Tag Archives: Bipolar Disorder

I REALIZED I HAD ENOUGH IT WAS TIME

I had to leave the house today. It scared me and I didn’t want to. As I was driving on the highway I suddenly felt sad. Sad like I’ve never known. No one took my calls. I then felt like drinking. I have not felt the need to drink in years. After that came the question “What if I just let go of the wheel?” Then a tiny voice said “What the fuck are you doing?”.

I turned the car around and went to an Emergency Psychiatric Facility I had read about last year. I forced myself out of my car and into the building. I stood outside their door watching for about 10 minutes. My legs were shaking and my hands felt numb.

I eventually went in and stood in a corner shaking. A kind woman behind the glass came out and asked me if I needed help. I told her I did. I was stuttering badly and crying. One of the Social Workers told her he would fit me in as soon as possible. I heard him say “She has Conversion Disorder which is making it difficult for her to give information”. He spent 2 hours talking to me, getting all of my background information, my family history, everything about me that might be important.

Usually you have to wait a few months before seeing one of their Psychiatrists for an assessment but they had been monitoring me since I walked in and the Director of Psychiatry took an interest and made room to see me next Friday for 2 hours. They take Medicare. The Director is a woman which the male Social Worker thought I might have an easier time talking to because of some of the things I’ve been through and because I’ve never had a female psychiatrist.

We decided not to let my current psychiatrist know anything until I’ve decided if I’m going to keep going to them. I already liked the fact that the Social Worker was surprised my doctor put me on a new medication that was potentially dangerous and then didn’t want to see me for 6 months. It made me feel better, like I wasn’t the only one who thought he was dropping the ball.

This was a big step for me. Usually I would’ve needed my sister or my dad with me but I’m learning that isn’t always possible or fair.On-My-Own-Quotes-006

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THE NEED TO REMINISCE

 

These were some of the places I drank at, had fun at or got in trouble at. I met interesting people and I met some of the worse people. Some are known and some are no longer here.

I remember filling my purse with Purple Passion and sneaking it in to Rocky Point. We weren’t old enough to drink. We would go to see hair bands that hadn’t exactly “made it” yet. Of course me being me while drunk, I made sure W and I met them all. It helped that W is extremely attractive. The problem was she never knew it and didn’t know how to use it. I could talk a good game if I was drunk so it worked.

The problem with W not knowing how attractive she was is I had to be alert at all times.

One night there were two guys in black leather jackets with long black curly hair. One of them was in his 30’s and had a walking stick. He didn’t need a walking stick. He was using it to lift the skirts of girls/women that walked by. I noticed it but W did not. I never wore mini skirts or any skirts and even if I did I doubt anyone would try to look under it. I was still around 200 pounds at the time.

We walked by and sure enough I see the stick headed W’s direction and she still had no clue. It touched the inside of her thigh when I grabbed it and threw it into the Beer Garden. People were not happy. But I didn’t care. No one hurt W and she felt the same about me.

We met Danger Danger, Kip Winger (I accidentally insulted his height by calling him petite), Pantera (Bad choice to go into the pit. Then I don’t remember the rest of the night where I supposedly brought them to a friends house for refreshments), Dream Theater, another band that begins with a S like Slaughter that wore flannels but I can’t remember the name. We probably went to a lot of shows there I just can’t remember.

Club Babyhead wasn’t for the weak. It was kind of crazy and we weren’t supposed to be in there. You couldn’t avoid getting hit by someone. Most likely it was going to be this football player/wrestler we had gone to school with. He was huge and it was all muscle. He was an attractive guy but not someone you could talk politics with or anything else too difficult. I was kicked out for good when I had words with the bouncer, another large man with a shiny bald head. This is where my bro in law first met Green Day and they stayed at his mom’s house. BFF’s ever since. So you know it wasn’t yesterday.

The Station is hard to talk about. The fire was horrible, the loss of lives haunting. I had my own demons with the place and the people who worked and went there. I did a lot of drinking there. I was never cut off. I would go with J and he would be passed out at the bar one minute and have another beer in front of him the next. I had seen people puke and go back to being served. I didn’t care at the time because I was still being served.

