living life with bipolar 2

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I have a mental illness, I have a couple. I was finally diagnosed with the proper terminology. I do not live my life based around my illness like I did when I was in full blown anorexia, or my bulimia. Many women take on eating disorders as a form of their Identity. But this illness, is not who I am. ( I am in recovery from my eating disorder and have been making huge strides towards that part of my therapy and that particular part of my life) to say I am months and months into recovery from something that was my identity for 12 plus years, is huge. I am very proud of my self, I dug myself out of that hole.
But with most mental illnesses, something like an eating disorder or self destruction is just a symptom of a greater larger problem. I spent most of 2007 and early 2008 in and out of 5-6 treatment centers. Many doctors throwing terms at me, calling me a lost cause. I was diagnosed with Borderline personality disorder, severe depression, some kind of anxiety disorder ( all misdiagnoses). Doctors shoving pills at me, so many at one point that my mother had to take control of my medications because I was taking 14 a day.. Naval doctors, rolling their eyes at me, because I tried committing suicide 2 times in a 3 week period and one even asking me “If I was doing it for attention, and if you really wanted to die you would have done it the right way” Too bad a naval doctor cant loose his job, and if I wasn’t knocked out from 30 topamax, I would have filed a complaint. But at that point in my life, no one gave a shit. Because it was just another thing, that I did. Another thing, people had to deal with.
I decided to have my tubes tied, not because I didn’t want more kids( 3 is plenty), because I knew it was MY time to get myself well. I knew it was time to cut the shit, and get into treatment. The lows in my pregnancy with Siddalee, kept me in bed for days. This is when my youngest( at the time) madelyn started going to daycare, being on bed rest during 70 percent of my pregnancy and on top of it a depression I have only experienced after my 1st hospital stay. Complete and utter exhaustion and saddness. Anxiety that made me fearful to pick up a phone, cancelled plans because my anxiety was so bad that crowds of people or friends over my house was too much to bare. Being touched by anyone, made me cry. Memories from sexual trauma in my past, made being married to me…..difficult. Josh pretty much checked himself out, and shoved himself into work. Because he didn’t have the tools to help me. The prozac I was on, didn’t help and when my due date rolled around, I begged to be induced because living in my bed crying for no reason, and the loneliness that consumed me…it was no way for me to live. It wasn’t fair to my children to see their mother like this.
Through out the years, I have been called “fucking crazy”, “god you are so bipolar”, ” I cant deal with you anymore”, “You are exactly like your mother”(someone I dont even know) People do not understand, how words like that effect someone who is suffering from something they have zero control over. When I was deep into my Post Partum Depression and practically hearing voices telling me to harm myself. I called and made myself an appointment with my local doctor who swiftly referred me to someone. I was told if I didn’t, I would be placed into a hospital. I am not afraid to post this online, with my court date coming up. Because I noticed an issue, I took care of it and I was self aware.
I was diagnosed with Bipolar 2, this isn’t the bipolar you see on TV ( a female goes crazy and stalks her boyfriend or kills someone in a full blown manic rage). Bipolar 2 is a cycling disorder. Meaning people living with Bipolar 2 can have extreme lows for about a month and switch to a hypo mania state for the same amount of time. Sometimes the person with the illness can be in both states at the same time. I experienced all three. With an understanding of Bipolar 2, I can look back and see when I was cycling and triggers that led me into them. I spent most of 2007 leading up to my first hospital stay in full blow mania. The first couple of months of 2007, I spent hiding away in my parents basement, starving myself to 86lbs from 170 in 7 months, crippled with anxiety and being dependent on people, calling friends obsessively because I didn’t want to be alone and the fear of rejection sent me into a phase of self mutilation . After I regained a normal weight, from about april-july, I was in full blown mania. I spent 1000s of dollars on….crap…nothing. Bag and bags of clothes, partying, and once I got arrested and the following morning, I got into an altercation with my father about my behavior, I was arrested again and sent to a hospital. And I lived in a haze for about 4 months, cutting scars and burns are still on my body.
No one will understand what bipolar does to you, unless you live with it. Unmedicated, bipolar 2 can suck the joy out of everything. You don’t want to do anything, see anyone, talk to anyone, go anywhere, but you dont want to be alone. You dont want to be touched, and you push people away, but you don’t want them to leave. Mood swings, and “crashing moods.” Hypo mania, doesn’t reach full blown mania, but it still has results just as bad. Feeling like you are high and on top of the world and you can do anything. Big and huge ideas, half started projects usually followed by depression so bad you don’t even want to move. People living with someone unmedicated with bipolar disorder feels like they are walking on eggshells, you never know what will happen next. People often feel like, the behaviors we have, and the way we are is on purpose. When I am unmedicated, I barley remember what comes out of my mouth. I dont know why, I am so angry.. alls I know is what I am feeling. So I yell and scream and push you away, and the second you give up and want nothing to do with it, I will do anything I can not to be alone. Loneliness is something that comes hand in hand with bipolar disorder and being a stay at home mom magnifies that feeling. Loneliness, fear of abandonment and rejection is always there, regardless if you are medicated or not. It takes therapy to work through those issues.
