One Mom’s Itchy Butt #2

Yesterday’s Post here

One of the most difficult aspects of managing Bipolar is relationships.  Looking back on my life, I’ve always had friendships where it’s almost immediate enmeshment, toxic, goes nuclear, and ends.  For most of my life, people would cut me out.  I would find myself begging people to forgive me or constantly seeking approval from anything with a pulse.  I’ve been told more than once that I am “difficult to deal with” or “overwhelming”.  As a mom, my fear is that I am not giving my children what they need, because I have struggled with so many people in my life.

I used to be terrified of being alone.  I used other people (especially my children) to distract me from myself.  It’s so much easier to focus on anyone else’s issues than your own anxiety, depression, or even day-to-day emotions. Being a Mom was my only identity and concern.  Disassociation is my specialty – well, it was.  I remember when I connected with Yoga, I was shocked at feeling my feet for the first time.

I guess, it’s fair to point out that the co-morbidity of my stuff is very high, is this PTSD, is this Bipolar, is this being a human being? That’s honestly why I started writing.  “Why am I so fucking miserable?” was where I started.  There is no line between mental illness and me.  I’m also an ACOA, and similarly, there is no line between the characteristics of an ACOA and me.  It is all me.  I refuse to say “oh well that’s my bipolar talking there.” No, that’s my fingers flying across the keyboard spouting out my brain babbles, there.  This is an ongoing process, as is forgiving myself.

I have an incredible memory.  It’s almost photographic.  The problem is, that recorder doesn’t like to shut up when I’m trying to meditate, relax, or ya know, be with my kids. My mind plays anywhere from 5-25 different tracks at a time.  Meditation and mindfulness are the only two keys that I have found to manage this.  Regardless of mania, my brain does not shut up.  I don’t even know what “racing thoughts” means, because my brain is a goddamn relay race/triathalon/5 year old on crack unless I’m able to breathe and slow myself down.

The harder reality to accept and manage is that these issues affect my relationship with my kids.  Like my recorder of a mind loves to play, for most of their lives, I did not stop moving.  I was driven to be perfection in my career, housekeeping, wife-ing, and mother-ing.  Every weekend, I’d pack our agendas with activities and adventures in a desperate attempt to mask my internal struggles and alleviate my guilt for always being a shitty mom.

I did not have a diagnosis of any sort until I was 31 years old, yet all that I describe has been my entire life.  I have spent most of my life writing everything I’ve ever thought or felt off as “being fucking crazy” because that’s how it was referred to by everyone, it feels like.  I just kept it all inside as much as I could, and I created an internal world to live in, or used my imagination to go somewhere else.  I’ve re-written myself so many times in my mind, that I struggle to tell you what reality is.  That’s tough.

I can’t remotely get to those levels anymore, nor would I want to.  I’m so much more interested in calm and quiet.  The chaos of my life still makes me nauseous and I want it all quieter, yet I once thrived in chaos.  I used to worry that I create it all myself – drama, relationship problems, etc.  I still worry that my children’s behavior is a direct reflection of my inability to be “normal”.

Prior to January or so, when I was told “you are acting manic” I was actually deeply depressed.  I would force myself into this hyperactivity to hide everything.  Our busy schedules would double, and looking back on the depression I had through April, I don’t have the first clue how I did it.  Well, yes I do, I’d dissassociate and focus on everything but me.  I can’t say there’s a winning solution in this – what I did to myself before with depression was awful, but allowing myself to fall apart is not sustainable either.  That is why I am working so hard to maintain balance. (You’d think as a Libra, this wouldn’t be such a challenge…)

I am constantly afraid that my moods affect my ability to be ___.  I constantly stress or analyze if I am more or less affectionate, am I paying enough attention to my kids, am I caring for them well enough? Baseline expectations are difficult for me to understand. When you’ve spent 34 years being Hercules, how do you drink your morning coffee and say, alright, well I’m going to lift this here 5 lb dumbbell and call it a day? My other shadow is, “Do I withdraw affection because of my moods?”

