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What can be recovered?


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I can feel myself right on the edge of "that" cliff that most/all of us have fallen off at some point in our illness.  I feel serious sadness now (was able to take a Lyrica for anxiety), but if I don't get hold of things, I am really, really scared of entering mixed state (which is my primary manifestation) and just feel like I'm tired of feeling like I've made progress, only to find that it feels like a cruel joke when maybe a month or two can go by and then, here the bad stuff is again.

 

I am trying to learn how to check and monitor myself and to learn self-care.  I am pretty good at knowing when I am at a manic/spending edge, and then, as many of you know, rapid cycling is a whole other level of hell.

 

I guess one thing is that last night, I came across a set of letters that my husband had written me from the first (this was a mini-deployment, just training for a month) deployment as a fighter pilot in the Navy.  I know we don't remain who we "were", but I was struck by how different things are now than then.  My incorrect diagnosis with periods of no meds for so many years and then total breakdown/correct diagnosis (which was actually a relief to me even if things still had to work out a lot med wise, certainly did not help, nor did his four deployments to Iraq, where he came back with PTSD (refuses meds!) and the long absences.

 

But hang on, I know this is rambling, but there is a point here (please forgive, maybe I am getting a little manic, too).  When I read those letters, I was taken back to happier times (nothing is perfect, of course), and I at first was hopeful that there was something of what I had been (and what I had been worth to somebody, a lot in this case) in there; maybe at least something could be recovered, was salvageable?

 

Then, today, I said something to this affect to my husband.  He just looked at me and said, "We aren't those people; they are gone."  Now, in the existential sense, I get that, but this leads to my question:

 

Can/have you been able to get back anything really important that you lost (maybe in terms of self-confidence, ability to focus/do a job, creativity) that you felt like the illness demolished?  Something that was really important to you?

 

What was it?  What did you do to reclaim it?  Notice that I'm not asking for relationship advice (for my particular situation, just using as background); however, if you recovered a relationship/are doing so and want to use that as an example, I'd be glad to hear about that too?  That, along with my self-confidence took a great hit!

 

Or is it just sometimes or even often that this illness just is a Tsunami, and forget it: if you want something of a life, you just have to almost rebuild from scratch?  It is just so hard to imagine feeling stable, and I get so tired of trying sometimes.  I know that most or all of you understand.

 

Thanks to those of you who take time to read this.  Sometimes, even though I am mostly a lurker, I feel like this is the only place I can come late at night with people who really understand.  Any thoughts, advice, pondering, are welcome.

 

DX:  Bipolar I (Rapid Cycling, Mixed States) (I think there is a new wording in DSM V but don't remember it; PTSD

 

RX:  Lamictal, Lyrica, Pristiq, Seroquel, Klonopin, Xanax (prn) 

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You know, I was talking about this yesterday. I'm not the same person I was in my 20s or 30s and I don't think it has anything to do with being MI. I think that everyone changes as they mature and become wiser. My mother used to tell me that life begins at 40. I think she may have been correct. I've always said that before the age of 40, I'm not sure I even had good sense.

 

I'm convinced that hubby and I wouldn't have made it had we married in our early 20s. I'm a different person than then and so is he. So many things cause you to grow as a person. I think if you stop changing that means that something is wrong. 

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I'm a different person than I was in my 20's and most of my 30s, but I think part has to do with the MI/part not.  Those years were a nightmare, and I caused lots of problems, lost a lot of friends.  I think I matured over time though and am now a "healthier" person because of it.  I have MI, but healthier in the sense that I am more "me."  For example in college, I didn't always feel like myself.  I felt like I was faking things to please other people.  Being someone who I wasn't.

 

Over time, I became more of my own person.  I know now that life doesn't revolve around pleasing other people.  I used to take advantage of the little things in life back then, and now have a deeper appreciation for them.  I feel like I am more caring now (I was back then too, but I don't think I was as sensitive to people's feelings as I am now).

 

My mom told me that a friend of hers from NAMI said to "wait until she's around 40 ..." meaning around that age things start to turn around for a lot of people.  And it did for me ... in my late 30s I started to become more my own person.  And I feel like I grow all the time, learn more.

 

I don't want to rebuild my life the way is was ... I think I am a better person now.  I actually want nothing to do with all the bad years I had.  Sure, I learned from mistakes etc to get to this point in my life, but I don't want anything back that I lost from those years.

Edited by melissaw72
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I regained a sense of self and confidence after 10 years of rapid cycling.  

 

I started taking Zyprexa and within a month or two, I felt pieces of myself flowing back into place.  Six months later, I feel self confident again and the depression I went through has faded to a memory.  I also noticed that the more self-care I practice, the better things are.

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