BPD; A love story.

For all my fellow mood-disorder equipped friends.



As most know, bipolar disorder has quite the stigma surrounding itself.  As if the word, bipolar, is a derogatory label slapped on the backs of those who feel the world a bit differently.  Everyone with BPD experiences the effects differently and as a matter of fact they have now set it on a spectrum.  Well, it’s a start, right?


I was diagnosed with BPD November 2010.  When I was first diagnosed, I didn’t bother looking into it, just slapped the label on and took the pills.  That was it.  As I got older, I started wondering why I do certain things the way I do.  For example, drugs, alcohol, risky sexual behaviors, risky behaviors in general, wearing clothing to match my moods, not sleeping, sleeping too much, obsessive behavior, and the manic rage.  All of these things I had thought were part of my personality which implied there was something fundamentally wrong with me, deep down.  BUT- as all with BPD (hopefully) know, that isn’t the case.  I got to the point where I needed to dig deep and find out how to even the playing field with bipolar as my opponent.

I am in an upswing right now- not yet manic but can feel it rolling in like a light and fluffy cloud sprinkled with glitter.  Now, the fact that I am mentally aware of that is a feat in itself.  Getting to that point took some time, though.  I think those with BPD wonder how many times did a manic or depressive episode change the course of their entire life.  I know mine did.  I think I’m ready to tell my full story, and hopefully it will inspire others to do the same.

I was 17 years old when I started cycling my moods.  My mother brought me to therapy, but wouldn’t explore the possibility that there may be something else going on.  So I was labelled as a bad kid, a risk taking teenager-but more so than your average bear.  I was with my boyfriend at the time, crazy in love, and yet- I slept with his roommate during a manic episode.  Did I want to?  Not at all.  I felt as if my hand was being pushed toward a direction my body didn’t want to go.   That night changed my entire life.  It’s funny how mania has that capability.  Everyone tends to worry more about the down swings with respect to safety, but the real killer is the mania.  Anyways, back to my story.  So, with said roommate, I shortly thereafter fell pregnant, as I was full blown manic off and on.  I was pressured into marrying him by his family and himself- so I went with the flow hoping it would be better.   It never got better- it got worse.  Several psych-ward stays, a multitude of tests, treatment facilities, and a purposely failed marriage later- I started to understand that this wasn’t going away.  This is something I have to harness.  It can be quite empowering, taking your mental health in your own hands.  I encourage all to do so- whether it be through support groups, meetings, one on one with doctors or another type of provider.  Once I learned why I do the things I do, and how to manage it- my real life became visible.

While I did start to understand more of my disorder, in my early 20s I still engaged in all the same behavior.  Which, of course, we all do at that point in life. With mine however, it went a little bit sideways.  I finally reconnected with the love of my life and lost it within a matter of months.  I started drinking myself to death in hopes that I wouldn’t have to feel the pain anymore. I didn’t want the person of whom I wanted to spend forever with to see or know about my BPD.  That alone is what ended it. I couldn’t be real- instead I people-pleased. With the stigma that surrounds it, or surrounded it at the time, I kept it in.  Hidden and locked.

After that, I became homeless, with my daughter. We ended up working really hard to obtain housing at the time, only to let a very dangerous man live with me.  While I thought it was for a few days, he refused to leave.  (This part of the story I never tell. It’s hidden deep down with all my lies and secrets surrounded by iron-rod thorns.)  Truthfully, I knew he dealt drugs. I just didn’t realize it was heavy drugs.  I didn’t know that his “friends” were all in the Latin Kings.  I didn’t realize what I let in- the devil himself.  The man had the blackest eyes I have ever seen. So again, I drank to hopefully walk out of this world-not seeking treatment or taking medication of any kind.  In the end, I was vulnerable and alone- and he took that and ran with it.  Even now, as I type, my hands are shaking at the thought of his face.  Images of the rape flood back to my brain, allowing myself to feel and heal.  I know there is a lot of talk about why women don’t report and I think it’s important that we address that.  For me, I didn’t call the police because I was in absolute shock.  I had a ring of black bruises around my neck left from strangulation and from the pressure of his hands on my throat, I couldn’t speak.  I couldn’t sit down, wear any thing tight fitting or even begin to grasp what had happened to me.   So here it is; a meth dealer anally raped, degraded and strangled me.  I said it.  It happened.  I am tired of hearing that women feel they need to sugar coat it or make it sound “pretty.” What happened was NOT pretty, and it’s okay to get it out.

