While I talk a lot about my innermost thoughts on this blog, things I don’t share with anyone in my life, I still sometimes feel that social media reflex of projecting that “I’m OK”.
Health wise right now, I feel better than I’ve felt in a long time. I’m working on my body image issues and my issues around food and feeling successful. I’m exercising regularly and feel myself getting stronger and having more stamina. And I haven’t touched tobacco or nicotine… So body wise, I’m doing wonderful.
But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t struggling right now. My dad is sick. If he had cancer or some other physical illness, it would probably be easier to talk to people about. My dad is Bipolar and has been my whole life. I don’t tell many people because I feel like it isn’t my thing to tell. I also feel that families dealing with mental illness face a lesser form of the same stigma that people dealing with the illness do.
For years, my dad’s illness was well managed by medication. But as he got older, his medication stopped working as well. The past 10 years, my dad’s been in and out of hospital. My step-mom, while still loving my father, can no longer live with him because of how abusive he gets during his manic episodes. That is why I’m visiting him this week. To get him set up in his new place.
It is hard to watch two people that love each other so much be torn apart by an illness.
It is hard to be with my dad right now, as he is currently in the depressed phase of his illness and it takes all the emotional energy I have to be with him. I feel exhausted when I’m around him, almost like I’m empathizing with his depression by actually feeling depressed myself.
It is hard listening to my dad say he feels like his life is ending because he can’t live in his own house with his wife anymore.
It is hard trying to be strong for both of them when all I want to do is cry.
It is just hard…