December 18, 2009
I am writing this because I have recently read a lot of people’s experiences with Bipolar Disorder and wanted to write mine. Maybe someone will relate to it like I related to in some way to all the stories I have read.
I was born in 1979 to a bipolar/mildly schizophrenic mother, with a long history of mental illness on her side of the family and a father who suffered from chronic depression. From about the time I was 8, he was in bed all the time. I knew something was wrong with my mom since I was little. “She is sick” I was told. I didn’t really understand but I knew they didn’t mean that she had a cold or needed surgery. While sick she would scream in the middle of the streets, dress odd, wear an entire bottle of perfume, diet excessively, not sleep, had extreme anxiety, not eat and disappear.
My dad tried to shelter me, god bless him. He was scared to leave me alone with her, Things were a rollercoaster ride. We had a car accident and my dad hurt his back, needed surgery. Never properly recovered, they were both on SSD (Social Security Disability) and my dad lay in bed all the time. He took too many prescription pills. I hear that as a teen there were failed suicide attempts with which he later succeeded, I will explain later.
As an only child, this life sucked and I knew I was not quite right from so very young. In third grade another girl and I stole all of the teacher’s prizes for the good kids and cut another girl’s hair. I was sexually active by 12 and I didn’t care who I had sex with. I was 12 or 13, lying about my age and having sex with men over 18 and under 30. I would stay out all night and even have been date raped. I’ve had 4 abortions in my life. I have had countless sexual indiscretions. I have no idea how many men I’ve fucked and a couple girls too. Into drugs since 12. You name it, I did it as a teen, medicating with drinking as well.
I entered into high school and things were a not as wild. I still and always have actually smoked pot. In HS I did pretty well and was able to control myself but right after graduation I defied my father, dyed my hair, and moved out for a couple of months. This started a downward spiral of behavior that lasted through my late teens and my early 20’s. I had a couple of boyfriends that I stayed with instead of going home. I did a lot of drugs. I eventually moved in with a man 2 weeks before I turned 20. He was older than me by 4 or 5 years. All we did was cocaine for 2 years. After that relationship was over I moved onto several more men and was definitely manic as I went through several jobs and irrational behavior.
When I was 23, my dad committed suicide, I was devastated and still am to this day, something like that changes you forever. So, This sent me into another rollercoaster that lasted for several more years. I had a large inheritance. I got engaged, I went to Vegas and bought a timeshare that I never used and defaulted on. I bought a house in 2003 and just lost to foreclosure in August 2009. I have been through jobs, and friends, and I blow everything off. I like our new house I don’t want to leave very often.
I went to shrinks from 2005 till 2008. I played around with antidepressants on and off, These caused worse depression or mania. My manic outbreaks are full of anger and irritation and annoyance at whomever is in the way. I didn’t want to admit I was Bipolar, even though I already knew. Finally in January 2007 I admitted the BP was an issue because I was in rapid cycle mode and could barely keep it together. I got on a mood stabilizer in addition to an antidepressant along with Xanax. It made me feel great in the beginning, then stable then like a freaking zombie, an emotionless zombie.
I stayed on these meds for about 1.5 years when I developed a serious back problem. This back problem brought on an episode of psychosis. I would be up all night having auditory hallucinations. I heard the radio in my head and conversations that never happened. I would “wake up” thinking I got no sleep but thinking I had to have dreamed these things that happened but they couldn’t be dreams, I just knew they happened! I called friends at 4am thinking I had a car accident, when I actually had been in bed all night, I would work 14 hour days and go to work un-showered in the same jeans for weeks. I had to be admitted to the hospital, not for bipolar but to have a spinal fusion on an emergency basis. I got out and things were ok for about 2 months.
My BF of several years left me a couple of days before Christmas, I was not working. I was in foreclosure, I had no money for food, and I was loosing my mind again. I lied to everyone I could so I could stay home during the holidays. I was drinking a lot and rapid cycling from down to up in one day. I decided that I wanted to save my house and that prostitution was the only way to go to earn enough money quick enough. I went through with it once. I would have continued but at the same time I started that venture, I met a man – a very understanding man that cared about me enough to not let me be a paid whore. We moved in together.
The mania stopped a few weeks later and was followed by an episode of several months of severe depression. Since then I have had a few rapid cycles but mostly major depression. I don’t work, I choose to alienate most people. I don’t care about appearance. I wear pj’s and shower every couple days, could care less if I shave and have a failed back surgery thing going on here now. I have no insurance. I take pain narcs, soma, and Xanax. I manage the anxiety with the Xanax. I’m up all night 2-3 night a week, every other week or so, I prepare 10 make-ahead meals and freeze them, while making a crock-pot roast and a cheesecake ad it’s fucking 4am…. My boyfriend wakes up at 5am and wonders WHY in the hell the house smells like DINNER.
I guess I just have to accept the way I am and continue dealing with the days in bed and the “episodes” of the cycling to come. I currently am not in the position to see a doctor or get on new meds. I am trying to live with this disease medication-free and manage these episodes. I wish I could pick when I could ride the rollercoaster and it didn’t just come and take me away.
Thank you for reading.