Thursday, February 21, 2013

What is like to be Bipolar?

When I was told to start a blog by many of my friends, it was going to be about a medical issue that dealt with my stomach, that almost killed me. But with all the talk about mental illness in the news, I felt that I could give a little insight. Mental illness is no excuse for being violent towards other people, but unfortunatly the few that do violent acts, gives people who are proactive, take meds, go to therapy and follow the course the Dr's set for them, let the mentally ill get a bad name. I really don't know how to change those kind of people. Like that saying goes "You can only bring the horse to water". I really hate it when a proper diagnose of any mental illness is given to someone and they are not proactive to their care. Some have all kinds of excuses, but it's irresposible and I think they are fucking assholes People like me are fighting with groups to stop the stigma, all the while crazy fucks run around killing babies. So I am going to stand up, face the stigma head on and say "I am Marianne and I live with a mental illness(and a feeding tube, no stomach, but that's a different story). "I live with Bipolar, but it is not who I am. I have many sides and layers, what else do you want to know?" I believe that because of mental illness, it has given me a depth of how to treat others. I can kick ass and take down numbers, yet I can be sensitive. With all that life has thrown my way, I'm still standing and right now I am trying to not let the depression I have right now win. I know that I can't stop the train once it begins and I am trying to get help, but the mental health system is so broken in this country, but you can read about that in a newspaper, magazine or online. So I will tell you a tale of What it is like to be Bipolar.

At age 14  I felt that I was not having "normal"teenage anger and general moodiness. Mine was just so over the top. My anger towards myself and others could go off very easy. I had a "short fuse", but I never felt the anger like we have seen in the news. I just knew that it was "different" I was so awful to my parents. Then at times I just couldn't sleep and felt so happy that I was bursting out the love I had in my heart for people. When I felt me falling down from my happy mood to my sad/angry mood, all I could do was cry. I didn't want that bad, empty, angry, sad place that would rear its ugly head. It was a monster in my head. The recorder in my head was full of negative thoughts. So one Saturday afternoon, I took a bottle of Tylenol and some Vodka. It wasn't even because I wanted to die. I just didn't want to go into that dark, dank, basement in my head. I was not put on medication at that time because I was young, but after my suicide attemt we had to have family therapy. It lasted a few times and then my dad stopped it. So my teen years are very much like a movie. That I was standing on the outside watching me and what I did in high school.

At the age of 23 I went into a mental hospital. I was never able to be dependable. I would go months and be a stellar employee, daughter, sister, aunt,then my depressions would be so bad that I had trouble getting out of bed. No one could understand. At times I blamed my parents because we grew up with fighting,  beatings, just a very violent, dysfunctional family, so I pulled my parents down into my misery. So through my 20's I was in and out of mental hospitals. When I was 26 I was driving to work and that song by Everclear "Santa Monica" came on the radio and BAM! I was going to give notice and move to California(I actually wanted to move to New Mexico, but my Mom said she would never visit me. LOL( I gotta love Marge at times). I was neither manic or depressed, but I just wanted to spread my wings. I finally got the balls to spread my wings all the way out. I packed my car with what I could and my younger brother, Joey, and I took off. We had a great time. I though running into a new life that I would feel better. That I could out run manic depression. I though if I lived in a little hole in the wall, went to college and wrote my masterpiece that I would be happy. Well I found out at the age of 30, that manic depression is a lifetime sentence.

So now that I gave a back story, I am going to write about the cloud, the thunder and lighting and the eventual sunshine that comes with my battle as a Bipolar. I'm not going to stand in shame any longer. I am Bipolar and I deserve a 1st place ribbon, not a label. The actress/author Carrie "Princess Leigh" Fisher is Bipolar and she said something similar to that in her book "Wishful Drinking"(All her books are really good). I guess I could hide, but why? When Hester Prynne, the female protagonist in the "Scarlett Letter" had to wear an "A" on her so she was known as an adulteress, while her lover was kept hidden by her, but he did punish himself behind closed doors. So do I hide and suffer or do I say it out loud?

I can only tell anyone who reads this blog, my experience of being a manic depressive, but I think a little lesson in terminology should be given. If someone says I'm Bipolar and another person says I'm manic depressive, it is the same disease. The Psychitric community can't seem pick one and I inter-change them, depending on where the name is to be placed in a sentence. So I'm no better!

So what I deal with is waking up, take 3 different meds to keep me stabilized. Since I'm Bipolar, I can't take an actual anti-depressive because that can kick me into a manic mood. Having a manic mood can be on the scale of just being really happy, can't sleep, getting projects done or at least started to the point of being dangerous or at times hallucination can happen, like thinking the radio is talking to you, etc. I just tend to be happy, spend money and before I was married, I was quite the "ho". The worst manic episode I had was actually called a psychotic break because I was hallucinating a tall, blond, guy (My husband said it was Dirk Nowitzki because he is my man of Basketball fame) So when I get depressed they may put me on another medication or if my depression is so bad, I can get an anti-depressant, but only for between 6-8 weeks. Just to get my depressive state kicked out and go back to my original medicine.

