You know those lists you see on Pinterest or Facebook that say “TOP TEN THINGS NOT TO SAY TO A BIPOLAR LOVED ONE”. I think I have had every single one of them said to me in the last couple of weeks plus a few extra.
Between my father, sister, ex sister-in law, and best friend I’m ready to commit myself or give up entirely.
I heard some of the same things repeatedly. “I don’t know what to do for you anymore. You’re always depressed or negative.” “It’s too hard to be around you when you’re like this ALL the time!” (For the record the only other human I’ve been in the same room with is my dad. I have not been face to face with anyone else for more than 30 seconds in at least 6 months.) “You need more help. Join a group or something. Be with people who are like you.” “Yes, other people in the family are avoiding you. Sometimes it’s too exhausting to be around you.” “I love you, but I don’t think we can have a relationship anymore. I have to think of my own well being” (My twin sister. This meant not seeing the kids either and felt like I had been kicked in the chest).
Now imagine hearing all of this in a 2 week span while dealing with a medication change, ANOTHER kidney infection and another round of antibiotics interfering with your medications, dealing with a sick father you live with, rapid cycling, and just overall feeling like crap. It doesn’t help.
I don’t want anyone to fix me. I don’t want advice from them. What I want is for one of them to call and say “Hey! Want to grab a coffee and take a ride?”. Simple as that. Not one of them will do it. It’s like I now have leprosy. My sister did invite me to go to the Aquarium with her and the kids this week. But of course I somehow ruined it during the conversation. She made it clear that we couldn’t stay overnight and had other rules. There was a time where we would have stayed at a Hotel for few days with the kids and walked around. I can only assume she doesn’t want to be around me that long. It isn’t the money. I know that.
I’m becoming tired of everyone telling me to change. Telling me everything I do wrong. I have had to deal with so much this year. I’m at the point where if they don’t understand I’m ready to cut them loose.
I used to love the 4th of July. Every year I would buy a new outfit, have my hair done, put on my make up, and get anxious to have the night start. I knew I would see “friends” and probably meet new people. It was fun for me most of the time.
When I stopped drinking I didn’t expect that ALL of my “friends” were going to slowly disappear except one. And even that one would stop inviting me to anything and everything. I wasn’t “The Fun Dana” anymore. Although she remembers all the bad things, humiliating things, and dangerous things I did while drinking, she still missed “The Fun Dana”. She also didn’t want to put me in a position where I might be “tempted” to drink.
The first year or so of sobriety I could understand this. At year 7 almost 8 it pisses me off. When last 4th of July I was told her and her boyfriend weren’t doing anything except cooking outside and maybe watching a movie I didn’t believe her. I decided to stop by.
When I got to her road and looked down it, I could see the cars parked up and down the street. She lives at the end and then there’s the beach. I parked and went around back where there were people I didn’t know. I saw my best friend of 30 years walking towards me with a pretend smile on her face. I could tell she was already buzzed. She yelled my name and gave me a hug. I stayed 15 minutes and left. We never discussed it and I still don’t get invited to anything.
My sister has been at her in-laws beach house for the last few weeks. She has disowned me. One less person to talk to. The only other person I talked to keeps texting me for money or Adderall. I decided that I am no longer enabling her. Another one bites the dust.
My father called the drugstore today and yelled at the Pharmacist for 10 minutes when it was really my dad’s fault. My dad has been extremely hard to live with lately and I’m sure he thinks the same about me.
I’m sad all the time lately. I think about the people I’ve lost like my mom. I don’t know how to be happy. I never really learned how to let go and just be. I know I have felt happiness while drinking. Many times while I sat by the ocean with just my best friend and the waves. We would talk for hours and laugh for hours, looking at the view and feel content. We would even say it out loud. Maybe that was pretend but felt real. Her and I were loners for so long. I do miss being with her. We were a team for so long I never acknowledged the fact it was like a break up when I stopped drinking. Maybe she felt a loss in some way too. I should’ve asked.
In the area where I live we have had another tragedy involving someone who was mentally ill committing violence on others. There were many comments made against the mentally ill man, and some for him.
He had just been released from a Psychiatric Hospital. For what reason I do not know. His family had begged the hospital not to release him.
I am not an uneducated person. I realize that funding is low for mental health. There have been large cuts in 3 of our biggest hospitals lately. My own father receives less than stellar care for his dialysis and Vasculitis. The VA is no better. That is in no way any excuse for a family’s pleas to go ignored when it involves the danger their loved one might cause others. Are there families that lie about such things? Of course there are. But they are few and far between.
