Tag Archives: Mental Illness

GRIEF FOR A PARENT: When There’s So Much Love And Pain

My Mom was the one who held everyone together. Not just my Dad, my brother, my twin sister, and me, but also all of her siblings, nieces, nephews, and grandchildren. She made sure everyone kept in touch or visited one another.

When she died it collapsed like a house of cards. It was like my Dad and I didn’t exist anymore. The phone only rang with telemarketers and there were no visits.

My Mom was outgoing, talkative, loud, bossy, and you did what she told you to do. She also had periods where there was no laughing, no talking, and she stayed in bed for a week or so. She could be quick tempered also. Her capacity to love and forgive almost made up for those times. Almost.

It isn’t easy as a child to wake up and find your Mom gone. Your Dad doesn’t really know how to explain where she is except “She’s sick and she’ll be home soon.” The first two times I was scared and I wanted my Mom. When you’re that young and you know nothing about Mental Illness and no one else really does either it’s horrible.

My Dad had to work so my sister and I would have to stay at my Grandmother’s house. My Dad’s mother. She wasn’t a warm, affectionate woman which explains a lot about my Dad. I was at her house the first time I got my period. I had no idea what was going on. My Mom was in a Hospital, I was at a mean woman’s house, and I was bleeding to death. It kind of left some damage over the years. It’s a good thing my Dad is the man he is and I finally told him what was going on and he took care of me like a pro.

But in my head I thought my Mom should’ve been there. I loved her more than anything in this World. If I knew 100% what happens when we die, if we do go somewhere beautiful and see our loved ones again, I would go right now.

Her death was so bad I still have nightmares sometimes. The year before her death was tough on my Dad and me. There were times when I had to get up early for work but couldn’t sleep because I could hear her moaning. For a long time my Mom went to Doctors who never found anything wrong with her. It was like the boy who cried wolf. When years later the Doctors told her she had Lung Cancer I don’t think any of us reacted the way we were supposed to. Our sympathy had been used for years and years. It was hard living with someone who would scream your name from their bedroom like they were dying making you run upstairs to their room only to have them say “Can you change the channel on my TV?” There was something wrong with that.

In my head I would tell her to shut up. I have to live with that. What we didn’t know was that all the chemo and radiation had weakened her bones so much she had fractured 2 bones in her back. That’s why she was in so much pain.

The Doctors she had made everything worse for us. They had no clue what they were doing. We did get 7 more years with her but it came at a price.

My memory of her was changed forever.

I no longer see the smiling beautiful woman that was my Mom when I close my eyes.

I see the nightmare version I walked in to at the Hospital.

It kills me to remember her like that. I’ve only been to her grave once. I refuse to go. The rest of my family has made comments about this. I don’t care. I can’t do it. I won’t do it. No one is going to bully me anymore or make me feel guilty about things that were out of my control. I do that to myself enough.11059761_10207494279902008_1407885758767048615_n

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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


STUPID QUESTIONS EX: WHAT’S THE NUT HOUSE REALLY LIKE?

I don’t know why I’m still shocked by the things people say or the questions they ask when they find out something from my past. I try to keep a low profile in the town I live in but I’ve been arrested a few times and I did go out every night for many years.

I also live in the smallest state so it isn’t hard for gossip to spread to people you don’t even know.

What I have a problem with are the idiotic questions from people who should know better. These are not teenagers, these are adults.

Here are some questions I’ve been asked.

“Do you get really good drugs?”

“Can I buy some from you?”

“Is that like One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest?”

“You must have felt like Frankenstein, did you?” (ECT)

“Did you meet any real crazy people where you were?”

“You’re not that bad are you? Like dangerous?”

“Aren’t there bugs and people writing on the walls with their own feces? That must have been awful”

“You’re okay now though, right?”

“Are you cured?”

“Oh, so you’re like the guy in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest?” (If I hear it one more time I’ll scream)

“So what kind of drugs are you on? Anything good?” (this is asked often)

I’m not sure why people have this specific image of the mentally ill but they do. It hasn’t gotten better if anything it may have gotten a little worse with violent acts being blamed immediately on the mentally ill in the media. I notice that people are more weary around me at times. I don’t feel comfortable with this. I don’t to frighten people.

