BIPOLAR IS HUMILIATING

The last two years my moods change rapidly. I’m at the point where I don’t know if it’s me or my illness talking and making decisions. I know most people will say that isn’t possible. I’m so confused that I really don’t know anymore.

In the morning I’ll be agitated and talk nonstop. I want to do a million things but lack the physical energy to do them. But my mind continues to race with thoughts and ideas.

In the afternoon I become quiet, down, sad, and usually cry. I have to hide this part because my Dad will get angry if he sees that I’ve been crying. He doesn’t like it when I talk a lot either so he will get up and go outside leaving me sitting there in the middle of a sentence. I find this happening with many people.

I do try to control all of this. The more I try to control it the more stressed I feel and that leads me to stuttering.

At night I sometimes go back to rapid speech and thinking. I also think I have great ideas like calling in to a radio show with Dr. Drew. It wasn’t really a great idea. I got one question out and he ran with it never allowing me to say what I needed to say. Then next thing I knew the call was dropped. I was embarrassed and felt like an idiot. It would’ve been worse if I actually said what I planned on saying. I often think I’m smarter than I am. I also think I’m witty when actually I sound like a bitch.

My Doctor’s appointment didn’t go so well. Everyone was very nice but my health is definitely getting worse. My blood pressure has never been as low as 94/40 and they had to due my heart rate 3 times to make sure it was correct. I’m also shorter than I was a few months ago. I don’t know how a person goes from 5’7″ at 37 years old to 5′ 5″ at 44 years old. A woman my age shouldn’t have Osteoporosis this bad and Degenerative Disc Disease.

My Dad is upset because my car finally died two days ago. He wants to know why I haven’t cleaned it out and bought a new one yet. BECAUSE IT WAS ONLY TWO DAYS AGO! I’m not like him, I can’t push myself to the point of collapsing because it’s what a “man does”. It’s also going to kill him.

I lift my head too fast and I black out. I go up a flight of stairs and I’m exhausted like I swam the entire Ocean and see red dots. My toes are a dark red purple and my feet are swollen again. I’m also having trouble breathing and weird headaches that are actually in my temples. This worries me a little because my Dad was diagnosed with Temporal Arteritis which is bad and I’m having similar symptoms. It can be genetic. Like everything else I have.

So I embarrass myself, my family, and I’m not a productive member of society. People are not interested in explanations or excuses so I’ve stopped. All I keep saying is “I’m sorry” I say it so much that I apologized to an empty grocery cart the other day. I don’t know who I am, who I ever was or who I want to be.

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MY UNCLE’S CHOICE OF TREATMENT

My Uncle Jimmy was diagnosed as Paranoid Schizophrenic at an early age. He heard voices and had hallucinations. He was sent to the State Mental Hospital that we had at the time. My Grandmother worked there and the place was eventually shut down for their abuse of patients. There is a Cemetery on the grounds with hundreds of unmarked graves of the bodies they found while doing construction years later.

I believe my Uncle Jimmy was probably treated in a horrific way while he was there. Of course no one wanted to talk about it. The high dosages of medications they had him on left him with a constant tremor in his hands and he had problems with his grinding his teeth. He always had white spit in the corners of his mouth.

My Grandmother gave him over to the State when he was young. She did this with a few of her children. My Uncle Jimmy wasn’t violent he just didn’t have a filter that society expects a person to have. He loved to smoke and drink coffee. He hated the medications that made him like a zombie. He could either stay at a State run facility where they had control over him 24 hours a day or he could be homeless and deal with his illness in the way he preferred. Heroin. He chose to be homeless and to use Heroin.

I don’t condone his decision but I understand it. I had seen him at the State run facilities and it wasn’t a way anyone should have to live. He was in all honesty happier while on the streets. He did share needles with other addicts, a majority of them also mentally ill. He contracted HIV and lived with the virus for many years. At some point he stopped his drug use. I’m not sure if it had to do with his age or his health. He did advance to AIDS about 2 years ago and passed away from pneumonia.

I never saw my Uncle Jimmy not smiling. My mom loved him and tried to take care of him as best she could right up until she herself passed away. She always knew the gas station to find him at and would bring him hot wieners. He was her baby brother and mourned her death pretty hard. I miss his corny jokes and hearing him call my mom “Anna Banana”.

