mental illness

Holy Shit. You're trusting ME with a baby?

I am going to be a parent.  In less than 6 months there will be an infant under my care (and of course the care of my wife).

I’m excited. And honestly, I’m scared shitless.

This weekend we picked up a crib and dresser from some of our wonderful amazing friends.  And things got just a little bit more real.

I have fears.  Fears about how this illness will impact my ability to parent.  Fears about my ability to raise a child in general.

I know that it is entirely normal to have these fears.  I know that I will still be a great parent.

But I am scared.

And it is hard to fight these fears.  I don’t know how, other than to keep going.  I know I’m great with kids.  But I know I get stressed out and react in ways that are less than beautiful.  I fear that the stress of having an infant will shut me down and I will have post partum depression(even though I’m not carrying).

These specific fears are new and foreign to me.  This is a daunting responsibility.  One I take very seriously.

I have never been a parent before.  This is the unknown and I am leaping in headfirst and what if the pool isn’t filled with water and what if. . .

And what if it’s the best thing I ever do?

What if I find a fulfillment and wonder and beauty I have never known before?

What if this fear simply means I realize the great responsibility being placed on my shoulders?

What if I am an amazing parent?

I could choose to drown in the fears.  I could do that easily.  I’ve done it many times before.  Getting caught up in my own headspace is something which comes naturally to me.

What matters is that I give those fears their voice.  I let myself have them.  But I come back at them with the other what ifs.

Living in fear is a choice.

I choose to combat the fear.

What do you choose?

Yup, Still bipolar.

I wrote my post last night, only to delete it this morning.

My brain works better in the morning.

I am struggling a bit right now guys, and it sucks.

I can feel that my mood is off, and it's harder to keep my brain in check.  It jumps to dark places quickly and easily.  I know that is simply a symptom of the illness, but it will never not be scary.

Mixed episodes are a part of bipolar most people aren't aware of.  But they are the worst of both worlds, and that is where I am right now.

I'm calling my psychiatrist once it hits 8 am to see about upping my meds.

This is a fucking HARD phone call to make.

I sometimes forget that this illness is still a part of me.  I have learned how to manage this illness so well I forget that I have it.

And then this shit strikes.

I am ok.  I am safe.  I am calling my doctor and I e-mailed my therapist last night.  At this point I have the coping skills to make it through pretty much anything. 

This is a chemical thing, set off by certain stressors in my life.

This is my life.

I don't know what it's like to not be bipolar.  I don't know what it's like to not randomly think about suicide or self harm when I get stressed out, even when it's good stress.  I don't know what it's like to not have to fight every day to keep a hold of a brain that wants to run away.  A brain that wants to be sick.

I am told that I am incredibly self aware.  I am told I am a badass.  You guys, I HAVE to be to simply survive.  I have to ask for help when I need it.  I HAVE to listen to what I'm feeling and analyze it and decide what it means.

I am hurting right now, and most of it is because I am being reminded that I am STILL sick.  That I will always be sick.  Even though I know how to manage it, even though I have all the skills and tools I need to stay healthy and I utilize them.  I am still sick.

This illness is invisible, and I am good at hiding it.  There are very few people whom I let see the illness.  Just because you don't see it doesn't mean it isn't there.

I am ok.  I am safe.  I am getting the help I need.

I just sucks that I need help.

Do the Best you Can, At the Moment

I want to call it in.

I have a self imposed deadline of posting every Tuesday.  So far I have not failed on that mission (other than one week I posted on a Wednesday).

Tuesdays are blog post days.

Yet, it is after 8 pm (aka after my bedtime) and there is still no post.

Yes, I’ve had a busy day, yes I have a stupid summer cold (which, btw are basically the worst).

I will not call it in.

I will not call it in.

My personal goal is to do the best I can at the time.

This may be my best today.

I am sick, I am tired, I will likely have to work tomorrow while sick.

But I am posting.

I am showing up and doing the work, even when I don’t necessarily want to.

I am doing this even though I’m simply not feeling it.

Sometimes you have to push through.

Sometimes you have to go through the motions to get through.

A few years ago I started going to work even when I felt like I couldn’t.

That taught me that I could go to work even when it was hard.

Life, and recovery, is all about baby steps and pushing yourself just the slightest bit harder.

Today I will post a blog post even though I’m not feeling it and just want to go to sleep.  It may not be the most brilliant thing I ever write, but dammit, it will be written, and it will be posted.

There are hard days.  Give yourself grace and do the best you can do at the moment.  It’s all we can ask of ourselves.