How have I done?


I was at my allergist’s office, exploring the anxiety/allergy connection. His nurse came in and asked me about my medications, what supplements I take, etc. all the routine questions. I told her about Lithium, Seroquel and then said “You know I have bipolar disorder?” She just looked at me, then asked “How have you done with it?”
How have I done with it? Well for someone with bipolar disorder, I’ve done remarkably well. I have two advanced degrees, a husband, a son, a beautiful home, even a blog.
But compared to someone “normal,” someone without any mental illnesses, I haven’t done well at all. I fight anxiety, depression, dark thoughts, emotions so intense they can be dangerous, I have no career and I worry constantly about my son. I worry he’s too much like me, ideally, he would only have an iota of me in him.
The latest thing is that my hair has started to fall out in bunches, which is a side effect of Lithium, possibly that’s what’s doing it. So now do I stop taking Lithium or lose all my hair? Also, I’ve been very clumsy lately, I have another concussion and broke my left pinky toe as a result of accidents. Clumsiness is also a side effect of Lithium. Again, do I keep having accidents or do I stop taking Lithium. Or lower the dose, which may not control my mood symptoms.
Everyday, something new, and not in a good way.
Feeling quite bad and overwhelmed. Bipolar or life? I suspect bipolar. Because I don’t always have this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, this urge to cry, emotions sometimes so intense, I want to scream, to give up.
The diary of a manic depressive, welcome my friends, thank your lucky stars you’ll never have to live with this ghastly illness.
And yet, I won’t give up. These are the cards I’ve been dealt, I will play them with flourish and panache. And I think if I didn’t keep writing about it, no one might know what was going on inside my brain. So I keep giving myself away. But it is a release, it is therapeutic, to write. And if someone with cancer doesn’t have to hide their diagnosis and symptoms, why do mentally ill people have to be ashamed of theirs?
Oh well, I think I’m rambling now, so I’ll stop. I have no words of wisdom. I am no expert on anything. The only thing that keeps me going is my love for my son. And it is huge and it conquers all.

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