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New Meds and the End Results

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I wrote recently about trying a new medicine, Latuda. This is a brand new medicine out just over a year or so, they have had good results with it for some patients so I thought I would give it a try. I have struggled this past year to keep myself level and was quickly losing the battle.

The results: When I first started taking this new medicine it perked me up and I had lots of energy but it was like it would create a Hypo-manic feeling. Any of you that have bipolar may know that at first that is a great feeling. I had hope!  When I get like this (hypo-manic) I end in anger usually. I get bitchy and negative and just can’t contain myself and it can turn to rage. I thought just maybe in a bit of time that side effect may lessen so I kept taking it for a week.

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Time for a Bipolar Update

If you have read my other posts you know that I have been in a deep depression for a while now.It took me a while to realize it but I finally did and had posted a couple times about it. It is time again to update you on how things are going and how I am dealing with it.

Since I just published a post about my taking on a new blog, I am sure some of you are wondering if I am in a manic or hypo-manic state. The answer to that would be Yes. When I came out of the depression I headed directly into hypo-mania. Actually a bit of it overlapped each other, I was taking on loads of  new stuff, started a new blog, and even more at home while still feeling depressed. Then I came out of the depression fully and popped right into Hypo-mania. 

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Being Trapped in a Dark Place…

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I was talking to my friend Sonya and I mentioned to her that in the early days, before I had been diagnosed bipolar II, I felt as if I was trapped in a very dark place inside myself unable to get out and be who I really am.  This feeling was present at a very early age, this feeling trapped inside.

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My Experience with New Health Insurance…

I am not whining tonight just wanted to update you guys, since I posted about having to get a new psychiatrist for my girls with the new  HMO health carrier (Health Management Organization).  There are two doctors to choose from, really 2 for this entire area??  

I was forced to go to a parent orientation at this HMO, it was a complete waste of time. Then I have to go back upstairs to turn in the huge stack of paperwork I had to fill out for each child. There, I am told the kids have to see a therapist first before they will set an appointment with a psychiatrist.  I said, “Oh no that’s not happening. My kids have been in treatment for years and need to see a psychiatrist and I cannot afford to spend money on therapy at this point.”

The nice woman behind the counter says, “Well I don”t make the rules.”  So I explained we really don’t fit into this system of theirs as the kids have been established in care for a long time, one of them over 10 years and they need to be seen by a psychiatrist and medications refilled.  So after some time repeating my self this nice woman said she would talk to the administrator. Walked away within range for me to see her and walks back and says she can put in a note to talk to the chief of pediatrics to see if they can make an exception.  She said they would be calling me in a week or so… I thanked her and walked away shaking my head.  I will not be forced to spend money to see a therapist when that’s not what we need. If its required they better waive the co pay!!  Good luck right… Hehe  Yesterday when I arrived home I called my ex and told him he better be ready to get on the phone with these people, since this was his choice he is going to get me what we need. He is all confused because he never listens to me.

Get this… Today he shows up with a print out of one of the two doctors we have to choose from and tells me this is how it works, you have to go in for an evaluation by a therapist. I said, “I can’t pay for a therapist and a psychiatrist and I need medication refilled.”  He got nasty and said I’m just trying to tell you how it works. I said, “I know how it works but it doesn’t fit our situation.” He argued and I said, “did they call you?”  He said, “NO!!”  That nasty tone was enough for me so I turned to walk away and he yells out, “Do you want to know about the prescriptions or are you just going to be a bitch!  Yep he said it… Needless to say my reaction was not pleasant.. I told him what I thought of him and went into the house.

Does he really think he can come to my house and talk to me like that… I have already discussed this with him and the insurance company yet he is a jerk to me.  He acts like I never spoke to him.  You know why?, because when I call him to discuss stuff he hands the phone off to his wife while im talking  and then when I need a response he takes the phone back… There are always long pauses and his responses are always general and sometimes don’t fit the conversation.  Sorry for this but What a dumb-ass! 

Anyway, I am now mad at him and waiting for the HMO to call me back about getting the kids to the type of doctor they need, and not jump through hoops.

I am not whining honestly this is just part of life but thought Maybe I would update you all about how its going… or not going! :)  I suggest if you have a choice of insurance carriers and you need specialized care of any type, don’t go with a HMO. It might be cheaper but you get what you pay for.  :)

 

One way to get the most out of life is
to look upon it as an adventure. ~William Feather


Image: Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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New Relationship and Bipolar…

Do you wonder how a new relationship survives the mood issues I have had lately? Me too!!  

