Posts Tagged ‘reality’

Getting real! Will I ever get to shut up?

May 4, 2015

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Here where I live it’s Mental health week. I don’t know if it’s the same where you are. But I don’t care when the week is where.
Every minute of every day in my house is mental health “week .
It’s not a day or a week or a month for those who have it.
But it gives us a good opportunity to maybe get a few more people’s attention, maybe chip away a bit more of that stigma.

Because I’m telling you now, that the biggest problem with mental illness isn’t those suffering, it’s the stigma and stereotypes surrounding it.

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Truth is, those with anxiety, depression, bipolar and the gambit of others are no less. Yet to often they’re made out to be!
The stigma surrounding mental illness has had its time, now it’s time for it to be stomped out like so many other stigmas that have been minimized by people actually standing up and saying enough.
It’s time to break down the walls.
Those who are in the trenches of illness aren’t the ones who should have to make this change, at least they shouldn’t have to do it alone.
They are pretty unlikely to be open, because society has them feeling ashamed and scared of being looked at as less. So that leaves it up to us, the general population to make reality known, to lead the change, to speak up until people are sick of our voices, so much so they may have a new understanding or appreciation, or at the very least they think before they speak.

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If you are still using the ‘r’  word, chucking out bipolar and mental hospitals as a joke, here’s a kick of reality for you. You’re not funny, you are flaming the fires of mental health stigma. Mental health isn’t a joke. It is as serious as any other chronic disease. It is difficult, frustrating, all consuming and life threatening without treatment. And like any disease treatment is necessary, and sometimes even with all treatment possible the outcome is death. But like no other disease stigma plays a huge barrier in patients getting treatment needed. Often feeling judged, shameful, isolated and unsupported.

And I promise you that the mother’s who have buried their children would ask you to consider how you would feel burying your child, because treatment wasn’t sought because of the ignorant stigmas surrounding their child’s illness.
Or how you would feel after all treatment was taken, still loosing the battle, burying your child (because that’s reality for many) and the next day hearing the “think positive”, ” their fault “, ” you didn’t do enough “, and
” your in a mental hospital ” bull. Yes because that’s what every mother facing illness, and potential death of a child wants to hear.

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So until
*one by one people shut up long enough to think about their comments and jokes. Even  if you think it’s funny, keep it to yourself, it’s not and you’re not helping the problem.
*One by one people actually think of those who are in the “jokes”. 
Really think about the battle they face. Think about how you would like to have yourself or your child, or an illness you face, to no fault of yours, mocked, laughed at, blamed, ridiculed, criticized, and judged by the masses.
* One by one we realize we don’t laugh at, make jokes or judge physical illness, so why in the hell is it OK to with mental illness?
* One by one people understand the majority of people with mental illness are solely a threat to themselves not others.
*One by one, people keep their judgements of treatment to themselves. * One by one we start supporting those who live with mental illness and their families, building them up instead of tearing them down and making them feel less.

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Until those things happen and make a difference, I won’t shut up. And I truly hope one day I can just shut up!

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Easy way out, hard way in.

April 26, 2015

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In full need of disclosure, I must say that I am in no way a professional, nor do I promote or condone medication for everything. As I often say each case is unique, and not all disorders etc require or should be treated by medication. I am simply sharing from personal experience with a child.

I have written on the taboo subject of meds before. It is taboo and it is touchy and very personal and individual to each situation. I am not going to tell you that you or your child needs meds, I’m simply asking that people stop with the “I refuse to give my kid meds”  and “meds are horrible” statements. Just stop being so closed minded and judgemental in regards to medications.

And here’s why.

As a parent making the decision to put your child on medication for anything non physical is an excruciating decision. Mostly because we know that we will hear so much from other parents about how bad a choice it is. How you would never do that. Good for you, I hope you’re never faced with the reality some of us are.
By saying over and over you refuse to medicate a child (I am talking after ample assessment, needs, therapy and by the appropriate doctors here, not just because a teacher says your child’s hyper, or a gp sees a glimmer of a sign) you are implying directly or indirectly that I am not doing right by my child.

That I am taking the easy way out.
I assure you that I’m not taking the easy way out. I assure you there’s not a damn thing easy about having a child battling mental illness. And I assure you without our treatment plan, my son would be dead. There I said it. Yes D.E.A.D. my 13 year old, kind, sweet, compassionate boy would cease to exist. So no I am not taking the easy way out. Stop making me feel that I am!

