September 28, 2010
How are you doing? I hope great. I sure miss seeing you.
A lot has been going on with me . The last couple of months especially, have been tough. I don’t mind sharing with you. I think it does scare some people around me. I hope it doesn’t affect you that way but you don’t seem to be like that. If you are, it is perfectly understandable.
During the last couple of months I have found out I am bipolar. Guess it has really been affecting me the last few years but I’ve probably had it most of my life. I was born with that wonderful gene and the family environment I had grown up in as a child triggered it. I am really becoming very well educated about this disease.
It has affected everything from my business going down to how I allow everything in my life to affect me. Another thing that bothers me is that I used to be very assertive. I have become rather passive but I am working on this.
I have been in the hospital twice. The first time I tried to commit suicide two different times in a week. The second time I had a breakdown. I called Crisis and drove myself to the hospital. Big improvement over a two month period.
I needed medication adjustments. Another doctor had given me the steroid, Prednizone to take for a week. The necessary evil had a bad reaction with my other medications. I have to have my meds monitored on a monthly basis until we are sure what is working. Lesson learned: always communicate with the different doctors and ask about possible side affects with the different medications working together. They don’t always mention it but it is my responsibility to ask.
Right now I am feeling good. I still have the four dogs so every morning we have been going for longer and longer walks. They sure do enjoy it as do I. Exercise is another great treatment but that is good for anyone. Just a half hour every day can make a difference.
One thing I have always known but realize now more than ever is that I have a wonderful husband. He is so patient and is always there. It is hard for him to understand at times but it is hard for me to understand. We are working through it together. I am so fortunate to have his support.
The other night I had something bother me very much. A family member but I won’t go into that.
I had a good breakdown and could not stop crying. I called Crisis and talked awhile. Then I woke my husband up and talked awhile. Finally I left and went for a long walk. Arriving home I realized my husband was sitting on the porch and waiting for me. He can not walk like that because of his knes are bad but when I returned he was there.
Over the years I have believed so deeply in God and wondered what my mission really was in life. No, I do not go to church but God is a main factor in my life. God’s help has gotten me this far.
I have always admired people like you, especially. Seems you’ve always found your missions in life and have done so well. I am so proud to know you. Guess that is why I am sharing with you. I feel my beginning should be with my friends and I hope it makes them think and want to share with others. Even if it is my story they need to share.
So anyway, my new goal is to make people more aware of bipolar disease. I had made this decision the first time in the hospital but the last time I started it. What do you think about that? I am very excited? I love to write and what better way to start.
Most people keep their disease quiet which is understandable. It can be embarrassing and it is scary to other people. It can be embarrassing to family. Some people look at you like you are a mass murderer or something. This is just ignorance, not knowing. I will not snap any second. The only person I ever tried to harm was myself.
That was due to a chemical imbalance. Something totally out of my control. Now I am in control. I know what to look for or how to handle it. I know my triggers: what sets it off. With the proper medication and counseling I can handle those triggers better or just avoid them.
I am sure there are people with mental diseases out there that harm others or cause many problems. Again, that is ignorance; not knowing on their part. It is also not for me to say. I am only speaking for myself and my experiences although, I do personally feel a person that commits those actions can not be in their right mind.
My family tried to talk me into going on work disability but to me that was allowing this disease to win. I love working around people and feel that spending too much time at home would be the wrong route to go. My doctor agreed. Not that one day I may need to go that direction but I would rather try not to at this time.
This disease is one of different mental diseases that people need to be made more aware of. Those with it and those around it. I had a nephew that committed suicide at 24 years of age. His marriage had broken up and he left two little boys without a dad. After a few months of counseling his mother discovered that he may have been bipolar.
Now when I look back I wonder if only they have known. Maybe, maybe not. If someone really intends to hurt themselves you can not always stop it but there is always that chance if you see the signs.
More and more today science is learning more about the brain. It is a very interesting device. I use the word device in my own words because it can go bad but much of the time it can be helped. The brain is very good at healing itself.
Most of my life I’ve had a chemical imbalance. That doesn’t really explain much, does it? That’s what I always wondered.
About 20 years ago a doctor gave me some type of medicine, an anti-depressant. I really can’t remember the name. I took it at bedtime and the next morning when my alarm went on it was all I could do to reach over and turn it off. I nudged my husband, told him to call me off work and I was out. I could not wake up.
I about lost it on the doctor the next time I saw him. His remark which was common back then was “You must give this medication at least 2 – 3 weeks to work.” I told him I couldn’t wait 2 – 3 weeks. I needed to work. Unfortunately, that’s how those medications worked at that time.
Today, they are not so drastic most of the time. In my case, I was hospitalized and monitored. As mentioned before I am monitored on a monthly basis. As we become more sure that the medications are affective I will not have to be monitored as often.
I want people to understand this mysterious evil disease that is so hush hush. It is out there and it can be treated. It can not be cured but it can be dealt with. This is only the beginning of my series.
I will share my experience of growing up with bipolar disease and the environment that triggers it. This is the beginning. Anyone can have this gene but not everyone will use it. It all begins with environment. That is the first trigger.
Those that laugh at this disease do not understand. I feel sorry for them. I pray they never have to deal with mental illness . Or are they already?
If you feel you need to ask, please do.