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A day in the life of a bipolar child

It’s been two weeks since Trace was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder and sensory disorder. He’s only six. And, if there is one thing I have learned… it’s that nothing gets easier. Life just goes on.

Through all the tears I weep (daily) and battling my own bipolar disorder which is much more under control than my child’s. Things have been difficult.  But there is hope. I came across a wonderful website filled with insightful information on raising a child with bipolar disorder.  For the first time I didn’t feel alone.  Each day is different with Trace. Sometimes it’s like walking on egg-shells, never knowing which child is going to show up around each bend.

Take this past weekend for example.  Trace rages for different reasons. We never know what will set him off.  It could be something silly or something that seems like not a big deal to us, but it is to him. Never mind the looks or whispers we deal with daily from those who might happen to see his behavior.  It’s the family life that has become a bit of circus. We are walking on a tightrope without a net to catch to us, and I’m deathly afraid of heights.

I lost count how many times Trace told me he hated me this past weekend, each time for something that really wasn’t warranted, but because things didn’t go his own way, he reacted by taking things out on me.  It wasn’t easy. I cried a lot this weekend.  But I also pushed aside my tears, holding onto the good moments I had with him.  Each moment is a blessing in disguise, I tell myself.

At School Dr. Jekyl shows the world what they want to see, but the moment he walks through the door — Mr. Hyde slithers and creeps…

Trace is very good at school. He is polite, helpful, caring, assertive, but respectful. And, it drives me insane!  He spends all his time being good at school and then unleashes the monster at home.  I kept thinking — What the hell am I doing wrong? Why is it so hard for him here?”

It’s not that it’s hard.  It’s that it’s easy for Trace to fall into relaxation and just be himself with us, which also means allowing himself his ups and downs and mood shifting to show through.

Trace slipped on some water and his pants got wet, just a little but enough to throw him into a rage wanting new ones. Any time his clothes get wet he needs to change them. I don’t argue. I let him pick out another pair, give him a hug and teach him to breathe, telling him water won’t hurt him.  Mind you this is a kid who has no problem having a water fight with other kids, just so long as he can wear his socks (strange) I know but that’s him.

There is a book I’m going to get called Brandon and the Bipolar Bear. I want to read it. I want Trace to understand his mental illness. Understanding it and accepting it are the first steps to getting healthier and learning to deal with the emotions as they come.  Trace’s sensory disorder onto of his bipolar doesn’t make things easy for him, but it doesn’t mean things can’t get better.

One day at a time. Each day is a new day. That’s our family motto. And so far we are still here, still love each other, and still working together to be a family and deal with these issues we face each and every day.

Thanks for reading!

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