October 29, 2016
This is the date when I found out that I have
bipolar II disorder.
Since then I have been filled with so many mixed emotions from how to deal with the stigma, what life changes I need to make in order to still be successful and most importantly, how this can affect Koko.
Since this day, I've been getting weaned off of antidepressants as these can lead to suicidal thoughts in those who have bipolar disorder. In order to stay completely honest with all of this, I have to say that I experienced these thoughts in October. I knew that this was wrong and luckily Koko was with our family more in October so that I could sort through everything.
Now, to make sure everyone understands what's going on. My disorder is a manageable one, one that you don't see in the media with people ending up in straight jackets. Rather than mania which is related to bipolar I and leads to a separation from reality, I have hypomania. With hypomania, I get really talkative, super productive and feel that I don't need to sleep at all for days at a time. Additionally, this can lead to me spending money that I don't really have and doing inappropriate things at times (I'll expand on that in a later post).
To stop myself from spending, I filled up my gas tank, took $20 out in cash then put my cards in water and froze them. (I know that sounds crazy but I have to do what makes sense to me) Freezing my cards means that I can not simply go get coffee, shop or get fast food on a whim. I have to not only go home to get my card but I have to take the time out to thaw it thus leading me to think before I spend.
As of now, I limit my coffee intake, I try to stick to a bedtime and sleep in no later than 9am, and log my feelings/ actions in order to understand how my disorder effects me. I have been completely honest with those around me in order to get the support I need as well as aiding in things with Koko. I'd be lying if I said that this new diagnosis does not scare me in my being a mom. I know that stability is key in parenting and having such an unstable illness makes me worry. My only priority in life is my baby's happiness and I don't want something that I did not chose to hinder that.
This is something that I have been predisposed to genetically and has been activated due to my recent stresses of being a mom in a difficult situation, being a graduate student in a program that is not right for me and just typical young adult feelings of understanding adulthood.
Looking at the positives of all this, I must say that once I get the correct combination of medications and life style changes, I think that this will lead to my further success. When I am in hypomania, I get so much stuff done and with my medications I can manage the times when my depression kicks in. I will really miss drinking coffee all the time but in my life changes I have remembered how much I love yoga which has been a huge help thus far.
I'm now on a journey to find out how to deal with all this, to find what makes me happy, to achieve my goals and to spend as much quality time with my baby I can before she grows up!
If anyone else is dealing with the stigmas of mental illnesses, just know that speaking about it openly is hard for me but I'm sure it will lead to greatness in the long run so that one person knows that they are not alone.