Tag Archives: Bipolar Disorder

BRUTALLY HONEST (How I Feel Right Now)

When someone confirms what you’ve been thinking for years it isn’t a relief.

I’ve known for some time that certain people have been avoiding me over the last few years. My sister did me a favor by confirming this. She admitted that she herself avoids me. She said my behavior has gotten out of control. She doesn’t want to hear any “excuses”.

Everyone forgets I went into Kidney Failure two years ago, was resuscitated and spent a week in the hospital. I left there minus a kidney and having one kidney working at 70%. That number has gone down recently. No one wants to listen how this changes the way my medications work or how every chemical and hormone in my body has also changed. This is partly why I’ve been getting worse.

Over the last month I feel like I don’t want to be here. The aching hole in my chest is constant and all I want to do is sleep so I don’t feel it. The ache is a combo of sadness, grief, loneliness, feeling useless or like everything I do is wrong. I also feel like I have the plague. I know I can be annoying. I get excited around bright lights and shiny objects. I talk too much when I’m around people I like because I want them to like me. I beg my own family to talk to me. They don’t.

I don’t want to be here anymore. My nose is constantly swollen from crying so much I can’t breathe. I have headaches from crying. Part of me wants to stop my meds, take off to Vegas and drink until my kidney shuts down. I had to put my fist in my mouth while watching Leaving Las Vegas in the theater. When he couldn’t sign his name because he was shaking so bad reminded me of me.

The bartenders at a bar I went to after work knew not to give me a bottle of beer. They would have a mug waiting for me with a straw in it pushed forward so I could just bend my head down to drink. They knew my hands shook too much to hold anything until I got a few drinks in me. So much of that movie hit too close to home.

I’m lost. I’m told to leave the house and join a group. I wish it was that easy. The thought of leaving the house now cause a lump in my throat and a sick feeling in my stomach. So I talk myself out of it. Even my dog isn’t listening to me. In fairness I did cut his nails against his will. lol

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CAUSE I’M A LIAR

The cable bill has been huge for the last several months. I’m the one who pays it. They want us to update our modem or router for our phone. This would mean someone coming into the house and that’s not possible. It’s too much chaos for my oldest dog and for my Dad. I’ve talked to the cable company 6 different times and received different answers from each person. At the end of each call they all told me to talk to someone in the Loyalty Department. We’ve been with the company for 27 years.

I called the Loyalty Department today after speaking to yet another unhelpful person. I was frustrated and feeling like I was in a panic. I dislike making phone calls to begin with. I tried to explain as best as I could what was going on to the man in the Loyalty Department. I guess I was talking to fast because he said “M’am CALM DOWN. I can’t help you if you keep TALKING.” So I felt worse and began to stutter. He made a noise and began to laugh at me. I told him to forget it, I didn’t need help, and hung up crying.

I told my sister this and her response was “I’m sure he didn’t laugh at you. You probably just thought he did because you got yourself all worked up.”

I told my Dad and he said “He did not laugh at you.” and walked out of the room.

They have both personally witnessed someone laugh at, mimic, or make fun of me when I stutter. My Dad was in the Court Room when a Disability Judge did it and I had to restrain him from physically assaulting the Judge. But he doubts me now? My sister was in the Doctor’s office with me when a nurse did it. But she doubts me now? If these people who definitely know better would do it, why wouldn’t a customer service agent from a cable company?

They’re immune to how I feel or what I experience. I don’t blame them. They’ve had to put up with me for years.

But you know who has put up with the most and never doubts me? My best friend. I don’t talk to her often because she works 6 days a week but when I do it’s like no time has gone by.

I talk less and less each day. I have a feeling that’s okay with my family.5013a77dda1042859353823edf870c8c

 

 

 


DIAGNOSES~ MAKING PUZZLE PIECES FIT

Time has always been fuzzy for me. I’m never really sure when I was first diagnosed as having Bipolar Disorder or the exact date I stopped drinking. I do know my Mom passed away in 2008 and after that I spiraled faster and faster towards self-destruction.

