In 1997 my eldest son was diagnosed with bipolar and admitted to Ledger House for treatment. At the interview with the doctor I was asked if anyone in the family had bipolar. It was at this point that I realized that it was me. I was bipolar. The years slipped by and I remembered the agony of being in River view mental hospital. At the time we were more concerned for our son than for me. As we struggled with his illness it was all we could do to keep our family afloat. It was a long time before we had any semblance of normality crept back into our lives. Even after we got home he would go out at night, at the strangest hours, and seemed to need no rest. By the time the fall term had arrived he was back to normal and passed grade 12 without any problem. Now we could relax and off he went to university. Alas it was not to be! He went manic again either through not taking his medication or just because he liked the high. He lived in a halfway house and tried to make ends meet. By this time he was on permanent disability so we did not have to contribute to his upkeep. He struggled through university going one year then being manic and missing the next. Finally, after ten years, he graduated and his mother and I were so proud of him. They kept changing his medication and by trial and error they finally got it right. There was no thought of him using his university degree but rather he settled on being a bridge director. Now, by the grace of God, he has achieved a measure of stability.
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