Today I’m sharing more on my relationship with Carl.  When I met Carl I was a mess he was my neighbor at the first apartment I moved into after my husband and I separated. We said Hi to each other and general niceties but never really spent any time together.  I thought he was a nice man the moment I saw him but I didn’t feel good about myself and wasnt looking for a relationship.  We lived there 3 yrs as neighbors until he moved out to move in with his girl friend.  I wished him the best and went on my way.  A year after he moved, I ran into him at a local park and we chatted for a while.  No big deal really.  I was pretty stable at the time and was happy open to a relationship.  Well as it turned out he had just moved out of his girlfriends house, I told him how sorry I was it didn’t work out etc.

 Then a few weeks later two days before I went to court for my divorce, he tracked me down at a local store and asked me out.  He proceeded to tell me that he always regretted not asking me out and he has looked for me to ask me out for a week or so.  He said he was frequenting the areas my kids went to school in hoping to run into me. He assured me he wasn’t a stalker.. haha   I was shocked had no idea he wanted to date, I accepted his invite to dinner without hesitation and we have dated more than a year now.

We see each other daily with a few exceptions.  He has experienced some of my weird moods and he is still here.  So I guess he hasn’t been scared off as of yet.  I have never actually told him what my diagnosis is because he hasn’t asked.  I have told him about my experience with moods and depression he knows I have had some bad years with it and this last 6 months he has experienced those moods, not the worst ones but some not so good ones.  He gives me the space I need and is not offended by my moods.

I have told him that I have depression and mood issues and have talked about a lot of those and listened to him about some of my different moods that he has noticed.  He knows the doctor took me out of work and that I take several medications daily for the depression.  I really don’t know how he feels about all that as we haven’t discussed it yet, but he is still around and we still have a great time together, even doing nothing. 

This man is amazing, he is easy to be with, easy to talk to about everything, he isn’t perfect mind you but he is funny, friendly, outgoing and loving.  He respects me and all women, he is a bit opinionated on politics so that’s not a good topic. haha  He is the kind of guy that opens doors for you and offers to help with anything and everything, although he doesn’t like me helping him with stuff.  It’s a man thing I think.. :)  I help anyway, sometimes. :) He worries about me being under too much stress but he doesn’t push his opinion on me, he respects my choices.  He has supported me in helping my friend who was having marital issues even though he felt I was being taken advantage of, he voiced that but not disrespectfully.  He then let me realize it all on my time.  He never puts me down in any way!   To me he is nearly the perfect man.  He is good to my kids too and they both like him. He doesn’t overstep boundaries with them though, he respects them. 

So as time goes on and we get to talk more about feelings etc I’m sure I will be posting more about this wonderful man.  Wish us luck!! :)

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Info About my Bipolar Symptoms….

Angry Talk (Comic Style)

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Have you ever felt like someone or something else was in control of your actions?  Have you ever had,what I describe as ‘out of body’ Rages? 

I can tell you that I have and so many times over the years that I can’t remember them all.  Many times I knew I had been in a Rage but didn’t remember what I had done while in it.   Then there were times that I was so in a Rage that I felt as if I was floating above myself and watching me do these horribly mean things, mainly I said horrible stuff and was very scary!  These Rages started when I was about 19, I was always very depressed, emotional and had a feeling of an emotional tornado churning inside me.  That Tornado as I call it was Anger, Rage, Bipolar2 symptoms.

At the time I had no clue what was going on with me and I was really withdrawn from life, but I was determined to be part of life.  I wanted what everyone wanted a Family to love and Happiness!   I was like most people I thought something was going to MAKE  me HAPPY.  Until I was in my 40′s I had no idea it was up to me to just BE HAPPY.

Back to my symptoms from 19 yrs old on…  a touch of Agoraphobia, I absolutely couldn’t leave my apartment alone with out 45 min of pacing and crying and talking to myself.  It was a major fight, thankfully I am a determined person or I wouldn’t have gotten through that time.  I remember getting out of the house after my 45 min fight with unreasonable fears and I would head to the gas station and drive through it three times unable to stop.  The fear was crippling I would shake and tear up, it is overwhelming when this happens.  I was so angry with myself because why couldn’t I stop and get gas like everyone else? why must I have someone with me?? It made no sense to me!  OK, so you get the picture it was unbelievably exhausting.  You can imagine that affected me every time I had to leave the house except for work as my job was a safe haven for me.  There were many days I didn’t leave the house at all. 