It didn’t take long before I had a DUI, my one best friend feared for my safety, and although I’d done worse this was different.

In less than 6 months my Primary Care Doctor suggested I see a Psychiatrist. She had been prescribing me antidepressants but thought something else was going on.

I was drinking almost the entire time I was taking antidepressants. I gave them a month and when nothing changed I couldn’t handle it. Alcohol was mostly a stimulant for me.

The Psychiatrist looked at my file and asked me a few questions. He diagnosed me as Bipolar I and we started trying different combos.

WHAT SHOULD’VE BEEN DONE

  • I was never given a Mental Status Exam.
  • I was never given a Neurologic Exam.
  • I was never given a CT, MRI, or EEG.
  • A full family history was never taken.

The biggest thing that should’ve been done is a family history.

I would always tell every Doctor I met with that my family has a history of mental illness. None of them wanted details.

Even the psychiatrist I have now has never asked for a detailed family history. He should have. It’s possible he has a few things wrong.

MY FAMILY HISTORY

I love most of my family very much but some of them I could do without. I don’t know my father’s side very well. They’re like him, not sociable or outgoing. They don’t show emotions or give hugs.

My Mom’s side is the opposite. They’re loud, affectionate, emotional, and all have some kind of issue.

There were 8 children total on my Mom’s side, one was given up for adoption before the others were born.

My Grandmother was never diagnosed with anything but I can give examples of behavior that point to something. She did drink occasionally. When she did she was like a sailor, playing cards and knife games. She could be cruel, deliberately pitting one child against another for her affection. She left them for awhile when they were all very young. My Mom quit school very early to help take care of her brothers and sisters.

Like many mothers, her sons were her favorites unless they were damaged. My Uncle Jimmy was in a car accident which left him in a coma for a short time. When he woke up he was different. It didn’t help that some friends slipped LSD into his drink in too large of a quantity. He became a different person and was left for the State to deal with. Drug induced Schizophrenia that became worse over the years with hallucinations. He was homeless and used Heroin to self medicate. He passed away from complications of pneumonia AIDS related.

My Aunt D was diagnosed as Paranoid Schizophrenic at a young age also. She had just had a baby. She left the baby with my Mom and was Institutionalized. She has been in and out of places for as long as I can remember. She was recently in the Hospital for Lithium toxicity. Her daughter disappeared a few years ago. She started hearing things and believing people were following her. She was living in a tent in the woods somewhere in Florida. No one has heard from her in 3 years.

My Uncle B is an alcoholic and as far as I know that’s it. His daughter has recently had problems with her mental health. I haven’t been told what the diagnosis is. I was told some of the situations she had been in and they sounded familiar. His son is an alcoholic.

My Auntie J is an alcoholic in remission for a few years now. I’m sure there are other things going on but I don’t ask. Her daughters have both had issues with alcohol.

My Mom had a virus while pregnant with my sister and I, women infected with the influenza virus during their pregnancy are more likely to give birth to children who will develop Schizophrenia.

My older brother is an alcoholic and addicted to gambling. I’m told he was polite and quiet as a child. I remember him always getting into fights at school and eventually he was expelled. He’s done many things that rational people don’t do. He was stationed in Germany while in the Army and decided one day he hated it and hopped on a plane and came home. He caused a 2 hour car chase in the middle of the night going the wrong way on a highway. He was married with children at this point. He’s impulsive, too smart, can’t hold a job and it’s never his fault. Both of his daughters are drug addicts. One has been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and PTSD. The other I don’t know about because no one talks to me about her. 

The brains of Schizophrenics also contain larger fluid filled areas than other people. I happen to have this in one area of my brain.

There’s also the problem of reduced brain volume (Gray Matter) which on my last scan 10 years ago it said “significant loss of gray matter for patient’s age”. There was also loss of white matter which is connected also.

