First, I have to say that this was a great year for us in many ways, and a very hard year in many others. The good news: another year without a hospitalization, and another year without Caroline being asked to leave a school, she played lacrosse all summer, and our oldest got into the college of her choice, for which the GI Bill will pay the majority of the cost. These are great things to celebrate, truly.
On the downside, my husband hasn't worked since July, we are in a very financially precarious position, Caroline didn't have a stellar fall semester in terms of grades, still doesn't have any girlfriends, and our health insurance ends March 26th.
If we weighed all things in the balance, I would say we are still very blessed and hanging in there, with the arms of God holding us. He always has the last say. Circumstances may confound us, but God is big, and God is good, and He keeps His promises to sustain His children. As the psalmist says, "I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread." Psalm 37:25 We are so grateful for His never ending love and kindness to us.
I know many of you out there are struggling with an unstable child, unemployment, poor health insurance, or none at all, grandparents who blame you, and a school system that isn't giving your child what they need. I pray that you will find this year to be a better one, one of finally finding the meds that work, the school that cares, a family who grasps that you are not bad parents, but great parents with huge challenges, and job situations that pay the bills and provide good health insurance. Thank you for all of your comments, for supporting CABF in the Pepsi grant contest, which we think we have won, and for just letting me know you are out there. I love you all and treasure our camaraderie.
Don't stop advocating for your child, don't stop seeking the best docs, the right medications. You are not alone, and perseverance does pay off in the end! Take time for yourself in the battle, and try to get time away from your kid(s). They need you to be refreshed too, and make time for your spouse because you need each other! A strong marriage will make a huge difference in your parenting. If you can, seek counseling for your marriage so that you have a rock solid foundation, go on a retreat together, and ask for the financial help to do these things if you need to!!!
God bless you and give you a peaceful New Year! Megan
About our Daughter
I am mother to four wonderful daughters, ages 13, 15, 17 and 19, and wife to the greatest husband on earth. God has given us a special child to raise one who was diagnosed with early-onset bipolar disorder at the age of seven, though she showed signs of it from the age of fifteen months. She also has ADHD, Sensory Integration Disorder (sensory seeking), Dyslexia, and Non-Verbal Learning Disorder-NOS, all typical comorbidities for a bipolar child. She is in the very challenging teen years, and she is attempting a big public high school for the first time. In spite of the trials, she enjoys lacrosse, running, and reading and writing her own books. I will share with you the many joys and sorrows we have faced and will face in the future with the hope that you may find better understanding about this mental illness caused by both chemical and structural abnormalities in the brain. I desire that you will be encouraged by this blog if you are also dealing with a bipolar child. Thank you for reading and sharing in our journey.
How Did You Know She Was Bipolar So Young?
I wrote a long explanation of how we came to this bipolar diagnosis in a child so young under my post of March 19th of 2009. If your child or a child you know bears similarities, please seek out a good psychiatrist and don't wait for "things to get better." Often they will simply get worse, and the longer a child is unmedicated, the more damage their brain can accrue. Early diagnoses and treatment are key to providing these children with a chance at a successful life later as a teen and an adult.