Then there were the times that I would be with Tania and she would be laughing and happy and I would literally smack her.  It was so annoying but I had no idea why or have any control over it.  I smacked her face even in the hallways in high school because she was laughing and being loud.  It was strange to me and I had no idea why it kept happening.  Tania never even got mad at me she actually would laugh harder, and I would be crying because I felt horrible about it.  She loved me anyway tho even when I smacked her for no reason on more than one occasion.  Tania taught me a lot about love and acceptance.  

At night I would lay in bed and cry myself to sleep every night.  I was super emotional I talked to myself, cried and yelled at my mom it was an emotional nightmare.  Years of pent-up emotions just flowed like a rushing river!  Honestly it was confusing to me but ended up being great therapy.  I worked hard to get through that time and kept challenging my fears by leaving the house.  The only thing I could think of, I really needed a doctor but had no insurance.

I also had an issue with sweating if I got nervous I would sweat off the top of my head and it dripped down my face and was super embarrassing.  It would make me flee where ever I was and want to hide.  If I didn’t by the time I left where I was my hair would be visibly WET.  Stuck down to my head like I had just gotten out of the shower.  I was so embarrassed! 

The level of depression was so deep that at the end of the day I was exhausted and could barely get up in the morning.  Depression just zaps all your energy and all your drive.  The overwhelming sadness and low energy with the unreasonable level of anxiety and fears is exhausting.

I have no idea how I kept up with fighting the fears with my depression so high but I kept fighting.  It’s so important to keep fighting whether you feel like you can or not.. Just fight it and then realize Happiness is a choice..

I know that sounds corny but it’s so true, I realized that as I stated in an  earlier post… when I was around 40, I heard this voice say to me HAPPINESS IS A CHOICE, JUST CHOOSE IT!  It was really strange to me but I was compelled by it.  With some work I began to realize that voice was right!! I had to change thought processes tell myself to stop saying bad things to myself but after some months or more I felt happy inside something I had never felt before!!  Then I realized good things started to happen around me.  I met a man who asked me out and we have dated for a year even tho I have been split from my husband since 2006, I didn’t date anyone till I met Carl in 2010…..

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A Bad Day a More Current Post…

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Alright.. I was reading another Bipolar blog post today.. and she said something that struck me.  It was something like, her being tired of all this happy sunshine crap, no one is perfect and it seem disingenuous as we all have a bad day!  

I am just going to share my imperfectness, although I am generally a happy person yesterday was a Bipolar day! 

Yesterday I go out to my car in the afternoon after not driving it all day and I find damage to the bumper and white paint on the neighbor’s front bumper.  No note, no knock on the door nothing!  I flipped out!  Went and rang the door bell of the neighbor many times until she answered the door and I greet her with, “Which one of you hit my car today and didn’t bother to leave a note or knock on my door?” Said Angrily!!  She seemed to have no idea what i was talking about as it is her husband’s car that is parked there today.  Did that stop me, NOPE! I continued to get more angry and was down right mean.  Then I leave to take the kids to the store and return to drop them off and she comes out and It got worse. :( 

I went off on her as she was making excuses for her husband saying he must not have known he did it etc.. I still don’t believe he didn’t know, but I rant and rave and got in her face.(according to my kids) I don’t remember it that way.  Then the manager of the complex we are living in calls me today and tells me I was bullying the neighbor etc.. I argued the point cause honestly I had no idea how bad I was, but when the kids got out of school I asked them about it and my youngest said i wasnt being a bully but my oldest said, “You do owe her an apology, I don’t think you realize how in her face you were.”  Very sad moment :( 

I have been stable for a long while and I know my mood hasn’t been good but I had no idea how out of control it is.. so I will be talking to my Psychiatrist about meds this month. :(  Haven’t had to change meds for years, but I think it is time! :(

My true personality, minus the bipolar swings, is a nice person who wouldn’t want to hurt anyone or scare anyone… so I’m really disappointed today!  I have hand written a note to them and will place it on their door as I’m sure they wont answer the door to me after yesterday. 

Bottom line… I feel like a heel, and am very embarrassed!  How do I make it up to them? 

 

 

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My Search For Help..

When my first child was born, Samantha, I was in love with her from the moment she was conceived.  I wanted children so badly, really I wanted to be loved, but as she began to grow older I realized something was seriously wrong with me.  I have always been called a Bitch and assumed that label belonged as I was very hot-tempered and never happy.  Well I started having Rages… these Rages were like out-of-body experiences, I was seeing it happen but I was NOT in control.  I decided I would not treat my children the way I was treated as a child and went for help..  

