With my addition to the Rocky Top Brigade, I have an expanded readership and I wanted to explain a few things to all who manage to find my blog.
I was an IT manager until I had a negative reaction to a drug that exacerbated an undiagnosed Bi-Polar Disorder. I am actually now a Fast Cycling Bi-Polar. A “normal” person who suffers from BPD can spend months or years in a manic or depressive swing. I can switch in a matter of minutes. I have gone from manic like Robin Williams to suicidal faster than you can spin around. I have no stability in my emotional control and must take care about getting too excited or depressed. I am taking a variety of psychotropic drugs that have “smoothed” out my swings, but I still suffer from them. I am doing my best to stay slightly depressed so the manic swings aren’t too bad.
There are times I get overstimulated. This is where “closet time” comes in. This means that I am out of control of my thoughts and emotions and the only thing I can do is crawl into my small hall closet, close the door behind me and scream, cry and whimper for a couple of hours in the dark.
My mental illness has cost me my career, my home and my family. I can no longer work in the fast paced IT industry, I would have to spend my lunch hour whimpering under my desk. With the loss of my $50k job, I could not keep my piece of the American Dream. My wife and son held on to me for as long as they could, but in the end they had to cut me loose for their own survival. My family lives on my disability and I work part time driving around people who also suffer from mental illness.
This gives me plenty of time to think. And I am imparting my thoughts and what I go through to this blog. This is one way the people in my life (friends, family, case manager) can see how I am doing so they can catch me if I get too far out of kilter. I’m been pretty lucky, it’s been a year since my last hospital stay. That’s the longest I’ve stayed out since I became sick 5 years ago.
It’s been a scary roller coaster ride so far and there is no end in sight. It’s taken me this long to find any drugs that had any effect on my condition at all. I’ve been through most of the drugs that treat BPD, and I am currently on a combination of “last-resort” drugs and those brand new to the market.
Wish me luck. I need it.