Bipolar – Dreams & Surviving Life Changes

Wilmington, North Carolina

Image by Rebecca_M. via Flickr

My big change – moving to Wilmington, NC by myself to be close to my son and grand children.  It’s something that I’ve dreamed of for a long time ago – to be a grandma.  I’ve always dreamed of living near the ocean – the sound of the ocean makes me feel so peaceful.  So here I am being with my son and grand kids and living by the ocean. Can’t get any better – can we?

I 1999, I had checked into rehab when I tried to commit suicide while drinking very heavily. It was then I found out I had bipolar.  Also, I found out that drinking and bipolar don’t go together.

While in rehab I was told we should have dreams and goals.  We should write them down and work towards them.  So I wrote those dreams in a spiral notebook and dated it 1999.  My goals were to learn photography, be a grandma, live by the beach, have my own business, and meet the man of my dreams.  All have come true with exception of the man, but that’s okay. I do have more dreams, but those are just between God and I. Believing in God and Intuition has helped me  achieve my dreams.

Having bipolar is not easy to accept, and I was in denial for a long time and time is what I need.  The important part is making sure that you are taking the right medications and stay on them. Some people stop them or just forget.  This will not help.  I felt it important to get my life back for my family and myself.  I was tired of being in pain and always angry.

I’ve gone through a lot of changes since December 2010. Before, I was living and taking care of my parents who both have disabilities.  Then, I decided that at 58, I needed to start my own life. I decided to move to North Carolina and be with my son and my grandchildren.  I was afraid if I waited too long I would be too old to enjoy them.  I was afraid too.

The move was a big and drastic change in my life.  I was moving away from home where I have lived most of my life. I knew no one except my son and family. Having bipolar makes it difficult for me to make decisions, and then I’d always second guess  myself.  I always feared making the wrong decisions.  I was feeling guilty leaving mom and dad behind.  But, even they wanted me to have my own life.  They really hoped that I would find some man to marry, that’s not going to happen any time soon for me.

One of my big steps with Bipolar was taking the Greyhound Bus by myself from Texas to the east coast.   They was scary for me.  I was afraid I would miss the bus at each stop so I would always stay very close to it.   The ride was two days long with no sleep.  I did it and I’m proud of myself.

On February 27, 2011, my dad passed away.  It was traumatic for me by feeling if I had stayed he would somehow still be alive.   When I heard of his illness I immediately bought a bus ticket back to Dallas. Airline tickets were priced out of this world.  It was the longest bus ride spent only of praying and thinking.  I was praying that my dad would stay on earth long enough for me to say goodbye.

I arrived two days later and I couldn’t wait to see my dad.  When I got to the hospital I was shocked.  He looked terrible and didn’t even know who I was at first.  The doctors said he had a massive stroke and really didn’t expect for him to live much longer.  They were going to send him to the nursing home for hospice.  He was there a week before he died.  I remember the phone ringing and I knew when I heard them say, “Your father is having a hard time breathing – you should get here as soon as possible.”  We hurried as fast as we could without getting a speeding ticket. 

The elevator door opened and we were met by the head nurse “Hon, I’m sorry, but he stopped breathing just a few minutes ago.  My mother collapsed and I took off running in hopes that she was wrong.  I pulled the curtain back and there laid my dad laying so quite and peaceful.  He wasn’t going to wake up anymore. I should have driven faster.

Now, I back in North Carolina only 10 minutes from the beach.  My mom is back in Dallas and it was the hardest things I had to do, and that was to leave her behind.  Plus, leaving everything up to my brother – that’s hard.  I’m use to taking care of my mom and her matters.  I talk to mom everyday and she keeps telling me I’m where I need to be and so is she.  Mom, seems to be getting along okay,  but lonely. 

Even now I cry for my dad, and I still can’t believe he’s gone. I can see his face and his voice all the time, and I feel he is watching over us.  The last words he said as he struggled to lift his arm up and around my mom’s neck, and brushed his lifeless hand over her hair, “I’m sorry.”  Those were the last words and then he started to slip away. 

Love you daddy.

Stay strong -Dad

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