Who the Heck Am I Now?? - Page 2Register Today!
- May 30, '12 by VivaLasViejasQuote from rn/writerI love this!!! The idea of "embracing all my mental landscape, appreciating the lovely gardens, and filling in the divots as needed" provides some great visuals (especially when I know some of those are "steaming" divots), as well as a hearty dose of optimism. Miranda, as always.....you nailed it!Aw, swweetie, you're still the "you" we've always known and loved.
Getting your diagnosis didn't really alter your identity. It just put some blurry things (that were there all along) into focus.
As far as your self-perception goes, isn't it just a teensy bit easier to look at some of the whacko moments--times when even you couldn't explain what you were doing or why you were doing it--and know there was a reason for them other than sheer perversity?
No one who has taken the time to know you will see this as anything but a victory. Naming the "enemy" gives you power to live well in spite of whatever it throws at you. I put enemy in quotes because bipolar is such an odd duck. For all the havoc it can wreak, it can also make you funny and energetic and creative. Just look at your fabulous and heart-felt writing.
Maybe the best thing to do is embrace all of your mental landscape. Appreciate the lovely gardens and fill in the divots as needed.
You are a treasure, mood swings and all.
A friend of mine on another website sent me an avatar that says: "I hate being bipolar---it's AWESOME!" It's an odd duck indeed......I loathe it for the most part, but there are some parts of having this thing that are a lot of fun. My mood chart looks like a bad map of L.A. But there is always something to keep me going. Today, it's all these wonderful responses to something I wrote.
- May 31, '12 by VivaLasViejasStatistics have shown that somewhere between 60% and 80% of patients with BP have substance abuse issues. IOW, we tend to self-medicate with ETOH, drugs, even food. So yes, I think there could be a connection between the alcohol problems and the BP; I've been abstinent for two decades, but even sobriety didn't fix the original problem. Hmmmm....no wonder I can't stay out of the ice cream!
- May 31, '12 by morte...and there has been some thought expressed about dysglycemia and ETOH abuse as well...Quote from VivaLasViejasStatistics have shown that somewhere between 60% and 80% of patients with BP have substance abuse issues. IOW, we tend to self-medicate with ETOH, drugs, even food. So yes, I think there could be a connection between the alcohol problems and the BP; I've been abstinent for two decades, but even sobriety didn't fix the original problem. Hmmmm....no wonder I can't stay out of the ice cream!
- May 31, '12 by CheesePotatoGood morning, my lovely--
I could babble endlessly personal experiences and other useless dribble, but I find that in light of lack of coffee, economy of words will have to suffice for today.
You = the awesomeness.
Think about it. You have survived, battled, used, upheld, and built a life...a wonderful, successful life...with an unknown shadow dogging your heels. And now....now you know the bastard's name.
In the words of someone far more ancient and wise than I:
"Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster." ~~Sun Tzu~~
In the broad scheme of things, I am not much: a faceless stranger (in more ways than one) at a keyboard with an addiction to caffeine and a strange desire to hoard cheese.
But if you ever need a sounding board, a word, a moment--I am here.
Forgive any spelling errors. I am the victim of smart phones and the rage.
- May 31, '12 by VivaLasViejasNow THAT is a magnificent post! Thank you But you'd better watch out, because I just may take you up on your offer
BTW, you are quite a writer yourself......and I am SO stealing that quote. You ROCK!!!
- Jun 2, '12 by sandanrnstudentThank you so much for writing this Viva. I am at an earlier stage in my life, having been diagnosed with multiple mental illnesses (one of which is bipolar) and two medications to boot. And why am I here on this forum? Because I'm starting nursing school in August. My goal as of now is to be a psych nurse and hopefully be one as good as a few that have helped me thru when I was at rock bottom, in patient.
It's been a couple years since I found myself in a psych ward, but even with meds, its a daily struggle to keep from going back. I have huge amounts of enthusiasm and want to conquer great things in my life, it just feels like I'm my own worst enemy most days.
Sorry for the ramble, but thank you so much for inspiring me. It's nice to know that life can become a success when one is caught behind the 8 ball.
Sincerely and with respect,
- Jun 2, '12 by VivaLasViejasThank you, very much!
There's a thread in the Nurses with Disabilities forum called "Just Us and Others: The Mood Disorders Support Thread" that you might find interesting. Over time it seems to have evolved into more of a bipolar support group than anything else, but I still encourage folks with any kind of mood disorder to stop by and post......we all need a place to vent!
Now, about your career goals: I think it's admirable to aspire to a career in which you can help other people with mental illnesses, because you've walked that road and you can empathize with what they're going through. Some of the most awesome psych nurses (and nurses-to-be) I've ever met have battled depression, bipolar, OCD, ADHD, you name it! I even have a friend who's becoming a occupational therapist, and he was just dx'd with bipolar II. Guess where HE wants to work when he graduates?
The only caveat here is that you'll have to work very, very hard to maintain equilibrium, and be very, very disciplined with your meds, sleep hygiene, therapies/psych visits and so on. Nursing school is challenging enough without having a mental illness, and nursing itself is fraught with triggers that can spell disaster if you're not in control. But obviously, it CAN be done, because an awful lot of us have one (or more) of them!
You'll do fine. And with the combination of compassion, self-awareness, and knowledge that you already have, you'll be great!
- Jun 13, '12 by Dana1969Thank you for the wonderful post. It is inspirational.
But don't fuss and fret over the label of a "diagnosis". You are still the light you have always been, before and after the labeling.
I don't except the stimatism of "Psychiatric Illness." There is only biologically based illness, which may in your case manifest as signs and symptoms of a cognitive-behavioral nature. The cause of your illness may be a result of factors beyond your control (I don't know...perhaps the stress of nursing???). Modern life moves SO MUCH FASTER, than in previous generations, but we as human beings are not that far evolved from previous gens. My grandfather came west in a covered wagon during the dustbowl, taking a year to cross from Arkansas to California by way of Texas (with stops to work in the fields). Last year, I flew that route in around 9 hours. With no stops to pick cotton
As a nurse, my life moves at warp speed compared to Grandpa's. But I'm not any smarter, stronger, or tougher than he was. But I face more stress in a day than he saw in a month of toil in the fields. My life just moves at a much faster pace. That's reality
Perhaps yours does too. It's only natural for a few stress fractures to show up when life pushes you hard.
So give yourself a break, take your medicine, follow the course of treatment, and you'll be fine