The Bipolar Parent’s Saturday Morning Mental Health Check-in: How Are You?

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A picture of a white cup of foamy coffee labeled “Costa.” Credit to flickr.com user eltpics. Used with permission under a Creative Commons license.

Hello!

How are you? How was your Thanksgiving, if you celebrated? What holidays do you celebrate? What have you been struggling with lately? Have you been doing some self-care? What’s on your mind?

I’d like to kick off this Saturday Morning Mental Health Check-in as a permanent feature on The Bipolar Parent. Please let me know how you’re doing. If you’re shy and don’t want to comment in public, then please feel free to email me. I promise that I will answer. I’d like to connect with you all, and I genuinely want to know how you’re doing.

Get to Know Me/My Mental Health Check-in

As for me, I’ve been dealing with some pretty severe depression over the past several months, where I’ve been angry rather than sad, and unmotivated to do even the basic tasks, like cleaning the cat box. I’ve also been more productive than any other time in my life, but everything is terrible: I’ve been forcing myself to take the kids out to playdates and clean the aforementioned cat box (that poor cat). I have seen my psychiatrist–whom I’m fortunate enough to go to–and he doubled the dose of my Wellbutrin. Fingers crossed that this works!

Our family (myself, my husband, and my two kids, 3 and 11) have been go-go-go for weeks. Until my daughter (3) and I both ended up with viral ear infections, we had at least two activities scheduled every day, with some days holding up to four or five activities. Something had to give, and apparently that was our health. We holed up in the house for a week, which was awful; she cried 80% of the time. Thankfully the antibiotics kicked in, and we are back to our regular schedule–just less so. I’ve learned my lesson.

All that being said, not everything is terrible, like I said earlier. My husband has really stepped up, asking me what I need after he comes home from work (I am a stay-at-home parent and writer) and often taking the kids so I can rest. I am grateful for his support, and thank God every day for giving me a loving husband. So I am not alone in this. I also am blessed to have skilled doctors–a therapist and a psychiatrist–who are treating me in their own ways. And my family is healthy and happy again.

So overall, I’d rate my life at an 8.5/10. Not too shabby, considering I’m struggling with depression. It’s hard to look on the bright side when in the belly of the beast, but I am happy to report that life is good.

Thanks for listening, and please, let me know how you’re doing this week, or in general! I do want to get to know you all.

Show me some love!

Author: Cassandra Stout

Hi! My name is Cassandra Stout, and I am a freelancer and memoirist who blogs at The Bipolar Parent (Cassandrastout.com/bpparent) and at the International Bipolar Foundation (IBPF.org). My current project is Committed, my upcoming memoir that depicts my time spent in a psych ward after a postpartum psychotic breakdown. I am a ten-year member of a five-person critique group called the Seattle Scribblers. It's nice to meet you!

3 thoughts on “The Bipolar Parent’s Saturday Morning Mental Health Check-in: How Are You?”

  1. I hope you’re feeling much, MUCH better, sweet Cass, and that the increased dosage of Wellbutrin has helped! Thank you so much for writing such an honest post. I know it’s not always easy, and you always inspire me, especially here.

    I’m glad those horrid ear infections are gone!! 😱

    Please keep us posted when you feel like it!

    Lots of love,
    Dy πŸ’ž

    p.s. I mean to write much sooner, by the way….please forgive me for taking too long. Last week was Thanksgiving break and my family was driving me batπŸ’©. Life is better now they’re back in school.

    1. Dear Dyane,
      Thank you so much for reading my post and leaving such a heartwarming comment! I really appreciate your support and encouragement. You are dear to me for so many reasons, and it’s always a pleasure to see your words in my inbox.

      I am feeling much better, thanks for the well wishes and compliments! The ear infections are totally gone, and I have my “normal” daughter back. She’s such a happy-go-lucky child now that she’s not sick.

      I’m so sorry that your family has been driving you up the wall. I understand that intimately. Life is so much easier for parents when we can catch a break! Of course I forgive you–I have no expectations that anyone will comment on my posts, so every time someone does, it’s a treat! Especially you. Thanks for letting me know how you’re doing! I’m looking to post a mental health check in every Saturday. I really appreciate your checking in with me!

      Cass

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