There is one story about a mother with fibromyalgia and Graves’ disease. She is also married to a man with Bipolar 1. Despite these circumstances, the mother tries to manage her family as well as she could. Although this is not easy for her, her motherhood does not end where her illnesses begin. As a reader, you may also be struggling in the same situation. Perhaps, you have been coping and searching for ways to handle your family, as well as your health condition, without affecting your children or your spouse, or you could be looking for a ray of hope in a story that is similar to yours.
Fibromyalgia is a painful disease to have, affecting many of your physical activities. Being a mother with such a disease presents an even bigger challenge. If that’s not enough of a load to bear, the situation is made even more difficult when you have a bipolar spouse. This is not exactly the kind of happy ever after that many have in mind, but it is a reality that many face and have to live with everyday of their lives.
At some point, you have to make a choice, do you let the pain and disease rob you of happiness or do you find ways to cope with what you are feeling so you can live happily? You do not have to let disease affect your parenting and your marital relations. It all starts within you.
Even as you are burdened with coping with your own illness and your spouse’s mood disorder, take the time to look inside yourself and let the peace and love flow from your heart.
- Breathe – spend a few minutes each day doing breathing exercises. You can do this as you start your day or any other time during the day. You can use this time to practice the ‘gratitude exercise’ where you think of three things to be thankful for.
This also relaxes you and takes your mind off the pain that you are feeling. You can do this to step back and take control of your emotions when you are faced with difficult situations (such as when your bipolar spouse is having a mood swing) too.
- Show Your Gratitude in A Journal
As I mentioned above, gratitude is another really important part of having a more positive mindset. It can be easy to only think about the negative aspects of your life, but if you pay attention, there are positive things as well. Every day, write down what you are grateful for. It can be anything simple, mundane, or extravagant. There are no rules for what you are grateful for. Think of at least one good thing that happened or one blessing, and write it down
- Seek support – This is a reminder that you are not alone in your battle— as a mother, and as a woman. You are visible and you are going to make it strong and great. Your children are looking up to you, not only as their mother, but as a warrior. Do not ever hesitate to reach out to a community you feel safe with. There are many therapy groups in which you could participate to help you with coping if you do not feel comfortable with one-on-one therapy sessions. Despite your busy schedule as a mother, always save some time for yourself. Whether this could be reading a book you have long kept on your shelf, a spa session with your neighbors, or watching your favorite movie, setting some spare time for yourself is therapy in itself.
- Manage your own thoughts and emotions – when you are in pain and saddled with family and work responsibilities, you could find yourself with such a short temper that you snap at just about everything that goes wrong. This will not help anyone. Stay in control. You’ll be able to handle things more efficiently and effectively when you are less emotional. Get rid of anger and resentment to make way for happiness and gratitude.
Despite your medical condition, you do have a choice to be happy or to be miserable. This is a choice that only you can make for yourself.
What is your story? What are your coping mechanisms? Please leave your comments below!!