bipolar, Mental Health, mental illness, suicide, Uncategorized

13 Reasons Why

***Trigger Warning***

What do you do when you have a bad night? Like laying in bed thinking about suicide, considering how your husband would react when you found you when you got home from, and worrying about if your baby girl wakes up before he gets home.

I’m having one of those nights. I haven’t watched 13 Reasons Why but my husband just finished it last night and told me that the suicide scene was really bad. I asked him how she killed herself (big mistake) and he told me about the scene. I thought about it all last night. It took me forever to go back to sleep. I just kept replaying over and over again what I imagined it would be like. I can’t get it out of my head.

That is the problem with shows like this. I don’t care if it is getting people to talk about mental illness more. How is that helpful when it is alienating and triggering people who actually have mental illness. I have so many people tell me how intriguing the show is, but I still chose not to watch it because I know myself and I know the dark place I’m in right now. And I know there are others like me. People who want to talk about mental illness but want to do it without dramatic rape scenes and a traumatizing suicide scene.

I don’t know if anyone heard about this but earlier this year a young girl live streamed her suicide. The camera stayed on until her parents found her and turned it off. As soon as the website/police realized it was online it was removed but it had already been shared. Did you get what I just said? A video of a live suicide had been shared on the internet.

It is my belief that situations like this and 13 Reasons Why aren’t helping us talk about mental illness, it’s desensitizing us to suicide. NO ONE should be able to sit through a suicide scene. My husband told me he had to turn away and was almost crying. This is from a guy who saw active duty in Iraq. Yet I already have friends who are starting the show over because it was so good the first time. That sickens my stomach. I don’t care how well written it is (and I know because I have read the book), suicide is real. Life isn’t like 13 Reasons Why. You don’t get to watch a dramatic scene unfold and then fast forward through the suicide so you can sleep at night. People need to start talking about mental illness, not suicide.

I know lots of people may disagree with me on this and that’s fine. What I want people to understand is that you can’t just put trigger warning at the beginning of an episode and pat yourself on the back for acknowledging mental illness. I chose not to watch the show but it is constantly being thrown in my face on social media and in my own life.

Anyone can watch a show about mental illness and suicide but how many of those people would have held me last night while I cried and hallucinated (my husband did). Mental illness isn’t a fiction story, this is so many people’s real life.

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bipolar, Mental Health, mental illness, Uncategorized

Blame it on Bipolar

Over dramatic. That is what I get called on a regular basis. I’m over dramatic when I get more emotional than other people.

Guess what?

That is what Bipolar is. I have stronger emotions than people without Bipolar disorder. In fact, check out the National Institute of Mental Health and it says, “People with bipolar disorder experience periods of unusually intense emotion”.

Sometimes having crazy strong emotions is so cool, being able to feel so much can be like a high. The ability to live in this state of black and white horror is something other people don’t get, it sets us apart from others.

But on the other hand, people who don’t feel those emotions, don’t understand those emotions. Which is how we get back to the over dramatic. I hate being called over dramatic or emotional or sensitive. Unfortunately, my emotions are usually so scattered when someone calls me one of those words that I end up crying or getting angry, thus proving their point.

So what do I do? Do I hide my emotions or try to act like I’m not “crazy”. Or do I let myself be me regardless of what people think.

Bipolar is such a big part of my life. I am who I am because of bipolar disorder. But people don’t know that. Most people don’t know that I have bipolar disorder. I contribute to the stigma of mental illness because I keep my disorder a secret. I am too ashamed of my mental illness to be open about it. The thing is, people treat you differently. They might try not to but it still happens. All of the sudden you can’t babysit their kids or volunteer at that school event. There is a fear that you will snap at any time.

I am such a high functioning bipolar that I’m not going to let it destroy my life yet. But here we are again encouraging this stigma that people with a mental disorder are treated differently.

Oh well. For now I will continue to allow people to think I am over dramatic and too sensitive instead of just blaming it on bipolar.

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bipolar, Mental Health, mental illness, suicide

Mental Illness

*Trigger Warning: Suicide

 

Let’s talk about mental illness. What is mental illness?

It is defined as a condition that affects a person’s thinking, feeling, or mood. As someone who has a mood disorder, I am living proof of this definition. I love that this definition includes thinking. Our thoughts are so important.  Our thoughts lead to our feelings which lead to our actions, no matter how damaging those actions will be.

Since I got out of the hospital and have been working with a therapist I have been more aware of my thoughts. You can’t be complacent about suicidal thoughts. You have to actively fight against them. It is a conscious decision to tell yourself that you will not entertain those thoughts. That suicide does not run your life.

Your decisions do not have to be based on the thoughts of  doubt and worthlessness. You can control what thoughts you dwell on. When you are depressed it is so hard to handle the thoughts. You don’t have the energy to fight your feelings. That is what makes depression so dangerous. The thoughts that you can’t control that make suicide so appealing.

