What I Say to My Mental Illness Every Morning Before I See My Daughter
Parenting is tough with or without mental illness. It can be hard to love ourselves when it’s a struggle to get out of bed every day or to have to literally retrain your thoughts daily to remind yourself that your child is important and feeds off your energy, quietly watching and learning your every move.
I live with both bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder (BPD). I often get down on myself, feeling like a worthless mother for wanting time to myself. It’s not unusual that I feel frustrated and anxious, just wanting to disappear as I succumb to the constant miscellaneous overwhelming thoughts that, at times, completely consume my mind.
Every night anxiety approaches, where I doubt my ability to be a “good” parent. You know, that symptom of BPD where you “know” you’re just not good enough. After a restless night’s sleep, I start to wake and look at the clock, only to see my daughter will be awake shortly. A smidge of anger comes over me, just wanting to isolate the day away… then I hear those little feet.
“You are good enough, you are worth it. Your smile is contagious, and she needs you.”
I repeat similar words to myself every morning as I prepare for her to reluctantly jump into my bed, sadly not knowing what kind of mood I’ll be in. (After all, as I stated, kids are watching and she knows it will either be a good or not-so-good reaction.)
I roll over to greet that precious little face with a smile, feeling her warmth and love. A smile is returned and followed by a good morning hug. She’s a beautiful reminder, my beautiful reminder that I am good enough. A reminder that I need to love myself — for her.
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