I also started going to The Station before I was 21. It depended on who I was with and who was working the door. Some of them let me in for extra cash and some for free if I was with the right person.

I met Sebastian Bach for the first time there, a guy who had been in KISS once gave me a lovely offer that I declined, I spent time with Zakk Wylde and his family when I found out my Mom had Lung Cancer, had a run in with the lead singer of RATT, spent hours talking to the lead singer of White Lion Mike Tramp, there were probably more but I don’t remember. There were more bad memories than good that went with the place. I was banned once but I don’t remember why. I do remember my phone ringing nonstop the night of the fire. People thought I still went there and were afraid I was there that night.

At Lupo’s I remember seeing FIGHT and I think VOIVOD was opening. I got into a fight with W’s boyfriend and my cousin went home with a member of VOIVOD that even I wouldn’t have touched with a 10 foot pole. He kept asking if I was joining them the entire ride back to J’s apartment. His English wasn’t great and neither was his name which fit him perfectly.

The METOO movement has brought up many unpleasant things for me. I’ve been sexually assaulted in some way or another more times than I like to admit. At first I thought I deserved it. I had such low self-esteem and the people I hung around with used it to their advantage. When I did tell someone nothing was done because they said “You were drunk. We can’t take your statement seriously.” The other problem was one of the people in the group had a Father that was friendly with members of the police department.

I take responsibility for continuing to drink and be in their company. That was my choice. It made me an angry, suspicious, and at times violent, person. I went from low self-esteem to raging bitch after several years of being treated like garbage.

I got a little better when I stopped having anything to do with them. Unfortunately memories like those never fade and that rage would come back now and then.

A career didn’t keep me silent, money or fame didn’t keep me silent, out and out fear kept me silent. When you’re beaten so badly you don’t recognize yourself in the mirror and you try to tell your family that you didn’t fall down the stairs drunk he did it to you and they say “We just can’t believe you anymore. You’re a drunk”. It changes your view of the World.

Eventually my family found out the truth. It was too late. The damage had been done. I was so scared when it was happening because at one point I couldn’t breathe. Blood was going down the back of my throat and my nose was swollen shut and bleeding also. I was pinned to the floor so I couldn’t lift my head, I felt like I was drowning. I just saw red and black before passing out. I then woke up at the bottom of his apartment stairs with him laughing at the top coming down towards me.

I don’t know. Lately everything bothers me. All the different movements. No one seems to have a story like mine. A shame filled, alcohol filled, hate filled, mental illness filled, never ending self loathing story.

 

 


BIRTHDAYS AND OTHER STUFF

When you are a twin, Birthday Parties are not really that fun. When you have problems with Anxiety at a young age they are worse. When you don’t understand why you feel the way you do or why can’t “act normal” they’re a nightmare.

I’ve described previous Birthday Parties where I would watch my twin sister from a hiding place trying to understand how she could talk to people, laugh, or even smile. I felt sick and wanted to go home. I’ve always had a hard time making friends. My voice is not loud and I’ve always had a hard time being heard. I was also afraid of saying the wrong thing or saying something that would make other people laugh at me. They already laughed at me because of my thick glasses, my weight, and my skin. I had won the lottery for being bullied.

It wasn’t until I started drinking that I actually had some great Birthday Parties. Sober people with self-esteem and self-respect wouldn’t have thought they were great but I did.

I think it was my 18th year when J. did a surprise party for me. There was HAPPY BIRTHDAY banner, a keg, cupcakes, an entire football team (invited just for me), a raffle (I won a bottle of Fire Water which I drank), and about 100 people in and out of his small apartment wishing me a Happy Birthday. Things did take a little turn for the worse after I drank the bottle of Fire Water but it was still good. (Fire Water at the time was as close to 100 proof as you could get Cinnamon Schnapps that we would put in the freezer).

Most of my Birthdays while I was drinking were actually fun. I think.

