In a recent life line chart depicting my journey with bipolar, a revelation has been made aware to me. I find it amazing that until the age of thirty-seven, I was only hospitalized for psychiatric difficulties two times. The first time has a definite correlation to a particular traumatic experience in my life which I believe may have been the trigger associated with my bipolar episode. The other episode was when I was once again scared by the association with this traumatic event, along with overwhelming circumstances in my life at that time. I was able to manage my illness quite sufficiently while raising my children, becoming a Registered Nurse, and monitoring my symptoms. This was achieved while being described as the “crazy”one in the family. I believe though that I helped to pave the way for my children to become who they have become with their education (especially following by example), and developing their values and morals as well.
It was when I began the second chapter of my life that turbulence began to ensue. I had depressive episodes that began with the ending of my first marriage. Panic attacks, anxiety, and PTSD (I have found), along with depression were the culprits that caused much of the problems that began when I started my journey on my own, after ending an emotionally stormy relationship. This makes perfect sense now. Of course I had anxiety and panic, I began living in an unknown world to me. I was also taking care of my ailing parents which accounted for much stress during that part of my life. I was living on my own, then starting a new relationship also which brought forth the emotions that dealt with my post traumatic stress disorder. It was only after resolving marital unease and learning how to travel untouched waters that the turbulence then settled, and I was able to obtain happiness and make peace with my past experiences.
I have explored these past eight years or so and have realized that it has been primarily anxiety, panic, ptsd, and depression (associated with that anxiety) that were the major reasons for my hospitalizations. Sure managing bipolar has always been part of the equation, but the changes associated with my life and my new diagnosis of Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in recent years were the culprits.
It was an unfortunate setback that when all of the progress that had been made with accepting my past and moving forward as not a victim anymore but someone who maintains health as a focus, that then my medication regime was played with and a tornado erupted. This was definitely something that could not have been predicted. It had been almost twenty years since being hospitalized specifically for any form of mania – this recent time being the worst ever. I fought the discord, but the chemicals that my body was used to unfortunately ruled the situation.
I do still struggle with my PTSD and realize that this will always be a struggle for me though the event that caused the trauma in the first place is forever in my past. I do not believe reliving the possibility of forced detachment from my children will forever be in my future, which causes relief beyond measure. And I am also no longer living in an environment of anger.
So yes I am concluding that I am still a victor. Though life has been hard to manage since the divorce from my ex-husband and I have had to get help with managing my emotions at times. I successfully learned how to do that effectively. I do still struggle with my emotions at times, but I have achieved a happy, beautiful walk toward the future in the recent past and this setback will not stop me from moving forward in that same direction.