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

My Fear Kept Me From Reaching My Dreams

In Fear We Hide Within Ourselves

I’ve lived in fear most of my life.  I was fearful in my abusive marriage, and I feared getting a divorce.  I was scared of raising my son on my own.

I raised my son until he was 9 years old.  I became ill and had a hard time taking care of him. So I made the decision of letting my son go live Dad.  I feared his dad, because he had abused me when we were married.  Not only did I feel fear, but anger as well.  It worked out being a good decision letting my son go. I felt terrible quilt and feared he may get mad at me for letting him go.

I moved on taking care of my illness to the point I almost lost my life. The doctor’s said I shouldn’t have survived.  I felt God was there and decided it wasn’t my time – he had more work for me to do.

I had so many dreams, but mostly for my son to do well with his life.  However, without him I felt so lost and lonely. I wanted to fulfill my dreams and I had a long road a  head of me.  I wanted to have my own little business, grand children, a cottage on the beach, my health to be stable, and photography.

I studied intuition and learned how to use it.  If you want to be free of fear you need to move on with your life and put trust into God’s hands.  We use fear to protect ourselves, but it’ also holding you back from your dreams.  The only way to pursue your dreams is to step beyond your limits of your fears.  Having fear is being afraid to fail.  Having fear prevented me from reaching my dreams. 

Now, I have moved on.  I still have fears, but I’m not afraid to take risks.  I have God in my corner and I listen to my intuitions.  Hint:  Intuition – the voice you hear when your trying to make a decision. Your hearing a voice say “go with door #1”, but you go with the 2nd door.  You should have listen – door #2 was the wrong choice. 

Fear has a way of controlling your thoughts not allowing you to move forward in life. Break the seal and move out of your comfort zone.  It’s the only way to fulfill your dreams and be successful.

Bipolar: My Own eBay Store

The one thing that I challenged myself with was opening a eBay store. Oh, you just don’t know how hard it was! Having Bipolar did make it a challenge. I made so many mistakes and almost got taken off eBay. Why? I read the rules, but they didn’t sink in. I really didn’t pay attention. That situation got me motivated. I worked hard and every time another situation would come up I wouldn’t stop I kept going. I wasn’t going to quit. I don’t make a lot of money, but one of these days I’ll make it. I’M NOT GOING TO QUIT!

 Today I’m at 1000 sales and 100% Feedback. I’m proud of that. Next Challenge – my own web store

Bipolar: Chaos Of My Life

Bipolar has wreak havoc in my life by changing everything around me including friends. I no longer have close friends – they didn’t understand me.  They would just get angry, and I got tired of trying to explain. 

I use to blame myself instead of the illness on the chaos in my life.  I would become depressed and lonely. It’s a lonely illness living inside of your mind. I was so busy trying to hide my illness it was hard to be myself.  But then sometimes we don’t know who we are. Who are we under this mask.  That’s been my purpose.  Who am I? What kind of person am I? What do I want to do for the rest of my life?

 I found out I had bipolar 10 year years ago, and have been in denial all this time.  To cover it up I drank.  I stupidly drank thinking the voices would go away.  Wrong, it only makes it worse.  Drinking was the hardest addiction for me to give up.  It was my crutch.  I thought if I gave it up I would be in pain and I couldn’t take that.

 In March 2009, I came to the decision I had to stop drinking and smoking. Something became more important to me and that’s my family.  I have two grand children and I want them to know me.  It’s been my dreams since I can remember to be called “Grandma.”  So, I made ay dream list.  Believe it or not I had started the list when I was in Rehab 9 years ago after attempting suicide.

 The first thing on my list was to take care of my health.  I had lost jobs, because of my bipolar.  I didn’t have any insurance so I had to find some resources.  I also filed for Social Security. I found a mental clinic where services were free – I had qualified with low-income and my illness.  I went to a state hospital that offered low-income people health insurance by paying low co-pays.  It was like GOD was leading the way for me so I kept listening to him.  Both of my parents needed help around the house so I moved out of my apartment and moved in with them.  I’ve spent this whole time finding out who I am and working on my dreams.  So far my illness is finally under control with the new medication I’ve been taking Effexor, along with Lithium.  It took several medications until the right combination. Hopefully, now I can continue with my quest. 

 Come follow my dreams.

Bipolar-Making Decisions Is Tough

Everything happens all at once & for a reason.  The girl who wanted me to move in as a roommate in North Carolina suddenly changed her mine.  Wow, it changed all my plans of going too. I  hate that, and at the time I hated her.  But that wasn’t nice.  You know you’re excited  you have it all planned and then BAM!  It all changes.  I had already purchased my one way ticket now what?