So how do we change our thoughts. I’m not 100% sure, but I will share what I have been working on with my therapist.

We realized that I have a progression of suicidal thoughts. First, the thought pops into my head. It may be the thought that I could jump off this bridge or step in front of that train. Second, I keep thinking about it. I dwell on this thought, I imagine it really happening. How I would feel before I died, how other people would react. Then third, the depression comes. The idea that I really could go through with it. The thought that I could end it all and that would be it, I would be done forever, no turning back.

So once I realized that this is how my thoughts worked I had to consciously stop them at that very first thought. As soon as I even get an idea of suicide, I immediately have to distract myself, think about something else, call someone, turn on Netflix. If I can stop the thoughts at the beginning, I prevent the inevitable depression that would normally follow.

Do you still not agree that thoughts are important?

When it comes to mental illness, thoughts have the power to end your life.

And your life is important.

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bipolar, Mental Health, Uncategorized

Relapse

Wow, I haven’t posted in so long I almost forgot I had this blog. I am back here because my disorder reared its ugly head again. I was stable for a long time. When I got pregnant Fall of 2014 I immediately went off my medication and did perfectly fine until about a year after I had my baby girl. I had a pretty bad manic episode which resulted in me trying to leave my husband and having an affair. Thankfully my husband is an amazing man and actually forgave me. We decided it was time for me to go back on medication. I was put on a bipolar antidepressant and a drug to prevent mania. I did okay on those for a bit until I started going downhill. I started a new job working third shift at a psychiatric facility (ironic I know). It was hard to see these people who were involuntarily committed by a judge for long term treatment, many of whom had the diagnosis of Bipolar. This job took a huge toll on my health and definitely added to my depression. I started writing suicidal notes (notice I said suicidal, not suicide. They were not notes to say goodbye, they were notes about suicide). I only wrote these while I was at work. I didn’t tell my husband or parents how depressed I was getting until a few weeks ago. I tried to reach out to my psychiatrist who prescribed me the medications but I couldn’t get an appointment or a call back. Finally it got to the point where my family did not think I was safe to be with my daughter alone or be left alone at all. They decided that I should be admitted to a hospital. My sister found a hospital out of town and I voluntarily committed myself.

This hospital stay was crazy. I hadn’t been at inpatient treatment since my 72 hour suicide hold when I was 16. Now I’m 21 and I was put on the adult crisis stabilization unit. I had a panic attack as soon as I got there and was given a sedative. Once they determined I was not hallucinating or going really crazy I was moved to the regular adult unit. The doctor added another antidepressant to my cocktail of medications but that made go a little crazy on the manic side. He then increased my mania drug and doubled my bipolar medication. I’m hoping this mix of drugs will keep me stable for a while. I was released from the hospital Wednesday against the doctor’s advice. He wanted to keep me a few more days but I kinda threw a hissy fit and then had my mom call (I know I’m an adult but when I’m unstable I act like a child). My mom talked to the doctor and explained the safety plan that she and my husband had put in place. She then told him that she thought if he made me stay another night that I would freak out and do something stupid (which was true). The doctor came to me and said (this is a direct quote), “Before you get mad or throw a fit, we decided to release you”. I said, “I’m totally calm” (which was only kinda true) and then he replied “We want to discharge you before you make this difficult”. So he released me with my mother’s word that she would remove all medications and knives from my house. When I got home everything was gone. My husband gives me my medication in the morning and at night and takes the bag with him to work. I still haven’t really been alone with my daughter for very long and I can’t stay home during the day when my husband is gone unless I have a plan of exactly what I’m going to do and then my husband and mom call and text to check in.

If you have never been locked in a psychiatric facility I would not recommend it. The food is terrible for one and you only have about 15 minutes to eat it once you get through the cafeteria line. We also did not get to go outside at all except for the walk in the covered, fenced in walkway to meals. All of our group therapy was held on our locked unit where we spent time talking about communication and self-esteem and relationships. Some of the sessions were actually good information but most of the time I felt too drugged to learn to much (the nurses really liked handing out sedatives). As I got less depressed over the days, I felt more agitated which is one of my first symptoms of mania. I do feel better now that I’m home with my husband and daughter. I’m definitely still fragile but I quit my job and my husband isn’t letting me do anything for a while to keep my stress down until I get more stable.

The one good thing about my time in the hospital is the people I met. I found a little group of friends. We ate all our meals together and since we had a lot of free time we kept each other occupied by talking about our problems or playing board games. The ability to be honest with people about my disorder when I keep it hidden from even my close friends was really therapeutic. Many of these people were like me and felt suicidal or attempted and came for treatment. There were a couple who were detoxing from substance abuse. It was such a judgement free zone. People wore their problems on their sleeves. There was no hiding anything. If you struggle with mental illness, I highly suggest finding a support group for people who struggle with mental disorders or a group therapy where you can talk to people who can relate to the specific struggles you face.

