I’m Tired of Managing

bipolar

I’m using the above image a bit facetiously. Not because I don’t think it works for a lot of people, as a representation of Bipolar mood disorder, but because it doesn’t work for me. Since I was told my medication was too expensive to cover, I’ve been working to manage my mood swings without, again.  And I’m so tired of it. It’s exhausting to try to be something stable when you’re body, your mind, your chemicals are all fighting you.

I guess it makes me angry because that big smiling face is a farce, to me. That’s not how mania manifests itself in my case. I often wonder if managing would be easier if my highs felt good, but they don’t. I’m dipping off a high now, one that terrified me. I know I’m getting depressed, and I almost welcome it. It’s so much easier when all the thoughts about harming are directed at oneself.

I’m still buzzing with aggression, rage settled under the surface of a face I’m trying to keep calm. I’m trying not to be annoyed at every passer bye, every silly comment that a stranger throws my way. But I am annoyed, often angry at everything. Even my kids, who were in the sweetest, most amazing mood this morning. And I ruined it. I couldn’t sleep last night. Too much energy, to much agitation. My dreams were a whir of angry snapshots. I just wanted to drink coffee and not talk. But they were happy to see me, full of joy to be awake. And I ruined it with my shitty mood. I could see myself ruining it and wanted so badly to just be better. I sent them to their room to change into clean clothes and I screamed into a pillow so loudly I’m still having a hard time talking. It calms me, rage screaming. But it scares them. And they wonder what they did, when they didn’t do anything.

My daughter cried and instead of feeling bad it made me angry she was crying, but I shoved that anger down and held her and kissed her and cried with her. And I felt it slip away from me, the rage. But my hands still trembled, my world still blurred and I felt like the world’s shittiest mom. My daughter drew a picture of a frowning face on her white board, to gauge where my mood was. She told me, “You still have time to turn it around, mom. You can get a smiley face when I get home.” I hope that’s true. I hope, by the time she gets home, I can appreciate her for a while. I want to feel like smiling and playing, not just force myself to do those thing, mommy motions.

I feel depression creeping up. It does that, especially when my moods start to effect others, and it’s even harder to manage because it doesn’t scare my kids as much, so I don’t try as hard. If my daughter had to draw a depressed face on me, it would look neutral, no matter how hollow it feels. That tells me that I’m more likable when I’m depressed than when I’m manic. And I understand why. I just wish I didn’t have to manage between two terrible choices. I’m so tired of managing.

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6 thoughts on “I’m Tired of Managing

  1. I can’t imagine having to live with this and take care of children. Your little girly sounds adorable though.

    I, also, hate mania. It does not make me feel good. It does not make me productive. It makes me angry and desperate and unfocused. I used to be able to use it. Before I knew I was sick.

    Sending you good thoughts so you can at least find the strength to pretend happiness by the time school is over.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my dear. The self-awareness makes it a little more possible, but also so much more excruciating. My sister has bipolar disorder and MS, and the pill box looks like my monthly calendar. Fortunately SSDI now pays for it, but for the year before we managed to get her on SSDI, the only medications that were covered were for the physical issues. This was because long term disability for mental health issues, as defined by her employee, was only three years, and because in the height of her mania she insisted that she was not going on disability because of the MS, but because of the bipolar. And of course, no employee benefit counselor was going to argue with her on that one. They were not there to be on her side.

    I will not ask if there is no other alternative, no less costly medicine that works almost as well that will make the work even a little less exhausting. I will just urge you to be as tender and kind to yourself as you would like to be to your daughter. Every time you can accurately and neutrally describe your feelings to her, no matter what those feelings are, you are giving her tools. That will give you more day to day strength and at the end of the day, will benefit you both. You know this, of course. But sometimes it helps to hear it from somebody else.

    Like

    • Paula, thank you for your wonderful sentiments. My medication is not one that has a cheaper alternative. My counselor would like to try something else. We shall see. I think you’re right in saying the best thing I can do is communicate with my kids about what’s going on. My daughter shows some signs of mood disorder issues, as well, so it can only help her. I try to be kind to me, but it’s hard not to be disappointed in how my moods manifest towards the little ones in my life, towards my husband. It makes me feel pretty guilty. But I thank you for your support. I know they are doing well because I work very hard to keep steady. I’m back to a regular work-out regiment and have changed my diet, to see if that helps. Wish me luck. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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