That night,  I prayed about it.  So what should I do Lord, Guardian Angel?  Should I still go?   Please come to me while I’m sleep and please help me make a decision.  When I woke up the decision was made and I got right on it. This is why I believe in the power of prayer.  My dreams are so real and I believe in them.  You have to believe in something.

I had already purchased my ticket for North Carolina on the basis I I would be moving there.  So, I decided I wanted to see my son and grand babies anyway, and I would love to go to the beach so – I decided I was going.  Next, I purchased a return ticket home. Wow what a trip! It was actually cheaper that way.  Yea, I’m bipolar I do things different – It’s a circle.   We run circles around ourself  trying to decide what to do.

I get so tired of trying to make the right decision, or even a decision, because  I’m afraid to make a wrong one.  Just like the place on the beach.  It might be a run down shack.  But I did it and that in itself is a miracle for me.  I still ask myself if was the right thing to do, but I’m not going to change.

This place I found is right on the beach. However, there was no web site for it.  I just went by the reviews I found. The pictures were nice.  A nice two bedroom room with kitchen, living room,  and a room with bunk beds.  If I get tired of the queen I’ll jump in the bunk beds.  Who knows!  There was a nice balcony looking over the ocean and the pier with lines of nice yachts and boats.  I mean this place is right on the beach. I’m keeping it. Well, I will email them and make sure they give me a room with a view.

It might be a rag, but you know, I don’t care. But I did read the reviews and everyone seem to be happy.  It’s one of those places that is owned by a small company and doesn’t need to advertise.  It’s right on the beach!  I know I said that!

Having bipolar is hard.  It’s hard to concentrate and my memory seems to be lacking lately.  I have a hard time making decisions. Should I?  Is this the right place, day, time?  I CAN’T MAKE UP MY MINE!  That’s actually a daily occurrence. But, I keep trying.

Never stop trying.  I know it’s frustrating.  Your mad and angry.  But just stop and say it’s okay and take a deep breath.  You’re not the only one out there with this condition.   You just have to get on medication, the right medication.  If you slack it’s not going to do you any good.   You need support.  If you don’t write to me I’ll be your friend.  We all need friends.  I was alone at first.  I became my best friend and so can you.

What is it – Bipolar or Dementia? Confused!

I have a dilemma – Is it Bipolar or Dementia?  Both run in the family.  Just recently and over night I have become a caregiver for both my mom who has dementia and bipolar and dad, who was okay.  Mom has been getting worse and my dad just a month ago had a bad fall and suddenly my life changed in a split second.  My dad was walking across the parking lot then – BAM!  He fell flat on his face with the results of looking like Rocky.   He was sent to the hospital then home and then back again – he became delusional. I took him back to the hospital where he got worse and worse resulting in an onset of Alzheimer’s /dementia.  I had to feed him, bathe him, change his diapers and pray a lot.  Why did this happen?  Everything fell apart.  What do we do?  My brother and I stressed and quickly got together all papers – living will, will, finances, etc. Things we were not prepared for.  After a few weeks we had to put him in a nursing home for rehabilitation.  He had forgotten how to work, his speech was bad, and had no idea what had happen.  He didn’t even know who mom was.

After a week in the nursing home he had a stroke and was again sent to the hospital.  There, he thought he had gone on a helicopter ride with a lot of people and taken to this big building where the ceiling dropped and black dust was dropped on them.  I told him that sounded more like aliens.  He said, Well, maybe so.”

He was returned to the nursing home and is still there.  He may come home in a week.  I’m not ready.

Since all this has happen Mom has gotten worse. Crying all the time and her mania and dementia have gotten worse.  She’s even drinking more. I’m afraid for her and I have a fear that some day it will hit me if it hasn’t already.  Being an alcoholic myself makes this difficulty for me.

I’ve had to hold myself together.  It is very hard to sit and listen to my dad because he is so angry and blames people for taking his money.  It was decided that I move in – there was no other way.  Mom can’t drive, walk or make her own decisions and when dad comes home he will be disabled.  They can not stay alone together.  That could mean disaster.

As mentioned in another Blog, I have taken myself off medication for bipolar and hormones and trying to treat myself with healthy food and exercise.  It seems to be working but I slip sometimes.  The hot flashes the mania and depression.  Also, my unemployment benefits have been exhausted and will not receive any funds.  So now I’m working about 28 hours or less making 6.55 an hour.  The hours may be shortened depending on the situation at home.  I will be the cook, maid, nurse, and housekeeper.  Do I have the strength to do all this?  I find no help from other members of the family.  They have disappeared.

With all that’s going on with my parents, I don’t have time to take care of me. So I’m struggling.  I have to be strong for both of my parents.  If I fall – all will fall.

A New Revelation – An Awakening – I Feel Positive! – I Feel New!

