Today and yesterday have been extremely difficult. Yesterday, I went with my mother-in-law to her doctor’s to get the biopsy results. She finally got a definitive diagnosis yesterday. It’s stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Now, she has to choose what type of chemo she will be doing. I’m extremely impressed by her acceptance as she goes through this.
Naturally, my husband is having a hard time with this. I wish I could do something to make it better, but I can’t. I know if there is anything I can do to help my husband, that he will tell me. That’s one of the great things about him. I know he will always be honest and upfront with me.
I’ve been through something similar. When I was young, my dad was diagnosed with cancer. He died when I was 18. I know how horrible it is to lose a parent, but I couldn’t imagine losing my mom. I’m trying to be supportive to my mother-in-law and my husband, but it’s harder than I expected. Everything that she goes through brings up memories if my father.
I wish I could leave; just get up and walk away from it all. However, even if I could, I wouldn’t. I want to, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to. I don’t want to deal with all of this, but I will. Instead of walking away, I’m going to be as supportive as possible. When I need to, I can vent by writing for my blog or by calling my mom (she’s very helpful).
I don’t wear short. Even in the horrible heat of the Arizona summer, when it’s 115 degrees out or more, I continue to wear blue jeans. And when I’m in my pajamas hanging out at home, either by myself or with my husband, I still wear pajama pants. I’ve never been comfortable wearing shorts, whether it’s in public or private. I don’t like my legs; they have always been bigger than others my own age. I don’t like to wear bathing suits, go swimming, or do anything else that would show my legs. I’m extremely self-conscious.
However, over the past couple of days, I have worn pajama shorts around the house by myself and when my husband was present. I even wore the pajama shorts out on a walk late at night, which was a huge step for me. I’m hoping that I can continue to move forward with this issue. I’m already wearing Capri pants. Maybe next year I’ll even allow myself to wear shorts during the summer.
Last night, my husband and I took Cash for a walk around our new neighborhood (he was feeling pretty good, he even ate his dinner!). We were moving things when we decided that we should check our mailbox, although that meant finding it first. So we walked around slowly for about 10 or 15 minutes. It was only 9pm, and the entire neighborhood was silent and the sky was clear so we could see the sky. We both love our new neighborhood! No more loud noises, gunshots, and other inappropriate things happening day or night. This is the perfect neighborhood for us.
I was diagnosed with Bipolar 1 disorder at a young age. I was 14 the first time I started treatment for mental health issues. It was my first visit to an inpatient behavioral health hospital. I have taken medication every day ever since that time in January of 1999 at the age of 14. I know that I will be on medication for the rest of my life; I don’t time mind as much when the medication is working. Bipolar is a treatable disorder, but it’s easier to treat for some than it is for others. My diagnosis includes treatment-resistant bipolar 1 disorder with psychosis. I give it all I’ve got, to treat my bipolar disorder.
No matter what, I do the best I can to feel okay with my current status, as long as I’m always working towards a healthy state. For me, that means taking my meds as my psychiatrist prescribes, going to support groups, communicating with friends and family, going to talk therapy appointments, and following all suggestions by doctors. I always do what I’m supposed to do, and I am sick and tired of doing it. Especially when what I’m doing isn’t effective or helping me in the way it’s supposed to.
I work hard every day and it feels as if my efforts go unnoticed by my bipolar disorder. I wish I could just stop my meds and I would somehow slip into a healthy state of mind, but I don’t have luck like that. Instead, I’m the kind of person whose mind and body would lose any mental status they had. That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try. Of course it’s going to be exhausting from time to time, and of course I’m going to want to give up now and then, but every time, I will remind myself that I am far better off than I am without the treatments. One day, the treatments and everything will work. I will finally get the break that I need.
I’m feeling slightly better today. I’m still upset about being labeled totally and permanently disabled, even though it’s what I needed to have happen. At least I’m not crying today like I was last night. Plus, it’s just a label; it doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll be disabled forever, even though it feels like that sometimes. It just sucks because I’m already doing everything I can do and the result is not very good. Oh well, at least I’m trying. I am proud of myself for doing all that I can do, whether it helps or not. If I wasn’t working at being healthy, then I wouldn’t be able to take pride in that aspect of my life.
I talked to my husband this morning about how I’m feeling. He kept trying to make me feel better; it was sweet and thoughtful. At least he cares enough to try. I have to give him credit for that.
I did sleep last night, but I didn’t fall asleep until 5am. I slept for 5 hours, which isn’t too bad. It’s better than not sleeping at all. I find it odd to be depressed but not sleeping very much. Usually, when I’m depressed, I sleep all the time. So does that mean I’m in a mixed state? Or can I have symptoms of both depression and mania, and still be in a depression? I’m not sure how it works. Anyway, hopefully things will continue to improve, even if it’s only one tiny bit at a time.
Yesterday ended up being a difficult day. The evening was the hard part. After my husband left for work, this deep heart-rending, wretched feeling set in. I started to feel ashamed of who I am; that is a feeling I haven’t felt in quite a while. I thought it was because of my weight, but that wasn’t it. I spent more time crying tonight than I have in months.
My mom called and we talked for a while. I started to tell her how I was feeling. As I was talking to her I figure out what the issue was. It was that my doctor completed my total and permanent disability paperwork. My therapist was also willing to do the paperwork if I needed it. Because of this paperwork, I realized that I had been on disability for 78 months. Wow, that is a long time. It’s something about being told I’m permanently disabled. I know it’s just a term, but it’s already been so long, and I’m not doing much better. I guess that’s why they diagnosed me as treatment resistant.
No matter what do or how hard I try, there’s always going to be a problem. I’ll go up and down; it will get better and worse, but the possibility of me becoming and staying stable is not likely. When my doctor filled out that paperwork for the total and permanent disability, he did so because he believes that to be true. He doesn’t believe that I will get back to fully functioning. I suppose I don’t believe I will get back to what I had before; a job and a social life. I don’t think everything is a failure; I’m just questioning it all.
The good thing is that I know this will pass. I will have an up-swing again, these feelings will go away, and I’ll deal with the problems of mania. At least my life stays interesting; it’s always something.
This is a saying I remember hearing over and over at my AA meetings. When I was getting sober, I was constantly told to pray for help to change. Change is not an easy thing, so I was told to pray for the courage to change. I am not a person that likes to pray, but when you’re desperate enough, you’ll try anything. I’ve now been sober for 12 years. At this time, I’m still having difficulties, just in a different area of my life. But I still need to work on changing, and I still need the courage to do so. I don’t feel like I have any courage. I feel weak and helpless, but my friends and family tell me that I’m a courageous person. Either I don’t see what they see, or they’re just wrong about me having courage. I suppose I’ll be positive about this and just assume that I’m not seeing what these other people are seeing.
One thing I know I’m good at doing and I keep trying. No matter how many times something fails or problems arise, I don’t give up. I guess others see this as courageous; I see this as desperate. I want to give up all the time; I’m not sure why I don’t. Maybe it’s because of my family. My entire family is so supportive and caring. They put a lot of energy into dealing with me. I feel like it’s the right thing to do to keep trying, if not for myself, then for my family.
I have learned that it’s okay to have fear, but don’t let that fear stop you from doing anything. I am in control of my life. I make the choices. I can choose to look fear in the face and keep moving forward. I have learned to never give up on myself. If I can’t do things for myself, then it’s okay to find another reason. For me, it’s my family. I wonder what other people use as their reason to keep moving forward. Does anyone want to share?