I’ve had recent conversations with parents who are sitting across from me, asking advice, because their children are lost , suicidal, self medicating and on a path that has no positive outcomes. Yet when I ask if they’re seeing a psychiatrist, or the possibility that medication may help, I’m quickly answered with “no no I refuse to give my kid meds, and that’s all those people and places do!” .

There are times when I get extremely frustrated when a child’s well being is at risk, at how ignorant people can be. Your to tell me that smoking dope, drinking, risky behaviour and so on is better than therapy and medication?

To each their own, if you are actively finding other means of healthy treatment that are successful for yourself or child, good on ya. If it’s successful and getting positive results, please continue.
Unfortunately for many there’s no easy fix, or simple one for chronic mental illness. There’s also the little things called chemicals in the brain, in which if unbalanced only chemicals can somewhat balance them. Maybe your teen says the meds make them feel weird. Maybe they’re not the correct medication or dose, or maybe they do. Of course it’s important to remember with those little chemicals, their brain chemistry has been unbalanced, and quite possibly they feel weird because they’re balanced. Maybe for the first time in years. Their “normal”  may not necessarily mean balanced and well.

We chose to be proactive with our particular situation,and to work with, not against, a slough of professionals.
Our son has been through physio, OT, test upon tests. Ongoing therapy and physciatrists appointments, hospital stays and hours upon hours of coping.

I do get frustrated when parents choose to bury their heads, I do get angry when they ignore blatantly that their children need help.
Our son is now a young teenager, and though the opposite extreme of the classic bipolar extremes, he knows right from wrong. He’s kind and giving. Smart and funny. He’s a risk to no one but himself. We could easily be on a different path had we “refused to give him meds” or get him help. Our journey would be a drastically different one. And I like to think we’ve done something right by being proactive.

So no we didn’t take the easy way out.
Taking the easy way out would have been denying (trust me we tried), ignoring, blaming, and making excuses. No we choose the hard, long, stressful way. We chose to work damn hard every minute of every day to save our child. To give him a fighting chance. To keep him with us, no matter how hard the work is(yes folks it is damn hard) with us for as long as possible.

No we chose to dive in. We chose to take the hard way in.

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Your child.

April 19, 2015

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When you find out you’re expecting, you start planning! You plan the nursery, you plan appointments, delivery, names and everything in between.
One thing I know for sure is when that sweet baby arrives, you will continue to plan.
The other thing I know for sure is planning doesn’t mean anything, especially that it will happen!

We have our babies and we have a vision. I’m telling you right now, erase it!
Let them create their own.
And accept them. Let your expectations go and realize they are who they are and being just them, is perfect.

I can remember receiving my sons first diagnosis and having a hard time accepting that my son would never be the side kick to his dad we had expected our little boy to be. He’d never lace up skates, and never be accepted as one of the team or one of the cool kids.
That’s a tough pill to swallow.

And yet here I am 8 years later, a few more diagnosis, a lot of lessons and perfectly content with who my son is and growing into.
And a daughter, younger, I believe who has benefited from my just embracing them as they are. She’s fiercely individual and unique, strong willed and could care less about the box she’s supposed to fit into within society.

My children are who they are, not who I planned for them to be while holding them that first time. But better!

If I could tell new parents a few things of the years to come, from raising a son who lives with numerous disorders (bipolar, sensory processing disorder, developmental coordination disorder, severe anxiety, OCD… ), and one “typical”  daughter who is anything but typical, it would be…

1. Don’t worry about the other kids, or what the books say. They’re not yours, so don’t worry if little Johnny walked first or talked later. Every single kid develops at their own pace. Let your mind rest that in 10 years it won’t matter. (of course if you’re concerned visit your professional).

2. Allow your child to be their own person. Yes of course parent and guide, but it’s important to remember that they are not you. They’re born with their own personality,they’ll find their own passions  interests and goals. Embrace them, even if they’re not yours.

3. Let go. Sometimes we’re faced with the reality that our reality is not what we had planned or hoped for. That’s OK! Grieve (and you will) for those losses, because you will have to find a new path with in your reality. Let the pre conceived realities go. Accept what is and find your best self with in it. Holding onto the plans and hopes you held may now be unrealistic, and continuing to live there will not help anyone.  Enjoy the reality you have as much as you can (and yes some days won’t be all that enjoyable)!

4. Embrace the little things. And I mean what is considered little. I celebrate things every day that other parents take for granted. A smile, the ever so rare laughter. The going to school, the saying hi to someone. All of it. They may seem small, but for some they are huge. And for some we don’t know how long we’ll have them. Embracing your child as they are, and the little things that brings will bring you great joy.

