Connection {Living with Bipolar I Disorder}

I have always had a therapist, since my first visit in July 2006. It never helped, but I do/did have one. My diagnoses are Ultra-radian Cycling Bipolar I Disorder and Social Anxiety Disorder, with symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder, but not enough to make it a diagnosis. Basically the doctors throw cutting & suicide attempts in under Borderline Personality, but it’s a product of my rapid-cycling mania and depression.

I know it’s not easy to understand. Maybe it’s impossible to understand. I’ve been told that I seem so normal. I’m not sure that there is such a thing as normal, but I’m pretty sure I’m not it.

I’m selfish and sometimes (often) very irresponsible. I hate housework so I do the bare minimum to get by. My house isn’t dirty but it is cluttered. I do dishes once a week, but then, we don’t often eat here so I can get away with that. I wash clothes on Friday because that’s when the clean clothes run out.

I have deep scars that cover my left arm from wrist to shoulder, on my breasts and stomach and on my ankles. I wear at least 3/4 length sleeves at all times, even when it’s boiling hot, because I don’t want to answer questions about my scars. I don’t like to be judged by them. I’m more than my scars and more than my disorders, though sometimes it’s hard not to define myself by them.

I drink too much sometimes, but in short spurts, and then I’ll go weeks without drinking a drop. Every now and then I’ll smoke a cigarette but I would die before I’d let my kids see me doing so. I smoke marijuana sometimes and I think it helps more than the psychotropic drugs do. I don’t drink alone. I don’t smoke anything in my house. I don’t smoke or drink during the week or when my kids will be around. I contain my irresponsible excesses to weekends. I love my neighbor and I allow him too much leeway with how he treats me, but he’s doing better so I have hope that as I learn not to let him affect me so much, he’s learning to be better to me.

I’m also fun, and funny, I think. I like to talk and sometimes don’t know when to shut up (like now for instance). I like to laugh. I make jokes to relieve my tension. I’m loyal to a fault. I’m a terrible procrastinator and I suck at getting to the post office. I used to be very organized and a wonderful WAHM. I used to run a very successful business that turned out 150 pairs of shoes a week, brought in $1-2k a month income and supported 15 international retailers. I’ve lost that and I don’t know where to even look for it, but I’m mostly okay with that.

I have a strong desire to connect with people, to try and make them “get” me. I have a strong desire to be taken care of and I’ve slept with a lot of people trying to find that. It seems so obvious but it’s taken me a long time to realize that that’s not really the best plan. I’m a mess but I’m learning to be okay with that too.

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I'm Heather, a married mama of two teen girls, a stillborn baby girl (7/1/12), and a sweet and wild preschool girl (4/2/14). I've been blogging at The Destiny Manifest since 2001. I like to write about appreciating all of the beautiful little things that surround us, particularly in the face of grief, infant loss and mental health issues. Every day is an adventure!

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