I have bipolar disorder, in my case probably stemming from childhood trauma. In my case, it’s the depressive kind, the “I want to die,” “I should never have been born” form. I don’t yell at people, or get up at midnight to clean house or anything.

But one thing I used to do, pre-meds, was take on way too many tasks, feeling more ambitious than a team of people. I couldn’t say no to anyone, no matter what they asked, and in  my case that meant writing reviews or columns or whatever.  And that time spent either reading for reviews or actually writing kept me away from my family. I isolated myself then, and I continue to have a severe problem with that.

I’ve been going to graduate school for a couple years now. Homework’s been a great excuse to isolate. Now that I’m coming near the end of that I’ve started reviewing again. I love doing that, so I know it’s not just to isolate. But one thing I do is sleep a lot. I know that’s isolating. As soon as I bring my youngest child home from school I nap. Then, after I get my middle child I sleep ’til dinner time, curled up in my bed.

I get away from people whenever I can. It’s an urge I fight, but there’s nothing I love more than being alone, under the blankets, asleep.

Bipolar is another result of child abuse. It doesn’t happen to everyone, but if it’s in your family – as it’s in mine – and you go through hell, sometimes it gets triggered. But my form isn’t the major up and down kind.  Thank goodness for that. It’s treatable, and for now under control. When I feel it slipping back I tell my psychiatrist, and he titrates my meds.

So far, so good on that, but the isolation thing is a problem.

I see my therapist tonight. I didn’t do any of the homework she gave me from last time. And there’s no time to both take a shower, which I have to do, and do that homework. Then again, here I sit typing, when I could get at least some of it done.

But I didn’t.

Love,

Hope

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