Lithium Took My Emotions

Vickie Hibler Photography©

Vickie Hibler Photography©

I truly believe while I was on Lithium it took my soul from me. I had no emotions – I didn’t cry and I was a cold inside.  Things that I use to be passionate about were gone.

I’ve been off Lithium for a month now and I feel like a real person again.  Now, I cry when I watch a feel good movie, and laugh when something is funny.  It’s good to feel that again.  My anxiety level isn’t as high, but I still get it occasionally, but not as bad.

in 1999, I was diagnosed with bipolar/manic depression.  Why?  I attempted suicide and drank too much.  Why?  Sometimes we can only handle so much that we just break down.  I found my boyfriend of 5 years in bed with a girl 20 years younger, and my son informed me he was going in the army for 6 years.  That was enough to send me over the edge

I started binge drinking and then I fell into major depression, which I call “Major Depressive Disorder”.  This is a variety of different moods.  I was so depressed and felt like I had nothing left in the world.  I felt like everyone leaves me.

Is bipolar the name to give to someone who is very depressed.  I’ve seen a really bad bipolar case and I was nothing like that. If anything I’m manic.  I can get on a high same as hyper which I’ve had all my life but couldn’t that have been my ADHD?  Who knows.

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.”

Bipolar: Abandoned and Lonely

Lonely & Abandoned

Abandoned and Lonely – this is how I feel today. Friday I felt was high on life.  I went out for the first time in 3 years and had a great time!  Today I feel lonely and abandoned.  😦

I always feel like I’ve said something wrong and I’ll never hear from that person again.  And sometimes I am right.  I feel are looking at me and talking about me.  “Look – she’s bipolar – she’s crazy.  But I’m not!  I just have a hard time sorting things out.  Sometimes I just don’t know who I am.

I’ve been on Lithium for 3 years and have been on several other medications trying to see if it’s a fit with Lithium.  I’ve tried Prozac, Celexa, Zoloft, Effexor and now Lamical.  There’s some more drugs in there some where just can remember them.  Some of them made me crazy.

I just wish I didn’t feel like nobody loves me or afraid to come see me – I might say something they don’t like.  I try very hard to behave myself without giving advice they don’t want.

I’ve had one break through and that’s writing in my blog.  I haven’t been here for a long time.  I just couldn’t seem to pick up my laptop and write.  I’ve had brain fog and down right tired.

Today, I just feel so bad I want to crazy – I’m so tired of this feeling and bipolar.

I’m going to write about how I got here what I’ve been through.

 

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: Free To Live

I'm Free!

Here I am in North Carolina in a sweet cottage only two blocks from the ocean.  I’m staying in a 700  sq. ft  dream house with 2 bedrooms and 2 baths.  I love it!  It may be small but it’s larger than the room I’ve been staying in before. 

My parents have Alzheimer’s/Dementia – I was living with them to make sure no harm could come to them.  But, the harm seem to come to me.  They just didn’t care about anything.

I was staying in a small, I mean small, bedroom room in the back of my parents house and sleeping in a small twin bed. I hardly left the room unless I went to the book store or to take my parents to the doctor or grocery store.  It got to the point where I couldn’t stay in the same room as my parents I know that’s sad, but they treated me like I owed them all the time.  I was taken advantage of and talked to terribly.  They forgot the reason I was there. I love my parents and that’s why I moved in two years ago when it was decided they needed help.  But, the longer I stayed there the worse it got.  I wasn’t treated like a daughter, but a servant.  It was so hurtful. 

My mom started drinking more and more. She told me she was 84  and she could do what she wanted and she did. I  told  her drinking and pills didn’t go together, but she said she didn’t care.  She was ready to go to her maker.  I’m a recovering alcoholic and I watched my mother  go to the refrigerator every afternoon at 3pm and pour a glass a wine after wine until she passes out in her chair.  She would forget to take her medication so I said, “Mom do you realize how hard it is to watch you drink?  It makes me want to drink with you.”  “Sure, join me,” she would say.  I couldn’t take it any more.  I had to think about my survival and well-being.  I had to leave.  Now was the time to be a mom and grandmother.

Having bipolar and living in this kind environment was not good for me.  I found myself crying and feeling unloved.  I had to ask for hugs.  Mom, told  me once that she just wasn’t like that because my dad never was nor her parents.  I need hugs.  I liked the feeling when a warm loving person can  put their arms around me and say “I Love You.”   

