Lithium – Lethal with Alcohol!

I'm going to die if I don't stop!

I’ve never had support system from my family or peers on my Bipolar and Alcohol problem.  They were in denial.  I had to crawl out of that hell

hole called “alcoholism” alone then find the strength to changed my entire life.  It’s not easy to not grab a bottle of wine and go back into my old ways.  When I start feeling this way I reach for Higher Power and listen to my intuition. I pray.

Today my doctor increased my medications on Lithium  and Lamical medications.  She asked me about drinking and I had to admit I went to the beach with some people and had one glass of red wine.  She got real upset!  “Don’t do that it will interfere with your meds, plus it’s dangerous. It’ll kill you!m she said. No one has every talked to me in detail about my illness usually they just throw drug prescriptions they find in a med book – no talk.

I hope if anyone takes lithium – don’t drink with it or any other drugs.  I don’t want to have to read the headlines “Another person found dead by mixing medications with alcohol.”

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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

Bipolar & Alcoholism – Chance At A New Life Don’t Blow It

Sunrise at Wrightsville Beach NC

I moved to Wilmington, NC from living in Dallas, TX for 58 years.   The change was decided so I could be  near my son and grand children.  I’m a recovering alcoholic with Bipolar, ADD, and have been sober since April 2009.  

After the last bit of luggage was laid inside the front door of my charming new cottage sudden loneliness set in.  If you have been following me you would know that I have been taking care of my parents for two years who are 84 and both have Alzheimer’s. Before that I’d been living alone for more than 30 years since my divorce.  During those years I was also living as a person with Bipolar, ADD, and a drinking problem called alcoholism.

This move was a dream of mine and it still is.  I’ve just had some stumbles the last few days since I got here.  Unfortunately, there’s a grocery store across the street that carries beer and wine.  Not unfortunate for some,  but for me it’s easy access for my addictions.  I nust take it a day at a time.

I bought groceries on my first day and yes I bought a bottle of wine.  I wish my son had said something like, “Mom do you think that’s a good thing to do.”  He didn’t.   I enjoyed the wine, but I did not enjoy the morning after as well as the next morning.  Yes, two evenings in a roll.   That’s going to have to change. Especially, with diabetes as well.

Drinking wine keeps me from doing the things I enjoy and that’s reading, writing, research, painting, and photography.  That’s whole reason coming to the East Coast was to find my true self again.  And I will.  God  made this dream come true so I don’t won’t to disappoint him.  He spoke to me and said it was time to find out who I am.  I had followed my intuition for the last two-years and Gods words to get here.

I must consider this as a set back and not be hard on myself.   I’ll pick myself up and dust off the old memories and start anew. I was given this new chance and  new life to spend it with my son and to be a grandma.  It has been my dream for years.  I have a 1 and 3 year  who are loves of my life.  I screwed upmy past life I’m not going to mess of mynew  life.  From this day on no drinking.

Not only is drinking bad for your liver it’s not good for Bipolar.  That’s one of the reasons I drank – to stop the pain of Bipolar.  I’ve learned that you need to deal with your Bipolar to become stronger.

Moving to Wilmington, NC is going to be my new life and new lifted spirit to learn who I am.   I will be writing about my new life in a new blog coming soon.  Also, I will be writing my results from weaning myself off Effexor, the worse drug I’ve ever taken.  I’ve gone from 75  mg to 35 mg and next week I will taper down to 30 mg.  If that’s too much I’ll change to 32 mg.  Whatever it takes to get off this devilish pill I will do. That’s all need is to withdraw from Effexor and Wine at the same time.  WOW!  Put me in the Hospital!

My story on my new life will be coming soon to a new blog near you>>>

Dementia – Mom Is Not Mom

First, let me say I love my mother.  I’m use to seeing her so cheerful and outgoing.  We could talk for hours.  Now, there’s silence.

The only time I talk to my mom is in the morning over coffee and newspaper.  She’s usually very energetic and has all kinds of things to do.  It’s either the grocery store or going out to  eat.   I get excited when she tells me she wants to go somewhere, but then let down when she changes her mind.

