Category Archives: PTSD

Bipolar – I Think You Should Take Fewer Pills

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I’m going to notify my counselor that I must be rid of my med provider as soon as it can be arranged. I’ve told Arthur, my counselor, that I don’t feel that Jamie (med provider) is working in my best interest. My next appointment with her she started right off by confronting me about what I’d told Arthur. I confessed thit it was true.

It got me no where.

She says that I’m on too many pills and she doesn’t want to add anymore. Apparently, this is her rational for not giving me medication that might actually have helped me.

I’ve been practically begging for something for my anxiety that only get’ s increasingly more consuming with each passing day

This whole school year has been like a nightmare.

She doesn’t want to give me more pills? Bull!! It is not her choice to decide whether what other doctors prescribe me for illnesses she knows even less about than I do.

She has repeatedly used this as an excuse not to give me something that could prevented me from my brake down. I have high cholesterol, my thyroid is out of whack, I have chronic horrible lower back pain, I have FM, RA, OA, a facial tick (probably stress related), PTSD, and have recently been diagnosed with IBS-d. It’s a crap load of stuff, but they have all been dealt with by someone more intelligent than she is.

I’ve asked each and every visit for something to help with the burning anxiety. She refuses. She gives me fewer chill pills.

Does she think I like taking a handful of pills twice a day? Moron.

I’ve finally had a breakdown. I blame her. In December I confessed I’d been having thoughts of harming myself. I’d hidden that for years, but at that point it was too much, and I confessed it.

She did nothing.

If I can’t trust my med provider to guard my mental wellbeing, than who will? There aren’t many options here.

I’ve started to shake, Twitter, and twitch again. I’m graduating today. My anxiety that mixes like a charm with my mania and depression making my constant mixed state even more confusing and painful. It’s too much to handle anymore.

I’m firing her. She truly doesn’t have my best interests in mind. I don’t need one of my medical professionals contributing to my madness. That’s just sick.

Bipolar: It Is Very Difficult to Know

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A lot of the time I hesitate to post because I don’t know what you, my reader, expects to read. I struggle with this every day. I could tell you about my day, but that’s so boring – dull! I could stick to only write about myself and what I’ve learned about Bipolar, but I really feel strongly that this kind of important thing deserves a website of its own so that people in pain or who are looking for answers can go to that site and find answers and acceptance right away. So, I’m developing a website to do just that.

I have Bipolar Disorder Type 1 with mixed states. I also entertain much of the rest of the alphabet. I could drone on and on and try to… well, I think you know where that was going.

Basically I’m a normal 55 year single mom of three who is interesting and has a good sense of humor. I have some compelling stuff following me around that makes me complicated, but who doesn’t? Surely everyone has experienced the strange things accompanying Bipolar, anxiety, depression, ADHD, PTSD, FM, OA, etc.

I have a Japanese Fighting fish like all your neighbors do and speaking of neighbors, also just like you, I politely file noise complaints regarding one nice household whenever my TV starts to loudly rattle. Seriously.

I’m so normal I could bore you silly. Although… did I mention my eldest daughter will be moving in with me in a few months? (Honestly, it’s for the best. I need the support and we can both use help with housing expenses.)

In fact things are sooo boring that I’m going to need to graduate from college with another bachelors degree and I’m going to have two sons and a daughter instead of what has been the standard at my house with two daughters and a son.

See? Boring.

I am first and foremost a woman who deals with an incurable illness and will continue to do so until I die. Well, and perhaps afterward too. I mean, who really knows?

If you don’t mind too much, I’m going to write about all of these things. I might even add in the bits where one of my family members believes that God has them on this earth for only one reason and that is to save his children and to draw them back to Him because they are lost.

Maybe I’ll recount some of my experiences growing upon a ranch as a teen who presented with Bipolar at a very young age and how well that went over with my undiagnosed Bipolar father. Maybe I’ll include fun times at the church I was attending that was into casting out demons. Yeah. Fun times.

Have I mentioned I went to Bible College searching for God? I wanted so desperately for Him to take away the pain I felt that was crushing me from within every day. No? Bipolar, prayer, and demonic possession… seems like there’s a story in there, somewhere.

What’s on your mind? Should I throw caution to the wind and open up a bit more? It all, and I do mean all, ties directly back into this sickness, this life long illness I struggle with. It is all infused with, you know it, Bipolar.

I don’t believe it is a disorder. I believe it’s a disease, an illness and should be treated with the respect it deserves… that we deserve.

Talk to me my Readers. Tell me what you think. Do you have questions? I can’t guarantee I’ll answer, but I’ll read all of them. 🤔

Be well.

