I have Bipolar II.
As much as I want it to go away and never come back, that is not the nature of the beast.
Bipolar II is like a pesky raccoon that you trapped and got rid of and then he comes back and roots around in your garbage AGAIN and create more messes for you to clean up.
You can do stuff about the raccoon. You can strap your garbage cans shut. You can try to keep him out of the attic and the crawl space. You can make sure there is not a nice place for the coon to bed down and have babies. But that doesn't change the fact that you do have a raccoon problem.
So it is if you have a chronic mental illness.
I think it is important to understand this so that you don't get so overwhelmed and discouraged when it comes back that you don't fight it.
Not too long ago I was "on top of the world" again. Not "too" on top of the world. I wasn't manic and running out and doing unreasonable things.
No, I just was feeling good enough to keep the house clean, walk the dog daily, get up before the kids and read my Bible and pray and write about mental illness.
I felt like a winner, an overcomer.
And then these things started happening. I got some stressful news. It threw me. I felt like "but I am unshakeable right now so I am fine." Not so much.
Then my routine was disrupted. It was for a good cause. I got to spend some extra time with the people I love most, but it was still a change and my sleep patterns got kind of messed with. Then my daughter started throwing up at night. That REALLY threw a wrench into the sleeping.
I got a little unreasonable and that lead to a fight because I didn't MEAN to be unreasonable and I thought I was speaking from a place of objectivity about an article I had just read. But the person I was speaking to took it personally.
The fight led to me thinking some very black thoughts that I know are in the "danger" zone. I then had to figure out how to not think obsessively about these scenarios that had started playing out in my mind. I am aware that if you think a thought 40 times it burns a loop in your brain and it is easy for the brain to go back to that thought, almost without your permission.
And all this time I was trying to behave as though everything was "normal" and do my "normal" wife/mom things. Guess what?
My house is a mess; my three year old still isn't 100 percent and even though I don't "believe" in screen times except in limited doses, she's watching something educational. Plus, my devotions didn't get done "properly" today and I'm still in my pajamas even though I should be dressed by now. I have, however, eaten breakfast and am drinking healthy stuff instead of loading up on caffeine and sugar . . .my default pattern when I am stressed.
So what are the things I have to remember?
1. We All Fall Down Sometimes
2. We Won't Stay Down
3. The Reason We Don't Stay Down is Because There are Tools to Help Us Back Up
More on the tools later!
~ Be well,