One of the biggest mistakes made… no doubt in the throes of this disorder… is to end (and at times, begin) relationships while in the grips of mania.
The devastation brought on by this is insane. You lose people you love… hurt those around you… lose friends and family that you thought you could always count on… your reputation is dragged through the mud, over and over… and the worst, you just hurt yourself and the one you love most to a degree that may never be mended.
I am no stranger to this. And have, more times than I would like to admit, ruined relationships this ugly way. The last being the straw that broke the camels back. I no longer stayed in denial about my disorders and aggressively sought to treat them… but the damage was done, the relationship could not be revived, and we parted ways promising to be good co-parents to our two youngest children.
The damage was severe. The pain I caused astronomical. The domino affect of my actions led to my son being abused physically by someone I thought I could trust… this list goes on and on.
When I was in therapy, I was all eyes and ears… I recognized the feelings, emotions, actions, controlling factors, and etc… I had experienced them all before, 11 years previous when I left my first husband and lost custody of my children. Not for being a bad mom, but, well it is a long story… Can be read here- Time to get real- 1, about the first go around and Time to get real- 2 about the second. The point is, it was not foreign to me. I recognized having done this before and I was seriously ready to get to the bottom of this problem… ready to fix it, and to never fall victim to it again.
It has been a very long road since. I have been out of therapy for nearly two years and look forward to starting again in September when my medicare kicks in. My bouts of mania have ceased… and depression creeps up and ducks out. I feel like I am trapped in my body, just watching and waiting for the next attack on my life. I want to be well equipped, able to fight off any actions that I have not thoroughly thought out and planned for while in a normal frame of mind. I don’t want my world to buckle again… I don’t want to have to rebuild from rubble and tears… I don’t want to have to spend years saying “I am sorry” to myself and to others… I don’t want to want to die.
I want to live… and as I am learning, I want to live well. My goal is to serve as an open book for my children, so they can learn from me and see the devastation that can come from impulsive decisions. I want them to learn what it is to rebuild and be successful when all odds are against you. I want them to learn that we can all love again… especially to learn to love ourselves. And most of all… if any of them inherit my mental health issues, I want them to learn how to live and thrive even though our minds may try to get us to do otherwise. I will always fight for them… they have always been my beacon, now it is my turn to be theirs.
This disorder no doubt tore me down while making me believe I was all powerful and fully in charge. When I get thoughts like that swirling around my head now, I take a step back and start picking things apart… and I no doubt find that I am manic, rapid cycling, or in a mixed state… all damaging in their own right.
Being Bipolar 1 certainly takes over ones life… but I can honestly say that I have been taking it back.
I will flourish. I will continually work on forgiveness… not for others necessarily, but for myself. I will not stay silent, but speak openly about my disorders. I will help anyone struggling with mental disorders, teaching them my experiences and how I kept my head above water… and I will help to educate anyone and everyone who will listen.
I will learn to be proud of myself. I will always move forward… even if I have to take a couple steps back at times. I will keep this fire inside of me.
And most important…
I WILL NEVER GIVE UP.
- Diagnosis: Depression. Huh? (otherwiseresources.wordpress.com)