I’ll tell you, this has been quite a summer for us. Rye is doing really well. If you didn’t know him well or he didn’t tell you (he’s very open with telling people he is bipolar), you would have no idea that he is bipolar.
He is that stable.
One of the things I have noticed recently is that due to the long length of stability he has had now (almost a year) in conjunction with growing a little older, he has really matured emotionally. And he has become so much more independent this summer it is incredible. He takes his meds on his own even while he is away at friend’s houses, he is not scared to go away with kids he does not know (summer camp), and he went on a trip to New York with Don by themselves and he loved it. Seemingly he didn’t miss me at all. This is a far, far cry from where he was a year ago when he was unstable and would barely leave my side.
I’m happy for him. Very happy.
Looking back I can say there was a point last year when I wondered how independent he would ever be. I was scared. And saying this is odd because he was very independent as a young child. Fearless, really. All through elementary school he was very outgoing, perky, lots of fun to be with, everyone’s friend. And then came middle school and the bipolar really set in and that all went to hell. Well, no, I take that back. When he was manic he was fearless too but that was in a different way. A destructive way. A scary way. And then there was the mood swings, and the rages, the crying, the suicide threats, and the hallucinations and the thought disturbances. I honestly didn’t know if we would ever make it out of that.
And yet, here we are. In a place I never thought we would be just one year later. He is now himself again, like a more mature version of the boy he was before the bipolar emerged. He is back to good.
Will this last? Who knows. No one can predict. But I can say I am glad for this time. Glad for him to get a taste of independence and self confidence after having been so unstable. Glad for him to have the opportunity to take ownership of his need to take meds and need to monitor himself some (he tells everyone he is around that he is bipolar and has to take his meds). Glad for him to tell his doctor everything that is going own in his own words and work together with his doctor to get what he needs. Glad for him to mature emotionally and see what it feels like to be ‘him’ again, only better. Older, stronger and more capable. To have control of himself, his emotions, and his life.
And the best part? Now, going forward, in times when he does become unstable [and chances are most likely he will have these times throughout his life] he will know. He will know what stability feels like. He has this experience under his belt and will know that although he may be struggling at that moment and he may be out of his mind at that moment, stability is achievable for him. He will know somewhere within himself what he is striving for.