First I went to my family physician, who gave me Prozac and sent me on my way.  Wow when I started this medication it was like a huge weight was lifted off my chest.  I told everyone how great it was I was so happy.   Well that was short-lived as my moods still swung wildly and it stopped working all together after a couple of months.

So back to the doctor I went and he gave me another medication and stopped the Prozac.  Well I can’t remember what medication it was because there have been so many since then.. :)  That didn’t work at all so I decided to change doctors, went to another family practitioner and he gave me yet another anti-depressant.  NO luck so back to him I went only to hear from him “I cannot help you, I need to refer you to a psychiatrist.”  Ugh so not what you want to hear but I said “fine who would you suggest.”   I was determined!!

So the first psychiatrist I saw seemed to know his stuff and discussed the medications available chose a couple he thought I should try then sent me on my way.  I went back for months till I got a little relief but he kept telling me I needed Electric Shock Therapy. I kept saying to him, we have so many medications to try I’m not doing Shock Therapy. he tells me its my last hope and I realized he didn’t have my file out and it  occurred  to me he had no idea who I was and wasn’t going to seriously help me.   He just kept saying it every appointment, keep in mind my depression was severe and he felt that I needed it.  No way, so here I go again in search of another doctor.. I went to several more doctors and several therapist.  This went on for years!

Ok back up a bit in the middle of all this I had my second child… What do you think happened at that point??…..  Yep my depression got even worse and my moods were horrific. From one moment to the next you had no idea what was gonna set me off but you knew something would.  I also stopped all medications when we decided we wanted another child so it was like starting over again. 

One of the Psychiatrists I saw actually threatened to take my kids away.  I had not physically abused them and was working so hard to get help.  I left his office very upset, called the therapist that worked under him and explained what happened.  All I could say to her was how can I trust you? How do I get help from you if I can’t be open and honest.  She assured me she didn’t feel I was going to hurt my children and she would talk to the doctor.  Obviously my safety net was gone and I couldn’t return to them as I couldn’t be treated that way again and I couldn’t be honest.  Honesty is the most important part of Therapy, if you aren’t open and honest you aren’t helping yourself. 

So off I went again looking for a new doctor….

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Bipolar & Relationships…

Have you had BAD relationships that you stuck with for an unknown reason?  I have!  My now ex-husband is one of them.

 Let me explain a bit; When I met my now ex-husband, it was through my brother (older).  They kept telling me how nice he was and how his wife walked out on him for her boss.  They had a one year old son and I felt bad for them.  Anyway, I met him and we had awesome chemistry and soon, very soon, decided we were in love.  What I didn’t realize was that I needed to belong somewhere, needed someone to love and someone to love me, but he wasn’t the one. 

Wanting to belong, and be loved was because I didn’t love me or even know me.  All I knew was this bipolar mind but I didn’t know about my illness it was still untreated.  Our relationship was rocky to say the least. We had this pull between us to each other but we didn’t agree on much and my moods got worse and worse.  I would fly off the handle at every turn over stupid things, like leaving the toilet seat up or the lid off the tooth paste, you just never knew what was next.  He didn’t and I didn’t know.   His little boy was adorable but we fought about him a lot. I wanted more rules for him and he wanted none.   

We began to live with each other almost immediately 3 months of dating and we were living together.  Not the best idea!  We were needy people and were in love, so we thought.   Many times of moving out and moving back in after fights, always me moving out.  We would fight and I would get into a rage and break down emotionally at the same time and I would pack my stuff and leave. I don’t know how many times that happened, it was many. 

We decided to have our first child in 1994, we were not married but i had no desire for marriage.  She was born 12/30/1995,  it took us a bit to conceive her.  He had just had back surgery (2nd one) November 29, 1995.  At the time I worked full-time at an insurance agency and only had 6 weeks to stay home.  My ex had to care for our baby till she was almost 1, even though he was in pain constantly.  He began taking more pain pills than he should have, and got really nasty.  We fought and fought but got through that time and decided in late 1997 to have another child.  She was born 02/07/1999.  

