New Member - Sandra

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Arenace
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 249
   Posted 8/13/2005 8:27 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi All,
 
Shannon-Thank you for the welcome and the request for my story. I hope I'm not saying too much.
 
My name is Sandra and I am Bipolar, PTSD and some other junk that seems to go with that diagnosis! I'm 49 and though I am a "classic case" and seem to have been since before the age of 2 (that's about as far back as the memories go) everyone just thought I was a yucky kid. Gee thanks Mom!! Sometimes quiet and sometimes just out of control. Mom couldn't understand why sometimes my behaviour was just so completely inappropriate, sexually and otherwise, gee, should I be that up front?
As I got older I kind of learned to cope with my changing moods and feelings in my own way but couldn't really hold any kind of job for long because manic meant I couldn't concentrate and depressed meant I didn't give a poop!! Sad since I have actualy had a few really great jobs.
 
Manic meant angry, irritable, yelling, eating to calm, spending like crazy, cooking like crazy, everything everything everything to excess. I once designed a house like twelve times in one night. I mean complete blueprints and all! I am not an architect, my training is accounting. That was my choice so that I could be in an office alone and no one would know what was going on with me. I didn't know what was wrong with me. I just knew I was wrong. You know, that "don't fit in" kind of thing.
 
Depression meant days or sometimes even weeks in bed or on the couch doing absolutely nothing. I didn't bathe or brush my teeth or address any of the issues that really needed addressing. I didn't pay the bills or even care if they got paid. Heck that left more money to spend when I was manic!!
 
The diagnosis that I was forced to live with for a very long time was depression. I have been on just about every anti-depressant out there! It would bring me out of the depression and send me right back up the other side. I'd quit taking it and around and around we'd go.
 
There wasn't very much time when I wasn't one or the other actually. Maybe one fed the other, heck I don't know, but it was ugly and some very ugly things ended up happening becuase of it all. My life went completely out of control, and I do mean completely. But, that completely out of control got me real help. Got me a psycologist that listens and if she judges it doesn't show, and she is always encouraging, and a psychiatrist who heard me when I had my doubts about certain medications. I am on Lexapro, yes I know it is an anti-depressant, but combined with the depakote and the topamax which I am also on it seems to keep me balanced. I have had one episode of racing thoughts. He added the topamax. And one manic episode. He upped my doses. Both of which he was going to do anyway.
 
There are parts of me that without the ups and downs are gone, sure, but there are parts of me that without the ups and downs are soooooooo much better. I feel better, more confident, happier. My laughter can now reach my soul. I can plan for a future, and see one even in depression. Reality for a bipolar says I may crash and burn and need new meds and and and but at least for now I'm stable and hopeful. I very grateful for this site.
 
Sandra
 
 

psychnurse
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 807
   Posted 8/13/2005 10:44 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi, Sandra, thanks soooo much for sharing your story, don't ever worry about saying too much!  Remember, we have all been there, and probably did worse things, lol! 

I sooo understand about that depression, can't even get the energy to bathe, even if that's all you want to accomplish in a day.  When I had that bad depression, I wasn't sad at all, just the mind/body connection.    I was  really down after a few days, tho, because I was basicaly a prisoner in my own body.  It was the darkest most miserable place I've ever been.  It happened when I went to the hospital and got stabilized from mania, how about you?

I find I have a tad not good moods since I got stable, but not the mean, angry, abusive irritable mania, which I DON'T miss!  I just thought that was the way I was!  I never experienced anything else until I got medicated.    Hard to believe I worked in the industry, but just wouldn't do the med thing.  I tried a few times, but the side effects sucked (lithium) and I was taking 1500 mg Depakote and was still delusional, that's when I ran off with that guy! 
 
Oh, well, I hope you stay around, you are definitely one of us! :-)    Have a great weekend!  (Everybody!)
 
Shannon

psychnurse
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 807
   Posted 8/14/2005 8:06 AM (GMT -7)   
Oh, hey Sandra, don't EVER think anyone here is judging you!!!!!!!!!  Don't you know by now we ALL understand and have done the same things!  At least the ones of us that are older and have suffered much longer.  You're no different than any BP.  (Not meaning you're not special, of course!)
yeah    BTW I LOVE your siggy!!!  I need to think of one, but that pretty much sums it up!
 