I admit that I also feel anger at the entire situation. The lack of empathy and basic humanity is appalling to me. MV5BMTc5ODUyMDI5Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNzM5OTQyNw@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1480,1000_AL_MV5BNDc2NjMwNTUwOF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwOTUzNTIwNA@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1499,1000_AL_MV5BMTA3MTE1ODE0NDReQTJeQWpwZ15BbWU3MDQ2OTQ5NzM@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1494,1000_AL_


RISK AND SIGNS OF SUICIDE

This subject isn’t a pleasant one to write about but it’s an important one. There have been too many talented, beautiful people in pain lost this year. There have also been many that we never hear about or were almost lost to us. When I hear of a person younger than me who dies by suicide that I know, it breaks something inside me.

The recent event of the son of the lead singer in my brother in law’s band angers me. I offered to help several times and each time I was brushed off like I have no idea what I’m talking about. Now I think if I had tried harder I could’ve prevented what happened. I know this isn’t true but self loathing and punishment is my thing.

INFORMATON

Women attempt suicide more often than men but men succeed in suicide more than women.

The most common method used by women is pills.

25% of suicides are by people over 65 years of age.

25% of suicides are alcohol related.

80% of people had seen a physician in the past 6 months.

50% of people had seen a physician in the last month.

RISK FACTORS

Previous attempts increases the risk of suicide greatly.

Family history of suicide or abuse.

History of psychiatric disorders.

History of alcohol/substance abuse.

Feelings of hopelessness or helplessness.

Impulsive or aggressive tendencies.

Isolation

Social losses, financial losses, death of a loved one.

People discharged from Mental Health facilities are 34 more times likely to commit suicide.

60% of the depressed population have suicidal ideations.

15% of alcoholic patients are more likely to commit suicide.

This is just a list of facts when dealing with real people it’s much more difficult. But there is truth here.

There is a history of suicide in my family. There is a history of severe mental illness and alcoholism.

I had seen physicians within 6 months of at least 2 of my suicide attempts. I was drunk during all of them and felt like I had a gaping hole in my chest that could never be filled. A lonely ache that never went away. It’s still here but I deal with it. When manic I was impulsive or aggressive and I chose pills and razors. One time a roof that turned out to not really be a roof.

It kind of blows my mind that I slipped through the cracks for so long. That I waited so long for a diagnosis or to receive any kind of help that was right. I honestly should be dead but for some reason I’m still here. Between the suicide attempts and the emergency Kidney Failure where I flat lined I figure I’m here for a reason. What that is I don’t know yet.

#6767

 


SUICIDE~ WHAT YOU MIGHT NOT WANT TO SAY

No one has to tell me the damage I’ve done with my drinking, erratic behavior, attempts at suicide, abusive environments, and everything else I’ve done. I think about all of it almost daily. At times I use these memories as self punishment to remind myself why I don’t deserve to be happy. I know this isn’t true but I have days where it’s difficult to differentiate between the two.

I never wanted to tell anyone I thought about suicide because I was terrified of being institutionalized. I had seen several places while visiting relatives and they were scary. I didn’t want to be taken from my parents. Even though there is a strong hereditary link in my family my parents did the best they could at the time and I know they loved me. There are days where I do doubt this. They happen a lot more recently.

No one knows what to say someone who has attempted suicide so usually it never gets discussed.

It needs to be talked about specifically in the family. My family never discussed any of my attempts. I would be picked up at the Hospital when I was allowed to leave or if I had to stay in a Psych ward usually it was my Dad who came to visit me until I was released. It’s weird that I just remembered that. My Mom and sister never came. Only my Dad.

After it was like nothing ever happened. How can you have a child who overdoses 4 times and cuts their wrists enough to need stitches and cause nerve damage twice and not talk about it? But that’s how it was.

My sister told me the other day that my actions “scarred her for life”. I wasn’t sure whether I should be angry or sad. She was never around during the worse of it or if she was she never showed up.

When she commented that she had more sympathy for her friend’s son who shot himself in the head because he must have been in “real pain” unlike other people who attempt suicide and fail, I felt a tingling heat and dizziness. I couldn’t help but think she was talking about me.

Never compare someone’s pain to another’s. I replay conversations and comments in my head over and over until I’m cried out and exhausted.

