We Bipolar moms have a special problem
We feel gagged
like we can’t say it
we can’t say how we really feel
because the judgement we face is excruciating
there is NOTHING like being told that
you don’t love your kids
Am I right?
Especially for those of us who are literally moving heaven and earth to give our kids everything they need from us…physically and mentally and emotionally
Especially when we know we would take bullets…jump in front of buses
beg for MORE Bipolar if it would spare our kids from having it
When everything we do, think and feel has them behind it
When your love for your kids is so strong that…
it scares you
There is another human being that you love more than your own life
and that has enormous ramifications.
and we operate as such
So how then do we have the courage when we are low to be honest and say
“I feel no meaning in my life”
“I just want to go to sleep and stay asleep”
“I hate everything”
“I just want to die”
because to the untrained ear that sounds like we are saying
I don’t love my kids
I don’t care about my kids
My kids are not enough
My kids are not worth it………
And we would never say that….
because it isn’t true
But how can we possibly describe
the way they are separate
the way our love for them persists through our darkest dark
how we actually can feel like life is totally meaningless and wish we were dead but…
feel that transcendent swell of perfect love…
feel a fullness of life that surpasses everything else…
a love and a joy that makes no sense in the earthly realm
But that knowledge of the preciousness of life and the immense blessing that is parenthood…
does not fix brain disorders
That’s not how Bipolar works
If we are going to go the comparison route…
Love for your children does not make cancer go away…
does not cure Multiple Sclerosis…
does not make an Epileptic brain not seizure
No one would ever judge a person for still having seizures even though they have children.
Love cannot stop Bipolar
Love does not prevent Bipolar symptoms
and that is what thoughts such as
“Life is meaningless”
“I wish I was dead”
they are symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
So as crazy as it sounds
we hold BOTH
at the same time we carry…
the love for our children
and the symptoms of Bipolar
That is how Bipolar works
That is how love works
But it hurts us so horribly to feel it….
to hear our brains tell us….
“Your life is meaningless”
when we have the most beautiful thing in the world right in front of us
a thing that rocked our world and soul the minute they were shown to us…
our eyes lock with them the first time and we know
everything is different now.
And it hurts us to hear our brains say…
“It would be better if I was dead…”
When we have little voices crying for
and you rest in the solid certainty that you ARE THE ONE human on the planet that they want the most.
That you are
no one else will do
And what really hurts is when our brains do that horrible horrendous thing
where they tell us….
“You know…they really would be better off WITHOUT you.”
now that is a killer
literally I think
because that is a lethal Bipolar thought symptom for moms
because we would do ANYTHING for our children
Hopefully we hold on to the fact that it IS JUST a BIPOLAR THOUGHT SYMPTOM
That thought is not true
That thought is Bipolar getting out the big guns
to try to take us all the way out
because that IS Bipolar’s end game
and Bipolar is a genius
it knows right where to hit us
and it customized this one for us moms
And then there is the Bipolar/Depressed mom’s constant thought companion in low times…
it goes something like this…
“If it weren’t for the kids…..”
Which in my mind I call…
The Bipolar Mom’s suicidal/anti-suicidal thought
on one hand it shows how serious her depression is
on the other hand it shows that she sees meaning and purpose
even though her brain is beating her incessantly with thoughts to the contrary.
I remember the first time I said this…
it didn’t seem to mean anything especially eventful to me
to me it seemed obvious
it made perfect sense
I was actually surprised by the small gasp from my friend
Let me repeat myself because this is my message here
“I want to die”
“Everything is meaningless”
“I feel empty…nothing”
“I wish I was dead”
“The kids would be better off without me”
are all SYMPTOMS of Bipolar disorder…
NOT truths of our HEARTS
The truth of our hearts….
the truth is the Love
and truth be told…..
it is a Love
that Bipolar can’t touch
it persists separately
not in the waters of Bipolar
shining unconditionally and unendingly and confidently
through every storm
We can’t help it if people hear those words
that we are
unfit to parent
that we do not love our children
We can’t help that.
Society is tough on mothers ANYWAY
mothers who brave up and decide to break the damaging silence and say…
“You know what?! Parenting is without a doubt the hardest thing EVER and you know what sometimes I HATE it. But that has nothing to do with my love for my children.”
But you know what…people accuse non bipolar women who say THAT of being selfish and not loving their children.
Because somehow the thankless day to day parenting is supposed to be rainbows and sunshine ALL the time and if you feel overwhelmed and stressed out and discouraged you are supposed to keep it to yourself.
Because good moms NEVER hate parenting.
But you know what?
Parenting is a JOB
There is being a Parent which is always beautiful and fulfilling
but then there is the nitty gritty daily slog…the WORK of parenting
and who LOVES their job ALL the time?
Who is EXPECTED to love their job ALL the time?
I am sure even those who have scored their DREAM jobs…have days they don’t want to go…moments where they feel like failures…job issues that make them want to quit
So why is it fair to judge moms for admitting that the JOB of parenting ISN’T always rainbows and sunshine and perfect naps and bon bons?
So as Bipolar moms we are DOUBLY screwed
because we already live in a world that judges mothers for admitting that parenting is hard and they are struggling and they sometimes hate it…
and then we tack on the Bipolar
which has us not only feeling like we are failures….
but that we are SUCH EnormoUS failures…
that we should kill ourselves.
There is no way we are NOT going to get judged for that.
sigh and smell the stigma
But we are Not strangers to facing judgement
to facing stigma
and this issue right here is the ultimate test of brave honesty
I have read a lot of the blogs of you Bipolar Moms and I see you all courageously putting forth your truths…your true feelings…your Bipolar thoughts
side by side
with your world as parents
and I am inspired
and I am in awe
and I am grateful
and I am glad
because it must be said
it must be shared
Sometimes being a Bipolar mother means doing the impossible
doing what is impossible
People can have physical health conditions AND still LOVE their kids
We can be Bipolar AND love our kids
We can be Depressed AND love our kids
and that should NOT be breaking News to this broken judgmental world
I have to run now
my kids need me