ON BEING THAT PERSON YOU DON’T WANT TO BE – Why, Again, Relationships Are So Important




In case you are new or didn’t know, I have Bipolar I Disorder.  It is the rapid-cycling, oftentimes mixed-state type that leads to frantic suicidal ideation when not medicated correctly, or at least close to correctly.  So that’s the the all the formal gobbledigook you need to know.

Here’s an example of a “kinda bad bipolar day”.  For reference, you may want to check out the Mayo Clinic’s website on Bipolar, it’s pretty fab all around if you ask me, it’s here, you don’t have to read it beforehand or after or at all really, just in case you were interested:


Okay, so I typically function pretty much fine, I hold a fulltime (well…that’s debatable time-wise, but for the most part…) attorney position (that’s debatable too…it’s mostly just “glorified” paralegal work but I do many attorney sorts of things as well).  So anyways…

I forgot to take my night meds twice this week.  I take meds in the morning and in the early afternoon and the later afternoon sometimes and at night.  So this one particular night this week I feel asleep reading, and then last night…well…here’s what happened:

At present, we’re re-doing the office for my dad for his birthday, painting, updating the furniture; basically turning it into a slightly-office-but-mostly-so-comfy-man-cave-den for him to hang out in.  So that’s all nice and lovely. However, I didn’t know when my parents’ left to go up to Cleveland yesterday to see my grandma in the hospital that my brother “coming over to paint” meant his six-year-old son and two-year-old daughter were also coming over, for like, the whole day.

Now, on an unrelated (but also related) note, my now ex-husband used to think it was always the strangest thing, and it don’t know if this is a bipolar thing or what, but he used to think it the strangest thing when I would drive in the car, oftentimes, without music or the radio on in the background, just as “white noise” or whatever.  The thing with me though, is that I always have a kind of white noise going on in head (that’s a hard one to explain…I just blew my own mind right wide open with that one…I’ll have to give it some thought and come back to ya’s).

Honestly, I think it’s just my head churning, just always one thing to the next, not even in a manic sense necessarily, but if not, then in a melodic sense that I want to explore (i.e. not add additional white noise to) so that I can hopefully soon thereafter capture it in writing in its meritoriously melodic way.

So anyways, I have this white noise always, and so when my brother’s and sister-in-law’s kids come over (to my parents’ house where I live, so I am really not at complete liberty in the first right), it’s like having DOUBLE white noise in my head constantly, for which I am not at full liberty to control to the full circumstances and I don’t know what double-white noise turns into for anyone else, but for me, it turns into complete black frustration.

This is why

I cannot concentrate.  If I cannot concentrate, then I cannot get my stuff done at home that I need to get done at home (i.e. get myself organized…that’s very important for me, being bipolar; do my budget, also very important for me being bipolar, etc. – see the Mayo Clinic article if you’re interested in more).  So then, if I can’t get my stuff done at home, it kind of upsets me because then I can’t clear my head to go into work and catch up there over the weekend.

Now, my whole work situation is basically falling apart because my boss is on disability and I am the only one left to run the entire legal side of the office.  So anyways, my boss was out five days in a row with whatever’s wrong, then came in for about 45 minutes,  and gave me about 50 things to accomplish in the next few days.  However, the medical insurance company had different plans for me.

Basically, my new stimulant prescription required a pre-auth from the insurance company.  Without any stimulant, my mood stabilizers (which are necessary) make me so tired I could sleep for days, weeks, probably for eternity.  I would not choose to live if I had to live that way.  I know that is a harsh statement, but I want you to realize the harshness of this reality.

So anyways, I was out of work and those two days were really REALLY important days to be there.  Except I could hardly get out of bed to brush my teeth and find my notes to call the insurance company.

Essentially it’s feels like this:  it’s like having lead weights loaded up all over your body, your head, neck, shoulders, back, arms, legs, feet, everywhere, including your soul, except all this weight, it’s just invisible as can be to people who are not aware.

Anyways, back to the painting thing, my brilliant idea since I didn’t get much “home” work done Saturday was to stay up really late and do it then, so at least I could then sleep in on Sunday (today) and do my “work” work at work today.  Well, I stayed up late, but then got real tired and feel asleep.  Without taking my meds.  Then, when my brother shows up to finish painting and brings with him his two kids again, (and I mean, we’re just talking little kids here, just loud kids that never ever ever stop moving or talking, not anything unusual), I had already showered and just got ready to leave.  I was livid.

