Monthly Archives: September 2015

I Never Said I Was Smart

It has recently occurred to me that I have set up my entire blog wrong. I’m manic right now so I find this amusing. I also started drinking coffee again. So who knows what will happen! I wanted the name of my blog to be Insights Of A Bipolar Rambler. The reason being that I am often told I ramble. Not as much in the last few years. I’m not sure why. Probably because I have no or little interaction with people. When people around me slowly started to find out about my diagnosis they backed away. When I mentioned it, I was told that I was “imagining things” or being “too sensitive”. I’m not an idiot. When I started getting an overload of questions from people I didn’t know about Bipolar Disorder, I decided to start a blog. It’s a shame those people never knew it. Last count there were 732 people. I’m not a doctor. I didn’t feel comfortable giving too much advice. But I could at least tell them they were not alone or where to get help. This was on Facebook and I had to close the account. I things better this way. If I can figure out what the hell I’m doing. Now to figure out the About section. Ugh! By the way, I can Debug, Snoop, analyze, but I CAN’T COPY & PASTE! Or link things. My brother, the computer programmer, is not speaking to the family right now. I’ll have to research more.

Being Your Own Advocate!

When it became clear to me and the people around me that I could no longer hold a full time job I applied for Disability. It was a long, degrading process. If I hadn’t had a lawyer that specialized in Bipolar Disorder and Conversion Disorder I never would have gotten it. It was a long drawn out process. I finally had to go before a judge. He wasn’t a pleasant man. When he started to ask me questions and I stuttered and had trouble finding the correct words he said “What? Didn’t you take your meds today?”.  It was at that point I started crying. I could see my father sitting in the corner of the room with his hands in a fist and a look of rage in his eyes. My lawyer at that point spoke up and told him the facts. My lawyer had spoken on the Senate floor about Conversion Disorder and other disorders like it. He knew his stuff. He was disgusted with the judge. There was another problem. My Psychiatrist was just copying the same thing in my record every time I went. So it looked like I had 1 diagnosis and not the actual several that I really had. My lawyer brought this up also. The judge hesitantly gave it to me.

Most people get a review in about 5 years. Not me. I get a review every 2 years or so. Even though my doctor and other doctors have said that I have actually declined and not improved. They say I will continue to either decline or stay where I am. Where I am isn’t great.

I checked my records recently with Medicare. My Psychiatrist is doing it again. Cut and Paste. It has one diagnosis listed. This interferes with Disability. When they look at my records and see the one diagnosis it makes it worse for me. He has admitted to me personally that he hates paperwork. He has complained about the amount of paperwork he has had to do for me.

I started working on the books at the age of 14. I always worked. Starting at 14 it was every summer 7 to 3:30 p.m at the jewelry factory. I didn’t go to the beach or hang out with friends, I worked. At 16 during the school year I managed a Hallmark store at night after school. In the summer it was the factory and the Hallmark store. I then started working for a Video Rental Chain. I worked up to 60 hours a week for 13 years. What I’m saying is I paid into the system. People think you are just looking for a free ride. When I started a new career as a hair stylist and my symptoms became worse I had no choice. Clients have a tendency to back away from you when your hands shake with a pair of scissors in them. I couldn’t work with the public anymore. I was having meltdowns in the closet everyday.

I’ve decided to look into a new doctor. If mine can’t take the time to properly keep an account of my records than why should I go to him? I also noticed that he bills them for an hour of Psychotherapy when I’m only there for 10 minutes.

The point of all this is to check your records or files. Make sure your doctor is being accurate. You deserve that.

Am I Toxic

Today was a more than usual bad day. I had an argument with my father which led to him raising his fist to me. I understand living with someone who has a Mental Illness or Psychological issues is difficult. I also understand living with End Stage Renal Disease and going to dialysis 3 times a week can change a person’s personality and lead to depression.

In my 20 years of drinking my father knows of one incident where I was assaulted by a man. There were other times by other men, I just didn’t talk about them. When I started to really take sobriety seriously I decided it would never happen again. Not verbally or physically. Yet I find myself in the same situation the only difference is neither one of us is drinking.

My father is depressed, he had just come back from visiting my mother’s grave. I know he has things on his mind like, paying for dialysis, how to fix up the house before he passes, how to cut back on the amount of birds he has, making a fair will, what will happen to me, this list is constantly going through his head. I’ve tried to help but he won’t listen to me.

I have plenty of my own issues. Paying for my hospital bills, handling my Psychiatric Disorders when they seem to be resistant to everything the doctors try. My own physical health. My family doesn’t want to acknowledge just how bad it is. All of it. They do not want to try to understand any of it. The lists of what not to say to a loved one with Bipolar Disorder is useless. They have said it all. This is the most frustrating thing of all. I feel that they think I’m making it up.

I tried to talk to my sister today and she said “You are very difficult to live with.” What do I do with that? I could apply for housing, but the wait list for the wait list is almost 5 years. I could try to do it on my own but when I look there isn’t much in my price range. I love my dad very much. If I were to move out his health and well being would decline rapidly. I know this. But am I making things worse by staying?

