Friday, March 26, 2010

Rollar Coaster Ride

aContinuation of having bipolar

It's 5:45 am and I feel as if I could run a marothon. There is a 7am fitness class at my gym and I will attend. However, I never know when I will crash. I compare my highs to a rollar coaster. The anticipation of waiting for the ride. You finally get your turn and the ride begins and then ends in 3 minutes.

I am trying to reprogram my brain to think rational, but somedays it is difficult. I have not worked in three years as some of you all know and my brain wants to work again but my body tells me something different. "Rome was not built in a day" a friend of mine said. I really dislike that phrase. Another phrase I hear is "one step at a time" or "take it slow". Those are great phrases to follow and I do need to look at where I was before and where I am now. We all need to do that, even if it is the smallest step, be proud of that.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


This month will be three years since my diaganosis of bipolar. I have developed coping skills to relearn about my body. The medications I am on changes your metabolism and have other side effects. To avoid upsetting my stomache I can't eat the foods that I use to.

Curently, I can feel depression creeping up behind me. I went to my art ministry and was happy seeing my friends, however came home and had a crying spell. I joined a gym to shed some of these pounds but come home and sunk into the couch. These are signs of depression. I called my therapist and made an appointment for next week. I now know the red flags. I didn't always know the flags.

In July of 2010 I went back into psychosis due to missing the signs of depression and didn't see my psychiatrist sooner. Know your body and the signs. I may need a medication tweak or it may become worse. I will push myself tonight to visit with friends.

Look to the Lord and his strength, seek his face always (1Chronicles 16:11)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010



When I was diagnosed with bipolar, I felt alone. I could not find a conveniant support group near my home. I did find one on line, however since bipolar varies in severity, finding a match to my disorder was difficult. I wanted to find someone that also hears voices. I could not find anyone that hears voices compared to mine.

I decided to blog my story that maybe there is a person out there that feels alone like I was feeling. It is my objective in these writings that I can be of assistance to someone who is in search of answers like I was in regards to what is ailing them.

Support is the key to this disorder and also knowing that others have gone through the same issues that you went through. It took over two years for me to find the right support and finding others I can relate to.

Thank you for your encouraging comments and taking the time in reading my blog.



Monday, March 22, 2010


Continuation of my story and the struggles I faced when diagnosed with bipolar

As I said before, I was diagnosed in 2007. That year I spent most of my time in bed. I didn't take care about my hygene. My husband had to help me with basic living skills. The voices/hallucinations became my friends. I moved away from my home town to be with my husband and it was difficult meeting new friends. My father has a fear of flying, however he did call everyday. I would sit at my art table and stare at the paper for hours.

My short term memory was poor and I bagan to put on weight slowly. My husband would take me shopping and people would stare and laugh at me. I have no memory of this. I was on a strong medication which made me sluggish and I would stare off in the distance.

I felt like a puppet. I would do what the voices were telling me to do. "eat more toast","you didn't eat today, eat more" the voices/hallucinations would say. At times I would come back to reality and ignore the hallucinations. I was fighting for my sanity, but not by myself. I had Jesus in my heart and a loving husband. I would have my husband read the bible, and bipolar books to me. I couldn't read myself as the auditory hallucinations would repeat the words.

As I was laying in bed I looked up at the ceiling and saw moving shapes. I began to have visual hallucinations. "there is an angel in your neighbors window" the voices would say. I went outside and saw a shape of an angel. Paranoia struck and I thought my neighbors had put a spell on me. I pretented to take the trash outside and knocked on my neighbors door, however he was not home. The next day I admitted myself into the hospital.

Anyone reading this that struggles with a mental illnes or other disorders you are not alone. What helped me was seeing a therapist, leaning on family that has accepted the illness, leaning on the Lord, support groups, journaling, exercise, and healthy eating,


Sunday, March 21, 2010


When diagnosed with bipolar I was speechless. I prayed about it and one sripture came to mind "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness" (2Corinthians) I did go through the why questions "Why do I hear voices/hallucinations?,Why am I depressed?, Why can't I be the happy, energenic person I was before?

Now I have accepted the illness and ready to share my story by blogging. I never thought I would meet such wonderful people here when I started writing about it.  Thank you again for all your gracious comments. I go back and read them when depression kicks in.

I can remeber my third time in the Psychiatric Hospital, thinking how awkward I felt being an the other side. I used to teach children with mental illness, special needs, austim and other emotional disorders as well. I tried to act happy, coherant, intelligent in front of the staff. I always felt I had to tell them my work history.

One of the therapist gave me a list of famous people and other professions that had the diagnosis of bipolar. I felt at ease. "Its okay that I have bipolar" I said to myself.
Hugs to all and prayers


Wednesday, March 17, 2010


When I am feeling depressed my body feels heavy, sunked in the couch. The phone rings but I do not answer. The doorbell rings and I don't open the door. I drink one coffee after another to gain some sort of energy. By the end of the day I push myself to put on my sneakers and out the door I go with an ankor feeling on my waist.

