Have I ever mentioned that Bipolar Disorder is a jerk? A real jerk? Well it is, and even when you are doing well it is not far away and even when you are doing well, that doesn’t mean it isn’t pressing in, closer and closer to taking over your mind once again.
It’s been whispering in my ear for a week. I’m scared, but I am beginning to reach out and use both old and new coping mechanisms. This week it got a big boost to the forefront of my mind…it handed me my annual reminder of what a terrible mother I am.
I don’t enjoy playing in water. I don’t enjoy water slides. I don’t enjoy swimming. Never really have. I can doggy paddle but even that is cumbersome and sloppy. But, my children are more normal than I, and they love the water. LOVE IT! Love the slip and slide. Love the water balloons. Love the splash pad. Love the water slide. Love the wave pool. They love it all.
And the beginning to our summer has been toasty. And sunny. The girls keep mentioning the water park…so, surprise, surprise when that was the first activity they wanted to do on our summer “bucket” list.
I have been taking Caitlyn and Sue for four years. Our county rec program used to give kids free passes for reading. They seem to have stopped doing that, but not before they got my girls hooked on going.
So we go…
The first year I was still working, well sort of. I was on medical leave because the bipolar was giving me heck and I had just started lithium after being hospitalized once again for suicidal thoughts/plans. Caitlyn, Sue, and I left Patrice with the sitter and off to the water park we headed. We put sunscreen on the girls, but not on mama. And then we played for a few hours.
The sunscreen didn’t do the big girls any good and my lack of sunscreen did me even less favors. We all came home painfully burned. Hubby wanted take us all to the ER for help and I just stood there blubbering about what a failure of a mom I was.
I will never forget how burned Caitlyn was.
And every year that damn water park reminds me what a failure I am. Oh, the girls are well coated in sunscreen, but see that fair skin? It manages to burn anyway…and I fight back my tears.
They aren’t crying–not at the park or once we get home. Oh no, they are planning their next trip (they hid the water park back in our “bucket” list). They are hoping, asking, planning while mommy is screaming with terror at herself (internally) for being such a horrible, lousy mother that does not deserve to guide these beautiful girls through life.
My mind walks two lives, plastering on the smiles, waving, and taking pictures while the girls play while internally I am preparing myself for someone to say, you really can’t do this, we can’t let you do this. And Bipolar gets the last laugh as it reminds me of what I really am…Survive til you Thrive!