Hi 4real --
Welcome to HW! -- Hope you find lots of support here and that you enjoy getting to know people. :)
I'm so pleased you've accepted being put on meds: this is the first step (and a crucial one) in managing bp. Untreated bp is notorious for getting out of control and causing damage -- and from your statement that you've "ruined things" in your life, I'd say the bp has been out of hand while you were unmedicated.
When the meds start to get the extreme poles of your bp under control, however, you should start to feel that you are more incontrol of your emotional reactions. -- Importantly, meds don't take away your humanness and your ability to feel the range of emotions; if anything, it's the manias and depressions that do this (for example, in holding you in a high or low regardless of what's going on around you).
If after a couple of weeks you feel that you are feeling *less* human, do chat to your doc about it: to me that would be a sign that the meds you've been given weren't working. Other than that, give the meds time (N.B. it can take up to 12 weeks for the full effects of mood stabilisers and anti-depressants).
Abilify is a crisis management med -- designed to work more quickly than regular mood stabilisers and to get you back from the manic pole to stability when the bp has taken over. Once you've stabilised and have been maintained on that med for a while, you will be switched to a long-term maintenance med (a mood stabiliser) to help prevent future episodes.
The meds are massively important, but, as you stabilise, you will also find that the therapy becomes more useful: you can look at all the things in your life and work out ways of helping yourself to manage the bp (but, with the meds returning you to a stability, you will be in a better place from which to address any problems in your life or any patterns that need attention).
Please don't feel like you're burdening people: it may have been very difficult (for you and for them) while you were untreated, and many things may have happened to make things tense and difficult; but you are working on managing your bp now, and that should be a wonderful relief for your family who care about your wellbeing. Use the past by learning from it and helping to educate yourself and your family through it about this condition. And do remember: this may not be the first time that members of your family have been exposed to this sort of thing, as bp is a hereditary condition. -- In time you may come to find out all sorts of unexpected things about relatives -- and you may find great help from this source too.
P.S. Would it be possible for you to take the underlining, bold and italics off? -- It's just that the more extra formatting there is the harder it is for people to read (and I know this has caused difficulties for folks here in the past). -- I just want to make sure that as many people read your posts and respond as possible!!
People are not like fish: they do not work well battered.
When I'm not in my right mind, my left mind gets pretty crowded...
Moderator, Bipolar Forum