A taste of my Bipolar Disorder challenges

Just in case the previous post has given you the idea that my life with Bipolar Disorder is a breeze,  here are some points to take into consideration:

  1. The meds I am taking caused me to gain weight.  A lot of weight.  Trust me,  you don’t wanna know how much.  And it’s not easy to get rid of.
  2. Never thought I would be actually meeting a dietician.  Me on a diet?  Bwahahaha!  Well,  I won’t be.  Which brings me to the second point.

  3. The meds I am taking suck even more, because now I am struggling with the onset of Diabetes.  Cuz,  you know,  I gained a lot of weight.
  4. But even worse,  certain meds that I need from time to time actually seriously increase the chance of getting Diabetes.  Hence the dietician in my very near future.

    I already have made certain food changes, but I need to make some more to combat further development.  No diet – that is temporarily.  Those changes?  They are for real and most likely for life.

    Truthfully – most changes don’t bother me.  Okay – giving up drinking dry,  red wine because the alcohol in combination with my meds make me depressed,  wasn’t fun.  But giving up chips (crisps,  for the British among you) and liquorice?!?!  Real.Bad.News.

  5. I am a night owl and have lived an irregular life since…. well,  forever,  I guess.  BUT.  Right now?  I would serve myself best if I would keep a pretty regular schedule.
  6. You know,  things like going to bed and getting up at the same time every day, taking my meds at the same time every day,  eating all my meals like breakfast, lunch and dinner at the same time every day and have regular healthy snacks in between to keep everything on an even keel.

    No big deal, right?  But,  for me, it is.  Cuz changing life-long habits is hard people,  really hard.  Also,  at heart I am a rebel.  I just wanna do things my way,  whenever I want to.  *sigh*  No,  change that to *very BIG sigh*.

  7. Having to cancel whatever plans I have,  because I ended up in one of my funky,  unruly,  unmanageable moods,  be it the up or down swing.  Can be pretty challenging for friendships.
  8. If you have a friend or family member with Bipolar Disorder,  please understand that we do this not on purpose. Truth is,  I hate to cancel plans at the last moment as much as the other party.

    But trust me,  very few friends can handle being around me when I am severely depressed or getting over-the-edge hypo manic.  Even in my hypo manic or ‘just’ depressed state I am pretty intense for them.  It is not fair to expect them to handle more than they are comfortable with.  Difficult and painful for both parties.

  9. Not being understood.  A few examples.  People not understanding why I was not diagnosed earlier.  People thinking that you can or should just ‘snap out of it’.  Or that you should use your will power.
  10. Believe me – if I had a choice in the timing of my diagnosis,  or if I could just ‘snap out’ of depression / hypo mania,  or if I could change it all by will power – I WOULD.

    The problem?  It doesn’t work that way.  The biggest problem?  The people who think they know how to deal with what I have,  but really don’t.

    Because after several years and hard work,  I am now well on my way of accepting my particular life-mood-swing,  it has become easier to deal with the fall out of point 5.  Unfortunately,  it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt.  You know what I mean?

Even though there is a whole lot more to say about it,  this is enough food for thought for now,  me thinks. 😉

Any questions?  Please,  leave a comment.  I am very happy to try to answer them.


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10 responses to “A taste of my Bipolar Disorder challenges

  1. Hello my fellow rebellious night-owl! Thank you so much for writing this post – I can’t imagine how many stigmas you must face about it! Letting people know where you’re coming from is a great way to bridge the gap and educate them. How long have you been battling this? Your whole life?
    Here’s my 2cents about your wine and chip hiatus: Eat red grapes and pretend they are wine! Or better yet – get some grape juice and pour it in a wine glass! And for the chips – try making your own – out of veggie slices! Do you like veggies? Zucchini chips are easy to make!

    • Fenny

      Bianca, thanks so mcuh for coming by and reading! Writing is one thing (& totally my pleasure), but nothing without readers 😉
      Yes, I have it all my life. It got much worse after age 15 with real bad depressions. I was misdiagnosed (as happens often), until my life spiralled out of control in 2005-2006. I was finally diagnosed in Jan 2007. Since 2005 it has been a real battle. It seems as if life is now heading in a better direction, even though because it went untreated for so long it is harder to handle. Oh well. The longer version is in 2 posts a while back.
      Yeah, stigma. I refuse to be stigmatised, but unfortunately insurances and employers think differently about that 😦 Most people I know and even friends don’t raise the subject. Big reason why I started this blog.
      Thanks for the food suggestions! Unfortunately I am struggling with onset diabetes and high cholestrol too 🙂 double whammy re fat and not-natural sugar. Most juices, if not freshly made, have sugar or its equivalent added on to it. I shouldn’t be eating any chips or deep fried stuff. *deep sigh*
      Any thoughts on that?
      Oh – and I DO love me my veggies, can’t live without them. Am not too good with fruit – but fresh smoothies…. yum! But I can only have 2 pieces of fruit a day (sugar, grrr).
      ok, I’ll stop, it’s getting the size of a post lol

  2. I really enjoyed reading your posts on bipolar. My brother was diagnosed with it a few years ago (although we always knew something was up), and sometimes it’s SOO hard to deal with him, but it really helped to read about it from your perspective.