On to another matter. If there is one thing I hate in this world it is someone who will not commit to what they say or mean. Say what you mean, mean what you say. It isn’t that hard of a concept.
So many people are hurt everyday when they do not need to be if they were just told the truth. Don’t spare my feelings. Just tell me the truth.
As far back as I can remember I have used music to escape the real world. I used music for depressed times, drunk times, sober times, and happy times. It’s in my blood. My mother was a great dancer and she loved music. I was listening to Elvis 24/7 in the womb. My mom could also sing. I loved to hear her sing Brenda Lee to my dad. A few years before her death she did “The Twist” at a wedding. The look on her face was one of such joy I can almost erase the memory of pain that followed.
As a Bipolar person I feel everything too much. It is like walking around without your skin on. I would spend over 20 years drinking and listening to music to try and cope with feeling every emotion to the extreme. I didn’t know I was Bipolar until several years ago. Learning that I am Bipolar helped me to be sober or “in remission” from alcohol for over 7 years. Music also helps.
When I hear lyrics that change me in some way there is nothing better in the world. You think that person understands you. They probably don’t or won’t but that’s ok as long as the music does the talking.
I don’t understand why fans go on an artist’s fan page to talk so disrespectfully about a band or person they supposedly have admiration for. Also the women who want to talk about the hair of the artist or what they would like to do to them. It annoys me and I don’t know why. I think it’s all about respect. How I was raised. The music industry is a bitch. Artists do not need people calling them out, steeling set lists, and talking trash about them. They are there to share a gift with us. If we make it uncomfortable for them they’ll stop. And if the artist is married have some respect for them and yourself. No one wants to hear your sick ass plans that you are way too old to be doing anyway.
I thank the musicians that have always been an influence on me or helped me through tough times.
Putting pressure on me to do something is the surest way to get me NOT to do it. I hate guilt trips too. I wish family, society, the world, would try to understand what it takes for some of us to simply get out of bed.
My ex-sister in law called this morning to wish us a Happy Easter!!! She is the type of person who comes across as super happy even when she isn’t. She is a big believer in, if you think positive you can do anything. She has also found religion in the last few years. I am happy for her as long as she doesn’t pressure me into anything. I am basically an Atheist. I believe in the Sun, Moon, Sky, Earth, Water, Wildlife, and the beauty I can see in things everyday. When I recently reminded my ex-sister in law of this her response was ” You are not an Atheist. I don’t believe that!”. Ok don’t. It doesn’t change my mind.
She shares her religious sayings and positivity with me and others on Facebook. I scroll on by. She told my father that my nephew is graduating from high school and is the Valedictorian. She insisted that my dad and I had to go to his graduation.
She never seems to understand what a toll things like this take on my dad and I. My dad is 73 in June. He is on Dialysis three times a week. He’s had a quadruple bypass, an aortic aneurism, and now Temporal Arteritis. He is on extremely high doses of Prednisone that make him ill and uncomfortably bloated. I’ve had my kidneys fail twice in 6 months, stents put in that have to be changed on the 31st, an infection that is being treated with 1,000 mgs of an antibiotic a day. The antibiotic is making me sick. There are few days where I actually feel healthy. Yet she still insists. There’s also the fact that they cut my brother out of everything but still invite us. I don’t like it. Instead I send a gift or a card with money in it and make sure I talk to them personally to tell them I love them. They don’t care if I’m there or not. My nieces and nephew are more concerned with boyfriends, girlfriends, and friends. It’s their mother who can’t let go.
I’m tired of having to explain myself to anyone. I shouldn’t have to. This morning a clerk at the grocery store embarrassed my dad. He can’t hear well and the Prednisone makes his hands shake. He pushed the wrong button twice. She snapped at him and yanked the machine around and said “I’ll just do it!”. Some compassion please??? I told my dad that when I go to the store now I kind of let them know that I have problems listening or lifting heavy things. I don’t come out and say “Hey, I’m Bipolar and don’t feel well physically so could you treat me with respect?” I do say something like “Wow, I hate allergy season my ear always gets blocked!” and then I laugh. Most of the time this takes them out of their “I hate working with the public” mode long enough for them to have a slight understanding that their customers are human also. I worked with the public for over 18 years. I know how difficult it can be. I also know that it doesn’t give anyone the right to take out their frustrations on me or my loved ones. I really wanted to call the store on my dad’s behalf but I didn’t.
