mommy is having a moment, go play in your room for a while.” If he wants to interact, he wants to interact. I tried that, by the way. He went in his room and when he saw I wasn’t following he stopped and held his hand out and said “room” in a sweet voice. How do you say no to that? You can’t. So I didn’t. But we did sit quietly until my mom got there to lessen noises and such that might set me off. I don’t like to fuss at him, let alone raise my voice. Irritable me raises my voice a lot. Thus, backup called the first time I yelled.

Hopefully tomorrow will go a little smoother and then hopefully the doctor will call Monday and someone will give me something that will work quickly. Quickly being the key phrase. I was gonna try to do something with a friend of mine tomorrow, but I’m thinking maybe not now. I dunno. I’m beyond broke and a little on the nutty side to be socializing. Maybe going out would do me some good though. I guess I’ll see how I feel when I wake up. If I can get me and my son dressed and ready in time, perhaps I’ll go. It won’t be the biggest expense I’ve had in the last week and it will be something for him to enjoy and thus a truly reasonable expense.

EDIT: Read last night’s post. Reads much like I remember feeling, which is to say all over the place and generally crazy.