My name is Stefanie, 32 from Oregon. I live with Bipolar, Depression and Acute Stress Reaction Disorder. I have struggled with Bipolar since I was in the 6th grade. It has been a roller coaster ride of trials of medications for me over the years. I got to the point I gave up because nothing seemed to help me feel better my mood was so unstable. I was very irritable all the time and did not know why. Then that would cause me to sink into a depression and get down on myself to thinking I was worthless…. I was fighting these never ending demons inside myself it felt like. Every single day was a battle. Life was unbearable at times. My childhood had been very unstable….. my father committed suicide when I was 7. My Mother was not a very compassionate person, my step dad was a drunk. I moved out at a VERY young age into my Grandparents home seeking stability and love. This helped to some degree but still was not what I wanted. As I got older and became a teen I ventured out into the world and at 17 ended up pregnant with a older man who was abusive. Clearly this did not help my illness. But by becoming pregnant it did help me get a grip on life and my self worth. My unborn child was a blessing and was a reason for me to escape a dangerous situation…. a reason to live! I left his father and raised my son with out him (the father did not want the baby). After having my son and escaping this horrible relationship I took another down hill spiral….. I became really depressed. I then started self medicating by drinking non stop! It was out of control. It did this for a pretty good length of time. Until I met my Husband and he slapped me with a reality check that I was messing up my life. I once again got my life back on the right path. I went to the doctor and got back on meds. It took a few different trials before finding the right fit but we finally got it and I have been stable every since. I still battle with anxiety and depression hit and miss but I dont go in my down hill spirals like I was and I dont have my roller coaster rides of emotions nearly as often as I did before. Its nice to be back on track. Heres the other deal …… My kiddo I speak of is the kiddo in the picture. My son Evan who is now getting ready to turn 13. He is also Bipolar. And is battling numerous other mental illnesses. He has been in and out of residential facilities due to being so unstable and unsafe. He has aggressive behavior that goes with his manic episodes he faces. Which causes a huge amount of stress on this Mama. But on the same note, I understand him since I myself have Bipolar. Because I see my son go through so many struggles and I see how broken our system is I have been a S-T-R-O-N-G advocate. I have pushed and fought in every way possible for my boy for make sure every single one of his needs are met. I am so compassionate about fighting the stigma. I am so compassionate about getting people help. I have started a facebook page called Parenting a Struggling Child. I did this page in honor of my boy. But also to reach out to the world and try to help in any way I could and let people know “Hey you are not alone.There are others out there in the same boat.”
Sorry If my story got a little off key there…. maybe I have ADHD too lol. Mom brain. Always thinking about kids.
Main point to my story was I live day in and day out with Bipolar, depression and acute reactive stress disorder. Every day is a struggle but I role on. Some days may be harder than others but for the most part I manage pretty well. Unless I am under alot of stress….then it all hits hard!!! Depression can really get me hard around the holiday season too. I have never really figured that out why?!! I love Christmas its my favorite time of year but somehow I always slip. Then Ill bounce back.