One minute she tells me she wants to go to the grocery store and then about 15 minutes later tells me she’s not going.   She doesn’t feel like doing anything except sit in her chair and watch her TV.   If  there’s nothing on TV she will go to bed for a few hours until it’s 3:00pm time for her glass of wine.  I’m afraid she’s hooked on her wine a little too much.   This morning she’d said she needed some wine, but could wait until Monday. However, I heard her telling Dad she is about out would he go to the store to get her wine.  He said it  was too hot to go to the store and she could wait another day.  She blew up!   They argued as usual about it and then I heard silence.   I walked by her and asked her what was wrong.  She wouldn’t even look at me and told me to go back to my room. FINE! 

Dad, hates the fact she drinks and that’s what most of their arguments are about.  Drinking the wine has started effecting her mine, and her body.  It’s also affected her health – she has diarrhea all the time.  She doesn’t eat any solid food unless I cook for them.  Mom has become very lazy.  I don’t like seeing her like this way and I don’t like to see her drinking.  When she drinks she gets talkative, loud and angry. She says that drinking is her crutch.  I know my mom is depressed – she doesn’t go anywhere.  She doesn’t do any housework, read, or have friends.

Since I’m a recovering alcoholic, her drinking really bothers me.  I’m not suppose to drink  my health depends on it.  I told her this and literally said, “Too bad, I’m drinking anyway.  You might as well get use to it.”  This really hurt me.

Mom memory has gotten worse.  Like the wine – she doesn’t remember telling me to wait until tomorrow.   This morning I told her I was going to pick up my DVD player.  I got back and she didn’t know I was gone.

I try to keep reminding myself  mom is not mom anymore.  She will continue to get worse as well as my dad.  Being their caregiver is very hard emotionally as well as tiring.  I love them both, but they’re times they take advantage of me.  I keep telling myself it will be okay – take care of your bipolar first.  Remember that.

Living with Parents Who Have Dementia

I don’t know about you but the bipolar is getting to me.  These last two weeks have been a bummer.  I’ve been down.  I mean down.  I get tired easy.  I take long naps and just sit and stare at the TV.  I’m not keeping up with my eBay store.   The house has been very stressful and dark.

My mom who has bipolar and dementia has been a handful.  I decided that she complains about her pains to get attention.  When we finally made her go to the doctor she was fine.  The doctor wanted to do some GI tests and she said NO.  She just wants to lay around, moan, and complain and drink her wine.

I am a recovering alcoholic and this has been difficult for me. The stress is threatening my sobriety.  I told my mom this and she said, “Well, if you drink my wine you will have to get me some more.”  I said, Mom, I’m more concerned about myself than your wine. It’s your wine that’s threatening my health.”  I was so hurt.  She just set there and looked blank. That’s what she does.  Around 3pm she gets her first glass of wine and sits and stares at the TV.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love my mom but it’s getting out of control.  This morning she said, “Your dad gets mad at me when I tell him I’m not feeling well.”  I couldn’t help it but I said, “Well your never feeling good.”  We never know when you are or not.  It’s like cry wolf.”

Mom also gets mad at dad because he wants her to cook something for lunch.  She doesn’t cook dinner.  Lunch is opening a bag of stir fry, heating it up, stirring and serving it.  Then she goes and gets back in her chair.  She eats in her room and dad eats alone.

It’s really a sad situation and it breaks my heart. Dad sits in his recliner in the den watching his TV, and mom sits in her recliner in her bedroom watching her TV.   Dad feels alone and lonely. Two separate feelings.   He has vascular dementia none of this is easy.

The most difficult problem is when we discuss a problem or situation they never remember what’s said.  It’s as if I need to take notes.  I do make sure all the doctor appointments are documented, when blood tests were done, & when the next blood test is scheduled. Also, I have to keep track of their medicines.  They both take about 11-14 pills a day each.  Dad is pretty good taking his.  It’s a ritual for him every morning.

Mom hates taking pills. Sometimes she forgets on purpose and when she runs out doesn’t she doesn’t tell me.  I have to make sure I keep track of that.  It’s a full-time job!

Then, there’s me.  I have Bipolar, early stages of Dementia, Hepatitis C, Hypertension, and the list goes on.  I have a hard time taking care of me.

So why am I down?  I don’t know you tell me.

I CAN’T TALK TO ANYONE THAT WILL LISTEN!

It is now May 2009 and  I was reading this part of my life in the blog below in 2007.  Boy, was I  bad shape!  I didn’t even finish it.  I’ll have to come back with that.

