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Well, first of all, love, of COURSE you are crazy!! Duh!! And a lot of what you describe about being a mother is the same thing even those sane little SUV moms think a lot of the time, they just keep smiling and stuff it all in. (I personally think they are crazy, too--but I think anyone who would knowingly have a baby and then have the rest of their lives to be a mom should think long and hard--)

Yes, print that out for the therapist. And please let me tell you that I have been JUST where you are--exactly, same song, same verse. And yes, it sucked, and I just wanted to sleep. But I finally realized what made me different was 1) my brain was wired abnormally and 2) I was willing to admit the feelings I had about my "roles" in life.

And since your brain--and mine--does NOT work like most folk's--finding the right combo/cocktail of meds to help make the wiring work right is absolutely key. You cannot think straight and make even marginally decent decisions if your brain is seriously fucked up. Period. I can remember when I finally found, years ago, the "right" antidepressant--it was as if I had been trying to live underwater, and then--bingo--the water and fog just went away. I didn't feel dopey, or sleepy( or any of the other dwarves)--I just felt like a person who could think straight. Sometimes it takes a while, and lots of misses and stuff that makes you think all medications are evil and sent from hell--but it WILL work, eventually, if you have a doc who is willing to work with you and YOU are willing to not give up and take the easy way out. (Pass me a beer, will you??)

Now, having said that, thinking straight will not automatically solve the issues we all have with mothering and being a wife and all the other expectations that get dumped on us. Thats what the therapy is for--to help you find how you can best deal with that shit. But it will NEVER work if your brain is fried--either from alcohol, the wrong drugs, too many drugs, or NO drugs.

I hope I don't sound preachy--I just know so well how you feel and how frustrating and endless it all seems and how just going back to sleep seems to make it all go away, at least for a while. And it sux big time when you have to keep trying different meds--cause of course, we have to wait to see if they will work (why can't they find something so we'd know with the first dose? Too much to ask??) And meanwhile,. there's kids, and babysitters, and jobs, and carpools, and husbands who may or maynot, depending on their mood, be in the least sympathetic, and all those other seemingly normal moms who make it look so easy (liars, one and all)

Butyou have one big thing going for you--you KNOW something is amiss with your brain, and you KNOW you aren't functioning like you want to be, and you are willing to try to get some help so you can. HUGE STEP--way beyond the SUV mom. Now, take the next step, and be very assertive with your pdoc about the meds, and with your therapist about how you feel, and why.

I wish you well, my friend--for today, my brain seems to be working pretty well--so I am grateful for today and will just keep going and tellmy pdoc on Fri. that I am cycling again and having mixed episodes (love that name) and we gotta change meds. And the cycle will start again.

But crazy people are smart--I have noticed that being on this board. Not a dumbass in the bunch--no mouth-breathers, bottom-feeders, or whatever seem to be around. Maybe batshit makes you smart--or only smart people get batshit. Who cares--we keep at it. And I know you will, too.

PM me any time, if you want--I am unemployed and frightfully bored.

love, china

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First,, holy shit.. I forgot my password,, it is like fort knox getting in here..I feel like SO safe now..

Well, looking at the world around.. who is to say who is crazy.. but can I relate to what you talk of.. alone in the universe.. I question if the way I look at what we 'learned' we are supposted to feel/or expect others others to feel about us,,or God forbid=the stuff we were fed in various therapy classes as to how to 'fix' what might be wrong with traditional

interpersonal relationships... blah blah.. yes, I know... I have my universe too, and damn I wish someone could share it, 30+years of rapid cycling bipolar and now (yeh)mixed phase, I have just started to realize .. no one can .. and yep.., I can not ever relate the hell, confusion, rage , lonliness, etc that ebbs back and forth .