If you have loved ones in your family that are chronically ill don’t try to force them to do things they feel they can’t do or don’t want to do. My father still feels an enormous amount of survivor’s guilt. He feels bad enjoying family things when my mom is no longer here to do it with him. It depresses him to a point where he just isolates himself more. I know it’s frustrating to other people but think how you would feel losing your best friend and the love of your life. My mom would order for him in restaurants because he’s quiet and mumbles. Plus he’s had ringing in his ears since he was in the Navy. My mom was so loud and outgoing he was happy to let her take over when it came to social situations. Then one day he was thrown into the world without her. I can think of nothing sadder than that. I have to end this now because I’m crying. Happy Easter.
I can only relay what I have experienced with my diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder and Alcoholism. I can also tell you what I HAVE NOT experienced because of Bipolar Disorder and Alcoholism.
My health is a little up in the air right now. It’s reached the point where I think of the things I’ve never done. Things that I would like to before I can’t.
To be touched by a man that loves me without violence or alcohol.
I’ve never had that.
To be kissed by a sober man or even hold hands with one while I am also sober.
I’ve never done that.
To travel by myself somewhere warm and just breathe.
To have happiness for longer than a week.
For people to see me as I really am. Or to be seen at all.
To be able to make friends easily to ease the loneliness.
These are not huge things but to me they are. I still work on them but feel time is running out. Some things I’ll have to accept won’t happen. That’s ok. As long as I am me and not pretending to be someone else.
I had a great day with my sister recently. We went and took pictures, went to lunch, talked, laughed and confided in each other. This is very rare for us. Most times my sister doesn’t answer her phone or call people back. This has caused problems lately because my Dad has been ill. It frustrates me to no end. She isn’t the type of person to call and invite me to anything either. I don’t know if she doesn’t want me around other people she knows or if it’s just her being distracted and thinking it’s no big deal.
I also was able to see my nephews and give them big hugs and kisses on the Playground. My sister said I was embarrassing them. She was laughing when she said it. The oldest said “It’s ok mom, Auntie D is cool.” My sister’s feathers were a little ruffled at that but she got over it.
The problem with days like these is you know they are going to end. You know somewhere in your future a Depression is slowly sneaking up on you. There isn’t anything you can do about it except wait. I hate this. I hate the feeling of extreme loneliness because no one else around me “gets” it. They yell at me for saying they don’t understand. They think they do. Unless you are in it you will never understand. You just won’t.
Recently I’ve been getting posts on Facebook from a site dealing with Bipolar Disorder and other “illnesses” people need support for. A guy recently made a movie or something that is popular regarding his “Recovery” from Bipolar Disorder and how beautiful Bipolar Disorder is. I have such a huge problem with stuff like this. One follower’s comment was how she doesn’t use Medications for her Bipolar but uses “Chakra” and acupuncture. She didn’t sound like the most stable person but who am I to judge. Quite a few fellow followers found Religion to be more helpful than Medication. This site advocates for all of this.
This walks a very thin line. Maybe some can get away with these solutions but they are in the minority. I think it’s harmful to the people willing to do anything for some relief from their illness.
Someone in my family “shares” these sites and articles with me on FB. I find it annoying and want to lash out. Instead I keep scrolling. I call that progress.
I’m feeling agitated today. Just some little things. I don’t know if many of you know this about me but I have a child like voice.
When I could eat fast food and would go through the drive thru I had several people working the window say that I could “work in cartoons”. Some people like my voice and some people don’t.
It has gotten a little deeper with age possibly because I’ve been intubated several times but I’m still a quiet person. It’s hard for me to yell. It has to do with muscles in my diaphragm being too weak. Sometimes a telemarketer would call the house, I would answer and they would ask me if my mommy or daddy were home! I would then tell them “No” they would ask who was home with me. I would say “No one”, at this point I could hear panic on their end so I would tell them how old I was. I thought it was funny, they didn’t.
Some people get the impression that you are weak or innocent in nature when you have a small voice. I hate being seen as weak. My voice isn’t going to get any deeper.
