Talking About Bipolar

Sharing Bi-polar moments


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Relationships

Has anyone started a relationship since being diagnosed with mental illness?

I would like to know how hard is it to date when you have a mental illness?  When do you tell the person you have a mental illness?

I am sure it is not on the first date, maybe not the second.  Do you wait until things get serious?

Is there a certain amount of dates you go on before you tell them?

I am afraid of scaring the person off, but I would like to get to know them before I spring that on them.

If you are in a relationship, has having a mental illness had an effect on any part?

Is it possible to find someone who is patient and loving when you are having a manic episode or going through major depression?

Any answers or words of wisdom is appreciated.

love to all

pb: Persistent Pursuing my Passion to help others by giving them a hand up and walking with them on their journey to being mentally healthy.


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Felt less than

Has anyone ever felt less than by someone else who has mental illness?

It never ceases to amaze me how some people with mental illness behave as though they are above someone else with a mental illness because they may be a therapist, counselor or in some other position in mental health.  Sometimes it may just be someone who works and looks down on someone who does may not be able to work because they are not yet stable with their illness.

We are all in the same boat regardless of what we do or do not do in life.

When you have a mental illness, you can be in the same position as the one you look down upon.

Everyone is in a different place on their recovery journey toward being mentally healthy and we all need to be remember that we have the right to be treated with the same respect and dignity as someone who is stable and can work and do all the things they want to do.

One day those who are struggling daily with their illness will reach a point of stability and be able to live above where they are now.  They will be able to work, to travel, to be left alone with grandchildren, to live alone, to do whatever the illness has put on hold for them now.

Be patient, not condescending.  Be encouraging and lift us up instead of putting us down with words or actions of ignoring us when we speak.  We are here.  We deserve to be heard just as you do..

Remember when you were not stable.  Remember when you were so depressed you did not know if you would ever have a “normal” life again.  Remember when you were manic and did things you knew were not normal for you to do but mania took over.

Remember, just remember and change how you treat us.

Mental illness has no boundaries how it treats us.  You can be depressed again and lose hope.  You can be manic again and cause destruction.  This is a lifetime thing with no guarantees of forever being well.

Remember and encourage, lift up and give a hand up.  Listen, respect and be there for those who are striving to be well.

love to all,

pb: Persistent Pursuing my Passion to help others on their journey to better mental health and a life they only dreamed of because of mental illness.

venice


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A different kind of year living with bipolar

This time last year I was suffering with major depression.  It had been going on for a few months to the point I had to be hospitalized for a week followed up by intensive outpatient therapy for a month and a half.  At the time I was discharged from the program, I had just been put on the anti-depressant EMSAM patch for major depression.

I started wearing the patch in early November and did not start to feel like my old self until late December.  The only problem was that I could feel nothing.  I had no depression but I also had no joy.   My emotions were flat.  This was better than being depressed but was not the fun me that I knew.   I was not completely out of the woods by my standards and would not be until I was laughing again.

The dosage was adjusted again and finally the real me emerged.  No mania, no depression, just me.  I was happy again.

As the spring passed and summer came, I was still feeling good.  I had one major episode of mania that was completely different than anything I had experienced before.  It was scary.  I was not me at all.  I was living as though I was two different people and I was extremely glad when it finally passed.  My doctor had to put me on additional medication for a while but it worked.   The side effects were too great and now that I am stable again, I do not need to continue taking it.  Another victory: the added medication was short term.  A victory because less medication is better if not needed.

Once the summer began to come to an end, I became fearful that the depression would return and made a plan to try to escape it.  I use the maintenance part of my toolkit to maintain a mentally healthy way of living for me.  It works.

It has been a year since I have been on the patch and I did not have to have any medication adjustments for depression since I was diagnosed in 2007.  I feel mentally healthier than I have in decades.

This was a different kind of bipolar roller coaster ride, not one I would want to repeat, nevertheless, not as bad as the other roller coaster of mania and depression several times a year.

love to all

pb: Persistently and Passionately seeking to be a Peer Support to all who want a hand up and someone there who cares and understands.

 

 


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A different kind of year

I am totally loving my life this year.  I don’t just mean from January 2014, I mean this year as in from 09/2013 to present.