Like I’ve said before no mental illness or addiction is the same for everyone. At least not in my family. We laugh the loudest and cry the hardest. We always have.

To Tell The Truth The Whole Truth And Nothing But… (Sensitive Material Please Be Respectful)

Because of the press conference recently given by Vice President Pence I have decided to discuss a private and deeply sensitive matter that I have gone through. I can no longer sit back and just say “I agree” with the side that represents my view. I feel a need to explain why I have the view I have. This will be difficult to write and probably difficult for some to read. I understand that but I feel it’s necessary.

As some people know I am diagnosed as Bipolar with Conversion Disorder, General Anxiety and Social Phobia. I wasn’t diagnosed until I was around 36/37 years old but had these problems from a very young age.

Many Doctors missed the correct diagnosis. I started drinking at 16/17 and was a daily drinker by 18/19. I would start to have the shakes by 5 p.m. and would go to a bar that knew me and served underage people. I couldn’t hold a glass, mug, bottle or can, so the bartender knew to put my beer in a mug with a straw and push it towards me so I could just bend my head down and sip until the shakes stopped.

When you are young with Bipolar Disorder and using alcohol to self-medicate the results can be life altering. The decisions you make while manic and drinking are decisions you would never ever normally do. The spending sprees, irrational decisions and promiscuity. The last one is complex. Part of it was alcohol, part of it was if I was manic, part of it was to prove my self worth, part of it I don’t remember if I had a choice because I blacked out.

When I was 20 and a full blown alcoholic I found out I was pregnant. I had thought of keeping it. My best friend sat down with me and talked to me honestly. I already knew on my own what she was saying. I drank daily and wasn’t sure if I could stop at that time, I wasn’t 100% sure who the father was (it was between 2 people) and neither one of them were fit to be around children, I didn’t want to be on Welfare living on my own with a baby. I had seen so many girls at that time who had children and partied every night. I didn’t want that. The thing was no one could tell how much my drinking and the father’s drinking would have an effect on the baby. My parents were against me keeping the baby right from the start.

The deck was stacked against me. In the back of my mind I always knew I was different. I just didn’t know how or why. I wanted children but only if I was in a stable relationship where a child would be loved by two parents and there would be financial stability. I couldn’t offer any of that. So I chose to terminate the pregnancy.

The experience was extremely difficult. The picketers yelling and throwing things at me were bad enough. They had also poured some type of glue in the locks of the building where Emergency Vehicles would come and go. So if something happened a woman would most likely die because they destroyed the locks. How Pro Life of you.

I won’t walk you through the procedure but it wasn’t pleasant. Leaving was worse when I still a little groggy and a man asked me if I was okay and I didn’t realize he was one of the protesters. I made the mistake of thinking he was a kind stranger. Instead he called me lovely names as I stood there and cried until my mom tore him a new asshole and we left.

Hindsight is 20/20. My life only went downhill from there. My Bipolar Disorder continued to get worse as time went on. My entire life did. Even after my diagnosis things have not gotten much better. There is no way I can think of that I could’ve made it work. My mom would’ve helped but not long after she was diagnosed with Lung Cancer. It doesn’t mean I don’t wonder about it or grieve. I went through early menopause at 39 and my chance of ever having children was taken away. Sometimes I wonder if it was a punishment. But I know, my family knows, my best friend knows, that there was no way I could’ve had a child at that time or if I would’ve stopped drinking.

There is a lot of trauma connected to the entire situation. The fact I’ll now never have children hurts. What other people don’t realize is that it’s deeper than that. At 44 I’ve never been in love, my dad has, my sister has. They don’t understand the ache and feeling of loss I have most of the time. They’ve both had families and I never will. It’s something they both take for granted and I sometimes can’t stop crying because I see the future and it’s a lonely one.

I don’t agree with using abortion as a form of birth control. I have unfortunately known people who have had several abortions. Once I can understand, more than that is a little iffy. I don’t feel that a group made up of mostly older men should have a say in anything I do with my body specifically when more than half the time the man who took part in the procreating wants nothing to do with the woman or the issue at hand when they find out.

There are many reasons women go to Planned Parenthood. The women who go there for the termination of a pregnancy do so for many reasons. Some have been abused, raped, or are too poor to have another child. Until you have been in someone else’s situation how can you judge them?