And before I left, I said to my brother, “how long are your kids going to be here today?  Because I have work to get done and they were here all day yesterday too so that kinda blew that whole day” and whatever else blah blah blah I stupidly had to say.  This doesn’t really sound that bad, except this is the chaos that goes on in my mind when this is all going on:

  1. I hear double white noise which turns to black frustration because I cannot get my “home” work done (i.e. clean, organize, budget, etc. – i.e. the weekly ritual things I have to do so in order to keep my disorder in check);
  2. This infuriates me because I have to get this stuff done in order to get the rest of my “regularly functioning” self stuff taken care of (i.e. hold down a regular fulltime job);
  3. So then this is all building inside me in the form of panic and makes me feel particularly mentally, chaoticly distressed because If I cannot hold down a fulltime job, then I do not have access to the best doctors (including both psychiatrist legally licensed by the Medical Board…or at least in the US, -A-N-D- a Ph.D. trained psychologist – for me, it’s worth all the difference) not to mention the best medications available for this illness.  And if you’re anyone who knows anything or anyone with a mental disorder, they know (or ought to know) things are key; and, lastly;
  4. Then this all puts me in a particularly dark mood because I want to be happy to see my niece and nephew and not have to worry about these other things and feel this way and be this way, and have hurt my brother’s feelings the way that I did.  I look at the photograph above of my nephew and I when he was just under one and I remember thinking, I can’t WAIT for this, for my very own little one too.

But then I have days like these.  And these are just the mediocre ones too!  I wonder, am I really ever going to be fit to be a parent at all?  I mean, you know all the things they say you need licenses for, and for a havin’ a baby it ain’t a one.  That concerns me folks.  To a very, very SERIOUS degree.

So now, let me recount for you what happened above in my head in the process of about six minutes:

  • I can’t concentrate;
  • I panic;
  • I can’t keep my disorder in check;
  • I won’t be able to keep up with my jobs beyond my duty to keep up with my disability because something’s interfering;
  • I won’t be able to get the access to the best doctors and meds to help me remain above the ground with my best two feet placed forward;
  • THE KICKER – I will never be fit to be a parent of my own; and once and for all;
  • THE FINALE – I don’t even want to begin (but already have) to think of all the babies out there suffering this very instant and the powerlessness I feel in not being able to provide them with opportunities to allow them to “better” themselves and their circumstances if they want to as they grow.  Sigh.  Sometimes I just don’t know what to say.

So, I don’t know if that helps explain anything as it is presently going on in my mind (and keep in mind that was just an itsy bitsy teeny weeny example) and my efforts to communicate it with you.

Let me just say in closing that this illness is so ugly, I would not wish it on my worst enemy (…most notably because, if you are one of the lucky ones who can overcome it, then you pretty much get to be superhuman in many many many countless ways…but you didn’t hear that from me).  It all takes time though…so much time and patience.


Alright, so…if anyone ever had any particular or general question(s) or if there is anything you don’t understand at all or quite fully and would like to know more, I don’t believe I have this elsewhere yet posted on my website blog so:  Please don’t hesitate to ask me.  I will gladly answer you as best I possibly can with the honest to god truth from the bottom of my heart and down from the very core of the marrow of my bones.

This illness is heart wrenching.  It at times makes me, sometimes even forces me, to be a person I do not want to be.  In this sense, my struggles with substance abuse and experience with “making amends” has come in quite handy.  But yet always, a struggle it is and will always remain…


In closing, if you made it all this way, I just wanted to say thank for taking your limited time on this Earth to read my ideas, much love, and I hope your day/evening is going well ;0)

9 thoughts on “ON BEING THAT PERSON YOU DON’T WANT TO BE – Why, Again, Relationships Are So Important

      • Honestly, I think being able to work part-time would be of the most help. Managing this illness is such a fulltime job in and of itself…it’s virtually impossible to work fulltime on top of it and remain “sane”, funny as it may sound… We get no credit for dealing successfully with an illness because we get no recognition that we have an illness though people just LOVE to discriminate against us for having THAT VERY SAME ILLNESS! It’s like, PHENOMENAL that they get away with that. It’s such cruel inhumane treatment of others, and yet STILL, they are getting away with it. I’m doing my best to fight the continued discrimination and general thought that we are all just hopeless, helpless victims, but I kind of feel like I’m out on the line by myself and it’s really lonely and it’s making me very tired and I just lost my job today too, so that doesn’t help. Except, in a way, it might. We’ll see what happens. Worst case scenario, I lose all hope and have to kill myself. I don’t see that happening, so anything short of that should be bearable at this point to make it through to some place better. Sometimes things just have to get much, much WORSE, before they can get way better than they’ve ever been before. It’s just procedure now, with lots of reading to get done, and a strategy to build to get these stupid senators and representatives in my state legislature to even LISTEN to me. We’ll see what happens though, I still have hope. None of the other “normal” ones on my same side, in opposition to the legislation have hope still yet – but maybe that’s the difference between an “ordinary” one and an “extraordinary” one…the mental “illness” as they’ve deemed it. We’ll see. Thank you for your comment, and sorry for the novel in response ;0) Hope your day is going well!!

  1. this must be very challenging for you to say the least, and as i cannot even imagine how it must feel, i can begin to at least understand a bit from reading your words as well as what the docs have to say. i think it is very brave of you to put yourself and your words out there, about something so painful and personal, but i do think it can really help others in the same situation, or others who may love or come in contact with those people. keep writing, you have a gift for it –


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