 Bipolar is deadly also. The person suffering with it has tried to commit suicide at least once. I have tried, but I didn't really want to die, I just wanted the war in my head to stop. I wanted lose the need to scream. I asked for help from time to time,  but it was really hard. I felt like I was bothering them, plus at times I felt rushed. Most mentally ill people are violent to themselves then to others. Look at the country star, Cindy McCready, she had many problems, dealing with a mental illness being one(Well she was violent to her dog). Having to deal with any mental illness is hard. For me I find it to be hard, mostly because I don't know how much my family knows about the disease and I can't explain it in 2 miutes, but I think it is just hard because it is a very daunting disease. Now that I'm married, my husband can do the job. But like I said before having any illness not only affects the person, but it also affects the whole family. My husband has been dealing with my mental illness since 2003. I don't think he gets enough credit for that. He was the one to see me pacing back and forth talking to myself when I hadn't sleep in over 5 days and he has been with me when I would lock myself in the bathroom or crawl in a closet because I was crying so hard that it was killing the sound barrier. I twitch a lot and I fidget. I try and try to get people around me to fucking get what I'm dealing with not only with my physical illness but my bipolar and that they do mingle with each other. That I'm depressed right now and nothing except a Doctor with a pad can fix it. I am angry because I'm Bipolarand since that is in my medical charts that the hospitals didn't do a better job to find out what was causing me to puke and look into why I lost my stomach hard enough. It was thought that I drank Draino. Fucking idiots! But again lets not get off the road I'm on. This is an illness that I can not run away from, hide from, get a cure(for now) for or have it understood, unless you have it.

I hope that this post helps people understand the pain that people like me live with daily and that people reading this post, who either has a loved one or have no idea what a mental illness is, that they may learn more about it. That movie "Silver Lining Playbook" is about a Bipolar man, played by Bradley Cooper(give a shout to a local Philly guy!) I am so glad that it got so many Oscar nods because maybe people will go see it or at least rent it when it goes to DVD. There are many websites that talk about mental illness. Leave a question or comment about what I wrote on here. This blog is only the tip of the iceberg about this awful illness.

I read this the other day and thought it would be a good closings.
"Being relaxed and comfortable with everyone and everything each day is a special event, to be
recieved in a unifying way. Treat the world with respect and love you want for yourself"

Best wishes and I'll see you all soon at the same station!

Sunday, February 17, 2013


When you deal with a cold, how does it feel? I'm not talking about the physical symptoms, I'm talking about your emotions, your state of mind. How you may miss work and what they may think. How you don't have the strength to make dinner for your family or if your single what are you going to do if you have no Top Ramen and you don't want to bother others. You feel useless. You feel lonely. Being useless is a very hard pill to swallow.  So something as small as a cold has the ability to put the brakes on your life and make you feel useless. When all you can do is lift your head to change the channel, blow your nose, drink or for a little treat you can get out of bed to use the potty. That useless feeling just sits next to you, like an evil entity, laughing at the loneliness that you feel due to the uselessness that you feel.

Now envision that one day you are getting sick to your stomach and the next thing is you wake up, you can't talk because you want a tube down your throat and you have no reason why or where you are. I lived through that. That your old life is forever gone. All I can say is that now that it is 2013, I'm angry. I'm angry because I'm just a sick sister. I've already given my family the gift of dealing with my manic depression. I'm angry that I feel like a burden, whether it's true or not. Nobody has every tried to help me feel like that is not true. Anytime I have ever wanted to do anything it was a chore, not fun. I'm just fucking angry of feeling useless. I'm stuck to a machine that has a bag attached to it with a tube putting shit, that looks like ensure into my small intestine.

I hate that I am still dealing with all the aftermath, feeling useless eats me up.  I'm just fucking tired of feeling useless. I want to feel free again but I have not mourned enough. People can say I have, but then again they are not in my shoes. I lost most of my health. I weigh about 92 lbs and I can't seem to gain anymore, I lost my house a few months after I got out of the hospital and then to put the cherry on my shit ass sundae, I lost one of my dogs. He was the dog that laid on the floor in the bathroom to keep me warm and nuzzle my head whether I just got sick or if I hadn't got sick for awhile so I would get back in bed.

I want to scream. I want to yell at my family at times, I want to yell at God, I want to yell at the world.    But because I'm Bipolar I try very hard to keep it together. My tears are for my sadness and my anger and my uselessness. I want to beat and throw things, but I just sleep. I'm getting close though.

I once had a useful life, where I volunteered at a bookstore that I loved, having a fighting match with my mortgage company(not going to name) to keep my home, working on a dream of having my own importing coffee business from Central America. I did this between my puking bouts. When I was being that useful I wasn't sick everyday. Then my body turned on me and I started to throw up everyday. I was getting fatter and fatter, while I was puking. I'm Bipolar, so it was looked as I must be having some sort of psychosomatic breakdown, which was a load of shit. I asked them to please put a scope down my throat, but that never happened. So I'm not going to get into all of the details of my illness today, but this is meant for anyone who lives with an illness that makes their lives limited and the saddness that comes when you feel useless.
Tonight I hope to dream of a time when my manic depression wasn't rearing up, when I was in better health and I had people that wanted to hang with me. That is all I want for the moment.