After about three weeks of lying on the couch and staring out the window, I finally called the cops.  I don’t know what prompted it, but I am so glad I did.  I also reached out to the man I love, hoping to tell him what had happened and get support.  So, I went to him- and nothing would come out.  I couldn’t say it. I couldn’t say that the woman he loved was just vandalized from the inside out.  Because of that, I left. I actually found reprieve with my ex-husband and got sober.  While the relationship didn’t last, my zest for life did.  In 2011, my ex-husband attempted to injure or kill me on several occasions.  The last and final one included a large knife, and tons of cops.  During his arrest, I filed for divorce and was ready to move on.  I started dialectic behavioral therapy every day, started med-trials to figure out how to be in control of my own health, and got sober.  This led me back once again to the man I have been madly in love with since I was fifteen years old.  I went back in hopes of a healthy relationship- but he had found someone else.  It’s not like I expected him to wait for me… however, I had never thought there would be someone that could take him from me.  I realized he wasn’t mine to keep or give away and I moved on, quite literally and metaphorically.  I started a relationship similar to the one I wanted with him with someone else, unhappily giving in to life on life’s terms.   While it was manageable and I found times to try to be happy, I wondered if the man I love would ever return to my life.  I worked hard to remain sober, working on myself every step of the way. For nearly 7 years, I waited in hopes that the life I dreamed of would become attainable. I became hardened and sad- letting BPD rule my life so I didn’t have to think about it anymore.  I stopped caring about pretty much everything, gained weight and just coasted.  The person I was in the relationship with didn’t want marriage, kids or any of the same goals as I did.  I knew after one year that this wasn’t what I wanted or needed- but had no way out.  It was the last straw when he started screaming at my daughter about anything she would do, or pick on her about various things.  I said no more.

Which brings everyone almost up to speed.  I moved out, asked a friend to be a roommate for a few months and finally, the man I was in love with all these years came back into my life.  The man that has literally been in every one of my dreams for over 10 years was right here, next to me.   Now, back to the reason I am putting this all out there- mental health.  While I still experience the upswings and downswings, they are manageable with medication and with having open conversations about what I am experiencing.  I let him in about all of it and it feels great to be so open about it.


Hopefully I inspire others to open up about bipolar disorder, or realistically any mental health issues.  Until we understand and love ourselves, we cannot love anyone else.







Pushing On

It’s been awhile!

Well, my life has taken a huge U-Turn, and then a squiggle to the left.   After nearly seven years in a relationship, I decided to call it quits.  The relationship wasn’t going anywhere due to commitment issues, along with multiple layers of other problems.  It was a brave move, seeing as this man has raised my daughter since she was 3 years old.  It was quite the disruption of our family.  It led to near eviction, moving to a very tiny attic space that is way over-priced, nearly having my car repo’d, finding new friends, and honestly after 5 months starting to dip my toe back out into the dating pool.

I say all of this, because a lot of women are intimidated when leaving a relationship-even if the relationship is toxic.   There are consequences to every action, including making the bold move  to leave.  I think to myself after all that has occurred and think- would I have rather of been miserable?  Would I have rather have continued to crush my self-esteem, my dignity and my sense of self as a whole? The short answer is: No.

Now, alongside the multitude of problems I faced when leaving the relationship- I also face criticism from those close to me.  As I started to see that I was interested in someone, my family gave me quite the look.  I’m 30 years old with a 10 year old daughter- which everyone disapproves of me moving on.   I understand family wants the best for you, however my mother will go out of her way to be sure that I feel bad about myself, my life and my future.  It’s always been that way and always will be.

At this point, I am facing the possibility of starting a very real relationship, with serious intent.  With myself living in a tiny space on one income, it makes it hard not to want said person to move in.  We both know it is far too soon, but that doesn’t mean it’s not on my mind constantly.  So what do I do? Do I say eff’ it to how others treat me- or do I keep it all quiet to myself?  It’s all up in the air.


Dirty Thirty, HALT and Other Mind Games

That’s right…the big three-oh is coming on up.


Within the last year I have faced more than most can handle, and did so gracefully and sober. I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but TOOT TOOT!  I plowed into meetings head first, working the steps and hitting the books.  Slowly over the year my attendance at meetings started to decline.  Why have I pulled so far away from grounding myself into a more meaningful life?  Why have I chosen to sit on my fat rump in my jammies by 7pm after work instead of preparing myself for an 8pm serenity session?