My focus has predominantly been on re-training my brain.  The way I talk to myself is/was abhorrent.  When I think on something like the Law of Attraction in correlation to my own treatment of myself, I can see why I attract people who treat me like shit.  I can also clearly see growth, because there are a few people I have cut out of my life, and that excites me.  I do not want toxicity in my life.  When my recorder starts playing, I have been taking a deep breath and saying, “I forgive you”.  When I compare now to then, I say “Your smile is real, now, and that means more to the kids.” Most importantly, my smile is real now and that feels so good for me.

I’ve started doing Yoga with my daughter in the morning.  I taught her sun salutations, and we’ve been working through a tiny routine together, with the plan to build up our own morning routine.  She rolls out our mats side by side, and we talk each other through our breaths and shapes.  In my forward fold, I sneak a glance over the happy smile on her face, and I record that.  I record me teaching my daughter my second greatest coping skill.  Yoga.  Yoga put me back in my body, and helped me understand when I or someone else was hurting me.  I am building a routine with my daughter because that is the only way I can understand a baseline.  If I do this every day, it is something I do.  When depression comes again, I have promised myself that she and I will still do Yoga.  I believe those little steps amount to greater impact than any amount of plastic crap or expensive vacations or any other guilt relief attempt could do.

A great mom is not defined by the stuff she gives her children or the places they go.  A great mom is defined by teaching her children to love, and the only way for them to learn love is to love themselves first.  Maybe I am backwards, because my children taught me how to love myself.  I spent 9 years putting them above me in every word, and for the past year, I’ve started me first.  I’m a new person, and my kids are happier for it.  And hell, Yoga in the morning helps me from screaming what the actual fuck at my feet – I still feel guilty about the Frosted Flakes though.

In upcoming posts, I will talk about other ways I have been coping, and openly discuss the effects my mental illness has had on my life, being a mom, and my career.  I’d love to hear any feedback, and I challenge anyone who reads this to open up as well.  I’m open to suggestions for further posts, too!  Guest blogs, etc. welcome, I really want to focus on this in my writing.  Facing my shadow and admitting my feelings of being a mom with mental illness is the hardest thing I can do.  

If you are enjoying my writing, please feel free to follow me on Facebook or Twitter – I post more random stuff there – memes, inspirational stuff, and babblings.  Thank you for reading – feel free to like/comment/share (just give me credit!)

 

 

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16 thoughts on “One Mom’s Itchy Butt #2

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  1. I read both part 1 and 2 of this post. Do you even write bad posts? I can not get over how wonderful and awesome this blog is. I swear I thought I was the only one to feel this way about being a mother with mental illness. I always feel guilty and telling myself I am not doing enough for my kids. Even when they have everything they need. I even got to the point where I was spoiling them because nothing was good enough and I wasn’t doing enough for them. I was exhausting myself for the kids and just still felt overwhelmingly guilty. I feel guilty because I need a break sometimes. I hate to tell people I can’t handle my own kids. I mean, I get the feeling they are thinking, “Well why did you have them if you can’t handle them?” Ugh, it makes my head hurt, really. I love my children, and I tend to put them above myself, all the time. That’s probably why I constantly look like I climbed straight out of a swamp. Everyone I know also takes some kind of anxiety medication. I live in a small town and there are very few people who don’t take medicine for it. I actually know someone who blames their medicine for them going to jail once. I feel awful for finding it funny. You are a wonderful mom and beautiful person! I’m starting to think we are long-lost family. I am also a Libra, though I don’t keep up with daily horoscopes. Mostly because the last horoscope thing I saw on facebook said Libras are patient. I am nowhere near patient! Anyway, LOVE your post and I hope you have a wonderful day! (sorry for the long comment)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. 😊😊😊😊oh my god Courtney!!! That’s exactly why I started this!!! Literally, I thought that I a) can’t possibly be alone in these feelings, b) I never really see mental illness from the eyes/fingertips of a mom, and c)maybe this would make even one person feel less alone.

      I’m so so so so glad that we connected. In a sense I’m sorry you resonate with my post because it’s not always fun being us hahahaha but I’m really glad I can at least give you a hey, me too, man.