So perhaps alone, you may feel, but there are lots of us 'alone' people floating around out here with ya! ,, No, no one knows any other person, but atleast when I am amongst others with the illness, I think there is a bit better chance they get it a bit better.. ,, ,, but the doesn't make me feel any less lonely when I look at how a normal (yes, I said normal so therapy people please read: non mentally ill , k?) person lives,, and I KNOW it isn't all flowers and rainbows for them.. gee, seems I am on the defensive,, would you say I have been through this discussion b4,, just a couple hundred times. And it doesn't help when I sense even the MI community glosses over the severity of living with this illness. Catch this.. we just had MI awareness week where I live, keep me from screaming but ,, the motto,, wait for it ,, was.. here comes... : "Mental Illness... smell the flowers." gag me.

I have been in so many groups to try to bring the general public awareness to a point that MI was a real a serious group of defined REAL genuine , yes,, illnesses.. not a smell the roses type of simplfication and minimization... (ERRR))

I understand why you want to "rise above and observe". If your not exhausted, what is your secret? this is so draining.. analysing > is this what I am feeling,, ?? do I look like I am coming apart at the seams to the people in the check out line? cuz I feel like I am..... do they see it??? am I FOUND OUT?? damn let me rise up there too....

Know your , perhaps, understood in ways and felt for more than you guessed ,, no cute things to say.. just keep write in, writing down crap that swirls about to relieve the pressure. take care.. david

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Well today is my first day of intensive group therapy. I go three days a week for several weeks. There is group therapy at the core, and meetings with pdoc and tdoc once a week. Sounds pretty useless to me. So now I have to go suck the pearls of wisdom and then regurgitate them back so that everyone (docs, husband, children) will feel better. (BTW, I took an overdose two weeks ago and this is why I have to go to this program). It's a really nice place though. I suppose it will be marginallly useful, at least the individual therapy and med management should be, but I don't know about all the groups. I suppose it will be sort of fun in a strange kind of way. Hell, I am getting out of the house without the kids, that is always a plus.

My husband is being a jerk. We have no child care so he has to stay home while I go and then work all kids of crazy hours to make up time. He said, "I don't deserve this." Well hell, who does? He at least has the option of walking away from me, but I am stuck with myself forever. Do you suppose MI carries over into the next life?

Anyway, thanks for the responses. It made me feel less alone.

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I don't mean this to be bitchy at all, I do feel for you. But I know from personal experience that real change does not come from going through the motions of therapy, it comes from being committed to getting your shit together and having a better life. You'll be wasting your time in therapy if you aren't prepared to really work at it for you, rather than just passively having it done to you to make everyone else think you're taking action.

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karuna, I do agree with you about committing to therapy--BUT--I clearly remember being in several "intensive" in and out patient therapy groups, which I just knew (cause I'm so much smarter) were total bullshit. I even remember the clinicals in "mental helath" from nursing school where the skills we learned seemed like total bullshit, but I went along--gotta have that grade you know. (I was batshit at the time BTW) But come on--"active listening"?? Therapy groups? Excuse me, I need to go to the bathroom and do a line, thank you--thats MY therapy, which seems to work quite well, and much quicker. for the bottomless depression I lived in.

But you know what? "Going along" and "playing the game", as I called it, actually began to make a difference after a while. I clearly remember my first inpatient stay. I had NO IDEA what to expect, except that probably I would get to sleep all day which was all I wanted to do anyway. Maybe write in my journal, see a doc everynow and then, take lots of meds--but only the "legal "kind, sigh-- Ah--no, up and at-em, stupid activities ("I do NOT play volleyball"), group sessions which were more than stupid, eating together in a bunch, having to get up and GET DRESSED and not stay in my room all day("Excuse me, who is paying the bill? That would be me, I can do what I want") Actually interacting with other patients--"How many times a day DO you play that record of Purple Rain??" Art therapy--"Draw a picture of what? Did you miss the fact I have a degree--like, college?? And the degree is in Psychology?"

Then, within a day or two, I realized I wanted out, and I learned the only way out was thru the stupid shit--and becoming very adept at playing the game. So I did.I am quite smart, so I picked up on all that immediately--PLAY THE GAME. But what hapened instead, was that the "game" began to make me feel better, began to make me interact with other people and see just how bizzarre my own behavior had become--and I began to see that I was not alone, and that I could get better. I also saw that I could get a whole hell of a lot worse--patients having ECT's, who had been there for YEARS, patients who had no grasp on reality at all, etc. etc.

