Introduction to Bipolar Mommy
As far as introductions, I will tell you a bit about myself and why I have chosen to blog some of the most difficult times in my life.
At nineteen I was diagnosed with Bipolar I. At twenty-two, I got Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and ADHD added to the list. The fun thing about all these diagnoses is that they require different medicine and that many medicines that work well for one actually make the other diagnoses worse. I also suffer from anemia, Hashimoto, Raynaud’s, a blood clotting disorder, chronic migraines, anorexia, agoraphobia, and fibromyalgia. The medications for these also interfere with my mental health drugs. Some help with anxiety but lead to more “lows”, aka depression. Increasing my antidepressant can make me irritable to the point of rage and tends to cause more “highs” aka mania. I’m limited on meds for my ADHD because stimulates decrease appetite which is not good for someone trying to consume less than 500 calories a day. My former migraine medicine was affecting my serotonin levels, and after weeks of withdrawal and severe migraines, I finally switched to a new one.
My diagnosis also interfere with each other. My OCD compulsions rarely get carried out which leaves me in a near constant state of anxiety. If I’m too “high” I don’t care enough about the compulsions to do them. If I’m “low” I don’t have the energy to carry them out. So when my moods are actually stable, my OCD goes into overdrive because it finally has the right amount of chemicals in my brain lined up to go through the compulsions. But my OCD compulsions make zero sense. I’ll fret for weeks about my baseboards but won’t care if every dish in the kitchen is dirty. If I am doing dishes, I might stop for an hour to clean a coffee cup that has been stained for ten years, but, for some reason, I am convinced I can get rid of those stains. I love to read and write, but my ADHD makes that impossible at times, which makes me depressed and triggers a “low.”
At this present time, I am married with three girls each a year apart. I am a stay at home mom that used to have two in preschool part-time and one at home all day. Thanks to our quarantine, my husband now works from home and my children are stuck inside all day every day. One of my girls has ADHD, the other two are autistic. Our apartment was perfect for us before the quarantine, now it feels a thousand square feet too small. Each morning when I wake up, I take a moment to assess my mood and body. Is my daily migraine going to be bearable? Do I get a head rush if I sit up? Does my body hurt? How is my mood?
I only get to do all this, mind you, in a matter of seconds. My daughters wake up anytime from 4am to 8am. From the moment they wake up, it’s go time. Pounding headache? Reach for the tylenol, put on some coffee, down a glass of water, and hope you can stifle it. Changing diapers is always the first battle of the day, followed by what TV show we’re watching first. My children are extremely picky eaters, so every meal is a battle of its own. In their ideal world, candy or “something sweet” would be the only items offered for each meal.
I am lucky that my husband generally works until around four and can provide me with the much needed help I always feel I need by the end of the day. He helps me with the girls, helps me with cooking and cleaning, with putting the girls to bed at night. He understands that some days I don’t want to even talk, some days I can’t stop talking, some days I want to crawl into a ball under my covers and never return. It’s not just me who has to live with all these sides of my diagnosis, it’s my family.
This blog isn’t always going to be happy, sad, or exhausting. Just as no two days for me are happy, sad, or exhausting. It’s a whirlwind. I will try and post as much as possible, but there may be times when you don’t hear from me for awhile. Those days/weeks/months are usually do to “lows.” But I’m hoping since this is meant to be a diary of sorts, that even in the “lows” I’ll be able to voice what happened that day, how I pushed through and made it.