A Mother’s Perspective

Yesterday, my mother and I had a candid conversation regarding my mental and physical health. Of late, I am struggling with just how much both my bipolar and my migraines are affecting me. I’m missing work, my finances are suffering and I find that I just don’t care. I take a couple of baby steps forward and then I get knocked back a yard. I’m trying to step up and take control, start really and truly taking care of myself, as I always should have from the start. In discussing several options as far as work and finances go with my mother, she told me what it is like for her to see me suffering:

“It’s like you and I are out hiking and suddenly it starts to rain. It’s raining so hard the ground immediately turns to mud. I make it to cover and dry land, but you slide in the mud and fall down in a ravine.I try to grab you and catch you, but you fall so fast I can’t do it. I can see you from where I am, I’m throwing a rope to you to pull you up. The harder you try to get the rope, you can’t reach it. When you do reach it, I am able to pull you up a short distance but then the mud gets too much and you fall back down. Sometimes you just stop trying and I can’t get you to move. Eventually the sun comes out again and you walk back up the hill on your own power. But while it’s raining, you are miserable and nearly unreachable.”

Needless to say, I was pretty overwhelmed by what she said, and it added to the guilt I already feel for being a less than perfect kid. But she is true in that she never stops trying to reach me, to help me. She never asks me to be perfect, she just asks me to love myself. I wish I could, but I don’t know how. I’ve been battling myself and the things within me for so long I don’t know how to stop, how to accept that I am flawed but still worthy of love. I’m figuratively becoming paralyzed by the struggle, unable to work, to eat, to treat myself well. I’m either going to quit or get fired or wind up in the psych ward. But you can be sure the first person there to help me will be my mother, as always.

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2 thoughts on “A Mother’s Perspective

  1. Oh my friend. I know your feeling. I struggle constantly with the guilt. My mother is disabled and I’m the only one around to help, but sometimes I can’t do it. I feel like a burden and a failure.

    It’s very hard for people not sliding down the ravine to truly comprehend what it’s like to be down there, even if they also suffer by seeing you there. She wants you to love yourself because she loves you so much. Just remember though: you have a condition and that condition will make you hate yourself many times; it’s not your fault. Her reactions and feelings come from love and yours comes from your condition.

    My mother wishes the same things for me but she doesn’t expect it from me because she knows it’s not entirely in my hands. I have a condition that keeps me from those good wishes and she understands that; I know your mother does too. Don’t feel disappointed. The important thing is: you’re still here and you’re holding on. Everything is falling apart, but you’re still holding on. And your mother is going to be there for you and you will both go through this together.

    Wishing the best for you and your mom.

    • Thank you so much for your kind words, Zoe. It’s hard to not feel that guilt or disappointment. I’m still grappling with the fact that there is no total control over my illness, that there is coping and living with it.

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