What I am about to write might be incredibly offensive to you. Sorry (sorta).
I just read this on google, “Lithium also seems to have neuroprotective mechanisms that protect people with bipolar disorder from Alzheimer disease and dementia.”
Great news! If you lose your mind when you are young and survive long enough to be really old, you might not have to lose your mind again. Wow. That’s such a relief.
When I was turning 30 and losing my mind, I was thinking that I was starting to understand what old people with dementia must feel like. So, I guess if you get bipolar when you are younger, you just get so much time to get used to functioning without your mind that when old age hits and your friend’s start losing their minds, you’re the pro! They can’t even tell that your mind is gone too.
Or maybe if I take my meds regularly for the next 30 years, I’ll become suddenly sane when I’m 60! That will give me 5 years to enjoy mental health before I get colon cancer. Awesome!
“These precious illusions in my head did not let me down when I was defenseless. Parting with them is like parting with invisible best friends.” (Alanis Morissette)
My nephew was born when I was in high school. I was so excited, I remember drawing a picture about it in my notebook. It was a drawing of a mother holding a baby and all around her were scary figures and dark ghostly demons trying to reach in but not able to touch them.
The drawing perfectly captured how I viewed motherhood as a struggle to protect a child against the horrible, terrifying and unpredictable world.
My niece was born this week. She is beautiful. I got to watch the amazing birth. And I thought of that image I had drawn but it didn’t seem to fit with what I was experiencing. I was witnessing a mother helping a baby come into the world and all around her were open supportive hands and shoulders and warmth and light.
My childhood world was unpredictable and scary. But the world I live in now is a very different place. I’m surprised to learn that life actually makes sense. There is a rhythm to things. The sun sets and rises, seasons change, babies are born, people die. It is all part of the ebb and flow of life.
“I’ve spent so much time living in survival mode. But this won’t work now the way it once did. Cause I want to decide between survival and bliss.” (Alanis Morissette)
my mother has cancer.
i haven’t seen her for 6 months.
she has had 9 chemo treatments.
she has had surgery.
she is losing her hair.
she lost her eyelashes.
she bought a wig.
my vain mother who never left the house without makeup.
my vain mother who kept me young so that she would never age.
now she is aging too quickly.
i was so sick.
i had babies.
she abandoned me.
she abandoned them.
she doesn’t even understand.
i was more sick than she is.
65 year old woman with stage 3b colon cancer
60% survival rate
30 year old woman with bipolar ii
60% survival rate and 25 year reduced life expectancy.
cancer can be cured.
my life can only be managed.
everyday i manage
i pay the price.
i pay every day for her mistakes.
i am so angry.
she hurt me.
she hurt my family.
i try to stop wanting an apology-
for her to recognize my pain.
i try to let the anger go.
it shouldn’t have to be like this.
*as always, all statistics have been verified by dr. google.