As you know from my last post I’ve been taken off my research medicine for bipolar and alcohol craving meds last Friday.  Since then I do feel a lot better.  So it seems that I was having bad trips from that med.  Soon I will give you the name – just don’t have it now.  They gave me a few of the pills to wean me off the drug so I wouldn’t have any withdrawals.  Well folks, I haven’t taken the pills – I haven’t had any withdrawals that I know of.  In fact, I have been feeling much better.  I have continued with the Lithium, but hope to wean myself of those, maybe.  I’m taking one day at a time.

I’ve had a clear head and feel more positive.  I’m more alert and happy.  Even my boss asked me why I was in such a good mood and this was at 6:30am.  Yes, I get up at 4:30am to be at work at 6:00am.  I love my job and I guess that makes a big different.

Last night something happen.  First, on my way home I started thinking about having a glass of wine and a cigarette.  Let me tell you there was a committee going off in my head really bad.  Go, don’t go, go, don’t go, etc.  I want a cig or drink, and I don’t.  I was confused on what I wanted.  I’ve been doing it so long that the habit’s just there, and that’s what I’m beginning to figure out.  I don’t get these ideas until around the same time every day. 

I ended up going and spending money on wine and cigarettes.  Yes, money – money I don’t have.  Go figure.  I got home and did some work on my eBay to get some packages out and I took some pictures to post.  The good thing is I know my work comes first.  It’s my second salary, which isn’t much right now.  Come on folks go buy something from my shop!  I’ve got great things for Christmas gifts. Sorry, I just had to vent for a minute.

It got to be 6pm, which is the happy hour.  Just like a zombie I did the ritual – get my blanket to cover of my couch so I don’t get it smoky.  Yes, you heard right.  Then I pop the top, pour wine into the glass, and get the napkin to sit under my glass on the end table.  Get the dirty ashtray and put a piece of paper under it so I want burn the couch.  Light the cigarette, take a sip.  Usually this goes on until either my wine is gone or the cigarettes – they go hand in hand.

After one glass a wine and 3 cigarettes I realized I wasn’t enjoying them – so why was I doing it.  Stinking up my house, adding calories and the cig’s didn’t even taste good – neither did the wine.  Hum…

Other reason I felt this way – Guilt.

I had an awakening or revelation or whatever you call but it’s all I’ve been thinking about.

Sunday, I went to watch the Cowboy game with my parents whom I love dearly.  First, I was feeling guilty because I needed to borrow some money.  My unemployment benefits ran out.  I was even feeling guilty about my drinking.  Then something happen that I did not expect.  Dad brought me a book – threw the book – saying you might can sell this on eBay.  It was “Alcohol Anonymous – Abuse” book.  I said where did you get that?  He replied, “You had it when you were in the rehab place.”  I fell 6 deep under.  My dad is the most important person in the world to me, and realized that I was disrespecting him for all the great things he’s done for me.  Even when I’m drinking I didn’t think my parents new. But, at that moment I just realize he knew what I was doing.  We’re blind to the people around us – you think your be sneaky and no one knows your drinking!  Honey, they know.  It’s in your actions, your speech, your lapse of memory, weight gain, changed habits, etc.  They know.

Monday morning when I woke up I thought about the book and my dad.  I said that’s it – this is the moment that I am changing my ways.  I felt so good Monday.  I work in a health club, which I love.  I worked out most of the day, and my boss said I could take some self-defense classes for FREE.  This just pumped me up.  I was full of ideas and energy all day.

Tuesday, the same thing, except when the committee sounded off.  It’s seems like it’s always Tuesday after the weekend when it happens.  It wasn’t what I wanted to do and it tasted pretty bad.  So I poured out the wine, empty the ashtray and went to bed to watch TV and read.  I felt so much better.  Actually, I felt that I reached a milestone.  One big step for mankind!

The evening ended and I got a surprise webcam call from my son.  With him was my grandson and daughter in-law.  You see they live in North Carolina – I miss them so much.  I was hoping to go and see them for Christmas, but no money.  My grandson was the cutest.  I wanted to hold him so bad. 

I’m so afraid that I’m going to miss him growing up like I did my son.  I have been rejected all my life of the good things.  Being alone.  I’ve been feeling that it was my punishment and HE (my higher power) felt it wasn’t time for me.  I believe HE got me this job to get me healthy, I believe he led me to this stage of having my own business since it’s been my dream for a long time. I believe that HE put everything in my path to get to where I am now.  I believe that HE has some great things for me if I just follow my heart and intuition (Divine Intuition). 

I think it started with the book Dad gave me and the last drink.

I hope it is a new beginning.  I know it’s not going to be easy battling both the Bipolar and the addictions.  But I will keep reach for the better good and get rid of the bad that is standing in my way.  Pray – prayers do work. I know.