Tomorrow is Mother’s Day here in the United States. We celebrate all they do and how they have helped us. Mother’s come in all shapes and sizes. Hell, they are people, too. I am going to attempt to show you how my mom adapted to bipolar disorder.
My mom is a creative woman from Ohio. She is the eldest child. She met my dad at sixteen and married him at eighteen. The are still married and each others’ best friend forty seven years later. That alone makes her pretty awesome. When I had my first breakdown, she and my dad flew halfway across the country to get me. She came every day to visit me (along with my dad and sister). I do not know what must go through a parent’s mind as they speed toward their little girl had tried to kill herself. A mom gives you life. How she must feel when you try to throw that away? Is it like kicking sand in her face? Some mothers must feel anger. When someone tries to hurt themselves some people get angry. It is as if someone else is attacking their baby. If it were someone else she could defend you, protect you, but when their is not she has to wrestle with you.
Some mother’s feel guilt. Perhaps because she, too, has bipolar disorder and remembers all the times that she lost her beauty. Or she remembers seeing your moods and realizing it was bipolar in a relative of yours. Some mothers are happy that you dodged the bipolar bullet.
My mom, and many other moms out there, had no idea what bipolar disorder was. She never gave up on me. She got mad at the crazy sometimes. Up a tree in a sequin dress made her mad – not at me, but at my illness. My parents took away my car keys away when I came back from California, to keep me safe. She drove me to all my psychiatry and therapy session. She would buy me a coffee before I went in. Somehow she understood I needed something to do with my hands during those stressful meetings. She went to a course backed by the National Mental Illness Association (NAMI), to learn more about what living in my head is.
My mom takes my calls every day, for hours sometimes. She is my bestfriend. I do not live with her anymore and have not for years, but she makes sure I take my medication. When I do not feel like taking them, I call her because I know she will tell me I have to take them. (That is why I tell you that you have to take them if you are prescribed medication for your mind, give it some time to work and if it never does, try something else).
There are some places I have been hospitalized at which my mom could not come visit. I am a mess when I do not get to see my mom. She comes in and for that half an hour or hour everything is normal. One hospital, back here in North Carolina, was bad and my mom brought me snacks or dinner. (The food was even worse than being there). I loved seeing her every day. It has been a long time since I have been locked up. My family convinced me to move closer to them and now I can see my mom any time I like.
I know that I am very lucky woman with a wonderful mom. I hate what I have put her through, but I can’t help it. Bipolar disorder is a mess of moods.