If there is one thing I have learned above all else when it comes to a Bipolar rant (or rage), it’s that it affects my entire family in dramatic ways. I don’t feel the degree of my mood swing matters; I think it is the act itself of losing control that has the most devastating consequences.
Shortly after my diagnoses, once I got on medication and started seeing things clearly, I noticed how my children lacked the ability to handle situations appropriately. They were not Bipolar, but I noticed that they were acting like me.
I was terribly ashamed.
By losing control, I was teaching my kids that losing control and yelling like a lunatic was acceptable, perhaps even normal. I started to realize that I was teaching them through my actions that screaming, yelling and losing it was the only way to handle stressful situations. One by one I noticed more yelling, more frustration and more arguing.
I made a decision that would change everyone’s life.
Over time I have learned to recognize certain “triggers” that can take me from laughing to screaming in three seconds flat. Yes, it happens. Yes, I am terribly ashamed when it does. Yes, it is embarrassing. Yes, it sucks.
I can’t always see it coming, but I try very hard. So in a two-part post I am going to discuss ways that I try to avoid that screaming rant and then, if it’s unavoidable, how I bring it under control and the consequences of losing my mind.
I always see tips from experts, doctors and therapists, but one thing I have trouble finding is people who have ultra-rapid cycling bipolar talk about how they handle it. Someone not suffering can give advice, but until you have experienced a blind rage that was hardly provoked, how can you really know what to do?
It’s a learning process, but here are six of my triggers, and what I do to handle the first step: trying to avoid a bipolar rant.
So picture this: I am on my way to a doctor’s appointment three hours away, which requires a lot of back road driving. I had gone a different way because I had to meet a woman from the Boston Terrier Rescue, and had to use GPS to get myself back on track and to my destination.
With tears in my eyes and a very broken heart I just started driving, trusting the GPS on my phone to get me to my destination safely. After driving for a while, I snapped back to reality and glanced down to see when I will be turning next – in the middle of nowhere, miles from anyone and anything.
My GPS was frozen.
Instantly, I panicked. I pulled over into an old, abandoned church parking lot and started to get hysterical. I locked the doors and stared around waiting for something bad to happen. You know, too many horror movies about young woman lost in the middle of nowhere. Well, yeah, my anxiety was higher than it has ever been, EVER.
I started beating the crap out of my phone, restarting it, pulling the battery and restarting it again. Nothing worked. My GPS was a goner, along with my phone, which was almost dead and wouldn’t charge on the car charger.
Lately, I’ve felt emotionally stuck in a dark room, fumbling around, desperately trying to find the light switch that is just out of my reach.
The past week has been brutal for me. Life is sometimes unrelenting and I am seeing that more now than ever. I just do not know where to begin. I haven’t been writing because I have been so stuck in this place that has me spinning around in circles wishing I could stand still and focus. Everything about my life feels like one giant blur.
My kids are out of school for summer break. That has been stressful because of the fighting. I am working on them and I think they are finally finding a middle ground that might resemble peace on occasion. Great!
Everything has just been crazy! I wish I could pause life long enough to catch my breath.
So my 15-year-old son passed Driver’s Ed, passed his written exam and now holds his learner’s permit. With that little piece of paper this kid holds the key to my sanity in his wallet! How completely unfair is that?
I was excited for him to get his learner’s permit. I remember the day I got mine; it was the beginning of an exciting new chapter in my life. I do not, however, remember driving so horribly! Then again, I do remember my mom grabbing onto the handles for dear life, pounding on the floorboard, and hollering “BRAKE!” many, many times.
Oh how I pity her now. I remember when I came to a complete stop after nearly running a stop sign, my mother glared at me and said “one day your son will do this to you, and I cannot WAIT!” Oh my, I had no idea how much weight those words held at the time.
My oldest is fifteen. He is a real pain sometimes, but overall, he is an excellent kid. He knows his manners, he helps everyone and he is extremely smart. He is still a teenager though, and I like to take a lot of what he says in stride. When I knew his grades were bad the end of the year, I assumed it was because he was again not doing his work. It is an ongoing problem.
I suppose that is how I screwed this one up. I shouldn’t have been so quick to dismiss what he said as an exaggeration, or a “prep” for the two F’s I would find on his report card along with the two summer classes he would need to take to get to 10th grade.
When I found that he had to take two “credit recovery” courses to make up for the two classes he failed, I felt it was a good lesson for him. I figured hey, if you choose to fail, you choose to spend your summer making up for it! Well, I could not have been more wrong.
Why is it when my mood is most sour, my kids do everything in their power to irritate the crap out of me?
If I am in a decent, or even a good mood, my kids are angels. They mind their manners, clean up their messes, and rarely fight. On the other hand, when I am feeling ill-minded, they seem like four little terrorists making every effort to sabotage my own efforts to find peace. What is up with that?
I think it comes down to the negative air around here. Content breeds content, and hostility breeds hostility. There is my aha moment for today.
The past month or so has been terrible for me. I battle daily with thoughts of running away, ending my marriage, leaving my home and my kids, and sometimes ending my life. It has been a struggle for me to just get through the day. Throw a little stress in there and I’m done. You can find me on the couch with my pillow and blanket curled up into a ball. Yep, that’s my day.
Pole dance much? Why yes, yes I do.
I personally believe that an individual who is having emotional and/or sexual affairs can cause their partner to suffer PTSD to some degree. My p-doc said something in passing a couple of weeks ago that made me really start to think about how PTSD can come from many sources, not just violence.
After a dream I had last night, I think she is right.
Wait, of course she’s right! She is the one with a PhD in psychiatry, and since graduating in 1972, has had a lot of experience. I should have listened closer. I guess that is something we will have to talk about more during my next visit.
There is this one woman from my husband’s past who has haunted me since two years after we married. For seven long years this woman haunted my thoughts, until eventually, three years ago, she destroyed everything I knew and loved about my home, life and marriage.
How can one person have so much power over my life?