Wait for it…

If life could get worse for me, it will.

My husband and I have been married for 10 years, but sex has never been very important to my husband. For the last 3.5 years we hadn’t had sex, but a few weeks back, that changed. My husband was finally in the mood after a 10 day trip away. Did I tell him no? Of course not. I was so excited and well, not thinking.

So, now I’m a week late. I’m going to take the pee-on-a-stick test tonight, but before I do. I wanted to write down my thoughts.

Do I want a baby? No. Yes. No. Oh hell no. Maybe. UGH!!!

Being bipolar, I am so afraid of causing my baby any health conditions. Birth defects can happen.

Plus, the stress I’m in right now. I can’t afford to go crazy when I’m pregnant. I’m so scared.

Why am I under stress? My previous employment is no more, so I have to find a job. We just sold our house and have to be out by the end of April, but we don’t have another house to move into yet. The club I’m in is adding more and more responsibility to me. I’m so busy and then I don’t get appreciated at our convention. Thanks!

To make matters worse, my best friend and sister has tried to commit suicide 3x in the past month. My heart screams thinking about it. I was gone her first try, but she just threw up all the pills and slept it off. The second time, I noticed her texts to me were unusual so I asked my other sister to check on her and we realized she lied to both of us and went off on her own. My sister got to her first and called the ambulance just in time. I lived an hour away and had no hope of getting to her in time. She spent 2 weeks in the hospital. Then a few days later, she made a good plan, but she decided to ask for help instead of carrying it out. Now she’s back in the hospital.

All this pain in losing my family company and almost losing my sister is crushing me because now I’m just waiting for the bomb to take me out.

Oh wait. Am I pregnant?

Inner Turmoil

robin_williams_01News of Robin Williams’ death made my heart plummet and my eyes well up with tears. Learning he may have committed suicide brought thoughts of hopelessness to my already raging depression.

I remember once discovering that Robin Williams may have had bipolar disorder and not just depression, but now I can’t find any proof of that. He never openly admitted to having bipolar disorder. Bipolar or not, it shouldn’t matter. He was an exceptional man. Unfortunately, his inner turmoil overwhelmed him for whatever reason.

Williams’ death will hopefully help others realize that they should get help for their depression, instead of trying to deal with it on their own.

Deepest Sympathy to Robin Williams’ family and his friends. The legend will be missed.

 

My Rocky Path

light at end of tunnelLife is often times filled with the unexpected and sometimes it is filled with complacency. I just read a post from a friend and I felt my heart go out to her during her hard time of loneliness. I wish I could help her in some way, but how? I have no words of wisdom, but I do want her to know that I’m here for her if she needs someone. She doesn’t have to be alone.

Why does life have to be so complicated? Recently, another friend of mine from high school lost her father unexpectedly. His death reminded me that my father does not have long for this world. I dread the moment when he is no longer … I can’t even type the words. Tears are flowing just at the thought. My life and the life of my family revolves around my father. He created the company that we all work for and I fear that the company will go with him when…

I’m lucky to have my husband and the love and support of his family, but that could be taken away from me too. What would I do?

I’ve often heard people say things like…”Life doesn’t have a remote control, get up and change it yourself.” Well, how do you change a life that is dictated by everyone else around you? My father, my husband, my siblings…what would I do without them? Right now, I’m just living in complacency. Waiting for the shoe to drop, but not doing anything to prepare myself for that day. The day when I will have to make a choice…follow my dream or pick up the reigns my father left behind. Can I turn my back on my family? Can I be strong and change this path by following my dream now? I know I will have the support of my husband. He is the light at the end of the tunnel. I just don’t know if I can create that rocky path through the unknown just yet.

Most importantly, can I deal with the pain and emotional trauma my father’s death will put on me? Will my bipolar disorder envelop me once again and send me on an extreme psychotic episode or lead me to suicide? I can’t let myself be blindsided. I have to prepare myself as much as I can.  How? How the hell do I do that? Heaven help me!

