I have bipolar disorder, anxiety, PTSD and OCD. It’s not easy living with me sometimes, especially if I forget to take my meds. I also have a history of drug and alcohol abuse. I am 41 years old, and I have spent most of the first 40 years stretching my body and mind to their limits. I have put myself in quite a few disastrous situations. I have stared death in the face many times but the Lord has always stepped in and kept me safe.
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Approximately three years ago I started noticing that something wasn’t quite right. At first it was little things, like putting my glasses in a desk drawer instead of on my nightstand like I normally would. That was just the beginning. It progressed rapidly. Within months I was forgetting things more often. I would have a doctor’s appointment and instead of going to my doctor’s office, I would almost arrive at one of my children’s doctor’s offices before realizing I had forgotten where I was going.
One of my favorite movies is Silver Linings Playbook. It is the first mainstream movie I’ve ever seen that accurately depicts the specific symptoms that each character has. It goes into great detail about delusions, manic episodes, depression and all around bipolar symptoms. It even goes as far as demonstrating the way people with mental illness deal with relationships, friendships and family issues.
I have had quite a bit going on lately. I would like to share with you some of the things that have been keeping me so busy. As summer wound down last year, I went back to work. Why is this important – because I have been on disability since April of 2011. Things had happened and I thought I was going to lose my disability. So I started looking for a job I thought I could handle.
Everyone deals with anxiety at some point in their lives. When you’re getting ready to argue or fight, it is that exact emotion that causes your hands to shake. It can cause you to start to feel warm or even for you to start sweating a little. Those are our bodies’ natural reactions to anxiety.
It’s amazing to me to think that on November 1st of this year my ex-husband and I will have been split for 9 yrs. I think about the person I was back then and it terrifies me. I was so unstable, unsure of myself and had no direction in life. I was in a dark hole and spiraling out of control. Sometimes I think back and I want to say, “I still can’t believe he cheated on me!” But our marriage was not a happy one. We argued constantly. I was not happy in my own skin. I was still undiagnosed and had no clue what was wrong with me. All I knew is I felt like I was living a nightmare.
I have Bipolar Disorder. That’s not unusual. I also have fibromyalgia.
Around Christmas I got into an argument with my ex-husband, no big surprise there. Communication has never been our strongest asset. Anyway during the argument he said some things that really upset me and have really stayed with me. He said, “Quit playing the victim and living off the system all the time and quit teaching your children how to play the victim.”
Angel was diagnosed with rapid cycling bipolar disorder, general anxiety disorder and major depressive disorder years after battling a life of alcohol and drug addictions as well as abusive relationships and two unhealthy marriages. Both marriages each resulted in a miracle, giving Angel two wonderful daughters. Her oldest daughter was also diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of 7, and then rediagnosed with the additions of psychotic tendencies, general anxiety disorder, major depressive disorder, ADHD and ODD by the age of 10.