My name is Becca and I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder four years ago. This is after being misdiagnosed and wrongly treated for 13 years. I am married to my high school sweetheart and we have seven children, one dog and two cats. Even when I was younger, everyone knew there was something a bit off with me. They knew and therefore they avoided me – even my own parents. They used to send me off to my Aunt’s house during the summer and on weekends, all the while they were spending time on vacations and at professional baseball games with my older brother.
My older brother could do no wrong. He was an awesome athlete and my father and mother took pride in that. Although he struggled in school, him being such a good baseball and soccer player made up for that. When I asked if I could play softball, I was told no because it would interfere with my brother’s baseball games.
When I got an A, it was always “why it is not an A+?” and when my Aunt signed me up for piano lessons, my parents were less than thrilled. I excelled in this area, much like I did in school and when I was invited to the state championships I won first place. My parents not once congratulated me. I moved to nationals and when I came in 2nd place, my father’s response was typical, “Why wasn’t it 1st?”
I grew up with parents who were either critical of everything I did or ignored me. I could stand in front of my mother calling her name only for her to never look up once from whatever book she was reading to find out what I needed. When I began losing sleep and hearing voices she told me I was crazy. When my OCD kicked in and my stuffed animals had to be just so in my bed, she made fun of me.
When I was about 12 years old I decided I wanted to join the Air Force. I told my parents about my dream and my father told me that my ass was too big to fit in the cockpit. I was 12 years old, 4ft 11in and weighed 130 pounds. I was overweight and this sparked the anorexia that I’ve struggled with my entire life.
By the time I hit junior high school I weighed 85 pounds, was barely passing my classes and found a crowd that was just like me: outcasts. My parents had split up, my father had found another woman and my mother used me as her pawn to get my father back. I would run away from home because it was so stressful there and each time I came back she’d tell me that if I had stayed away longer my father would have come home. She made me feel guilty for my existence and the more she did this the more I skipped school, avoided her, began smoking, drinking and eventually doing drugs.
I jumped from guy to guy looking for the attention and affection I was missing at home. My mother couldn’t hold down a job due to her own drinking habit and we lost our home to foreclosure.
Moving into my Aunt’s rental home was probably the worst thing she could have done. She left me alone for hours, sometimes full days, while she worked and drank with her boyfriend. I had many parties while she was gone, sneaking boys in through the back door and having them gone before sunrise. I never got busted and my mom never knew. My father cared less about my life, he had a new family to worry about and my brother was off living his life of addiction.
When I was 15 years old I met the man who would become the husband I have today. This made my mom’s life even easier because now instead of being alone while she went on her drinking binges, I spent the weekends with him. We would smoke pot, skip school and I for once found the attention and affection I had been longing for. Not just from him, but from his entire family.
After we had gotten married and had our second child, I was diagnosed with Postpartum Depression. I didn’t want anyone touching my new baby and all I did was cry. I would beg my husband not to go to work because I hated to be alone. My husband convinced me to talk to our family doctor who prescribed me Paxil and sent me on my way. The Paxil did nothing but make me feel agitated and irritable so I went off of it and never made a follow up appointment.
Later I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder and again anti-depressants were prescribed. I felt much the same way, I wasn’t sleeping, I wasn’t eating and I was cleaning around the clock. I liked how I felt, but what felt so wonderful soon crashed me into another depression and I figured it was better to go off the medication than keep feeling like I was.
When I was pregnant with our seventh child I had my first real breakdown. I was suicidal and couldn’t stand to be in my own skin. The ER referred me to a Psychiatrist who after spending two hours with me and my husband diagnosed me with Bipolar Disorder. Due to the fact that I was pregnant he wanted to work with my OBGYN and the specialist I was seeing before he would prescribe medication.
It took about six weeks before the medication he prescribed to kick in, but ultimately it saved mine and my baby’s life.
It took two years before I would become stable. Once I had accepted my diagnosis I made it my mission to help moms who have Bipolar Disorder. I didn’t want moms to ever feel the way I had felt for years. It took 12 years and many doctors and medications for them to get my diagnosis correct. Through my support system, management skills, coping skills and the correct medication I have found a happy medium.
Rebecca has struggled with mental illness since the early age of seven years old. Although her parents knew something was amiss with her, they didn’t know what they could possibly do to help her. It wasn’t until she was pregnant with her second child that she was diagnosed with Postpartum Depression and later diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder.
When Rebecca was pregnant with her seventh child, she had the worst mental breakdown of her life. After a visit to the Emergency Room she was put in touch with a Psychiatrist who spent two hours speaking with her, her husband Daniel and her therapist. The past 20 years of her life was scrutinized and the final diagnosis was Bipolar Disorder.
Rebecca was shocked and didn’t accept her diagnosis easily. She went home and spent an entire year researching Bipolar Disorder, trying to prove her doctor wrong.
Finally, after a year had past, Rebecca had stopped grieving and began accepting her illness. Once she came out of the fog, she decided it was time she did something to help other moms who were living with the same illness as she had. Rebecca began a blog called Moorestorms Bipolar Parenting that became quite successful through the years. Later that blog has changed into Mothering Through Bipolar.
She has made it her mission to reach out to other moms and offer them encouragement, comfort, support, and always hope.
Follow her on Twiiter: https://twitter.com/authorRmoore