I hate the phrase--"fake it till you make it"--like I hate most slogans which seem so significant and often are 1)not true and 2) don't make sense if you really think about them. But in this case, it WAS true. If I played the game, and cooperated, and was a model patient,and did all the therapy shit, which all seemed so stupid, I felt better. I GOT better. And I could go home quicker. And --gasp, revolting shudder inserted here--I LEARNED some stuff, some things about myself and some techniques to cope with all the crap at home--which was all still there, untouched by my sudden revelations. Gosh, guess maybe I'm the one that needs to take charge here--and act like a grown-up--you think?? Doesn't seem like anyone else can--not the kids, and certainly not the husband who was, emotionally, a really nice, cute, sexy 14 year old with his own truck. Maybe there should be at least one adult in this circus. Guess thats gotta be me--

I also learned that anti-depressants work--even the old tri-cyclic ones that make you fat( and flakey if your dosage gets too high). I was on a study, one of the first for SSRI's---Prozac. And of COURSE, I got the old shit. But-- I could THINK--which made me even more determined to play the game and go home to try to make up for absolutely checking out on my kids over the last few months, and doing some really bizzarre, non-mom-like things. (No details, but one involves a H'ween costume which consisted of leather chaps, black high-heel boots,a thong, and a black leather bikini top-couldn't find black pastys----to take my kids trick or treating around the neighborhood before I went to my party--get the picture??)

So I guess what I am saying with all this long, boring shit is that you can--and often will--start off therapy not exactly committed to becoming a better person, learning coping skills, blah blahblah. You're there cause you have to be--but if you play the game, you actually learn those things. And I do not think you are wasting any time if you are there--even just in body for a while--cause you ARE out of the house and away from the immediate stressors, cause you know that to move on, you gotta convince the powers that be that you are getting better=and by playing along, you DO get better. Yeah, you can be passive, or even argumentative, and totally non-cooperative--but that won't last long, cause you are smart enough to figure you want this shit to be over, so you have to play along. And when you play along, even if it continues to seem like bullshit for a while, the changes kinda creep into your brain.

BUT--only if along with this seemingly bullshit therapy, you are on the proper medications so your brain works and you can actually THINK.

Enough of my rant--get those meds fixed, go to therapy and be a nice girl and play along--and lets see what happens, OK?

Been there, done that--never got a fucking tee shirt, however--(Except the one I had made which said "sick, deranged and totally unacceptable"-a quote about bikers from a local Fla. newspaper)

china

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Hello- still trying to get the hang of these boards-I have been in therapy for over 13 yrs since I was 25. I have been on about every med known for my Bi-polar & OCD & PTSD. Most have seriously messed with my ability to fuction as a person and a mom. In my 20's I tried to end my life over 10 times through overdoses or slitting of my wrists and once by doing over eighty right into a wall in my car due to being switched on meds every few months or so.It reached a point where I started listening and learning and directing my medical care unstead of allowing other who had no idea what it was like inside of me too.

Now I spend most days just trying to get my brain to shut up so I can pretend to hear people or do things I could care less about..I realize that its me, not" them "with the problem- but boy, I like to blame "them"! I also have dealt with illness since my late teens. I fight to live, just to want to die..doesn't make sense huh? I think its a control thing. I'll be damned if anything takes me out but me..stupid huh? So yeah, I'm crazy..but I'm also smart and beautiful and honest and ... I now understand why I do the things I do and I can tell u that is the one thing therapy is good for. U can see it coming. U can tell yourself its ok. U can use your knowledge to help yourself. After all, no one knows u like u right.

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After all those great responses, I don't know what I can add, except to say that therapy has really helped me in dealing with the crap that gives me additional stress and makes my meds have to work harder.

Tommy

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Day one is over. Mostly I filled out forms and had lunch. I went to two groups, one about medication side effects and the other about stress management. I learned that, first of all, I have to not take anymore Seroquel. Half to three quarters of the other patients are taking it, almost all of them are having horrible side effects; memory loss, weight gain unrelated to food intake, uncontrollable body movements. Um, no thanks. I have enough problems already. I also learned that all of the group therapy in the world is not going to touch more core issues and that I am in desperate need of some one on one therapy. Furthermore, I NEED my Lamictal and Klonopin back! NOW!

