The Moment I Knew My Mom Really Understood My Bipolar Disorder

I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when I was about 20, and in the ensuing 17 years, my mother has felt guilty about it. It’s not her fault I have it, and it’s not her fault that sometimes, despite my — and everyone else’s —best efforts, I slip into manic mixed episodes and have to be “talked down” from doing something I wouldn’t normally do.

My mother has seen some pretty “crazy” behavior from her eldest, dearest daughter. You all know the classics of hypersexuality, racing thoughts, grandiose ideas, etc. But the past decade has been pretty calm. I have excellent doctors, a medication schedule that works, and am pretty happy. I also have an overprotective mother. She always is “on the watch” in case something goes wrong.

So I was at my mom’s the other day, and was chatting away about something, and was extra chatty. Usually I’m not super chatty, but I was in a good mood, so I decided I wanted to be. My mom asked me, out of habit, if I was manic. And for the first time in 17 years, she caught herself. She literally said, “I don’t know why I said that. I’m sorry. I know that hurts you.”

It was such a wonderful moment. I was so proud of her.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via DGLimages.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Bipolar Disorder

A mother and her daughter hugging outside

Balancing Motherhood and Multiple Mental Illnesses

I’m lying in bed again, wide awake as my fiance and daughter snore beside me. Sleep is again elusive, so I get out of bed and pad down the stairs. In the kitchen, I drink cold water and stare out of the kitchen window. This night is familiar, and it takes me back to so [...]

20 Surprising Physical Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

Because bipolar disorder is considered a mental illness — most people focus on how mentally taxing the ups and downs of manic and depressive episodes can be. It may also be common for people to talk about the signs and symptoms, and not what it actually feels like to go through them. But the symptoms [...]
young woman wearing yellow shirt in front of blue wall

How My Bipolar Disorder Diagnosis Helped Me Come Out About My Sexuality

June for some may be considered the start of summer, but for others, June is also known as a special month signifying more than just sunshine and warm weather. Pride Month has just passed, and as a member of the LGBTQI community, it means something very special to me. A part of that reason is [...]
portrait of a woman.

To the One Recently Diagnosed With Bipolar Disorder

I know it’s hard. I know how heavy it can feel, to be in a doctor’s office or a hospital and be handed a label that doesn’t yet make sense. It can change you somehow. Before you were just you, an individual of your own making — and now they have named you bipolar. Maybe the stigmas [...]