The Bipolar Cocktail – when the mixture isn’t right…

Medication_cocktail_by_LaChixMany illnesses are treated with a cocktail of medications, Bipolar type 1 is not different.  For me, I must have a mood stabilizer, an antidepressant, an anxiolytic (anti-anxiety drug), and….I can’t remember if there is anything else.  I think that’s it.  Right now the mood stabilizer is working.  The antidepressant isn’t working, and the anxiolytic is trying hard to work but I have a lot of reason to be anxious.  (that’s what my therapist told me on Thursday anyway).   Of course, you could say I have a lot to be depressed about too, but I don’t normally let depression take over my life.  I’m fighting hard to keep telling myself, “This will get better.”, but it has been a bit overwhelming lately.

The tears, so many tears have fallen.  The words, “I’m sorry.” have passed my lips so many times I’ve begun to wonder if I can finish a conversation without saying it.  I’ve been told by professionals that I don’t “wallow”.  Oh if they could see me some nights, they might just change their minds.

Recently I completely lost control.  In a complete panic! I needed to leave.  I needed to get away from my husband before I hurt him any longer.  I know I’ve become such a burden, I’m not a fun person, I’m worthless, and useless.  I wish this wonderful, caring man had never met me.

How could I leave?  I can’t drive.  Where would I go?  I have no money.  What could I do?  The only answer.   Take the dark lady’s hand, I hear her promises to make it all better.  To help my husband.  To end the pain for both of us.  I reach out….and suddenly I stop!  NO!  This is my illness talking!  It will get better.  My husband loves me, and if I leave with her, he would be devastated.  I can’t hurt him.  “NO! my  lady I will not leave with you.  I’m stronger than you!” … at least for now.

I knew my resolve was weak.  I knew I couldn’t trust myself.  I grabbed my computer.  I searched and searched….I needed an inpatient hospital.  Somewhere I could go for just a little while.  Somewhere I could be made to not listen to the dark lady beckoning to me with empty promises.  I found a listing, I hit on it…..Site Not Found….What???  I went to the next place on the list…it wasn’t an inpatient facility…the next, same thing….again…again!  I threw my computer!

I was so livid!  And so…..I don’t know….I really don’t remember what happened immediately after that.   I know I ended up getting in the bath, (for those who regularly read my blog you will know how odd this is for me, I’ve become quite phobic of the bath due to my vertigo, but in the bath I was.) and my husband joined me.  He held me, and we just laid back in the water.  I talked, he could only listen.  (I can’t wear my cochlear implants in the tub, so even if he talked I wouldn’t have known.)  I cried, he held on tighter.  I told him everything.  He knew most of it already.  He did witness it.   When we got out of the bath, and readied for bed, I gathered all my medications and gave them to him.  I took out 3 pills that I might need during the night, knowing that even if I took the 3 together I would not cause myself harm.  I told him to lock them away, until I was better.  Only giving me the medications as I needed them.   (this happened a few days ago)

My cocktail will be remixed on Wednesday.  It will take a while to know if this mixture is working.  Until then, I will be cautious.  I’m still crying a lot.  The words “I’m sorry” are continuously spewing from my mouth.  I not only feel sad, angry, lost and riddled with panic….I feel sick.  My body feels as if it is fighting off an invader.  I keep running a low-grade fever, on and off.  I am hot….I am cold.  My head, throat, all of me hurts.   I had one of the worst asthma attacks I’ve had….ever…yesterday.  It scared me….suffocation is terrifying.   Once I knew my rescue inhaler was not going to work, we rushed to get the nebulizer up and running.  Luckily, I began to feel relief very quickly.  A trip to the ER was narrowly avoided.

Yes, I have an emergency plan in place now for my deepest levels of depression.  Of course, I have my husband watching my behavior.  I have all my medications that could harm me locked away to be given out only at specified times.  We have the address and phone number of an emergency psychiatric hospital.   At times I am thinking clearly.  Other times I feel so engulfed by the depths of depression I cannot imagine a way out, it feels as if I’ve stepped in a tar pit and it is constantly trying to pull me under.  I have to keep my mantra in my head….”I know it will get better.”   I’ve had problems with my medications before, I KNOW THIS WILL GET BETTER!

