I have suffered from bipolar disorder for a very long time. I pretty much know the in’s and out’s of most of the illness. I know my triggers. I know the meds. And I have learned all the different kinds of therapy techniques that DO help. Basically I am able to find small positives except during major cycles. But occasionally both the disorder and situational circumstances become very overwhelming in life. The two knock you down a long way and I think everyone struggles with these exceptions themselves.
My mood has dipped considerably, so I am headed on a hopefully what is just a temporary downward spiral. Then there is a lot of stressors (or triggers) that are presenting themselves currently that are unavoidable. As a father when one of your children is experiencing difficult times, you go through them as well, and try to do whatever is necessary to make things right.
I know…I know. The old adage, put the air on yourself first in flight or you won’t be able to assist your child. Well sometimes I believe that is easier said than done when you are standing there watching your own child drowning in front of you. My health suddenly becomes the last thing I worry about, and my child will always take precedence. I wear my heart on my sleeve. Always have, always will.
I attempt to balance the two out, but I have been down this road so many times, I know how to pick up the pieces. I’d rather be the one that hurts more in the end if it means my child suffers less.
So as the day goes on, I will go into my closet and reach for one of my best masks that I have learned to store up over the years and will put on the most stoic positive face I can even though deep down inside this it is not the case at all. It’s not that I won’t deal with my disorder, I will. But there are times in your life that even when it is not possible to be positive, you have to continue to be there for others even when you feel like you just can’t even take care of yourself.
There have been too many times over my life where I laid there catatonic or was off on some manic binge that even when I am starting to hit basement level that I will not push and push this illness aside to try and make up for all those years. I am far from perfect, never will be. I am sure I will have major episodes again…but today I will brush aside all my issues and this time be the one to help.