Robin

Bipolar – TV

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tvI want to believe that although I have Bipolar Disorder, depression, GAD, PTSD, ADHD and so on I can still be successful.

I want to live an active and full life. Much of the time I convince myself that I can’t do that. I look at my situation and I conclude that if I haven’t started living by this time in my life, that maybe I won’t ever have the life that I want. It’s tempting to fail myself and believe that.

One of the reasons that I sit static in my living room and don’t try to actively change my life is that I watch TV all the time. It is on all the time. I used to listen to music. Now it’s just the TV. As long as I have that continuous stream entering my brain I don’t use it for anything else. It’s so easy to be a spectator.

During school I finally admitted to myself that I was having a hard time doing my homework because it was on all the time. As much as I’d like to think that I can focus effectively on other things while the it is on, it isn’t true.

It’s hard to turn off the TV. It’s my companion. Right now, remarkably, it’s off. I’m listening to classical music on my phone. I’m trying very hard not to watch one of the many shows I have DVR’d. I’m practicing having it off so when school starts next week I’ll be more likely to switch it off while I’m doing homework. I’m sure that I’ll have an easier time doing the work if the TV isn’t invading my brain.

It also keeps me from dealing with myself. I can ignore the fact that I’m not dealing with my ongoing anxiety because I’m occupied with the TV.

I need to have quiet time so I can think. I don’t think well while the TV is on. Heck, I don’t think much at all when it’s on.

I’m finding that I’m having a hard time with this post. It feels disjointed and awkward. Maybe that’s because my companion is silent and I can really hear what I’m thinking. Maybe. I’ve been thinking about having the TV off for some time now. I’m impressed with myself that it is off. There is so much more interesting and important stuff for me to feed my brain with than TV. I’m not saying TV is bad. I’m just saying that when it is the only thing going on in my head it’s a problem.

A man (I can’t recall who) wrote that he used to go into a room every day with a pen and paper and shut himself inside and just think. He didn’t see people; he didn’t read anything. He just thought. I remember when I first read that I thought it was an amazing idea. I practiced it for a while, then, I went back to filling my brain with static.

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. I know I wouldn’t be able to keep them so I don’t make them. However, right now seems like a good time to change my behavior. I’ve pinpointed a problem: I don’t think. I listen to the TV.

Napoleon Hill (1883-1970) wrote: “What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” I’ve always liked that quote. Thinking… that’s a problem. My medications help a lot. Counseling has helped too. My counselor has helped me identify problem thinking and correct it. (Napoleon Hill quotes)

What’s next? Well, my brain is full of what I put into it or what I allow to be put into it. I allow someone else to put their content in it the whole time the TV is on, which is most of the time I’m awake.

The solution seems easy doesn’t it? Turn the TV off. Easy.

Right now… the TV isn’t off.

I’ve learned a lot. Time to change. I should turn it off. I should–

Successfully Bipolar

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Play Date May 12 2016.jpg

My daughter and her puppy Mercy and my dog Bailey on their play date today.

Disasters for yesterday: My elderly (14 years old) cat has been diagnosed with cancer. She throws up at least twice a day on the carpet. Next, while out walking my 2 year old cattle dog barfed. Next I gave the cat the steroids in liquid form and it went all over the kitchen. The dog came to see what was going on and chased the scared cat off. Sigh. I’ll try again tomorrow.

I’m a firm believer in striving and working hard to be successful whether it’s in dealing with myself and my mental health issues or it’s working towards my financial goals. I’m doing so much better with my brain than I am with my finances.

I’ve always been fascinated by success and successful people. While I haven’t been obsessed by it, I have relied upon it to pull me through some pretty serious depressed phases. I have found help in

I believe, that I can follow my passions and reach my goals despite having Bipolar Disorder, PTST and ADHD. I try to live like I believe that. I study and think about my issues and how to be successful. There have been many times when I think about giving up and just trying to survive. Sometimes just living is all I can do… when I’m profoundly depressed.

Today, I’m thinking about what I want to do with my life (I’m 53). I’ve taken to studying how to be successful and reach my goals again. I’ve been reading a new book on Bipolar Disorder so that I can deal with myself more effectively. It’s helping me realize I really am depressed.

One of the first things I’ve learned is that what I think about the most is going to express itself outwardly eventually. It’s like when I get stuck in the circle of depression and all I can think about is how depressed I am, I stay depressed. What I have to do is try to choose to change my thinking, change my state.

Why should I strive for success? What does that even mean? Can I, a person with Bipolar Disorder, even be successful? Or will my illness keep me from reaching my goals?

Every person desires to be successful. They may not identify what they’re doing as trying to be successful, but it is. I want to be successful even it means just liking themselves and I bet you do too.