I desperately wanted to be needed.  I have a son, grand children, and a beautiful daughter-in-law that I want to get to know.  My son was in the army from the time he graduated from high school until he left the army 6 1/2 years later.  Then he left for a great job in Wilmington, NC.  The whole time I felt abandoned and alone.  The part of me that I treasured the most was gone.  That was 8-years ago and now my dream has come true.  I’m now getting to know my son again, as well as my grand children and daughter-in- law.

My son has become more attentive. Maybe he sees that I’m not healthy as I was 6-7 years ago.  He has always thought of me as that young good-looking mom who could do anything.  He was always proud to introduce me to his friends. When he saw me get off the plane holding a walking cane I think the moment changed.  Now, he seems to be more attentive and calls me more than he did before.  I feel loved and needed.  I now have my family that I’ve so wanted for a long time.

Today, I feel great.

Never Give Up On Life

Battling Bipolar has been tough.  But, finding out you have cirrhosis is another battle.  It just keeps getting worse. All I can do is pray and hope things will turn out okay.  I try to have a positive outlook by leaving negativity behind. Sometimes it’s hard.

Let’s see I have Dual Bipolar, Hepatitis, Recovering Alcoholic, now I have the cirrhosis.  That disease makes my stomach turn.  It just sounds so trashy and I’m not.  This happen to a perfectly good compassionate human who unfortunately, was dealt a bad hand.  I was a great kid growing up with a loving family.  I just chose the wrong path to take in life. Should I feel sorry for myself?

Bipolar can be caused by trauma’s and I went through several of those.  My marriage was physically and mentally abusive -not sure which is worse.   The verbal abuse was so terrorizing that I believed what he said most of my life.  The abuse continued through bad relationships that I kept getting myself into.  I was raped by someone I know that I felt at the time was my fault since I let him in.  Why do we pick guys that are mean to us.  My x  husband said he loved me, but how could he do the things he did.  So I felt loving was being treated badly.  Not any more.

Today, I’m not in relationship and  haven’t been for 3 years.  I chose that until I can take care of me first.  I don’t need a man in my life telling me what to do.  I’ve become very dependent on myself.  I found out that I can get things done.  Not having a job or insurance I found ways to help with my health through different resources.  It can be done you just have to research.

Living on low income qualified me for insurance at a non profit mental clinic.  I get my Lithium and other medications free.  I found another place for my hepatitis and now my cirrhosis.  I don’t know what I would of done if I had just sat around waiting for things to happen.

I’m a caregiver for my mom and dad and I  have to be tough.  It’s so hard sometimes, because with Bipolar you can get your feelings hurt easily.  I’ll go to my room and close the door so I want have to deal with confrontation.  I have to try and maintain calm or it’ll trigger me into a mess.  I get very confused and it probably shows in my writing.  I can switch my mind quickly and then wonder what I was thinking before.  That’s why I write and keep a journal both have saved me.  Going to book stores is a great outlet.

Now, I have to be courageous with cirrhosis.  Next week I go the the liver clinic to get the rest of my results and see what happens from there.  All I can do is hope and pray there can be something done.  I don’t need any more bad news.  I have discovered god and I believe strongly the miracles he can make.  He’s already helped me quit drinking and smoking – March 14, 2009.   Heck of a deal!

Was It Me or Her?

I don’t remember typing the early post last night.  This is sad.  How did I know I did it.  I got an email.   I starting to believe that I might have another personality.  Is it possible?  I could be the solution to a lot of  unanswered questions.   I think I put say a book somewhere and when I go to get it it’s gone put in another place.  I was trying to find the remote control the other day.  I looked and looked for that darn thing.  I decided to just calm down and sit.  When I reach for the glass of water I looked down and there it was right by the kleenex.   The ironic thing is I looked there and it was there before.

This has been happening more and more.  Is it possible to  have a dual personality having bipolar?  Or, is it Dementia?

I’ve been writing notes all over the place so I can remember where I put things, when’s my appointment, or when’s my mom or dad’s appointment are.

I get scared when I go places afraid I miss the bus, flight or get on the wrong bus or flight.  I try to be so observant.  When I’m driving it’s so easy for me to go off somewhere else in my mine.  I’ve had a wreck last year and I don’t know why.  I was just driving then suddenly BAM right in back of a car.  Lucky no one got hurt.

I quit drinking and smoking April 2009.  I have Hepatitis C as well and it’s gotten worse. Now, since I’ve been so stressed and depressed I’ve been drinking some wine.  I CAN’T DO THAT!  WRITE! write WRITE! jOURNAL.

I’ve started my  journal again so if I forget I can go to my journal.  I just hope I can remember to journal.

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.

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.