      We are definitely some sort of soul sister tribe 😊😊😊 don’t be ever sorry for long comments. This is the best part!!!

      As far as horoscopes- lol I’ll tell ya, I’ve been reading up on traits and even looked up what my birth moon was. It explains so much “you have trouble seeking the middle. All or nothing. You strive for fairness and justice for all, but cannot achieve balance in your own life. You struggle with oppositional forces of creativity and logic and it makes your life very tumultuous but fun and interesting” hahahahhaha

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s why I started my blog as well! I know what it’s like to feel alone on my struggles. I hate to see anyone else suffer the same, because I know it’s an awful feeling! Do I feel a friendship forming??? 😀 I never really paid any attention to horoscopes but maybe they are more than just those Cosmo magazines make them out to be!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. After I was in my 30’s, body started shutting down because of the suppression of my anxiety/panic. They make you go to a therapist to see “what” is causing it. Is it past trauma or chemical. I told that therapist the same things you are saying, I am a crap mother, I am crazy. After a few months(actually I went to 2, man first, woman second. Quit going to the man because he said I wasn’t crazy, and that my issue was chemical. I said ok this guy is crazier than me if he thinks I’m not crazy and I went to the female) she told me that “crazy people don’t think they are crazy. Shitty mothers don’t think they are shitty mothers. The fact that you say that you are, that you are concerned and want to be a “better” mother, proves you are a good mother. You may not be the “perfect” mother, but NO ONE is”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My friend is going through those physical problems right now. It makes me
      So sad. I have the ghost pain type thing all the time. I think part of why I love yoga is the fact that I can at least say, oh I’m sore from moving vs existing is painful lol

      I agree with you. Jack always says that too, the people who say they’re not crazy are the ones who are crazy. I guess it’s true. The biggest assholes you meet always say they’re not hahahaha

      I’m so so so glad things have turned around for you. Both my friend and I turned to meditation to help us. I don’t think I expected it to have the profound impact it has. I genuinely believe my psychosis before was triggered by me meditating and connecting with something my psyche didn’t want to deal with. Kind of like a living nightmare. Meditation is though what is bringing me back. Maybe I had to shovel up some poo before I could get to the good stuff 🤣🤣🤣

      I think amazing moms want to help themselves so they can be everything they need to be. Want to be is another realm. Our gang is loved and cared for. I just saw that daddy of five thing on YouTube and they had two kids taken away. Watch that. Well never question ourselves again, I think. Sigh.

      Thanks for reading my friend❤️❤️❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. it was my pleasure. Things are turning around for you too. That’s what I’ve been praying for. Yoga is amazing, I love pilates too. If you haven’t done it it’s the same moves as yoga, just inverted 🙂 I alternate them. I have namesta tv on dvd. I love it because it’s about 23 minutes a session, so I can always work it in and in pilates is the same way. I do Windsor which is 20 minutes each one, and I hubby got me an aeropilates pilates machine and their dvds are 23 to 30 minutes each too.

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    1. 😊😊😊I’m glad I made ya smile!!! I used to only post goldblum pics before and I’m going back to it – my goldblum game is strong. Hahahaha

      On YouTube there’s a channel called cosmic kids. Obviously, 20 months is a lil young for yoga routines per se, buuut she does these videos called yoga disco and it’s easy moves in a little musical routine and dance for the kids. Super easy, super super adorable and reaaaaaally gets energy out. My gang adores them!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I love your blog and your humor, makes me laugh so much. it’s brilliant 😅 Yoga disco sounds awesome, I’ll need to have a look. I was trying to get my little one to copy some yoga but she was more interested in making a picnic on the mat than doing any moves 😆

        Liked by 1 person

      2. 😊😊😊thank you!!! I’m glad – making people laugh is the best feeling in the world. I am so glad you and I connected on here!!

        Oh it’s great, if she does it, you will die of cuteness overload. When my kids do the hot air balloon one, I just melt in a puddle of “omgg how did I make these cute monsters?!?!” Hahahaha

        My youngest does yoga by generally rolling around complaining it’s boring, so a picnic is not too shabby hahahaha ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

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