In 2009 I was diagnosed with bipolar depression and severe anxiety. I have had my many ups and downs. Thanks to medicine, family, friends, and sometimes praying until I can’t pray anymore I have been able to stay afloat for the past six years. Everyone says leave all your worries to God but I can’t ever seem to. There is such a stigma against mental illness. So many people think its all in a persons head, that its a shout for attention, and it’s all something they make up. I can’t count on my fingers and toes the number of times that someone has told me it, it’s all in your head, its your mindset. Yes, sometimes it may be, like I posted in my blog last week. However, 95 percent of the time it’s not. For a person whose never had to fight a war against their OWN brain its hard to understand.
Nothing is scarier than thinking that the only way out is to end it. I am not proud of it, but I have had those thoughts many many times. It’s so scary!! Thankfully, I have had family to step in and intervene. Now more than ever, what yields me from those thoughts are my two littlest blessings. I don’t want to put them through that, but at the same time I often worry that there might just be something that pushes me over the edge. The battle with the mind is an AWFUL thing.
The normal word associated with BIPOLAR is CRAZY. Without my medication I honestly was, and even with medication I have my moments. So often I put on a front because I don’t want people to think I’m making it up or using it as an excuse. I am not! When I say there are days where I can’t drag myself out of bed I mean it. When I say I can’t be the first person to walk into a group of people (people I even know) I mean it. It is still so hard for me to walk in a large room or area with lots of people by myself.
When Seth and I first met, I was so confident. So passionate. So driven. I never have pinpointed what triggered the bipolar to make it’s front but it was my third semester at UCM. Change, lots of change, stress, and facing the unknown. Just a few weeks before our wedding I was at my worst. I hadn’t eaten in over a week ( I lost ten pounds). I hadn’t slept in days, and I wouldn’t leave the house. Seth had a welding presentation he had to give that day and couldn’t stay home. I called him probably 50 times (no joke) that day. I was a bit much. I called my parents over and over and eventually they showed up to find me pacing outside shaking and crying uncontrollable saying I just want to end my life, I don’t want to feel like this. My dad was close to calling an ambulance but they chose to take me home. That night I cried I cried hard all night long. I shook and shook. The next morning my mom took me to the doctor and I was placed on my first medication for anxiety and depression.
I felt like a failure. I had become one of those people who uses mental illness as an excuse I thought. I thought I could fight it with nothing. That I was fine. I was wrong.
Over the next few weeks, I put Seth through living hell. Sometimes I feel as though I still do. My life is an emotional roller coaster, but whose isn’t.
I’ve learned my biggest triggers are change and my marriage.
I will admit and admit over and over, I have taken Seth to hell and back and much of it he doesn’t deserve. I am not proud of some of the things I have done to disrespect our marriage and those vows we stood up and said in front of family and friends. Life is waaaay waaay to short to live unhappy. I stress to those getting married to never stop dating it is so important. Our lifestyle of farming has put so much stress on our relationship. I love being a farmers wife but at times I get where I don’t understand why he’s never home to help. I’ve learned that’s just part of it, and I am trying my hardest. I try so hard, I do Seth and I hope you see that. Life is hard, so hard and I am trying to realize that’s just how it is and I have to continue to move forward and tackle any obstacle life throws at me.
Starting Monday our life will change and I am so scared! I am so scared of it triggering another episode and I am trying so hard to keep my mind in check. G starts preschool and I will now be a full time stay at home mom. I am excited at the opportunity to stay at home with my children and help their minds grow but I am so scared that the loneliness and exhaustion are going to bury me. Being married to a farmer means he is up and out the door before the kids wake up and home late after they are in bed. I honestly don’t know how single moms do it. You guys are super heroes in my book!
Some may read this and be thinking she just needs to suck it up and get over it. To an extent I agree but on the flip side adding the games I play with my mind adds a whole other aspect to the situation.
I wish I could put a microphone on my brain some days. I wake up thinking, geez I let my kids sleep to long. I’m not feeding them a healthy breakfast, I let them watch to much TV. I don’t spend enough time with them. I don’t keep our house clean enough. I don’t play with our children enough—these are thoughts all moms have I’m sure, or at least I assume they do. Then my brain takes it a bit further I put all those together and start to think I’m worthless that I don’t deserve to be a mom. That Seth and my children deserve better. That I can’t keep a job or keep our house clean that I’m worthless. That my husband deserve a woman who can wake up make his breakfast, keep his clothes clean and happy. That everyone would just be better off without me. One wrong comment and I tend to go off on Seth. The witch unleashes and I let my mind get the best of me.
I feel as though I am good to Seth. I may have not always been and I’m sure there are some days I’m not. I feel I am more than lenient and let him get away with more than most. I honestly do this because I feel like he has to put up with so much with what I put him through that he deserves to do what he wants. This however is hurting our marriage in return.
I pray that someday I find the old Brittany. The one who could stand up in front of a large group of people and talk. One who when talking to someone or meeting someone for the first time could look them in the eye. The one that when she put her mind to something she achieved it.
Tonight, Seth and I had a little fight and I am having one of those nights where I can’t sleep. Where my mind is angry and upset and won’t shut off. A night without the kids and instead of watching a movie and cuddling up with my husband has resulted with me sleeping on the couch.
Writing is a release to me. It is a way for me to get those crazy bottled up feelings out so I don’t snap.
All of this may be to personal and too much information. However, the way I look at it is that someone may read this and relate and know that they aren’t the only one. There are others who struggle with the same issues and are willing to share it out loud for the sake of those who don’t feel they can or don’t see the need to.
Know that you aren’t ALONE that there are people who care and are willing to help and listen. I have been fortunate enough to have those people in my life. I hope someday I can pay it forward and help someone who has walked or is currently struggling down the dark path of mental illness.
Pray for those who are struggling. Pray for those who don’t believe mental illness is real, and pray for those living or married to someone with mental illness. Its not an easy road but at least they have EACH OTHER to make it through TOGETHER.
YOU AREN’T ALONE–THERE IS SOMEONE ALWAYS THERE TO LISTEN.
Brittany, I am so sorry for everything you have and continue to go through. Ive been battling PTSD, anxiety, and who knows what else for years. I know its a hard battle to fight. It has most definately caused major problems in my marriage. My husband is now on therapy and waiting to be diagnosed, he thinks hes bipolar as well. My thoughts and prayers are with you and Seth.