5. Be proud. Love them. Simply love them and support them as they are. Always.

The Jones don’t matter.

April 7, 2015

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Doesn’t this quote just sum it up?
I often find myself trying to justify my decisions. And why? For who?
Yet I’m as often telling others not to, that they owe no one an explanation. To do what is right or best for them.

Is it human nature? Or just my personality? I’m a people pleaser.
At the end of the day, does it really matter what the Jones think? How they perceive you?

Well of course it does. To some extent. But it shouldn’t as much as many of us think it does.

My husband for example has more of a take it or leave it, I don’t have to explain it to you, attitude. He could care less what the Jones think, because they’re not us and we’re not them.
Which balances out my need to over explain everything. Just ask my kids.

And when it comes to my children, my parenting choices and so on I find myself to often giving explanation, even to those who don’t deserve one.
I think part of it comes from constantly questioned for my choices, particularly for my child who struggles with life. Constantly having to defend my child and our family choices, constantly having people in public watch your child and constantly feeling like you’re an outsider to the main stream in the parenting department.

But I ask again, does it matter?

Are my children happy, as healthy as possible and kind, caring and giving ? Is my marriage solid and secure? Yes, yes, yes and yes!
I must remind myself those are what’s important.
Not if ms. Jones thinks I feed my kid to much candy , or Mr Jones thinks I don’t drive a nice enough car, or they think I’m not hard enough or to hard on my kids, and definitely not if Mrs Jones thinks that the treatment plan for my child is correct.
Truth is the Jones don’t matter quite as much as what people think. And their perceptions are frequently incorrect.
Because perceptions aren’t always reality. And sometimes perceptions are total reality. Because I have learned ones perception is their reality, which maybe is why I try to change perceptions in certain circumstances.

But at the end of the day it doesn’t matter what the Jones think!
If you’re happy, be happy.

Nothing funny about it.

March 11, 2015

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There’s one thing I’ve never, nor will ever understand. And that’s finding humour in others pain, illnesses or struggles.
Our world is so full of humour, if you choose to see it.  Laugh at things circumstances, hell even yourself.
But don’t laugh at others, or stereotypes of others.
I will not carry others ignorance, stigmas and judgements. I refuse to allow them to drain me of the fight I fight. But it still angers, hurts and frustrates me.
I will always advocate for the underdog, especially the underdog that is mental illness.
I will continue to chip away the little pieces of the stigma I can, in hopes one day my child will not be laughed at because of the stereotypes surrounding his illness. So many that are so inaccurate it’s ridiculous.

Yesterday I found myself flicking onto social media, and my feed was full of the “you’re in a mental hospital”  joke.
You know the one that tags your friends, ones running naked, ones licking windows, ones rocking in a corner, ones in a straight jacket and so on.
I am not sure my blood pressure has spiked that high in quite some time.

Are you kidding? And don’t for a second say I’m over reacting, I bit my tongue, but I’m allowed to share just how inappropriate things like this are, and why. And so I will.
I am a mother, a mother to a child who has indeed been hospitalized.

First of all.
Would it be appropriate to share a similar “joke” about a cancer ward? A cardiology ward? A palliative ward?
No.  Every single person I know would say that is not appropriate. Being on one of those wards isn’t funny.
And they’d be right. It’s not.
We don’t make jokes and fill up the Internet with jokes of iv bags, hospitals and chemo.
So why, why do we think it’s appropriate to do so for mental illness? Especially using derogatory, out of date stereotypes?
So we can make light of people who actually need these facilities, to save their lives? So they are made to feel inferior, and less than you because they have an illness? That’s exactly how you’re making their feel.

People with mental illness are not a joke. They are not suffering for your pleasure.

Second. Go visit a psychiatric hospital. Do it. If you think it’s funny or this is what you see there.  Heck take your child, try leaving them there without you for a period of time, and try to laugh about it. Hilarious right? Ya that’s what I thought.
Go. I beg you. 
First you will find its not a place like the 50s movies portray. Second you’ll notice, yes there may be some restraining, but do you know why? Because that patient just tried slitting their wrists, or jumping to their untimely death. Or are lost and confused and scared to death.
You will not see patients running naked, etc.  You will see pain and hurt, and hear heart wrenching stories.
You will see very young patients, middle aged mothers, grandfather’s and everything in between.
And I promise you won’t walk out the locked doors laughing. And if you do, I’m sorry your the one with the problem.

