WORLD BIPOLAR DAY: FROM MY EYES

Some people will tell you that being diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder isn’t that bad. But like snowflakes no two Bipolar people are alike. There are different types of Bipolar Disorder and factors such as how long you went without treatment, self-medicated with alcohol or drugs and what antidepressants did a Doctor put you on incorrectly. These can all make Bipolar Disorder harder to treat.

I read about people who are successful in their treatment all the time. I envy them. Why? I’m not one of them and I probably never will be. My symptoms started around the ages of 12 or 13, at 16 I started drinking, at around 18 Doctors put me on different antidepressants that did more harm than good. I didn’t stop drinking for 20 years, I wasn’t diagnosed as Bipolar until about 8 years ago (my memory has been affected greatly so I’m not exact on years and dates), I have Celiac Disease which sometimes interferes with the absorption of medications and about 2 years ago I went into Kidney Failure losing my right kidney. Having one kidney working at 70% also interferes with how my medication works. The final straw is that I also have Conversion Disorder. All of these things make treating Bipolar Disorder nearly impossible.

Instead of support I’m told that I don’t try hard enough. I’m told that I am too dramatic and emotional. I no longer have friends, they left when I stopped drinking. I live with and take care of my Dad. I have a twin sister who has no sympathy/empathy and thinks I “just need more therapy and to calm down”. She also says I have to “want to get better”. She hardly answers her phone and when we talk she sets rules. When I was allowed over to her house the other day there were also rules. I wasn’t allowed to get “emotional” or I would have to leave. I broke the rule when my little nephew ran as fast as he could to hug me. He wouldn’t let go. I hadn’t seen him since before Christmas. I’m sorry my eyes teared up. I also say “I’m sorry” a hundred times a day, sometimes I don’t even know why. I think I’m apologizing for my existence.

When I saw my sister in person the other day I gave her a new flat iron, 2 boxes of high end make up from Birchbox and 3 pairs of earrings that I had made (I only use Swarovski Crystals). In return I got ridiculed and dismissed. There’s nothing like family.

I don’t fit the cookie cutter criteria for Bipolar Disorder. When I was younger I would say I was Bipolar I but now I spend the majority of my days feeling hopeless, guilty, irritable, sad, racing thoughts, replaying old wounds, and like I don’t deserve to be here.

At one time I dressed up every night and went out. I went to concerts, I met rock stars (they were at the time), I drank and did crazy sometimes fun things. Then it wasn’t fun anymore. There was a time while sober and after a round of ECT where I dressed up and hopped in my car and just went somewhere I always wanted to go. That didn’t last long. I can’t remember the last full day of happiness I’ve had. It may have been in Naples, Florida. Something has to change. I have to change. I’m not sure if I know how or if it’s possible.

I have surgery for my kidney on April 6th. The Doctors are once again worried about the anesthesia. It seems I don’t like to come out of it. I signed a Do Not Resuscitate but didn’t tell anyone. I’m wondering if I should. I love my Dad and I don’t want to hurt him. This is Bipolar for me.

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OLD SONGS, NEW TRIGGERS

My best friend called me the other day. We talked for about an hour and a half. She had heard a song on the radio that I supposedly liked to sing while drinking. At the time of the conversation I couldn’t remember the song or singing it. This isn’t unusual for me because I have blocked out quite a few chunks of time. I know when a song I liked was played and I was drinking I thought I sounded like the singer and would sing very loud, at one time singing over a lead singer’s voice in a cover band. For the record the people in the bar thought my rendition of “Home Sweet Home” was better. This was probably not always the case.

I went on YouTube to look up the band and the song my friend mentioned. It was Steel Heart “I’ll Never Let You Go”. The guy had a set of pipes! I cringed and could only hope I hadn’t tried to hit those notes publicly. I know that I did. YouTube gives other suggestions when you look for a song. Down the rabbit hole I went.

I smelled beer and leather, I started to feel like I was going to throw up, my hands were shaking and I was in a cold sweat. I couldn’t stop it. That night there were dreams that were actually memories of times I didn’t want to remember. In the dream I felt drunk and I didn’t want to feel drunk, I wanted to go home but they wouldn’t let me. There was the usual blood, sweat, tears, and the uncertainty of sex. I’ve been in a deeper depression (if possible) and stuttering more since.

