30. Thirty. The big 3-0. I want to mark this time. (peep that pic of me celebrating graduation in late May)
If you would have asked 20 year old me what the next 10 years held…she would have thought that it sounded scary and wonderful, but it could never be her. She blamed everyone for her problems. She was endlessly in love with Joseph Anthony but She was months away from the hardest break up she had faced. She was wonderfully oblivious that her life was about to change courses in a big way. She didn’t really have a lot of close friends outside of Joe. Hannah was dating David and you all didn’t really get along with David. She had a less than ideal relationship with her family and believed that it was beyond repair. There were a lot of questions about where my life would lead me. She was also very secure with herself. She of course thought she could improve in her exercise and diet, but she had confidence and it was obvious. She had no idea that these fleeting, endorphin filled time was mostly a product of her bipolar.
This didn’t seem like a big deal until I thought of how fast it went by. How quickly 30 years of my life happened. What have I accomplished?
I am well established in my career. I have been in the health care field for 10 years.
I got my master’s degree.
I moved to Texas and back.
I have a pet kitty that makes my days better (You count your kids right?)
I received my diagnosis of Bipolar disorder and started treating it.
I repaired many relationships that I had broken.
I have moved countless times, and it has allowed me experience more than one small bubble in Arizona.
I bought the newest car I have ever owned this year.
I made the big decision to start fertility treatments and become a single mother by choice.
I have realized that it isn’t a relationship I fear, it is that I wouldn’t be accepted or understood. I am asexual.
I have made peace with the fact that I will most likely have my mom living with me for the rest of her life. I am truly okay with it.
30-year-old me is on a camping trip in the future. This is 29 years and 359 day old me. Present me is sitting in my room. She is in Mesa and live in a crappy one-bedroom mobile home with mom. That is right, you now care for your mom. Mostly financially because she can’t work but is still independent. She sleeps in a recliner because you haven’t been able to afford the lift bed she needs. We just got approved for the apartment we are moving to. You prefer to rent an apartment over owning a home and having all the responsibilities or renting a home and having to landscape. This apartment is a dream. You have always looked at the high-end apartments as something you dream of living in. You dreamt of living in a beautiful apartment that looks like a model home. You love the idea of living in a really nice place and decorating it so that you are proud of it.
You love living with your mom. You rarely argue, and she holds you accountable on your self -improvement.
You packed up your shit, quit your job, and drove to Texas where you lived with your dad and Nicole for a year. Much needed. Super impulsive.
Things are rocky with your sister right now. She is following your footsteps and headed down an emotionally destructive path. That is a scary thought seeing as how you went without a diagnosis for your bipolar until you were 25. You have had a couple of relationships that fizzled out. It has been 7 years since your last one. It only feels like an embarrassment to say that when you imagine other people’s reactions. You are oddly okay with this. You have spent the last 7 years working on yourself, nurturing your mental health and mending relationships. You reconnected with Joseph. He turned into a real bar fly when you two hung out together. I do mean hook up if you are wondering. Turns out he had an ex-girlfriend living in the same house. You still love him, and you still think he is selfish and inconsiderate. He has gotten weirder and less mature if that is possible. He loves to wear leggings and outlandish attention drawing outfits and attend raves. He did meet a girl last year. They are expecting a boy next month. You don’t know that Joe has grown up, you think he just found someone to act like a kid with. She has a son in high school….don’t know if that was a teen pregnancy or she is that much older than us.
Hannah is still your true friend. She has changed A TON. She stands up for herself, has really matured career wise and is making more than you! She still feels like she doesn’t know what she is doing with her life. She is living it. She needs to look around. She is still letting pretty boys walk all over her. You constantly build her up and she is so critical of herself and her appearance. She got a boob job that she hates…and botox! As long as it is safe and makes her happy, I will never judge her.
You made the decision that you would start fertility treatments and become a single mother by choice. It is a long and expensive process, but you want it badly. Your mom and grandmother both had issues and could not have any kids after 30. Your aunt Cherril has cervical cancer. She isn’t doing well either. She has decided to not have any kind of treatments and doesn’t even want to take pain medication.
You write. You write in notebooks, on the back of paper plates, you have a blog, you bounce around on your ideas and just end up writing them all in a jumbled mess.
You lost your confidence and have gained at least 100 lbs. But your confidence was gone long before the weight came. After Sean, you were down. You were approaching the BPD diagnosis, but this sent you on a journey that you can credit your life to.
You started gaining weight and staying home. You went to the doctor for weight loss and then disclosed how you were really feeling, and she referred you to a specialist. Between the sadness and the weight gain, you felt ashamed. You stopped going out and packed on more weight. You are hyper aware of those around you. Careful never to agitate or inconvenience anyone. You have actually become pretty boring. You rarely show emotion and are too concerned about other’s opinions to be the silly person you were.
