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What I Want to Say to Other Mothers With Bipolar Disorder

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To another bipolar mom,

We’ve never met, you and I, but I feel like I know you. We walk in the same shoes of mental turmoil day in and day out. Every day, we battle the inner demons of our moods and our minds and pray we make it through to tomorrow.

• What is Bipolar disorder?

We put on a smile so our children cannot see the battle within. Look in our eyes and you might catch a glimpse of weariness, fear and a hint of ferocity. You see, we have to be fierce if we expect to survive. One day we weep and another day we sing. Interspersed between these intense and encompassing emotions is the sense it’s all just too much for us. We can’t go on.

But that’s the thing. We do. We move through each day trudging, dancing or crawling. All the while, we keep our heads up, looking into our children’s eyes with love and commitment.

We’ve gotten sick. We’ve lost our minds for a little while in the delusions, paranoia or suicidal thoughts. We’ve gone to the hospital, taken the medication, used the therapist and fought like hell to restore ourselves to health. Sometimes, our children have had to play on hospital beds while they examined our bracelet and asked us why we were there because we didn’t look sick. We told them our brain doesn’t work quite right but we were getting better and would be home soon. We’ve prayed this was the only time they would ever have to see the inside of a psychiatric hospital because God forbid they experience what we go through.

We fight on for ourselves, for our children, for our spouses and for the life we want so desperately to lead — a normal one. But part of us knows we will never have that normalcy… we will just have glimpses of calm between the storms.

I see you, Mama. You’re going to do this thing. You’re going to make it and your kids will be OK. By loving them with every fiber of your being, you will save them and yourself in the process.

We’ve got this.

Photo by Tanaphong Toochinda on Unsplash

Originally published: May 4, 2018
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