I’m not unaware of the damage I’ve done it’s the opposite. I’m hyper aware which makes everything harder to deal with. c02707c766261aeb5fc516d564ea5b15


I DESERVED IT, DIDN’T I?

I was physically assaulted for years by different men and there were times when I woke up that I didn’t remember agreeing to have sex with a person or know where I was.

Alcoholism will lead you to dark places and to people you wouldn’t normally be friends with.

My parents were actually good parents. They had some moments when we were younger that could’ve been better but I don’t think any of it was too bad. Then again maybe it was and I don’t want to remember it. I don’t really know. I do know I was always painfully shy, over weight by the 6th grade with glasses and acne. It wasn’t fun from the 6th grade to the 12th grade. A lot of damage was done that couldn’t be undone.

When no one stands up for you as a child or intervenes you start to believe what is being said to you. So I believed I was fat, useless, ugly, unlovable, even that I smelled when I didn’t because everyone believes when you are fat you must smell. I was the cleanest person I knew. I became obsessed with expensive perfume as I grew older because of one comment made in the 10th grade. I’ve spent thousands of dollars on perfumes from places people have never had of.

The group of people I surrounded myself with when I began drinking at 16 were all predators in some way or another. Some were emotional predators, some financial, and some sexual or needed to feel in control.

I was perfect for all of it. I had zero self confidence and thought I was nothing when I arrived. I worked hard and always had money. I was easy to control when drinking and I was always drinking to numb a feeling or fake a personality or emotion or to feel normal. They saw me coming a mile away and never wanted me to leave.

While one would say and do cruel things another would be there to act as the good guy. Then it would flip. I went on like this for almost 9 years starting at 16. Those are important years where you learn how to be a young adult then an adult. I didn’t learn any of those things. I learned a lot of street smarts and how to immediately scan a room for scumbags or trouble. I learned to always sit with my back against a wall facing the door so I could see who was coming and going. I learned not to trust anyone ever again and to look people in the eye. I learned how to read facial expressions and tell when a person is lying to me.

I learned all of these things the hard way and by slowly becoming the monsters I hated.

I never fully became the monster but I still carry that fear with me and the street smarts. I also carry the “Trust No One” mentality with me because it huts too much to trust and be let down over and over again even by your family. I have brief flashes of the rage I carry deep within me and I won’t lie, it scares me. I wouldn’t hurt another person but I would hurt myself in that rage as I tore through the World. So I have to be careful with it and channel it into something else. That’s where the tears and stuttering come in I think.

I didn’t ask for any of this. The mental illness I knew was a 50/50 shot so was the drinking. But when I was growing up no one really knew that or talked about it. If my parents had taken me to a Doctor when they first suspected I would have been institutionalized until the age of 18.

It’s here and now at 44 that I decide how I want to deal with all of what I’ve been through, what I’ve learned, what I still need to learn, and pass it on.

If I could travel and speak on Radio Shows or in High Schools and tell the absolute truth with no sugar coating that’s what I want to do more than anything. There are too many organizations right now that so many feel like they don’t belong in because all they see are the positive messages of hope and recovery which is fine but don’t promise it right out of the gate. When I’m feeling like 0 the last thing I want to see are shiny happy people holding hands because I’ll already have the thought of failing in my head.

I don’t know if I’m making sense about this at all or if I’m completely off base and too messed up to even know it. I wouldn’t mind some feedback as long as you don’t completely tear me down because then that’s all I’ll think about for weeks. Ridiculous! But that’s who I am now. I’m a lot stronger in many areas but I still seek love and approval. I’m a work in progress like everyone should be.alone-by-edgar-allan-poe-scarebaby-design


WORLD SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY (The Problem With Known Spokespeople)

We need to talk about suicide and suicide prevention but I believe it has to be done in a responsible way and with great care.

It’s good when a person who is well known can admit they have a mental health issue and try to help others.

What isn’t helpful is when they imply or give the illusion that they are “all better” because they ate the right foods, exercised, meditated, and have God helping them.

A large percentage of people with Bipolar Disorder or Schizophrenia have a tendency to develop Body Dysmorphic Disorder and focus strongly on Religion. I have seen this in my own family and it might be one of the many reasons it bothers me the way it does.

