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bubblegirl

I don't know who I am.

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Now that I am off of AAPs I am free of so many ugly side effects I've had for years, including wiping out my memory. My pdoc keeps reminding me of how much "better" I am doing now that I am off of them. I guess he means that both of my eyes are open now, I can think to form a complete sentence and I'm not crapping all over myself at random times - to mention a few. He has told me point blank that I will not be "getting myself back" any time in the near future.

The problem is I have no idea who I am. From one moment to the next I communicate differently, I act differently, I handle situations differently - even though they are basically the same kind of situation. I respond to input without any reference to how I might have responded in the past; geese, I have no reference. I find myself pretending to be someone I am not. It is very hard to respond to people in conversation when I have no background to draw upon. The ACs have me flat, no emotion. My tdoc's response is that I have to rebuild my life. That's it. That is the guidance I have.

My two grown kids keep reminding me that I am not myself. That they want their mother back. It's hard to do that without a memory of who I was.

This is depressing. I don't know who I am.

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I am not sure if I have experienced the same thing or not. I know I have gone through periods where I feel socially wreckless- I don't know what I'm doing or how I'm behaving or why. I don't feel "like myself" but can't figure out exactly how I feel.

One suggestion i have, and I have nothing to back this up, it's just a feeling that it might be a good idea:

Spend more time with your kids if you can.

Talk with them about what they mean when they say they want their mother back. How are you now compared to how you used to be? What is it that is upsetting them?

What are some fond memories they have of you all spending time together?

Maybe you guys can make a memories book or have a share time once a week where you talk about special things: things that were important to you during the week, that made you happy or sad, or that you remembered about eachother and want to share with eachother that you find important about eachother.

It can take time to get yourself resituated. It's like moving back home after a long absence, or coming back to your native country. There's bound to be some culture shock. Try not to lose heart. Also keep in mind that long journeys can change people. You might not end up back where you started, or who exactly you were, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. We all change and grow over the years with experiences.

You will figure out your place and "who you are" in time. But it sounds like you have been through a lot and struggled to adjust and readjust while on the AAPs and now just aren't sure how to find a happy medium.

You'll find it.

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I think Luna had a really good idea. If they can help you remember then it would be a great starting point

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I do enjoy spending time with my kids. They anchor me in a way. I know they haven't changed so it does make me feel good to be around them. And they are kind to me, in spite of their anger and confusion. I can always see that doubt and fear in their eyes though, and then sometimes they will verbalize it as well.

My daughter lives here in town and my son lives 12 hours away. They both have their careers now. So I get some time with her, but little time with him. I will try asking them to give me specific things they remember and want to return about me.

I know they want my creativity back. They say I was artistic. They say I was quick-witted. They say I was intelligent. I don't have those things anymore. They have told me they want those things back. I am afraid I cannot make those things happen. They have been wiped out. I am just a dullard now. My brain is mud.

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I know they want my creativity back. They say I was artistic. They say I was quick-witted. They say I was intelligent. I don't have those things anymore. They have told me they want those things back. I am afraid I cannot make those things happen. They have been wiped out. I am just a dullard now. My brain is mud.

I have dealt with this so much, especially in the times where my mood episodes have been the worst. Whether it was the meds or the depression, something constantly left me in such a muddle that I have lost sight of who I am several times. Truthfully, I've been dealing with it more lately as I've needed to go back on meds after some time without them.

I've always been an intelligent and creative type myself, so I know some of what it's like to have that fade from sight. It's an awful feeling, but I've been slowly learning that who I am never truly went away, it has just been covered in a thick layer of concrete that I've started chipping away at. I can try to share some of the things that have helped me - your mileage may vary, but maybe something will help.

Losing my creativity definitely hit me hard - I couldn't write, couldn't make jewelry, nothing. I was so flat that nothing would come. Even though it was probably some of the crappiest stuff I've ever written, I sat down and just tried to write anything and everything that came to mind, whether it made sense or not, cursed my lack of creativity on paper, and just went with the flow. Even if I just write something stupid down or make a sketch of a stick figure that's totally lopsided and I tossed the paper in the circular file, sometimes it's enough to get other things flowing. I also have a growing collection of workbooks and journals that have creativity exercises in them. They may be something as odd as to drop the page on a dirty floor and smoosh it around, but it's thinking outside of the box and outside of the normal forms of creative expression I was used to, and that new angle definitely helped, because even though it wasn't necessarily my poetry/noveling/jewelry, it helped to stir that inner artist that was hidden inside.

As far as my intelligence fading goes, I think that was what hit me the hardest. My tdoc first tried to impress upon me that Kaashii at 50% was still probably better than most of the population at 100%, and that didn't fly with me. I was very blunt about it and told her in no uncertain terms that I wouldn't buy into that one. She started giving me homework assignments to try and get that internal light bulb to turn on, and they all helped to some minor degree, save for the most recent one. She had me sign up for one of the free online college courses available, and though I'm hesitant to admit it, it's having the effect she was looking for. The class is kicking my ass in so many ways, but it has definitely helped. I yell and scream and curse at the lectures and the quizzes, shout a few insults that I'm glad the professor can't hear from 900 miles away, but that feeling of getting my scores back each week is amazing, and it seems to be having the effect of making me question whether or not my brain really went away or has just been hiding.