In the hospital, they gave me Seroquel prn for anxiety. Doc said I couldn't have Klonopin because it is addictive. I only take it at night to fall asleep. How is that a bad thing? Seroquel gets me STONED. How is that a good thing?

They also took me off Lamictal - cold turkey - and didn't replace it with another mood stabilizer. I feel like one big fat raw nerve and the littlest things are setting me off. Hello! Did you READ my chart? Did you not notice the part where it says I am bipolar? Do you think it is a good idea to take away a persons mood stabilizer right after she overdosed and is in obvious need of stabilization?

The complete idiocy is really pissing me the fuck off.

Anyway, I go again Friday. I will hopefullly be able to convince them to give me back my meds. This constant anxiety is really wearing thin.

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Waterfall--

Heh. What you've discussed here reminds me a lot of my own mother --- well, except that you're a lot more considerate and intelligent, and not to mention, not in denial.

I'm a little alarmed that the psych staff at the hospital yanked you off Lamictal cold turkey. I've had more than my share of incompetent doctors, but all of my pdocs were perfectly understanding of the fact that I'd need to take multiple meds (well of course, they prescribe them!!) and that I was responsible enough to taper off drugs with their permission. I guess things in hospitals are a bit different...?

Also, finding the right therapist is crucial. You will not improve under the wrong kind of therapy/under the wrong therapist (well okay, that went without saying). That's just as important as your willingness to change.

In my case (this probably doesn't apply to you), I wish my mother would bring up issues other than me with her tdoc, as if I were the source of all of her anxiety. I have no idea, then, if she really wants to change. Or if she just needs a new tdoc, one that will ask her questions about things that are not pertinent to me.

anyways, best of luck becoming un-crazy. well okay, that's not going to happen with either of us, so best of luck returning to a reasonable semblance of content. :-)

--fous

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Ok.

On top of it all, right SMACK dab in the middle of all this, my husband decides to tell me he doesn't think he loves me anymore and wants a divorce. Then he said he'd be willing to go to marriage counseling. I feel like I've been punched in the chest, stabbed in the heart with a butcher knife.

It's not fair. He says it's because he can't deal with the drama and the ups and downs anymore. But what if I had cancer instead of bipolar disorder. There'd be plenty of drama and ups and downs with that too. But I bet he wouldn't want to leave me if I had cancer. Well, bipolar is just as much a disease as cancer. I feel discriminated against. By my own husband!

I can't deal with this. This can't be happening. I cannot cope with this. I need his love now more than ever. I simply CANNOT cope with this. I CANNOT. I will go completely batshit crazy. I will lose my mind. I will have a nervous breakdown. I NEED him right now so much. And I still love him. I simply cannot accept this. I refuse to go through another divorce.

A divorce would mean too that I would lose my kids. He would surely get custody because of my history of suicide attempts and alcohol abuse. I CANNOT lose more children. I already have two living with my ex, and one that is handicapped that is residentially placed.

I CANNOT LOSE ANYMORE KIDS. It would kill me. I would either die or get on a bus and take off, because I would be such a broken shell of a person that I wouldn't be able to be any kind of mother whatsoever.

He can't do this to me.

HE CAN'T.

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YOU CAN LIVE THRU THIS. My ex decided to spring the big news on me when I was in nursing school, getting dressed for a clinical assignment about 5:30 one morning--from the bed he says, "Oh, and I've decided I want a divorce." Great--I am stressed, my children are stressed, we have no money, I am fighting to get thru schjool--and you want to run off with the junky you "fell in love with:?? Go back to sleep you idiot.

My daughter's 50 year old "boyfriend" did the same thing to her--called her up, "I'm coming over at 2:30 today to break up with you" --reason? " You just seem so unstable and emotional and iya all drama." Sure it is ,asshole--she has never in her life been unemployed, and you are about as flexible as a steel rod.

