This will be a hard post for me to write about. I am a writer, who suffers from many mental health issues and autoimmune diseases. The mental illnesses came long before the autoimmune diseases came. Everyone has their different level of traumas. Mine is severe in my eyes, while others don’t deem it as traumatic to them. My mother always battled Anxiety. Both generalized and social anxiety. My maternal grandmother was the same. We worry about things, we can’t control. My dad is probably still dealing with PTSD. He was a Vietnam Vet. Both were/are staunch conservatives. I am a left-leaning moderate.

With that said, I am battling BPD, Bipolar, Trichotillomania, Social Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety, PTSD, and Agoraphobia. I dealt with things from my childhood and teenage life that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. BPD is Borderline Personality Disorder.

I used to be afraid of mentioning BPD. People automatically assume its Multiple Personality Disorder or DID. No, it’s not that at all. It just means I’m on the border of all my emotions. I used to have explosive anger as a young teenager. My mom would say something wrong, and I would throw shit against the wall. I also have abandonment issues as a child. I was extremely close with my dad. When they divorced, my dad left. When he left, my security went with him. So, I have all the makers for BPD. I was officially diagnosed in 2000. I tried to join the USAF and they “entry-level separation.” That is where they found BPD. Obviously, you’re not going to give someone with a mental health issue a gun. I had a bad time, because of control. What you don’t know is that people with BPD love to be in control. If we don’t feel in a controlled situation, we sort of “wig out.” Not to mention, we carry some issues of trust. I can’t trust other people. If they say the wrong thing, I’m putting an automatic wall up between us. All it takes is one negative thing and I’m done. Which as a writer, that isn’t the way you need to be. It makes my job extremely difficult.

Now, I have Bipolar I. They bumped it up from Bipolar 2 to Bipolar 1. I had more “manic” episodes than depressive episodes. Not to mention, I can write a 80,000 novel in less than three days. I won’t sleep for days. When the depression hits, I’m hiding in my bed for days. I tweet like crazy, well that’s because I’m in manic. Like right now, I’m in manic. I prefer to stay in mania versus depression. I’m not a fun person to be around when I have depression. Yes, they gave me medication for the depression many years ago. That was how I was diagnosed Bipolar. I did some crazy shit. I literally bleached the walls and blinds, while on Zoloft. I had more auditory and visual hallucinations, while medicated. The only pill I’m willing to try is Lamictal. They are fixing to put me on that medication. I wanted to finish my series before they put me on that medication. Luckily, I have a doctor who held on that. Another doctor prescribed Citalopram. Well, I wanted to hang myself while on that one. Not to mention, I had constant seizures. It shut me down from writing in October of 2014. I sat on a couch like a zombie. I couldn’t put a sentence together. My husband told me to get off of it. He came home and I was curled in a ball, in the middle of the kitchen floor. Citalopram didn’t work for me. It made me more depressed. After a while, it stopped working for me. I had a brain zap from hell on that one.

My husband has been working with me on DBT. It is Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. My explosive anger is under control. I can’t remember the last time, I had a temper tantrum or meltdown. We are working on getting me to stop checking the doors. I convinced myself to check the doors and windows at night. We are also working on my social anxiety. He is forcing me to talk to teachers and people. The biggest step, was I got to meet Robert Kirkman. I had to talk to him. Now if I can get the manic under control, I would be a whole lot better. I also talk in a rapid speed, while suffering from mania. The next goal is to get me back on a plane, train, or other methods of transportation. I haven’t held onto the door as of late. This is where that generalized anxiety disorder comes into play. I was supposed to meet Mick Foley, and I ran the other direction. I can’t deal with social settings. We got me outside. Now we’re working on getting me to talk to people. I’m a writer and I’m supposed to talk to people. It’s extremely hard for me to do. Marketing is where I’m suffering at. My husband brought me out inside a store and I stood there crying. I wanted to go home. Malls, concerts, comic-cons, and things where a large group of people gather, I can’t mentally handle all of that. I’m afraid someone will hurt me. Two things happened to me that caused me to have that fear. Once as a child and once as a teenager. I won’t go to parties anymore either. If I can’t see an exit door, I’m gone. I hate shopping. I’ll have another meltdown and start crying in a store.

The PTSD, we’re still working on that. A certain smell or noise will bring me to a flashback from my past and I’ll curl on the floor in a ball. Then it will trigger the Borderline. I call Borderline, my demon. For control, I’ll either pull out my hair in clumps or cut my legs or arms. I have scars down my wrists. Not that deep, but with someone suffering from Anemia, cutting isn’t a good thing. The last time I cut was in October of last year. October through March are bad months for me. But, I’m getting better. When your kid looks at your arms, you can’t hide those wounds. They become sad for you. Another thing I would do is not eat for days.

