What is the holiday season like for you?

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.

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3 Responses to What is the holiday season like for you?

  1. Jared Danson says:

    Thanks to all of you for this new blog. I’m so glad to get in on it at the beginning. I have been manic depressive most of my adult life. I have had four divorces, but never understood why I couldn’t make those relationships last.

    I will be reading your posts. Maybe this will help.

  2. Frank says:

    What a great posting this is. I am a bipolar sufferer, recently diagnosed about 24 months ago. Acceptance of the illnes and the limitations that come along with it are paramount to leading a healthy balanced life. Now that I know what it is, how it manifests itself, and the triggers that launch it, I will be able to explain it to an eventual life partner. Only when I find one with the patience, love and peace required to have a relationship with a bipolar sufferer, only then will I embark on a journey together. Otherwise its too tough for me to handle start ups and break ups of relationships. For the time being I rely on my extra caring and supportive network of family and close friends. I have changed my lifestyle habits to quiet times with reading, yoga, and just chilling with friends. My wishes are that all of you who have been touched by this illness, directly or indirectly, realize that it is an illness, and it can be treated so that individuals and those that come into contact with them lead a healthy and safe lifestyle with plenty of love, peace, serenity and happiness. My sincere prayers are with all. Love and Amen

  3. ocavan says:

    Thank you, Frank. You are so right, that relationships are possible within the context of this illness, but it is important your relationship is with a person who has compassion, understanding and information for working through tough times with you. I have recently discovered an outstanding program written for people with Bipolar Disorder, It’s found at http://www.BipolarAdvantage.com and was created by Tom Wootton. Tom is himself bipolar and is full of wonderful insights and wisdom for getting past management of the illness and even recovery to true stability. I encourage you to take a look. Caleb is signing up to take the course and I’m going to take it with him.
    Like you, Caleb reached a point where he realized the upsets, conflicts and breakups of romantic relationships were life threatening to him, because he just couldn’t cope with the pain. So he has also set that type of relationship aside until the day comes that he feels strong and stable enough to deal with the conflicts in a healthy way. And first, he needs to be in a stable and safe place emotionally himself.
    I really appreciated your post and hope you’ll stay in touch, Frank. And do look into Bipolar Advantage and tell me what you think.
    Have a great week. 😉

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