I am a mother of two little human. 5 years ago, I was also diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder and Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder earlier this year, the ugly truth I despise. The worse two living conditions that I wouldn’t wish on anyone to experience. Days can go bad into worse at a snap of a hand, without you knowing to anticipate.
Often times I wonder how much damage I cause to my children psychologically. I doubt myself if I have given them the love and safety the needed from a mother. I doubt myself a little more every single day, if I am a good mother for my children
What is Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder?
We all know that with Bipolar Disorder, it means you will have manic episodes and depression (hypomania) episodes. With Rapid Cycling Bipolar, it means that you experience episodes of mania and hypomania, followed by episodes of depression that last for months, weeks or years. You feel stable for a few weeks weeks than followed with manic episodes all of a sudden.
What Causes Bipolar Disorder?
It is sadly still unknown, many factors may be involved, such as :
- abnormalities in neurotransmitters or brain structures
Further More about Bipolar Disorder
During manic episode, patients often feel particularly overly happy or irritable, with some of these symptoms:
- Excessive ambitiousness
- Decreased need for sleep
- Excessively talkatibe
- Fast-running thoughts
- Increased activity or energy
- Do risky things, like spending of money
During this episode, patients often feel empty, hopeless or loss of pleasure, with these symptoms :
- Feeling depressed most of the day or nearly everyday
- Decreased interest in various activities
- Too little or too much sleep
- Increased restlessness or feeling “slowed down”
- Feeling of worthlessness
- Pulling themselves for connecting with people
- Recurrent thoughts of death
- Decreased or increased appetite
My Daily Life with Bipolar
Every morning I wake up uncertain about the state of my mind – whether I will be experiencing mania, depression or functioning normally. I am always on guard, constantly monitoring and controlling my behavior.
Like everything in life, there are periods of highs and lows, good days and bad days. However bipolar disorder is always present, accompanying me even as I spend time with my children.
Each day feels like an ongoing struggle.
No two days are the same for me, some days I won to manage the days, some days I succumb in disaster. There are days when I feel so much loved when my children want to cuddle with me or when they says,”Mommy, you are the best, I love you.” But I’m not gonna lie there are also some days when I don’t want to be touched by them, I practically just want them and everyone away from me. During these horrible days, I feel like a failure and end up crying by myself – how can a mother treat her children like that.
Everyday, I take my medication religiously for my depression and bipolar condition. These small pills are intended to improve my well-being. However, they are not a cure-all. They do assist in reducing the intensity of extreme mood swings, but I still have to work hard to maintain stability in my daily life.
To be honest, I find myself somewhat drawn to the manic phase of my bipolar. The boundless energy and enthusiasm it brings is invigorating. It seems that my young children also prefer me in this state. They delight in having a vibrant and energetic mother, as it means hours of endless play and fun for them
Until everything falls apart…
It reaches a breaking point, where the intensity become overwhelming. I become overwhelmed. My little children, in turn, feel the weight of this chaos and exhaustion. They become unsetlled and eventually, even scared being around me.
Everything musts be done precisely as I expect, and precisely when I expect it. My expectations become unrealistic, and I project these expectations onto my children, expecting them to behave in ways that align with my own standards.
I transform into an individual who is obsessive and demanding. Everything musts be done precisely as I expect, and precisely when I expect it. My expectations become unrealistic, and I project these expectations onto my children, expecting them to behave in ways that align with my own standards.
Over time, my frustration builds as things do not unfold as they are “supposed to”. I grow angry and resentful, realizing that I cannot control everyone and everything around me.
As a result, I become irrational and react sharply to minor mistake, such as spilled drink at the dinner table resulted in me slapping my child. In this critical moments when my children most yearn for love and comfort, instead they are met with anger, irrationality, and a coldness that wounds.
I apologize to them. Over and over again. But it is done, no matter how bad I want to take it back.
And There Comes the Depression Episode
Subsequently, the descent from bipolar mania descends upon me. The overwhelming desire for being alone emerges, accompanied by an anger that no one seems to comprehend. Feelings of worthlessness and hatred become all-consuming.
There are times when I bury myself in bed, refusing to get up or take a shower or eat. There are moments when I drink too much, attempting to numb my thoughts. Occasionally, I rely on sleeping pills in excessive quantities, yearning for a respite from constant thinking. Yet, despite these cries for help, it feels as though no one truly understands the depth of my pain.
On the worst days, I even have difficulties to breathe, I am heaping like I’m lacking of oxygen. I can’t sleep despite having too many sleeping pills. I refused to meet or talk to any human (including my children)
Following this depression takes hold. I manage to complete my daily duties, but there is a disctinct absence of engagement, enthusiasm and emotion. I do care for my children, but I struggle to establish a meaningful connection with them. Thankfully, I have the support of my therapist, who serves as a friend and my husband as my confidant who never complain – aiding me in understanding and navigating the current state I find myself in.
Tips to Navigate Bipolar Days
- Force yourself to get up, drag yourself if you have to
- Walk under the sun (put on your earphone if you feel uncomfortable with crowds like me)
- 30 minutes exercise (even if it’s just swimming or gentle yoga)
- Read a book (do not binge watching, because it numbs your mind, I’d been there)
- Have your medication and attend regular talk with your therapist
- You DO NOT NEED to explain yourself to others
- Try art therapy such as painting, clay, playing music (I can’t paint, when painting helps me ease my mind)
- Write a journal on what you are going through or what you feel that day
Things Do Get Better Though…
There are moments of improvement with bipolar, I assure you. Sometimes, the progress comes swiftly; other times, it occurs gradually. Occasionally, setbacks may arise, and the thought of persevering becomes daunting. But yes, there is hope for improvement.
However, there is one constant that never wavers : the immense love I hold for my two children. I would willingly give everything I have to ensure their happiness and well-being.
Everyday, I continue to encounter circumstances that provoke a strong reaction within me, but i am learning to manage. There are days when I successfully overcome these challenges, while on others, I may stumble and struggle. However, there is one constant that never wavers : the immense love ii hold for my two children. I would willingly give everything I have to ensure their happiness and well-being.
In the midst of it all, I simply hope and pray that this love I possess will be sufficient.