I haven’t had the best few weeks or maybe even months. Someone told me that tomorrow is Worldwide Bipolar Disorder Day and I don’t think that this post would be appropriate for that day because it’s not a very happy blog.
For many years, I have been doing everything to better myself as a person. I have gone to school, obtained a degree, learned more about myself, worked out, made sure to take my meds religiously, tempered my speech, learned about how to rear my daughter with her disabilities, and tried my best not to kill myself.
I do my best not to be around my triggers (see: Knowing Your Triggers) and I try my best to temper myself when people feel the need to test me or treat me as if I don’t matter and am not a person. Even with all this that I try to do, it is not recognized.
Does It Matter if It’s Recognized?
To me, it does in a way. I see my growth and I feel proud of myself but when people deny that growth or take advantage of that growth, it makes you want to return to what you were.
It’s crazy because people that KNOW me and have known me for a decade or more understand where I came from, what I was, and who I was. My therapists tell me all the time that they are proud of me and my progression. But it seems as though I am backsliding. I take my meds and do what I’m supposed to do but there are situations in which you cannot control your triggers but only your response.
My mom got sick again. When she gets sick, she calls me which is fine because I am in the medical field. But, when you call me and I offer you advice (sound advice), acknowledge and maybe take it. I might not be a doctor or even a nurse but, if you read medical charts all day, see the whole process of a person being sick, their treatments, and discharge (or death), you learn some things. You also have to know physiology, pharmacology, anatomy, etc. But I digress. If I suggest something you don’t do it, and then a doctor tells you exactly what I told you, it bothers me.
And it bothers me because it’s as if I’m a whole dummy. It’s not even about being right but it’s about at least just listening. I told my mother to go to the ER instead of the urgent care. She and my sister decided that they weren’t going to do that. She ended up being admitted to the hospital. Cool. Fine. It is what it is?
My other sibling (technically, I am only really claiming my brother at this point) got mad at something and told me to forget it then brought it up again, I said “It’s forgotten”, and she got mad that I did what she had asked me to do. This whole picking fights thing irks me. And it really bothers me when THIS sister does it because we usually get along. I don’t do or say anything to intentionally hurt anyone. Funny thing is that I never really did do that but people have labeled me as “mean” for a very long time. Since I was a teenager. The ONE thing I always prided myself on was the fact that I never provoked anyone. I never just did stuff just to be mean. If I were to go to the bad place, it was because someone KEPT picking with me.
For some reason, when my mother is sick, the devil comes out of my siblings and I have to sit there and be the whipping boy. No one wants to hear anything and it’s all about instant gratification. So the other girl that came out of my mother decided that my mother wasn’t asking the right questions, the docs weren’t doing their jobs, etc. Although I have never worked in a hospital full time, I do know that tests and the like take time. I also knew that this time wasn’t like the last time when my mother almost died and was not able to make decisions for herself. It is also a time when COVID is a big deal and my mother is not the only patient in the hospital.
However, that was not good enough for her.
Oh, and lets not talk about how my mother literally yelled at me for suggesting a procedure that she had before because her issue is likely gastrointestinal related. She thought I was talking about them sticking a tube down her nose into her stomach. I was talking about a colonoscopy. She yelled at me and I just had to let it go. Next day, what happens? The doctor suggested the exact same thing that I had suggested. Even when I had tried to explain the two procedures, she had yelled at me. But yeah….
I mean, as a person with a mental illness, sometimes we take issue with people seemingly picking on us or we see everything as picking on us; especially when it comes back to back to back. So the other girl that came out of my mother said we weren’t asking the right questions, the docs didn’t know what they were doing, and that my mom was just laying in the hospital for nothing (hospitals aren’t doing that especially during COVID but what do I know), oh, and that she thought that she should go to another hospital because they seemed to have done a better job. I tried to explain to her that, in this instance, no one has to tell us anything as our mother is able to speak her mind (HIPAA). My mother was very frustrated because the “other girl” decided that the doctor needed to talk to HER because she had questions. The thing is: What kind of questions are you going to ask and will you understand the answers? Also, she made a comment that she had a doctor friend that told her to just have the doctor talk to them. Well, if that’s not YOUR patient, that doctor doesn’t have to talk to you about anything and, again, HIPAA. My mother didn’t authorize that so what are you doing?
In the end, the docs knew to talk to me. That seemed to be a problem to the other person as I must just be too dumb to impart the importance of having questions answered because I’m not the smartest tool in the shed. Everyone has their own lane. One is good at finances, one is good at real estate, one is good at technology, and one is good at medical issues. We all have a lane.
So, when I imparted that info to the “other one”, she got mad and said that we’re not asking the right questions and that she needed answers and that no one was going to tell her not to care about her mother. I calmly tried to tell her that no one was saying not to care about her mother. My point was that our mother has a voice this time and can make her own decisions and ask us when she needs help. I also told her that I didn’t have the energy to argue with her about it and that my mental state wasn’t the best right then. My brother (the only sibling I am claiming at this point) said to give it a rest.
TWO hours later, this “person” says that if my mental state isn’t the best that I should allow someone else to take care of the medical part. Now, here is why that was just a messed up thing to say:
I have bipolar disorder BUT I still take care of my responsibilities. If I didn’t have the capacity to prioritize, I wouldn’t have a job, my child and my animals would not be taken care of, and I would be homeless. I am a functioning individual and I was going to make sure I was around when I was needed. I do what I have to do for those I care about. I told her this and told her to leave me alone.
