I was scrolling through the bipolar tag on WordPress to gain some inspiration for my next blog post when it hit me… all my life I have always felt as though I were a burden to others, all while others who confided in me were not a burden to me.
Growing up, every child is dependent upon their parents or caregivers until they reach their teenage years and learn to grow and prosper on their own. Once age eighteen hits, so many responsibilities weigh on your shoulders and there is the expectation that you no longer need to rely on your parents or family (nor want to) and you’re all by your lonesome.
As my mother was not present or much aware of my teenage years due to her addictions, I never grew up in a standard way that most young adults have. I worked since I was 16, bought my first car at 17 and graduated at nearly 18 and 1/2. Most of my peers went to university in the fall of 2016, learning independence and various skills in university when I stuck around town, going to community college in a nearby city.
I didn’t move out on my own til I was 19 and when things went south between Diego and I, I moved home. My parents didn’t bat an eye and welcomed me with open arms, but I still felt as though I was a burden to them.
That was when I was newly diagnosed bipolar and had begun my phase of sleeping around with random men, usually much older than I was. My parents worried about me as I went out every night with a different guy, but my parents didn’t stop me because they knew they couldn’t. I was filled with unhappiness as I did so, felt as though I was burdening my parents and making them worry for no reason other than I wanted to be happy, but didn’t know how to make myself happy.
In order to make them not worry, I put those burdens on Diego as we tried to make things work together. No, I wasn’t sleeping around when I got back together with Diego, but I am sure I worried him sick with my new found gambling problem and lack of coping skills for my mostly unmedicated self. I would often skip days, even weeks, of my meds because I was tired of feeling like a robot; like a monotone inhuman person.
After we reconciled, we ended our lease and moved back home to save money. Now, I was a burden to Diego and to my parents. Less of a burden to my parents because they had the piece of mind that I was in a relationship. But I was still convinced I was a burden no matter what anyone told me.
Then Diego proposed and I accepted. I was happy in the aspect that I was with him, but still felt something was missing from my life. After we put a deposit on a wedding venue, and made many other purchases in regard to the wedding, I was determined that I needed to be single and could no longer be with Diego; that the burdens I put on him were too much for anyone to handle and it wasn’t fair to make him suffer for the rest of our lives.
After I broke off the engagement, I spent the next two years going back and forth with him as we found ourselves to be inseparable, yet I was still a burden to him and our families. I was often told by his mother that I needed to make a decision either way to be with him or not. That I couldn’t keep him in limbo, and in pain.
As much as it pained me, most of 2019 we were not together because his mother had said what she said. Life kept moving on and Diego bought a house in March of 2020, without me. He felt he couldn’t wait forever on me so he moved on and when I reconciled with him, he asked me to move in together to his place. We moved in together in late May after his new carpet was put into the two bedrooms and the office.
My gambling habit had turned into something I had to do every single day, which eventually led to him kicking me out of the house. My parents were helping me financially get back on track and it wasn’t until September 14th when I hit rock bottom. I had gambled away my winnings, an entire two week paycheck and then some. I was on the brink of suicide when a friend of mine talked me off the ledge.
After being one month clean off gambling, I reconciled with Diego once again and told him I was about to apply and transfer to the UW of Tacoma. He had a hard time believing me, but we continued to talk and he invited me over to his house. A one night stay turned into 3+ months of me gradually moving back in together.
I had began to take my medication the same day as I hit rock bottom, and with that, stopping gambling, and finding my purpose in life, my feelings of being a burden have more or less disappeared. My parents still struggle with trust issues with me as they are still helping me pay off the terrible mess that I have created. If I had to pinpoint why I no longer feel like a burden, it has stemmed from being free of addiction and being diligent about taking my medication.
If it weren’t for my rock bottom, I don’t think I would be here today. I wouldn’t have found inner peace and happiness. I no longer feel as though I am burden to others for relying on those close to me.
In other news, I was supposed to switch evening clients from a 12 year old girl to a 6 year old boy. Nobody thought the 12 year old liked me, not me, not my boss, not her parents’. But when my boss told client she was getting a new behavior tech, my client flipped out and said “Nuh-uh, not happening. I like Dani”. She refuses to have another tech work with her besides me which felt good considering I didn’t think that we paired well (which essentially means click together).
This week ended on not the greatest note considering I may have been exposed to covid on Friday evening. I am waiting to hear back about the parent’s COVID results, so I am quarantining in the meantime. I feel sick, but I tend to get sick when I feel exhausted or I am doing too much, like 2 classes at school and work full time. I don’t feel symptomatic with COVID-19 symptoms, but I have been sleeping all day. I am not trying to freak out before I need to, ya know?
Anyways, I hope this helps someone on their journey to self worth, recovery, and not feeling like a burden to others. As always, comments, likes, and shares are always appreciated!