I have not celebrated my Birthday in the 9 and half years or so I’ve been sober. I am down to 1 friend who works a lot and has a boyfriend. My twin celebrates our Birthday with her husband and children. My Dad usually forgets or just says Happy Birthday.

January 11th I will be 45. I’m kind of feeling this one. I’ve been depressed for a long time now and can’t seem to climb out of it. My Dad and I are fighting constantly. Mostly because I keep trying too hard. He refuses to learn new things like how to use the new TV I bought him or the right foods to eat so he doesn’t die while on Dialysis. He also insists on shoveling the driveway when he doesn’t have to. My anxiety is at an all time high.

Lately he likes to make little comments or digs. I remember he used to do this with my Mom sometimes. My Mom would give it back to him. I have a hard time doing that because he scares me at times and I have no where else to live.

I’ve been doing DBT for the last few weeks and it sucks just as much as I remember. “Don’t judge your judging”. Ok. That’s a brilliant idea. I wish I had thought of that. “Take a walk outside when you’re triggered”. Ok. It’s 9 degrees out and there’s snow so that isn’t happening. And my favorite “Try doing some exercise or yoga”. If I had the energy or will to wash my hair, get dressed, shovel out my car, rob someone to pay for yoga lessons, maybe I would. “Make someone you love cookies”. Why? So they can yell at me for using the stove? Complain about what kind I made? Because this is what I live with.

It’s almost my Birthday and I’ll cry if I want to.5e507ed572b2cde6eba0358f3836f8ff


ROCK BOTTOM

I had many “rock bottoms” but they never really stopped me from drinking for too long. Only one thing eventually stopped me. Learning the reason why I was drinking.

It took too many years to figure it out but when I did it made everything clearer for me.

Drinking took away that empty ache I always had. It took away the anxiety I felt 24 hours a day. Yes, I know alcohol causes more anxiety as the alcohol leaves your system, but it was so bad I didn’t care. I just needed some time without it. Feeling like you’re on a roller coaster all the time is exhausting. Without alcohol I couldn’t go anywhere or do anything. I never would’ve left my bedroom. Some would say that would’ve been a good thing. But they were not inside my head. If you have General Anxiety and Social Anxiety, which used to be called “Social Phobia” than you understand.

Alcohol took as much as it gave. It took my money, friends, family, health, dignity, and what little self-esteem I had.

I tried to stop drinking many times over 20 plus years. Some of these times were court ordered and some I decided on my own. I attended AA for two years and disliked it immensely. I also went to an outpatient rehab 3 times a week for a year. That wasn’t bad but I still went back to drinking. The reason? I never asked myself why and neither did anyone else. Self-medicating was never brought up anywhere I went. Not at any of the Psychiatrists, Therapists, AA meetings, or rehab.

It wasn’t until I was 36 that a Doctor asked why? I answered honestly. So I wouldn’t feel anything that I was feeling. He dug deeper. He asked about my family history and if anyone had addiction issues or mental health problems. When I told him my family history I thought his eyes were going to pop out of his head. I didn’t understand why.

He said “No one has ever diagnosed you with a mental illness?” I told him one Psychiatrist diagnosed me with “Social Phobia”. He asked if she had given me medication for it. I told him she prescribed me Paxil then Prozac. At this point he was shaking his “NO” so hard I was worried.

We talked more and he made an appointment for me to come back the following week when he had my test results.

I was diagnosed as Bipolar with Social Anxiety. The Conversion Disorder came a little later. My hands shook but I didn’t think to tell him. I thought it was caffeine. It wasn’t until food started falling off every utensil that I knew it was something else. When I started to stutter and my head started to shake a little I was terrified. My Doctor had an idea what it was but sent me to a specialist to be sure.

I stopped drinking the day I was diagnosed. It’s been about 9 and half years. I do not know the exact date and time because I forget a lot of things. I’ve forgotten more since I had a round of ECT (Shock Therapy) that didn’t go as planned. Also I didn’t plan on dying for a few seconds or being under anesthesia for so long or so many times. But that’s what happens when you go into Kidney Failure and don’t know it.