My Auntie Donna wouldn’t eat for days and would let expensive food rot in her refrigerator until there were maggots that were so bad they escaped the fridge and were on the ceiling. It was my Mom who had paid for the food and the both of us that had gone to check up on her. It wasn’t the best experience I’ve ever had, the smell would’ve knocked you over but my Aunt was used to it. She was skin and bones and obsessed with “getting fat”. She never hesitated to say something hurtful and mean about my weight every time she saw me. This would alternate with Religion and her obsession with thinking her Doctors were trying to kill her to this day. My Mom only got a break from this when she passed away.

I’ve met more than my share of mentally ill religious people who remind me of the Alcoholic who replaces one addiction with another.

When a person has 100,000 followers or more and isn’t truthful about recently having a Manic/Depressive Episode that was pretty bad but instead publicly states “positivity, positive people, the right diet, exercise and Faith/God” is what saves him it’s irresponsible.

How many people who are looking for any way to feel better will go off medications, won’t go to a professional for help, and follow this thinking instead? What happens if they are severely ill with hallucinations or hear voices but think if they eat right, exercise and go to Church everything will be fine? I can tell you nothing good will happen.

You can’t have an event with celebrities who are not willing to be honest or give correct information because we will lose more people.

Isn’t it bad enough that on average we will die 20 years younger than everyone else because Primary Care Doctors are biased against us and don’t take our physical symptoms seriously? We are not having our medications monitored on a regular enough basis so severe side effects are not being caught in time. The staff in physical health services judge us as soon as our mental illness is disclosed right on down to the secretary. This is all fact. More needs to be done about Integrated Care but if we keep fooling ourselves, listening to false information, refusing to advocate for ourselves or research or own diagnosis than nothing will change.

On another note I want to talk about Chris Cornell. His writing was brilliant and so was his voice. He had beautiful eyes with a smile to match. But you can’t tell me I was the only one to notice the times his eyes were manic, his smile fake, his lyrics telling a story of depression and anxiety just like his body language did. He would often tap his foot or bounce his leg, he paced back and forth, when he would sit he would rock back and forth sometimes holding his head in his hand. Then there were times where he was still, quietly staring at nothing with a blank expression on his face. I recognize all of this I’ve seen it often because they are all things I’ve been told that I do and have done since a young age.

He was pulled out of rehab to make the video for “Cochise” and if you watch it you can see it wasn’t a good time. The scream he does in that song is visceral and cuts right through me. I don’t know about conspiracy theories but I do know he was someone who struggled immensely and suffered greatly all you have to do is understand the lyrics to see that and feel that. The people around him failed him in many ways, I do believe that 1 or 2 were trying to intervene towards the end but maybe it was too late or they didn’t realize how serious the situation had become. He wasn’t a coward, he was a human being with a lot of pain that most people will never understand unless you have been there. I still think about him everyday and listen to a song, I’m trying to do it less and less because it isn’t healthy for me. It’s difficult when there was someone who understood so much about you without even knowing you. When your own family is tired of trying to understand and have lost their sympathy/empathy and you no longer have friends to confide in.

Yes, I’m still here. I love my Dad he has been there for me in the past when no one else was. I wouldn’t have over 9 years of sobriety without him. I won’t put him through the kind of grief a suicide brings. He already blames himself for my illnesses and believes if he had gotten me the help I needed when he and my mom first suspected something wasn’t right I would be okay. The truth is back then they didn’t know much and it probably wouldn’t have made a difference. He was afraid they would institutionalize me and I was only 8/9 years old. My Mom had already seen what that does to a person with her brother and sister and refused to take me to a doctor. I don’t blame either one of them. Both of them loved me and that’s enough.


GO ON AND SAVE YOURSELF

I won’t follow along with an ideal or concept unless I’ve asked questions and received answers that satisfy my curiosity. If this doesn’t happen or I find reason to disagree with the masses I find myself being scolded, judged, or told to “go along to get along”.

Guess what? I’ll be 45 in January ( I know I don’t look it at all! ) and I’ll be damned if at this stage of my life I’ll be bullied or told to be quiet anymore. I’m done being quiet, silent, playing nice, sugar coating events and feelings and being a doormat.

So this is my opinion take it or leave it.

Some group somewhere decided what was “right” and what was “wrong” when it comes to words used describing “Mental Health”.

