Let’s just call it like it is…Bipolar Disorder and Puberty don’t play well together in the sandbox.
Not. At. All.
They fight ferociously all the time.
They butt heads. They throw punches. They go back-and-forth for years, each controlling the fight at different times. They each yearn for power over the other.
Like a boxing match, they will fight many rounds until a winner is crowned. The only difference is these twelve rounds will stretch out over a three-five year period.
My 12-year old son Adam is just beginning this fight, Round One if you will. This article is the first in a series of twelve articles I will post chronicling his fight against puberty (about one article every 90-days). These articles will cover every angle of the fight…the good, the bad, and the ugly…in an effort to help other young fighters about to enter the ring.
As a parent, it is my job to coach Adam on how to survive in the ring against puberty. From what I’m told, this fight will make the likes of Ali vs. Frazier, and Holyfield vs. Tyson, look like child’s play.
He will have to come out swinging early to gain the upper-hand. He will have to be able to block the strikes he never sees coming. He will have to train for endurance as this fight will undoubtedly go all twelve rounds.
This will be the hardest fight of his life. As his coach in the corner, I have the massive responsibility to make sure he survives and comes out a champion.
This is our new normal and we must embrace it.
Puberty has claimed many victory belts in the past in the form of depression, illegal drugs to self-medicate, and even suicide.
Adam cannot let puberty win. He must be victorious in his ability to manage his medications, his rages, and his psychosis.
Round One has already gotten off to a rather intense start. Adam is in the beginning stages of puberty. He and puberty are dancing around the ring checking each other out. So far, puberty has thrown a couple of light punches in the form of a growth spurt that is rapidly changing his hormones and metabolism (thus throwing his meds off) and a hairline trigger for overly emotional reactions to situations.
Adam has been able to defend himself in this round by relying on coping skills he learned through years of therapy and reinforcement by his coaches. His strongest counterpunch is his knowledge, his education, about what puberty is and how it affects his bipolar disorder. There is an old boxing term, palooka, which is used to describe a fighter who is uneducated. Adam cannot, and will not, be a palooka in this fight.
His life depends on it.
But it is early in this fight. Adam is fresh and alert. However, as Adam’s coach, I have done my homework and I know what’s coming (and it ain’t pretty). The remaining rounds will be brutal and test who he is at his core. There will likely be a time where he is hanging on the ropes for dear life.
As Round One comes to an end, and we retreat to our neutral corners, I will continue to tweak our fight strategy. A strategy ensuring Adam is able to go the distance, pound-for-pound, against his merciless opponent.
Secure your ringside seat to this match by subscribing to the Website at the very bottom of the page. This will ensure you are notified when details of Rounds Two thru Twelve are released. Stay tuned…