This is the longest I have ever been in therapy and on medication. I think its going on 6 or 7 months. The medication is aggressive, and has horrible side effects when you first start to take it. But the side effects taper off. I don’t need my anti anxiety medication anymore ( the other medications I am on, help ease my anxiety. My anxiety is pretty much gone) I take it at night to help me fall asleep, being a mother with 3 young kids. I cant take sleeping pills because I rarely have a time slot in my sch to have 8 hours of sleep. I am on a therapeutic level of my antidepressant, that I will be tapered down when all of my issues seem more manageable with out them, I am dealing with alot right now. Confronting the emotional issues with my mother, now that I have my own children. Working on my relationship with my father that was strained when I was living high on life and being impulsive in 2007-2009. This is the best our relationship as ever been. We don’t even need to talk about the issues, its just something we know that is getting better. The court stuff with Ella, and the way it feels. It feels like I am mourning the loss of a child, I feel like my soul is being ripped from my body.
My therapist told me my score was 20 (for depression) when I first entered my out patient, it would have been higher if I told her 100 percent of the truth. She knows this, and we talked about it. But, I couldn’t afford to be placed somewhere. I knew I wasn’t going to harm myself or anyone around me. But feeling like you want to die, is still pretty bad. I just knew, I wasn’t going to do that. My score is now a 6, she told me that I am so straight forward and my medication is helping me so well, that she doesn’t know where we can continue. As of right now, she is going to help me cope with ella leaving and the impending court proceedings.
If you are living with bipolar or a mental illness, it wont just go away. If you are on medication and you feel ” I don’t need to be on this anymore, I feel fine.” Thats because the medication is working. You will never succeed in life living in denial, you will never succeed in life hiding behind closed doors. I always hear, that I am borderline crazy… and thats because people don’t understand what its like to live inside your own head with this illness. No one comprehends what is going on and they do not have the tools to help you. Because in reality, the only one that can help you is yourself. The medications can make you less emotional and more on an even keel, but those underlying problems are things YOU have to work on yourself. Im not in recovery from my eating disorder because a doctor gave me some pills. I was given the tools to change my own behavior. I was given the tools, that along with my medication and therapy I can know how to calm myself down even before I am about to blow up. Its kind of like an out of body experience, and I slow down time. I take a second and I breathe in and out like I am blowing up a balloon. I use the same technique with Ella when she has her moments of bad anxiety, and it really works.
Telling someone they are crazy, or slinging slurs at them about their mental status when they are working on themselves is really painful. I am not crazy, I am not selfish, I am not sick, I am normal. I live a normal life with abnormal features. My life is consistent, and our sch at home is always the same. I am not impulsive anymore and I live my life like anyone else. I only have medication and therapy to get me through moments and times in my life when my bipolar and the chemicals in my brain want to go in a different direction. I am straight forward and numb, and right now given how full my life is, I rather be numb then feel too much.
I am Kristina. I am a mother. A wife. An artist. I am a devoted and loyal friend. I may need a push every now and then to get out of my house. I may be sad some days, and I may push you away. But that doesn’t mean I want you to leave. I still have the ability to love, to nurture and to be a great person. My illness does not define me, my past (as you have read) does not define me. I am a person. I have feelings too. Calling me crazy, or insane; only makes me feel that you have your own issues. Backing me into a corner, will only make me defensive. I am well. I am normal.I live my life everyday with a mental illness, I am conquering it all by myself. (rawr)

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One thought on “living life with bipolar 2

  1. I’m glad that your diagnosis is making sense to you. I am so sorry to read of your early treatment. Your story of your experience as a young mother helps me to see my own story with more compassion. I smile and nod with recognition as I read “You don’t want to do anything, see anyone, talk to anyone, go anywhere, but you dont want to be alone. You dont want to be touched, and you push people away, but you don’t want them to leave.”
    I really like your statement, “I am normal. I live a normal life with abnormal features.” And I like your concluding (rawr).
    May you bellow a large RAWR! of victory today 🙂
    (I also love the lavendar color you chose for your blog, and the flowers.)

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