I know many that mean nothing by sharing the  “crazy”  jokes, I know many that mean no harm.  But you are. You are flaming stereotypes that many are trying desperately to put out. I know it’s all meant in good humour, but it’s not good humour. It’s hurtful, derogatory humour, that so many assume does no harm. You’d be wrong.

I may not be able to control others, I may not be able to change the world. But I can change who I allow in mine, and I will not continue to shrug it off. I will however continue to love my loved ones the best way I can. And one of those ways is not laughing at their pain, and by using my voice and heart to fight for them and others to scared to speak up.
I may not be able to control these kinds of things, but I damn well won’t tolerate them either.

Gotta do what you gotta do…

February 25, 2015

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And fight we will!
If you follow my blog, you know life has been a bit of a roller coaster as of late.
I have had a brain that just won’t stop. Because when you are dealing with a high needs child, it would appear life likes to keep you on your toes, all the time.
Just when you have a smooth day you hit a huge bump, and that bump requires changing tracks.

Though dude’s recent crash has subsided and the meds seem to be levelling out and he amazes me at thirteen with the knowledge and insight he has into his anxiety and bipolar, and he fights every single day with himself to do what is needed, mainly school, we find ourselves at a crossroads. 

Where do we go from here, when everything is going well, except for one huge, ginormous trigger?
How long do we push the trigger for  before it potentially blowing?
And why the hell do I care or worry about what other people who aren’t in our situation think?
The truth is I need to let that go.

The truth is that only we know what we need to do, and yet I question it.

I question it not just for the opinion of others, but as with any changes we make in hopes of finding a solution for our child, we can only hope it’s the right choice. Because do we ever really know? Isn’t parenthood a whole lot of hoping and crossing the fingers that you’re doing the right thing?

There’s no bubble, there’s no get used to it, there’s no gotta be/do this that or the other when you’re simply trying to get your child through the toughest years of his life with bipolar and anxiety. The bubbles and the this that and others of typical children are not the main concern. The main concern is teaching, guiding and supporting while they grasp and learn to live with the turmoil that encompasses them everyday and their reality of living with it the rest of their lives, encouraging them to be the best them they can be, and to push them as far as you can without pushing to far.
Because they’re not your typical children. Because sometimes you just have to do what you have to do to get through the day let alone years, without feeling judged by general society. I truly wish I would stop being told that I can’t put him in a bubble. I wish it could be understood that’s not what it’s about, and even if I am putting him in a bubble, if it meant keeping your child healthy and alive, would you not bubble yours? You gotta do what you gotta do, period.

You gotta hope and cross the fingers and hope to hell it works!

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I’ll be damned.

January 11, 2015

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I try really hard to find the good, in everything.  But I am human and some days just suck. Some days I cry, some days I am angry and some are a bit of it all!
There’s been times I’ve had people say to me (because I’ve used my voice to advocate anti bullying, mental health etc),  “that’s not very nice, it’s not what you should say when your against this that or the other”.  Mainly I get this when something has pushed me to far,  I would love to see how the people saying this to me would respond, guaranteed pretty close or worse. But they’d just be quieter about it, because being silent has gotten us so far. No I’ll speak up thanks.
And here’s a surprise, I’M HUMAN!
We all are. We screw up and mess up. We get sad and mad. We hurt and cry. And laugh and love.
I get extremely frustrated when I see or hear certain things. Typically unjust things involving those battling some sort of battle. Be it judgemental comments or jokes at others expense (their illness, disability, etc), the fact that so many in society continue to use others as a source of humour absolutely angers me like almost nothing else, or ignorance by people who refuse to even try and understand.

Damn rights I get angry and offended and say something. It’s not who I am to just let stuff like that go without saying something. I guess that’s the difference between me and some others, I will say something, with hopes it may make a sliver of change.
I refuse to a) be passive and just accept ignorance and stigmas continue b) be made to feel bad for doing so and being human who yes gets angry from time to time.

Not everyone is as comfortable or able to use their voice as I do, so I take that as I best raise mine some more.

Mental illness is tough, so tough.
I often get asked why I’m so tired, not like I do much. Well aside from running a small business solo, it should be noted that raising children is exhausting, raising one with ultra rapid cycling bipolar would knock many off their feet.

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suppose what I’m trying really hard to get across is that being human does not

make me less. As it does not make those with an illness or disability or the victim of bullying or abuse less.

We all feel.

