Category Archives: Bipolar Disorder and Addiction

How Do You Find A Psychiatrist?

I have resisted Therapy and changing my Psychiatrist for a long time now. The Therapy thing I have always resisted since my first experiences with it in my early 20’s.

In the last year or so my Psychiatrist is less than stellar. I don’t think it’s too much to ask that he at least have my information up on the screen of his computer before he starts. That way he won’t ask how I’m doing on a Medication that we stopped 6 months ago and he asked about at the last appointment. And maybe he wouldn’t ask what my Primary Care Doctor is doing about my Celiac Disease when I was actually in KIDNEY FAILURE. He was told this on the previous visit also.

He had his jacket on asking if I was “the last one” before I was even there 15 minutes. He also changed my diagnosis in my file again to Bipolar II. He left out the Conversion Disorder, PTSD, and Anxiety Disorders. I wouldn’t care if I wasn’t on Disability and was able to work. Right now I am at the lowest I’ve ever been.

My speech is horrible the last few weeks. The stuttering and crying off and on is draining. My hands shake as I type. My sister threatens me with ultimatums and my father cries. I don’t know what to do.

I look at a Doctor and his/her credentials and see that they have written research papers on Bipolar Disorder and done studies. Then I see they get a rating of 2 from patients. Mostly for the amount of time spent with them. I want the correct diagnosis, that is what the Psychiatrist does. He/She also helps to figure out your medications. They have Pharmacologists to do that now too. The Therapist is the person you talk to and work out your issues with, I would guess. It’s confusing and I do not have the motivation. Getting dressed is a huge accomplishment for me these days. When the temp outside is 18 degrees I am not going anywhere.

So I sit here crying, stuttering, shaking and complaining to myself because no one wants to hear it anymore. I don’t want to hear it anymore.

I did do some things today. I cleaned the kitchen, cut the Pomeranian’s nails, gave her coat a trim, and washed her up. I’m afraid the Pomeranian won’t be with us much longer. She’s almost as old as JoJo was and she has Epilepsy. She has already changed since his death. Her breath smells fishy indicating liver problems, we’ll know more in a few weeks. As long as she is eating, drinking, and not in pain, she’s ok. When she stops having those short bursts of “puppy” moments I know it’s time.

I really hate Winter.

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What Does Bipolar Depression Feel Like?

Most people do not understand what Bipolar Depression really feels like. It isn’t just the blues for a few hours or days. At least not for me. For me it is being in a deep dark hole I can’t get out of no matter how hard I try. I can watch a million movies, listen to a million songs, play with my puppy, and still feel a crushing weight on my chest. Sometimes it feels like an aching hole that will never be filled.

There will never again be laughter or light. It is gone forever. I feel useless, I feel like I’m moving but not going anywhere. Sometimes I am stuck in my own skin and I want to scream to get out. I want to sleep for days until it goes away. Unfortunately my body won’t allow me that escape. I daydream about not being here. I wonder if what the people around me have said over the years is correct.

I also wonder if it’s worth it to take all this medication. This medication that only stalls the inevitable. Eventually the Depression hits anyway no matter what anyone does. No matter what I do.

There are triggers to these episodes. I won’t lie. I have been depressed for quite some time. It just seems to get worse. This time of year is always bad for me. It will continue to be so until March. That’s if I’m lucky. It’s getting harder and harder to pull myself out. My support system, which is small, is growing impatient. I can’t blame them. Nights and mornings are the worse. Doesn’t really leave me with much time in between. I don’t want to eat, talk, clean, or go outside. I’m down to 120 pounds. Does it bother me? Yes and no.

Understanding me is complicated. Too much of an undertaking for the people around me. It’s easier to blame and spew stupid quotes at me. I really just want them to hug me and tell me I’ll be ok and they love me anyway. They never do. It’s such a simple thing.


Suicidal Ideation (Warning Triggers)

For the first time in years I have had thoughts of suicide. My veins are more visible now and as I stared at them today I thought how easy it would be to cut. I picture the blood everywhere and felt a sense of relief.

I thought of my brother in law telling me to take ownership of my actions. This made me think of all the things I’ve done over the years. Even though I’ve apologized to people I’ve hurt there are some things that I can never forgive myself for.