Some Doctors will say that Conversion Disorder patients will recover then have an episode now and then under stress. But for some of us there is no recovery, it’s always there waiting. There are other issues that factor in. If you have another mental illness (Bipolar Disorder) than it’s more difficult to treat. If you did not get help within a certain time frame it’s more difficult to treat and if it presents in a neurological way like tremors or stuttering it’s close to impossible to treat. That doesn’t mean you can’t try but don’t be too disappointed if Therapy and Medication do not work. I’m talking about myself but I am not the only one.

These same factors apply for Bipolar Disorder. There are so many variables that can determine your response or lack of response to treatment. Most people do not understand this and think that you don’t want to get better.

I didn’t wake up one morning and decide that I want to be a non-functioning burden who cries most days and will not have a “normal” life. When I was younger I imagined I would be married by now with my own home and children. Instead I live with my Dad, take 6 medications a day, try to deal with having these issues and a number of very serious health issues. I also take care of my Dad because he’s on dialysis three times a week and 73 years old. I do it because he never gave up on me, even if I’m ready to pass out myself, he comes first. My twin never comes to our house and my older brother drops in once in awhile. My Dad doesn’t visit his grandchildren because in his mind he feels that if my Mom can’t see them then he shouldn’t be able to either. Survivor’s guilt. It was 9 years in February and neither one of us is over it because we witnessed the entire ugly scene. My twin decided to stay home and my brother was in jail.

Today my twin told me that my Dad and I have no empathy for other people. She also said that friends come before family. I kept my mouth shut as usual because I’m tired of fighting with her. I’m pretty much done with the entire family. Even my Dad has been cruel lately. He thinks it’s a competition, who is sicker, I’m not playing the game anymore. He doesn’t realize that he’s 73 and this sick, I’m 44 and as sick as him. There’s a difference. I’m easily influenced by the moods around me. I need to be around positive happy people. Or at least in the sunshine in a warm climate with a pool and a float.

 

 

CHANGES TO THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM~THE MENTALLY ILL AND ADDICTED

The GOP plan provides Americans with refundable tax credits to purchase Health Insurance. The Bill will restructure Medicaid, allowing States to require able-bodied adults to work if they want to be eligible for the program. After 2020 States are no longer able to expand Medicaid.

By 2026 the Congressional Budget Office estimates 24 million Americans would no longer be covered under this bill if it becomes law.

The Bill also would lift the taxes on drug makers and health insurers.

1.3 Million Mentally Ill and people with Addiction issues covered by Medicaid will lose care by 2020.

MY EXPERIENCE

The Health Care System has been broken for the Mentally Ill and people with Addictions for a long time. I’ve seen it fail time and time again. I’ve watched it fail relatives and myself.

My Uncle Jimmy was a Paranoid Schizophrenic who chose to be homeless and use Heroin instead of the medications they constantly used on him to experiment their effectiveness. He was in and out of institutions from a young age. Social workers took advantage of what little he had. When he was old enough he left to live on the streets.

His sister is also Paranoid Schizophrenic. She stayed in the system. She has always lived in housing with other people who have mental health issues. Her Social Worker pops in whenever he feels like it. They have control of her bank accounts. I’ve never seen her happy.

My Uncle Jimmy was happy until the day he died. I won’t say he lived an easy life because he didn’t. I’m glad he was out of touch with reality enough not to feel the pain around him. He was close to one of his sister’s, my mom. The only time I saw him cry was at her funeral. She used to drive around to find him so she could give him food and clothes. I always thought he would go before her. He had been living with HIV for years. He passed away last summer almost 9 years after my mom.

I refuse to get a Social Worker even though my sister insists that I should. She doesn’t want to be my Medical Proxy. It’s okay that I’m my dad’s and I took care of our mom though. She doesn’t work or have anything else that’s important to do. She just doesn’t want to know. The fact that we are twins hurts more.

