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Bipolar? Who? Me?

I always thought that bouncing from thing to thing, risky behavior, passionate arguments and dehydrating cries were exciting. I thought I was living my best life and doing and saying all the things that people wished they could. Rebel? Who? Me? Well, Yes I am!

I thought being sad meant that I was in touch with my feelings, getting angry meant I didn't let people walk all over me and wanting sex meant that I was needed and wanted. Boss Lady? Who? Me? Well, Yes I am!

I thought that drinking everyday, trying drugs and spending copious amounts of money that I didn't have meant that I was a...Party Animal? Who? Me? it covered.

Things changed when I was in my 30's and after a little too much trauma, too much Rebel, Boss Lady and Party Animal...I began to wonder is this normal? Crazy? Who? Me? Well, looks like it.

I went through the alcoholism of a father, divorce of parents, pregnancy at 17, loss of a child (prior to birth) that I kept a secret. I went through the death of a best friend, two family suicides, living in a van, a cancer diagnosis, personal divorce, another marriage, abuse (verbal and physical) and when I couldn't take it anymore I decided I needed to talk to someone. Traumatized? Who? Me? I'm sure others have been through worse...but yeah...I feel there might be some trauma there.

I saw a therapist when my parents were going through divorce but only one time and they said I showed signs of depression and then that was that. This time, I laid it all on the line. After several doctors and tons of medication I was diagnosed with Bipolar 2. It took me 8 years to get the medication right and it was never really "right".

Here is the problem that most people diagnosed with mental illness will experience...Medication can make you NOT feel the things that are bothering you but medication will make you not feel the things you NEED to feel as well. Want to have an orgasm? Nope. Want to cry? Nope. Want to get some joy and laughter? Nope. This and when and IF your medication does start to work the way it'll feel better and stop taking it.

Why the hell would we stop taking something that has been working and making us feel better? Let me tell you why. You either feel like a pill popper or someone is telling you that you are. You think you can manage your mental health and you don't want to go to the Dr. and relive it every 30 days. So...I stopped. I stopped taking my medication and I did do very well. I felt good, I was productive and accomplished quite a bit. I was able to communicate and participate in society. I held my own for 5 years. If you asked me two months ago, I would have said that I have been holding it together this whole time (10 years medication free) but...I would be lying to myself. I held it together for 5 years and then...Trauma hit again. The rocky relationship that I have with a parent kicked back up and my children lost their father. I began to struggle and feel alone. I was forced to face my own faulty parenting skills and feelings that I had tried to bury were being dug up. My skeletons were being exhumed and I was faced with an unimaginable amount of emotional pain that began to cripple me. I still kept going.

I lost the business and blog that I had buried myself into for 10 years. The wonderful world of Facebook took me down. My direction was skewed, my heart broken and I was emotionally defeated.. I kept moving forward...I rebuilt, tried a new business plan and slowly but surely I inched ahead. During this time I could tell I was not the same. I couldn't tell then, but looking back, it's as clear as day. Covid hit and the world changed. My children and our environment changed. I became a parent that homeschooled, a wife that felt alone and unaccomplished and then eventually a daughter that was told I would be watching my father die. I dealt with a breach in my privacy and security due to a severe hack and new health issues and unknown fears.


For two years I felt like I was standing in line to get on a rollercoaster and then all of a was my turn to get on. Bipolar is a shitty illness. It's unexplainable to others that don't have it. You can not see it and the symptoms are embarrassing, hurtful and unannounced. This is what happens...or at least what happens to me.

  • Sensory overload- Having to leave a situation because I physically can not stand the sound, feel or sight of it.

  • Hyper Sexuality- Sex feels good so...the more the better

  • Inability to focus- This is one of the worst for me personally because the inability to focus on something causes me anxiety, depression and it's quite literally the first domino that falls...everything else will follow.

  • Rage-I can't focus or control my emotions and that's where rage kicks in. It makes me feel guilty and out of control

  • Paranoia- Everybody hates me, talks about me or is trying to hold me down

  • A hard time speaking- I can't find the words to put with my thoughts. This gets worse the "higher" my mania goes. The thoughts race too fast and I can't communicate properly. I'm usually very well spoken but when bipolar episodes roll I have a hard time even saying "hello" I skip words, stutter and search for the right words.. When I'm depressed I lose focus and can't make a complete thought. It feels like my brain is dying or I have dementia. It frustrates me and makes me want to cry. Even though I know what I want to say; I just can't.

  • Crying- Ask me how I'm doing and I'll start crying. Drop a fork and I cry. Look at my dog and tears start to roll. My emotions are so overwhelming and my words aren't working so I let it out of my eyes.

  • General unpredictability- I never know what I'll do. Cancel plans, stay in bed, unable to complete a task or stick to schedules.

  • Brain Fog- Inability to see and think clearly

  • Self Medicating- I will drink in order for my brain to work better. Drinking alcohol slows something down or numbs a certain portion of my brain allowing me to feel like I'm functioning better. However; drinking alcohol will get out of control and I'll start drinking too much.

  • Up and Down- You know how when you're on a rollercoaster it can make you sick if there is too much up and down or back and forth? Bipolar is that constantly. It makes you want to throw up.

So...Why am I saying all of this? I am saying all of this because until recently I couldn't figure out what was wrong with me. I didn't have answers to the reason why I was drinking so much or crying all of the time. I thought I was losing control of my mind and passing blame on all the reasons why I was sad, angry and unpredictable. Then it hit me...I realized it's because my Bipolar 2 illness is out of control and I need to go back to therapy and possibly continue medication . I did not want to ask for help because I didn't want to be weak. I did not want to see a Dr. because re-hashing all of this trauma isn't on my list of favorite things. I did not want to come to terms with this because it's painful but there comes a time when you have to. This is my time.

Here is the other little trick that mental health plays on you. Just when you can't take anymore...anymore depression, anxiety or confusion. You will switch over. You'll be happy and energetic and feel fantastic! You think you're fixed but the entire're getting worse and you don't even know it.

  • I do not drink to get drunk-I drink to medicate a portion of my brain that isn't functioning. (self medicating)

  • I do not get angry because I want to fight- I get angry because I don't know how to execute the correct emotion or explain myself

  • I do not cry just because I'm sad- I cry because I feel like something is wrong with me and I'm frustrated

  • I'm not a bad person

Bipolar? Who? Me? No...I HAVE Bipolar. Bipolar is NOT who I am.

I'm going to wind this article down and say this...I have been through quite a lot in my life and my support system has not always been the best. I've been told a lot of mean things. I've been hurt by the people that were supposed to protect me. Those of you that have listened to me the last few weeks on Facebook, my closest friends in Biznizzles chat and the few of you that have let me cry to you while letting me figure my shit out...Thank you so much for your support and true friendship. Thank you for giving me the time I needed to figure my shit out and offering your shoulder and your ear. As I move further away from the things that cause me more pain, I'm incredibly grateful for the new life you breathe into me.

I'll be documenting my journey here on the blog and the next article up will be for those of you that don't suffer from this illness but are trying to understand it. I have some good tips for you. For those of you that stood by and watched me fall and the few that pushed me down...I want to say that you're going to wish I never got back up but I'm not going to say that because the first step in my healing process is forgiving your ignorance but also letting you go.

Next Up: What's wrong with you?

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