First of all, I must thank God that I have not been depressed.  Last calendar year,  I was depressed starting late September and did not start to feel better until Dec. 2013

I thank God that my medication(s) have been the same for the last year.  The Dr. did add another medication {Latuda}.  It is for mania but sometimes it also helps me sleep.  It is a bonus when it does.

Overall, I have been doing and feeling very well.  I have been awesome.  Life is awesome.   When you purpose, plan and pursue awesomeness within yourself, you can have an awesome day.  That’s all we can ask for on a daily basis.

 

Love to all,

pb

PERSISTENTLY PURSUING MY PASSION AS A PEER SUPPORT

Everyone needs a hand up


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Let’s get together and have fun

I started a social club for people with mental illness so we never have to feel alone or continue to do things alone if we choose not to.  We will be doing a lot of different things throughout each month.  We will have a phone check system to call and see how each person is doing.  I know, I appreciate when people think about me and call.

Being alone is another part of suffering that comes with having a mental illness, however, we are much more that our diagnosis.   We are people like all others and want to be with others as well, hence the name of the club is SOL (sun in Spanish because we must carry it inside of us to glare out depression.  It means: Sharing Our Lives.  When we come together and do activities or go on outings, we are sharing that part of our lives.  We are hopefully creating memories to bind us over in the dark times when depression is knocking at the door. Hopefully, we can use these memories to fight the words “you are alone”, “no one cares about you”.

I started a social club for people with mental illness so we never have to feel alone or continue to do things alone if we choose not to.  We will be doing a lot of different things throughout each month.  We will have a phone check system to call and see how each person is doing.  I know, I appreciate when people think about me and call.

Being alone is another part of suffering that comes with having a mental illness, however, we are much more that our diagnosis.   We are people like all others and want to be with others as well, hence the name of the club is SOL (sun in Spanish) because we must carry it inside of us to glare out depression.

The club name also means: Sharing Our Lives.  When we come together and do activities or go on outings, we are sharing that part of our lives.  We are hopefully creating memories to bind us over in the dark times when depression is knocking at the door. Hopefully, we can use these memories to fight the words “you are alone”, “no one cares about you”.

Isolation and loneliness often come with having a mental illness, especially when you live alone.

Everyone handles it differently.  Some people stay inside and do not leave the safety of their homes.  Other people go out only when they have to and almost always alone.  Then there are those who do venture out, but they go everywhere and do everything alone.  Whichever way it is handled, the truth is that we need people.  We need to be around others in a social environment.  We need to laugh and have fun and to remember that even though we have a mental illness diagnosis, we are alive and need to feel alive.

It is great to attend programs designed to help us cope with everyday life and work and so forth, but we still need to connect with people outside of these programs.  What better way to connect with others than to be a part of a social group where everyone has one main thing in common (a mental health diagnosis).

In this setting, nothing ever has to be explained, no one gets upset or think you are being mean on purpose.  You are with others who understand and are wanting to help by being there for you non-judgmentally.

There is a certain level of comfort and feeling of safety we feel when we are at our program.  We are taking that level of comfort and safety we feel at our program and carrying them over into our social life with new connections.  We are now free to entertain, to attend events, to do activities with a group of people who will become our friends and people who care and understand.

If you live in Columbus Ohio, please shoot me an email for more information..  I would love for you to join us.

Stay well and stay safe.

Love to all

pb:  Persistently and Passionately Pursuing my dream to bring us together, because everyone needs someone.


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The tornado of mania has passed

I literally felt myself as I neared the end of my mania episode.

I no longer was high energy able to go all day.  I could actually feel my energy being drained as the day progressed.  The confirmation that it was over was the fact that I could not stay out late as I had been doing for the last couple of weeks.

I was happy for the coping tools I came up with for the next time.

My family will probably never understand what it is like.  If they could just understand my symptoms, maybe they would know that I am behaving or acting differently because of the illness not because I choose to.

Since I often do damage, I need to use damage control measures.  When manic, I will not isolate myself from the places that are my safe haven but I will avoid seeing my family.  It is for their protection and the protection of what relationship we still have as a result of this last episode.  It may not seem like the best thing to do but it is the most logical choice I can make right now.  I do not know how else to provide protection for them from my mania self.