All people want to be successful. Being successful doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re trying to be rich. People who go to work generally do so to get paid to make money. That money is needed to cloth, feed and have shelter for themselves and the people they live with. Making money is what they are striving for and when they get it, they are successful, but maybe they see their goal as providing for their family.

There is another kind of success where making money is secondary. This is when what you’re doing is something you love doing. You’re following your passion. When you’re able to follow your passion you are successful. The best thing is to follow your passion and make money doing it, at least that’s my goal.

If I set a goal and reach the goal, I am being successful. If you are a person with Bipolar Disorder, you can be successful. If you’re currently depressed you may not feel that way right now, but it really is true. You and I can be successful.

When I’m depressed the idea of reaching a goal is usually the last thing I think of. I’m usually just trying to get up and get through one day at a time.

When I’m manic and I can slow down enough to remember that I have goals, I usually make great strides towards my goals. I love chasing my dreams, my passions and my goals during the manic magic. The problem is I do a lot of chasing and not a lot of catching.

Right now I’m somewhat depressed according to the assessment my new counselor recently gave me. I feel pretty good. I’m focusing on my goals and my passions. It feels good. But I have to ask myself if I should be trying to follow my passion right now. I’m on disability and don’t have a job. I really don’t have any money. Following my passion isn’t going to give me a paycheck or make me money any time soon. But you know what? It is the one thing I can hold on to, when I remember, that I can do fairly well and I can indulge in it anytime I want to. I want to be better at it every day. I hope that I am.

I hope that when you feel well enough, you can figure out what you love about life, what your passions are. I hope that when you close your eyes you can see you and your passion together, see yourself engaged in your passion.

And now, true to my bipolar self, I’m having a mood swing. I had an incident giving my cat some medication and it went very wrong. She was diagnosed with cancer today. Not a great day. But I’ll try to give it to her again tomorrow. I have to hold my shit together right? I’m alone now there isn’t anyone to help me and Siberia is depending on me.

Yah think this is a small test to see if I’m determined to be successful? Yah I don’t think so. It’s just how things go sometimes. I’ll try again tomorrow.

My Best Friend Has Borderline Personality Disorder

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When I look at this I can't help but be amazed!

When I look at this I can’t help but be amazed!

What do you do when your best friend is near rock bottom and has Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), and you have Bipolar Type 1 and you’re doing pretty well. At least, when I compare how we’re both doing I’m doing better than she is I’m doing better than she is.

Do I avoid talking about how I’m doing and play down my successes? Do I focus on trying to help her feel better (I don’t think it’s possible to talk a person who is BPD into feeling better.) There are a lot of ways to approach this problem.

I decided to step up to the plate as it were and take a chance on getting more involved and trying to understand her illness more so when we talk I can have a better chance of understanding what’s going on in her head.

We were texting on Facebook yesterday and she wasn’t doing well (as is her normal state). She was especially down because she was ruminating over her wife divorcing her. She couldn’t let go of thinking about it. I know for certain that rumination is one of the worst things anyone can do especially over something like that.

I was reading one of my blog visitors blogs today and she was talking about how stupid her doctor/psych is and how impossible it is to get help from (I’m taking liberties now) someone you don’t respect intellectually. My friend feels that way too. (As do I)

I can’t talk her down. I’m not able to do that. Yes, I can “just be her friend and listen”, but when you’re very depressed you often don’t feel like talking. Anyone agree with that? I do. Texting seems to give her the ability to respond. Maybe because I’m not right there and there is emotional physical distance. I’m not an immediate threat. She can just close her laptop if she doesn’t want to talk.

I’ve decided to dig deep and try to help her and not just listen. That means I have to spend some time learning about her condition and understanding how it’s different from mine. Do I really want to give up my “feel good time” to expose myself to someone who is so very depressed? Yes, she’s my best friend.

The first thing I thought of was that we needed some kind of common ground. I realized that with her on the other side of the country maybe the best way to do that might be a book. I have a book that teaches mindfulness and it occurred to me that this might be something that might work for her to. It turns out we have the same book: The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook: Practical DBT Exercises for Learning Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Emotion Regulation & … Tolerance (New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook). As you can see from the title it has a section on mindfulness. Now I haven’t been tremendously successful practicing mindfulness, but it gives us something common to talk about even if it’s just talking about how bad we are at it.

It’s important for me not to abandon my friend. Right now, I’m doing pretty well. It’s a good time to give her a hand to grab on to. She’s been there for me when she’s been down. I don’t know how she’s managed it, but she has.

She read my post on AWE and said her mother says something similar to her. She thought it was a good thing to do. I don’t know that she CAN do it right now. But cognitively, she understands it.

