Yes. You read that right. Bipolar is a mom. Bipolar is a wife. Bipolar is a daughter.
I never, ever thought this would be a diagnosis I would receive. I knew I had ebbs and flows in my life, such as most moms. We all have our days. The parenting days that are LONG, exhausting, draining, and frustrating, and all you want to do is sit down with a bag of chewy Chips Ahoy! and binge-watch Shameless until you pass out. That’s normal mom life, amiright?!?!
I recall sitting in the doctor’s wall-to-wall, book-filled, and small but quaint office. She smiled and asked, “How can I help you?” I told her about all the medications I am on but still not feeling like myself yet. She was the first psychiatrist I had an appointment with. I answered her questions upon questions, and then told her all the feelings upon feelings upon answering more questions. I wanted to freak out and just say, “I know I am a nut job but help fix me!” I didn’t, but when she said “Bipolar II,” I literally bawled my eyes into a dirty Kim Kardashian cry, ugly sobbing like no other. Glasses all foggy and nose running, I thought to myself that I never even would have considered myself being bipolar. What is wrong with me?
I checked out, made a follow-up appointment, went to my car, and called my husband immediately. I told him he could run away from me, and I would understand. God bless him. He opted not to and said he loves me regardless. Praise Jesus, ya’ll. I need him. And more than ever now, I thought I would need him and his unconditional support. I need the “talk me off the ledge” chats, and he just knows what to say to me. That’s the talk we had that very moment. He made me feel #allthefeels for him moreso than ever.
Upon returning home, I went to the office and immediately consulted “Dr. Google” for Bipolar II. Ah-ha!, I thought to myself, it’s all making sense why she diagnosed me with said diagnosis. I checked the majority of the boxes: I have SADD (Seasonal Affective Depression Disorder), anxiety, periods of lower requirements of sleep, and am easily distracted. I have moments of hypomania, which sounds crazier than it is, but it just means that I have moods where I am “up” followed by a spurt of depression. And these are just some of my symptoms. Side-bar: nearly six million people are affected by Bipolar II, which is a whole lot of people like me.
Now that I have an answer to all my mental health issues, I am a work in progress. I am finding ways to manage, which includes seeing my therapist weekly, revisiting my psychiatrist every eight weeks, making time to work out, and paying more attention to my triggers.
Being aware of your body and mind is the most important thing you can do for yourself. My number one item on my personal to-do list is learning to say “no.” If I know something will make me feel out of my comfort zone, then it will trigger my anxiety, which will be negative for my mental health.