A major theme with my symptoms of Bipolar have been what I call “the mad rush” feeling. This is where my mind feels like it is spinning from one topic to another and I try to keep up. I feel like I purposefully try to slow my thoughts down and my thinking pattern so I can analyze and understand each topic.
I recall having this feeling of the “mad rush” frequently when I went out with my mother. She was a bubbly, carefree, self-directed woman and loved shopping with a passion. Our shopping styles were much different, though I truly enjoyed spending time with her. She was a shopper that immediately could find what she wanted, grab it, and move on. I think this was partially due to the fact that my dad teased her often about how she liked to “touch, look, pick-up, put back”. He was right to some degree. Yet my mom was a master of shopping, and style (yes, she had all the latest in styles). My shopping style on the other side of the scope was extremely laid back. I was a direct contrast to my mom. I liked to move slowly, digest everything I saw, feel it and touch it – like mom, but make a thoughtful decision about whether to take it or not. The only thing about shopping that we did exactly the same way was the put back at times, when we looked at the total cost. My mom was the quick, item to item, fast decision shopper. And I was the slow thinking, time to enjoy, thoughtful shopper that made shopping a joyful gratifying process. This totally different approach to our thinking and actions would frequently take my mind to the “mad rush” spot where I had to slow myself down so I could think clearly. Mom had a clear understanding of this feature of my thought process and slowed down appropriately. We had an understanding that meshed quite nicely.
To even understand mom’s quick and precise way about cleaning as well, brought about the racing of my mind. Yet I so appreciated any type of help from her in this area, probably because she was so efficient. I’ve come to realize that my daughter has taken on a lot of her grandmother’s personality. Those are definitely not bad traits to have. In fact, it is refreshing to see.
I recall when the months were going by and my mother was in and out of Boston Mass General Hospital, then rehabilitation facilities in New Hampshire, and back and forth from when she had the trauma and recovery of two brain surgeries. I made the effort to be on top of every aspect of her care and decisions. I began to lose track of my life and my daily care. My house was in chaos. My whole existence focused on my mom, which was an absolute must, at that time of her life. This was the case, needed by me even more so, with the passing of my dad. However I was lost in the whirlwind. I recall my counsellor asking me if there was anything anyone could do to help me. My husband worked incredibly long hours, and my brother lived a distance away. I knew that just with the help of organizing my environment it would give a sense of relief and organization to my mind.
Though I hated to intrude, I thought of my daughter for her help. I tearfully asked her to help because I was lost and I couldn’t catch up. We made a day for her to come over and help clean my house. Asking for help was extremely hard to do, but essential. And my daughter came over with her bubbly attitude, dressed in pajamas, and said that we were having a pajama party. She not only made the time while cleaning efficient, she made it a joy and fun. This was something that I forgot could be a part of life. I was so absorbed in the tragedy and loss, I also forgot that life still existed.
That day made me realize what an impact my parents had imprinted on my children’s lives. They helped to bring the joy out of the heartache, and they taught that to my children so effortlessly. What a beautiful thing it is to have a loving family that truly cares about every aspect of the other parts of their family. What a joy it is to have compassion, love, and a bond that is strong and willing to fight during the trying times.