My father has ways to trigger my Bipolar and still does.  Since this blog I have been doing a lot better.  I have finally accepted my problems and am dealing with them.  I still have manic episodes but instead of grabbing a drink and a smoke I go for a walk, read or write.  I also talk to God and some how I now believe in Angels.  That’s right.  You heard that.  You know the story when someone murders someone and is sent to jail they suddenly find God?  Well, I did.  I have been in the dark so long that amazing things started to happen.  They said God won’t help you unless you help yourself.  I now believe that.  I took control of my life by doing what I needed to do to get my life and me back on my feet.  Do the right things.  No the wrong.   I decided it was time to get help with my bipolar and when I did my drinking slowed down.   My trigger is when I get really upset or someone pisses me off the first thing I think about is “I’m going to the store and get some wine and a pack of cigarettes.  I’m then going to come home sit on the couch, turn on the TV, and just drink and smoke until there’s nothing left.  That’s what I would do.   Now, it takes every inch of me not to do that.  It happen to me the other day.  I was so mad and didn’t know what to do or cope – This little demon in me kept saying “Go get some cigarettes.  It’s okay. Just a couple won’t hurt.  I drove to the 7-11 got out of my car up to the cashier and said, “Carlton 100’s, please.”  They didn’t have any!  It must of been a sign.  Normally, I would get back in my car and drive until I would find some.  I didn’t to it this time.  I went home and wrote.  That’s how I’ve been doing it.  Writing.  I’ve got journals all over the place.  I keep going back to them and that helps.  I hope this helps someone else.

2008

I feel that I have no one to talk to about Bipolar.   I found recently that I have duel Bipolar.  Bipolar and Alcoholism.    When I talk to my dad he just doesn’t want to hear my issues about my mania.  He just doesn’t want to accept my illness.   The other day when I was talking to him I tried to tell him what I was going through.  Just like when I ended up in the mental hospital when I committed myself after binge drinking for two weeks, and then the thought of suicide, which I didn’t go through because of intervention from above.  Even then I dropped hints on how now I was and how lonely I felt.

I had just lost a relationship of 5 years and at the same time my son told me he was going in the army for 6 long years.  Six long years!  I couldn’t cope.  I started drinking to stop the feelings I was having.  I would panic and have anxiety.  So I just drank around 2-3 weeks around the clock.

Then one night everything came to an end I attempted to cut my wrist.  But something happen and instead called a friend, not my parents.  My friend called my doctor who had been treating me and I then went to the hospital where I stayed for 7 weeks.  My Dad finally realized that I had a problem.   However, I do still drink, that don’t think I do.  I’m hinting again, but no one listens.  I don’t want to hurt them.

I spoke with my mom this morning about my conversation with my dad and she actually opened up to me.  She told me she had been crying and rocking back and forth for no reason.  So we talked and she listened and I listened.  I don’t talk to her usually because she gets to upset.  She can’t remember things here lately and that depresses her.  So I don’t talk very much to her about my issues.

Last year I started accepting the fact, because I looked back on my past of lost jobs, lost relationships, suicidal thoughts, just crazy thinking, and a whole lot of bull.  I figured there is some kind of problem and I think about he doctors that diagnosed me with bipolar.  But even then it wasn’t as published as it is now.  I just kept denying it because they seem not to think it important.  When I was in rehab they gave me Lithium and Paxil.  I was so drugged out.  I took lithium for a while until I went to another doctor and they said it was a dangerous drug.  So I was put on Lexapro, Celexa and then Prozac.  I never could afford to go to the proper doctor.

I’m fed up.  I’m, 56 years old and I need help.  I have no job or insurance but thought there has to be some kind of help out there.  I spend the other day doing research and found site for North Dallas Bipolar Group.  It was great to get feedback from others that have gone through exactly what I have been going through. I just thought I was crazy and all alone.

Once my father told me that mom had manic.  I figured it was inherited.  Was it? Or is it?  Just he other day I was trying to tell him what I have found out lately and about mom. He said, “She doesn’t have manic she is just depress, It’s old age.”  But dad that was a long time ago that you said that and she still does sits all alone in the back room crying.  When we spoke this morning she said it’s because she felt helpless and all alone.  That’s the way I feel.  So we talked.  It was great for the first time.  If only we could do more of that.

My mom can’t walk very well and she can’t drive so she doesn’t go anywhere except to the back room in her rocker watching Gunsmoke over and over again.  She isolates herself like I do here in my little apartment away from the world.

