Growing Up Bipolar

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Growing up bipolar was no walk in the park. I grew up with an unstable single mother, a no-show dad, and a truck load of responsibility.

My mother tried her best to raise me and my older brother, but failed at it miserably.

She came from a very struck household, but it was also an abusive one. She later would be diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. This made growing up even harder, as she would experience episodes of her own.

I always felt responsible to take care of my mother. By age 8, I would take control of cooking, doing the laundry, oversee paying the bills, and pay the rent. My mom would bring home her paycheck, and I handled the accounting.

We also moved around a lot. My mother would get bored with where we lived, and move us all around (a habit I would eventually take on).

This left me in a rough place. With so many moves under my belt, I was never able to connect with friends. I never had a best friend nor someone I could just talk to. This I feel slowed down my social development.

As I grew into my teens my bipolar disorder would begin to develop. I hit a major depression around the age of 15. I even attempted suicide.

At the age of 16 I hit my 1st manic episode. This was the beginning of instability, and chaos for me.

I was spending money, had rapid speech, fought with my older brother to extremes, irritable, said things I don’t remember ever saying, had paranoid thoughts, hallucinated, had high anxiety, went to school less-and-less, my school work suffered, i was promiscuous, among a few other things.

As my mother worked nights, and slept during the day, she never noticed these symptoms. I was in her eyes, just being a teenager. Although, to her defense she never knew what I was doing at night when she was away at work.

My mania would last a few weeks. Just enough for me to get into serious trouble.

By the time I was 16 1/2, I got pregnant. I would eventually dropped out of high school to have my baby .

My pregnancy was anything but normal. As at this point I hadn’t been with diagnosed with bipolar disorder yet. I went through a slew of emotions (beyond your average pregnancy moods).

I would break down crying a lot, had that fight or flight moment frequently, and went into severe depression.

After my child was born, I went into mania and started doing, well…Everything! I got my G.E.D., got a job six-weeks post-partum, and got married to my sons father.

By 18 years old, I got married, by 19 years old had another baby, by 20 years old I separated from my husband and by 21 years old I got divorced.

I was totally unstable by this point. I moved around our local town. From apartment, to duplex, to a house.

My ex-husband was no help to me, and I became a single working mother with two kids to raise, and support.

I hit a realization at 21 years old. My life was a total mess. I had 2-kids to raise alone, and I totally missed out on teenage life by. I missed out on dating, hang out with my friends, and travel.

But, I never slacked on my responsibilities with my kids. I shoved that emotion into a dark closet. I knew my time would come to experience life once my children grew up. They were my whole world!

From then to now my life has totally changed! I’m remarried, had my third child, my older children have grown and moved into early adulthood. I’ve now experienced more than I could have expected in life. One that encompasses a happy existence!

I no longer feel like I missed out on life’s experiences. Regardless, to whatever teen drama I missed out on, I got 10-fold better by raising some great kids! My children are striving, good-natured, and successful! I am a proud parent!

About three years ago, I was finally diagnosed with Type I Bipolar Disorder. That is when life changed for me , drastically! But that’s another story.

I’m now on medication, I see a therapist weekly, and more stable than I’ve been my whole life!

I still have my ups and downs, but they are more manageable, and less destructive.


What is your experience with bipolar disorder? Share with us in the comments.



Living with type 1 bipolar disorder, PTSD (due to childhood trauma), Rapid Cycling, and Seasonal Affective Disorder. Writing about my life experiences.

One thought on “Growing Up Bipolar

  • Avatar
    December 15, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    I was diagnosed with major depression at the age of 13yrs, then at 17yrs followed various psych wards and institutionalizations. My mother committed suicide when I was 20yrs. Then followed self-medication/self-abuse with alcohol. Then on meds, off meds etc until as I neared my 40’s I realised, for my own safety, I had to leave my alcoholic husband. So, I am conquering an eating disorder and am now fully compliant with meds and personal wellness program, successfully hold down a job, and as of 10 Sept 2014 was finally granted a divorce after 3 years of them pushing and pulling. Alls well that ends well 🙂


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