He doesn’t know me, he only knows what my sister has told him. My sister doesn’t even know everything. Hell I don’t even know everything. My brain won’t let me remember some things. What I do remember is bad enough.

I tore apart my family with my actions. I worried my parents constantly which probably put a strain on their marriage. My father blames himself no matter what I tell him. My mother’s last words to me were “I’m sorry I ruined your life”. Even though she was heavily medicated she still must have felt this way.

My sister blames me for not getting the attention she deserved when we were growing up. She believes she was the “good one” and was ignored because my parents were too busy worrying about me the “screw up”.

Maybe all of this is true. Maybe I have not taken responsibility for my actions. Maybe I am selfish. I’ve been too busy trying to stay sober and alive too see anything else.

But my sister would constantly call me crying about her husband. I would always listen. When they needed money I gave it to them. When she needed someone to watch the kids and I could I did. I ignored all the things her husband would say about my brother, my father, and other things I disagreed with just to keep the peace. One time he pushed my dog across the room for begging while he was eating. She yelped and limped for days. I was furious but said nothing because I knew it would cause a big argument.

I didn’t like it when he called my brother a “loser, drunk, pathetic, worthless asshole”. He had no right. He was drinking himself. He was no better. He didn’t know anything about my brother and what he had been through in his life. It was hard to keep my mouth shut and my sister agreed with him.

Here is someone who has never really worked a 9 to 5 job in his life. He has maybe worked 1 job on the books. He’s like Peter Pan. His parents have helped him through out his entire life. They helped them buy their house. He shows no respect for my father. My parents gave them what money they could. They didn’t have to have a huge wedding with an open bar and a 3 week Honeymoon. They smashed open the beautiful wedding chest my father spent months hand carving and engraving for them because they forgot the combination. My father had put gold hinges on it and gold trim. They destroyed it to get to the money so they could book a couples massage and a private dinner on the beach in the Bahamas. My father was so hurt.

To threaten me with Social Services is the ultimate blow. I never stick up for myself. This time I saw red. It was like I was drunk. I wanted him to hit me. I confess I egged him on and let it get to a point it didn’t need to. I reached my end. I had swallowed down enough and kept my mouth shut for too long.

Now I have ruined my relationship with my sister. I am no longer welcome in her life or her children’s. This kills me. I love them so much. My little munchkins. I have nothing left. At least it feels that way. I’m trying so hard to stay in control. How do you get anyone to listen or understand when they are not willing? I am completely alone. I better get used to it.


No Way! People Have It Worse Than Me??

 

 

Did you know there are children starving in Africa? Did you know women get Breast Cancer? I’M A WOMAN! How come no one told me this? I have breasts. They might be small but I think they can still get Cancer. I think we also want Peace in The Middle East or something. There are also a lot of people with no arms and legs I hear. There must be because someone said “there are people who have it a lot worse than you, people with missing arms and legs, women with Breast Cancer, starving children in Africa, so why do you get away with all your bullshit?”.

I didn’t know I was getting away with anything. If you call Hospitalizations, wanting to die, almost dying, being alone 80% of the time, finding out all this time your meds probably haven’t been working, neither are your kidneys, owing large amounts of money to Doctors you don’t have, crying constantly while being dehydrated with a migraine, and having your dad kick you out of the house everyday, getting away with something than ok I’m guilty assholes.

THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK. It seems society has forgotten how to do this. They have also forgotten how to listen and be discreet. If I happen to be at your house for a Birthday Party and you offer me an Alcoholic Beverage and I decline, leave it at that. DO NOT SAY “OH, THAT’S RIGHT YOU’RE AN ALCOHOLIC OR IS IT BECAUSE OF YOUR MEDS?”. This makes me want to punch you in the face in front of your children. Mostly because they will probably grow up to be just like you. Did I mention she was smiling the entire time she said what she did? Almost like she knew the answers but wanted to see what I would say. Of course my sister said I was being “paranoid” and that it was just a stupid mistake. Uhhh……….NOPE!

She was like that in high school and she’s like that now. Why do I have to be the only one who notices? It’s a burden because no one believes me except my best friend. She believes in my ability to sometimes be more “aware” of things and people. I can read a situation sometimes and just know something funky is going on. My best friend has seen it many times. Reading people’s faces is sometimes something I’m good at. Just not when it comes to men I like. I’m lying, I knew what they were I just didn’t care.

