We're at my son's Student Orientation at Cal (he's starting college in January) and yesterday wasn't my best day. Yet, I'm proud of myself because despite my feelings--I was somewhat anxious and worried (UC Berkeley is where I experienced my first depressive episode almost 40 years ago)--I kept them to myself.
As a "bipolar mother," I feel guilty enough that I was sick for six straight years during my son's childhood. Now that I'm well (most of the time although like everyone else, I sometimes have a bad day or a few bad hours), I am vigilant about making sure that my moods don't affect my son.
So...despite a less than stellar late afternoon and early evening, once my husband and son returned to our motel, I took a long walk by myself--to a favorite bookstore. My goal was to walk off my mood and to spend time browsing, one of my favorite past times.
This morning, we all had a truly wonderful day. My son had a good meeting with his faculty adviser, we had a terrific lunch at this great Indonesian restaurant, and then went on a wonderful tour of the dorms. My son was really excited and my husband and I were thrilled for him.
I guess if I have any advice for other bipolar mothers--it's to put your children's need ahead of your own. Just because I had a bad few hours the day before didn't mean I needed to share my feelings. Instead, I took a positive action--walking and reading--and then posted my feelings in my blog (I've since deleted it), which is a form of writing to heal.
It feels great to know that I can not only quickly brainswitch out of my moods but that I've learned to control them so they don't affect the people I love most!