At 39.

At 39 I need a babysitter. At 39, I’m incapable of driving myself places. At 39, I’m unpredictable of fulfilling my daily hygiene needs, and so much more of the essentials of daily living.

At 39, I’m still able to the the best mom I can; lunches packed, clothes folded and neatly put away. Long hugs to relieve the sadness a tough day at kindergarten brings, and extra bed time stories, nightly. Reviewing our days over homemade dinners; learning just how fast his brain is learning and growing.

At 39, I had (am having?) a nervous breakdown… or an adult (re)diagnosis with bipolar disorder. This revelation has given me pause, causing me to re-evaluate what is important in life, and what is not so much.

At 39 I have had to go through everything I’ve already been through 16 years ago, with my first introduction to bipolar disorder. The difference this time is I’m 39, married to a wonderful man, with a beautiful child who greats me each day with such joy. I have had to hold so much together, fake it, if you will.

I used to run. At 21 I would drop all responsibilities and find the new friend ready to hang out and not worry about bills, work, or any of the other adult things we should have been concerned with. Run I would. Family wouldn’t see me but for changes of clothing every few days. Bill collectors tried to track me down; but I was weightless, not tethered to this earth, or an address to receive their threatening letters.

At 39, I tried running. I got confused with bills, with the influx of twice monthly pay versus the daily urge for the shiny and new… and the shiny and new always won out. We always need, and I am a great finder of those things we never knew we needed.

But at 39? I’m most afraid of not being the best wife I can. I try, so hard, but fear I fall so very short, so very, very short. From long heart felt talks where I can’t find my filter, to early morning conversations before dawn… I’ve slowly been revealing my soul to him. Letting him in on how ill, how far off base my center has wobbled. I try to hide how unwell I am; but I know the blank stares, the fade outs show how far out I’ve floated.

At 39, I’m learning how to tame my rage, to stop before I do anymore damage to the devices, house, hearts. It’s been almost two months since I broke something; but much less time since I’ve felt like it. There are coping skills which save me in those moments; square breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, mindfulness.

At 39, I’m learning how to adult. And scary as it is, I’m really enjoying each moment. ❤

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