Instead of letting it go, she said “Just looking out for you, sis”. And I knew she wasn’t being sincere. At that point, again, I had to tell her to leave me alone. What kind of person just keeps picking at a person? I know who does and this is why I don’t really talk to her often, especially online because people talk recklessly online or via text and I can’t touch them. It really irks me when people that KNOW what I am capable of KEEP messing with me.
My Final Decision and Only Recourse
At that point, the only thing I could do is only speak to them about my mother so that she didn’t have to tell everyone the same story over and over again. I explained what was taking place, what was going to happen, etc. The doctor talked to me Saturday and she was discharged from the hospital.
I haven’t talked to the “siblings” since then. I don’t need to. I have nothing to say to them. When I do things, the ONE thing that I ALWAYS do is reread the conversation (especially via text) to find out what I did wrong. I evaluate myself and how things could have been misinterpreted because I don’t want to be mad at something when I was in the wrong. And, if I see my mistake, I apologize.
In my family, we weren’t taught to apologize. Will I get an apology for any of the things that happened in those few days? No. However, if I had been the offender, I can tell you that I would have apologized. The issue, in my opinion, is that no one in my family feels that I am worthy of an apology. This low self worth could be part of my depression at this point and just needing a little bit of a “Hey, good job!” would have helped. This is a personal problem and no one’s issue but my own but these are my feelings. This is how I process things when I’m already in a depressed state.
And that’s fine. It doesn’t seem as though I am worthy of a lot of things lately and it’s wearing on me. And when things wear on me, I start to have negative thoughts.
One thing that the insurance was worried about was the fact that my only reason for living is my little family (my daughter, dog, and cat). Those are my reasons for living. My daughter especially. The insurance is saying that I need other reasons for wanting to live.
Look at this world though. Where is the reason to live? I have great friends but these friends have their own serious problems that are really very big in comparison to mine. I haven’t lost anyone close to me, lost my job, been assaulted, etc (knock on wood). So my hurt feelings, in the grand scheme of things, isn’t anything they need to be bothered with. That’s why I have a therapist and a psychiatrist. They can listen.
When things bother me and happen in succession, everything just feels bad. And, when everything just feels bad, you have a hard time even enjoying the things that once brought you so much joy. When this happens, you just do everything on autopilot. So I work and parent on autopilot. It’s like driving to work and not even remembering doing so.
There were days where I just literally slept all day. The weekend was usually that time. If I didn’t have overtime, I would feed my family and go to sleep. Sleep is when you don’t have to think or deal with anything. You just sleep. No one bothers you and you just are alone. My naps are my deepest sleep according to my Fitbit. Saturdays I slept all day. Sundays, if I didn’t have overtime, I did the same.
In addition to this, every night when I take my meds, I contemplate just taking them all. I think about it every single night. The thing is that I will never do it. Besides living for my little family, I know that I have bad luck. Whatever I would try to do wouldn’t work. If I jumped off a bridge, I would probably hurt myself really bad and decrease the quality of my life even more.
These are the things that I deal with every single day. But I fight. I fight myself a lot. I try to motivate myself. Instagram and YouTube have great fitness enthusiasts that do great work outs. I sit there and watch them.
There was a time that I was happy going to my little gym and running on the treadmill while watching and discussing Family Feud with my little gym family. I haven’t seen them in a very long time and I miss them. Running on the treadmill was great for me. I don’t run on concrete and I live in an apartment but I have been eyeing an apartment treadmill.
Also, when you suffer from depression, you kind of just don’t want to do anything. In order for me to get a little treadmill, I need to declutter. It looks like I am moving. I try to give myself an assignment daily but it’s just hard. And I’m constantly washing clothes so, I can fold all day but putting the stuff away happens after I wash ANOTHER load of clothes. And I have to get around to that because again, not motivated.
Having a cluttered space is not good for you. I do keep my blinds open though so the sun can shine in. That is very important. I usually sit in the sun when it gets warm outside. I have done that for years because Vitamin D is very important.
The bad thing is that I KNOW all of these things about me and I know what I’m supposed to do to try to help the situation. But it’s like I literally just don’t care anymore. I don’t care about anything but making sure these lil folks in my apartment are taken care of. And I can’t really say anything to my therapists or they will have me put in the place that I do not want to return to.
The most I can do is ask for more frequent appointments, maybe ask for new meds, and just keep trying to live day to day.
The worst part is that it all feels so petty to me but that’s why I’m on meds in the first place. When I was first diagnosed as having Major Depressive Disorder, my doctor explained to me that everything got to me and that’s why I needed the meds “to put up a shield”. Now I have the meds and have been on different meds for 20 years now and little things are getting to me again.
With bipolar disorder, you usually go from manic to depressive but, right now I WISH I was in a manic state because I would be able to get things done. But this depressive state has been ongoing. When this happens, you really just want it to end. And then you add on family issues, the social climate, people misunderstanding everything you do, and you just wonder if anything is even worth it.
In the past, I felt that the only place that I was ever really appreciated was my job. They appreciated my effort. It was the only place I could go for peace as well (this was when I was working IN a doctor’s office before they fired me). I have friends and they appreciate me and I appreciate them. I don’t want them to constantly feel that they have to tell me that they appreciate me either which is another reason why it’s best I keep my petty issues to myself.
These are the thoughts that are going through my mind tonight. It’s time for me to take my meds (I won’t think of taking them all tonight), put on some Snoozecast, and try to rest my mind.
Thank you for reading (if I publish this because it might be too depressing for people to read but this is what sometimes goes on in the minds of people that suffer from depression)!
3 thoughts on “Hard Days Living with Bipolar Disorder”
My heart goes out to you…this must be so painful and so discouraging xx
It truly is but I just keep putting along. That’s all I can do.