I’ve tried working with my State’s different programs. I’ve never felt so humiliated or dehumanized in my life. I refuse to do it again. No one can deny me medical attention if needed for my Kidney Disease or something else serious. As far as paying them? You can’t get blood from a stone. If they want my 1999 Toyota RAV4 with 82,500 miles on it, they can have it. I don’t leave the house much anyway.

My family bothers me more than the Health Care system. They refuse to take anything seriously. They don’t realize that I am close to dying in more ways than one. I have tried to tell them and my father says he can’t hear me. My sister says I’m being dramatic. I have infections in my intestines, bladder, and kidney. My blood pressure is dangerously low, my temperature is down to 93.4, I’m having trouble breathing and I’ve stopped urinating. You might wonder why I haven’t gone to the Hospital. I’m Bipolar and have no one anymore. I also have a DNR. I love my dogs and my Dad but whatever happens will happen. I have an appointment on the 29th if everything goes well and I feel better physically and mentally I’m taking a vacation somewhere warm with a pool to float in.

MEDIA EXPLOITATION~ THE AGHORI

CNN has a new show that I recently watched a preview for. I wasn’t exactly sure how to feel about it until I watched a few different promotions for it. Then I knew exactly how I felt, disgusted. The use of shock and awe, the villianization of The Aghori’s beliefs and rituals, is an obvious attempt to draw viewers in based on sensationalism.

THE AGHORI

The Aghoris are devotees of Shiva manifested as “Bhairava” (a Hindu deity that translates to “frightful” and is associated with “annihilation”). It is believed that they have been around for over a 1,000 years.

They devote their entire lives to achieving “moksha” or liberation from reincarnation. They follow what some see as a radical path that many would find difficult and probably repugnant if they had to do it for what they believed in.

The Aghori  believe that every person’s soul is covered by 8 Great Nooses or bonds, Sensual pleasure, Anger, Greed, Obsession, Fear and Hatred are the strongest of the eight. The Aghoris work to remove these bonds by Rituals. Rituals done in cremation grounds destroy fear, being naked destroys shame, they cover themselves in human ashes for protection from disease and are known to eat human feces and drink urine. (Other cultures also drink urine believing it has healing properties)

The Aghoris see no difference between good and evil or a difference between human and animal flesh. They never kill humans. They live near cremation grounds and take flesh from the dead.

Another large part of their culture is the use of the human skull. The skull is used as a bowl for all the Aghori and they share the bowl with animals. Some Aghoris believe that a person’s life force clings to the top of the skull and with certain offerings/gifts, usually alcohol, they can control the spirit.

During the preview for CNN’s show where the Host visits with a man who is supposedly well known within the Aghori sect. The show allows the Host to go through “rituals” before the Aghori will talk to him. They included bathing in a polluted river, raw sewage and covering himself with cremated remains.

At one point the Host tells the “Crew” that he isn’t comfortable and feels the situation has taken a turn, he doesn’t feel safe. The “Crew” tells him to keep going and not to worry about it. None of them realize how insulting they are to this man, his beliefs, and how he lives.

It isn’t until the Aghori turns his anger on the “Crew” throwing feces at them and threatening them that they decide to pull the plug and leave.

It is almost impossible to change a culture’s beliefs that have been around for thousands of years. Even if we find them abhorrent or ridiculous. If we have learned anything from History as far back as the Crusades it’s that there is one thing people are willing to die for. Religion. aghori-human-skull

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MY FATHER’S SHOES

Today my Dad said “Think about what it would be like if you were in my shoes”. This angered me. I’m finding myself angry too much lately because I’m not absorbing my medications.

I bit my tongue for as long as I could then said “I would’ve loved to be in your shoes. You had a woman who love and adored you for years. You got to make the choice to have a family, own your own home, travel, laugh with your wife. Yes, there were bad times but the good times I watched from a distance were real and beautiful. She worshipped you and talked about you all the time. Why? Because you were the only man in her entire life that was good to her. You think I never wanted any of that for myself?”.