Haha, everyone has commented on my "razor tongue", too, cutting to the bone.  Also, didn't you find you could win ANY argument, even if you were in the wrong?  My family always said I should have been a lawyer, lol.
 
I know about losing jobs, before I was a nurse I was an "administrative assistant", which I dearly HATED.  I cannot  stand boring ass office/paperwork/slaving for someone else.  Being told what to do.  I HATE authority!  Always had problems with it.  Anyhoo, I lost all those jobs becuase I couldn't give a crap about the analness of it all.  My motto was always "good enough" with that.  Always being called into the office for "not paying attention to detail".  I didn't even notice any details!, so made lots of mistakes, even tho sometimes I did really try.  When it came to nursing, I noticed EVERY detail, haha!  Funny, we tend to be AWESOME at jobs we love, better, faster, more efficient than all the rest, never forgetful.  I had never written notes in my life, even at the grocery store!  One perk of BP for sure!  I dont have that ablity anymore, the multi multitasking thing.  I even have to set alarms to remind me when to take my medicine on one in the house, and one on my phone for if I'm out. 
 
I also understand the inability to stop doing risky things.  It's like, you don't even think about consequencs when you're doing them, like it's totally OK. I will say I did always pay the bills, becuase I was terrified of losing a roof over my head and electricity and water.  That's why I used the credit cards, it's instant and secret money for the spending, isn't it, playtime money?
 
I can't even tell you what I bought, I don't really have anything to show for it.  I don't remember anything from the year I totally fell apart before I got stable.  It's totally gone.  I do remember sitting at the computer all day shopping.  I did buy a couple of belly dance costumes, I took lessons for a couple of years and danced with a compant.  I also remember buying a lot of Vicodin, and other painkillers, I was addicted to that and alcohol.  but absolutely nothing else.  I blacked out on a daily basis from being wasted.  How my husband dealt with that I will never know, but I owe him my life.
 
You are one of the few people like me who is soooooooo scared of going back either direction that they are constantly on the phone with the pdoc.  It's absolutely the only way to stay sane.  You DO think it's normal, you don't know anything else, even if you try to be nice, it totally doesn't work!  You don't even realize how very painful mania really is when you go past the euphoria part, which in my case would only last a day or two.  You just keep hoping it will happen again.
 
Isn't it sooooo nice to be able to tell somebody these things, and know they have probably done the same, and understand the helplessness?  Also the totally nonjudgementalness?   I looked for a long time for a strictly bipolar support group, no unipolars, no family members, only BPs who UNDERSTAND!  But there are NONE, even in the huge city of Dallas.  The only one is DMDA or whatever, they only meet once a month and they are clear down in the city and full of family members who are just struggling to understand and never will.  I dont want to sound like I don't like them, god bless them!  But you know what I mean, I hope.  They should defo have that, it's critical!   But it would be nice to have one just for us, too.
 
Thank god it dawned on me to look for one online.  I do LOVE talking to the family members to make them try to understand we don't really have a choice in our behaviour without proper treatment, and that it is TOTALLY not a matter of just taking lithium or any one medicine!!!!!!!!!!
 
I always am interested in what cocktail people take, care to share?   I take Trileptal 1200mg, Seroquel 200mg, Lamictal 200mg, and Welbutrin 300mg.  Took awhile, but thankfully it works.  I still have mood swings way more severe than others, ultrarapid cycler, up and down almost every day, but it's so much milder, not out of control.  I do still have the meanness sometimes, tho.  I take everything WAYYYYY too personally, even from my husband who is the sweetest most dipolmatic person I ever met.  I just can't seem to stop that! mad    But also, can be singing, while cleaning and cooking.  (I love cooking!  I thnk you said you do, too?) 
 
What all hobbies do you enjoy?  I am a painter (when feeling well), WAS a showing equestrian (oh, yeah, thats where most of the extra cash on hand went!), was a classic pianist when I had a piano (sold it for a new horse), fitness finatic.
 