We as mother’s want nothing more than for our children to be happy and healthy.
Everyone is someone’s child. Maybe if people thought that through a bit they wouldn’t be so quick to laugh, suggest or judge.
I will never not be who I am. Nor will I feel bad for this. I will continue as I always have to be emotional, passionate, stubborn and verbal.

Because for so many it’s to late to speak up, I’ll be damned if it’s to late for my child, or yours.

A glimpse into the life…
https://bestkids.wordpress.com/2014/10/19/bipolarliveshere

Good grief, indeed!

December 14, 2014

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Ahhhh good old Charlie Brown! Sums up this week perfectly!
As I’ve mentioned this is an extremely busy time of year for myself, I’ve also mentioned that this isn’t the easiest time of year for dude.

There’s been a few signs here and there the past few weeks, that that ever so touchy balance was starting to tip.
  But I’m going to be honest, I just kept thinking they were still only a few, it’s Christmas season and I’m not sure I have time to deal with anything other than work right now so I let those signs not necessarily ignored but definitely not front and centre either because I really don’t have time for appointments, phone calls and I am dog tired to boot. Does that mean I’m a horrible mom? I don’t think so, I think any parent of a sick child sometimes just wishes positive thinking will be enough, I know I’m notorious for that, and in the meantime I miss signs that looking back I wish I hadn’t, enter all the mom guilt possible.

Apparently no matter how hard I try to pretend things are fine, sometimes they don’t listen or follow my schedule dammit!

One sign things are tipping is dude feels sick all the time, his stomach has always been a physical radar for us to use, but with flu season upon us, gallons of milk being drunk it is also sometimes hard to read the cause.
Another tell tale sign is his telling his head to shut up. For most of us we self talk in our heads, but when things are particularly tough he will voice it.
The sniffles are back, a sign he’s stressed to the max.
The rapid mood cycles hit late this week, along with crippling panic.
Then there’s the paranoia, it’s not full blown, it’s something most wouldn’t even pick up on, but thank God his teachers know these subtle signs.
Needless to say that this week I am grateful for a phenomenal team supporting him, it’s crucial we all communicate because we all see different pieces of the puzzle.
The teachers who alert administration (also Nana in our case), administration doing an assessment and comforting and contacting his psychologist who be lines for the school and spends the morning with him until I can get there, the doctor who rearranges schedules so we can see him next week instead of next month. How important the communication is  is more than I can put on words.

Apparently bipolar gave two shits about his mom’s schedule and made one of it’s own. 
Surprising, not really. Inconvenient, yup.
Does it matter  nope.
What matters is not only we caught this spiral before it was deeper and that dude himself has found an awareness about his illness that makes the break a bit more manageable on his part. His knowledge that this is just part of his illness brings him a bit of comfort I think.  Though he’s repeatedly said this week he wishes his life wasn’t full of ups and downs, mostly downs. He wishes he could just be normal. And one of his friends upon an explanation to the class asked if there was a cure, would he ever be better? And there’s nothing more my boy would love, it brings him peace knowing that this to shall pass.
What matters more than a few hours missed work is that we have support and a plan to get through this down slide.
What matters more than absolutely anything is that dude knows he is loved, that he is never ever going to travel these roads alone.
And what makes each and every ounce of frantic running, rearranging and super early mornings to fit in Christmas at the shop, and turmoil at home?
When I get home from a day of teaching Christmas classes, I’m bone tired and dude meets me at the door with a hug out of nowhere and says, “mom thank you for always being there for me, especially when I really need it”.

The kid is worth it all and more, but I still think Charlie’s nailed it…. Good grief!

Dear kiddo…

December 8, 2014

Dear kiddo,

I know you feel like you have no one. I know that you feel isolated, alone and wondering what’s so wrong with you.
I am hear to tell you, nothing!
I am here to tell you one solid good friend is better than 100 “friends”.
You think you’re not funny enough, smart enough, sporty enough or good looking enough.
You are! And I know it might not look that way right now, but none of that really truly matters!
You see for some reason kids, teens, even adults seem to be mislead to think that the more popular, athletic, good looking you are, the better you are.

Not true.

In 10 years I promise you, you’ll understand this.
I am here to tell you that I was athletic, popular etc. And right now none of that made me who I am today!
I don’t talk to the 100 friends, I talk to the 1.

