I am not a parent, let alone a parent of someone with mental illness, nevertheless, but it is still clear to me that parents of the mentally ill get blamed for their child’s mental illness. I honestly don’t know if my mother has ever experienced this, but I know of other parents who have. One woman I know comes to mind. Her daughter has schizophrenia and requires a lot of help to successfully maintain her wellness and live on her own. Her mother provides everything she can to make this happen – and it’s a lot. And yet, this mother has been blamed for her daughter’s schizophrenia. But parents aren’t to blame for their child’s mental illness.
I can’t control my brain. I can’t control my emotions. I can’t control my tears. I can’t control my irritation. I can’t control my need for excess sleep. I feel like I can’t control anything. And not being able to control my brain or my emotions makes me feel entirely inadequate as a human being.
One of the annoying things about having a serious mental illness like bipolar disorder is that doctors blame all physical pain on bipolar disorder. It feels like if you have a hangnail it must be because of bipolar. It feels like the pain from a broken leg must be from bipolar disorder. Doctors just seem to leap to the conclusion that bipolar is always to blame even when other physical ailments are or may be present.
I have a great fear – I fear becoming a burden to others because of bipolar disorder. I fear that I will become too much work. I fear that I will become too much bother. I fear that I will just become just plain “too much.” I know how burdensome bipolar disorder is to me and I don’t want to place that burden on others.
Many of us have the insight to know when we are manic, hypomanic or depressed or in another bipolar mood state but, unfortunately, even though I might know I’m hypomanic, depressed or mixed, I can’t necessarily help it. I wish I could. I wish that knowing what my bipolar disorder was doing would somehow alter it, but it typically doesn’t. I just can’t help it when I’m hypomanic, depressed or in a mixed mood – even when it’s clear to me.
If you’re on my mailing list you head last week that a GoodReads giveaway was started. Right now I’m giving away three paperback copies of Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression & Bipolar.
Today Bipolar Burble welcomes Dayton Uttinger, the best friend of a person with bipolar disorder.
My best friend with mental illness is one who don’t seek treatment. She is either constantly bored, always beginning new projects, or depression overtakes her, sealing her in a straightjacket of self-doubt and suicidal thoughts. Furthermore, she relies on me to be able to let her know when bipolar disorder is seriously affecting her. I take care not to dismiss her feelings, and sometimes there’s no avoiding a rush of directionless emotion, but it’s worked well enough. It’s been over ten years of this, and there’s been definite ups and downs. Eventually, she started to worry that she was being demanding. But there are things that I, as her best friend, want her to know about her and her mental illness.
I’ve been forced to realize that writing my book about bipolar and depression has almost killed me. This is hot hyperbole, this is really what has happened. Of course, most people aren’t about to sit down and write/publish a book tomorrow but the point is that a massive effort and stressor has gotten to me. Almost killing me was not what I thought writing a book would do.
Today I’m extremely pleased and proud to announce that Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression & Bipolar is now available in paperback as well as eBook form. Yes, now you can actually hold some of my writings in your hands. I’m not sure if you’re excited about this but I am. To buy Lost Marbles click here.
I’m extremely pleased and excited to announce that Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression & Bipolar will be available in paperback via Amazon starting next week. The print layout work is almost done and I can’t wait to see it, physically, in my (and your) hands.
There are a few things you should know about the release:
This is very short but very sweet for me.
Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression & Bipolar is now out in eBook form. Order Lost Marbles from Amazon here. (The paperback will be available mid-October.)
I mentioned on Facebook recently that I’m rapid cycling. If I ever wondered if the bipolar diagnosis was accurate, the bipolar cycling moods have certainly convinced me that it is. If you’re curious, this is ultradian cycling — i.e. cycling where moods last only hours. That can also be classified as a mixed mood because the cycles are so short.
All of this is to say that I’m not well right now. It’s fine. I’ve seen my psychiatrist, we have a plan and I’m working the plan. But the plan takes time, as all plans do.
So while the plan portends usefulness, I am stuck on the rollercoaster from hell. And in this particularly hellish place I wrote this piece. It is not cheery, it would trigger some and if you’re having a bad day these are not the 300 words for you. Proceed with caution