Writings from the Mother of Bipolar Bandit Part 5: The next Manic Episode and some things I learned

pic for bb There have been so many episodes for Michelle as she would cycle 4-6 times a year if not properly medicated.

The second memorable time she became manic was when she and her sisters were home for a few hours and her sisters had to call their grandmother to come as Michelle was throwing furniture into the swimming pool. They were afraid and I felt awful.

This was before cell phones and the golf course had to come out to find us. My husband had begged me to go play 9 holes and everything seemed ok when we left. The course was only 5 minutes from our house. I was not really into golf at that time but wanted to spend a few hours alone with my husband.

We had a membership and I had not been to play there even once. 

All of this lead to another hospitalization. I am not sure when we came to the realization that this was not going to be a matter of a medication stabilizing life for our family. I worked extra hours trying to make sure the younger girls could get away to camps,church camp, week long basketball , and gymnastics camp.

I wanted them to have some normalcy in their lives. Looking back, I should have been the one to get away. We,mothers, tend to be an unselfish lot.. putting everyone else and their needs ahead of our own. 

My advice here is to do something for yourself. If you don’t have money then see if friends will take your kids for a weekend and just do something for yourself. Even if it is watching movies or going to local lake and watching the waves roll in, or reading a book, it’s important to do things for yourself.

I was lucky that Michelle’s sisters were around 11 and 13 , that we had good insurance and my husband made good money. I was so overwhelmed at times and disappointed in so called friends and relatives. They thought they had all the answers and were not supportive.

However, God blessed me with good  people I knew already and who became wonderful friends. Find yourself some compassionate people to get you through the ups and downs. 

Because I was a nurse , I always asked nurses that were working on psychiatric unit questions like. if this was your daughter would you take her to this doctor ?

They can answer a direct question but can,t voluntarily tell you to get another doctor ( even if they would really like to )

Michelle would always feel so bad when she would get better because of her bizarre behavior.

Many days when I had a day off I would just read psalms or proverbs, cry and pray. The Lord always seemed to listen and give me strength to endure and not feel so alone in all of it.

Do not be afraid to share your crisis because you never know who will be able to guide you, lift you up, suggest a different doctor or something else to try. They also may suggest something you hadn’t thought of.  

I was desperate to find help for my mentally ill child. I would do anything for any of my kids. I read , studied, inquired of anyone I felt might have an answer. Some suggestions were so simple. Some worked , others didn’t but it was always nice when others cared. Many times I would get strength and just know that I was being prayed for. 

I do not know how anyone could endure trials in life without a belief in God. I am so thankful for His presence in my life.

Until next time. God bless.

Bipolar Bandit’ s Mom Michelle has bipolar disorder and is willing to share her struggles in hopes that others will be helped by them. Follow her on Facebook Twitter Pinterest

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About Michelle Clark Bipolar Bandit

I am a strong advocate for the mentally ill and have been since I was first approached by a lawyer in a psychiatric facility as a teenager. He wanted me to help him fight how the mentally ill are mistreated. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of 17 after a full blown manic episode. Before that, I suffered from debilitating depression for 4 years. My goals are to help others by sharing my story and providing tips to deal with mania and depression. I often write blogs related to advocating for people like myself. I want to encourage, inspire, and educate those with #bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses and also include inspirational #quotes. I founded the group Advocates for People with Mental Illnesses and the page Mental Health Advocates United and have several social media sites that are related to bipolar disorder and/or advocacy. If you are an advocate or would like to be, I hope you join our FB group: Advocates for People with Mental Illnesses
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3 Responses to Writings from the Mother of Bipolar Bandit Part 5: The next Manic Episode and some things I learned

  1. Dear Mother of Bipolar Bandit,

    It’s a courageous thing for you to share these heartfelt messages. You are helping to dispel some of the stigma associated with mental illness, and I thank you for your honesty. I also have an adult child with bipolar disorder. He’s 44, lives at home and still struggles with rapid cycles of mania and depression and occasional psychosis, but we never lose hope. He has attempted suicide twice. One of our biggest challenges over the years has been finding the right kind of help through community based behavioral care, and I think we are finally involved in the right program for him – and for his family. Every day brings a new set of challenges, as you know. We are still learning coping and healing skills.

    Thanks for sharing your story,
    cj Schlottman

    PS – I’m also a retired nurse!

  2. Darcsunshine says:

    I am still interested in you guest blogging sometime. Just email me if you are still interested.

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