  • Saying a person is mentally ill is no longer correct.
  • You should say they have a mental health condition.
  • Crazy, insane, bonkers, etc. is unacceptable. (Not sure when it ever was?)
  • Instead people should say they’re diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder/Schizophrenia/Depression
  • They suffer from Bipolar Disorder/Anxiety/Schizophrenia is also wrong to say.
  • The correct phrasing is “they live with a mental health condition/illness. (what about the first one where mentally ill is no longer correct?)
  • They committed suicide is also wrong.
  • They died by suicide is the right way to phrase it. (what about those that try? Do we say they failed to die by suicide or they survived a suicide attempt making them survivors & that has never sat well with me considering I have failed five times myself because I was too drunk.

All of this is ridiculous. The money spent on this research could’ve been put towards better treatment options.

RECOVERY, RECOVERY, RECOVERY, YOU BEAUTIFUL BASTARD THAT DOESN’T EXIST IN MY WORLD I HAVE A BETTER CHANCE OF DAVE NAVARRO FLYING ME OUT TO L.A. FOR DINNER THAN I DO AT RECOVERY. (so for invoking your name Dave)

  1. Recovery implies that mental illness is a choice. Serious mental illness like Bipolar or Schizophrenia are considered lifelong chronic health conditions. Both take a toll on the body and brain, there is no cure.
  2. Recovery suggests a need to return to “normal” state. Which makes me feel more alone and worse about myself. I know I’m not the only one. It also contributes to Stigma.
  3. The concept of recovery by society is detrimental to the person living with the illness/situation. Questions are asked; If people recover, why aren’t you? It must be something you’re doing wrong. Maybe your medications are “preventing” your “recovery” or your choice not to take medications is.
  4. Recovery is an unrealistic standard for any chronic illness whether it’s an autoimmune disease like Celiac (which I have), cancer, Chronic Kidney Disease (got that too), or Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia and some Somatoform Disorders. The best you can do is try to manage them. If you experience psychosis or are not capable of rational decisions/choices why are people expecting you to choose recovery?
  5. Behavioral Health isn’t the same as Mental Illness. Behavioral Health focuses on diet, exercise, mindfulness, and sleep habits. This is fine for a person who might feel a little sluggish or down at times but not for anyone diagnosed with a serious mental illness. There is a huge difference. Changing what I eat will not stop me from seeing myself hanging from a forest of trees at the library. Exercising when there are many days my bones feel like they’re broken won’t stop me from sitting on my kitchen floor with butcher knife pressed into my stomach with no knowledge of how I got there. I also couldn’t hear my Dad calling my name or feel him shaking me. I was in another place and it was scary for both of us.

I suffer, I don’t feel like there is recovery for some of us due to many complicated circumstances but there is remission sometimes. I look forward to those small windows of some kind of happiness or as close to it as I can get. I’ll call myself whatever the hell I want to. I’m the one who has had to live this way for 32 years with so many suspecting or misdiagnosing, poking and prodding, degrading and judging, I’ve earned that right. And maybe I am a survivor or I just like to fight sometimes either way this is it I AM A BIPOLAR ALCOHOLIC IN REMISSION 9 1/2 YEARS ATHEIST WITH CONVERSION DISORDER, SOCIAL PHOBIA AND SEVERE ANXIETY. I HAVE TRIED TO COMMIT SUICIDE 5 TIMES BUT DID SO WHILE EXTREMELY INTOXICATED SO I’VE HAD MY WRISTS STITCHED, DRANK CHARCOAL, STOMACH PUMPED, ANKLE WRAPPED FROM MY ATTEMPT AT FLIGHT, SOME OF THESE MORE THAN ONCE. AS I GOT OLDER AND SOBER I STOPPED TRYING. I STILL THINK ABOUT IT BUT NOW IT’S ONLY A THOUGHT BECAUSE I’M TOO AFRAID OF NOT KNOWING WHERE I’LL GO WHEN I DIE AND THAT’S THE TRUTH.

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO SUPPORTS ME AND DOESN’T JUDGE ME HERE.

It’s once you enter more of the real world that it’s harder.