When I was trying to talk to my dad the other day about the appointment I finally got with UT Southwestern Medical Center and how excited I was he just changed the subject and asked if I got my car inspected.  Did you do this or that?  I guess your going to have to work several jobs for money or I guess you’ll have to get on disability.  Anything to make me feel bad.  I finally just told him I had to hang up.

Yesterday I went and got my car inspected and had nothing but problems.  They wanted to flush my radiator, clean my engine, etc., and kept saying no to the point if they said one more thing I was going somewhere else.  After the inspection I went across the street to the grocery store and when I came out my tire was flat.  Did they do it?  Was it my thought?

Regarding the UT Southwestern Medical University.  I have an appointment not this week but next week to undergo some test to see if I qualify.  I just hope I say the right things.  If I’m accepted I will get free therapy and treatment for a new drug that stops the craving of alcohol and helps the bipolar.  Wouldn’t that be great? Could the lord be looking out for me on this?

I lie a lot, and I make things bigger than they really are. I act.  It’s like I living in another world besides my own. I’m negative by cutting myself down all the time and sometimes I just want to runaway and not deal with anything.   I’ve done this in jobs when things get crazy I just want to run and not deal with it.  Somehow I know things like I know when someone is talking about me or that I know my job is in jeopardy, a lot of things.  Mostly things come true of things I think about.  I believe it’s called intuition.  My x-husband use to think I was a witch because I could call him on things that I wasn’t suppose to know.

I Blew It!

I had such a wonderful weekend.  I kept myself calm and actually stayed away from the computer as much as possible and watched TV.  I’m addicted to my computer.  Having a EBay store makes you addicted.  I’m always trying new marketing tools, adding new items, research, etc.  There is always something to do.  However, I do enjoy it. 

I was proud of myself because I didn’t drink and when I don’t drink there is no smoke.  I ate well, made some jewelry, took pictures, etc.  It was really great.  I did stumble a little.  When I can’t find something that I know is around I get totally manic.  It drives me crazy!  I know it’s there, but where?  Did that big cockroach take it or did my dog hide it?  I don’t know.  I start going crazy talking to myself and I can feel my insides just churning!  I yell at my sweet dog.  And sometimes what I’m looking for is right in front of me.  I’m always loosing things.  I lost my prescription glasses and had to get to the store to get some readers. I lost my cellphone – that was crazy.   I had it just an hour ago and I know it’s here.  I start getting angry, I start sweating and mumbling to myself.  I know there’s a solution – got to be!

I finally called my mom,when I had a house phone, and told her that I thought my phone was in my car but I couldn’t find it.  I said, “Wait 5 minutes than call my cell.”  I ran down to the car and I heard the phone ringing. “Oh, my god!  It’s here!”  I looked and looked and it kept ringing and then suddenly right in front of my was my phone.  Right in front of me!  I accused the bogeyman of messing with me.

I got off the track on what this entry is about – sorry.

I had a good weekend – I slept great!   Then yesterday – I got this urge.  It wasn’t a urge to drink or smoke it was a urge to just go to the liquor store.  I bought the cheapest red wine.  I wasn’t even thinking really.  I went home and did my eBay thing and wrote.  Then about 6pm I said it was time to sit down and relax.  So I did.  But I didn’t really crave the wine, I just wanted to sit a relax.  Evidently, I associate the wine and smoking and being relaxed.  I need to come up with something else.  Any suggestions.

I feel asleep as usual and woke up at midnight then put myself to bed. 4:30am came rather earlier this morning.  I jumped up when the alarm went off because I needed to get gas, which I should of done yesterday and then go to the bank.  My head started to hurt from the cigarettes and felt a little nervous. 

Now, I’m drinking coffee and writing to you to confess my sins.  I will try to get back on track.  Tomorrow I go to the therapist at the research center and I’m going to confess to her also and ask why I do that.  It’s a bipolar thing.  Mind over matter.  I’m still on Lithium and I’m taking the research drug or sugar pill.  This research drug is suppose to stop the craving.  Hum…

I’ll keep writing today.  I have a work book that I believe I discussed earlier in my blogs that is very helpful and I see myself in a lot of the passages.  It’s concerning cognitive-therapy that I’m doing now at the research center.  The therapist and this book will help me see when my symptoms are appearing and how to control it.  I want to share some more of this.  Come back and talk to me.

By the way I actually wrote the recumbent bike for 30 minutes yesterday and my butt hurts!