Tag Archives: Bipolar Disorder and Addiction

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.

I Wish

I wish I had a tiny camera in my head that would show the world what one day is like for me. I still wouldn’t be understood but maybe just maybe it would be a start.

A typical day starts with me waking up in pain from my neck, head , and shoulders. I usually wake up crying or with the feeling that I am going to cry. I make myself get out of bed and go downstairs to have breakfast. I take my morning meds. I am irritable, sad, lonely, and tired until about 2 p.m. I can’t find anyone willing to engage with me whether it’s texting or on the phone. Once in awhile I do. If my dad isn’t having a good day and is slamming doors or whatever I will start stuttering and crying. Sometimes around 2 p.m. I feel like I’m going stir crazy and have to leave the house. Today I had to go to the pharmacy where the lovely pharmacist made me sound like a junkie looking for a fix. She did this loud enough for other customers to hear. Of course I stuttered and tried not to cry. I was trying to get my Klonopin filled but was a few days early. The Dr. knew because I am going through withdrawal from Viibryd but he forgot to call it in. This pharmacist in particular is rude to me every time. So I left feeling like crazy loser. I then tortured myself with thoughts of my mom for awhile. Moved on to my sister, and then worried about my dad. Last but not least I thought I would throw in the “I’ll be alone for the rest of my life” bit. I don’t remember the drive to the mall. I didn’t even buy anything. That’s how bad it is. Had a panic attack in one store and had to leave. I sat in my car crying for 45 minutes then went home. This is a typical day for me. It doesn’t matter that I am being weaned off a med this still happens. People wonder why I get upset when they say stupid things about me “being the one in control” and “life is what you make it”. You think this is what I wanted? When I was younger I wanted kids, a husband, a house. Instead I spent 20 years drunk and now I’m going through early menopause at 42. Yup this is what I chose. A life of leisure, a bowl of laughs, it’s the best. Now excuse me while I vomit from withdrawal.

Mad As Hell And I Just Have To Take It

When I look back at my childhood and into my adulthood I see clearly where I allowed people to bully me. I still do sometimes. As a child there isn’t much you can do. If you tell your parents you’re a tattle-tale, if you don’t it keeps getting worse. Most children don’t tell. Most teachers are aware of it and do nothing for fear that it reflects badly on them. They can’t control their classroom. The parents see it and do nothing. Buying into the crap “boys will be boys” or “that’s just how kids play”. I personally am banned from my nephew’s playground at his school. It is like watching a version of Lord of the Flies. I tried to step in when a larger kid had a tiny kid on the ground and threw sand directly in his eyes. NO OTHER PARENT DID A THING. And they were all there! So my sister told me to take a walk. I will say that usually my sister does step in and handles it well. Almost professionally.

You can say and do what you want to me, I don’t care. My family is another matter. My beautiful, smart, kind nephew, that’s something else entirely. I can’t have children, my twin sister’s kids are like my own, they are as close as I will get. She is a great mom and my brother in law is a great dad. I don’t think either is aggressive enough when it comes to the bullying. My nephew stayed home from school today complaining of a stomach ache and his head hurting. He was also sweating a lot. He’s small for his age. Come to find out yesterday in class a bigger kid, and I mean bigger, punched him as hard as he could in the back. That’s why he didn’t want to go to school. This child has been in trouble before. So much so that he has his own aide. Where was his aide when he was punching people? I am all for integrated classrooms. Except if the child is consistently violent. Then the situation needs to be looked at again.

I loathe bullying in any way, shape, or, form. It’s right up there with lying. I would rather you punch me in the face than look me in the face and lie. As someone I used to know was fond of say “But D**a, if they believe it it’s the truth”. Typical con thinking but true.

So if you see bullying DO SOMETHING! We need to stop being so afraid of what the other parents might do or say. Afraid of rocking the boat. So what if you get a little wet you’ll dry.

Trying to Take Off My Mask With New Inspiration

I have been reading a blog recently that has really helped me. My family doesn’t agree. I knew they wouldn’t. I have to try to be strong and not beg, bribe, pretend, and do things I don’t want to just so they will accept and love me. I know they love me. But I also know that I am a burden, annoying, hurtful, and clingy. My father thinks that the Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety Disorders, Social Phobia, and Conversion Disorder is all his fault. He thinks if he had gotten help for me sooner I would be ok. I tried to explain to him that it doesn’t really work that way. The other thing is, my mother’s side of the family is the one that is saturated in mental illness. It’s no coincidence that her sister and brother are both diagnosed Paranoid Schizophrenic and my mother was never diagnosed with anything but was hospitalized twice for “breakdowns”. She would spend weeks in her bedroom, only coming out to get food. She also had a lot of episodes where she was loud, talked non-stop, danced, cleaned and laughed at everything. I would say my grandmother had some issues also. The only thing on my father’s side is some anxiety. To see him cry, a man who rarely shows emotion, kills me.

My twin sister as some of you may know is my biggest critic. She’s the one that tells me I have to change. Quite often this is said to me. I have tried to buy, bribe, and beg for her love and acceptance. I did it again yesterday. I bought her a couple of art sets and some stuff to make her some jewelry. She hasn’t returned my texts or calls in a couple of days. I shouldn’t have to do this. It’s demeaning. Why do I have to change? I haven’t hurt anyone. I haven’t gotten drunk. I haven’t hurt myself. So I cry a lot lately, there’s something going on. I have Celiac that stays active and may be going through early menopause which does effect your body and brain chemistry. Or maybe it’s something else. I don’t know.

I was seriously considering just having more ECT because I can’t take it anymore. No one wants to be around me. I told my father to “let them shock me until I remember nothing and feel nothing”. This is pretty sad on my part. I’m letting other people who want me to “change” consider doing something I swore I wouldn’t do again. But I really don’t know how much more I can take from a world that sees me as “too emotional”, “crazy”, “Unbalanced”, “violent”, “too loud”, “too quiet”, “lazy”, “annoying”, and that I’m just not trying hard enough.

When I read Taking Off The Mask’s blog about stigma I cried through the entire thing. If I only had someone to say to me “Dana there is nothing wrong with you” or to say they know how I feel. This blog made me feel so much better about everything. Until I tried to explain it to my dad. Then it went to hell. He didn’t understand what I was trying to explain. I’m pretty sure my sister wouldn’t either. So I’ll keep it to myself and remember there are good, kind, understanding people out there. You just have to find them.

I will think long and hard about the ECT. I really do not want to do it. I’d rather try the Ketamine based nasal spray but there is only 1 Dr. in R.I. that does it and it’s for pain management. I can’t have another year long Depressive episode it’s already been almost 4 months, I think that’s long enough.

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