My point,. dear? Men can be very stupid, and hurtful and self-centered (as can women, so yall dont' start with me)--but you can get thru anything you have to, because you are strong. Your are NOT going to automatically "loose your kids"--it takes so much for a court to take custody away from a mom, and the very act of seeking help puts the scale in your favor. You will NOT go crazy, you willNOT have a nervous breakdown--even tho the pain is probably the worse you have ever suffered in your life. You will live thru this pain, and you will keep getting the help you need, and your life will go on, I promise.

And it seems to me--hasn't he pulled this kind of stunt before?? And if this sort of emotional turmoil gets him all flustered, then what kind of support will he EVER be--has he EVER been?--for you and your kids?? Think about that long and hard. It is very damaging to our already fragile self-esteem to be told someone can't "deal" with us any more. Its also downright mean, because he knows where you are in your recovery--and he's bailing. Well, better now than later, honey--cause believe me, a man like that is NOT going to be around for the long haul--NO WAY

You are doing what you need to do to take care of yourself and your kids. Yes, it would be wonderful to have the support of a loving, understanding husband--but I don't think he's been much of that, either. You can be a very good mom--remember, all moms are not the same, like all kids arent the same. Family therapy for you and the kids might be somethig to think about--to strengthen you all as a family, without flighty "daddy" who seems to want to come and go as things get better or worse. Let your kids know that you and them are a team, and together you can do whatever has to be done, and be a family, and still have fun and all that implies.

YOU ARE SO MUCH STRONGER THAN YOU THINK. TELL those docs the "med regime" is a bust, and you want and need to be on a mood stabalizer NOW. Tell them you know better, and you know yourself, and you REQUIRE them to address your medication issues. PERIOD. Not "will you please" but "DO THIS NOW." You are paying the bills, even if its insurance, and you are a CONSUMER of health care--you have lots of rights and you MUST speak up for yourself. You have to be your own advocate--and you have to be assertive about your care, both meds and therapy. If you need private, one-on-one therapy for a while, insist that you get that. There is no one who can or will speak for you, darlin, just you--and you gotta stand up, look them in the eye, and say,"This isn't working and here is what I need--NOW." YOU have choices--but you have to speak up.

Please--hurt and mourn for as long as it takes, then stand up and move on, and speak up for yourself and your kids. They need you and need to know you will do what is necessary to take care of yourself and them.

If Imanaged to resurrect a family out of a total trainwreck of a marriage--and now, have 2 kids who are my best friends, and pretty capable ,to boot, then you can do this too. I know you can.

love, china

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Hi Waterfall,

I really hope our MI does not reincarnate with us.

as for your husband...sounds like my ex. although he gave me 500 different reasons why he wanted a divorce. and why he was in love with someone else.

im still messed up about it.

I dont remember if you have been married/divorced before? but i agree with you in that going through divorce is hell. and i send you many peaceful thoughts & moments.

as for the kids - i am and i would be in the same place as you.

so...this isnt really helpful. i guess just know that i feel the same way you do about this stuff.

love,

december

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I don't mean this to be bitchy at all, I do feel for you. But I know from personal experience that real change does not come from going through the motions of therapy, it comes from being committed to getting your shit together and having a better life. You'll be wasting your time in therapy if you aren't prepared to really work at it for you, rather than just passively having it done to you to make everyone else think you're taking action.

Karuna, one day you'll find out that your current gung-ho attitude is also just a phase.

What China's saying and both you and Waterfall need to be hearing is that yes it is all stupid games, socially "passing," and bullshit;

then again, so's everything else in life. I'll side with those (among which may even be YOUR therapist) that see even a half-hearted

attempt at playing the therapy game is, generally speaking, considerably better than committing suicide.

One of the most common questions that comes up on every board here is "How do I function when all I want to do is

[drink|cut|fuck|sleep|scream|cry|hide|die|punch|pick one or more and add your own]?," followed by "How do I get through the

day without proving to everyone around me that I'm as crazy as I know they are already thinking I am?"