I’m not stable yet, but I will be one day. I don’t trust myself yet. I’m so impulsive I’m scared I would do something stupid to hurt myself so I don’t fight my family when they try to protect me. I’m going to take some time to relax and take a break from all my stress. I need to be more careful about not letting it get so out of hand before I reach out for help. I have an appointment with a new psychiatrist and counselor next week (part of the terms of being released from treatment). I’m going to do everything I can to stay safe because I want to be around for my baby girl and that’s reason enough to get better.

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bipolar, Mental Health

Random

So much has happened this week.

I moved all of my stuff into my new apartment. I won’t be moving over there officially until Friday but it already feels so real. I’ll be living an hour away from my boyfriend in a new city where I don’t know anyone. I’m a little bit nervous but I did meet my roommate yesterday and I really like her. So far I’ve only seen guys go in and out of our apartment building but I’m sure there are some girls hiding somewhere. 

One of my best friend’s moved away this week. That is depressing all by itself. 

My other best friend’s crush is moving to college this week. Why do I care? Oh right because last year I slept with the guy and got pregnant with his baby. Maybe one or two people even know this happened, but I had a miscarriage at 6 weeks. My best friend has no idea this ever happened. She has been in love with guy for years. She told him she loved him yesterday in a note. This whole situation has made my emotions go crazy. I feel like a complete whore whenever I see my best friend. Just to be complete transparent, I did know she liked him when I slept with him. Yes, I know I am a horrible person. Go ahead and judge. In my defense, I knew they would never be a thing. 

Speaking of emotions and pregnancy…I’m 6 days late. Although my boyfriend is incredible and supportive and could completely take care of me and a baby, I can’t have a kid right now. I’m about to start my junior year of college. I’m researching grad schools. I’m moving an hour away from my boyfriend. 

I don’t want to be criticized for an unplanned pregnancy. I am completely aware that there are ways to prevent pregnancy and my boyfriend and I have not been very smart. Things sometimes just happen.

So what do you do in situations like this? I don’t even know. I feel so alone right now. My boyfriend has been on his computer game for hours and talking to my best friend on the phone just isn’t the same. I have watched so much Netflix this week to keep my mind distracted. I’ve also been doing a lot of drinking, but I’m taking a break until I find out if I’m pregnant. I even broke down this week and smoked a little weed. The only good thing I have been doing is taking my medication regularly. So I’m trying not to fall apart at this point. 

I do see my psychiatrist this week. It will be an interesting appointment because I called him a few weeks ago about hallucinating again. I saw my familiar hallucination and she told me to cut. I’m sure my psychiatrist will have lots to say about that and how I have been acting the past few weeks with the drinking and the pregnancy scare. 

Well if ya’ll get the chance send up a prayer for me. I’m just trying to stay stable. 

youth-quotes-young-change-dreams-strength

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Mental Health

Robin Williams

The world was hit with shocking news this week when comedy’s hero Robin Williams committed suicide. It now seems as though every time I get on a social media site I see someone else’s opinion about suicide. Some are good thoughts, thoughts that should be shared and can be helpful to those grieving and struggling with depression themselves. Others have been downright cruel. Posts about suicide being selfish, about the “choice” Robin Williams made, and about all the people it was hurting. Reading those posts hurt my heart. They are being written by people who have never been so deep in the darkness that they literally feel as if they have no choice. 

So this post is for people like me, those who struggle with mental illness. Who can relate to the pain Robin Williams must have felt. This post is for us who are still living. Robin William’s death was tragic, but suicide is not uncommon. In 2011 in the United States, every 13.3 minutes someone lost a life to suicide. Let us use this death as a reminder of the hurting people that surround us every day. Not just celebrities, but the people we see at school or in the grocery store. 

So what is my point? We all know someone that is hurting and struggling to make it through another day. Tell that person you love them. Tell them you care. If you or someone you know is considering suicide please call 911. Help is available. Robin Williams story ended this week, but yours doesn’t have to. 

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Mental Health

Return to blogging

I have not written a blog in a very long time. My life was going so well and honestly a blog about a bipolar person acting completely normal would not be all that interesting in my opinion. But all good things come to an end. I have been having a kind of crazy week since I forgot to take my medication a few nights last weekend. By crazy I mean most of the time I just want to be having sex (but my current boyfriend is keeping me pure) so that has been difficult and then I will just hit this wall at night when I will just have a complete meltdown and cry for a while. Tonight I was doing really well until my best friend brought up suicide in her text to me. I’ve known that she has struggled with depression and cutting and mentioned suicide but I have never really put much thought into it. I dealt with all those things and I’m just fine (well that’s debatable). But for some reason this time it really hit me.

It’s so hard being on this side of it. I’ve been the person fighting to find the will to live everyday but I have never had someone so close to me in the same position. My best friend was my absolute savior after my suicide attempt and I just want to be there for her, but I don’t know how.

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