I also don’t believe that if you “fall off the wagon” one time  that should you should go back to zero. I know too many people who had years of sobriety slip up once and because of the shame kept drinking. I believe if the stigma and shame were taken away this wouldn’t happen. I’m living proof.

Five years ago I drank one night. One night. Since then I have not had another drink. I was honest with my family about it and they understood but were not happy. They didn’t shun me or make me start over either.

I recently read a Tweet where someone had a drunk dream and their biggest worry was that they would’ve wasted their 5 years of sobriety. It shouldn’t be like that. What if you’r at a wedding and accidentally grab the wrong soda and it has rum in it? Do you start over? I know it’s different because it isn’t intentional but it was the first concert I had ever been to sober, I was alone, in another state, I was manic and I had just died a few weeks before. When I showed up alone I felt like everyone was looking at me (not in a good way because why would they do that?) Then when I realized it was in a good way I didn’t know how to react. I had always been over 200 pounds at concerts and now I was 125 (because I was sick) so I panicked.

The next morning I booked a flight home and talked to my family. It’s been 4 and half years since then. So 9 and half years. If you don’t like it you don’t have to do it.086a8d692cb6d849fed48f86d0d04959


WATCHING PEOPLE GET BETTER

I feel like I’m stuck at “Hate Me” while others have been able to move on to “Fear” and make progress.

I’m still on that same floor I was on at 19, 21, 24, 27, 30, 33, 34, 36 years old begging for someone to make it all stop.

I stayed a little girl. There’s no emotional growth when you’re drinking at 16 to hide from something that scares you but you have NO IDEA what it is or how to explain it. It’s hard enough being a teenager who isn’t considered popular, pretty, or smart. What you become is target practice.

You were born into a family of “large boned” people or in some cases “morbidly obese”. There were a few stunning women and men but they were not without problems. If you do not believe Mental Illness or Addiction is hereditary I personally invite you to study my family.

I don’t remember what it feels like not to be anxious 24 hours a day. I didn’t stop bouncing my legs or shaking a foot while sitting until recently. I still do it just not as much.

When you start your life afraid of everything it’s paralyzing. My poor parents didn’t know what to do.

As I watched them argue with one another, knowing it was my fault, I tried my best to make them hate me and give up on me. My Mom understood more than my Dad because she had been hospitalized for Depression and 3 of siblings are mentally ill. Two of them are Paranoid Schizophrenics, so she was scared and didn’t want to lose me.

There came a point where I pushed her too far and it was my Dad who stopped her from kicking me out of the house and giving up. At that point I had no feelings, no self respect or dignity left. I felt like I would never be good enough and I didn’t deserve anything good in my life. I sabotaged myself.

As my drinking became worse so did my behavior. I didn’t care who I slept with and would start fights over the smallest things. Years of saying and doing nothing while being spit on and having elephant noises made at me had taken a toll. It started to boil and come spewing out at everyone.

The older alcoholic men I drank with took bets on how much longer I’d be alive. I came close more times than I like to remember.

When I watch someone like Justin Furstenfeld who I could relate to on many levels, change his entire life, behaviors, and outlook, it makes me feel frustrated and confused.

Am I afraid to be happy? Am I not trying hard enough? Do I have to believe in God? Are medications the wrong answer?

I want to leave the house, I want to do things, I want to be happy and at peace.

I don’t know how people do it. My brain keeps screaming NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!!!!

And then of course I get bitchy because Mr. Furstenfeld has mentioned “God” and “Heaven” many times when it comes to his happiness. I have such a hard time with religion. I also suspect he might not be taking medications anymore. He doesn’t talk as much about his mental health as he does his addiction.

There is a documentary coming out where he mentions having “Extreme highs and lows” and being in a mental health facility. He was put on medication at the age of 14. I believe he’s Bipolar but I’m not sure it was confirmed and that’s his personal business. EXCEPT when you do Public Service Announcements about Depression and Suicide and you’re not being honest. If you have fans that are mentally ill and they think they can just pray away their illness we have a problem. I’m probably exaggerating.