As long as I have people who understand and can be around them, I am also safe.  I can keep in touch via text messaging just to let my family know I am alright.  It is only for a short time.

When I had to take radioactive iodine pills after my thyroidectomy, I had to stay away from my family for a short period of time so as not to contaminate their thyroid.  Once the risk was over, I could return to being around them.  Mania is the same for me. Once it passes, I can go around my family again.

Thank you all for your comments.  Every one of them is greatly appreciated and so are you.  It is hell having a mental illness but it is awesome to have support from people who understand even if you have not met them.

For me, one of the sad things that a lot of people do not know is that among all the mental illness diagnosis’s, bipolar has the highest suicide rate.

We need love, support and understanding.  When it is not there from people in our life, then we have to turn to other resources.  We cannot afford to feel alone or to give up.  We need each other.

We are all totally awesome survivors

love to all

pb: Persistently and Passionately, reaching out to others as a Positive Peer because we all need a hand up


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Please try to understand, it’s not the real me

I don’t know how anyone else feels living through the mania part of bipolar but it stinks for me most of the time.  I am tired of cleaning up messes I make during mania.  The messes are not just relationships but with my life in general.  i get off course, lose focus and have to regroup when it’s done.  Sometimes there is more mess than other times, but that is the way it is with bipolar.  I can only apologize but I cannot guarantee that there will not be another mess ever again.  That I know would be illogical.

I know my family and friends care about me, but they truly don’t understand and I get it now. I don’t think they can understand that i am not the true me with manic behavior.  I know I have not been able to get them to understand that it takes me to places that I normally would not go.  By that I mean I do things that are not characteristic of me.

I have outbursts over the most insignificant things because when I am manic it is as if my brain turns backward.  As I said before, what is logic becomes illogical and what is illogical becomes logical (that’s the only one I can explain it).  Because my logic is illogical it causes problems that normally would not exist.

My patience is ever so thin with people except other people with mental illness because I know they understand. No explanation is needed.

People that I spend a great deal of time with who really know me can tell when something has shifted. They may not understand what mania is or what bipolar is but they know that I am what I have told them is called “manic” when my behavior is erratic.

When manic, I am able to go all day without eating or drinking anything,  My mind and body are in a constant state of go.  I am driven to keep moving, to keep going from place to place until my mind finally gives the okay to go home.  Once I am home, sometimes there is another battle.  My body says go to bed, the mind says not yet, we have work to do.

At first mania is not so bad.  It is great being able to keep a hectic schedule when you live alone.  You appreciate having things to do to keep you going until time for bed.  After a while, I stay out later and later and I stay up later and later.

When mania finally has had it’s fun with me, I am tired and now I have to regroup and get my life back on track. Fortunately, I have been able to remain steady in doing the most important things in my life, I just have to give the body rest and take a mental health day and do nothing that requires thinking.  My mind needs a rest so the brain has time to shift back into the correct position.

One thing that has remained:  I never stopped Persistently Pursuing my Passion as a Peer.

After all, who knows the struggles of mental illness better than someone living it?  Who else can give you hope and encouragement for a better tomorrow and help you on your journey to get to where you want to be?

A Peer.  We help each other

love to all,

pb: Persistently Pursuing my Passion as a Peer


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Mania: a different out of control this time

This last time around mania had a field day.

It did not follow the path it normally takes.  Perhaps it was because I was not following my same routine.

This time I hardly slept.  There was even a time I did not go to sleep for over 24 hours.  Needless to say when I finally went to bed I crashed for the night.  The next night I was back to being up and out late at night.  It doesn’t matter that I was not getting into trouble being out late, but with this change in routine I was missing night medications a lot and did not realize it.  I was also not wearing my depression patch correctly. Sometimes I would forget to put it on.

I had so much energy I needed less and less sleep.  it did not matter how few hours I slept, I was refreshed when I got up.  I would start exercising between 4:30 and 5:30 in the morning.

