Post Edited (kittycat27) : 10/23/2005 3:02:41 PM (GMT-6)
BEautifully said Nickie!
I have often wondered on that question like I'm sure every one of us has. I hate being bipolar when I feel like ****. But controlled or hypo, yeah, I am glad I am! for exactly the reasons you stated. Ultra sensitivity to everything, smells, sounds, peoples "vibes" real or imagined, lol., sights, art, music, food, touch, everything is amplified. At least that's what "normal" people seem to say, they don't seem to notice all the subtleties, I don't think they hear a song they have heard 200 times in the car and start crying over its beauty. I love FEELING! And I find with the right meds, I don't have to be "dulled" at all. Maybe my memory ain't so hot anymore, but I wouldn't trade. Yes, there have been really high prices, same as you Nickie and then some, then again, I had 13 years more to be bad than you!!!! And I'm still paying one of them, funny, paying doesn't seem to be the appropriate word when you've just filed bankruptcy. But the flip side is pain. We wont go there right now.
But oh, the experiences, the obsessions, the learning and the deep, analytical thinking, the incredible creativity. I find that most of these still exist, just not to the "mad" degree they did. I can actually make sense when I talk now, and at a speed that people can understand! I think we maybe wise before our time simply BECAUSE of the things we have experienced, and obviously learned from. We are always interested in how the universe works, how people work, how they think the very psychology of the human mind, and animals for that matter. I'm into dog psych big time. I trained horses, too and had to use horse psych. it's all soooo interesting.
We usually learn about life the hard way unmedicated, but the best way to really know and understand how the progression of things work. I would only trade 2 of my behaviours, the worst two. The rest of my mistakes were mine to learn from and weren't too terribly painful. I do regret hurting the people I love tho, absolutely will probably never fully forgive myself for hurting them, MOST of all Paul. So I treat them all over the top now, because I am sane enough to appreciate the people who love me and not take them for granted, blame them for everything I do wrong and treat them badly any more.
I do hate the depression, the paralysis that stops us from moving and living. being a prisoner in your own body, unable to physically get out of bed, much less do anything needed including bathing. Thinking it will never end as weeks go by sometimes months. Totally disabled with a mind that WANTS and NEEDS to do things. Eventually the depression takes over the mind and we think of suicide 24/7. Hopefully I will never go there again, it terrifies me.
Like you said, Nick, its never boring. I am proud to be bipolar, but still don't tell anybody else I dont know well. Unfortunately, nobody else knows or understands the brilliant madness that goes with it.
Yeah, Nick, I know - I have made the mistake of telling people in the past that i THOUGHT I knew, usually I am not wrong about people, but I guess the stigma of "mental illness" runs deep still. I dont know about your experience, but yeah, the reaction to me has been treating me different after they found out, like I was some serial killer or something. You know when you just KNOW people are whispering behind your back. One job I was in I thought I would be honest and tell them at hiring time, and what was suppposed to be confidential somehow "leaked" out to the wrong people, one was a girl that i had worked with at another job and we were on very friendly terms. After she found out, she called me "psycho" and basically hated my guts, and let me know it. No one would reprimand her, she got away with everything becuase they feared a discrimination suit. I ended up leaving, not just because of her, even one of the MDs (internal med/cardiology job) said he hoped I wasn't thinking about having children, since it is hereditary. Nice. Luckily, I wasn't so I didn't get really offended until I thought wow, what if I was going to? What an ass.
So, i just don't tell anyone now. And I pretty much dont' hang out with anyone except Paul and family, I can't hide the differences in my moods, even now on meds, I am soooooooo much better, I feel great, but compared to other people I'm still not normal. I avoid things, people, because I dont want to have to pretend I'm in a mood I'm not! (Happy and wanting to socialize when I DON'T). I can't hide the blahs or a bad day, which still happen a lot more to me than to other people, esp when people are like "what happened", well, NOTHING!
So, there's my rant about letting other people know and their ignorance, a real pet peeve of mine. But on the flip side, most people dont even know what bipolar is, they only know manic depressive and then they think that's just 'REALLY bad depression" lol!
I dont say anything better than you, Nick! You're funnier! And you dont' exactly beat around the bush, either, lol. This is a great thread, something I have wondered a lot, and didn't even think to start a thread on. I hope you get lots of responses. I think once we come to terms with it, quit denying it and find the right meds, we can see how truly unique we are and be happy to be BP, I also think the ones who hate it are either not stable or unfortunately have no support systems at home. But there is a LOT to be happy about it.
