It’s the week that leads to Christmas, and this is a great time to begin this blog. Our goal here is to provide a safe and open forum for all of us who experience bipolar disorder ourselves, or through someone we love, to talk and express and expose and wrestle and rejuvenate through our own experiences and those that are shared. We are family and friends and have our stories to tell. All of us have days of desperation and days of joy. Tell us about yours…we will tell you about ours. Let’s come together and find strength and wisdom in support.
For many, the Christmas and Hanukkah season, is a hustle-bustle time of hurried busy-ness, parties, dinners, gift wrapping and fun. There may be a mixture of joy and pain, love and sorrow for others.. For so many more, it is just a time of upheaval, anguish and debilitating suffering. I grew up in a happy family setting with all the Normal Rockwell traditions. My sister and brothers and I were dressed in red and white and we laughed and baked and sang carols and made gifts. When I became the mother of three, I really made effort to create that same joy for my children. However, divorce had marred the limitless joy, and with each passing year it seemed Christmas held more painful memories. My son was a sensitive and jubilant child….giving from his heart to all that walked into his life. But, around the age of three…there was also a deep pain. By the time he was 7, his teacher’s frustration with his bouncy personality resulted in constant criticism from her…and he began to sink into a darker and darker place of shame. By 10 years he was in anguish at times…wanting to die. This was decades ago, and I didn’t understand I was seeing a mental illness unfold. I thought I had a sensitive child who felt things deeply and needed support and encouragement. However, my naive attempts to encourage him were futile. I had never seen pain like this in a child before.
I will talk about our story more tomorrow. Tell me about yours… Peace.