Being a Mom with mental illness (Part 1)

Being a mom with mental illness was a difficult sentiment for me. I found out I was pregnant and immediately stopped going to therapy. My Psychiatrist and Psychologist were concerned, while I was adamant that I was okay and I would continue to be okay.

In my mind at that time I just did not want to let him win. I wanted to prove something, to myself and to everyone else. I needed to prove that I was stronger than any of the circumstances that lead me on the path that I was currently walking.

I was tired of letting him control my life, I was tired of mental illness creeping in and taking control of me. I was tired of not sleeping, I was tired of self-injury, I was tired of having trust issues, I was tired of…..well to be completely honest, I was tired of being me.

So I decided to try to be someone else. Someone without mental illness.

At first I tried to pretend that I was okay, but inside I was struggling and my mind was in chaos.   I hid things for a long time, or at least tried to. But sometimes it was impossible to hide, things were obvious.

I would have melt downs. Like some child having a tantrum. After it was over and I had time to think, I would be embarrassed. I hated how I felt, I hated the words that I spoke.

More than once in my life I wondered what was wrong with me. I thought I could just move on, forget the past and be a good mom. But by suppressing everything I was getting sicker and I was not being the mom or wife that I wanted to be.

Inside I knew I was messed up. But I was trying not to show it. I became the master of deception. But who was I really deceiving?

I pretended that I was “normal”. I avoided the nagging voice in my head that was telling me something was wrong, that nothing had changed, that I was still dealing with mental illness.

My conscious mind was beginning to not be so quiet. I tried to suppress it, I kept pushing it deeper and deeper inside me, telling myself that I was fine.

But I wasn’t.

And I was scared because it no longer was just me that was affected by my mental illness. I was married and I had children, and everything I did not only affected me, but my entire family was affected.

Eventually, I was unable to fight it any longer. I needed help, and I needed it now. I was hospitalized for 5 ½ weeks. Therapy was mandatory. Medication became a life line.

And I fought, fiercely fought to become a better person. I spent over a year walking on egg shells, still trying to pretend that I was not sick. But fighting a fight within myself that I never thought I could win.

But even though I thought I couldn’t win, I had to continue to fight, because I was fighting for them…for my family.

10 thoughts on “Being a Mom with mental illness (Part 1)

  1. i am a bipolar mom too, and it is hard to know what choices to make, the ones for us, or the ones we think best for our family. but in the end, we need to take care of us to be able to take care of others.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is difficult. I try my hardest to stay stable for my kids and my husband but you are right when you say that we have to take care of ourselves in order to take care of others. Sometimes for me that is a hard pill to swallow, but it is completely right.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Its getting a bit easier now that they are getting older, its easier to explain to older kids. I spent a long time sheltering them from everything that was going on, but I am a little more open with them now.


  2. An author named Andrew Solomon (book “The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression 2001) wrote a recent New York Times Magazine Article on depression during pregnancy and how hard it is to stop taking meds for 9 mos…and all the side effects of Prozac and other SSRI’s…not major. But you may want to look up. Allison

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mothering while living with a mental illness is quite a balancing act. It’s so important that we take proper care of ourselves and our own mental health so that we can be good parents. Thanks for writing about your experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Kitt,
      I have to agree. Trying to stay as healthy as possible so that I am able to take care of my children can be difficult at times.

      Liked by 1 person

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