So. Today (Friday) was better. Way better than yesterday. Still felt low, and pretty awful, but it was better. I had class today and was able to hang with two friends who "get it"...who understand what its like to be in a dark place and how sometimes, you just need someone to be there with you so you don't feel alone. So that helped-significantly. I also joined a closed Bipolar Depression Group on Facebook. Everyone there is warm, friendly, and have a lot of helpful info if you need it...or if you just need to say "hey I'm cycling right now and I don't think I'll make it," you can. No judgement. No repercussions. No wagging fingers. Just support. Love. A place where you can safely unload your thoughts and emotions. Just making one post there today helped me tremendously, because I was surrounded by people who know what its like to have to deal with this madenning existence we find ourselves living. So. All day today I've been thinking: what can I do to cope? How can I get through this? How can I deal with some of the isolation I feel? Here's one of the things I hate the most about "being bipolar": it feels so isolating. Its hard to know who to talk to, who you can "let in" when you're going through an episode, a cycle, and just having a bad day. It's a frustrating experience for me because my family knows about my diagnosis, but do nothing to help. No phone calls, no emails, no "hey are you ok?" "Do you need help/anything?" Nothing. No one offers to take the kids so I can have a break. I have to call and ask and it MIGHT happen. My church? I don't even want to go there or it will just make me angry...suffice it it say that support from that "family" has been minimal to non-existent as well. I guess, in everyone's defense, perhaps they don't know what to do or how to help. They don't know what to say or even understand. Or they're tired of dealing with "my issues." That's the impression I get from those around me who I used to lean on for support. Even my ex-at my lowest points he's begged me to let him in and help me only to turn around weeks or months later to tell me he can't do "this" anymore-I'm too much, my needs are too overwhelming and he just doesn't have it in him to deal with it anymore. I understand that to agree, but I know it must be beyond tough to "deal" with someone's "issues." I get its hard for people...hard for them to even understand. I get that. But at the same time, it hurts ya'll. Having to go through this without the support of those "closest" to me has been devastating to me. A lot of my anger is rooted in that pain...so I keep people around me at a distance. They don't reach out and I don't either. No one gets in, and for the 2 who have...there's only but so much I tell them. My socialization skills suck these days. Why? Because I don't trust people. I've learned that unless they have been where you are and know what it's like, people can only handle but so much. I've had to start accepting the fact that I'm not going to find the support and love from the people I want and need it from (family, church, my ex) because they just aren't equipped to give it. They don't have it. At all. And I'm realizing only certain kinds of people do...So I've been forced to seek support elsewhere, find safe places I can find it and be embraced...and just let it all out, especially during those moments when I'm at my darkest, lowest places, and need to reach out. This blog is one of them...therapy has been another...Twitter has become the place where I can be totally honest and its ok. There's an Army of support there and I can't tell you how much I love them.
So when I started thinking about how bad I felt yesterday and how isolating and lonely it felt, because I couldn't pick up the phone and call someone other than my psych to talk...I got angry...but this time it motivated me to action-constructive action. I joined the FB group, I started looking for resources I could use to help myself deal with this madness...and I thought about other women, other moms who might be in the same boat and who just might need a safe place to go to...a place that's always there when family, friends, psychs and therapists aren't available to walk you through the tough moments-the frustrating moments-the painful moments-the ones where you need to put your racing thoughts out there just to get them out of your mind and move the weight of them off of your chest. A place where you can find other people who "get it"-and will just listen, offer encouragement, hope, ((hugs)), etc. A place where you can find resources and helpful information...
Last night I created what I'm hoping will be such a place. I created a group on Facebook for moms with Bipolar Disorder: Bipolar Mamas. It's a closed group-only members see what's posted. Whether there are 5 people or 100 who are members, I don't care. I just want mamas to be able to have at least one other place where they can talk about what's going on, with other women and mamas who understand because they're struggling and coping too.
I'm not an expert...I'm not "recovered"....I'm not a professional...I don't have the answers...but I'm hoping this is a place where we can help each other at least find some ideas...some routes to answers. I'm hoping its a place that helps us whether our illness is manageable and "under control" or beating us down and making our lives hell. Being a mama and being bipolar is no joke-no one should have to go through it alone, without support. I'm hoping this place can offer that at least on some level so we know we aren't alone and that we are awesome mamas in spite of what we're dealing with.
So...if you would like to join, if you know someone who could use such a place, know of any professionals even who would like to help offer suggestions or resources to members, please let me know-either here, in a DM on Twitter, an email (bconfessions at gmail dot com), or in a message on Facebook. Please help me spread the word...and please don't be ashamed or afraid to reach out if you need help.