I find myself today wishing, more than ever, to be more than I am. I want to be a better mother, a better wife, a better friend, a better sister. I wish I could work again. I wish I wasn’t so tired all the time. I wish I wasn’t so weak. I wish I didn’t have so many negative thoughts. I want to be more than I am.
Since my bipolar diagnosis my life has been flipped upside down. It was only recently that I realised (stupidly) that there was no cure. I wasn’t going to find some magic combination of things to turn back into the person I was before bipolar. Even if I manage to get things to the point where they are extremely well managed I am not cured.
I spoke to my mum the other day and she wanted to let me know about this program she saw which saw people cured of diabetes. I have seen it (really interesting documentary called “Simply Raw – Reversing Diabetes in 30 days”) and the problem is that while you can remove all the symptoms, you can have blood tests that show you no longer have diabetes, but it’s still there. At the moment I have had “normal” blood sugars for about two months. If I was to have a regular blood test they would miss the diabetes. But if I was to go back to eating cakes and lollies it would come right back.
Bipolar is forever. Once you have it, you can’t unhave it.
Today I am down. Which sucks as I had an absolutely amazing time yesterday. I went on a little v-line day trip with a friend to Bendigo to see the Grace Kelly exhibit. We had lunch. The exhibit was amazing. I found a new hat. I had great company. We were asked to pose for some pictures for the tourist information centre as we were “stylish”. My lovely friend noticed I was so different since we last saw each other in January. I think she was talking about more than the weight I have lost as I got home and my husband noticed the same thing. He said I was more “spirited” than I have been in a long time. I got my hopes up. Maybe this was the turning point. Maybe I could be the old me.
But I am not. Today I feel so incredibly down. It took me ages to get to sleep last night. Then I slept too long today…barely being able to drag myself out of bed at 4pm after 16 hours sleep. I felt useless. My brain hurt. I wanted to cry. Irritated over the smallest thing. Even my beautiful girls set me on edge. So once again I hid in my room. Despising the person I am.
I have accepted bipolar is forever. I haven’t accepted the person that I have become.
I realised today that I will most likely need to be looked after for the rest of my life. I can’t remember to take my medications …. even with an alarm, once I turn it off if I get distracted I forget instantly. Then assume I have done it because my alarm is off. I can’t remember to take my salmon oil…which is really upsetting me as I know it can only work if I take it regularly. I almost burnt myself getting into the shower as I forgot to turn on the cold water.
I used to remember everything. I could quote something someone said to me 10 years ago.I managed a household, I remembered all our appointments, I managed a business solo, I ran a charity. I remembered birthdays and anniversaries. I forgot it was my little brothers birthday yesterday. I only remembered when my mum apologised for not sending my daughter something as well (she thought her birthday was at the same time…its not). I remembered that it was mothers day, but somehow forgot that that included my mum.
I feel lost. Embarrassed. Horrified. I know that it isn’t the bipolar that causes the memory loss, but the drugs I am on. But what if I can’t get off them?
My mum has the onsets of dementia. The doctor I saw with her a few years ago said it has a lot to do with her drug use. She has smoked pot all day everyday since she was 14. She isn’t even fifty. I thought my memory would be like my great nanas. At 98 she could rattle off every childs name, every grandchild, every great grandchild…stopping fondly at twin B, her youngest great grandchild, who shares her name. The last time I saw her we talked politics and marriage and raising children and the fact that she hated the nursing home. She was sharp as a tack. Quick witted, almost as sarcastic as I am.
I feel weak. I feel like I took my husband back for my own security. To be looked after. Fear that I couldn’t do anything on my own any more. I fear that I am becoming my mother. She went from one abusive man to the next. Never leaving until they were done with her, not the other way around. I swore I would never allow a man to treat me poorly. I have said some horrible things about him on this blog, all true unfortunately (though I haven’t mentioned many if any of the good) and what if I am just like her?
I was fiercely independent. I never asked for help. I lived alone from the time I was 15 years old, choosing to be alone rather than live the life my mother had chosen. I would have preferred live on the street than submit to her misogynistic, alcoholic, abusive, backwards partner. I worked hard so we had financial security and freedom from centrelink. I was idealistic and fought for my beliefs.
Now I am looking at a life with a full time carer. A life dependant on centrelink (boy am I regretting never insuring myself against a debilitating illness). A life of compromise.
I know tomorrow will be better. But I won’t be the same as I once was. Tomorrow I will still be forgetful, dependant, easily overwhelmed and longing to be more than I currently am.