What I hate is that Society would think I am so unaware and stupid I don’t know people have it worse than me. Of course I do. That isn’t the point. The point is how my brain works. People with Cancer sometimes receive treatment and get better, people without arms and legs sometimes receive prosthetics that enable them to run or live normal lives, starving children and war I can’t comment on. I have an Illness that will be with me for the rest of my life. I’ve been told that I will get progressively worse as I get older because I went undiagnosed for so long and some coexisting diagnoses make it harder to treat. Medications have not been working on me so it’s a constant struggle with myself to STAY ALIVE AND SOBER.

My brain tells me when I wake up, you’re nothing, no one wants you, you have nothing and never will, you’ll never have children, no man has ever loved you only used you because YOU ARE WORTHLESS. This is all before my feet hit the floor. Then the flashes will start like a loop. My hair saturated in blood, my mother’s lifeless eyes with foam coming out of her mouth while nurses laugh, blood on my wrists and a voice saying “you can’t even do that right you fat bitch”, drowning in my own blood and not caring, my mom holding my face telling me she loves me, hundreds of pictures taped to the walls that cut me to the bone, standing alone at the car wash crying and scared. It never ends. I try to occupy my mind with other things to push them out.

And then just when I think I’m ok a loud noise, a slamming of the door and I start stuttering and I’m ashamed. I have to get home. Sometimes home is the problem and there is no place to go. This is when I just suffer quietly as I can. So, who has it worse?


Authority, Incarceration, Brutality and Celebrity

I am a Sober Bipolar Woman who happens to love movies. I also happen to have been arrested on several occasions in my drinking days. I was in my 20’s. I am also Caucasian. I live in a town where there are few African American families. There are not many in the surrounding towns either.

I have in my lifetime known quite a few men that have been in prison for long periods of time. They were all white. Their crimes were usually B & E or drug related. Some said it was illegal fishing but I fell for that only so many times.

I can honestly say that I have not met a police officer that I have found helpful or one that diffused a situation I was in. I was taught to respect an Officer of The Law no matter what and do what they tell you. My mother also said never run because it makes you look guilty. It was hard to stick to what I was told growing up.

I was always taken in for Drunken Disorderly. This happened in several towns. I can honestly tell you that each time the officers thought it was a joke, would watch me urinate, and leave me with nothing to cover myself or toilet paper. I was always dressed up to go out so they would leave me in my tank top and jeans and that was it. Then they would laugh. When I was beaten by one man the same officers did nothing except laugh again. They knew his father.

When my older brother was younger he was arrested all the time. He was 16 but looked 30. He stuck out in a crowd. He was 6’3″ and 220 pounds. When the police would break up a party who do you think they saw first? Who do you think ran first? My brother with the high IQ was always the first to run and the first to get caught. He had a court ordered curfew that a few on the local force would make him late for on purpose. Jaywalking was their favorite. He was hated by them. They would say his name like Seinfeld would say Newman. When he first got back from the Army and they found out, he was stopped and handcuffed because he looked like a “robbery suspect” they were in pursuit of. He was in uniform. His wife and newborn baby in the car with him. I admit a lot of it he brought on himself but some was over the line.

The point I’m trying to make is that not all people in a position of power are GOOD PEOPLE. Just because you passed the exam and you now have a badge doesn’t mean you are a good person doing the right thing. It isn’t an automatic and just doesn’t happen with different races, it happens with different economic classes also. Sometimes people abuse their power BECAUSE THEY CAN. So who has done more for me in the long run?

Now Quentin Tarantino has spoken out about Brutality involving some Police Forces. Not all. I heard him say it originally. Only the guilty, not ALL Officers of the Law. But Politicians and the Media would like to make a big deal out of it instead of looking in their own backyards and cleaning up the shit that’s there already. What does boycotting a movie do? Nothing. He’s still going to get paid and the movie is still going to be genius as always because he’s Quentin Tarantino.