I also highly recommend a new movie called "Proof", about a genius mathemetician who was very mentally ill (didn't say what, seemed schitz or BP to me, untreated) who was a brilliant math professor and published many winning theories, but lost it when he got older and his daughter, I can't explain it, but it WILL make you proud even if you weren't before. Paul and me were extremely affected, cried just because we could so relate. It was awesome. Anthony Hopkins, how can you go wrong?????
Thanks for listenng to me ramble, as always lol!
wow, you two are so positive! Maybe it is b/c I am recently diagnosed, but I feel bitter still. I resent having to take pills every single day for the rest of my life, pills that make me sedated and cost a small fortune every month. I am angry that I want to have children but feel guilty that they may "get it" or that if I stay on meds or even don't stay on meds that I will harm them. I can't just "get pregnant", I have to plan it with a medical team to ensure the best. I can't drink alcohol b/c it will screw me up-there are days I just want to have a nice glass of wine and not fear it! Don't even mention the weight gain and bloat I experience. For the first time in my life I am overweight, I have never had to worry about my weight in the past, if anyhting I ws underweight. Now I have high cholesterol and higher than optimal blood pressure (antipsychotics, wonderful). I worry that my thyroid/kidneys/liver are going to bomb out and my life will be cut short. I feel like I have a dirty little secret, especially when I hear people's ignorant comments toward mental illness. I want to come out and educate them all, but know if I do they will never treat me the same.
I miss the good mania. I feel less creative, motivated, I miss those moments of "I can do anything!" But I don't miss the suicidal thoughts, depression, or anger. I see the good in myself, and yet each pill popping moment reminds me that this is mine for life. Don't get me wrong, I am thankful that I have medication that works, and am happy that I am not dying. But there is a little piece of me that has died, that exuberant woman. I guess everyone has their trials and tribualtions huh?
Thanks for letting me vent!
To be or not to be.....that is the question. Sorry Shakespear. Would I have chosen at birth to be BP, no. Would I chuck it away now if I could? NO!! I know who I am. That deep knowledge and understanding can only come from the mind of the BP who analyzes everything. I test my every choice, question my every decision. I sleep on everything. No snap decisions here. I always want to know why, how, what if. I notice everything. I see the world from the eyes of a person who thinks deeply and notices the beauty. I see the grand canyon and I cry with the beauty of it. I visit the meuseum and the colors are so bright and the visions so beautiful. I appreciate things for there own value. I love more deeply, I think more deeply, I analyze more, question more, so that I am more deeply emeshed in life. Because I have to question every step I'm more involved in the steps I'm taking, so I never just "go through the motions". Life is NEVER boring. Is it always easy, no, even HE** NO!!! I, like every post here, hate and I do mean hate, the bad times. The times when I can't think to save my life, when I can't get off the couch, when I can't function and am dependant on someone else for even the simplest of needs. The times when I'm raging with the mania, the mixed episodes I experiance. The psychosis that comes with my mania. The times when I can't spell to save my life...sorry about the spelling here, this is one of those times. The times when everything anyone says hurts me to the core. Those are hard times, and I sometimes want to throw up my hands and end it all. But then it passes and I move back to the brilliant side, the side I cherish. The side that medication allows to be where I spend the most time. And, it's not just that I understand me more, I understand my loved ones more, am less judgemental of their errors. My sons are both BP and I watch their struggles and it breaks my heart. But if you ask them, either of them if they would trade it for "normal" and they too would answer NO. They are bright to the point of genius, one artistic one analytical, both charming well behaved exceptional boys. They are loving and giving and are prone to deep conversation about the world around them. Am I sorry that I passed this to my children, of course, but I wouldn't trade who they are for anything in the world, and they are that way BECAUSE they are BP.
Like Shannon and Nickie my BP has brought me much pain and baaaaaaaad choices. I have done things that I so regret. I have made choices that even I can't understand much less the world. I have burned bridges that have cost me and those around me dearly. I have gone to far, more than a time or two. But each of these things has brought a lesson that was so worth learing. Would I not be BP if I could choose. The answer is no. And everytime I take my meds I am grateful. Grateful to have the meds to take and grateful that this is something that I will have the rest of my life. That I will live this rich full life BECAUSE I am BP.