When I found him sobbing on the couch I sat next to him. He said he didn’t know why he behaved that way. He never has before. He was ashamed. I’m the only one he talks to, shares the same interests with. He loves me. But we can’t go on this way.

I think it’s time for me to do something that I have been putting off for too long. Trying therapy again. Therapy has changed since I was 17 or 20. It will take work to find the right one and one who takes my insurance. I detest therapy. I’m hoping for a better way this time. Not one who gives me homework about where I see myself in 5 years. Or tells me to picture a stop sign when a certain behavior happens. That isn’t going to work for me. But something has to. I don’t want the people around me to be hurt by my illnesses. Not physically but their quality of life. Maybe mine too.

New Pic (Didn’t Like The Old)

I really didn’t like the original photos of these earrings so I took some new shots. They’re done on an antique kerosene parlor lamp with a flowered globe on top and a bronze cherub holding it up. From my father’s collection. The dust is original.DSC01153 (3)DSC01153 (2)

Jewelry For Therapy

Feathers are back!DSC01146DSC01138DSC01142DSC01129 (2)Not my best photography but I was in a hurry. Better next time.

Pet Adoptions and Rescues

I’ve been looking at animals up for adoption or at rescues. I have to say that what I’ve seen irritates me to say the least.

Chico- A Chinese Crested, Maltese, Terrier mix, or so they think has an adoption fee of $425.

Dobbie- A Yorkie Chihuahua mix has an adoption fee of $425

Ham & Eggs- Two Chihuahua brothers that can’t be separated are $280 a piece.

These are from several different places associated with the ASPCA or Humane Society.

You also have to provide proof that you own your home or written letter from your landlord.

You have to provide up to date vet records for any animals currently living in your house.

You have to bring these animals in to meet the dog you want to adopt. I’m sure my Epileptic Pomeranian would love the car ride, the barking and chaos of 40 other dogs surrounding her while she meets a new friend. And my senior Papillon with cataracts and arthritis will enjoy it too.

The say they need adopters to support all rescue pets. Not just the dog they adopt. They need to cover vet expenses for all of the dogs taken in.

I understand this. I really do. But I know for a fact that a lot of the dogs that come in are already spayed or neutered. At least at the places I went to. I also know vets that volunteer their time and services. Maybe not everywhere but where I went. I keep seeing pictures of the same dogs up for adoption week after week. I would’ve taken Ham & Eggs in a heartbeat if they didn’t want me to drag my poor dogs into a new environment and ask them to make friends. It doesn’t work. I understand showing you have a place to live that accepts dogs. In my case it would have gone easier if I just brought them home. I know my father. He was on the fence about it. He couldn’t make a decision. And it shames me to say I even would have paid the $280 a piece for them. You know why? Because for that one day I spent with them I was happy, happier than I have been in a long time. So were they.

They’re still there waiting. Waiting for someone to follow all the rules and red tape. I hope they don’t have to wait long for their happiness.

Sobriety and Me

Insights Of A Bipolar Rambler

I had recently mentioned that for the first time in years I wanted to drink my pain away. I sat in the parking lot of a bar at 4:00 p.m. and watched people go in and out. I left after 10 minutes. All it took was seeing 1 drunk person leave the bar for me to know I didn’t want to do it. The thought of death scared me a little too. My body would in no way be able to handle alcohol and neither would my mind.

My brother in law is in recovery. He goes to AA. It works for him. This is his first attempt at getting sober. He goes to meetings where everyone knows him and most of the people are his age. He is the comedian, the social butterfly. He enjoys going.

Him and I were alone the other day and I confided that for…

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Isolation Will Be My Downfall

Isolation and lack of socializing is the number one reason I think people harm themselves or commit suicide. When you feel dismissed, or like you don’t matter, I start to think what’s the point? Why am I struggling so hard to get up everyday? Why am I going through all this pain if I don’t have to? And yes I do know that children are starving, soldiers are dying, there are homeless people suffering, and there are a great many people who probably have it worse than me. But you don’t really know me and what I’ve been through. Yes I have my arms and legs. They are weak and the muscle has been eaten away in places leaving odd gaps. This has happened in my face too. I am in physical pain most of the time because I’m losing most of the cartilage between the discs in my back. My back is also filled with arthritis along with my hips and pelvis. I have osteoporosis at 42. Also Vitamin D resistant Rickets. I was healthier at 250 than I am at 126 pounds. There is something seriously wrong with my kidneys and ureters that 4 doctors can’t figure out. My Bipolar Medications are not really working because of this.

My Psychiatrist keeps changing my diagnosis. One minute I am Bipolar I next visit I am Bipolar II the visit after that I’m back to I again and there was one visit where I was Unspecified. The Conversion Disorder, Anxiety, and Social Phobia stays the same. Catatonia was added recently and I don’t know why. At this point I don’t care.