“This is what you get when I can’t sleep…”

Well, it’s 2:30 am and I’m up again. I went to sleep at 10:30 pm, but something woke me up about an hour ago. Now I can’t get back to sleep. 😦  I decided to use my computer hoping I don’t wake my husband up with this light at least. I hate waking him up in the middle of the night. I always feel so guilty. So, now what do I do?

I recently started reading Kay Redfield Jamison’s book Night Falls Fast but the topic of suicide right now just doesn’t enthrall me. Don’t get me wrong, I love Jamison. She is a beautiful writer. I only wish I was half as poetic with my words as she is. It is like she analyzes each sentence to pick out the very best word to describe how she is feeling or to make the most dramatic impact. I wouldn’t be surprised if she is rated one of the best writers of our time 50 years from now. She really is a “creative genius.”

 Hey steph, (http://mybipolarlife.com) I think Jamison is the writer I most would like to write to, just like you wrote to Terri Cheney. I guess I don’t because, well, I’m sure she is too busy to talk to someone like me. 😦  I don’t want the disappointment of no acknowledgement.

Anyway, enough with the sob little old me…well I guess I still can’t stop.  I’m thinking of my book right now. I’m trapped in a chapter where I have to devolop a character who is very depressed right now. I’m scared to. I’m afraid I’ll literally fall into a depression if I do. Hence, the reason I was trying to read Jamison’s book on suicide to fall into character, but I’m also afraid the book would influence me to the point where the depression in my book isn’t authentic to me. I stopped reading after the first chapter, but I’m stuck. I probably just told you too much about the novel I’m writing…but on second thought, if you didn’t know already that depression, mania, psychosis…bipolar disorder…wasn’t a main theme in it, then you really haven’t been reading this blog. 🙂  It’s not a memoir. I wanted to do something a little different…well, try it anyway. Knowing me, I’ll never finish it, but I’m a third of the way done with the rough draft.

Hey, to the writers out there…how hard is it to publish? What should the manuscript look like (margins, heading…) I read Janet Evanovich’s “How I Write,” should I go with her suggestions? I’ve read about 5 books on publishing and they all say different things. UGH!! It pisses me off to no end. At least I have time to write right now, but I am going stir crazy because I feel so lonely when I’m not chatting with people on the computer. I feel like my husband’s company isn’t cutting it right now. Probably because all he wants to do is play video games when he’s not at work. 😦

Another think that is on my mind is the success of this blog. I’ve been writing here for a year now, but I barely feel accepted in the bipolar community. I know you accept me Stephanie, but not many people comment and I barely get over twenty hits a day. So, what am I doing wrong? Should I learn to develop my own website? If I do, it will take away from the time I need for writing my novel because I don’t know crap about code and writing a website. I know when I publish I will do just that, but now…I’m I being rediculous? I feel like I am. I suck. Maybe I should start writing that chapter, I think I’m falling into depression again the more I think about my blog and how much I suck.

Oh, Stephanie also brought up a good point. I might be isolating this blog away from those of you that are not bipolar. I hope not!!! I want you to comment. Tell me what you think about bipolar people and the questions you may have about me. I can only give you my opinion and my experience, but I welcome you to read and comment. This blog is NOT just for bipolar people. 🙂

Duals

A College Life for Me

collegeFor those who want to obtain a college degree, it can be very difficult. I do have a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a Secondary Teaching Certification, which I’m learning is a phenomenal achievement. I even graduated with a 3.67 GPA and managed to teach for 3 years.

Why is my story so different than most others with Bipolar Disorder?

Well, first you will have to hear my story to learn the answers.

For those of you that don’t know, I’m a twin. I’ve always been left behind in my twin sister’s shadow. She was the more renowned overachiever that teachers would remember, and I was always thought of as the “sister.” She even was known to be a better writer because she was working for the local newspaper and I was layout editor and writer for our school yearbook. When we went our separate ways for college, she went to the prestigious university and I went to the local university. I was determined to prove myself by getting a better GPA than her this time at least.