TO TELL THE TRUTH WILL BE THE HARDEST THING YOU DO

My parents always lived paycheck to paycheck but did their best to make sure their children were loved and taken care of. When my twin sister and I were babies we were in cribs that had wheels. The wheels supposedly locked in place but my mom came in to check on us one night and my crib somehow was across the room and not where it was supposed to be. My mom was frightened and couldn’t understand how it had happened. She put it to the back of her mind. Except it kept happening. My parents finally realized I could pull myself up and I was rocking back and forth. I would continue this soothing behavior for the rest of my life. Whether it was side to side or back and forth I’ve done it since I could talk. What does that say?

I also bounced one leg like a jackhammer without even realizing I was doing it. Teachers would call me out publicly for doing so. Rocking side to side while standing in the lunch line in Elementary School didn’t help either. It’s surprising how many teachers feed into the bullying of someone who is different.

Anxiety started at such an early age I didn’t know what it was. I thought maybe I was dying, adopted, an alien, robot, a mistake, I never thought I belonged, I always knew I was different. People around me at some point or another made sure I knew it too. Little jabs and comments from relatives they thought I didn’t hear or understand. The kids at school, teachers, and now even Doctors.

I always had trouble being away from my Mom for any length of time. In my early teens I did cut myself occasionally to distract my brain. I’d have to deal with the actual physical pain instead of the mental pain for at least awhile. But I knew I couldn’t do it often because my Mom was the nosiest woman on the Planet and noticed everything. I think she really did have eyes in the back of her head.

Besides the rocking that started so early I also had nosebleeds that started at the same time. I’ve told the story before where a babysitter wasn’t told about my nosebleeds or how I could move my crib. When she looked in our room all she saw was blood all over the walls and my crib way across the other side of the room. Not a good night for her.

The nosebleeds continued until I turned 12 when a Doctor decided to take out my tonsils and adenoids. By that time I had my nose cauterized 3 times. If you’ve never had it done let me paint you a picture. In the movies when someone is stranded without medical attention and a wound won’t stop bleeding and they’re afraid of infection someone will heat a piece of metal/iron until it glows red. At that time they press it to seal the wound. In modern times they use a chemical version that’s shoved up your nose. It still hurts like hell. Again, no one bothered to find out why I was having nosebleeds almost everyday. No one bothered to find out why I was rocking either.

I talk about these things now because the brain is more complex than anyone will ever know in our lifetime. We can’t know why a person makes the choices they do because we don’t live in their head. We haven’t been through what they have. Not everyone can pray away their pain, talk away their hopelessness, when they don’t even know why they feel it in the first place.

Most of the time I asked myself “What’s wrong with you? Why can’t you be happy like everyone else? If your own twin can do it so can you. Are you stupid? A mistake? What’s wrong with me?” Having a twin who is living a “normal” life is excruciating to watch and feel. It isn’t resentment. It’s regret.

While I was drunk one night I found out a person I cared about had said and done some upsetting things. He had called me names which I should’ve expected, he told everyone he was only with me to get close to my best friend W, he wouldn’t normally sleep with a “fat bitch” like me, and to top it off I walked in on him kissing W. I grabbed a knife from the sink and started slicing. I was pissed, hurt, and somehow thought it would show them something. What I don’t know. It took awhile for W to find me and take me to the Hospital. My parents weren’t called that time because W was there to back up my lie.

I slit my wrists one more time, overdosed twice, and jumped off the roof of a building (I was too drunk to realize how close to the ground I was). Anyone who fails that many times really needs to give up and accept there’s a reason why you are not succeeding.

I’ve been reading new research. It shows a link between women who had a virus while pregnant that passed to their baby’s brain. A neurologist told me my mother must of had a virus while pregnant because it showed where I had an infection in my brain at one time that caused continuous swelling. This is also linked to mental illness.

The Danish finished research recently where they found that between the years 1945-1995 92,000 Danes were diagnosed with a mood disorder, 36,000 of them had a severe infection or developed an autoimmune disease at some point before being diagnosed with a mood disorder.

The research is strong between inflammation and mental illness. I can’t overlook it considering I have Celiac Disease, Degenerative Disc Disease, Osteoporosis, Spinal Stenosis, Arthritis, and various other problems. There’s also a genetic factor and ethnic factor. It mostly happens with people from Celtic descent. This would be my Mom’s entire family. My Nanny’s side and Poppy’s side both. My mother’s maiden name translates to “dark stranger” from when the Norse invaded Ireland and settled there. Eventually the Norse name became my mom’s maiden name which matches the information we have about where my Grandfather came from in Ireland.