Waterfall, that's what the group therapy is for - to build a virtual playground where you can learn the answers to the "How do I"

questions, in the trial-and-error, "piss off the bratty blond girl who thinks she's sooooo good," falling down and skinning your knees,

steps that should eventually help you walk taller, faster, and straighter ... like an "adult" is expected to. It's physical therapy for

your broken head.

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I don't think I ever implied that suicide was in any way preferable to taking part in therapy, even with an unwilling attitude. If that was how it comes out then I apologize.

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I don't know what to think or say. This whole therapy thing is bogus. It might help for a while but nothing lasts. No matter how well things are going, they always fall apart eventually. In fact, the better I feel and the better I am doing, the worse it ends up being. Feeling good, making really nice dinners, working, keeping up with the housework, then bang massive drinking binges and horrid depressions. So what's the point? I can seem and feel perfectly wonderful one day and the next I am in the pits of despair. For no reason whatsoever. I guess the no drinking thing has to stick this time. If I never go on drinking binges then it will take the punch out of the bad times. There will still be bad times, but my actions won't be as impulsive or stupid. I'll just suffer in silence. I'm not so sure that that is good either. I'm just not like everybody else. I don't get it. I don't get life. I am always the one confused in group situations, work situations. Everyone else knows what to do but I am lost. It's embarrassing. It's so draining dealing with other people. I can fake it but it really drains me.

I won't know what to think or feel until after this appointment. Then will be the time for making arrangements for childcare. And transportation. This is going to cause more stress than it will ease, I figure. But I have to at least go through the motions to make everyone else feel better. There really is no "help" for my "problems". I am who I am. I will always be who I am. I just wasn't really made for this world.

And I figured something out. It has nothing to do with who I am. It only has to do with what I am. The figurehead "mother". If "mother" hurts herself it hurts her children. Not because of what kind of a mother I am, good or bad, or if anyone can see who I really am. Because of my role, nothing else. It's got nothing to do with me. So I am stuck. I have to fufill my obligations by staying alive even when life isn't a good environment for me anymore. I wish I could be alive but dead, floating above, watching everything, watching myself, but not being involved. Floating, resting, participating when I feel up to it. And no one being the wiser. If only I could leave my body like that and still have it function. No one would know the difference. It sounds so peaceful.

I just want to rise above and observe. I don't want to be in it getting my hands dirty. I want to sleep, sleep

post-3898-1179435483_thumb.jpg

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Instead of cancer what if it was diabetes? And knowing you had diabetes, you didn't take your insulin, did not manage your blood sugar and ate twinkies all day?

Or, even if it was cancer, what if it was lung cancer....and you were still smoking?

I guess what I am trying to get across is that your husband may be seeing things that you may be doing that make your illness worse. Maybe he thinks you could be doing more to become well?

I know this post will most likely sound annoying, but I have been in your hubby's shoes....sort of. I never stopped loving my husband during his depression, but I was to a point where I felt I couldn't live with him anymore. There were things he was specifically told to do by his tdoc to help his meds work better and improve his situation, but he fought like hell to NOT do them. I told him though it wasn't his fault he had bipolar disorder, it was his fault he was actively doing things that helped keep him sick and I was not going to stand by and watch him destroy himself. Right or wrong, I think your hubby is in that state of mind now.

And yeah...marriage counceling might not be a bad idea, but until you are stable, it will be kind of pointless.

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Oh my insult Karuna for being the sweetie that she is?

Why does it not seem possible that you, waterfall, might actually meet someone you like like at any of the programs? Here is precisely where you are most likely to meet someone who can relate and who feels the same way about being there! These programs are like a 3D crazyboards and can likely have just as much of a profound impact. The fact that there are staff there to keep a balance and weed out those who do not belong is a plus. People everywhere are fighting waiting lists to attend free programs to get help. The staff are not there to make people get better. They provide some tools to help move on. Three things are needed meds, support, and therapy. There it is, some support. It is the nature of depression to think that nothing will help, but for sure if one wants nothing to help, it guaranteed won't. Save taxpayers some money or let somebody else have the space. It is a drag to be at a program when people won't participate of course that is completely different than someone being too ill to participate.

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