Define batshit crazy.
This morning I asked my children for an opinion on my behaviour. I have homework to do for the Mood and Anxiety Disorder Clinic meeting tomorrow, and for the most part I can fill out the questionnaire, but one question eluded me - Define your behaviours. I can't do that. There's a reason I had Kim going with me to the psychiatrist's appointments with me. There's a reason I relied on other people to tell me when my judgement was clouded or non-existant. I can't recognize behavioural changes.
For the most part I can see where I am now compared to years ago, but these changes have evolved over time and to me they're perfectly normal. I can also see where I have tried my hardest to create change, but even then I don't know if my attempts at change have worked. Only those around me can tell.
My son had a great answer to my question - "If I didn't know what mental illness was, I would have said you were batshit crazy."
I know that my judgement is clouded by my condition. I know that some decisions I make are not really up to normal. Taking a bottle of Scotch on a cadet weekend last October is the best example of that I can find, but there have been other times where my actions, which seem perfectly normal to me; have been outright stupid. The problem is I can't see where my reality ends and the clouds begin. Parenting is a perfect example. It's very difficult now to be a parent - making decisions that I used to make regularly regarding discipline of my children and the running of the household are now questioned constantly. Am I being too harsh? Am I being too lenient? Am I being an asshole? Am I batshit crazy? I just don't know anymore. It makes it very difficult to be a father.
My children are very aware of what I'm going through, as is Kimberly-Ann, and are all quite supportive, even if they want to escape it sometimes. OK, all the time. But I don't think I'm crazy.
Crazy is such a negative word. Almost a comedic word these days, it connotation has changes somewhat with the advent of support for mental illness. You're more likely to see the word crazy being used in reference to a comedy sketch or someone perfectly normal doing something off the wall for a thrill or just for fun. You don't see the psych ward at the hospital labelled "crazy people ward". Even the word lunatic is out the door. I think my cat is crazy, but thats as far as the term goes around here. Except of course the video of my wife singing the Oscar Mayer Wiener song at the top of her lungs in a Wal-mart in Iowa. That was also crazy. But she isn't.
And I don't think I am either. Especially not batshit crazy. I have Bipolar Syndrome, which affects a person's mental state adversely, and I have no qualms about announcing that. So my children being honest with my questions this morning was both appreciated and an eye opener. If I have accomplished anything with this illness I have managed to educate them about the issues of mental health.
I am so happy to have such intelligent children, even if they themselves are a bit crazy.