I think I’m off track. It’s almost 4:00 p.m. and my thought process goes downhill starting at 3:00 p.m. so I only have a little bit of time left.

What I wanted to really say is it’s nice to try to reach out to people who need help. If you do it the right way. Blaming someone who is already gone is pointless. When a person is spiraling downward in their own head you can’t get through, believe me I know this first hand. If Psychosis is involved and the person is hearing a voice telling them how useless they are, they’re a piece of shit, their kids would be better off without them so would their entire family, they hurt everyone around them they should just disappear, it’s almost impossible to make that person listen or to expect that person to call you and talk.

There’s nothing rational about suicide so expecting the person to act rational and call someone for help isn’t rational. That’s why it hurts everyone involved as much as it does. Even when the person survives an attempt their life is no longer their own. Trust is gone, relationships damaged beyond repair, no one knows what to say or do so they pretend you are no longer there as if you actually did die. That’s my experience from my life because I’ve lived it. I didn’t read about it in a book or watch 13 Reasons Why I live it and I’m still living it. But the key word in all that I’ve said is “live”.


I AM UNIQUE, QUIRKY, LOYAL, SENSITIVE AND MENTALLY ILL

I know if I don’t take some type of medication I will at some point find another way to ease my anxiety, pain, racing thoughts, fatigue, delusional thinking, compulsive behavior, and suicidal thoughts. The last one won’t be a thought anymore if I start drinking again.

I’m only getting the benefit of a small amount of my medications and I know this. Even when I was getting the full benefit I still wasn’t close to “normal”. Chances are I never will be.

I get frustrated at people who advocate for Breathing Therapy and Exercise as a cure/tool for depression but it WILL NOT WORK FOR ME.

I get pissed when I listen to Dr. Drew try to talk about a subject he obviously knows nothing about, treating mental illness with addiction. Everything he said to me was wrong. Most research and scientists have found that the undiagnosed underlying mental illness causes a person to seek relief from alcohol and drugs. The majority of mental health professionals do not know how to treat both and the person gets bounced back and forth or isn’t treated at all.

Then I read a blogger who doesn’t believe in Treatment Resistant Bipolar Disorder. I read the Blog expecting to see evidence, statistics, quotes from researchers, but it’s just their opinion. That’s fine everyone is allowed to have an opinion. The problem is when you have thousands of followers and your a supposed Bipolar Guru.

I also don’t appreciate someone repeatedly trying to tell me I’m wrong and why when I’ve already conceded. I dislike confrontation of any kind so I’ll eventually tell you what you want to hear to avoid conflict that will trigger stuttering and tremors. It isn’t worth it. I don’t know you and I have enough problems with my own family thinking I don’t try hard enough to get better and that I’m just lazy.

I think I’ll have my medical file tattooed on me to make it easier. When I mentioned “Life saving measures were taken” when I went into Kidney Failure both my Dad and twin sister didn’t believe me. Do they think you lose 100% of one kidney and 39% of the other because you have a cold? Or I had to stay in the hospital for over a week because they liked my company? I’m tired of having to prove that I’m sick it’s ridiculous.

They think because I lied when I was drinking that I’m a liar. That’s fair and I don’t blame them up to a point. I’m over 9 years sober and they now know why I was drinking and what I went through when I drank. I have not lied since I’ve been sober (except if someone asks me if they look like they’ve gained weight you can’t win with that one)

I’m not a bad person, I’m a little odd at times. My sense of humor is strange and I find things fascinating that most people don’t. I love to research a topic but I become obsessed sometimes if I can’t figure something out. Sometimes I’m quick to anger but I’m also the first to admit I’m wrong and I’ll feel guilty and cry for days until I make things right.

If I love you you’re lucky because you’ll get the shirt off my back and I’ll take a bullet for you (just ask W. about that one) my mom was the same way she protected those she loved.

That’s it for today. I’ve been binge eating for some weird reason. Not really weird it’s because CVS changed the Generic version of one of my medications. Instead of drinking I’m eating Gluten Free Frozen Yogurt, Gluten Free Cupcakes, Boar’s Head Dill Pickle Spears (I drink the juice too for my gallbladder), Rice Chex w/ Cinnamon & Sugar, Jax Cheese Puffs, I think there was more but I can’t remember lol


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