The Truth about Motherhood & Bipolar

I have struggled for the last 9 years on whether or not I am a good mother. At some points I really felt like I was not meant to even have children. I had her when I was young so I was naive at the fact that I was not ready for a child. While I have respect for young mothers, I feel like many of them have no idea what is about to come MENTALLY.

 

I know I didn’t

 

I have struggled with mental disorders my entire life, anxiety and depression being the main monsters. I was a child that was scared of everything and only cared about what others thought of me. I built up who I was based on what other people thought I was. Never truly creating my own personality.

 

When I had Lily I was in an abusive relationship and honestly felt like things would change after I had her. They didn’t. In fact they got worse. But the worst part was that I developed Postpartum Depression and my partner could have cared less. All my emotions where swept under the rug and I was told that I brought on all these feelings myself for attention.

 

Thinking I did all of it for attention struck a big cord with me because as a child I was called dramatic and cried for attention. This was not the truth. This is gas lighting. My feels are valid and those that love you will validate them.

 

Becoming a mother meant taking care of someone else while balancing my own happiness. I didn’t even know where to begin and lost myself several times. Feeling as though I was only a mother and a partner. There was no actual Brittany.

 

I thought I was surrounded by perfect mothers and that I could never ever truly be one because I was selfish. I cared too much about my own feelings and emotions to really be a great mother to my child. At one point I felt like I would be doing my future children a favor by not having them.

 

This is depressing for someone like me because I love to nurture. I love to take care of my daughter and my partner. I feel validated as someone that truly appreciates her family by helping them.

 

But some days I couldn’t help.

 

Some MONTHS I couldn’t help.

 

I have even spent years of my life in my bed surrounded by thoughts of impending doom and utter worthlessness. To hide any of this from you would be a misrepresentation of who I am and how I got here.

 

I was diagnosed with bipolar after a stint in a behavioral hospital. It was there that I learned what I was struggling with a demon that I had no control over most of the time. The only control I had was to try as many coping skills as possible to keep it at bay. Medications only seemed to increase my desire to not be a person anymore.

 

I am 29 now and my daughter is about to be 9 years old this year (I’ll be 30…ahhhhh). I have finally broke the cycle of abusive relationships after becoming the Ross Geller of my friends (2 divorces before I am 30). I was stuck in the thought that I deserved nothing and what they said about me was the truth to who I was.

 

Lazy, selfish, mean and wouldn’t become anything. 

 

While my PTSD still makes these thoughts pop up, I feel like I have more control over them. I have good people in my life now that are able to help me see past the lies my brain tells me. The lies that toxic people embedded into my system.

 

And the biggest change of them all is that I can finally forgive myself. Forgive myself for the years of having a happy mom taken from my daughter. For the moments I missed out on. For the moments never created. Forgiveness for my meltdowns. For crying in front of my daughter.

 

I can do this because I know life is not perfect. I know moms are not perfect, and anyone that acts like it is only contributing to stigma of “hot mess moms.” We are hot, we are a mess and we are REAL.

 

My life, my experience, my growth will only instill into my daughter that life is about moving forward. It will bring things that you do not welcome and you will fight fights that you never dreamed you’d fight when you thought of your perfect adult life as a child.

 

I hope that she grows up to accept herself, love herself and help herself. Knowing that her mother has struggled her entire life but has done everything possible to be better and provide better. Her love for me does not stem from my mistakes but from the fight I fight to give her the best. The love I give her and the truth I tell her.

 

I will never hide from her. I will be as honest as I can when it comes to my life and what I have learned. I cannot control her life to be what I want. She will probably inherit my disorders, she is already showing signs of anxiety. To combat this I have introduced her to yoga.

 

She needs to know that even though she may have ADHD, anxiety, depression or even bipolar disorder that she is beautiful inside and out. That her experience is important and it matters.

 

I never want her to feel as awful as I have felt about myself and the honesty I will provide will hopefully combat those ugly lies.

 

Be honest, don’t be perfect!

 

Thanks for reading,

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3 Little Buttons
Just Hannah Jane
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19 thoughts on “The Truth about Motherhood & Bipolar

  1. Wow what a honest and touching post! I am so pleased to hear that you are now feeling more in control and you have surrounded yourself with the right people. I was 35 when I had my first child, I had been around babies since I was old enough to walk, I was the neighbourhood baby sitter who was a ‘natural’ with all children. Yet… having a child was the hardest, toughest moment of my life. I didn’t have a clue what i was doing, and questioned everything and felt guilty every day that i was not the ‘perfect’ mum etc.
    Not only did you come through this challenge of your life, you came through it whilst suffering with bipolar and anxiety so please do not doubt yourself, you were amazing! It is clear that you only want the best for your child, and in my eyes that means you are a fantastic mum, and through her eyes she will think that every day. Good luck in your journey and dont worry your 30’s will be awesome!! xx #Dreamteam

    1. Thank you so much for the kind words. Motherhood is harder. It’s even harder if you are battling a mental illness. My goal for this blog is to be as honest as I can so other mothers that suffer wont feel so alone.

    1. Thank you so much. At times I look back and can’t believe it was even my life. I have fought so hard to get where I am and still striving for more. Knowing that all mothers are humans and not cookie cutter perfect has helped me a lot. I feel like at 19 I just had no idea what it really meant to become a mother. Thanks so much for the comment Bridie! ❤️

  2. What a beautifully honest post. You have done so well to get to where you are and are a perfect support and role model to your daughter. Well done and congratulations to you x
    #TriumphantTales

    1. Thank you so much for saying so. I feel like I am still trying to learn what kind of writer I am but I do know I want to be honest. Thanks Jaki! <3

    1. Things go up and down unfortunately. It really is about trying to find a balance. Whether that is medication or in routines. But the best part is learning who you are and accepting it.
      Thanks for reading Barrie! <3

  3. You sound like you are utterly devoted to your daughter and ultimately that is all she needs from you. This is a brave post to write and sorry you have struggled. It is good to hear things are better and you are more positive. Thanks for sharing with #bestandworst x

  4. I can relate to this on so many levels, the childhood being told you’re dramatic, the adult depression, the PND, the feeling that you’re not a good mum etc. I used to hide my depression to friends and only a few relatives knew if i was having another bout, but since becoming a mum something clicked and I dont know why I hid it. I want to remove the stigma and let the next generation know it doesnt demean them or mean they’re any less of a person.
    Thank you for sharing this with us at #TriumphantTales. I really hope to see you again next week!

  5. AH what an honest post. Well done on writing it it must have been tough. It sounds as though you are very mindful for your daughter and that is brilliant. I think openness and awareness is key. It must have been really tough for you at times, massive respect to you for getting through it. Thank you for joining us at #familyfun x

    1. Thank you so much for the kind words. To be honest I didn’t know it would be so well received. It is so scary to be honest about your mental health as a mother.

  6. Wow, you have come such a long way already and I really do take my hat off to you for being able to pull through this. You are right that nothing can really prepare you mentally for the challenge of becoming a parent. If we are lucky enough to have good support then that really goes help. Glad to hear thing are better for you. Thank you for sharing with the #DreamTeam xx
    Annette, 3 Little Buttons recently posted…#DreamTeam Linky 46My Profile

  7. A beautiful and heartfelt post. I’m so glad you got out of those abusive relationships and things are better than they were. You clearly love your daughter very much and are an amazing mummy. #ThatFridayLinky

  8. Wow what a honest and truthful post glad you are gaining more control now Thanks for linking to the #THAT FRIDAY LINKY come back next week please

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