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35 thoughts on “The Bipolar Cocktail – when the mixture isn’t right…

    • Judy,
      Thank you.
      I know.
      It’s just hard right now.
      But I do know. I’m being careful in case I forget, but I have always responded well to medication. This last medication didn’t help, and made things worse…so it made me worse…if that makes sense. But I do know…It Will Get Better.

      Like

  1. I admire your strength. Often when I’m at my lowest points, I try to remember not my highest points, but those rare times when I’ve finally leveled out for a while…those times where I think to myself that things could be better, but they could also be worse…and I’m so grateful I didn’t listen to the dark lady. I send my love to you. This will get better.

    Like

    • artfullyadelie,
      thank you so for commenting. I like what you said….don’t try to remember the highest points…I can see where that would just make me sadder, thinking they would never come again. But thinking about the middle points. That’s a good balance, and a thought that we can get back to that. I have been mostly stable for years. I’ve been lucky. But recently, I’ve had a lot of problems with my meds….so luckily I do know….even if it’s just a whisper sometimes…I know, this will get better!

      Like

  2. Bless your sweet heart! Its good so good to read that you know It will get better! I don’t suffer from depression but when I get Menieres and MAV and no balance and it has lasted 4 days in a row I get on the woe is me…who would ever “get me”. No wonder he left me, my poor son…endless list of self loathing sadness…wishing I was “that woman” who I see shopping, jogging, getting hair done…then I realize hmmmm the devil U know is better than a devil u don’t. Her life may be dark and sad…so I get out a journal and I TRY to list 5 things U am grateful for! I do like you described…I self talk…it always gets better..a good day is coming and it always gets better just for an hour even! I’ll take it! I’m so so sorry you are suffering!!! Light and love to you! Trish

    Like

    • Trish,
      Honestly my dear, I cannot imagine how you can have Meniere’s and not have depression. You have plenty of reasons. I have been going to a therapist of a few years now, not because of my Bipolar, it has been mostly under control until recently, but because of the Meniere’s. Losing my independence….losing so much!…and feeling like such a burden. It has really helped.
      I too have a gratitude journal.
      after dealing with Bipolar illness for so long, and being stable for quite a while…most of the time…I KNOW IT WILL GET BETTER. Thank you for thinking of me. Light and love to you too my dear.

      Like

    • Thank you Lisa,
      We’ll get through this I know. But sometimes, especially right now, I wish he didn’t have to be burdened so with me. He needs all his energy to find a job and just find a way to be happy.
      Oh I sound horrible again.
      don’t worry, it will get better. I promise. I love you too my friend.

      Like

    • ChippedCracker,
      One of the reasons I put these things out there is for people like you. You love someone who has this….it’s very difficult to understand when you are in it, but sometimes when you read someone else’s perspective, you can step back and find a bit more understanding. I hope. If it helps, I’ve been mostly stable for over 18 years. I’ve only had 2 or 3 times where my meds stopped working and I needed to change them, and I will say this is the worst time I’ve had in a very, very long time. The wrong medication was added to my cocktail, I had side effects that were horrible. So I had to get off of it, and now start over. But it does get better. There are a lot more meds out there than when I was first diagnosed, so it’s easier to get the right cocktail. I hope your girlfriend finds peace. And so do you.

      Like

  3. Hi sweet lady. I’m sad this is so difficult right now. I’m holding onto hope that this new “cocktail” will help you. I’m glad you have so much in place for suicide prevention. You are fighting a good fight. Keep fighting. I can only imagine how difficult it is for you when your brain is telling you these messages. Be proud of yourself for fighting for yourself, each time you fight. 🙂 That is a huge accomplishment!! So proud of you. I hate how hard this is for you.

    I have someone in my life (trying to keep it private with the pronouns) who I grew up with that has bipolar depression and anxiety. This person said “I’m sorry” a lot and it was something I learned to say by their example. In therapy, this person told me their therapist said that whenever s/he feels like saying “I’m sorry” to say “Thank you.” (This person would say “I’m sorry” even to a compliment!) though I know this person felt like a burden.