Backing up a bit.. When my first daughter was born my depression plummeted.  I had such horrible depression and I didn’t understand why.  My moods were up and down and I went into rages a lot, sometimes several times a day.  After about 3 yrs I began to realize this was just getting worse. Nothing had improved and I found myself raging about her room being messed up and things that in the scheme of life meant nothing.  I had no control, I had what I call out-of-body rages.  It was like I was watching myself do these things from above.  I never hurt her except with words and fear of me.  I think that is just as bad though.   I hated it and I set off to look for help… 

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As I Enter the World on my Own…

Have you had a serious fight with your mother before?? I sure have…I told you I worked for her for many years and that began to come to a close when she got angry for some unknown reason and came after me as I left work. She followed me into the hallway to the parking lot and was yelling at me, and she said “F**** You!” I happened to be holding a cup of soda, I turned around and said,”No, F*** You! and as I said that I threw my cup of soda at her. I had taken a lot of unnecessary bullying from my mother for years but now I was old enough it wasn’t going to continue. Shortly after that she closed the store as it was failing.

I lived alone for several years, after having a room-mate for 6 months and that not working out! I took a job in an insurance office and began to learn about all lines of insurance. I was making 1000.00 a month salary.. so I brought home 850.00 after taxes and my rent was 535.00 so I was only able to pay my bills. I went through a period of starving myself to lose weight and got very ill. I was off work for 3 weeks and almost lost my job. My depression was so deep and getting deeper by the day.

I was having a problem leaving my house. My anxiety was severe and hindering every move I made. I had terrible night mares and felt alone! I knew I was in trouble… I had to find a way to leave the house and not be in tears. I picked a drug store to go to when I felt that I couldn’t leave the house. I went there several times a day sometimes, trying to get rid of my anxiety. It took months but it really helped. I was really pushing people away. My one friend from high school took the brunt of my uncontrollable moods. To my surprise she loved me anyway, she was the one person in my life that could see the real me under the rage, depression, hypo-mania episodes and anxiety! She taught me I was worth while and lovable. Up to that time I didn’t think much of myself, honestly I hated myself!

That tornado of rage, pain, self hate and depression kept swirling inside me. I continued to get angrier and more reactive, my depression was in control. I could hear my mother’s voice at every turn telling me how useless I was and degrading me. Then my mood would swing and I would be annoyingly funny and happy. My moods swung rapidly and I was loosing more and more control. I was about 19 at this time, and really confused about Life!….

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The beginning…

I’m going to start back when I was really young.  My parents divorced when I was around 3 yrs old… All I remember of them being together is the fighting they did at night while we were in bed.  Yelling and screaming, it just seemed to go on and on…  Then they separated and our lives were changed.

My mother dated many men… most of which cheated on her and kept her in upheaval at all times.  We used to actually go in a camper and follow them around at night so she could catch them cheating.  I remember being in the camper on the upper bed above the cab and peeking out the window to see what was happening.  At that point I hated life I had what I believe now to be panic attacks due to the stress.

My mother was emotionally a mess at all times.  She yelled a lot and made us do lots of work in the house and she hit us when she was angry.  She never injured us physically!  Emotionally on the other hand she had a way with words that could cut to the bone!  An example would be when she took us into her work to pick up paychecks, she would tell everyone how great we were and how much she loved us, how proud of us she was… then in the parking lot on the way to the car she would say horrible things to us and tell us she was embarrassed by us, she had to lie to people and how dare we put her in that place, we were useless and so on…  I assume this behavior is from her life as an abused child.  I can tell you it hurt me so deeply that from those days on I had NO self-esteem and life was a major struggle.  I was already feeling down but I didn’t understand those feelings.  I’m not trying to base on my mom as she really did her best and she did love us, we just didn’t feel it.

A few years later, maybe 5 yrs, we were living with a man who my mother was crazy in love with and we could not stand.  He was not a nice guy.  One weekend she left to go to Las Vegas with him and when she returned she announced they had married.  What a blow, we were so upset and disappointed.  From there it was a life of stress, anger and upset.  This man cheated on her time and time again and people told her he was no good but she didn’t believe it.  Even though we followed him around town and watched him meet up with women…  My mother lived in a bit of a La La land, that’s what I called it.  So you can imagine my mother who has severe depression and isn’t in a habit of being nice, began to remain in this state of stress and anger.  She worked several jobs off and on and had one main job all the time, while her husband pretended to go to work…..

She lost a tremendous amount of weight and it really concerned me and my brother. She got down to a size 0 and then she started buying pants in the kid section. She was so moody and so angry all the time.  We found solace in our animals, horses, dogs, cats, turkeys, chickens, goats, a donkey etc…..  Thank goodness for the animals!…….. 

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