This morning, my husband got a call from his mother. I could tell from the look on his face that it was bad. She had a colonoscopy a few days ago. The doctor called and said they wanted to see her right away. Just with that information alone, I knew it couldn’t be good. It turns out that she has cancer. I’m not sure what kind, I just know the doctor said it’s all over her abdomen. They gave her a year to live.
When my husband told me, I started to cry. I’m not sure how to help my husband through this, although I feel like I should be able to do so. When I was 12, my dad was diagnosed with cancer. They gave him 3 years to live and he lived for 6 years. I’ve lost a parent. I know how hard it is. I just don’t know how to help someone else go through it.
I suppose the only things I can do to help is to be there for both my husband and mother-in-law. I can offer my assistance to both of them. I can be there to talk, if either of them want that. Basically, I can just be there.
I love my mother-in-law and I enjoy the time I spend with her. We get together (without my husband) and play Pinochle about once a week. I’m going to spend as much time with her as I can. She’s a wonderful loving person.
This is bringing up a lot of feelings from when my dad was diagnosed and when he died. I’m sure that this will continue to bring up a lot of emotions. I’ve dealt with them before; I can do it again.
I have difficulty with a lot of things. I have an extremely hard time saying no to people. I struggle to stand up for myself. Even when someone asks me what I want to do, I have a hard time answering them. I would rather do something I don’t want to do and be unhappy (without saying I’m unhappy, of course) that tell someone what I really want. Life feels like a giant problem, as if it’s an obstacle I may never complete, but I’m not giving up.
My ex, from before I got sober, was very abusive. I suppose that it just became second nature to do whatever he wanted. I would never dare to say no to him; I knew what the punishment would be if I didn’t behave properly. Even though he’s gone, I still react that way. I want to stop putting others before myself, but I haven’t been able to. Reacting the way I do is a force of habit. It has nothing to do with the people I’m with today, such as my husband, family, or friends; it has everything to do with me.
I’m curious if others experience this same issue. When someone asks me how I’m doing, or what’s wrong, I don’t know how to answer them. I know I don’t feel right, but I have no clue what’s wrong. I’m not sure if this is a normal for others that have bipolar disorder. Maybe this is a result of the ECT.
Does anyone else have this same issue? If so, how do you deal with it?
I have been through many depressive episodes as well as several manic episodes. When I was 24, I first started going through a major manic episode, then a huge depressive episode; I had absolutely no control over either. My job was trying to help me through it. They let me work from home for a while, but my symptoms just kept getting worse. I went on short-term disability, then long-term disability, and then finally on social security disability. I ended up moving across the country to go live with my mom because I couldn’t take care of myself.
After I made it through a pretty big depressive episode when I was approximately 25, I got another tattoo to remind me of what I went through. The tattoo is on my left hip and the drawing is actually based off of me (I was skinnier then). I stayed with my mom for approximately 2½ years. I moved back to Arizona in 2011 when I started dating the guy who is now my husband. We were best friends for years before we started dating. He always said we would end up together, and I always told him he was wrong. I had to admit that I was wrong and he was right. Most of the time, my husband or my mom notices when I’m beginning to go through another episode, and when I’m beginning to make noticeable changes and come out of an episode. They recognize my symptoms and do what they can to help. Every episode and all of my symptoms appear slightly differently every time.
My depressive symptoms generally include some mixture of a lack of energy, over-sleeping, overeating, feeling worthless, and physical pain. These are only some of the most common symptoms that I can think of. There are many more symptoms that I can’t think of at this moment. My manic symptoms are often more easy to see. They include no sleeping, excessive energy, easily distracted, racing thoughts, and more. I make sure that the people close to me know what my symptoms are and what normal is like for me so they can help me catch my episodes early. We don’t have to go through our episodes alone.
I’m getting frustrated pretty easily. I keep pushing my frustration down, but maybe that’s not the best thing to do. Yesterday, my car decided not to start. It ended up working out okay, but it pissed me off when it happened. It’s just another thing to add to the list of crap that I’m dealing with.
When I get frustrated, I generally get very quiet. I usually don’t talk, smile, or do anything; I’m just there. Every once in a while, I will vent to my mom or my husband. I think I should allow myself to express my frustration, otherwise I’m afraid it will erupt at some point.
I wasn’t always like this. I used to be able to express my frustration and anger, but now, even the idea of it scares me. I even get scared when I’m around others that are full-blown angry because I don’t know what’s going to happen. I have a fear of the unknown. I need to find a happy medium. I know it’s not healthy to be angry every day, but it’s also not healthy to pretend not to be angry.
The past two or three weeks have been extremely busy, emotional, difficult, and anxiety provoking. Due to my new busy schedule, writing my blog every day got pushed out of my daily duties. Once I stopped writing a couple of days in a row, it because a pattern. I stopped writing it on my to do list, and I even stopped thinking about it. Luckily, a follower of mine commented on one of my last posts, reminding me how important it is to keep writing. Blogging is not only beneficial for myself, but it apparently also helps others.
I went for a hike this afternoon with my husband and mother-in-law. We hiked a place called Thunderbird Mountain, which is where we used to take Cash for walks. Cash would always wear his backpack (he was a big dog, 88 pounds). He would carry his water and ours. Every time he saw another person or another dog, it seemed as if he was showing off his backpack, like he was proud to be wearing it. My husband and I spread his ashes over a lot of different places all the way up the hiking trail. This way, he can continue to enjoy hiking. It was extremely emotional; saying goodbye to Cash again, for the final time, was hard. I held onto his ashes all day. Letting go of him was difficult, but it was actually a little easier than I expected because of the way we decided to say goodbye.
Over the past week, I have been getting a rash that seems to keep growing every day. It’s extremely itchy and annoying. My doctor doesn’t know what it is, but it’s not contagious. They do know that it’s not chicken pox, mumps, measles, or shingles. We’re trying to figure out what the cause could be. The rash didn’t start until a week after we moved into our new house. Oh well, I just have to put up with it and try not to scratch until it goes away.
I’ve been having a hard time staying in contact with friends lately. I think it’s my bipolar depression that makes me not want to connect with people; even when I want to connect with people, it’s a difficult activity. It takes a lot of work to stay in contact with people. Talking to people, whether they are family or friends, often feels like work, even when I’m talking to people who I want to talk to. It maybe something similar to emotional detachment, or it could be a reaction from my PTSD due to fear.
I do my best to stay in contact with a couple of people, such as my husband and mother. However, it gets harder and harder as time goes on. I’ve always been such a talker, so I find it weird that talking to people is so difficult for me. I notice that as time goes on, I talk to fewer people. Especially my friends; I let go of them when I’m struggling because it’s too much for me to manage. While I separate myself from them, I’m thinking of them often. When I’m doing better, I then try to reach out to my friends. I’m lucky enough to have friends and family members understand what I’m going through and they don’t judge me for separating myself from them.