During the weekend before my fall semester sophomore finals, I had no idea I was already bouncing between hypomania and mania. I barely knew what bipolar disorder was, let alone that I was bipolar. I was very irritable and angry with the world that Friday night, got drunk on a lot of vodka, became verbally violent to my best friend which all led to my desertion. Alone in my apartment, I became severely depressed for about two hours, contemplated suicide for the first time, then suddenly I was God’s messenger, wrote non-stop, and went to my first final telling the whole class off and wanting them to help stop the impending racial world war and that Y2K would start the beginning of the end.

I was definitely crazy and tried to announce it to the world.

Even though the way I received the much needed help was traumatic for me, I clung to my diagnosis like a life raft in a turbulent ocean. I was terrified of that side of me. At least, I could take medicine to keep it away. I feared I was never going to achieve my dreams. I even felt a deep loss when I realized that I could never be the first female President of the United States…. I never said I wasn’t ambitious, but before that moment I never wanted to be President. I just wanted to be prestigious and be known for doing something to make the world a better place.

Well, I obviously missed finals, but I fully intended to return to college for spring semester. I was taking my meds and seeing and listening to my psychiatrist regularly, so I was doing all I needed to, right? When spring semester began, I made up my finals quickly. I began to form a personal hatred and insecurity for the campus and my apartment because I could not stop remembering what had happened to me, so I commuted from home. I was going to make sure I had the support I needed.

When the depressive side tipped down the teeter tauter, my psychosis slammed back with the help of lithium toxicity and antidepressants. I was flying high again but stayed home instead of going to school until it really became bad. When the television started talking to me, I packed up the van and went back for a second hospital stay. I medically withdrew from my classes and stayed home. I even worked for my parents.  For a while, I thought I was living the rest of my life. Nothing for me was ever going to change. I’d be indebted to my parents and never leave home.

As the months went by, I recovered quite well and my psychiatrist believed I could handle going back to school. I decided not to hide being bipolar and went back to use my experience as topics for my stories, poetry, and papers. After a long discussion with my father, I veered away from having a career in writing and decided to get in the teaching program. He wanted a more “stable” career for me because my writing was “obviously” a trigger for my psychosis, so I devoted my efforts to become a good teacher for my students.

I finished college in five years with extra credits to spare, so I finished a year after my twin sister. She was in medical school and I was joining the work force as an English teacher. After some advice from my teaching advisors, I kept my disorder a secret from anyone who didn’t already know. However, the hardships of my third year of teaching allowed me to realize being bipolar and a teacher isn’t a good combination. For me, teaching at the school district I was in was too demanding and almost expected a more hypomanic attitude from me than I was willing to give. 145 high school students are too much for any “normal” English teacher, let alone one who is bipolar.

Okay, so let’s be a little clearer. These are the points I’m trying to make from the story of my life so far:

  1. Determination and ambition will get you through your highs and lows. If it is hard for you, having someone to drive you forward and show compassion will also help you on your road to success in getting your degree.
  2. Learn more about how you respond to medication to find the right combination for you and stay on your medication.
  3. Avoid alcohol and drugs.
  4. Find a medical support group and a hospital psychiatric ward you like and trust.
  5. Depend on your personal support system like family and friends.
  6. Learn time management.
  7. Learn about yourself and your disorder. This lesson I didn’t learn until my last year of teaching when I finally found a good psychiatrist that I never knew I was missing.

A very good article that relates and may be very beneficial for those who are bipolar interested in going to college is “Back to School with Bipolar? How College can Unleash Mania” by Michele Hoos from Health.com.

For seven years, I never realized I was flying solo in tumultuous weather with the experience of a novice. I didn’t know nearly enough about bipolar disorder, so now I’ve learned a lot. I’m even able to look back and gauge my thoughts and experiences to see that I’m not your typical bipolar.

Please comment and read the comments below! William made excellent comments that you really should read. 🙂 Thank you William!