SCHIZOAFFECTIVE DISORDER

Schizoaffective Disorder is a hybrid of Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder. There is a chemical imbalance in the brain. There are usually different types of the disorder.

Similar to Bipolar Disorder, Schizoaffective Disorder can have a Manic Type and a Depressive Type.

Manic Type: Elevation of mood, not sleeping much, concentration is affected, talking too fast, unrealistic ideas. In later stages speech can be incomprehensible. You become irritable and neglect your health.

Depressive Type: Sad all the time, lose interest in what you once loved, loss of motivation/energy, taking care of your personal appearance or hygiene. Irrational anger or fearful response to loved ones. Increasing withdrawal from society.

There is a third type mentioned where you have both. It’s considered Bipolar Schizoaffective Disorder. This doesn’t make sense to me but what do I know?

For some reason more women than men are affected and with women it’s usually the Depressive Type.

Early onset or having a family member with Schizophrenia usually leads to a poor prognosis.

Now I wonder if Doctors have it wrong once again. Looking at my history and seeing that Schizophrenia shows up often and I had a virus in my brain while my mother was still pregnant with me, it would make more sense. I don’t think I’ve heard voices. I have had a hallucination or two brought on by medications, alcohol and I think nearly dying when my kidneys failed. Do those count?

What I know is that I’m not getting better. I’m going backwards. I was better a few years ago.

Now, I don’t leave the house, no one talks to me, I’m isolated, I do get crazy ideas but it’s ok because I’m too afraid to act on them. I want to get dressed up and go to a concert but I can’t. I want to fly to Vegas, L.A., N.Y., but I can’t. It would mean leaving the house. Expending energy to pack and do my hair and make up. Judas Priest is coming to the Casino and I usually go. I’ve never been as a thin person. I could wear whatever I want. Even that isn’t enough to get me going. The lead singer for Buckcherry is coming to Providence and I love him. He’s a mash up of Denis Leary and Steven Tyler. It’s a small place and the tickets would be free. Guess what? I don’t feel like it.

RIDICULOUS!schizophrenia-5-638


TOO MUCH THERAPY CAN RUIN RELATIONSHIPS

Therapy is beneficial to many people in many ways. When it isn’t beneficial is when it’s used to justify hurtful things you say to people.

My twin sister has a habit of doing this often.

She has told me recently that my Dad never really wanted to spend the time with me that he did, he felt he had to because he was afraid I would hurt myself or drink. She also said he never liked the movies or TV shows that I forced him to watch.

I felt sick, sad, guilty, angry, lost, and alone. Most of this is probably true. Which leaves me feeling how I used to years ago. Worthless and unwanted.

Physically something is going on that I don’t really want to deal with. I’m tired of all of it.

I don’t want to be growled at anymore for speaking. I don’t want to repeat myself 5 times when I have trouble talking. I don’t want to beg people to talk to me or like me, it hurts too much.

I need my stents changed but I’m afraid I won’t come out of the anesthesia. I’m worse than I’ve ever been and the doctors have already been concerned about this happening.

The reason anesthesia is a safe place for me is because it’s the same each time. It’s a sunny, happy place with loved ones I can’t be with.

I tired of feeling this way but it’s difficult when the physical is connected to the mental and vice versa. I keep going but it isn’t living.

I have to say I enjoy when my brother in law comes home from therapy and says “My therapist told me…..” and will be the opposite of what my sister believes or wants him to do. She get’s so pissed she actually calls me directly to complain.

Family, what can you do?


WAS I EVER NORMAL?

You get used to pretending or adapting your personality so no one notices just how different you are. I don’t think I was a genius at it unless I was drinking. Even when I was drinking I had a habit of spewing out everything I had let fester over time. I didn’t start doing this until later in my drinking.

I doubt myself every single day. Conversations I’ve had with my twin sister in the last two days have not helped. You would think I would know better by now. In my brain she’s the normal one and must know what she’s talking about. Which means I’m someone who has scarred her emotionally through out our life with my selfish actions.