Why do I write about this? One time when I quit drinking I did one thing. I watched movies. I watched so many movies they offered me a job. A job that lasted 13 years where I managed 2 stores at the same time for awhile. A job where I could watch all the movies I wanted and escape the pain of my life. Movies helped me with my Alcoholism, the death of my mother, and any other hard time I had. Without that escapism I wouldn’t be here. But I am not stupid. I do not let Hollywood influence my political or legal decisions.

I have not had any run ins with the law in many years. But if I have to drive by a place where I was incarcerated for the night it makes me feel sick and relieved at the same time. Relieved because I no longer live that life. Sick because I once did and it’s very easy to fall backwards.

 


Sobriety and Me

I had recently mentioned that for the first time in years I wanted to drink my pain away. I sat in the parking lot of a bar at 4:00 p.m. and watched people go in and out. I left after 10 minutes. All it took was seeing 1 drunk person leave the bar for me to know I didn’t want to do it. The thought of death scared me a little too. My body would in no way be able to handle alcohol and neither would my mind.

My brother in law is in recovery. He goes to AA. It works for him. This is his first attempt at getting sober. He goes to meetings where everyone knows him and most of the people are his age. He is the comedian, the social butterfly. He enjoys going.

Him and I were alone the other day and I confided that for the first time in years I had an urge to drink and sat in the parking lot of a bar. His response was “You need to stop telling your sister that you’re going to drink and making her a hostage of your disease”. He said it was ok to tell him but not her.

I was livid to put it mildly. I told him that I never talk about my drinking with my sister because the few times I tried at the beginning she shut me down. She didn’t want to hear it. I’m over 6 years sober and I have discussed it with her maybe twice. They were very short discussions. She was/is disgusted by my alcoholism and won’t talk about it. She will talk about her husband and support him in every way. My father refuses to talk about it also. He also doesn’t believe in positive reinforcement. He doesn’t think alcoholics should get a chip for staying sober. He’s an alcoholic. He’s been sober for 35 years. He’s old school. He went cold turkey because it was ruining his family and that was that. He did what he was suppose to do.

So I have usually kept quiet about my alcoholism. I never expect anything from anyone. I do get annoyed when people quote AA stuff to me when they do not know the truth of what they are talking about. AA for me was not a place to socialize. I was with a lot of old timers. They thought all medication was a crutch and you should be going to meetings morning, noon, and night. Which is fine if you are retired but not if you work 60 hours a week. But then I would hear “You found time to drink you can find time for a meeting”. I won’t get into the religious aspect of the organization because it’s too frustrating. I was told when I left that I was a quitter and I would be dead in a week. I did relapse many times but eventually found my way.

AA has saved many people. There are many different groups and you need to find one that fits you. I had more going on than just being an alcoholic. There were many other factors. It wasn’t until they were brought to light that I could truly see why I was drinking and deal with my issues. My way wouldn’t work for everyone either. But as long as it works for me I’m ok with that. Knowing why I drank played a huge part in my stopping. It still does. Sitting in the parking lot weighing the pros and cons I still knew why I was there. It helped me make the decision to start the car and leave.


Idly By (Part 2 of Doctors Everywhere)

I received my bill for my hospital stay yesterday. To say I was pissed off would be putting it mildly. They want me to pay $1,260 for being bullied, talked about, ignored when I needed help to the bathroom, smell other people’s excrement for hours and hours because there was no running water, and I was denied access to two of my Bipolar meds because they didn’t “have them”. My sister and friends were treated rudely when they visited and it was up to me to call and get food for myself. I was seriously ill!!! How was I supposed to remember to call down to the kitchen for food? I was medicated!!

When my mother passed away there my sister and I wanted to sue so bad but my father wouldn’t. They were all gathered around her bed drinking coffee and laughing it was a party while 1 person did CPR. My dad was too grief stricken to do anything. I understood.

This time I’m not letting it slide. I’m a human being, I was scared, it wouldn’t have killed them to be kinder, or more educated about mental health. Not to mention I was asked 2 times what Celiac Disease is by nurses. Disgusted doesn’t begin to cover it. So I called the number on the paper, told the women my grievances and told her I wouldn’t be paying. She said to send her a letter with the list and a “Committee” will decide. I’ll send the letter but their is no decision to make because I have already made it. They’ve done enough. You can’t get blood from a stone anyway. So good luck to you Kent County. I have bigger problems.


