I am not an expert on bipolar disorder... I just live with it. This is my blog of hope and encouragement.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Playing catch up

I am cooking supper.  I have probably mentioned before that my two children (24 and 26) live with me, work, and pay rent.  We all share the cooking duties but for the most part, I do the dishes and laundry.  Just now, I was carrying a load of laundry downstairs and was wondering, "Is this all I do anymore?"  I quit my part time job a few weeks ago and have been going through a pretty rough time emotionally.  I am not of a mind to paint or take pictures.  In fact, I got rid of most of my old art work. (That was a signal right there of bad times to come.)

So, I am not doing art work, I am not writing (except here), I am not working.  I am doing dishes, and laundry, and cooking.  Oh, and I drive my daughter to and from work.

Then it dawned on me...this is what I SHOULD have been doing 15-25 years ago when my children were young.  I had to work full time from the time my children were babies.  Their father left when my son was born so I had to do it all by myself.  I was un-diagnosed, therefore un-medicated, bipolar.  At its best, I hired friends to clean my house once a week and often bought fast food.  At its worst, every item of clothing we owned was being walked on, on the hall floor, waiting to be washed...waiting week after week after week.  We did not have any clean dishes but that was ok we did not have any food.  I am not sure what we ate.

It does not make up for a miserable childhood.  We talk about those days and I apologize and tell them I am sorry.  And maybe now I am trying to make up for lost time by keeping up with the laundry and dishes and fixing a decent supper.  I know it is not good enough.  I know it will not go deep enough.  But I will not grumble or ask why this is all I am inspired to do right now.  It is like a monastic practice: chop wood - carry water.  Perhaps, in time, enlightenment.


  1. You did what you had to do to survive and care for your babies, even though you were not yet diagnosed. That is an amazing feat, Ms. Godfrey, and something that I was unable to do even though I was medicated. I don't think there's any shoulda-woulda-coulda in your case, because you were strong enough to do what you were supposed to do, and manage to make it through while suffering yourself. A messy house, dirty clothes, and fast food doesn't make a miserable childhood. A dead mother and a father that decides to take his drunken anger out on his youngest daughter makes a miserable childhood. I think that if your kids are not proud of you now, they sure as hell should be for accomplishing what you have done. I think you're amazing!