Monthly Archives: June 2013

Confession

I thought I could get through this with just prayer, but it doesn’t seem that way.  I’m on medication and it seems to be helping.  I know I go through bouts of hard times and everything, but I’m much better than where I was when I lost everything a year ago.

There.  It’s out there.  To explain, I have bipolar disorder.  It’s not something that is easy to live with, for me or for anyone around me.  I have periods of stability, for which I am very grateful for, but other times, I am higher than a kite.  Superhuman abilities, that’s what I think of myself.

Let me be more specific.  When I was 19, I had an episode.  I’m inclined to label it a “nervous breakdown” because identifying with my mental illness is hard.  (Look – I’ve been blogging for 5 years now and never even admitted to it once.)  Either way, I lost it.  Leading up to the breakdown I was under a severe amount of stress in college.  It all came to a head when I came down with a terrible cold and wasn’t sleeping.  Eventually, my mania rose and rose until I was flying high.  Everything seemed possible.  Everything was better than fantastic, it was outrageously fantastic.  You couldn’t shut me up.  I just kept talking and talking and talking and writing and writing and writing.  The world seemed glorious at that point.

Then it started to get scary.  I was panicking.  I couldn’t drive, I got out of the car and ran to a stranger’s house and begged her to let me in.  Said I didn’t know where I was or how to get home.  The cops came and picked me up.  Later on, my parents drove me to the hospital.  They were scared to have me committed, so they kept me at home.

The second episode I had was fairly recent.  I just had a newborn baby and was not taking the right medications since I was breastfeeding.  I wasn’t being monitored on these meds as I stopped seeing my therapist, and this was the perfect combo for me to run face-first into another episode.  This time I was ranting and raving like a lunatic.  I crushed my own glasses, trashed my car, threw my keys in the river and went racing down the road, running from my paranoid thoughts.

Eventually my husband found me in the middle of the road and picked me up to take me home.  The cops came and I said nothing.  Later on, I thought I was possessed and started having a full-on exorcism on myself.  The paramedics came at that point, and I was able to get the help I needed by going to the hospital and then later to a psychiatric ward for a two-week stint.

So where do I go from here?  I know I have this illness and it really affects the family.  Right now I’m recovering from a depressive episode that has lasted for a little under a year.  I’m on 150 mg of Zoloft, 100 mg of Lamectal and a Klonopin now and then.

There.  I said it.  The dreaded word:  Medication.  As if I am a zoned-out zombie shoveling purple-colored pills down my throat.  No, it’s not like that.  They help me stay stable so I don’t go berserk and go running down the street like a maniac.
It’s just hard to confess all of this.  That’s why I am looking for your support.  If there are other blogs about living with mental illness, please direct me to them.  I need to know I’m not the only one with this up and down roller coaster of a life.

Klonopin

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Klonopin.

I took one this morning to help me get through the day.  I’ve been having such severe anxiety since getting off of the Abilify.  The Lamictal is not helping.

Mental illness has such a negative stigma that I hesitate to even write about it on this blog.  But yes, I am bipolar.  I have had 2 manic episodes in my lifetime, and multiple episodes of depression (so many that I lost count.)

Bipolar disorder has rearranged my entire life.  It almost kept me from graduating from college and it cost me my last job.  It put me in the hospital and damages my life in ways I can’t repair.

My mom and dad are coming to visit me today.  They are part of my support system – and they are always there for me.  They came to visit me when I was in the hospital, and they hovered over me when I had my first manic episode.  I am very grateful to them for all the support they give me.  Sometimes, when I’m really deep in depression, my dad will call and just hearing his voice makes me cry with relief.  He always seems to know what to say to help me get through it.  I suppose knowing the black dog himself helps him impart his coping methods to me.

So back to the meds:  Klonopin is one of the drugs that I’m scared of.  It’s an addictive, often abused tiny pink pill that I am prescribed to take “as needed.”  Well, I never needed it so I stayed away from it.  But now, I can see that I need it in order to help maintain my sanity, keep me even, and prevent me from losing everything for the second time in my life.

So I took it.  And it helps.  But I hate it.

Autism Spectrum Disorder

An uninterrupted shower, coffee and a cigarette.

We took my son to the doctor this week.  A month ago, when he was visiting his regular doctor’s office, a new doc started asking me questions:

“Does he speak well to others?”
“Is he shy?”
“Does he play with other kids?”

I knew where this was going.  She wrote me a referral to visit a pediatric neurologist to determine if my son had an autism spectrum disorder.  I went home and searched everything I could about autism.  I read blogs, I researched symptoms, causes, everything.  I wanted to know if this was my fault somehow, if somehow, something I had done had caused him to have autism.

But today at the doctor’s office, after testing my son with flashcards, exercises, and asking many questions to us as parents, it was determined that he does not have autism spectrum disorder.  I breathed a sigh of relief.  I know there are many families out there that courageously take care of their special needs children with all that it entails.  I admire their strength and drive to do all that is best for their children.  I don’t know if I would have had the ability/energy to handle it all right now.  I feel I’m stretched as far as I can go, and having this to bear on my shoulders might have been too much to carry.