    I don’t have bipolar, but the other disabling illnesses I have makes I feel like a burden to my sweet husband who was almost successful in completing because of his inability/knowledge of how to cope with. I want to run away because I want it to be easier on him. But he doesn’t want that…he loves me despite myself. Along with the “I’m sorry’s” I say an equal or more amount of “thank you’s” to him. Because, he needs to hear it and it is truly how I feel. The excessive “I’m sorry’s” makes me feel worse about myself. The “thank you ” makes me feel like I’m doing something to help him by showing him my appreciation and thus he feels good about himself and how he is caring for me. We are so lucky to have such wonderful husbands. I love how he held you and listened!!! How sweet.

    You are an incredible warrior and I’m so proud of you! Hugs and Love

    Like

    • Kelly,
      Thank you. I don’t always feel the I’m sorry feelings. I used to say it all the time growing up…like your friend. But I have found more peace with myself. I know this is a stumbling block…I know it’s my illness….but I have had such a hard time with this recently. The med they put me on to help because my antidepressant wasn’t working, made things much worse. I had severe reactions to it. If I hadn’t read the patient leaflet, it could have gotten much worse before I realize it was the drug…and it could have killed me. (kind of ironic)

      I do feel like a burden. Especially since hubby is out of work. But he doesn’t see it that way. He is thankful that he is able to care for me. Yes, amazing husbands. (and he had no choice but to just listen…hahaha)

      I do say thank you a lot. I’m so appreciative to so many who help me through this. I’m so appreciative to you for reading my post and commenting. I think of you all the time. I miss you. I’ve always been and continue to me, very proud of you! xoxox love to you

      Like

  4. My doctor would say “You’re not crazy, its the illness that is.” You have so much to deal with right now, even if the meds hadn’t had such a horrible effect (and a cocktail that’s missing an ingredient as a result), you understandably would feel depressed and anxious.
    Stability is a tricky thing. Stable to what? I take antidepressants so my depression remains stable and doesn’t spike and spiral down. You may be reaching for a new stability, one that takes into account the stresses and worry that you are experiencing now.
    A mantra of “I know it will great better” is a strong statement of your resolve and fighting spirit. You are a true warrior princess. Use your shield and wield your sword. Banish the demons and dragons. I have faith in you and your ability to survive.
    If your husband felt you were a burden, he would walk away. He hasn’t. His love for you transcends your illnesses. It is pure and encompassing. You are lucky to have such a companion.

    Like

  5. I should have read this earlier. I’m sorry. *hug*

    Yeah, I’ve got a plan, too. I came close once. I think. I’m not really sure since I wasn’t thinking clearly. I panicked a bunch of people and felt bad about it.

    Like

    • Vincent,
      I’m trying to take my plan out of the picture and have an emergency plan in place instead.
      Having Stuart dose out my meds instead of them being where I can get them…ect.
      I don’t think I’ve scared anyone. I don’t think anyone has taken me seriously.
      I really feel like most people just think Stuart will take care of it, and that’s not fair to him, or me.
      but it will get better.
      I love you my friend.

      Like

  6. I to suffer from depression and Menieres.
    I’ve had Menieres since 2004.
    Actually probably longer…
    I to have an awesome husband.
    We’ve been married 26 years.
    I am 44.
    I feel like such a burden to him.
    He deserves soo much better.
    I’m not housebound yet, but I’m here the majority of the time.
    If I overdo, I go under my blanket.
    I’m sooo tired.
    I thought dealing with this would get easier (knowing I have it and there is no cure) but it gets worse.
    I am soo bitter.
    I use to work and live a very active life.
    Being a perfectionist is soo hard.
    I am one but can’t be one anymore.
    Things being out of order weighs heavily on me.
    I know that sounds silly but it does affect my mindset.
    I just want the old me back !!!