BP brings new meaning to Life's Little Ups and Downs
Very well put Sandra. please don't get me wrong Shannon 2 , I have been where you are and still get like that every now and then. I am not a bundle of positivity! I plainly feel by being negative about my situation causes much more harm and less benefiting. I used to be bitter, and say I refuse to take meds forever, so I would quit. yikes that's even scarier. So I take meds like most elder people do,I just take mine earlier cause I might forget otherwise. I make light of my situation, and anyone around me does as well. Yeah they think they understand , how could they,but I don't blame them. Because I don not understand how they are either. I do not allow myself to even incorporate friends or family members around me who have a negative aura, cause that affects me. about the weight, yeah tell me about it, I have gained my fair share from depakote, and from giving birth. Diabetes doesn't help either.I always look at my other pics and say , geez I was too thin. Then laugh, I was skinny , but now I am just a little chunky. I eat better now then I did when I was thin. My cholestrol a few yrs ago at thin, was 273. Ouch!!! I always say I am having lipo done on my hips and thighs when I graduate as a present for myself. Why not? about giving birth and it being hereditary. I don't know when y9ou notice signs , at what age I mean. So right now I couldn't tell ya with my daughter. She seems normal. Normal responses, requests , reactions, actions... my mom tells me I was always moody. My daughter is not. Just because I have BP, doesn't mean she Absolutely will. My brother doesn't. My mom didn't , just my dad. My daughter's father doesn't have it, so maybe she won't. It was a choice I made after having so many miscarriages, I was more than happy to have just one, even after losing one at 6 months. When it comes to me telling people I am like Bipolar, they want to do a research paper on it, actually I find humor in it. I love to educate and make people aware, how i am going to do that , without defining it for others. Most I understand don't like to tell, due to certain comments or experiences. I totally understand. Shannon 2, I believe as your life moves forward as it is, you will find acceptance within, and it might make things a little easier. I hope so, because you truely are a great person. Glad you will be sharing that in the role of a nurse as well. Sorry so long !!!
Sandra as always, your words are inspiring. I agree mostly with every thing you have said. I love being the deep analyzer , and thinker, and being so emotional. Geez... It's like we know ourselves , truely know ourselves. Like being in touch with ourselves, if you will. I know thta's corny, but think about it. I can express how I feel at any given moment. Most friends know not to ask me that question" how are you feeling", it's rather a funny ranting response. I also know if i was a witness to something, geez.. I could remember the whole situation and descriptions too... I am just aware of my surroundings ..Sandra thanks for respondig, and thanks to everyone else as well. Great minds think alike!!! Bp's have great minds, not always the greatest choices, but hey even we can't have it all. Thanks for allowing me to shed a different light on the board. Nickie
Hi, Shannon -
I am so sorry to hear that you are feeling that way about your BP; if you feel sedated all the time, and gaining weight, that's more likely due to lithium. I felt the same way, tried it three separate occasions and was HATING life every time I took it. Im curious, have you tried the other options? Trileptal doesn't cause weight gain and is great at stabilizing; no sedation, you take it at night, yes, it knocks you out, but you sleep well and it doesn't carry over sedation the next day. Topomax works for some at a high enough level with no weight gain, we won't go there with Depakote, lol. I am singing the praises of Abilify added to my other meds, it did the rest of the straightening out, I was cycling several times a day and having mixed episodes about a month and a half ago, we added Abilify and in two weeks it all stopped. I have been in a good, level mood with no cycling for 2 straight weeks now, no drowsiness and no weight gain on this one either. Seroquel is not likely to cause the weight gain, like zyprexa or Risperdal.
If you are unhappy on your meds, ask your doc to change. You are new at this, you have to learn that if one combo doesnt work or the side effects are that uncomfortable, dulling and sedating, do something else! I hated it too when I was feeling like that. Now i feel good without being hypo and the creativity CAME BACK!! I am painting again, sketching, redecorating the house, tons of ideas flooding in and NO HYPOMANIA/MANIA! Actually, like you I am type I with psychosis, rapid cycling and also very hard to control, it is taking 6 meds now, but I got the right combination because I won't settle for being tired and blah. You dont have to either.
You will accept it sooner or later, really accept it and learn to embrace it. What other choice do you have? It's there for life, so get in there and get some better meds, you will learn to appreciate it for what it is when controlled.
I hope this doesn't sound preachy, I just hate to hear someone hating life because of it, I believe if you find the right meds to control it, it does NOT mean you have to be overweight, tired and blah feeling. It's easy to do, but no necessary.
If there's anything I can help you with, just ask, OK?