Category Archives: family

You don’t say

Hey,how are you? Me,I’m doing okay. I can feel the depression nudging at the edges of my brain,letting me know that I’d better not get too cocky or it might take me down with a swift stroke to the back of my knees. So I’m just hanging out,trying to get things done,praying it just stays there,just in my peripheral where I can keep an eye on it,making sure it stays put. This time of year is especially worse for people with bipolar. They don’t know why but the hospitals are filling up and we are all on extra vigilant watch.

So the other day,I posted the link to my blog with a little blurb about how I have come to terms with having bipolar and I wasn’t going to hide it any more. Well the outpouring of love I received was overwhelming. I was so scared to post it.Worried what people would think or say when in fact there was nothing to be worried about. Everyone was super cool.

Then a few days later I was in Starbucks,getting my sneaky ,I need a fourth cup of coffee,when someone I know just gave me a hug,not a hello hug or a goodbye hug,just a hug.She didn’t say anything. Just a hug.You know what,at that moment,I needed it. I had swung my legs over the bedside in the darkness of both morning and my brain. I wasn’t having a good start to the day and this,this just lifted me up a little.Enough for me to take charge and push the monster back in it’s cave.So it made my day. I was so thankful. The best part,she didn’t say anything. you see when people say stuff to you,it can be well-meaning but it just comes out wrong,really wrong and then the anger or self loathing breaks its bubble and you flounce off,day ruined.Done.

So,here’s a few things what not to say to someone suffering from bipolar ,whether or not they are in the midst of an episode doesn’t matter. The reaction might just be stronger.

Don’t say “come on,shake it off” You don’t think I haven’t tried that??over and over again. IT DOESN’T WORK LIKE THAT!!!! It’s a real illness,that’s like telling someone with a broken leg to shake it off and get up and go for a run. Yeah,right,that ain’t happening.

Don’t say “go for a walk,it’ll make you feel better” Are you bloody kidding me? I barely have the energy to make it through the next agonizing minute of this dreadful day without using any of it to take a walk. I don’t want to go for a freaking walk.

Don’t say “I know how you feel” (well unless you have bipolar and have experienced the mess it can make in your life) that one will make heads spin,around and around!!

Don’t say “did you take your meds” that’s none of your bloody business. If I’m having a rant about something that I’m pissed off about,I could be doing just that,having a rant. I still have normal feelings and express them . Don’t assume that I’m having an episode and need my meds that I’m ultra vigilant about because I hate what this does to  me anyway.Yes of course I’ve taken my bloody meds.

Don’t say “when are you going to feel better” we hate being ill anyway and that just puts pressure on us to hurry up and get better. You wouldn’t say to someone with cancer “hey,can you hurry up and get better,this you having cancer is sort of getting in the way of me enjoying my life.

You can say,how are you today? can I help you with something,do you want some company (don’t forget to bring the starbucks!!) what are you feeling?This one is especially important because if we are having suicidal idealizations ,we may open up and tell you because really,we don’t want to hurt ourselves.We just want the pain to stop.

Sometimes just sitting with us and not saying anything at all can help so much.

Thanks for listening today :0)

On guard

Ever since my magic little pill started doing it’s magic,I have been on guard. Worried that tomorrow it won’t work any more and I’ll be the sniveling wife on the end of the phone complaining that I just can’t do it.

I’ve taken advantage of my new found happiness/ability to function. I’m using it to prepare. Prepare for the next installment of my unpredictable life. The cupboards are stocked,the freezer is full and there’s food for the week in the fridge.

You see,when the depressions claws drag me down to the rocky bottom,I can’t think about cooking or doing anything really.I’m already overwhelmed that I have to feed four kids and a husband along with the fact that there would not be any food in the house because I couldn’t bring myself to go to the store when everyone was at school.I wouldn’t have the energy to plan a weeks worth of meals,like I said,just the one day had me rendered paralyzed. When this did happen my husband would often help if he was home,run out and get a pizza or take the kids off my hands and with the silence I would somehow be able to rustle something up. I hated it being like this and the last time I was in the throes of depression I vowed to prepare as soon as I was better. But I am having a double winner here. Not only have I planned dinners for two weeks in a row now,I have been able to do my savvy shopping and walk out with way more than I would’ve paid for if I hadn’t used the sales. Before I had my first really bad episode I was a whizz at feeding the family good healthy meals on a budget. I got a kick out of it and would call my husband saying “guess how much I saved this week?” but this last episode went on and on and it was all I could do to go to the closest (most expensive of course) store and get just enough for the night. Well I’m back,baby!! Today I saved $89.88 and have enough dry goods,pantry staples,meat in the freezer and detergent to last us a couple of months!!! That means that even if I do have a rough day or few next week,I won’t really have to think.I’ll just be able to auto pilot dinner and fall into bed. Feels good though,with my husband being the main bread winner in this house I like to try and stick to budget so not to put more pressure on him. Also,when you feel good about something that you have done,it helps for the next day to be better.Well, sometimes. I guess I like to think so but to be honest,with this,you never know what’s coming until you open your eyes that morning,adjust to the light and see if your body is screaming at you or not. Because that’s life,mine anyway.

Family and friends

Depression is a very selfish illness. I don’t include mania in that statement because you tend to love everything and everyone and thats not very selfish now is it? Although mania can make you snappy so I guess you could include it.Ah well!

Yes,depression is a very selfish illness. I feel so sad,so lonely,so hopeless. Me,me,me,me,me! You don’t really give a thought to those around you. Those who care. Also,so helpless,unable to help you in any way. It must be so frustrating for them and painful to watch as loved ones cry in pain and sadness. The pain from depression is real,you feel it in your bones like a chill you would get from being damp in the cold air. Oh it hurts so much and you know you are trapped there and the only peace you will have is when you close your eyes and (hopefully ) sleep. But who is there to take away the loved ones pain? How do they cope? I have put my husband through the wringer and yet he’s still there,like a rock,to hold me up,hold my hand.Wipe away my tears and try in any way he can to make it even the slightest bit better. He has read up on my illness and understands a lot and even when he doesn’t,he doesn’t brush it off . He still tries. I’ve said before, he helps me survive this beast of an illness. The remorse I feel for the pain I must have put him through when he was thirty minutes away and he knew I was going to hurt myself,I was going to try to end the pain. Yet he still saved me.He still saved my life. When I am on the rockiest bottom he will still try and find a way to make me comfortable. Yet I can’t be there to soothe his pain. We don’t mean to be selfish or mean and nasty. When thoughts are racing through your head at the speed of light and you can’t think straight so you snap someones head off when they ask you the simplest of questions,we don’t mean it. Its just really hard to think straight with all of those thoughts swirling around like a big bowl of spaghetti.

I guess all we can do is try. Try our hardest to manage our illness so it has little impact on those around us. Also be thankful that we are loved and say those thanks because they could mean the world to a tired,overwhelmed family member or friend. Show remorse if you know that you’ve hurt someone and always be kind (when you can) because we don’t know what all of those around us are going through and like I said,depression is selfish so we don’t think about it an awful lot., and everyone has feelings.