    Like

    • Rina,
      I don’t know how anyone who has Meniere’s and it’s affecting them, doesn’t have depression.
      It’s a different way to live. We live in fear of punishment all the time. (my doctor calls it random punishment)
      We do feel like a burden. Talk to your husband. Mine told me he feels lucky that he is able to take care of the person he loves so much.
      We are also in therapy to deal with it.
      are you uni-lateral, or bi-lateral?
      There are a lot of treatments…more of unilateral people but there are some for bilateral too.
      I can’t have more treatments because of other illnesses…but a LOT of people live a very productive life with this.
      No, I’m not one.
      Please don’t think because I got this bad that everyone does. I’m VERY rare.
      I do understand everything you said.
      I have heard from many, and have thought…I just want the old me back! But I don’t want the old me back, I want the me that felt good, but who knows what I know now. I understand so much more, I’m much more compassionate, and forgiving.
      Recently I’ve been pretty bitter, but it has a lot to do with the Bipolar I’m sure…and other situations that are out of my control.
      I was about 45 or 46 when I went bilateral. I’ve had Meniere’s for many years. Was diagnosed in 2001. I’m 50 now.
      I will celebrate my 10th anniversary in Sept. So my husband knew about Meniere’s before….he just didn’t know it would get this bad. and neither did I.

      If you ever want to talk, vent…or anything. Look at my About page and you can find my contact information.
      We Meniere’s girls have to stick together.
      Healing and steady thoughts your way.

      Like

      • Thanks Wendy
        I am I’m unilateral but I’m pretty sure it’s going bilateral.
        My left ear was the one that was diagnosed.
        I’m going to give my ENT a call this week about the shunt surgery. What can it hurt..
        If it doesn’t give me any relief it will just send me in a deeper depression. Each thing that doesn’t help always does.
        My family knows this though.

        My husband is awesome.
        He has been with me through it all. From the beginning stages until now. I think he would do anything to make me well.
        He has told me time and time again we are in this together and will continue to be.
        He loves me very much and I love him.
        He has taken on everything I can no longer do.
        I do what I can depending on the day. He calls it teamwork.
        Thanks for this site !

        Like

        • Rina,
          Why do you think you are going bilateral?
          It’s not a common thing, but I think everyone with Meniere’s fears it so much.
          I didn’t, not after a while….then suddenly I had an attack and the hearing dropped drastically in my “good” ear.
          There was no feelings that I was going bilateral, it just happened.
          But again, I’m very rare on that one…I went Bilateral about 15 years after my first attack. That is unheard of.
          Normally if you are going Bilateral it happens within the first 5 years.
          There are a lot of treatments for unilateral people, that aren’t as open to bilaterals.
          I’ve had the endolymphatic “shunt” surgery on both ears. (I quoted shunt, because most don’t really put a shunt in any more, it clogs up and you often have to have another surgery)
          it’s more of a big mastoidectomy….I’d call it more the endolymphatic sac enhancement….maybe.)
          I can tell you more if you like, and send you to specific posts I wrote about that journey.
          The surgery did help me. I do not have the very severe attacks like I used to. Normally it happens a couple of times a year,
          instead of many times a week. I do still have mini attacks. I have a lot recently, but stress makes it so much worse for me,
          and I’m under a lot of stress.
          There is a study going on that is recruiting, I’m not able to do it, because I’m bilateral and I’ve had a lot of stuff done.
          here’s the link http://menieresdiseasestudy.com/about-the-study.html Maybe it will help….who knows. But it’s not invasive.

          I’m so glad your husband is awesome. So is mine. amazing!! He has to do everything. I can’t bend over without having the disequilibrium get way too bad. But he would much rather do for me than to be without me. we are lucky.

          again, feel free to write me if you wish. I’m glad my blog is some help. Remember as you read it, I’m a very rare case. You are looking at pretty much the worst case scenario. But I’m OK. I know I have this, it’s not going away…so I just go from there.
          It’s something I have…I may not have wanted this in my life, but it’s here, so I have to just deal.
          Now I say that after many years of dealing with it.

          You are NOT alone. We are a group who are so strong, so amazing. We are sad, we miss things, but we have so much too. We have the ability to help others with this, and we have great husbands!!
          (don’t worry I’m not Pollyanna all the time, I’m just having a self pep talk today and kind of sharing it with you.)

          love and light being sent your way.