I think I shocked my Dad for the first time in a long time. For once he heard me. He feels better about his life and I feel worse about mine than I already did. 13901354_10210665207453215_2448191949000437152_n

WHY WE THINK WE CAN RELATE TO MUSICIANS/ARTISTS/CELEBRITIES

There’s a good reason I find myself “Following” a musician on Social Media. Through their lyrics, life stories or the topics they talk about I find that I relate to them more than other people.

Could this be because close to 70% of people in the Music Industry have a Mental Health issue and/or substance abuse problem? Personally, I think so. I can recognize myself in some of the people I’ve listened to or respected for years. I can see something in their eyes at times that I’ve seen in my own. Does this sound crazy? Probably. But I’ve voiced my suspicions about certain people that had not gone public with any problems only to find out later that I was actually correct. Two of these people I knew personally so I had a little more information than the public did years before things got to a point where the problems couldn’t be ignored anymore. No one listened to me then either.

I love it when someone only sees the words Bipolar, Alcoholic next to my name and immediately dismisses anything I say. Because anything I say must be crazy right? I love reading other people’s comments where they use the word “bipolar” as if it’s something funny. They also tend to spell it “bi-polar”. I love it when they use “bipolar” to describe the weather.

If I comment on any of this I get muted or blocked. That’s the way the game is played. In return I want to prove a point and tell them I know people in “their world” that can vouch for me. But I can’t. The funny thing is every band or musician I’ve ever met has actually liked me and has never had a problem talking to me, some for hours. Some I know through family and have been around them for years I even had to attend a wedding with one.

So I do get pissed off and defensive while on Social Media. That’s my problem not theirs. I’m also used to being ignored  and treated like I’m “less than”. This happens at the Doctors quite often and by my family. My Doctor ignored what I was telling her for so long that I almost died. She never took responsibility for ignoring my symptoms and the blood and protein that had been in my urine for over 10 years. If she had listened I might have two kidneys instead of one and not be in Stage 3/4 Chronic Kidney Disease.

I’m really tired of being mute and silenced. I’m tired of saying “I’m sorry” to everyone I know and walking on eggshells all the time. Most of all I’m just tired.

Now because I wasn’t listened to again my Urologist is worried that the stents used to keep my kidney working are badly infected and because my blood pressure is extremely low I could have the beginning of sepsis. So keep ignoring me.

WHAT IS H.J. RES. 69?

I’m taking a little break from writing about Mental Health/Addiction/Physical Health. I think it might help me feel better to think about something else or subjects not directly related to me. So this is what I’m starting with.

H.J. RES. 69

H.J. Res. 69 would revoke regulations that help to protect wolves, bears, and other carnivores on National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska. If it succeeds Alaska can authorize the killing specifically of Wolf mother’s in their dens with their pups, Bear mother’s in their dens with their cubs, illegal and cruel trapping methods, baiting, and shooting at these animals from airplanes without even knowing if they’ve been given a quick death or left fatally wounded to suffer and die.

The reasoning behind this is to drive down the numbers of Native carnivores in order to inflate game populations. Why the need to inflate game population? Hunting and Tourism.

On February 17, 2017 the House of Representatives  passed H.J. Res. 69. Next it will got to the Senate.

A MEMORY

After I had ECT a few years ago I was leaving the house often. I would find animal refuges or reputable zoos that were working to increase the populations of Endangered Species. One zoo I went to had a pack of wolves in a large beautiful, as close to their natural habitat as you can get, enclosure. Kind of an oxymoron it’s still an enclosure. They had a rocky mountain with a waterfall and plenty of places to hide.

There was a large family with a crying baby standing there when I arrived. I knew right away that I wouldn’t be seeing the wolves while the family was there. I waited 45 minutes for them to leave.

When I was the only one there I stood quietly with my head down showing submission. One by one the wolves started to come down from their hiding places and up to where I was standing. They sniffed around and I made a few of their noises still keeping my head down. They started to sit and that was when I knew I could lift my head. I didn’t even realize I had tears on my face. The acceptance without having to pretend I’m something I’m not and never will be. The feeling of being free that I only got with alcohol I now found with these animals. I stayed for 2 hours without anyone else bothering us. I didn’t even take pictures because I didn’t want to scare them away like I do everyone else.db33b150701b2153ec96a3bfac90fd7f