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kids and your illness
Hello again and welcome to my blog about bi-polar if you have been reading my other post you know that I am bi-polar and I’m 2nd generation also. In this post I want to talk about parents and parenting and kids and how to deal with kids when you’re full blown manic and how to maybe avoid a calamity for you and your kids.
Now I must tell you now I have no kids of my own. I have been blessed to be adopted in a family as their godmother. I spend a lot of time with two small children who I love as my own. I know caring for and having is not the same thing. But I do feel that it takes a village to raise children and if I’m helping I feel good. That being said… Please don’t comment and tell me that I don’t know about kids because I never had any.
So, as a child my first memory of my dad and his illness was very strange to me .I remember my mom being upset and asking me to call her friend to come over. When she got there, my mom and she talked upstairs. I think that’s where my dad was too. Then I remember the cops came and my dad went to the state hospital which coincidently was where I did my first treatment too. Now I don’t tell you these things to get sympathy or to say poor Myla, but to illustrate how open and honest my parents were in dealing with us children about my dad’s illness.
Children are much more adaptable and understanding than most parents give them credit for. Being honest with your children about your illness will get you a lot further with them than hiding and trying to sneak around or make it a family secret. Plus your children will trust you because you shared something with them. It will foster honest communication between you in the future .Now I’m not saying, tell your three year old you have bi-polar. But a child as old as 9 or 10 can tell when something isn’t right with mom or dad. I think I was about 7 or 8 when I was told about my dad being sick. My mom sat down and told my sisters that my dad had a sickness in his brain. Because his brain didn’t work right he did strange and silly things sometimes. Right now he was in the hospital until the doctors could help him get the right medication to help his brain be right again. It was pretty simple and straight forward and honest. As we got older we asked more we learned more and we dealt more. As did my dad .I can’t say it was all roses because life is always ups and downs but I came out of my childhood with a good moral compass and a deeper knowledge of bi-polar than I even knew.
So you’re having a manic day and your kid area screaming and you have to get your house clean and your in-laws are coming and the dog just turned the sprinkler on in the living room? Aaaa! Sound like a familiar scenario? Almost? Well sometimes you just have days when nothing goes as planned and it seems to all fall apart. It’s ok. The end will not happen today. At the most stressful times chaos surrounds me and I feel like I’m going to drown, I just want to shut it all off. But I can’t and I have to deal and finish my day out. So how do you recover and continue? First thing before you grab that screaming kid at your feet, go to the bathroom, empty the tween that was curling her hair and lock the door. Turn on the sink and look down the drain. Watch the water flow down the drain and imaging all your stress flowing out of your body and washing down the drain. Spend 5 minutes in the bathroom cleansing and clearing you. Now you can go and take care of the rest of the chaos in your house.
Maybe you are in a depressive funk and you can’t move out of bed. You were just informed that your two year old is making eggs “ALL by my sef”. You can hear the lawn mower running but your kids are all in the house. Your oldest has your youngest locked in the basement and… you can smell smoke. Again first before you go anywhere else head to the bathroom and stare down the drain. The water washes your funk away and you feel energized by the water swirling in the pipes. Spend 5 minutes here filling yourself with energy that will carry you thru your day. Now go and find the source of the smoke first.
All of this seems really simple and you ask how is this going to help me on my day and take care of my bi-polar? It’s not. Your bi-polar is going to be with you the rest of your life, you have to learn to adapt and control your emotions. Will it work every time? No but it can help it can give you a bit of sane ness to get you thru till your next doctor appointment Or till you can get your meds. It is a fix all? No it’s not but can it make things easier to deal with? YES it can if you will let it. Meditation is kind of a pop culture trend right now but it has been around a long time and it works well to help bi-polar symptoms, up and down.
So to recap what I talked about... be honest with your children about your diagnosis they will thank you for it as they get older. Use meditation techniques for both depressive and manic symptoms as needed to help you thru difficult and stressful situations. And don’t forget to call on your support system. Do you have a friend or sister who adores your kids? Let her have them for the day! It gives you space and lets your children build other safe relationships.
I hope that you enjoyed this and found it helpful. Looking forward to writing again,
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