Well, enough about me me me.  It's just so great to have you!  yeah
 
Shannon
 
 
 
 
 

Arenace
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 249
   Posted 8/14/2005 10:15 AM (GMT -7)   

Thank you again Shannon,

I deleted the tattle-tail little bits but now you know so that's okay. I may reveal them again later on when I am feeling a little more confident. I too am a rapid cycler. And, yes, I too take everything way too personally. I think for me it has something to do with the residual paranoia. Though I have pretty much conquered it with the meds, it is sometimes still there in little ways! I have a tendency to analyze things to death too and it always amazes me what things we were in our sickest hours able to keep control over and what things went flying to the wind. You were able to keep control over the bills. I kept family dinners and school functions. I'm darned if I have any idea how though looking back!! I simply could not understand why the people around me could not see what I was going through, could not see life through the eyes I was seeing it through I would spend hours talking to them explaining and explaining and lecturing, ahhhh the family pleasures of mania!! My daughter recently told me that she never had a clue what the heck I was talking about, ever. She just knew better than to ever say so!! My poor babies! I used to think I had a direct line with God. I would watch game shows and tell God who I would want to win and when they did there was my confirmation!! How's that for delusion!

You know, I have been sick for so long that I don't think that I know what it is that I would like to do just for me. I have been treated for depression for so long so wrong that would throw me in to mania, which felt normal and would, of course, incapacitate me. You know, the old SSRI tred mill. I do know that I love to hike, especially when it is cold and crisp. I love dogs and have raised them in the past for both pets and sale. My concentration has not been good enough for long enough to show them. I especially like chihuahuas. I play piano a little bit and would very much like to have one again, but I manage an apartment complex and I am not sure how the tenant above me would feel about my amature attempts! I can't listen to radio, for some reason it upsets me. The music starts to make me feel nervous and then agitated and then angry and then it has to go off or I'll blow up. I do better with country and western because it is more monotone. I do better with tv shows that are more monotone also. Okay, I know strange right? I do love softball, and the batting cages...think it has something to do with whacking the crap out of the ball?

I do think family members need family members to talk to and I definately now know that I for one need someone to share what it was/is like with. So again I have to say I thank the powers that be for this site. I am just learning about which parts of my behaviour were brought on by illness and which were not, okay, mostly which were! And, I'm learning at what point I can remember the actual happenings (first incidents).

As for meds: I am still on an SSRI hmmm, seems to work though, weird

10mg Lexapro

1500mg Depakote

200mg Topamax

Maybe someday you can teach me to ride...now that would be a hobbie worth having.

 


Bipolar brings new meaning to the "Little Ups And Downs Of Life!!"
 
Sandra


 


psychnurse
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 807
   Posted 8/14/2005 11:58 AM (GMT -7)   
OMG Sandra, the thing about the music and TV I thought were just me!!!!!!  I cannot STAND talking to anyone when either is on, it absolutely makes me want to scream!  Or like when Paul is watching some mindless drivel and I'm on the computer.  He doesn't mind if it's loud enough to be a concert!  I totally lose it.  I hate music now, except for my old 80's new wave CDs.  Or talk radio.  First I think I'm just getting old, and then I realize I can't tolerate the noise. 
 
LOL, I have noticed almost all of us have a thing for dogs, too!  I have two Dobermans that are my life (not as much as Paul, tho!), they are my kids.  They are very needy, tho and constantly bug me when I'm on the computer.  In, out, in, out, I'm hungry, I want a cookie, I want a walk, etc.  I do actually talk to them, they understand when I ask them what they want, cookie, dinner or walk.  They respond to the thing they want, among lots of other things, I can tell them to leave the kitchen, settle down, go to bed (their bedroom) and all obedience commands (I'm a trainer, also) - they're amazing.  They even come and give me kisses every time they finish thier food.  Unreal.  Fave dogs my whole life.   The other night Sophie had diarrhea, a reaction to her shots, and was barking in their bedroom where they sleep at 3:30 a.m., so I woke up and went in there and she made a mad dash to the door to go.  Imagine holding diarrhea that long, just to get outside to do it.  I just LOVE them!
 
Oh, I'm sorry for rambling about them, I sometimes get carried away!
 
I also thought I had the "direct line" to the divine.  Weird, huh?  The ol' grandiose thoughts, lol.  Even when you have those, you can still function on the things that really matter.  I was having those thoughts and the losing touch thing for about 5 years, all the while running the household and working.   It's so weird.
 
You're so right about thinking more abstractly than other people.  We see things differently, and lots of times wrongly.  I think I learned alot about insight from that tho, not to toot my own horn, but lots of times see things deeper and on a different angle than non BPs do, not just surface. I really think being BP helped that and I think we all do.
 
