Our Bipolar Happy Hour

It’s always the same. Like Bill Murray’s movie, Groundhog Day. It’s the same in our home every single day, no matter what we do, what medications we try, what therapies we employ. My 9 year old just lives on the relentless Bipolar mood roller coaster. Every. single. day.

Every day:

The Brooding Beauty Shows Her Sweet Heart

…I wake her gently, quietly… and she roars at the family for the next 30 minutes until it’s time for school.

…she gets home from school smiling, then lashes out at people because since she often misses social cues, and struggles to make friends.

…something I say hits her the wrong way and she ends up cooling off in her room (which means 1-2 hours of alternating yelling and self-soothing activities from her “calm box” that lives in her bedroom closet).

That’s how it is with my oldest daughter. EVERY day.

But the funny thing is that just as these explosive moods are predictable, and to some extent manageable for her and the family, there’s another facet she reveals every day: a single hour of focused, compassionate, insightful, sweet connectedness with me and her sisters.

A Happy Hour.

After dinner every day, my bellowing beauty becomes soft and kind. She’s alert, intuitive, articulate about all kinds of relationships, patterns, problems and ponderings. She gets right in my face (in a good way!) and engages me – asking questions about my day, my thoughts, my dreams, my struggles. She becomes a little girlfriend and a kindred spirit during this one hour before bedtime.

Every day.

These hours are my Happy Hours. And unlike my pre-family Happy Hour experiences (ehem), the hangovers I get from these times with my daughter give me strength to do the other 23 hours each day! Our Happy Hours together are what make it all worth it, and I’m so grateful for the lucid moments with my girl.

What are you thankful for this week?


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