We are in the midst of some dark days. Thinking we had the meds pretty much dialed in, ready to start a modified school schedule, resumption of some normalcy. Hah. The mania returned, including an increase in hallucinations. My Lily has bipolar disorder. With many a psychology class under my belt, I thought I understood bipolar disorder. I had no idea.
No idea what it's like on a daily basis. No idea that a person with bipolar disorder could hallucinate. No idea how hard it is to differentiate between what I'm supposed to hold firm on for behavior, and what I need to let go so she doesn't get over stressed and go into a bad cycle. Parenting doesn't cause bipolar disorder, it's brain chemistry. But parenting can influence mental health, both negatively and positively. Just as a too permissive parent fails to teach a child responsiility and doesn't give a child a chance to learn independence, a too strict parent can stress a kid completely out. See? I'm even writing in circles. Round and round we go, where we stop, nobody knows.
So, while I try to take each moment as it comes, I'm feeling really uncomfortable and unsure. I want to help my daughter. I want to see her succeed and I want to see her smile. She has so many strengths. Off the charts creativity. She's always been a mad/busy/productive artist. Projects have always been something she gets into with gusto. Done her way, though, no step by step instructions for this one. Color by number? Nope. Always coloring outside the lines. And she is a gifted writer. Wild, funny tall tales.
So if I could just go with her strengths, just go with the flow, she'd be pretty comfortable. But we have other parts of our lives that need to be attended to. I don't know yet how we can make it if I'm not working at my outside job. Medical benefits and wages make our life possible. We have safe, secure housing. We're OK. How are we going to pay rent and go to the doctor if that is lost? And if I can't be at work, that will be lost. It scares me. I'm not a person who depends on others for help. I handle my stuff. But I had a plan that isn't looking so manageable now. I feel kind of sick when I really think about it.
And I have to figure it out now, while I still have some money in the bank and the bills are paid. I have to be proactive, because if I don't get on it, the wolf will come knocking. And it feels like my house is made of straw. Forgive me for mixing metaphors, but my superwoman cape is looking a bit thin. I'm not giving up. But I am flyng lower to the ground.