I am mostly in the house all day alone. Once in awhile I will get to see my sister when she feels like it. My dad doesn’t talk much anymore. My friends have disappeared. Support groups have not worked well for me. It’s my own fault. I cry too much and people get annoyed. Crying is my way of talking. I can’t get out what I want to say so it comes out in tears. Whether I am angry, frustrated, sad, it doesn’t matter. I have trouble with my speech so this is how it comes out. I don’t blame people for not wanting to be around. If they would let me take the time to talk it would be better. But everyone is in a hurry. They have kids, husbands, jobs, etc., things I don’t have. It isn’t a pity party, it’s a fact. So what am I doing here? Surviving.

Sobriety and Me

I had recently mentioned that for the first time in years I wanted to drink my pain away. I sat in the parking lot of a bar at 4:00 p.m. and watched people go in and out. I left after 10 minutes. All it took was seeing 1 drunk person leave the bar for me to know I didn’t want to do it. The thought of death scared me a little too. My body would in no way be able to handle alcohol and neither would my mind.

My brother in law is in recovery. He goes to AA. It works for him. This is his first attempt at getting sober. He goes to meetings where everyone knows him and most of the people are his age. He is the comedian, the social butterfly. He enjoys going.

Him and I were alone the other day and I confided that for the first time in years I had an urge to drink and sat in the parking lot of a bar. His response was “You need to stop telling your sister that you’re going to drink and making her a hostage of your disease”. He said it was ok to tell him but not her.

I was livid to put it mildly. I told him that I never talk about my drinking with my sister because the few times I tried at the beginning she shut me down. She didn’t want to hear it. I’m over 6 years sober and I have discussed it with her maybe twice. They were very short discussions. She was/is disgusted by my alcoholism and won’t talk about it. She will talk about her husband and support him in every way. My father refuses to talk about it also. He also doesn’t believe in positive reinforcement. He doesn’t think alcoholics should get a chip for staying sober. He’s an alcoholic. He’s been sober for 35 years. He’s old school. He went cold turkey because it was ruining his family and that was that. He did what he was suppose to do.

So I have usually kept quiet about my alcoholism. I never expect anything from anyone. I do get annoyed when people quote AA stuff to me when they do not know the truth of what they are talking about. AA for me was not a place to socialize. I was with a lot of old timers. They thought all medication was a crutch and you should be going to meetings morning, noon, and night. Which is fine if you are retired but not if you work 60 hours a week. But then I would hear “You found time to drink you can find time for a meeting”. I won’t get into the religious aspect of the organization because it’s too frustrating. I was told when I left that I was a quitter and I would be dead in a week. I did relapse many times but eventually found my way.

AA has saved many people. There are many different groups and you need to find one that fits you. I had more going on than just being an alcoholic. There were many other factors. It wasn’t until they were brought to light that I could truly see why I was drinking and deal with my issues. My way wouldn’t work for everyone either. But as long as it works for me I’m ok with that. Knowing why I drank played a huge part in my stopping. It still does. Sitting in the parking lot weighing the pros and cons I still knew why I was there. It helped me make the decision to start the car and leave.

Reality Check

It’s been a tough few months. I have not been dealing with well. I also have not been honest with myself or seen things clearly. I’ve been irrational and impulsive. Depressed doesn’t even come close to how I feel. Dealing with my dad’s health issues, almost dying myself and not knowing why, losing my dog, my medications not working and physically not feeling well has taken a lot out of me.

I’ve been stubborn and delusional about getting 2 more dogs. I can barely take care of myself most of the time. I know I could probably do it but my dad would have to help. That isn’t fair to him. What my dad and sister don’t understand is my grief. I grieve longer and harder than anyone I know. There was already a giant hole in my chest that couldn’t be filled and aches constantly now it’s bigger.

When I tried to talk to my sister about it today I didn’t even get a complete sentence out. She automatically said “No more dogs!”. I could hear her husband in the background saying the same. They never liked our dogs because when they would visit once a year the dogs would get excited. The Pomeranian nipped my sister’s ankle and she was upset. There was no skin broken, no bruising, nothing. The dogs are used to it just being me and my dad. No one visits us. I made sure they were socialized as puppies and had them around people often. This got harder as my mother became sicker and I was taking care of her by myself. I spent a lot of time with them and so did my dad but I wasn’t taking them places anymore. They were happy though, they had their own little pack. One time my brother in law pushed my Papillon across the floor for begging at the table. I almost punched him in the face. I don’t discipline your kids you don’t discipline my animals.

The other day for the first time in years I wanted to go to the bar. It surprised me. I wanted to be numb. I also wanted to talk to people and not be alone. It scared me. If I drink I’ll die. It’s as simple as that. I won’t have 1 I’ll have 20. My kidneys will shut down or if I do manage to survive I’ll have no place to live. I’m also afraid of what kind of drunk I’ll be. The depression is so bad I don’t know if I would be happy or have the courage to hurt myself. I don’t want to find out. I do want to get better but nothing is working. It’s a circle of “we don’t know if this is causing this or the other way around”.

I’m becoming more and more afraid to leave the house. Then I get agitated and feel trapped. There is no relief. If the doctors don’t figure out something soon I’m going to Boston and letting them use me for a test subject or experiment for everything they’ve got. They can scan me from head to toe and I’ll be their guinea pig. It can’t be worse than this.

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