To the New Mom With Bipolar Disorder
I’m not going to sit here and tell you things are going to be easy, but I’m also not going to sit here and tell you they are going to be impossible.
The difference between a “normal” mom and a bipolar mom can be huge.
It starts with pregnancy. You have to decide what meds to stay on and then the worry for nine months if you’re doing the right thing. I stayed on low doses of mine with my second, third and fourth child. I took no medication with my first, and it was a disaster.
Then your precious one is born. Medication management at this time is crucial because now you have to face bipolar along with hormones and postpartum.
The sleepless nights can take the life out of a “normal” person, but being on meds, especially ones that make you sedated at night, can make you feel like you can’t do this.
But you can.
I did, four times. With the help of my husband and my family.
You may start to feel guilty.
“I’m not good enough for my baby.”
When you’re depressed you feel guilty for crying all the time. You feel guilty about the lack of energy and sometimes the lack of desire.
You can do it.
It’s not easy, but it’s also not the hardest part.
I believe the hardest part is when they become a little older. They see you taking your “vitamins,” they notice you disappear to the hospital at times. If you have a curious child like my first, it’s even harder. He demands answers — technical ones.
“Why do you have to take all those pills?”
I used to tell him Mommy’s brain is sick, but he’s old enough now that he unfortunately knows bipolar in its full form.
Bipolar may have to stay with us the our whole life, but I don’t think it has to take the lead. I let it be a tag along. It’s easier then denial or hiding it from your children. Bipolar hurts as a mom because you’re always left feeling like you’re not good enough, that they might be better off with someone else. If you could just disappear…
Don’t. Embrace your children. Hug them, play with them, laugh with them, cry with them.
You’re worth it. It’s all worth it. Every single second.
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