I think you really should explore your creative side, it seems we all have that in common.  Any type of art, photography,  music, poetry, creative writing, etc.  I like it all. Think of how many artists and musicans were bipolar.  Van Gogh, Sir Winston Churchill (even same birthdate as me!) Beethoven, Mozart, Hemingway, Tennesse Ernie Ford, tons of actors including Jean-Pierre Van Dam, Ben Stiller Jane Pauley and lots more.  You can google bipolar artists and bipolar celebrities and you would be very surprised!
 
Oh, well, when you are brave enough I'm sure everybody would love to hear you're "tattle tale" stories, lol, I bet you'll find we've been there, done that too! yeah
 
Shannon

kittycat27
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 438
   Posted 8/15/2005 4:32 PM (GMT -7)   
 Ahh.................. someone else who is aa deep thinker and an over ananlyzer. That is so strange, I wrote in my journal yesterday , and on that page I wrote the word me..... and wrote down all the things I think I am . So I will give you a few I wrote, maybe we have some more in common. Over analyzer, wild imagination / creative, independent, diplomatic, overly sensitive, deep thinker, talkative, highly opinionated...... There's just a few! I am not creative like alot of bp'ers are though. I know that most like to write , paint, or play an instrument.... , but I am not creative in that sense. I am however a pretty good pool player, if that counts. I notice that I am good at whatever I try normally. No one likes to tell me jokes either, I never get them. Thing like that just go staight over my head, it's embarassing . I also want to say that I think normal people don't think like we do OBVIOUSLY, but  in that aspect I am glad I look at things in every single angle. I think no one understands what the hell I am saying either, or is it that they have never put that much thought into something. I put all kkind of thought into everything, trust me , probably too much. I ask my mom stuff all the time, she's like Nickie, where do you come up with this s*** ? I am like you never thought about that, or noticed that. OKay, prime example, and really no big deal right ?! At the bank, Jason runs in, I sit in the car with Jaylynn. On the left of the car are 3 handicapped parking places, to the right of me regular parking. A lady pulls up (on the right side), with a handicapped parking tag on her mirror, gabbing on her cell. I think why the hell didn't she use the handicapped places and leave this open for maybe an older lady that doesn't have a handicapped tag. So I am sitting there, thinking. mad She 's still there gabbing away( middle to late 40's) I seriously wanted to ask her why she did that. Anyways Jasson comes out, he's like what? I explain , he just looks at me. I said well, he says she parked there because it's closer to the door! I am like... blah blah... Jason is like Nickie calm down and gives the ole why do you get all worked up for no reson, and why the hell do you care look? Sriously he has one of those looks. I said I know I think too much. Well any thoughts on that , would any of you of noticed that, cause seriously normal people don't notice the stupid s*** I do. Excuse my languange, I can get carried away and don't mean to offend anyone.               That's all.........

Arenace
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 249
   Posted 8/15/2005 5:14 PM (GMT -7)   
No offense taken, and yes, I notice that stuff. It bugs the heck out of me too!! I am not particularly artistic either. I do write a bit, but only on the way up or on the way down to the depths. I tried to play the flut in school, but it gave me the hiccups! I do play a bit of piano, but I do mean a bit. Like you I am good at most that I try and I find I am good at the physical and the logical, but not when I'm scattered in the illness. It is very nice to meet you. I hope we chat again soon.
Bipolar brings new meaning to the "Little Ups And Downs Of Life!!"
 
Sandra


 


kittycat27
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 438
   Posted 8/15/2005 6:29 PM (GMT -7)   

 Likewise, I am sure we will chat often, if you are frequently on. I am on everyday. College starts next week so you will only see my posts in the evening. The forum keeps me grounded and sane.Ha Sane that's funny.Hey Shannon, you and Patti will be posting in the day , and I will be all alone at night. Unless I drop a few posts before class in the am. You are the early. Class starts at 7:00am, but I have to get up at 5am. Driving there, getting ready , getting Jaylynn ready and to preschool....  ohhhhhhhh the madness !!!! I can't wait.

                                Nickie


Arenace
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 249
   Posted 8/15/2005 7:41 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm sure you thrive on it Nickie!! LOL
Bipolar brings new meaning to the "Little Ups And Downs Of Life!!"
 
Sandra


 

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