This is what she said to me yesterday. Then it all clicked. We’ve never talked about my suicide attempts at all. I tried but she never wanted to. She never came to see me in the Hospital the times I had to be admitted.

I remember the day her husband started an argument with me. When he asked if I have ever taken responsibility for the things I’ve done. I think he meant how my actions effected my sister but wouldn’t come out and say it.

Of course my sister shot her bullet and ran. She never gives me a chance to respond.

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THE TRUTH ABOUT MENTAL ILLNESS: THERE ISN’T ONE

I left for Salem early Tuesday morning. I didn’t tell my Dad where I was going but I did leave him a note. When I finally found a half way decent Hotel it was late afternoon before I could call him. He wasn’t happy and I had to hear about his stomach being in knots and how he won’t be able to sleep. I immediately felt guilty and sad. I thought about leaving.

My sister called and told me not to leave. She thought it was a good thing that I did this on my own and to ignore our Dad. She told me not to talk to him except to say I was safe because he’s projecting his anxiety on to me.

The Hotel was horrendous and that’s being kind. Salem is getting worse every time I visit it. So the next day I decided to go to a place I knew I could relax and enjoy The Stonehedge Inn & Spa in Tyngsboro. As soon as I opened the door to my room I felt happy. When I saw the bathroom I wanted to cry tears of joys. I stayed there for 3 days 2 nights.

In this time I didn’t jump or become startled, I didn’t cry, I didn’t stutter, I only felt relaxed.

I even ate alone at the fancy restaurant they have. I will say that I have no concept of how other people perceive me as a woman. This can make situations uncomfortable for me at times. I’m used to a tall 270 pound body with bleach blond curly hair, a round face and squinty eyes when I look in the mirror.

What’s actually in the mirror now is a petite 133 pound body with straight shiny burgundy hair half way down her back, cheek bones and blue eyes you can see.

I’ve always worn make up and tried to dress well, I still do. I just forget that people will actually see me now and I’m not invisible. So a man sent a drink over to me. Even when I drank I hated when anyone did this. This time I’m sober, in a Hotel restaurant and alone. I was a little afraid. Not to mention he sent over a $20 drink with Absinthe in it where they only allow you to have 1 because of the ingredients. Part of me wanted to tell him off. I wanted to ask him what he saw when he looked at me. Did he see an easy mark? Because I used to drink a bottle of Firewater a day when it was 90 proof but then I realized I’m not that person anymore. I have nothing to prove.

The server I had was a young guy who was extremely nice to me. I told him I didn’t drink but I didn’t want to offend the person who sent the drink. He just slid the drink behind a large glass bottled water they leave at the table and told me the guy wouldn’t even notice and in a few minutes he would take it away.

The problem was I got two more drinks from two more men. I was starting to feel panic set in. I’ve never been in a situation like this or if I have I don’t remember. I have no sense of self. They all sat there untouched, they were pretty to look at but I was more interested in the gourmet Gluten Free menu selection.

I came home Friday afternoon. I was happy to see my dogs and my Dad. It didn’t last long. Saturday the anxiety was horrible, I jumped twice when my Dad came in the room, and the feeling of being hopeless and worthless started to creep back in.

I’m back to where I was. I can research all I want about Mental Health and Illness, I can go to every Doctor and Therapist in the U.S. and none of them will agree 100% on my diagnosis or course of treatment. Several will even say I can’t be treated.

That’s the truth of Mental Health. The story I just told you isn’t one of a lunatic or a monster although I have the diagnoses of people who have been called those same names.

The story is of a woman who doesn’t know where she belongs and never has, a woman who has had more violence done to her than any one person should ever have to go through. It’s also a woman who is in great pain and only wants what most people want, to be loved and accepted for who they are.


BUCKET LIST (DIDN’T THINK I WOULD NEED ONE)

For someone who wanted to die for so many years to now feel like there isn’t enough time is strange. I haven’t done a lot of the things I’ve wanted to do. I don’t have insurance so there is no money to bury me. I don’t want my Dad to have to worry about it.

