I’ve been dreading writing this post. Usually when I’m away from the blog for a long time, it’s because things are either really bad or relatively normal. In this case, being away since September, it’s the latter, thank goodness. Since starting the new job, and getting back into a proper sleep pattern without sleeping pills, I’ve been doing really well.

I suppose it was only a matter of time until the other shoe dropped.

And drop it has. Because since putting the sleeping pills away, I’ve been getting bad migraines. Debilitating, ruining my birthday night migraines. I finally put aside my fears of a tumor and went to the doctor. She suggested going off the birth control pill. It didn’t seem like a big deal, but doing that the same week as I quit smoking, it all added up to mood swings galore.

First I quit smoking and the next thing I knew, I was manic. Just like that. Talkingtalkingtalkingtalking at work. SO. MUCH. ENERGY. Not that I put it to good use. Less sleep. More TV. More eating. I may not have let myself go completely — as Dr. A pointed out, I wasn’t sleeping with the neighbourhood (my words, not his) or spending like I used to. But it was mania nonetheless.

Then I stopped the birth control pill and my moods took another turn. Crying. Oh how I don’t miss crying at the drop of a hat. At every commercial. Every time I hang up with my parents because I’m afraid it might be the last time we talk and I wasn’t as nice as I could have been. Every time I say or do something that makes me cringe, which the manias always make me do.

It’s been three weeks, and the ups and downs are just all over the place.

I don’t even know how to explain the other thing that’s been bothering me lately. I guess I should start by saying that the majority of my close friends are married with kids. They live out in the suburbs and drive their family-friendly four door cars. They plan birthday parties and go for walks to the park. And sure, I love visiting them. I adore their children, and treat them like my own neices and nephews. Hell, I even finally have a nephew! My brother and his wife had a baby boy in January, and he’s the cutest thing in the world.

But every time I see them, every time I visit or look at their cute pictures on Instagram or hear them tell me the story about the cute thing they just did, I think about the fact that I’ll likely never have children. And not just because I don’t want to pass along this disease. Not even because I don’t think I have the strength to raise a child and deal with the bullshit ups and downs. I just don’t think I want to have children.

But everywhere I look, I see society telling me that it’s supposed to be my future. Like I won’t have succeeded in life until I procreate. But why? Why does that have to be everyone’s endgame? Why can’t I choose not to have children and not have to apologize for it? My Facebook feed is full of baby pictures and ads for diapers and back to school and all that bullshit. Why, because I’m in my 30s and my friends have babies, Facebook thinks that’s what I need too? I don’t get it.

I haven’t talked to anyone about this. I’m not sure how many of my friends still read this blog, since I post so infrequently, and as far as they know everything is hunky dory in my life. I don’t know how to talk to them about it. Not that I think they’ll look down on me. I know they won’t judge me. But because I don’t think I can explain why I’ve come to this conclusion.

It’s hard to live with bipolar. Even when things are going really well, you worry if things are going too well. Am I manic, or is this just a good mood? Being in a low and not being able to get out of bed doesn’t work when you have children to take care of. People that haven’t been depressed will never understand how difficult the simplest daily tasks can be. It’s not about pulling yourself together and making things work. That’s not how depression operates. It’s debilitating. It’s all-consuming. It becomes your life.

How are you supposed to deal with that and deal with kids at the same time? Because if the past 10 years of my life have taught me anything it’s that bipolar and depression don’t just go away with meds. It’s a constant battle. It’s a constant war. And even when you win a battle or two, and you feel like you’veĀ  made some progress, something happens to knock you back a block or two. Something insignificant or something huge. Doesn’t matter. When you’re depressed, everything is significant. The way that person on the subway pushed past you is enough to throw you into a fit of rage. Not feeling appreciated for something you worked really hard on at the office can make you want to jump in front of the subway or find a dark corner and cry until the world ends. Everything is significant.

When you have that respite, that break from the illness, you take it for granted. I should have lived each day that I wasn’t depressed, wasn’t manic. Instead, I don’t appreciate it until it’s gone. What I wouldn’t give for those steady days, when I’d see Dr. A for just enough time to tell him things were going great and I’ll just take another scrip and be on my way. I’ve never been on such a low dose of meds in my life. Now we’re adding Abilify to the mix, try to restabilize me without birth control.

Anyway, that’s the update. I’m not sure where I go from here, but I’m sure the road will be winding.

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