Blog #3: Being Bipolar

Yes, I'm bipolar. I always forget if I'm 1 or 2 (my husband has to tell me "you're 1", all the time lol). So that means a few things. It means I'm always going to need to manage my treatment, I'm going to have manic and or depressive thoughts/actions, and I'm always going to wish I didn't have it.

Being bipolar, I've experienced a lot of 'highs'.
Being bipolar, I've experienced a lot of 'highs'.
My behavior would often be described as 'manic'.
My behavior would often be described as 'manic'.

I was officially diagnosed bipolar when I was around 20 years old, after being diagnosed with depression initially. I didn't notice any symptoms before that, and I attributed my highs and lows to the drugs I was taking at the time (uppers and downers). But since the diagnosis, it has been a battle trying to maintain balance, order and sanity.

I've always felt there's a negative stigma associated with the disorder...

As in "omg you're SO bipolar" being used to say you are so unstable / up and down. And many other examples like that...

In reality it's a tough disorder to have. I've had manic episodes where I was convinced there was a war between God and the devil, and that I was on the front lines. If you ask anyone around me at that time, I was considered "crazy". 

(The pictures above show some of the manic times I've experienced.)

That term alone makes me wish I never had Bipolar 1.

It makes me wish I didn't have crazy mood swings, it makes me wish I didn't have to be embarrassed about that one Facebook rant I went on back in 2013, it makes me wish I could be "normal".

(These pictures show some of the lows/ depressive moments. It was harder to find pictures of these times because I always tend to put on a happy face.)

But as my late father-in-law would say...

"Wish in one hand and poop in the other, see which one comes first".

It's funny because it's true. I could wish all day long, but get no where if I don't take action.

So I did...

I sought weekly therapy, a good psychiatrist, medication management etc...

And it took me years to get to the place I am today.

Today I take one medication for my bipolar disorder, as opposed to 4 or 5 different medications (1 being for epilepsy) . I am always working with my psychiatrist to try to find that right balance or sweet spot where the right combo works for me. And even though it is working well for me right now, there is always a chance I may have to adjust the dosage or brand in the future. 

When I was pregnant with my daughter I got off Xanax, and a couple other medications that may have been harmful to her...

Being pregnant again, I am forced to think about the affect my bipolar medication may have on my son. My first pregnancy ever back in 2013, I was told by two different doctors two different things; One said my medicine was safe for the baby, the other said it wasn't.

I was forced to choose between my mental health and the safety of my unborn baby.

During my pregnancy in 2017, my doctor decided it was safest for my daughter and I to continue my medication as prescribed. 

I chose to stay on my medication. I know what happens when I get off it  (especially cold turkey) - it's not good. I've actually been fired from at least 3 jobs due to manic episodes.

So I'm learning to control my disorder. Through therapy and medication management I've made a lot of progress.

All of these steps led to improvement. I haven't had any "episodes" in over a year, I don't need to see my psychiatrist every month any more, but rather every 6 months, and my family has started to finally calm down and worry less about me.

Progress not perfection right?

Well the fear for me is always wondering, 'when will the next "episode" be'?

Will I run out of medication and lose my mind again?

Will I embarrass myself again?

Will I ever be off medication?

The honest answer is that I will probably always need medication. I may always have to make adjustments to my treatment. I may one day have a manic episode;

But I can't worry about every what-if imaginable, I can only try to focus on the now and stay consistent with my treatment, doctor visits, sleep etc... and pray I can stay stable, at least for today!

Thanks for listening ❤️



P.S. For the record...
P.S. For the record...