I am exhausted and my feet feel like they are sinking in the ground. I walk pass a lake and see one of my beautiful birds. I love Great White Heron's and Blue Heron's. I smile and I believe it is a way God is comforting me. I begin to feel grounded by looking at all of God's beautiful creatures. God is my favorite artist. What do you do to cope with the depression?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Starting Over

First, I would like to thank everyone for leaving the most wonderful and encouraging comments in regards to my last post. I look at my life now new beginnings. I have not worked in three years and currently going back to school for a new degree. I have not driven in three years and have compensated not diving for a bike. Just recently I have started diving again and it feels wonderful.

After trials of medications I believe we have found the correct one that keeps my moods, energy, hallucinations, paranoia, depression, anxiety, and appetite controlled. Don't give up and eventually it will happen for you. I still have to see a therapist a psychiatrist to keep myself in check. I met a few wonderful friends here in this new state I am living in and they accept me for me. However, I have learned the hard way also. I lean on God for strength.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Phone call

Continuation with my story having Bipolar

I am having a small procedure next week. It isn't serious. The nurse called to confirm the appointment. The moment I mentioned bipolar, her intonation in her voice changed, like she was speaking to a child. I have had this happen to me many times with other professionals. I was sad throughout the day. I am usually careful whom I tell, however in the this situation it had to be told.

Last year I told a few new people that I met and noticed a change in how they teated me. I also told a few family members. In my opinion be careful who you tell, and trust your instincts. I am feeling much better about the situation from today. Stay strong and always remember you are God's child first, an individual and a special person before the diagnosis.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Therapy 2

Contuation of Therapy

A three year old relationship in my early twenties (90's) ended. I was not diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder at this time. I found a therapist through my insurance. I saw the social worker for over a year. I wanted to work on the questions we ask ourselves "Why did it end? "Did I do something wrong?" How do I not make the same mistakes continuously?" I began to feel dependant on her. I never made any decisions in relationships without asking the therapist. One relationship after another. Why can't I get this right?

I stopped seeing her and wanted to try on my own and felt it was time to use the knowledge I learned from her. Well, another relationship ended. A friend of mind suggessted a psychologist. I went through psycho therapy (I believe it was called). He talked about my childhood to the present. I discontinued the therapy with him and felt ready to move on.

In 2007 I was diagnosed with Bipolar and off to another therapist to help cope with the diagnosis and changes that will happen in my life with the medications.  I did not feel she was intrusive.  I actually felt nervous due to her unstructured therapy. I didn't feel I was learning about bipolar at all. Another doctor that I knew, suggested a psychologist. He was structured and I felt at eased with him.

To be honest I am exhausted with all the psychiatrist, therapist, and other doctors I have to see. I am so tired of taking medications and dealing with all the side effects. "Do you feel you are a victim of medications?" my brother-in-law asked me. "I really never thought of it that way." I responded.

If you take many medications, do you feel you are a victim? If you have a mental illnes do have difficulties with relationships? I always wondered it was due to being diagnosed so late in life that I had problems with relationships.

Thank you for taking the time in reading my blog.

Saturday, March 6, 2010


Continuation of my story having the diagnosis of bipolar

I believe strongly in therapy. The medications help with the symptoms of Bipolar but a therapist will help you deal with the Diagnosis. I have been through two therapist and then found one that was recommended through a friend. Remember, you can obtain a descent therapist through referal services in hospitals, support groups and friends. I interviewed the therapist and brought my typed personal history just like I did with my psychiatrist.

I have a wonderful repoir with my therapist, but it took a while to find her. Don't give up and don't forget your questions. I would bring my journal to the appointment. Sometimes I would leave my journal so she can actually see how my brain works and how to help me with certain issues.

To be honest, it took about two years seeing bad psychiatrist and therapist just to find the right one. I also was not this strong as I am now. I was scared and insucure.

Do you have any questions about my diagnosis?
Thank you for your comments. Have a blessed day.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Psychiatrist 2

Continuation of Psychiatrist

I was on my second psychiatrist. I continued to try many medications. One side effect after another. My doctor did not believe that the medicines were causing serious symptoms (leg pain, nausea, senses were heightened). Stand your ground. I learned to educate myself about the medicines I was taking. We stopped seeing the Psychiatrist and on to the next. This time I was prepared. I am going to interview the doctor and have a book of medications.

I finally found a psychaitrist that listened to me and believed me. I brought my typed history and the book of medications. Sometimes it can take three or four psychiatrist to find the right one and many medicines. Don't give up finding the right physicians and drugs.

Find a psychiatrist that is recommended. Some hospitals have free referral services. They will help you find a doctor that takes your insurance and has been referred by many other patients. In can be exhausting and you easily want to give up. Support groups on line and  in schools, hospitals etc can also be a resourse.