She said something that gave me insight into myself that I’d not thought of before and it’s a big difference between the two of us and may be why I’m more likely to be doing better than she is. She said that when I have problems. I work through them. I’m a problem solver. (My words) I don’t just sit there overwhelmed. As soon as I can I start looking for answers and try to fix myself. I fight back. She can’t do that. She just gets overwhelmed and sits there and talks herself into feeling worse.

She’s right. I do like to problem solve. While I’m dedicated to working to deal with my bipolar, I’m willing to try to help her however I can. And if right now that means just sharing how I’m dealing with my problems, then that’s what I’m going to do. She’s better than I am at reaching through my personal crap to help another.

What have I learned recently that I think can help her? That I need to identify my triggers and when they happen I need to take action and keep them from making things worse. And, look for awe. Be amazed by the love that her dogs look at her with. Watch the sun go down and be in awe of the beauty of it.

I don’t have a medical degree, but I have over 50 years of dealing with bipolar, ADHD, anxiety, and more recently PTSD. I presented with bipolar in my teens but wasn’t diagnosed till after I had all three of my kids. It explained so much.

I love the way the community here reaches out to one another. I appreciate it whenever I hear from any of you. If you have any ideas on how I can help my friend other than just being a good listener (and I try to ask good questions) please let me know. I’d appreciate the input.

My Favorite Blog

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I have a handful of blogs I read each day, blogs which I’m in intrigued or inspired by. My favorite blog at the moment is one by a person who has bipolar disorder, PTSD, and anxiety. I have the same with the added alphabet bits of ADHD. I enjoy the honesty the blog is written with and the story quality it is written with. I don’t necessarily feel inspired and like I’ve had a life changing experience after I’ve read it, but I do feel relaxed, knowing I have a kindred soul out there who is better at expressing herself than I am.

Go see musings of a mad woman to be entertained and perhaps like me, you will find a kindred soul. If you like what you find tell her so. If you don’t, well, click off to someplace else. She understands the etiquette of madness. Enjoy.

Musings of a mad woman

Why I’ve Gone Back to College at 53

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This last fall (September 2015) I started classes full time at the University of Washington Tacoma taking a full load. This is something of a miracle because I live with Bipolar 1, PTSD, ADHD, and a healthy dose of anxiety. Lots of anxiety. You might think going back to school, and being around all those people, and having to get up when I’m depressed, and write papers when I’m depressed, stressed, manic and full of anxiety is a pretty fool-hearted thing to do. It may be. It certainly hasn’t been easy. I admit it probably triggered the episode I’m riding out right now. But still, here I am. I made Dean’s List (I got good grades) last quarter.

I’m here because I have been being a no one. I’ve had nothing to do and not a thing to contribute to society. I’m here because my brain needed a jumpstart. And, I’m here to learn to do the things I need to know in order to reach some of my goals.

How’ve I been doing? I’ve had melt downs. I skipped classes once last quarter. I’ve freaked out over writing papers (It was about 30 years ago that I wrote my last paper.) Every week brings new challenges and triumphs. Yes, I’ve had some triumphs along with my bumps and bruises. I’ve been terrified a lot. Even the drive to and from and parking make me anxious. I leave an hour and a half before class so I’m never late and always have a place to park. (It’s how I cope.)

I’ve gone into this with my eyes open and done all I can do to prepare. I’ve registered with the Disability Services office because I’m legally disabled and I need to be able to tap their help when I need it (like having longer to take a test) and I do. Near the end of last quarter I had a meltdown that sent me to my doctor who put me on a chill pill. It was like magic. I could calm down and think. I was able to finish the quarter actually have finished writing the papers and remembered to turn them in. (This was the chill Pill I mentioned a few days ago.)

What am I getting out of this? As I’ve said I needed a jolt to my brain. I’ve always fancied myself a communicator and I’d lost my ability to do that. I had even stopped my sloppy blogging.

I took a huge risk. I’m still taking that risk and it is paying off. I’m being challenged to think in ways I haven’t thought in years. I feel smarter though in all probability it’s just the cobwebs coming lose. I’m also driving some of my classmates nutty by asking them questions that any Freshman should know. But I’m a transfer student and I’ve forgotten all that Freshman stuff. Plus, now we use technology and not paper and pencil. I’ve had a lot to learn even with the basics like how to turn in an assignment online. Not everyone is patient and willing to answer these kinds of questions.

If you’ve been thinking of challenging yourself and reaching outside of your comfort zone I encourage you to try it. You can always go home and refuse to leave again. Or, maybe you’ll like the way that it makes you feel.