I mess up
I wish I could say that I am the ever-patient, textbook-perfect parent. Always understanding, emotionally healthy, non-flaky, cool as the wind up a spring skirt kind o' mamma.
That would be a lie.
See, the thing about this mood disorder is it demands…no, that’s wrong, that vilifies it. It requires a large portion of my life, of our lives. Because, Lizz isn't the only person with bipolar in our household. I also have the disorder and cycle rapidly and am juggling my symptoms daily. Going to an outpatient group program allows me the intensive learning and exploring time to manage the characteristics of my own bipolar disorder.
The disorder doesn't see taxes, money problems, siblings, holidays, illness, crisis, marriage and other relationships or personal history...you get the picture...it only does what it does; cycle.
Sometimes it feels as if all I do is live, breathe, sleep and eat "living with bipolar disorder", whether my own or hers. Fleeing into social networks to write, cuss and post jokes, blogging and focusing on some of my other issues are reprieves that I sometimes have to be coaxed out of, like leaving a warm bath. Feeling resentment over it isn't unheard of with me. Letting everyone know about the resentment isn't uncommon, either.
There is no playbook with these sorts of challenges. The owner's manual didn't mention this stuff when I became a parent. There are some noted similarities and probabilities to certain treatments and therapies, but there really isn't a road map. Second guessing ourselves is par for the course, but painful. I can worry a wound until is scars and many times, I do. These are the times I snap verbally or flake off.
I don't freak a little every day. However, on a day when out of state for a funeral, just as I'm drawing near the funeral parlor, and my cell rings, bringing me a crisis, I sure do.
Missing the viewing, standing outside in the rain untangling a meltdown 120 miles away and pulling together last minute plan changes to make the crisis safer and get her home from school tends to make me short-tempered and neurotic. These are the days talking with others with the disorder or loving someone living with it, is invaluable. Some days, other parents and people dealing with this save me from running down the street kicking vulnerable small animals while pulling my hair out and eating it.
OK, maybe that's an exaggeration, but you catch my drift.
The days when I'm not Super Mood Challenged Parent, I hope my intentions and successes outweigh the not so stellar actions and reactions. If that doesn't work, maybe I can deflect with one of my silly jokes.
So, a man walks into a bar …
Hey, where ya' going?? Come back!