My kidney function has decreased and is one of the reasons I’m having so many problems with my medications. Scans of my brain from years ago were looked at by the team of Doctors I have now. They weren’t able to get them previously. The results were less than good. This was from 8 years ago so I have to have another scan as soon as possible. The previous one worries them because of the swelling in one area, the pressure behind my eyes, the lightning bolt in one area, the extreme loss of grey matter and some white matter. Plus the fact that I did have an infection in my brain at one time.

They were appalled that no one had done more scans. At least I felt better that I wasn’t the only one who thought it was odd.

The mental health part is worse than anything. I go from feeling okay to that 12 foot hole of darkness with a hollow ache in my chest. The feeling of complete hopelessness and that I am insignificant in this World is so overwhelming the only way to get through it is to get in the fetal position in the dark while screaming and sobbing into a towel.

BUCKET LIST

  • Work with Exotic Wildlife at a rescue or rehabilitation center.
  • Spend a day with Wolves.
  • Meet Dave Navarro so I can ask him questions about addiction, mental health, relationships, art, movies, TV, watches, eyebrows, etc.
  • Spend a full day with just my dad and my sister talking about our best memories.

That’s pretty much it. I have an estimated 8 to 10 years if I’m lucky. Somehow I don’t think any of my bucket list will happen. Right now I’m tired and my relationship with my Dad and sister isn’t great. I haven’t kept them informed about the Doctor’s insights. It wouldn’t do any good. I can try to achieve some small things when I can.

Today it’s dark and rainy so I’m not feeling great and just want to sleep. I will try not to because I don’t want to waste any time.


I WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE GOVERNMENT FOR ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

Today I have received four phone calls informing me that my Social Security Number is once again suspended. If you read my previous post you know this has happened before and I reported it to three different agencies. The man threatened to send prostitutes to my house using my name online, open false bank accounts and buy weapons, and open credit cards. I admit I didn’t take it well when he got to the weapons part. I informed him he wouldn’t get far buying weapons with my Social Security number because I’m Mentally Ill and have bad credit. What I do have is a certificate in crazy and a brother who works in the Government and would be happy to track his ass down in India so I can visit. I also have a close friend who lived with a specific religious sect that would gladly help also. I admit I felt threatened and backed into a corner.

When I feel like this I either lash out or crawl so far into myself it takes days or weeks to come out. This time I lashed out.

Needless to say the Government did nothing. I’m not really surprised. I gave them the phone number, the names used, everything that was said and they didn’t ask for any of it!

So now I start getting the phone calls again only this time I just don’t care. I feel kind of done. I’m tired of being yelled at or ignored. I’m tired of apologizing for my existence, what I’ve said, didn’t say, what I’ve done or didn’t do. It’s constant, this need to say “I’m sorry” all the time.

It makes me feel weak and pathetic. Feelings I dislike immensely.

Everything has an effect on me, from movies, TV, music, social media, small conversations and other people’s moods. I literally jump when my Dad enters the room and says my name now. I can feel his anxiety and irritability like a fog around me. I start to feel the same and it never ends well.

I’m practically begging people to talk to me or like me. When I was drinking I could’ve cared less who liked me for many years. Now I feel loneliness like a thousand paper cuts healed and done again the next day.


MISINTERPRETATIONS, DISTORTION, DEPENDENT PERSONALITY AND EXPRESSED EMOTION

I do have a habit of overthinking many comments and conversations. This always leads to trouble. I also will ask a question I already know the answer to just to try to fit in and engage in conversation. Recently this backfired on me and I lost my temper.

I should’ve known I would get negative responses I was on Twitter. They were having a hashtag ask a question day and I asked about cutting my dog’s nails because he panics so much I was afraid he would hurt himself.