Comments and questions are welcomed.


Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Continuation of my story being Bipolar

When I became ill in 2007 a psychiatrist was assign to me. After a year had gone by the psychiatrist became frustrated with my situation. We could not eliminate the auditory hallucinations and the depression. Most of the year I was sleeping throughout the day and fighting for my sanity with the voices/hallucinations.

The side effects of the medications were horrific (gaining weight, restlessness in the legs, bloating, rash on my face, hair falling out and many more) There were times I did not want to go anywhere(shopping, visiting family etc.). "who am I now", "this isn't my body" I would say to myself. The psychiatrist told me I just have to deal with the voices/hallucinations. After seeing her for a year we moved on to the next doctor. I was determined to get my life back.

A few suggestions when seeing a new psychiatrist would be to write your own history, list all medications you have tried and why they failed, explain in detail about your moods, sleep and how proactive you are. I wrote my own history and made it easy reading. Remember some psychiatrist only have fifteen or twenty minutes for each client.

I will finish writing about psychiatrists in a couple days

Thank you for taking the time in reading my blog. Any comments and questions are welcome.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Continuation of my story having Bipolar

When I was nineteen years old I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia (chronic pain/muscle disorder). At that time, they only recommened an anti-depressant, eating healthy and exercising. Some days were worse then others. The pain was from head to toe. I pushed myself to go to school, engage in sports, work and rest when needed.  I refused to take the anti-depressant, being so young.

At age 28, I just knew something else was just not right with me. I was then diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder-NOS(Non OtherwiseSpecified). Also, Generalized Anxiety Disorder. At this point I was placed on an anti-depressant which helped cognitively and my anxiety.

Now, being in my late thirties I was diagnosed with Bipolar. I was in such denial that I saw five doctors to see if I could get a different diagnosis then having a Mental Illness. One psychiatrist diagnosed me with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder without the compulsions in 2010. My family did not accept the diagnosis of Bipolar but they seemed thrilled to hear it was OCD. Why would they accept some but not others, especially they both are mental illnesses.
Why is there such a stigma on Bipolar/mental illness? Why would they be so accepting to OCD and not Bipolar? Well three docs out of 1, I am going with Bipolar. Or how about I place all the diagnosis in a hat and choose that way. Before I bacame married my friend suggset I write up my health issues and hand it to my date. Hey, its one way to wean out the bad ones.

As of now, I am not working and when the big question is asked "where do you work?" I use the easiest diaganosis there is "I have fibromyalgia". People are more apt to ask questions about this disorder and accept it. I could never do this with Bipolar. On the flip side I do have supportive friends and family however it is scary telling a new friend.

Education is the key. I wish my family read material based on the different types of mental illnesses and see they all vari.
What do you all think about stigma on mental illness?


Monday, March 1, 2010

Being Bipolar

I know what you must be thinking, "Oh my, she has bipolar!" "She must spend money like it grows on trees and shops like the all the stores will be going out of buisness tomorrow." Perhaps, you might have said, "those people buy new cars even though they don't drive or go and marry someone they met at last night's party." Or how 'bout this one, "they buy things even though they are on a budget"

This is what most people think. Bipolar differs from person to person. When I was given the diagnosis of Bipolar my family disagreed with the psychiatrist and thought of the general characteristic of the illness. They could not comprehend that bipolar comes in many degress of severity.

I didn't meet the standard criteria.. I had a bachleors degree, ran my own buisness, was excellent at saving money and married. I was able to maintain friendships and is very sociable.

What I described was a manic episode, people with this form of illness do outrageous, and outlandish things. This form of manic depression is the one we tend to hear most about, though it is not the most commmon. Amongst the more common symptoms of bipolar are the lesser issues such as depressive episode and hpypomanic (less then manic).

Bipolar disorder cause much more than mania and depression.  It can also cause feelings of irritability, anger, jealousy, resentment, anxiety, avoidance, embarrassment, fear, inadequescy, regret and confusion. In addition to mood swings, you may experience drastic fluctuations in energy, activity, weight, metabolism, and the sleep/wake cycle. Bipolar disorder increases your sensitivity to stress that you become more vulnerable to life changes.(Wes Burgess, M.D.PH.D.)

After my grandmother passed away in 2001 I crashed. I always worked two jobs, organized fundraisors, exercised consistantly, ran errands for her, and took care of her when she was diagnosed with cancer.I just could not do it anymore. I quit my profession that I worked for over 7 years and worked part time. I slowly faded from exercising, I slept less and drank alchohol every other night or so. According to the doctors I was in a depressive state.

I never knew about bipolar, only knowing the general characteristics of the disorder. I wondered how this could be me. The psychiatrist felt the first episode actally occured a few years earliar during the death of my grandmother. I did not return phone calls from friends or family, stopped playing sports, and instead drank extensively.

Please comment or leave any comments you may have. Thank you