Pregnancy reminds me of my bipolar disorder. That’s a weird statement to make, but it’s true. Your hormones are all over the place, and not unlike the chemical reactions in your brain that make you cycle from manic to depressive. It finds you in the exact same strange space were you know your emotions aren’t 100% correct or rational but you know you are feeling them fully anyway.
A lot of the mood swings make me ponder the lessons I’ve been trying to teach myself for years. Is this a rational feeling? How can I try to turn it into one without devaluing the fact that it is real?
Just because you know an emotion isn’t right doesn’t make it go away. Knowing your manic doesn’t let you switch off your manic traits like a light switch, but it is a start, and lets be real, you have to start somewhere. It lets you start trying to fight for control.
I’ve found most of my control in this disease through medication, but even those of us who have had a lot of luck with our bipolar medications can tell you that we still swing some, and I still have to take on those swings one on one. Rational brain verses the chemical brain.
This is when a lot of people check out. They let themselves swing or excuse it. It’s a lot easier to excuse the pregnancy mood swings than my bipolar mood swings because there’s very little stigma against pregnancy mood swings but there’s a lot of stigma towards manic depressive illness. But still, people excuse both of them without really wanting to go to battle with them- and that’s because it is very difficult to fight your moods.
I’m not asking people to treat pregnant people like bipolar people or bipolar people like pregnant people. I’m saying that when we find something else driving our emotions we need to learn how to at least be the one screaming directions in the background.
It takes years of learning how to and even then it’s very difficult, but it’s important to try. It’s important that you train the little voice in your head to scream out that you’re being irrational and try to accommodate its suggestion. It won’t always work- nothing does, but when it does it makes a big difference in our lives and the people around us who we love.
So work diligently on trying to train your rational brain to speak up. Learn the traits of your mood swings so you can see them for what they are. Reflect on your past ones and see what you wish you could have done different in the moment, and be specific, don’t just wish your mood could have changed. These are the tools we are given. Let’s get to using them.