Finally taking it serious without shame
Hello Everyone, I am new to the message board world but I hope that I can find some support here and share some experiences.
First, I am a single mother that comes from a long history of bipolar illness. My mother has been bipolar (or a manic depressive as they called it when I was young) for as long as I can remember. She ran from one mental institution to another my entire life. It was difficult as an only child because I could really have friends over, I always had to ask my mother specific questions to find out what "mood" she was in. She went through some good times when she was manic and we would just enjoy life...as a kid having a mother that acted like she smoked too much weed was fun! She would take me shopping, get our nails done, hang out and laugh for hours...THEN she would snap and fall into a horrible depression in an instant. She would beat me, yell all the time, call me names, sit and stare into space for days withour showering, eating, or even getting up to go potty (guess who cleaned up the mess?). She has gone through 7 husbands in her 62 years and put just about all of them through bankruptsy. When I became a young woman I realized that I had some of the same traits as my mother but I did everything I could to hide from the truth. I have always had a hard time with relationships (friendships, work, school, marriage, etc.). I have gone through years and years of therapy and I have been diagnosed twice as bipolar. I still refused to accept that diagnosis until last week. I am in a depressed stage and I have gotten myself into some pretty big financial problems with my mania. I ended my marriage in 1997 and have not had a serious relationship since (very lonely). I still don't have friends. It has been a very hard life...always trying to figure out what was wrong with me, why I wasn't normal, and all the while denying what I already knew.
To add to the family tree...I have a 14 year old that was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1st grade. She has actually come to me in the past month and said "Mom, I think I am bipolar." I have NEVER talked to her about the history or my issues with the illness. She said one of her friends in bipolar and she started looking into it and thinks that she is also. She had no idea that I already knew she was. Of course we talked and agreed that we should work together.
I started medication today...Symbyax. I hope that I can begin to take control and finally have a balanced life. I feel so alone and very, very afraid. What if the treatments don't help and I am alone and unhappy forever...just like my mother. (she stopped treatment many years ago and refuses to even talk about having an illness, although the bipolar illness is worse than ever)
Anyway...thanks for listening...I hope you will have some stories and advice to share.