I’m down lately and yesterday my Dad tried to hit me. Not what you want to do to someone who is now afraid of aggressive men even if it is my Dad. It didn’t go well at all.

Instead of crying and shaking something else took over.

RAGE

All I could think was “I’ll be damned if I ever let anyone physically hurt me again.” I calmly said “If you come near me I will leave for good. You will never see me again and I won’t tell you where I am.” It must have been the way I said it because he stopped and left the room.

When I mentioned it to him later in the day he denied ever doing such a thing. He then called me a liar and said I was making it up. I think I’m going to get Nanny cams to prove to him how angry and violent he’s been the last year.


OVERTHINKING CHRISTMAS

beautiful-christmas-gift-wrapping-idea

When I was little I enjoyed Christmas I think. There were only a few occasions where I received gifts where I was excited or surprised that the person actually knew me enough to know what I would enjoy.

What’s odd is that these gifts came from my brother. The only thing is he kind of ruined his gifts by including himself.

One year it was tickets to see John Mellencamp. I was probably 15 at the time. It would’ve been one of best shows ever if my brother hadn’t been drunk and trying to take other people’s seats the entire time. I spent most of my time worrying about him getting thrown out.

Another gift was a limo for the night, tickets to see Blue Man Group, reservations and an all paid for meal at a 5 star Restaurant in Boston and a Dual Piano Bar. Again all of this would’ve been wonderful if my brother wasn’t part of the deal. If he didn’t smoke in the limo, get drunk at the restaurant, and start a fight at the Piano Bar.

I enjoy giving gifts more than receiving them. I love seeing someone’s face light up. I remember when my Dad bought my Mom the first diamonds she ever owned. He wrapped them up so she had to open 7 different boxes to get to them but the look on her face had me crying for an hour. She was so shocked that he did it on his own. He did it because he loved her. It was outside his comfort zone and I can’t picture him going to a Jewelers by himself but he did. It was worth it to see her face.

Every year at Blockbuster we had Secret Santa with the Managers, HR, and the owner. We had a minimum of $50 which is kind of high for most places and I usually went over it.

One Manager was huge wrestling fan. I mean he went to every event and did some photography for them. He went to conventions all over the U.S. too. I got his name one year. What no one knew is that I was a wrestling fan, my brother was also. I had several autographed pictures of wrestlers in the Hall of Fame, Chief Jay Strongbow, Gorilla Monsoon, and Pedro Morales. I put them in nice frames and also got him his favorite candy and Gift Certificate for his wife’s favorite restaurant. When he opened it he said “Hey, thanks”.

I got the owner and knew a lot about her already but worked with one of her kids so I did some more research. She loved this one jewelry designer from Newport. I got her a charm necklace from the designer with a charms from her life. One charm was a beautiful palm tree with a stone it and the other a tennis racket. Both gold. Then they had a matching bracelet that I got with charms to represent the kids. I also made her Peanut Butter Balls Gluten Free because she also has Celiac. Her response was “Thanks”.

I gave my sister a necklace one year that had two Ds entwined (both our first names begin with D) there was also a garnet in it. I had the back engraved with a personal note. It was Platinum, her favorite. She responded like everyone else and never wore it. Never talked about it. It wasn’t the cost. It was the fact that I took time, thought and love to do that and it didn’t matter. I know she has no idea where it is.

SOME GOOD NEWS

My Dad has talked about wanting to read John McCain’s family memoirs “Faith of My Father’s” for years. With Mr. McCain’s health in the news lately I decided to order the book for my Dad. I even had it gift wrapped. It came yesterday in a gorgeous forest green gauze gift bag. My Dad looked so confused. He had no idea what it was. I left the room while he opened it. I heard him while he opened it. “I’ll be Goddamned!” then I heard his voice break. I started to cry in the kitchen because I did it, I gave him something that mattered. He came and hugged me for the longest time and I was happy in that moment.


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


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?


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