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I had gone almost a year and I figured it would be smooth sailing if I stopped taking my medication. I don’t know why so many of us with mental issues believe this lie. It was most definitely not smooth sailing. After two weeks, I hated myself. I hated my husband. I even hated my little daughter. All I wanted was to escape from my life. If anyone broached the subject of my mood swings, I lashed out at them in an awful way. Calling those I love most the nastiest things I could think of. Afterwards, lying in bed, I would berate myself. Most commonly, I would disparage myself as a mother and a wife. I would lie and think about how much happier everyone would be without this animal in their lives. Who wants to be friends with a rabid dog?

For years I went through this cycle. On again, off again. Then, in the summer of 2012, a friend of mine committed suicide. It was seemingly out of the blue. People around her questioned: how could she do that to her family? To her friends?

I understood. I had been there too. So convinced that I could picture my family without me. Finally happy. Relieved to be rid of me.

After her death, I became truly vigilant about my medication. I gave my husband a game plan for my highs and lows. He gave me the gift of space when I needed it, and took care of our daughter when the lows got too low. Now, even medicated, my disposition still swings more rapidly and drastically than some, but I know I’m not alone.

That’s my goal with this blog. To be truly candid about my disorder, so that maybe someone else can see through the fog and see that there’s someone else. There really is a “Me, too.” I won’t ever say to get over it. I won’t ever dismiss moods and flatly say “I’m sorry.” And though this blog will focus on my life as a bipolar parent, my hope is to have content that can benefit most people. Not only those in my boat.

Diagnosis

During my appointment with the psychiatrist, I was nervous and on guard. I knew that I was definitely not crazy. I had lived up to this point and nothing too terrible had happened to me, so I must not be crazy, right? Of course, I was discounting the cutting, the rage episodes, the fists through walls, the sobbing in my car, and, of course, that time I had to pull over to keep myself from driving off a bridge. But hey, SO normal.

After a few visits, I came away with a diagnosis: Bipolar II and Borderline Personality Disorder. She gave me a list of prescriptions and sent me on my way. Part of me was incredibly irritated. I’d taken pills before, and nothing had helped me. The doctor had explained that this was because anti-depressants don’t fully help people who have BPD. They may help relieve some of the symptoms, but they just can’t help with the severe shifts in mood. So, I filled the prescriptions, walked around Target for a while, and went home.

The next few weeks I weaned myself onto the drugs. A few more milligrams every week. I could feel myself calming down. Things like a diaper blowout no longer made me want to lock myself in a closet. I could handle rude people at work without slamming my fist on the counter top. Things were going well. It was the first time in my life that I felt any semblance of normalcy. After a few months, I figured I was fine; had gotten a handle on myself; moved on. Then, like so many others, I quit taking my chemical cocktail.