I know at times I act a little hasty. That’s when I have a surge of energy, and feel like I can get through all my chores and achieve something great with my day. Other days getting up and getting the kids off to school takes monumental effort and a pasted on smile.
I’ve come to accept that yes I am crazy. For almost as long as I can remember I’ve felt different to everyone else. I struggled to feel happy or content in my childhood, and in my teenage years anxiety truly reared its head. But at the time I didn’t understand it and neither did those around me. So I struggled through and somehow I made it to adulthood.
My kind of crazy has a label – Bipolar type II. I’m not sure that labels really help you to understand who I am or what is going on for me. But labels do help the medical profession to devise the best treatment plan and it has helped me to find lots of helpful resources and connect with other peoples’ experiences.
Bipolar – 2 poles, polar opposites, ups and downs, or in the old days manic depression. Really Bipolar is mood swings of the extreme variety. From depressed, sad, lonely and overwhelmed by the simplest life tasks, through so-so, happy, present, to energetic, exuberant, extroverted and high achiever.
I recently read another sufferer’s description that so aptly described my experiences and just as the author says, it is what I wish you knew about Bipolar:
Bipolar Disorder is defined by the National Institute of Mental Health as “a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. Symptoms of bipolar disorder are severe. They are different from the normal ups and downs that everyone goes through from time to time. Bipolar disorder symptoms can result in damaged relationships, poor job or school performance, and even suicide. But bipolar disorder can be treated, and people with this illness can lead full and productive lives.”
I survived into adulthood and have learnt many lessons in life along the way. I overcame my anxiety to graduate from university twice. Survived numerous bouts of depression with the steadfast support of my loving husband. I have had careers as a Geologist in the mining industry; taught high school science; and lectured in Mining. I have become a mother of 2 adorable energetic boys who have taught me about unconditional love, patience and perseverance. I continue to learn more everyday from my amazing friends about how to accept life is a challenge for all of us in different ways, and to be grateful for my life.
So who am I? I am Louisa, a wife, mother of 2 boys, a loyal friend to some truly wonderful people. And I am battling my mental illness everyday.