Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I’m a Work in Progress

Well I’m still working on being “present”. It’s pretty easy when things are going well, in fact, I’m enjoying life a lot more when I do. But it remains a challenge when things aren’t so good.

Yesterday my son woke up at 5 am and couldn’t go back to sleep. This is highly unusual for him and indicated that his moods may be off. Then about mid-morning he came to me with a bright look on his face and said, “I feel like I want to fly!” He then went on to say that he couldn’t stop thinking about it. He said that he couldn’t even look at the sky because it made him want to fly. As he was explaining this to me, he started to laugh, then his face became distorted with confusion and he started to cry. From that point on we discussed that his brain was making mistakes and that it was important that he didn’t follow through with these impulses. He agreed and said, “Yeah, if I jump off the balcony I will hit the cement and die.”

His urge to fly slowly diminished as the day went on with the exception of a few moments in the evening when his moods keep changing in his brain and he began to hit his head on the couch arm to make it stop.

The other challenge yesterday was trying to get him to do his math homework, yes, my son was given a packet of math homework to do throughout his vacation–big bummer! It didn’t go so well and I found myself asking... how do I be in the “moment” when the experience is something I want to escape.

Then I remembered the email I got the very same day from my pastor:

...When our pain was the most intense, all I wanted to do was escape from the “now”. But the irony is that what I needed most (God’s peace, comfort, power) I could only experience in the “now”.
So this translated into looking for Jesus in the pain instead of running away from the pain.
Being present in pain is so difficult. I admire anyone who is willing to hang in there. I pray that the coming weeks, even if painful, are filled with the fullness of God’s presence.
The full supply of grace is here, now. I pray you and your husband remain soft-hearted and desperate enough to receive it. 

So rather than trying to escape the moment, I prayed, I asked God to help us and to help my son. I simply tried to lean on God to get me through it. I felt comfort in that. Then in the next moment, I tried to move forward without holding onto the past.

This unfortunately doesn’t come natural for me, but I’m trying, I’m definitely a work in progress!


  1. This is such a stressful time. My son has these breakout moments while on Li too. What awesome advice from your pastor. When things are too stressful, automatically I go in to prayer mode. Seems like it's the only way to get through these though moments. I'll be praying for an uneventful Christmas season for your family.

  2. I completely agree! So hard to do! How can I possibly be present when I am not only managing my own life (working mother of 2), but I am managing my 6 year old's life (recently diagnosed with BP). My husband tells me that I need to relax and enjoy the moment a bit more. The past year has been filled with therapy, doctor appointments, finding new after school care (after getting kicked out of one), a shortened school day, child study meetings, and IEP, business travel, a spouse in denial, so how can one be “present”? Did I mention I work full time? Since age 3, our life has been turbulent. Nearing age 6 and Grade 1, the behavior went from bad to really bad (violent). Everyone was on pins and needles wondering what kind of day it was going to be for her. We knew we had to find help and that behavior modification was not the only answer. After multiple “Diagnosis” and still no answer, we finally found someone who was listening to us, spend quality time, consider the family history and answer all our questions. We just started .1ml of Rispedal this past weekend and it’s amazing. Could 2 drops really work? For the first time is a year, we have a pretty stable mood, no notes about restraints but rather “Great day, all day!” Her bed time is better, mornings are better, and she just seems happier overall. She tells me all about what great day she had and how focused she was. Waiting for the dream to be over, I woke up again to a child today to a child who was tired but cooperative and we go on and hope it’s here to stay………. So maybe being “present” is possible, one day.
    I just found your blog. Thank you so much for your candidness and honesty. It is nice to know that I am not alone! I look forward to your posts!

  3. Sarah-Thank you so much for your prayers, it’s nice to know that we aren't the only ones to experience breakthrough symptoms.

    The Brooks Family- I’m so glad you joined in on my blog, I love hearing from other families! I’m sorry to hear about your daughter's condition, it is truly difficult to handle, you’ll find that most of us share the same experience as the one you mentioned. I can't imagine also working full time too, it must be so challenging. I’m glad to hear that you are finding some success with Risperdal, I’ve heard that a lot of kids respond well to it, especially the rages. I wish you a great Christmas this year, stability is the best gift a family can get! I hope to hear from you again!

  4. Unfortunately Lithium doesn't treat mixed episodes and that seems to be what your son was experiencing. I suffer from mixed episodes during times of stress and change. When I was a young kid I actually went though the same thing (about flying) Well...actually having super powers. I would read the X-Men comics and just cry myself into a little ball because I couldn't fly like the characters I so cherished. But it was more than just a brief pain...I hyperfocused on the fact I couldn't fly and began to cut my arms because I felt I was unworthy of special powers. Geesh, I am not making a clear point here. I just want you to know that your sons behavior is not unusual for someone ho suffers from Bipolar. He will most likely be type 1 like me. He just reminds me so much of myself.

  5. In the Pink- Thanks for your feedback, I really appreciate it. It seems that right now my son only tends to show breakthrough symptoms when going through stress or change, just as you mentioned. You'll have to check back for my next post tomorrow, I would love to read your feedback on the latest!

    I think that just like Thanksgiving break, being out of the normal routine of school is a lot for him to handle. He has even told me this. I also notice that during this time his appetite has disappeared, it wasn't until 1:30 this afternoon when I was finally able to get him to eat something, unfortunately, his resistance to food only upsets his moods further.