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Fighting My Demons: Bipolar II

It’s no secret that I have had some bipolar II issues lately.
I have been on 3 medications for a short time now and thought that I was doing pretty well.  All seemed okay on the exterior.  But as anyone with a mental illness knows, you can always fake a pretty exterior.
You can always make other people think that you are doing fine, that you are happy and that life is so good you may burst.

I went off of one of the medications (Dr approved) due to a few complications and found that my mental state wasn’t as sharp as it was before. I didn’t feel as stable, as secure, as much like me as I should. Plus there was also a large bomb that went off in our house. As any bipolar knows, keeping secrets to keep the peace or to keep the power is as normal as breathing.
I was keeping a doozy of a secret from Jeff.
The man who wants to marry me, the man who loves me, the man who I feel that I can tell anything to.
I couldn’t tell him about this.
My inner-bipolar brain told me to keep it from him.  He would be angry.  He would leave me.  He wouldn’t understand. He’ll never find out.

But he found out.
I have what many bipolar people have…a spending addiction.
Many bipolars get addictions quite easily; sex, spending money, gambling, alcohol and drugs all top the charts.
I already know that alcohol makes my bipolar disorder get angry, punchy and allows me to make bad choices.  This is why I stick to having a beer or two, I don’t like to lose control of myself.
I am not a drug user so I don’t have to worry about that.
And spending money.  Boy can I spend some money.  This isn’t even the first time that I have had an episode and spent this amount of money.  It is actually the third time.  Luckily for me, third time has been the charm. Getting caught in my lie was probably one of the best things that has happened to me in a long time.

Thousands and thousands of dollars later, I am reevaluating my financial future…what’s left of it.  I am going to be digging myself out of a deep hole for the foreseeable future.  All because of a phase of hypomania where I told myself that spending that amount of money was okay and was warranted. I told myself it was okay to get new things.  All the time.  That it is what everyone did.  I told myself these things and didn’t even once think of the consequences.  I told myself I didn’t have to.  Everything would work out somehow.

Jeff and I went to the psychiatrist yesterday, talked through some issues of mine, got me on a new treatment plan. Lithium. I have never taken lithium before so this will be a new step in my treatment.  I have never taken any kind of mood stabilizer.  I didn’t know that my mood needed stabilizing. But after looking back on past actions I can tell that my mood has been unstable for around…um…forever.

Well, here I am.
Thousands of dollars in debt.
Standing next to the man I love, who is helping me fight my bipolar II by my side.
Even with  some guaranteed rough times in our future, he is determined to help me through this.
Did I get lucky with Jeff or what?

  • http://rustbeltrunner.com Holly

    Sorry to hear Amanda. You have a strong support system. I’m glad you have Jeff.

    Stupid question… can you return any of the items purchased? Or get a refund?

    • http://therearetwosides.com Amanda @ There Are Two Sides

      No, unfortunately/fortunately I bought only things I needed. New running gear, new work clothes…nothing big and extreme that could get returned.

  • http://chasinbunnies.blogspot.com Lisa

    Awwwww. So glad you have someone there for you as you continue to work through this and find the right treatment plan.

    • http://therearetwosides.com Amanda @ There Are Two Sides

      Thank you Lisa, I am lucky to have him.

  • Sasha Karimi

    I have been following your blog for a while and just want to say thank you for sharing your personal struggles. I hope that this doesn’t come off as selfish…it helps me when I read your blog to know that I am not alone and that they are other people dealing with mental health issues as well. I struggle myself with a lot of anxiety and OCD. I hope that the new treatment works well for you and congrats on your future wedding.

    • http://www.therearetwosides.com amanda @ There Are Two Sides

      Sasha, that is why I share this all so openly, to possibly help someone else who is in the same type of situation I am in. I know how much I search the internet to see if what I am feeling is ‘normal’, so I am happy that people can relate and hopefully feel more normal themselves, knowing that other people are going through the same things.
      Also, thank you for reading!

  • Alex

    Some of the things you said, like keeping secrets to keep the peace, or faking it on the outside fit me to a T. I thought I was the only one being so deceitful and sneaky, so thank you for being so open about your struggle. Jeff definitely sounds like a great guy, when I have my ‘phase’, I usually think I don’t deserve my husband and I find myself building walls to keep him out. I think it’s great that he goes with you to the dr., together you can fight this much better. :)

    • http://www.therearetwosides.com amanda @ There Are Two Sides

      Alex, I am awesome at having people think that everything is okay from the outside, you just get better and better at hiding your true feelings and your different phases. I am open with it, because we shouldn’t feel ashamed of our illnesses, we should learn to understand them and move on with our lives. If I can help only one person understand their feelings better through my personal struggle, then I feel that sharing my life is the best thing I could have done.

  • Doreen L

    Thanks for sharing. I have bipolar as well and found that a mood stablizer really did the thing for me. It is so needed so highs do not occur. My thing was alcohol and now that I have taken it away and have no secrets, I feel so free. You will as well. Having no secrets equals having no major stress equals freedom. It took me awhile to find the right combination of medications that were perfect for me. You will find it, as well.
    Air Hugs and hug that man of yours..:)

    • http://www.therearetwosides.com amanda @ There Are Two Sides

      Thank you Doreen. I am really hoping that the mood stabilizer does the trick! Alcohol makes me mean and have really poor judgement…once you learn what triggers you, you learn to stay far away from it!
      Thank you so much for your comment~

  • Amy

    I love you, Amanda, and I hope that the new medication helps you out. You are one strong and brave girl for sharing this with everyone and you have an amazing man in Jeff :)

    • http://www.therearetwosides.com amanda @ There Are Two Sides

      Thank you Amy!!!
      Hey, I’ll be in TX again this fall, hope to see you!

  • Michele

    Glad you have a new med to try. You are lucky to have Jeff and he is lucky to have you! Lean on your support system. People love you :)