You hope that your next 10 years bring more joy, revelations about yourself, dreams come to fruition. You hope to overcome your biggest obstacle. Yourself.
In the next 10 years, you will have a baby. You will do two rounds of IUI before you get pregnant. You will become more confident in your work. You will increase dramatically in your salary as you are beginning to really establish yourself. You will become more involved in politics and religion…after all the wise Ruth Bader Ginsburg said, “Women belong in all the places where decisions are being made.”. You will continue learning and educating yourself through reading and may even entertain the idea of a doctorate. You will most likely lose your grandparents. That is going to be the kick in the stomach of the decade. I hope you are somewhat graceful in your grief. I doubt this though. You will most likely have some issues in managing medications and potentially start being reckless at this time. I hope you come back here and remind yourself of how far you have come and how many people go through this.
My first 30 years have been challenging to say the least. I was dealt a tough hand and it didn’t help that I was manic for most of it. I have made strides in my mental health that have definitely rippled into the rest of my life. I am happy. Genuinely happy. I have you fine people to thank for some of that.
17 thoughts on “Thirty.”
I love how you have taken stock of your accomplishments. Also liked the quote from Ruth Ginsberg:) May I ask how you started treating your bipoloar disorder? My father had it, and now daughter is asking if it’s hereditery. I tell her she can manage it with medications and therapy, but I have no specifics. Any suggestions? Thanks
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Thank you. I list as a way of “journaling”.
It started when I was a kid and looking back….it makes sense. I went to my primary care doctor and expressed concern with my mood. I explained how I was feeling and was then referred to a mental health doctor. At that time, they diagnosed me. If I had to give advice, it would be to tell the truth. Write it down if needed. It can be hard to diagnose. I brought my mom with me because I don’t always realize there is an issue. Explain exactly how you feel. Medications have been the primary treatment for me. I will warn you, it isn’t an exact science so she will cycle through medications until they determine what is the right combo. I see a therapist too. It is more for coping and discussions about healthy boundaries for me, but anyone could benefit! I am always happy to answer questions. I am not sure of your daughter’s age so I will do my best. Bipolar is an illness. Just like any other ailment. I think it is important we explain that to everyone. Sometimes, it can mean that you get really upset or really sad and you do not know why. There are medications that were made to help people not be so up and down all the time. Unfortunately, this illness takes part in the brain, and because everyone’s brain is different, everyone needs different medicine. The medicine only helps with the side effects. There is no cure. That is where therapy comes in for me. Just because you take medicine, does not mean that you are better. It means that you are managing. Therapy offers me the tools I need to cope. It also is a third party that can call me on things my family won’t.
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This was so helpful. Thanks for your honest share. My daughter is 17-years old and has tried different meds. Her therapist stopped seeing her because she missed some appointments, and becasue she wasn’t “making progress.” It’s about managing. I know. More power to everyone who struggles with this illness.
I am always here in case she has more questions. Or if you do! My mom has been so graceful and open with me on this. I hope that you are able to be that for your daughter. You can hit the contact button on my personal blog lookingforeunoia.wordpress.com. I always answer within 24 hours.
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Happy 30th ! I will be 30 too in July! Time flies !!!!
Happy birthday to you too!
Thank you !!!
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Wow! Happy 30th Birthday!
How incredible to look at yourself honestly! I love moments when you realized (or clarified) what the world deems normal, necessary, and successful is simply not your preference, or you have found in wisdom in what God has allowed.
Praying for you and your mom! May your day and year ahead be all God hopes for you.
God loves you! And He loves your mom! 🙂
He certainly has his hand in my life. We are so loved and so lucky to have the forgiveness and love. Thank you 😊
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Amen, Sister! How blessed for you to be able to see it. 🙂 Keeping you in thoughts and prayer!
I love your story and having accomplished so much! I too, am bipolar disorder and depression, especially anxiety, but i have 2 degrees in writing specialized writing and publishing, all during my diagnoses at 30! So ya, i too was also manic as hell
Love your story and how much you’ve accomplished, im bipolar manic depressive disorder, and got 2 degrees in specialized writing for children, which i now use it for my own stuff from learning about it, my second degree is for publishing
Thank you for expressing your thoughts about how hard it can be, but how much you can get accomplished as well. Ive learned to use my mania to my advantage, i create the best stories,poems and paintings when im going haywire, so it can be a gift or a curse, i choose a gift!🤗
I admittedly see a lot of my mania as a burden instead. I try to stay positive though!
More power to you. This write up of yours gave so much inspiration and positivity. Full of life. Keep smiling and stay healthy. 😊
Hi,I think you are inspiring.I turned 21 few days ago,I also go through mental issues, but trying to develop myself