    • Fenny

      Welcome Suz and I think your blog Rocks. And actually, you too! Wow, you’re real determined to get there! Kudos to you! I luv your humor and writing style.
      Sorry, to hear that your brother has Bipolar. I am glad this blog helped you in a small way. It IS hard to deal with us at times. Knowledge is power – but also if possible: to talk about it with him during his good times.
      Feel free to ask any question you have – I am more than happy to try and answer from my perspective, knowledge and experience. In fact, I’d love to get some questions.
      Good luck with all the pebbles 😉 I’ll keep reading what you’re up to next!

  3. Hi Fenny,

    I am another rebellious night owl that been getting tied down by a seemingly unfair medicine schedule!! What a mess! I have heard comments from friends that say, “At times you define yourself too much by your disease,” (Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension). They may be right, but that’s only because this crazy thing has been doing wonders to re-define ME!

    Your post hits so many points right on the head for anyone suffering a chronic illness. I know I was beginning to think I had completely gone mad before I found a group of fellow sufferers on dailystrength.org. I had tears in my eyes as I read discussion post after discussion post of people who had the same symptoms, same misdiagnoses, same misunderstandings from friends and loved ones! It was the first time I didn’t feel alone (and nuts) and THAT made me so much stronger in my fight!

    I can tel you one thing about the crazy, medicine-routine and me finally going to see a nutritionist for my issues – I have lost over 30 pounds (and still going) JUST by changing the way I eat. It is nuts, but it has helped tremendously. I now look to food as a way to nourish me and maybe even help in the overall healing process. I am working toward it, step by step, but it was worth the re-examination of what I eat. I am right with you, though I DON’T DO DIETS – NEVER HAVE, DON’T THINK I EVER WILL, itis a lifestyle change. Never easy, but sometimes better in the end 🙂

    Good luck Fenny!!!

    • Fenny

      Ah, time to open our own forum for rebellious night owls!!! 😉 Welcome Nicole!
      I am so glad you found a group of fellow sufferers – I read on Wiki to find out what this IIH was – yuck. No, make that triple yuck!
      It’s so easy for ‘outsiders’ to have an opinion about you without really knowing what you are dealing with / what they are talking about. Especially when you are confronted with your symptoms many times a day. Like in having to watch what you eat, like with Krohns. It’s in your face all the time.
      I should be watching what I eat, since my meds have changed my digestive system – but I can’t really make head or tail out of it. The only thing I know for sure is that fatty stuff like chips (my weakness), esp. deep fried stuff are troubling for me most of the time. Unfortunately it doesn’t keep me from eating it, despite the cramps etc.
      No, it’s not nuts that you lost weight that way – and I am profoundly happy for you! Well done!!! May it continue till you get to your comfy and proper weight! Has it helped to ease the IIH?
      Continue to take care of and be nice to yourself!
      And thanks for coming by and showing comment-luv 🙂

  4. Hi there Fenny 🙂
    I admire what you’re doing with this blog. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that you’re helping more people than you’ll ever know about. The general public, I feel, really doesn’t understand what people with bipolar go through, or how it feels from your end of things. Shedding light on the situation from your perspective is not only brave, but I think it’s an important step towards understanding.
    Keep doin’ what you’re doin’ Fenny!

  5. Fenny

    Hi Ginger,
    Thanks for stopping by. You make me blush 😉
    Can’t keep my mouth shut about stuff I am passionate about, I guess. Might do another blog on human trafficking and prostitution once I get the hang of this blog stuff. Oops, now it is public…… oh well.
    You write as if you know more about the stigma side of mental illness and the like, no?
    Thanks for the encouragement, much appreciated!!!

  6. I’m late coming to this post but thanks for linking up with me for Fledgling Friday!

    I love that you blog about this and share the experiences you have, especially the challenges. It helps so much to understand people better.

    • Hi Mama Robin! The later the merrier 🙂

      I will join for other Fridays once I am well again – I really love your idea!

      Thanks for the compliment, much appreciated 😉

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