The appointment with The Urologist the other day was an example of where I felt someone was being condescending. Over complimenting my Burgundy Leather Moto Jacket and Boots until it was awkward was irritating to me. It was like he was saying “good for you” or “see you can do it all by yourself”. I wanted to tell him I was doing shots on the tour buses of rock stars when he was in diapers and not to talk down to me. Also I’m incredibly fashionable. Just not when I’m in the Emergency Room for KIDNEY FAILURE!!!
He isn’t the only one. People that I have met in the last few years learn of something in my past and are shocked. SORRY!! I had a life that included alcohol addiction, concerts, dive bars, sometimes meeting known people, and a lot of the time causing trouble. I do not do it now.
No, now I cringe at loud noises (mostly loud men), startle easily, forget where I am, only leave the house about 2 times a week, never meet new people in person, cry often for no reason, get bursts of weird euphoria then crash, want to do things but don’t because I’m tired from doing nothing. This is my hair and outfit for the Urologist. That’s a feather sticking out, my hair stylist colored my hair to match the feather.
I feel it creeping up on me, casting it’s dark shadow. My thoughts are already wandering to places I don’t want to go. I go anyway. I have to, it’s a form of self punishment I think I deserve. I never stop to question it. The questions start. I ask myself “Why doesn’t my sister call me back?”, “Am I that bad?”, “Why does my dad leave the room when I’m in the middle of a sentence?”, “Why does it hurt so much to be ignored?”, “Why am I trying so hard when no one sees it and I feel the same?”. The mental pain turns physical. My chest aches like there’s something missing. An emptiness that can never be filled. Sometimes I can occupy myself so I don’t think. Lately this doesn’t work as well. I told my doctor no more new medications. I’m tired of being an experiment. The last one was so horrible I thought I was going to die. It’s brand new to the market and begins with a B but I can’t remember the name. They haven’t even done all the studies on it. I’m too tired to do the withdrawal from the Viibryd. It’s almost as bad as heroine withdrawal. These meds are all the same.
With me having severe malnutrition and kidney problems I’m probably not going to absorb much of them anyway. My white blood cell count is very low throwing everything off. Yet no one can tell me why. I’m sad, unhappy, grieving, and I have to pretend I’m not. If I don’t my family will get mad at me. I’m not trying hard enough. If anyone thinks I want to live this way, lonely, scared, disregarded, than they are the fools. I would give anything for a world of sunshine and kindness. A hug I have not had in years. Human contact. I tear up at the hair dresser because I’m not used to someone touching me with kindness. But again I have to pretend. No one wants to be around a sad or negative person. The mask goes on.
I can tell when I’m manic. The problem with Bipolar Disorder for me is that I’m aware of everything surrounding me most of the time. I might not know what day it is but I’m tuned into people’s emotions around me. It’s a bad thing because I let them effect me. When I’m manic I feel like crawling out of my skin. I want to go somewhere but there’s nowhere to go. I’m kind of irritable and can’t make decisions. I’m like a cat around shiny things. I talk too much but there’s no one to hear me. I get really bad ideas.
One example of this would be asking my father if they keep the blueprints for public buildings available to the public. I also asked him if it would show if the place had alarms. He looked at me a little worried but he wasn’t really paying attention. My idea was to wait until dark, dress all in black, paint my face, and go to the animal rescue place. The one that wants $280 a piece for these 2 Chihuahua brothers I fell in love with. They also want to do a home inspection, have you bring your dogs to the shelter to meet the ones you want to adopt, prove you own your own home, and provide current vet records for any animals in your house. This is too difficult. So I thought I could just go there with some bolt cutters and get my dogs. They loved me when we met. Problem solved. It isn’t the money, or the vet records. It’s bringing my dogs to their shelter and getting my father to agree to show he owns the house. My father is secretive and weird like that. My dogs are both older, one with a heart murmur and the other with Epilepsy. I’m not putting them through that. They’re easy going and spend most of their time sleeping now that Pookie the Chihuahua is gone. They are both depressed. He was the clown and made them play and interact with each other. The change in both of them breaks my heart. These brothers are almost 3 years old and have the perfect personalities. And yes I need them too. They have been at the rescue for awhile now. Can’t they cut me some slack? I have references they can call. It’s killing me. I know my dad. He won’t agree until they are there and then he’ll love them. They’ll never replace Pookie but they will bring some much needed light into this house. And they will be loved. Rambling more than usual is another sign. Plus not wanting to go to sleep. I hold on to these days because I know the others are coming. When you spend most of your time in the darkness and pain sometimes you don’t even want to feel the manic side because it’s a tease of what life could almost be like.