I Once Was Blind

I can finally admit the reason people do not want to answer my phone calls or spend time with me. I am a negative person 85% of the time. When I do finally get to talk to someone I immediately start unloading my baggage. This can’t be fun for anyone. I have made excuses and put off trying therapy again for too long. Even if I go and they just listen it might help to stop this cycle. I know that CBT won’t cut it but there has to be something to fit my needs. The only problem is Medicare but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. Moments of clarity come to me when I am manic. Today I went from manic to depressed to manic to depressed in hours. I was at the hairdressers and the receptionist is in college for psychology. She noticed it and asked me about it. I just thought it was another day. I’m going to have to talk to my doctor about it. I am getting worse it seams. When other people are commenting that they are worried and I can’t see why it’s a problem. Usually I know what’s going on. When I’m telling my dad we need toothpicks because my ears are yucky and don’t even know I have said the wrong word until he asks me twice about it there is something wrong. So it’s time to acknowledge I need more help. I hate doing it. But if I don’t I will be even lonelier than I am now.


I’m Trying & You Don’t Know How Hard

My father is having surgery tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. and I am driving him to the hospital. My night time meds will still be in my system, I am at my worst in the morning and get a little better as the day goes on. I will have a slight stutter and tremors when talking to the staff at the hospital. They will look at me in a strange way and wonder what is going on. My cognitive functions will be low, things like word grasping and short term memory, I will try to write stuff down but with the tremors it will be difficult. How do I know this? Because I have been through it before. Because I live with my dad it is assumed I will automatically take care of these things and only call my sister and brother in an extreme emergency.

When I tried to get my sister to help out this time she said she “thought” she could drive and come to our house. While she was there she would “maybe clean if one of the dogs didn’t bite her like last time because it really really hurt”. There is no reason she can’t drive the doctors told her she was NOT having seizures it was stress. Insulting me about the cleanliness of the house is not the way to go and I know the dogs are a pain but we never have company and Chihuahuas are territorial. I got so frustrated I said forget it, it’s ok I can do it. So as usual I am doing it.

My father won’t hear half of what is being said to him but will pretend he does. He won’t ask questions and will become rude. I will have to get in the middle. In return he will say cruel things to me. He does this because he is scared. If there is a blood clot it could go to his heart or brain and kill him. Once again I am left to watch a parent suffer and possibly die. The selfishness of both siblings amazes me. I am mentally and physically I’ll yet left to deal with the caretaking of our father. I know I complain a lot I do so here because there is literally not another place or person to go to. I am almost at the end of what I can handle. The anger inside is consuming me. The fear of losing another parent and not knowing what will happen to me after is giving my ulcer ulcers. I don’t belong anywhere or with anyone. What would happen to my dogs? Who’s going to tell me they love me at least every other night before bed? I’m sorry. So sorry.


What Works For Me And What Doesn’t

When I find myself in a depressive state and unfortunately this has been happening more often, there are a few things that sometimes can help. Sometimes they can also backfire. I have always used movies as an escape mechanism. I have done this since I was about 15. To be taken out of my world and put into someone else’s for awhile helped. Once in awhile a movie would hit to close to home like Leaving Las Vegas. Then I would find myself crying for a few days and not talking to anyone. My love of music did the same. A song can put me in a great mood where I am itching to go somewhere, do something. A song can also bring back back memories of my mom or my drinking days. I have never been a religious person and I have my reasons. I try not to debate with anyone over it, it isn’t worth my getting upset trying to make a point. I love animals and my love for them makes me happy but reading about their abuse, poaching, and our treatment of them gets me into a frenzy. I have tried group therapy and found it difficult. I have problems speaking in front of people I always have. Only now I develop a stutter and people are not patient enough to wait for me to get my words out. One on one therapy is out because no one in my state is taking new patients with Medicare. I make jewelry to occupy my mind and I love it but hate that no one sees it or appreciates it. So I am left with a hundred necklaces sitting not being worn. I am always down and I hate it. I understand why people don’t want to talk to me. I’m a downer. Sucking the joy out of every conversation. I wasn’t always like this and when someone says ” I miss the old Dana” I want to say ” Me too, me too”.


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