Tag Archives: Mania

My Bipolar Story

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I have been nutty my whole life, but I didn’t know it.  Seriously I had no idea, I thought everybody acted and thought like me.

My childhood was a bit chaotic, my mother left home when I was 11.  I came home from school one day and she was gone, no note, no goodbye.  I was numb.  It was only years later that I found out that my dad had kicked her out and didn’t let her say goodbye.

I was left to my own devices to bring myself up, I did what I wanted when I wanted, and I still had no clue that my thinking and behaviour was different to anyone else.

I went through the whole marriage and motherhood thing, had some massive rows with my husband, I am sure that my thinking was warped but at the time I had no clue.  No one actually ever said to me I think that you have a problem.  In hindsight I think that my whole family has mental health problems (except my mum, she got out of the mad house).

It was only when I was in my 40’s that I was diagnosed with bipolar.  I was in my second marriage and there were massive ups and downs, screaming matches and throwing stuff.  If I got angry I would break stuff and sulk for days at a time.  I honestly don’t know how my relationship survived those early years.   I saw my GP one day, and she said to me I think you are bipolar, so she referred me to a psychiatrist.

This is the best thing that ever happened to me, my psychiatrist is amazing.  It wasn’t all plain sailing there was lots of juggling of meds, a couple of hospital admissions, I went through a Lithium toxicity where I had the constant tremors, more ups and downs at home particularly with my teenage daughter and I thought I was losing my mind.  I would go on mad crazy spending sprees and buy stuff that I didn’t need, I couldn’t help myself and unfortunately racked up a lot of debt.

Suddenly we got the meds right, it took about 18 months of juggling but we got there.  It’s not perfect.  I have what’s called emotional blunting which means that my emotions are very even down the middle, I don’t get super excited but I also generally don’t get very down either. I don’t really cry anymore and sometimes you need a good cry.  It’s almost like I am emotionless.  Also I have the side effect of being dead from the waist down which is very common.  It’s a trade-off for being well though and it is something I am prepared to live with to be mentally well.  I still have to watch my spending, I am very impulsive so I get a weekly allowance and don’t get to touch the bills money.  I am so much better though I can actually save money now and not have to spend it.

I am sure my story is similar to others, we all think we are normal until we are told otherwise, right?   Happily now I am stable, my relationships are great and life is good (apart from my eye problems). I accept that I will be on lots of meds for the rest of my life, I can deal with that, I just want to stay well.

I dread the day that the meds don’t work anymore, I don’t know how likely that is to happen.  It was awful going through that 18 months to get them right, not sure if I could do it all again.  I get scared that my body will get so used to them they will stop working the way they are now.   Hopefully it won’t happen but who knows what the future will bring.

I am really lucky that I have a great support system, that has really made a big difference.  I can’t thank my family and Healthcare workers enough for taking such good care of me.

Life is good, have a good day everyone ☺

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I Really Am A Crazy Bipolar Book Lady!

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Following on from yesterday’s blog, the crazy book lady strikes again!

Last night my partner asked me for some ideas on what I would like for a mother’s day gift from my daughter (my daughter lives overseas so they are getting together plotting something – yay for me).

So what do I do?  Go straight to the kindle store.  My partner looks over at what I am doing and is like, OMG NO!! you are not getting more books, I read your blog post today ……. Busted!

Well we just both fell around laughing after that and agreed that a piece of jewellery to be picked out by them would be lovely.

Seems like I can’t stop at 25 books after all …… hehehe

Do you think I have a problem?

The Crazy Bipolar Book Lady

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Does anyone else get obsessed with things and go on crazy buying sprees?

Argh I have this thing about books. I have to have more than one book (more like more than 10) or I panic and worry that when I have finished a book I won’t have anything to read – crazy right?

So I have 14 new books in my Kindle library and 11 new books in my Google Play Books library, do you think that’s enough?  No, I’m still looking at more books ….. geez how many books can I read at once!

Seriously, I do think that I can stop at 25 new books; I don’t think that I will be getting any more until I have read a few of these ones but it could really be a problem.  Can anyone else relate?

I know when we are a bit manic we can go on spending sprees and I think I do spend more when I am normal/up and less when I am down but I find it very interesting that I am fitting these stereotypical ideas of bipolar.  I always thought that my bipolar was really mild and I didn’t do any of the crazy stuff but when I think about it I do.  I am classically bipolar!

Just one more day on the crazy roller coaster called life!

Happy reading!

Trying To Keep the Bipolar Bear At Bay

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I was thinking about my mental health today and although during the last 6 months whilst I have been sick with my eyes I have managed to keep quite cheerful I realise that I could easily slip into depression.

In fact I have felt a little down these last few days and it is good that I can recognise my mood changes now.  Going back a couple of years I would never have realised that my mood was changing and as a consequence it would have caused havoc in my relationships with my partner and daughter.  I just wasn’t capable of managing my moods and emotions and couldn’t or wouldn’t acknowledge that I was behaving oddly and out of character.

I have come a long way in the last couple of years and I have my fantastic support team to thank for that.  My psychiatrist, psychologist and GP all work closely together and with me to ensure that I am safe and well.  I remember how I was before I started working with these three ladies and I was very unhappy, unstable and quite frankly was probably responsible for most of the turmoil that was happening in my personal relationships.

So what do I do now that I am feeling a little bit down?

  • Acknowledge it, don’t let it sit and fester. Hiding it away doesn’t help.
  • Tell my loved ones, they need to know so that they can keep an eye out for worsening moods. My partner is extremely supportive.
  • Get plenty of good sleep – I don’t do well when I am tired. The fatigue from fibromyalgia is a mood killer so I need to make sure I am properly rested.
  • Do things that I find enjoyable. The thing I enjoy most is reading, this has been really difficult recently with my eye problems but I read on my tablet so I can change the text size according to how my eyes are doing.
  • See my psychologist – she has a real talent for making me feel better.
  • Eat properly – I need fresh fruit every day, I can’t handle it if I can’t be bothered and just eat junk.

As a person with Bipolar I have to be very mindful of my moods and how I am behaving to catch myself before I tumble into a full blow depressive episode or go madly buying stuff in a hyper manic frenzy.  My partner will say to me “have you taken your meds” if I am behaving a little oddly, I need that interaction to keep me grounded and in the present moment.  I can’t be worrying about what has happened in the past or what is likely to happen in the future, I think it is really important for anyone with mental health issues to live in the “now”.

To finish up, the most important thing of all is to take your meds.  Never ever stop taking the meds even if you feel great.  The meds are why you feel great!