I'd definitely second the idea of spending time with your kids if and when you can. See if they have any of your artwork, specific memories of your creativity and wit that they hold dear. It may be painful to see at first and not remember any of it, but there might be something that resonates and helps to chip away at that concrete.

Listening to music sometimes helps me too. I listen to some of the newer stuff I like, and mix it in with some of the things I used to listen to. I may start going "Holy crap, I listened to THAT?!" for a while, but eventually I'll find my foot tapping along to the beat or drumming on my desk. (There are some bands that I legitimately shake my head and laugh at myself for having liked, but sometimes laughter is a strong medicine in and of itself. [Especially when it was something like "Mmmbop" that surfaced on my playlist >_> That alone generated a mixture of nostalgia and embarrassment that went a long way!]) Humor itself can help too, even if it's corny jokes that make you giggle or groan, or just something somebody says that comes across so unintentionally ridiculous that you find yourself laughing.

It definitely takes time and a lot of patience to find yourself after so long, but it can be done. You may not be exactly the same, since you've also grown and learned from things that have happened since, but that old fire is under there somewhere, don't give up trying to find it! (The next time your tdoc tells you that you have to rebuild your life and doesn't say anything past that, it might not hurt to admit to the fact that you're struggling and anything he/she can offer as suggestions or exercises to start down that road might be helpful. Sometimes they can be a little...thick.)

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Your children need to realize the hypomanic you was not the real you. It was as much of the illness as the craziest, most hurtful shit you did. You need to make this very clear very quickly, because that's a goal you will never meet.

BP takes its toll on the brain. Kindling destroys brain matter. There's just no way around it. But you can exercise your brain and rebuild your intelligence back to close to what it used to be. I have this exact problem. I can't do anything that requires thinking. So I'm starting college again in two weeks. I'm scared, but I know that it will force my brain to reconnect all those old memories and knowledge and to retain new bits of information.

I recently entered my craft room for the first time in two years. I made two small projects. While I had fun doing it for about two hours, I didn't get that exhilaration I used to get, that manic energy flowing to my fingertips like before. It was just a leisure task, like reading a book or getting on the computer. That was sad, but it made me realize that my bp caused my 14 hour craft marathons, and not my wonderful, unique inner creativity. And that can sting.

You are in medication flux right now. Your body doesn't know what to do, so it's even more obvious that your brain doesn't either. Give it time, things will settle down. It won't happen overnight and it may not even happen for a couple a weeks.

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I do enjoy spending time with my kids. They anchor me in a way. I know they haven't changed so it does make me feel good to be around them. And they are kind to me, in spite of their anger and confusion. I can always see that doubt and fear in their eyes though, and then sometimes they will verbalize it as well.

My daughter lives here in town and my son lives 12 hours away. They both have their careers now. So I get some time with her, but little time with him. I will try asking them to give me specific things they remember and want to return about me.

I know they want my creativity back. They say I was artistic. They say I was quick-witted. They say I was intelligent. I don't have those things anymore. They have told me they want those things back. I am afraid I cannot make those things happen. They have been wiped out. I am just a dullard now. My brain is mud.

i had a professor in college who was so quick witted - always has something to say, intelligent, etc. to the point where we were all in awe of her and asked her how did you get like this? her answer was that she practiced. which i always thought was a bit weird because how do you practice that? but it stuck with me and you know what, it does work. like everyone else is saying, practice doing the things you used to do and that interest you now - spend time with your kids, socialize, read, listen to music, etc. you'll be amazed at how it starts to get easier.

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I'm having this problem, too, though I didn't know it until I read this post. But I think being bipolar for most of my life, well...you aren't ever just one person are you? I don't know if there's a heart of me that's JUST TEDDY (although I imagine some people--even on here--would say that they know that person, the real Teddy).

I don't have anything to add, just that I recently got off atypical anti-psychotics, too, and at first I experienced this huge burst of oh my god, I'm not so ANGRY, I'm not so IRRATIONAL, I'm not so FAT. Actually, I'm still fat, but I have lost 10 lbs. in two months so that's good.

I was on Topamax before the Seroquel so I've spent my my children's entire childhood just being, I don't know...it's been hard on all of us. It's been hard. And I know they probably want their mom back, the one who played with them and gave them lots of kisses and hugs. I feel like I'm still in detox, like I am still stuck in mud.

But everything everyone has said on here is great advice, stuff I've been encouraged to do (though also been warned not to expect too much out of myself). Like Gizmo, I used to do amazing crafts (I made jewelry) and now I can stand in front of all those beads and all those tools and just feel like a three year old...where do I start?

Both my kids start school on Monday (they're young--6 and 4) and this will be the first time they're both in school full time so I am slowly but surely beginning to do things that may get my brain back, not to mention the other parts of me that matter so much, the parts that make up the REAL Teddy.

I hope this post is relevant. I have a nasty head cold and have just taken my depakote, klonipin, and some dayquil.

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