Your character makes you a better person, not having a ton of friends, being invited to the parties or being the best dressed student.
Now there are those who are all of the above and have great character and heart. But the  “popular”  list won’t take them far, that will be their character.
And believe it or not even those you watch with envy are fighting their own battles, you just don’t see that right now.
Those zits will be long gone in a few years, you’ll grow into your legs, and you’ll find yourself. And at the root of you is your heart and your character, stay true to those and you will be more than OK, you will be amazing!

More important than clothes, the parties and the teams is being true to yourself. Be kind and caring, be compassionate and passionate about whatever YOU love. It doesn’t matter if it’s the same as everyone else.  There is always someone who has the same passion, the same humour, the same ideas and you will find them and when you do, you’ll understand you are not alone. You’ll find your groove and those friends that matter.

The world would be a pretty boring place if we were all the same. And really you don’t want to be anyone but you. Because you are the perfect you!

Don’t let anyone tell you you’re not worthy. Don’t let anyone make you feel less than them.  And if you don’t have that one friend yet, I promise you will.
Be just who you are, embrace that person and let go of those who don’t appreciate you just as you are.
You will find out as you get older, friends come and go. Sometimes you know why, others you have no idea.   This is a tough one for anyone to understand. But I need you to know, it’s not your fault. Try to remember that you will (maybe already do)  have that one friend whose not going anywhere, cherish them.

I guarantee that popularity won’t make you a better person. I guarantee your not missing much by staying home on Friday night.

I want you to know, you are perfect.
I want you to know while you’re navigating the path of teen hood, you are loved beyond measure. You are smart enough, funny enough and you are the perfect you. You are kind and sweet and caring.
You are you.
And that’s more than enough.

Hang in there, I know it sucks and you may not think so right now but I promise you’re going to be just fine.

Xoxo

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Bipolar lives here.

October 19, 2014

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Dude is growing up into this amazing young man before my eyes, to quickly if you ask me. He’s taking steps in his self care, ie med schedule, I wasn’t expecting for some time yet.
His morning anxiety is less than I’ve ever seen and homework is not a trigger! Therapy is a bit different with the rapid cycling bipolar diagnosis, its considered chronic so weekly therapy is not needed at this point unless we hit a rough spell! Though he still sees his physiologist every week and psychiatrist every three months.
This I know is a total combination of things, meds being level, maturity, many years of therapies and teaching. Right now I tend to forget bipolar lives here some days, and that’s an awesome place to be.
Then we have a day. Typically right now a day a week. And I’m brought back to reality.
That though the cycles are farther apart  and not as severe , bipolar still lives in this house.

Bipolar will always live in this house. It’s a stubborn bugger that just won’t leave!
Even during these days of good, it still has a room.  It may spend more time in that room,  but it still comes out fairly regularly.  Some times just pieces of it make an appearance, some days it makes a full appearance.
It will always live here  it’s not going to just one day pack it’s bags and move out!
We cherish these times when it stays in its room for longer. It gives us peace, and calm and strength to handle the next nasty full appearance.
Many days I wish I could put signs in my face with my make up.  So customers, family and friends could just look and know I’m just having a bipolar mom day, and not to expect much, without me having to explain.
Yes I want a sign, one that says, good to go.
One that says, no sleep, exhausted.
One that says, caution, full cycle appearing.
One that says  OK.
One that says , shhhhh, close to tears.
One that says , be gentle.
One that says , not good, horrible  very bad day.
And one that says , thank you.
You see with the bipolar bugger living amongst us,  I often feel bad, because the chitter chatter, smiles, etc just simply take energy I sometimes don’t have.  Because it’s sapped all my energy, and raised every raw emotion I have.  It’s seized my heart, and cried my eyes dry.  And some days pretending it hasn’t wreaked havoc is damn near impossible, going through the motions of the day as if it hasn’t hit is extremely difficult.
Bipolar  you need to understand, does not just live with one person. It lives with the entire family. It consumes each and every person in the home when it decides to venture out of its room.

It’s so important that siblings are included in the discussion about it, have support of their own, and yes often that means parents with different kids,  out of the home family excursions are few and far between, but we try really hard not to let her brothers bipolar keep punky from doing things. We’ve sought support for her all her own so she has someone to talk to when bipolar raids our home.  Parents communicate, and if possible be the others biggest support.  If you’re split from the other parent  please remember this is your child, so bipolar lives in your home too, and putting aside differences and working together to support your child is crucial to their well being (obviously not if abuse is involved).  And your team of supports is working together.  Remember YOU have the rights, if the team is not working together, you are allowed to select another participant! Don’t be afraid to if needed.

Because bipolar won’t be moving out, yes bipolar lives here.