At night, I would change into my alter ego and do the opposite of what I would normally do.  For instance, I was used to being up late, but at home, not out going from place to place.  No place in particular, just whatever store was open late.  I would go from one to the other.  Wal-mart was a great place to be at night.  No pesky customers getting in your way or rude children running around screaming and almost knocking people over.

I was also on the hunt for a party.  Of course I never found any since I did not know where to look. The point is, that I am not a party person unless someone I know is having a party.  I was just looking for a good time.  I would have gone to the night club except I did not know of any.

Finally,  I had a huge blow up with one of my family members and they almost stopped speaking to me for ever.  Thankfully after we said what we had to say, we smiled.  We knew that regardless of what happened the one thing we could never change is that we are bound by blood.  We said what we felt we had to say and then it was squashed.   Things don’t always turn out that way when I have done manic damage.

What frustrates me is that people in general, whether family or close friends, do not understand that when we are out of character it is a sign that we may need intervention.  When we blowup with rage, it is a sign we are manic and may  need intervention.

This time around, I felt so alone.  I needed someone to be there to anchor me and yet there was no one, so like a ship without a compass or captain, I was lost.  I could not find my way out and there was no one there to guide me.  This was probably the longest and hardest storm of mania I have experienced in a very long time.

Have you ever been manic and felt like you were 2 or more different people because you were one way one part of the day and a different person another part of the day?

Are your mania episodes always the same?

Do you do things out of character when you are manic?

Please share.  I would really like to know.

love to all,

pb

Persistently Pursuing my Passion to be a Peer support person

Everyone needs a hand up and someone to walk with them on their journey


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A lonely disease

I see over and over again how lonely it is having a mental illness.

My family does not seem to see or know the difference when something I do is out of my character and is part of the mental illness.  Most of them seem to think I do illogical, irrational and selfish things just to do them, which is not the case.

There are things I do and behavior I display when manic that I would otherwise not display.  It leaves me feeling that I am a mean person rather than the nice person others seem to think I am.

I feel like an outsider with some of my family members but then I feel silly for having those feelings when called out on them.  What do I do with these conflicted feelings?   I accept that my feelings are my feelings and that I should keep them to myself and move on with life.  It is only a hiccup.

I am trying to accept that some will never understand my illness.  They believe that if certain things would happen in my life,  I would not be dependent upon medication or that my depression would leave for good or at least impose a visit less often.

I have bipolar 1 and I will always be on medication until the psychiatrist tells me I don’t have to be.  I don’t see that happening unless the medical field finds a way to cure our sick brains of the chemical imbalance that causes the bipolar besides, I know what I am like and how I struggle when I am off medication.  I don’t think they would like what they would have to deal with to be around me.

Sometimes I think I will be alone the rest of my life without a companion.  I need someone who can see and know the difference when I am manic and when I am not.  He has to be strong for the both of us when I am depressed.  He has to not give up on me or us and know that I will come through the storm.  I already know I will.  When I am with my family while manic or after mania, I don’t feel this will come to fruition but when I am well or alone, I have hope and I will keep hope alive.

I am alone most of the because I don’t want to have to explain my behavior every time I get manic or have been manic.  I feel like I am hurting important people in my life with my manic behavior but they don’t understand, “It is what it is” and what it is, is manic-depression.  Some things I catch in a thought before it happens, other things are not a thought just an action that surprises me just as much as it does them.  I have to live with the consequences, they don’t so please cut me some slack.  It is not easy to clean up manic messes.

Despite having to be alone most of the time, I am doing okay with me.  I am enjoying the sane parts of my life and dealing with the not so sane parts.  What else can I do; go inside a cocoon and stop living just to protect the feelings of others.  If they really knew me, they would know it is not really me.                                                                                                                                                                                        I wish I never acted out on impulse, felt alone, had to clean up messes and all those good things that come with being bipolar, but it is here to stay so all I can do is learn how to roll with the punches, stay focused, positive, embrace all the good in life I can by going after my dreams and making them come to fruition.

At the end of the day, I am who I am and I have to love me.

stay positive, focused and live your life to the fullest

Love to all

pb: Positively Pursuing my Passion as a Peer Supporter

Everyone needs a helping hand and an understanding ear

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