People assume that mania means you’re a crazy person on the loose with a gun/knife. They assume you’re going to hurt them or someone else. That is not the case with me. I can’t hurt a fly, without getting upset. My kids are well-adjusted. They have manners and get good grades. They know when mommy is sick. I have other people around me constantly. Not for their safety, but for mine. “But you have explosive anger.” Not since my teen years. It’s been a long time, since I had my rage. My rage came from my dad not showing up as he promised. Because my mom was a difficult person, he didn’t want to deal with her, so he stayed away. He would only come on child support day, which was once every two weeks. Sometimes he would stay long and sometimes he would just leave fifteen minutes later. Staying away from me only made things worse for me. Since we countered that issue, my husband has seen a dramatic improvement. It helped me when my parents apologized to me for all the stuff they did. I seen some stuff that I always thought it was because of me. If I wasn’t sick all the time. If I did my homework on time. If I didn’t pick a fight with my older brother. I beg parents, please don’t fight in front of your kids! Even if you hate each other, please don’t do it.

They say kids are resilient. I obviously wasn’t resilient. I still can’t handle people screaming at each other, today. I became one of those insecure children, who had their first suicide attempt at age 10. And whatever you do, don’t put your kids in the middle of your fights. We only understand that mommy and daddy aren’t happy together. When you call the other bad names, we think we’re bad too. And don’t hold up a picture to them and state this will be our new mommy or daddy, if you choose to date again. I only have one mom and one dad. I didn’t ask your girlfriend at the time to parent me. Nobody will knock my mom off of her pedestal. Even though she had issues and still does, she’s my mom. Your new wife will never replace her. She carried me for nine months and birthed me. If it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t be here. But at the same coin, don’t keep us away from either parent. I needed my dad and he wasn’t there. He missed my high school graduation, my wedding, and father-daughter dances. Do you realize how much that sucks, when you’re the only girl without a dad? Thankfully, my older brothers and uncles stepped up. They shouldn’t have to do that. That’s why, I hated Brownies and sporting events, I was involved in. They always had father-daughter days and mine would never show up. Alienating the father figure isn’t a good idea. I don’t care if he drank or did drugs, that was my dad. I came from him too. If I could have changed things, I would have. I would have asked for my parents to share custody of me. Even today, my mom still bashes my dad. This time, I have the power to tell her to shut up. You loved him enough to create me. Don’t bash him now.

I’ve been married to my second husband since May 14th, 2006. He acts as my therapist at times. I remember going on our second date and I informed him right away that I have Borderline, Bipolar, and Anxiety. If he wanted to not date me again, he was free to walk away. He chose to read up on all of my diagnosis and stayed. He refuses to go to bars or play sports with the guys. He is extremely family oriented. He’s a great father and a husband. I married the best man. It took forever for me to agree to marry him. He puts in safeguards for me. To ease my anxiety, he will type me and let me know he made it to work. He will also lock down any manuscript, I’ve worked on. That’s to keep me from deleting everything. Which, I’ve deleted my previous blogs. Someone says the wrong thing, we delete. That is the Borderline talking. So, he read everything and chose Dialectical Behavior Therapy. He is able to challenge my thoughts and get me thinking a different way. This was a work in progress. We had our stumbling blocks, but he makes sure that he never yells at me. He’s never hit me. He has restrained me from doing something stupid. This year, I have improved drastically. My therapist made him take over my therapy session. She pointed at him. “You need to listen to him. He’s doing my job for me and for free.” Needless to say, I let him in.

My mind always believes that people have an ulterior motive. So trust is a big issue for me. The only person I can trust is my husband. In the beginning, I was wild. Today with therapy, I’ve done a complete 360. We have eliminated my triggers and focused on the future. All I wanted was for my dad to say he was sorry. He finally said that to me. A huge weight off my shoulders has been eliminated. But, I’ll always suffer from mental health disorders. It doesn’t define who I am. It just means I went through a lot of shit to get to the healing point. Now to work on my social anxiety disorder. This post is a big step in the right direction.

Also note that I have uncles, cousins, and siblings who suffer from Bipolar and Anxiety. I suspect my older sister also has BPD, but she doesn’t believe there’s anything wrong with her. Schizophrenia also runs in our DNA line. But majority of us have Bipolar.

I can’t change who I was, but I can change who I am. It’s just taking me a lot longer than others to make it this far. We use Fish Oil, no-gluten, and organic foods. I’ve noticed the difference already. If I return to that dark spot, then I’ll go on Lamictal. But right now, I’m still manic, but I’m doing much better off medications than on them. It also helps my autoimmune diseases, which that’s another post in itself. I’m not crazy, I’m just a little unwell. But I’ll be okay.

Jen

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