This set off a firestorm of people telling me that I was “torturing my poor animal” and other similar not as nice things. At first I was going to let it go but then on organization kept sending me Tweets saying “STOP HURTING YOUR ANIMALS!” and I lost it.

I know how to cut his nails and that he has to be sedated. I also know the correct medications and dosages for every size dog. I know how to do CPR on animals and have done so on several dogs. I have used a tiny hypodermic needle to inoculate up to 200 birds from disease. The injection has to go into a specific area or they bleed too much and won’t be inoculated. I helped hand raise Endangered Bird Species feeding them with an eye dropper every half hour so they could later go to a special program at the Bronx Zoo. But I played dumb because I have no one to talk to, it was a bad day and I wasn’t thinking clearly.

On Instagram I commented on something where I thought the person was making fun of someone for stuttering. They were not and I completely misread the entire situation and became defensive. Now I feel embarrassment and shame. Two feelings I hate to feel the most.

I need more help than the Professionals in R.I., MA, and CT have been able to give me. When they have all decided there is nothing left to be done I’m not sure how long I can live with that. How long could you live with knowing the people you love can’t be around you? How long could you go on with nothing but your own voice to listen to, no human contact for many years, nothing to look forward to, no purpose?

I had to leave the house the other day for food. Unfortunately someone from High School recognized me. First Question: “How are you, are you married?” Second Question: “Do you have any kids?” Third Question: “What are you doing for work, where do you live?” yes they were jumbled in like that. How can you tell someone that you’ve never even been on an actual date or been alone with a man in 9 years? How do you tell them that for some unknown reason you stopped getting your period at 36 and will never have children? How do you tell them that you don’t work because you have several mental illnesses but please don’t be afraid? And the last on, I never left home and I still live with my Dad.

I went home and went to bed. Sometimes it’s too much.

DISTORTION: Altering perception of upsetting reality to be more acceptable.

DEPENDENT PERSONALITY DISORDER: Helplessness, excessive need to be taken care of, submissive and clingy behavior, difficulty in making decisions.

EXPRESSED EMOTION: Hostility, criticism demonstrated by some families toward a family member with a Psychological Disorder.30194987565ee667cf813de17cc6c667      Most of the time I find things like this that explain what I feel or want to say better than I can.


TALKING TO MYSELF

I hate repeating myself. I have a hard enough time getting a complete sentence out as it is. When I have to repeat myself three or four times it isn’t only difficult in a cognitive way but thoughts of unworthiness start creeping into my head. Of course this will snow ball to the point where I’m convinced the people left in my life are tired of dealing with me so they pretend I’m not here. I’m invisible so I talk to myself. Sometimes I forget I’m in public when I do it. It isn’t often I’m in public, only 2 to 3 times a month but it’s still embarrassing.

I felt okay yesterday and this morning but now I’m overwhelmed by sadness. I miss my Mom. I miss her hugs, I rarely get hugs since she passed away. I miss watching her graceful hands as she did jewelry, knit, cooked, or held my hand. I miss how she would tell my Dad off and he would listen. He’s angry all the time now so I walk on eggshells all the time. It’s more like landmines. He’s always been intimidating.

Knowing how people see and think of you is the hardest part. One of the biggest problems is the misconception that the labels that have been put on me equate me with a lower IQ. It’s the exact opposite. I’m too observant, intuitive, I love to research and learn about specific subjects, I pick up on social queues, I just keep it to myself.

I know my sister doesn’t want to be around me. My Dad feels guilty and like he’s stuck with me. I used to get 10-20 phone calls a day from different people to see what I was doing. In the last 9 years I’ve had about 10 total calls from my 1 best friend to check if I’m still alive.

I might be alive but this isn’t living.

I can’t motivate myself to get out the door. The last time I did it was because I was going to a concert out of state and had backstage passes. Stuff like that doesn’t happen anymore. I thought of going to Salem, MA because I used to love it there but I would rather go to New Orleans. I’m not sure how safe a trip there would be for me.

So today I’m kind of stuck in the middle of nowhere.


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