A few weeks ago Kelly's blog carnival thingy was about how we spend our days. I didn't participate for several reasons. One, my days aren't ever the same. Two, I'm fairly certain no one cares how I spend my days, and three, I'm not always proud of how I spend my days.
But today I was thinkin. I know, I know. But I was. I don't think a lot of people know what it's like to live even one day dealing with bipolar disorder. Now, I have all kinds of complications to go with bipolar disorder, like PTSD, but right now it's the bipolar that's getting me.
I can't even be normal bipolar. People with bipolar disorder go between major depressive episodes and mania or hypomania. A cycle is the period of time an individual takes to go through one episode of mania and one of depression (or hypomania and depression) One study said that 35% of people only have one cycle in five years. FIVE YEARS! This absolutely blows my mind. A person is considered to have Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder if they have more than 4 cycles a year. 4 Cycles a year. Holy cow.
I can go through 3 or 4 cycles a day. Okay, perhaps that is an exaggeration, but to go through 2 full cycles a day is not. I don't know what to expect when I wake up. My kids don't know what to expect. It's exhausting to try to control it, to try to head off the symptoms before they get out of control. It's just plain exhausting to go through that many moods and emotions in one day. It is literally driving me nuts! I take meds for the depression, I always have. My mania doesn't come in the form of euphoria, but in irritability and restlessness, racing thoughts and insomnia. It's a big fat pain. (as I sit here writing this, Dylan's cough is beginning to sound more and more croupy, so pray it isn't croup kplsthnx). So what're my days like? Well, I guess it all depends!
I have always been a night owl. Lets just keep that in mind :) Monday through Friday I get up at either 6:45 or 7:20, depending on whether or not Ali is riding the bus, and get her ready and off to school. I am usually back in my bed, cozy and warm by 8, and I say my first prayer of the day. I sleep until Dylan wakes sometime between 10 and noon. (if Eric is here, he usually gets up with him and lets me sleep as long as I need to) I consider myself lucky to have given birth to night owls as well. It saves us a lot of irritation :) We get up and have lunch. I generally take a shower and Dylan plays on his DS for a while. We watch some Noggin, play with cars, trains, etc. We try to work on letters and numbers without him knowing it. It's a fine line, really.
Up until last week we left the house at 2:40 to go get Ali from school, but now that she's decided to ride the bus, we just walk to the end of the street (all of 50 yards) at about 3:15 and get her (and her friends) and head home. The kids play outside, or head over to the neighbors and play there. Sometimes they come in and pick up messes, or watch TV. We really aren't structured. On Wednesday's we leave the house at 5:30 to head to the church building. We have dinner at 6 with pretty much our whole congregation. We have Bible study at 7, then head home to get the kids settled. If it isn't a church night then we try to do dinner around 6:30 or 7, baths, and then bed. My kids aren't normal, so I try to have Ali asleep by 9:30, though Dylan is pretty much allowed to stay awake until I go to bed. That saves me from having to get up at the crack of dawn. Yes, I really am that selfish :) I like my sleep, what can I say.
That all being said, my days differ. On days that I wake up depressed, I might lay there and try to get Dylan to watch some cartoons with me, or go take a long hot bath and just think. I might just move to the couch in the living room where Dylan is. On days that I wake up manic, I might not even go back to sleep after dropping Ali off. I'll clean the house until there is nothing left to clean, do laundry, do projects, organize stuff, basically I become super mom on crack. These are the days that we have outings, like today we took the kids to sonic to play. A few days ago Stacey and I went out to run errands. I pretty much don't leave the house except for church if I'm depressed.
There are times that the depression lasts for days and days, or even a week or more. There are times that the mania lasts 12, 18, even 24 hours (that's a lot for me, I'm more of a depressive person). But mostly, I rapid cycle. And not 4 times a year rapid cycle. I can go from wanting to die in the morning to being an energetic, happy, laughing soccer mom in the evening. It drives me nuts but it's who I am.
Saturdays are my day "off". I don't have to get up early for anything. I sleep late, along with everyone in my house. We try not to do anything but relax on Saturdays. Sundays we're up and out by 9 for worship. We have lunch, and try to nap, and then are back at worship at 5.
Again, my days differ. Some of these things depend on whether or not Eric is home, too. In the evenings, once Ali is asleep and Dylan is settled, I retire to my room. If Eric is here we watch some TV, cuddle, whatever. He generally has to be asleep before midnight as he is up at about 5 most mornings. Once Eric is asleep I get on the computer, check facebook, get on Bloom, whatever. I've been trying to get better about reading my Bible and studying during this period, too. If he's not here, Stacey generally stays to help with the kids, and we get on our computers and do nerdy stuff bc that's who we are :)
All in all, my days are all different, and yet all very much the same. I'm the mom. Every day it's the same thing. I live the life, and do it all over again. There are things that I don't mention in here. But I could probably type all night, and it would probably just be depressing. So there is a glimpse at how my days go. I really just did this because I've been wanting to blog for a while, and I really didn't have much else to say. I feel like I haven't been really connected for a while. Anyhow, thanks for reading. I've been outside all afternoon, so it is definitely time for a shower!
I'm a wife. I'm a mom. I'm a photographer. I'm a lover of Jesus. My house is a mess, my kids are dirty, we eat take out more often than not. My life is loud, busy and crazy. And that's okay with me.
This is Eric, the man you've been praying for. He's a paramedic. He quilts in his spare time. No, I couldn't make that up :) He has NASH (a form of liver disease, non-alcoholic) and diabetes, but those things don't define him. He's a man of God, an insanely wonderful husband, and the best daddy in the world.. Just ask these guys..
Our daughter Ali, she's 9. She's fiercely opinionated and strong willed. She's a Daddy's girl, but the umbilical cord hasn't but cut from me, either. She's a gymnast, and proud of it. She spends more time upside down or turning flips than she does walking. She's crazy smart, and absolutely sure of it. She is my insufferable little know it all.
Our son Dylan, 7. We lovingly refer to him as Chubs. Or Chubby. Or fat boy. Ahem. He is all boy, as you can see by his crazy wild energy. He has the highest pain tolerance of any child I have ever met. He plays soccer and does gymnastics, but truly he is a gamer, a nerd. He is an avid reader and loves to climb. Not to be outdone by his sister, he's a drama king, but to him, I'm the best mommy in the world.
I'm here to use my voice. So many people can't. In a world of darkness, I just want to help God's light to shine through. I pray that my words are His, and my love is His, as well. This is my journey through the darkness. To start are the beginning of the story, click here.