          Like

          • I’m starting to hear sounds in the opposite ear and sometimes the ear drum throbs like my heart beat. We had a front this weekend and I was under a blanket. I guess I am going to make another appointment at Chapel Hill. It’s been almost ten years since I was there. I’ve been to other places. That’s were the Dr. That my ENT wants to do my surgery is. I know I will have to go through a whole work up again. I’m not getting my hopes up.

            Sent from my iPhone

            >

            Like

            • Carina,
              I really hope you don’t mind that I sent you a personal email. Just thinking of you and wanted to write a long comment. maybe a bit more personal.
              I will never do it again unless you email me back and want me to.

              hope I didn’t over step that line.
              wendy

              Like

                • I’m glad, if I can help in any way….I’m here.

                  I had a very bad Meniere’s day yesterday. Must post soon about it. But believe me, you aren’t alone in this. Often, I wish I was so I could take it away from you.
                  (I once told my doctor that people keep telling me that I don’t deserve this…and I think, “No one deserves this.” He looked at me and said…”Oh I can think of a few.” I doubt he’d say that to just anyone, but it made my day!)

                  Like

  7. Here I go with an actual comment. God I need a nap after all of this concentration LOL. I need to start taking my ridilin regularly no matter if it costs an arm and a leg per month or it’ll be pointless…anyways, I’m glad you can recognize when it’s the illness talking and when it’s you talking. It’s a hard thing to catch but when you do it’s almost relieving I think. “I’m sorry” used to be my favorite two words, I haven’t said them in a while (other than when I’ve ‘needed’ to) but it used to be something I said with every other sentence. I’m glad you know things WILL get better and know both I and all of your followers here all believe in you and KNOW things are on their way to correcting themselves.

    Like

  8. Still playing catch up so I’m way late to the party with this comment.

    I HATE clicking “like” on some of your posts (I do it anyway, because I like the fact that you are alive and blogging despite the challenges and events).

    We need a “read this, good job, you go girl!” button!
    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

    Like

  9. NO ONE who hasn’t held the dark lady’s hand (great metaphor) really understands how difficult it is to resist her allure.

    In this case, knowing that it was [“probably”] the med’s missing and misfiring that made everything seem SO not worth the ongoing fight was probably a life raft (even a leaky raft in a storm?) – and I KNOW your husband is an angel sent by God.

    BELIEVE ME – I do know what it’s like (mine was meds induced too – but didn’t know at the time what long-term antibiotic treatment could do to serotonin precursors) – and my then-fiance was LESS than worthless.

    STILL – I don’t know how you found the courage to turn over your meds to your hubby for “supervision” – SO SMART! I hope some of your mental balance has returned – and ALL of your physical.

    Everybody thinks that their troubles are “the worst,” of course – but people who don’t have to deal with mental struggles have NO real idea what “If you have your health, you have everything” MEANS!

    SO grateful that I have been – for the most part – physically healthy, even if my ADD/EFD struggles have limited my life in many ways.

    Grateful, too, for super blogs and bloggers. YOURS is one of my very most favorite, btw. As they say in the theatre, “COURAGE, CAMILLE!”
    xx,
    mgh

    Like

  10. Madelyn….you know this post was written a year ago?
    I have been having trouble with my meds recently but not to this extent. Thankfully.
    I don’t know why this post came up as recent.
    I’ve had others commenting on older post recently too. hmmm??

    Thank you for your lovely thoughts.
    I want you to know, I’m not doing so bad.
    I’m doing pretty good.
    I have a bad cold.
    my medication mess up with the pharmacy is almost fixed.
    (they caused me to be out of one of my meds for a week, so I went cold turkey for a bit and am now ramping back up. That has been a challenge. But not as hard as what happened during the time discussed in this post.)

    you are such a dear.
    I’m so glad you came out of your struggles and can tell the tale!

    I have been struggling about blogging….you make me feel better about blogging, I often don’t feel like it makes a difference.

    I appreciate you, and respect you so much.
    thank you doesn’t seem like enough.

    xoxo
    w

    Like

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