I feel blessed that my son doesn’t have to go through life with the stigma of autism.  Having gone through this experience, though, I feel more knowledgeable of autism and autism spectrum disorder, and for that I am thankful.

Just Give Me One Day

I can’t share where I work, but I do want to comment on my current work situation.  I’m grateful I even have a job, first of all.  I lost a very good job when I had a mental breakdown in 2011.  Since then, I worked at a bank, which was terrible for my anxiety.  I acquired my current position in the fall of 2012.

Maybe it’s just today.  Maybe it’s because I didn’t want to get out of bed this morning.  Maybe it’s because I have to take my son to a very important doctor’s appointment today and it is weighing heavily on my mind.  Whatever the reason, I don’t want anyone to talk to me.  Nobody.  I don’t care what the issue is, who you are, or what you have to say.  Just leave me alone.

I know this is unreasonable.  I know that.  But can I just have one day where no one is telling me what I did wrong, where no one is making snide comments about my work performance, where no one is bothering me with their tiny points of totally absurd non-important drivel?

Cause I just really need everyone to stay out of my face today.  So just back off.

It’s Finally Saturday

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I made it.

Yesterday when I got off of work, I went to a restaurant and had a nice sandwich.  I drove to a friend’s house and chatted with her and her family, then went off to my therapy appointment.

Therapy helped (for once) by helping me identify that what I’d been feeling all week was anxiety.  We figured out that if I can bring in a structured routine to my afternoons with the kids, it should help reduce what I’ve experiencing.  Also discussed different forms of relaxation – meditation, deep breathing, calming visualizations – in addition to positive self-talk.

All of this should help if I introduce it into my life.

All through therapy I felt twisted and breathless.  I was curled up in a ball on the chair and was pulling on my hair like I wanted to rip it out.  Once we were done talking, I was sitting in the chair like a normal person again and though my hair was frazzled thanks to me destroying it for an hour, I actually can admit I felt a little better.

My husband works till noon today and then he is off to spend the day with us again.  We are planning to go to the park and go fishing, so I’m looking forward to that.  It should be a relaxing day, which I need more than anything else.

Broken

I’m tired.

Today my cat pissed on my favorite bra.  I have a $20 gift card to Target that I got from Medicaid for getting my son lead-tested.  I’m probably going to spend it on getting a new one.

I need a break from this:  coffee, drive, work, home, kids, crazy, sleep, repeat.  I feel like I’m going to puke.  I told my husband:  “I’m overwhelmed.  I’m beat.  I can’t take anything more.  I’m maxed out.”  He wants me to tell him when I reach my limit.  How else can I say it?  Do I have to be sobbing or screaming for him to listen to me?

Did I mention I was tired?

Mommy

I don’t have the energy to edit this so I’m just going to post it as it is.  I’m tired and I’m beat down and this is what I wrote.  I hate poetry, I think I really suck at it but maybe someone will find something in reading this.  Here it is:

As I look in your eyes I have to apologize you see Mommy is sick sometimes and doesn’t feel right, doesn’t feel like herself in a mind that’s tied up and tight.  Mommy feels nauseous, confused, bottled up and abused.  I wish it wasn’t this way; I wish my words could express what I want them to say but it just doesn’t happen like that, my words come out twisted and flat, flat on my face I fall but you’re the reason I get up at all.  My mind’s twisted balled up like fists you help me each day to exist I look to you for my inspiration i’m sorry I brought this division it wasn’t mine to decide but know that I’m on your side forever and ever I will be I pray you’ll be with me through thick and through thin I’m so glad you’re my kin to love me even though I’m not me Your shining eyes are all that I need
to show the love that I need
please don’t ever you doubt the love that we share
you will and always will be my only favorite pair
you pull me along each day
and you show me the way
to express what I need you are the reason I bleed
with every heart beat I plead for you to always be
happy whereever it leads
please God make sure my kids never see
the grueling pain that exceeds
with every breath that I breathe
I want them always to know even though I can’t always show
how much I love them inside
I pray they always can find
a space to love me and sigh
I never want them to see
their Mommy’s pain that she feels
a scab that never will heal
an open wound that won’t seal
with every step that I take
and every moment I fake
to try to see through their eyes
the harshness that I put in their minds
of mommy holding her breath
to try to take one more step
one foot in front of the other
how can they call me a mother
when I don’t even feel them
their hugs don’t even connect
their smiles don’t even affect
the fucking mood that I’m in
the world continues to spin
out of control even when
I try to halt it and then
it comes down crashing around
and makes me fall to the ground
they beg me please mommy stand
won’t even try to pretend
that I can
Please God make them understand
it’s not for them that I cry
I have a pain I can’t mend
a fierceness I cannot bend
or change in any way
no matter how much I pray
Don’t lose the hope in your eyes
don’t listen to mommy’s cries
and in the morning I’ll rise
and make sure your lives comprise
of a love that won’t die and even if I am gone
you’ll know you won’t be alone