“Of Two Minds”

I just watched this documentary on netflix…like it just ended this moment and I feel I need to write about it whilst it is still fresh in my mind.

I am bipolar.  I have never denied it.  It has been used against me more than once. I have been on several meds, some of which caused severe weight gain.  Not fun. In fact it made my depressive symptoms a million times worse.

So, this film…it was like looking into a mirror and realising a bunch of shit I keep tucked away in the closet as to appear like a normal, functioning adult.  I do a very good job.  The hubs helps of course, I’ve never been so stable, but still, hearing other people talking about “faking normal” made me realise I do that VERY WELL.

One thing that was mentioned in the film was seeing shadows.  I had forgotten this part of my life COMPLETELY!  But starting when I was about 6 years old, I used to see shadows out of the corner of my eye that would follow me everywhere but the minute I tried to look directly at it/them, it would vanish….until next time.  Thankfully, I out grew that, but that means my first symptom of bipolar was a 6 fucking years old.

Things only got worse and with an overly protective (?) mother it was difficult.  I used to just cry and cry and sob and sob.  I couldn’t pin point what was wrong but I felt so deeply hopeless and helpless and DIFFERENT.  These long tearful episodes started probably at around age 10.  My mother would badger me “What’s wrong?”  I would say “I don’t know” and this would repeat until she would angrily storm out of the room yelling “If you don’t tell me what’s wrong, I can’t help you!”  Fair enough, that is a rational statement. However, nothing was “wrong” except that I felt like I was being swallowed by a giant black hole.

This disturbs me.  You mean I have been “ill” all my fucking life??? So, everything I have done, or have failed to do, has been defined by an illness? FUCK THAT!

Another part of the documentary that rang true to my life is the love/sexual identity conflict.  I am not very sexually attracted to men (to put it lightly)…genitals of either sex make my stomach turn but yay boobies lol.  But one of the women was a lesbian but fell in love with a man.  I completely relate to that.  I fell in love with a person whose soul speaks to my own in ways I cannot describe. That person just happens to have a body part that looks like an elephant trunk.  No body is perfect right?  But I LOVE him, I ADORE him, even the annoying things are cute….still…even after 7 years of marriage.

So yeah.  I’m a mixed up girl.  Or I WAS a mixed up a girl.  I have been very stable since 2010 on nothing other than a mild dose of anti depressants.  I have my moments, but the hubs keeps me grounded.  He MAKES me go to bed most of the time lol.  Of course he doesn’t force me, but he tries to talk me into keeping a somewhat normal schedule as sleep is important for stable mental health.  There are still times when I am awake 36 hours a time….insomnia has always been an issue for me, but for the most part we go to bed and get up together.

I don’t talk about this shit much, because I have heard things ranging from “You aren’t bipolar”, “You don’t seem bipolar”, “Stay away from me/my family/my child, you crazy bitch”.  So yeah, I tend to not speak about it.  But I’m stable now, going on 4 years, which is a huge fucking deal for a non-medicated bipolar.

I’m lucky I have a supportive GP who trusts me to come to her when things go a little off centre…and I have done…which is how I am now on sertraline (Zoloft).  I am also lucky to have a partner who is the complete opposite of crazy but is so supportive and understanding.  When world have failed me, he has held me. When I was in a rage, he respected my needs not to be touched by anyone.  I really couldn’t ask for a better partner, even if he is a HE lol.  I love him to bits!

I’m signing off now.  I feel raw, and exposed.  If you wanna know a little what being bipolar is like, then watch the film “Of Two Minds”.  Of course if you aren’t bipolar you will never know how high the highs are nor how soul destroying the lows are…but you might get an idea that we are people…..everyone has issues….and bipolar is mine.

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4 Responses to “Of Two Minds”

  1. dawn4511 says:

    I hear ya sister :-). I’ve only been stable for 8 months. I finally found meds that are working I couldn’t handle the extremes anymore. I have an amazing hubs too.

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  2. Having an understanding partner has been the most important thing in my life. He has seen some crazy highs and devastating lows…and he’s still here 🙂

    Glad you are finding meds that work for you. We get so used to the insanity that sometimes normal feels a bit boring….but these days boring is much better than some of the alternatives 🙂

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  3. I’m considering having Bariatric surgery done and I also suffer from bipolar 2 so I’m wondering if you could give any advice on how your surgery affected the bipolar.

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    • Hi Travis. Thanks for your question. My response may be a bit vague but we all know that BP2 can respond differently to different triggers for people. All I can tell you is my story 🙂

      So, post sleeve in 2010 I didn’t notice any mood difference but I was on quite a cocktail of psych drugs. Rispiridone was one of them and I swear it cut my weight loss window short! But the weight loss I had with my sleeve, I did not notice any major mood shifts. There was moodiness of course but not the debt invoking highs, or the despairing lows.

      The second stage DS op, I did notice mood shift. I had complications, one of which was not waking up from op for 6 days. Anaesthetic can cause a mood reaction in non-bipolar people so we need to be careful. I went to my GP about a month after I was home to get my sertraline (zoloft in the US) increased. It is now the only psych drug Im on and I am on the minimum helpful dose (100mg for me) as I don’t want to swing too high and have to go back on weight gaining drugs like rispiridone. 🙂

      I don’t know your story or which op you are having, but awareness is key as is a strong support system. Go into it knowing your moods can be impacted and alert those around you to the signs of something going a bit haywire so you avoid super highs or super lows. Keep your Drs informed of your plans and make an emergency care plan just in case your bipolar rears his head.

      Hopefully I have given you something to think about. Bipolar should not impact your ability to have WLS as long as you are stable. Also, quick weight loss releases hormones and can cause mood imbalance so just be aware and go into this with your eyes open 🙂

      Good luck!

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