The night I started to feel better, Dan was rocking our 10 month old Emmie to sleep. The other children were already in bed and my oldest was spending the night at a friend’s house. I had just got done journaling as I do every night before bed. Then I made my way first to our girl’s bedroom, I sat on the edge of Gracie Macie’s bed and stroked her hair as she slept. Silent tears were streaming down my face. I thought back over the last five years of our lives and all the mistakes and mess ups I had made along the way. How horrible of a parent I had become in such a short amount of time. I realized that my downhill spiral did not just happen that year, but had begun years before – most likely in my teens, but had progressively gotten worse as I got older. All the stress, triggers, the changes and responsibilities added throughout the years only made my bipolar worse and it was only a matter of time before I exploded.
I then thought about how much I loved, adored and cared for my children. How I would do everything in my power to protect them. Project them from the horrifying side of my illness. My thoughts drifted to how they were the reason that I needed to fight through this and do whatever it took to be as stable as possible. It was for them, not for me, but for my children. That my children were the most important reason for me to do whatever I could to hold it together. That the depression, no matter how debilitating it was, was not going to lie to me any longer. That the depression was not going to make me believe that my children were better off without me. I kissed Macie gently on the forehead, climbed the ladder to kiss Lizzie Girl and walked out of their room.
Next I went into the boy’s bedroom. I sat next to Josh for a long time. My illness had probably affected him the most. I had not bonded with him the way I had my other children. His life had been filled with chaos and a very distant mother who took most of her verbal aggression out on him. My tears weren’t as silent this time. I tried hard to keep the tone down. I didn’t want him to wake up scared because Mommy was sitting on his bed crying. I ran my fingers through his hair, ran a finger down his cheek and just watched him sleep for a long time. I knew I messed up with him. Now I needed to figure out how to fix it. I kiss him on his forehead and then kissed Andrew. I took one last look back at Joshua, promising myself I would make him feel loved no matter what it took.
Title: Mothering Through Bipolar
Author: Rebecca Moore
Mothering Through Bipolar is Rebecca’s journey of living with Bipolar Disorder while raising a family of seven children. She takes her readers on an adventure through depression, mania, legal issues, relationship problems and other difficulties. Rebecca offers her readers encouragement, comfort and support; always with a message of hope.
Rebecca Moore has been diagnosed with everything from Postpartum Depression to Bipolar Disorder. Rebecca enjoys writing about surviving her journey through mental health and likes to help others who have been there as well. She is a strong Mental Health Advocate for parents living with mental illness. Rebecca is also the CEO of her nonprofit organization, Bipolar Parenting Foundation. She also runs a column on PsychCentral called Bipolar Parenting. Rebecca lives in Northeastern Pennsylvania with her husband and seven children.
“We must break down the wall of shame society has built for us” – Rebecca Moore in Mothering Through Bipolar
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