The truth is, I never thought I would have cravings. I was that asshole who thought I was different and could be “changed” within a blink of an eye.  I know…I know…  As I am now approaching my one year of sobriety, as well as approaching the big dirty thirty, I am second guessing every moment of life.  Quarter to Mid life crisis much?  Drama Queen much?  It’s like I feel like I need to stand on a stage and pour out my entire life story before an audience, only to realize that step four has made it impossible to move forward.  Like a bus slamming on its breaks at the next stop through my past- I fly forward and hit the windshield. Of course, this results in breaking my collar bone, a good ol’ black eye and nice arm sling- signed by all my closest friends.

Just kidding. I have no friends.


Okay, back to the point- what in the holy hell is this mid life crisis shit?  Why the hell has sobriety made me feel like I want to drown my past in the nearest frozen lake, ensuring it is never able to return to the surface? Why is it that all I want to do is still be that girl that I remember, and yet…I’m not?


Tune in soon for an update on the drama dipped cone of my life.

BiPolar …Like Me?

Most people with addiction issues also have the dual diagnosis of mental health problems. With me, I found out I have Bipolar I Disorder when I was roughly 23 years old. It took time to find this out, as I was hospitalized numerous times, tested and tested to find out what is wrong with my brain. I had neurological tests in fancy centers, I had 5 hour long book sessions with the M1PR, and of course every psychologist wanted to compartmentalize whatever was wrong-so they could be right. It was all very confusing at the time.

Growing up I had bouts of depression, and I really only had more epidsodes hypomania than full blown mania just yet. I didn’t realize that my inability to focus in school, or forgetfulness may be a symptom of something larger. My good old friend anxiety is what really opened a can of worms when it came to the beginning of teenage disaster. I started by smoking copious amounts of marijuana to calm myself down, from there, packs and packs of cigarettes. The cigarettes may seem like something small and meaningless, but I was also born with Asthma- so not the smartest idea. (Yes, I am still a full time smoker, and yes, still working on it.) From there I attempted to cope with these emotions in a healthier manner, such as painting, music, and writing. However, there was something else that kept pulling me- that nasty impulsive side kept nagging right in my ear. I found myself attempting to cope with codependent love, sex and obsession. Obsession is overwhelming when you have bipolar disorder. It is as if no matter what you do, that obsession lasts for however long it decides to. From the obsession of love and sex came the obsession of needing someone. Never being alone. Being alone meant dealing with myself- which meant dealing with the insanity. If I was alone I was usually pissed, or high. Just to be able to avoid “other me.”

After years of numbing mania with downers and enlightening depression with uppers, I found my self pregnant with my daughter at 19.  After giving birth to my daughter, this sent my illness into a whirlwind, as it had been untreated at that time.  This sent me into long episodes of mania, running around and calming myself unconventionally.  Of course at that point, I became obsessed with childcare, health and the future that this tiny human paints ahead for me. I could say that I became this amazing mother who did yoga every morning and sipped tea at night after a 6pm meditation ritual- but that’s the idea of me I create in my mind. That is not reality.

Here is reality;

I am a fly by the seat of my pants type of mom, always on the go- shoving an ocean of coffee down my throat to get through the day.  My daughter is just about 10 years old, and I think she steers the boat better than I do some days. There are days where I realize I am wearing the same pair of leggings for the 10th time this month.  If I’m in a depressed episode, I spray some perfume-literally on the crotch, use a roller to get rid of the dog hair and move on. If I’m in a manic or hypomanic episode- I usually will wash it over and over.  Or at least wear each clean thing until everything is dirty because I know that the down is coming.  I avoid areas of the house that I know are a mess because I know cleaning it won’t change my overall situation.

Most people don’t understand the frequent job changes, or moves, or why no matter where I go or what I do why I am always in debt.  It may seem to someone on the outside that I am just always a hot mess, but in reality – coping with this mental illness is can seem absolutely impossible.

I can only hope that documenting the daily frustrations will help me from feeling absolutely insane. I hope it well help me from forgetting the day to day issues I face. As most know, when in the ups you forget the downs and vice versa. Bipolar is forgetting your home address for hours on end, putting the jelly in the with Tupperware, the waxpaper in with the bath towels and forgetting what you are doing half way through it over and over again.

I hope most find this helpful, or can find something within this blog today that they can relate to.

Baking Bread

This week has been tough. I haven’t been to a meeting in weeks and I’m a bit crabby. I’m beyond broke, and still needing to provide for my family. So we pillaged Floyd ( Our Family Piggy Bank) and I bought flour, yeast, cornmeal and sugar. I baked bread, tortillas and muffins. I felt better. I provided for my family in a way that made me feel good. I didn’t feel like drinking and I felt like baking. My 6 month medallion is on the 18th.