Archives for August, 2011


Do You Wonder What Living With Bipolar Is Like? Let’s Take A Ride

When I was a kid my dad used to drive down this long, creepy, winding road.  It went through the forest, it was always dark even in the middle of the day - even the trees were creepy.  There were some very sharp turns where the road narrowed so much two cars would never be able to pass.  I was always scared senseless when my dad would drive down this road. I was totally out of control and focusing only on what was around me waiting to reach the stop sign.

That is what living with bipolar is like.

You look ahead and all you feel is fear, never knowing what is about to happen. You have no control over that curve coming ahead - never knowing if another car will be trying to come around the same curve as you. You are paying such close attention to the road in front of you and the forest around you that you can't even look behind to see where you've been.  All your focus is centered on the single moment.  You cant see what is in front of you because of all the curves and trees - it's a powerless and scary ride.  Until you get help.

What happens when you get help? C'mon - let's go for another ride.

Shortly after my 17th birthday I started driver's education class. The day my driving instructor picked me up from my home to take a driving lesson, I was clueless I was about to drive this same road that terrified me as a little girl. It hadn't changed much. Together as a team we ventured down this road to pick up another student.
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PTSD and Assault – My Story

PTSD is a very real, very scary part of many lives. It may or may not accompany other diagnoses. I am no expert, but I do know through a lot of therapy where mine came from, and why it is a real part of my every day life today.

When I was 9 my fathers friend lived with us. He raped me, and I was too scared to say anything. It was not even talked about until at 15, during a visit with my therapist, it was revealed. By law, she was required to tell my father of what had happened and to this day, my father has never been able to forgive himself.

When I was 17, my friends and I went to a convenience store to pick up a girlfriend from work. We parked in the wrong spot, according to one specific police officer. I have a lot of missing memories of this event (I assume I blocked most of it) but what I am able to recall keeps me in a permanent state of fear of any police officer. He was unhappy with "17 year old punks" hanging out there, even though we had been there for 3 minutes or so. He ordered us to all show our license (I had been driving) and demanded us to all get out of the vehicle. He then proceeded to show us his "power" and assaulted all 3 of us.

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Can I Please Get One Week Away From Doctors?

I'm so tired of doctor's offices, I think I could go the rest of my life without ever having to step into one again!  Unfortunately, that's just not possible. Every time I go to a doctor, it's always something new.  It is never a good visit, ever. There is never a clean bill of health or a reassuring "everything is just fine!" nope, I'm just not that fortunate.
Friday I went to see my endocrinologist and he was extremely unhappy with my sugars. I'm doing everything right, but my body just doesn't agree with his treatment I suppose. He also went over my blood work and told me I have hypothyroidism. Really? Seriously? That was my exact response.  Un-freaking-believable!
My aunt has been on medicine for years so she understands the disease better than probably our doctor. She told me all about it. We talked about symptoms, outlook, finding positive energy, and most definitely not giving up on my health.  Honestly though, I could have told her to stuff it because that really wasn't what I was in the mood to hear.
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Toxic Teenage Friendships

My oldest son started high school today.  That was hard for me to see him so grown and mature, ready to conquer high school.  I was up at 5:30 (my body woke me) and was able to kiss him goodbye and wish him luck on his first day of high school.  It just tears me to bits seeing him growing so fast.

He's doing much better these days since I cut him off from everything.  I took it all away - video games, friends, his social life.  I committed the ultimate social slaughter on the kid to prove a point.  It worked and he's been coming around again as his old sweet and down to earth, level headed self.  Way to go me!

Well, I believe I have found the source of his aggression.  His friend down the street.  Honestly, I don't know for certain that this kid is the root of the evil he experienced, but I wholeheartedly believe it played a major role in what he was going through.  I read a post recently talking about toxic friendships, and I started paying attention to his friends a lot closer.  I was shocked at what I was able to see when I really opened my eyes.

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I’m Cracking Under Pressure

Well, here I go again.  I am not the best at handling extreme levels of stress and I don't think it's a bipolar thing - I think this time it's a life thing.  Oh boy!

My kids are crazy and I'm quickly following suit.  I've always considered myself more of a leader than a follower but the madness around here is dragging me down very quickly.  Where's a corner? I need to hide!

After two days of nonstop running between my anniversary and my 6 year old son's birthday, I am crashing.  It's hard keeping up sometimes when things start getting crazy.  Four kids, a messy house, a bipolar teenager, and a husband working 72 hours a week is taking it's toll on this momma.  Maybe I should go have a good cry.  Hmm.

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The Bipolar Wife: A Perfect Anniversary!

It has been 8 years now since I said "I Do" to my wonderful husband.  He works so hard to help me stay healthy, and to help keep up with the house and take care of the kids.  I was pondering for more than a week what I wanted to do to make this anniversary better than any other.  I was stumped.

I had no idea what to get him and I had no idea what to do for him.  He always tries so hard to make everything so special for me that I've never really had to worry about being the creative one.  It was harder than I had imagined!

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The Blind Leading The Blind: Coping With My Bipolar Teenager

I have posted previously about my oldest son.  He is a remarkable child with a beautiful soul and a loving heart.  He's fantastic (when not getting on my nerves!) and I love him dearly.  We have grown up together, since I was so young when I had him.  We've always been very close and we still are.  We have both struggled together and overcome adversity together.  We have faced challenges together, and we are suffering mental illness together.  I don't know how to help him.

Yesterday he had another episode of rage.  I believe he may be manic right now, and I had to call the cops.  I never could have imagined needing to bring law enforcement into my home to help me with him.  He's such a good kid, I was stunned silent and scared with this latest episode of anger and rage.  I was terrified.

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What Makes A Good Marriage Good?

Early this morning I was chatting with my hubby.  I was laying on his back and just enjoying a moment of peace and quiet before the monsters began to stir.  It was so nice, comforting, soothing.  It reminded me a little of when I was a kid and my dad could make everything better with a hug.  Only now, it was my hubby, making everything better just by being there next to me.  It was heaven!

We had a very hard marriage for the first few years.  I mean pure hell, total rottenness.  I hated him more than I loved him, and he was quite a jerk.  There was a mix of lies, cheating, secrets, and a whole lot of deceit.  I honestly couldn't tell you how we made it through all of that but we did.

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It’s Time To Fire My Psychiatrist! Part Three

Well I went to see my psychiatrist again, with a great deal of hesitation.  I didn't want to go see her again and I was a little anxious.  I took an ativan and went ahead and tried to give her another chance.  I was impressed with her approach this time.  It was much better than last time.

I have always loved my psychiatrist because she's always been willing to work with me to find a medication that works well, but she is equally concerned with the side effects of various medications as she is concerned with my mental health.  I sat down and gave her a very serious rundown of all the reasons as to why these medications are not good for me.  I basically broke everything down to her so that she could see that my medication dilemma is not as she sees it - me refusing meds.

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FMLA – So Much For Protection!

Last year my husband went on leave through FMLA for some mental health issues.  When he returned to work, his supervisor put him on a fixed Tuesday-Saturday shift while the rest of his co-workers rotated their shifts between weekends and weekdays monthly.  My husband fussed several times over many months about not being in rotation with his peers, and nothing was done.  Finally after complaining enough, he was switched to having weekends off for one month, before being placed on two more months of weekend work.  This was the first retaliation against him after taking his FMLA leave.

His supervisor has been challenging him from the day he moved to the group.  He has always been unwilling to help my husband with any problems he has had, and has always treated him unfairly - from allowing equal leave opportunities to forcing him on a shift without the option to rotate (as everyone else has).   Now it's gotten dirty.  Now, I'm pissed.

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